* Posts by VicMortimer

182 posts • joined 14 Feb 2017


Big Tech silent on data privacy in post-Roe America


Re: The extremes of both sides

There it is, the "very fine people on both sides" bullshit.

No. "Both sides" are NOT responsible for this. This mess comes from ONE side, the right wing.

Crypto market crashes on Celsius freeze, inflation news


It might be freezing in Celsius...

It might be freezing in Celsius, but right now it's really hot in Fahrenheit.

It's 94 right now, and supposed to be 96 tomorrow. My AC can't keep up.

How one techie ended up paying the tab on an Apple Macintosh Plus


Re: No convert

I called it WordPutrid. WordStar and DisplayWrite were both FAR superior programs.

US Copyright Office sued for denying AI model authorship of digital image


He can't do that without committing perjury.

At this point, a non-self-aware AI is neither a purely technical device under the control of a person, nor is it a person eligible for copyright.

There is therefore no entity eligible to receive a copyright of an image created by an AI.

There is only one option: The image is public domain, permanently copyright ineligible.

I propose a simple test: Any AI that attempts to claim copyright must, in its own non-preprogrammed words, explain how it would benefit from owning a copyright. If a human either a. tries to claim copyright of an AI-created work, or b. programs an AI to articulate that the AI would benefit from owning a copyright without said AI figuring it out on its own, then that human goes to prison for fraud.

California Right-to-Repair bill quietly killed in committee


Re: Not ALL tech companies

Yeah, they got a bit of a smackdown from the FTC a few years back about those 'warranty void' stickers.



Re: Instead of 'right to repair', manufacturers should have a 'requirement to warranty'.

No. That's not a thing here.

There are product safety laws, if a product is dangerous the government can force a recall to fix it. Most products have a 90 day to 1 year warranty, very few warranties are longer than 1 year. Many companies offer an "extended warranty" (which is just very expensive insurance).

And maybe you replace your phone every 2 years, but many of us do not do that and have no desire to. Mine is 6 now, and still works because Apple didn't block the parts I replaced like they do now. I also wasn't without my phone for more than the few minutes it took for me to put in the new battery and speaker.

Right to repair is more important than a 'requirement to warranty' that only lasts 2 years.

BOFH: Where do you think you are going with that toner cartridge?


Re: Too Often...

But our poor BOFH was stuck with US Legal.

It's the most useless paper size on the planet. You see, many years ago, the legal industry in the US stopped using it. Virtually all court paperwork that's still done on paper is now done with US Letter.

You'll see the occasional old lawyer still use US Legal for wills. But it's mostly fallen out of fashion even for that, and other than wills (because many of them are old, and the only time a court sees them are after someone is dead and can't exactly do a new one) courts will no longer accept any filing on legal size paper.

(Federal and many state courts won't accept paper filings for most things at all any more, they don't want to have to deal with the stuff. But they definitely don't want to have to buy the much more expensive special-size filing cabinets for US Legal paper. Most lawyers were very happy about it, because they don't want to buy the expensive filing cabinets either.)

Experts: AI inventors' designs should be protected in law



Very simply, an 'invention' by a non-sentient AI should be non-patentable.

And I don't mean non-patentable by the AI, I mean non-patentable at all. It should belong to the public domain, for the free use of anyone.

If an AI is not capable of understanding what a patent is and why it should want one, it should not be able to have one. To do otherwise is to completely negate any legitimate purpose for patent law existing in the first place.

DuckDuckGo tries to explain why its browsers won't block some Microsoft web trackers


I was always suspicious of their browser. Turns out I was right.

As always, the best solution is still Firefox + uBlock + NoScript.

Did ID.me hoodwink Americans with IRS facial-recognition tech?


Re: Another Reason...

So replace an at least somewhat progressive tax system with a 100% regressive tax system?

Yeah, that's a GREAT idea. /s

Income tax in the US has issues. But your proposal would replace it with taxes that heavily burden the poor, somewhat less burden the middle class, and only ever take pocket change from the rich. It's an absolutely abhorrent idea.

Review: Huawei's Matebook X Pro laptop is forgetful and forgettable


Why would anybody consider a Chinese government spyware computer?

And no sane IT department is going to allow this on a corporate network.

Russian media watchdog bans Google from advertising its services


Re: Fascism 101

We pretty much consider the Brexiteers to be idiots.

It was a good move for the interests of Putin. Horrible move for the UK. Maybe a good move for reunited Ireland, though.

Fish mentality: If The Rock told you to eat flies, would you buy my NFT?

Thumb Up

Re: Lab-on-a-fish

While that sounds good and all (honestly not sure about the mushy peas, never had them, and maybe skip the chips and have some fries instead) I think fish are generally even better raw with a bit of rice, soy, seaweed, and wasabi.

Microsoft backtracks on lack of easy Windows browser choice


Re: Microsoft doesn't have...

It's only been the standard way to eject a disk since 1984, almost 40 years is plenty of time to figure out that dragging a disk to the trash ejects it and doesn't delete anything.

And for over 20 years, the trash can has been changing to an eject icon when you start dragging a disk.

Apple patched critical flaws in macOS Monterey but not in Big Sur nor Catalina


Re: There is an official update available from Apple

To be fair, any Mac that will "officially" run 10.14 will also run 12.

Most Macs that will only "officially" run 10.13 will also run 12.

OpenCore Legacy Patcher is your friend.

(Of course, I'm typing this on a 2012 15" MBP running 10.14 and have no intention of downgrading it to anything more recent because I'm unwilling to give up 32-bit software support. I've got other Macs running 12, but this is easily as fast as those newer Macs for what I do.)

Oracle, SAP suspend business in Russia amid invasion


Re: Predictable

I was with you until the Keystone bit. We don't need that disaster.

SAP continues to support Russian customers


As usual, capitalism does what it always does.

The only way to stop the standard behavior of capitalism is with expanded sanctions. The current package isn't sufficient.

Russia’s invasion kicks Senate into cybersecurity law mode


Report ransomware payments? Seriously?

It's past time to ban ransomware payments, complete with prison terms for anyone who authorizes them.

Ukraine seeks volunteers to defend networks as Russian troops menace Kyiv


Internet Explorer recommended.

I'd feel a bit more confident if their "Cyber Resource Hub" page (https://www.cisa.gov/cyber-resource-hub) didn't contain this line:

** Note: These documents have features that may not work in certain web browsers. For best use, please open using Internet Explorer.

Internet connection now required for Windows 11 Pro Insider setup


No, it doesn't. There's even an option during setup where you can tell macOS that it does not have an internet connection.

And you can absolutely install apps, you just can't use the Apple app store. And since virtually every app is available outside of the app store, you won't have a problem.

And no, there's no audit ("NSA level" or otherwise). There's a malware list that has a few specific things on it. And of course if you don't have an internet connection you won't even get that.

Users sound off as new Google Workspace for Education storage limits near


Re: For me it is a sign that the universities are de-skilling

Universities have absolutely no business outsourcing ANYTHING. Outsourcing IT is absolutely inexcusable for an organization that should absolutely without question have the in-house expertise to handle it, and should in fact be using that expertise not only to manage their own systems but teaching the next generation how to do it.

Universities that get hit with this deserve every bit of pain they have coming.

5G masts will be strapped to lampposts and traffic lights – once £4m project figures out who owns them


Here, the fancy downtown poles are special. The wood poles in the rest of town are just normal wood poles with 5G antennas screwed into them.

US House passes bill to boost chip manufacturing and R&D


Corporate welfare at its finest.

If the US gov is going to spend that kind of money building factories, the factories should be gov owned and operated. Put the corps that screwed it up out of business by outcompeting them, and ALL the profits go directly to the gov.

Or instead of handing money to the corps, hit them with a 100% tax on any profits derived from offshore production. Spend the $52b on housing the homeless instead.

Photon fantastic: James Webb Space Telescope spies its first starlight


Re: What’s in a name?

Sagan already has an asteroid (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2709_Sagan), a planet walk (https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/sagan-planet-walk), a unit of measurement (the Sagan Unit is a large number, at least 4 billion), a science collaboration web platform (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAGANet), a crater on Mars (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagan_(crater) ), and a weed strain (https://www.leafly.com/strains/carl-sagan).

He would likely have been proudest of the asteroid and the crater, but happiest about the weed.

US Senate to vote on stopping Big Tech extracting 'monopolist rent' from app developers


About F-ing time!

I like my iPhone. I HATE Apple's monopoly on software distribution and installation for it.

And without the ability to install software of the user's choice, the iPad will NEVER be a real computer, it's doomed to be a toy.

US mergers doubled in 2021 so FTC and DoJ seek new guidelines to stop illegal ones


Re: Keep it simple

It's a good start, but think smaller. Companies that size are well past the point they should be allowed to acquire anything, they're so big they need to be forcibly broken up.

BOFH: On Wednesdays, we wear gloves


Re: Cement Pond

I'm reasonably confident "cement pond" came from the show and has since entered into occasional use by Southern IT folks when we're feigning ignorance about a particular topic.

I'm not quite sure what you're talking about when you say "disgusting bits from a pig" though, because all parts of a pig are in fact quite delicious when properly prepared.

Saved by the Bill: What if... Microsoft had killed Windows 95?


Re: Windows 95 + a few service packs

Heh. A couple years back I had to set up a Win95 machine, I happened to have a P3 800MHz box that was about to go to recycling and just hadn't gotten there yet, and I got a call....

A couple hundred thousand dollar printing press had blown up its controller - a Win95 box. Nothing newer would do. Fastest 95 box I've ever seen, and I doubt that computer cost as much new as what I charged that client for it.


Except softmodems mostly didn't work.

I was working ISP tech support back in the late '90s, and one of the worst parts of the job was not being allowed to tell customers "Yeah, you've got a winmodem. It's occasionally going to connect, it might even tell you that you're getting 56k, but you're not really. Your best bet is to take it out of the computer, smash it with a hammer, and then go buy a real modem."

Countless hours of my life were wasted talking illiterate (sometimes literally) users through removing and reinstalling drivers and network stacks. And then we'd get yelled at because evening shift's numbers could never match day shift's numbers, when day shift was mostly business users with real modems.

Hayes or USR? Chances are the problem was on our end.

The few Mac users with softmodems (Apple called it the GeoPort Telecom Adapter) didn't have nearly as much trouble.


Re: Windows 95 was more masterful marketing

Only partially true.

What really happened in the '90s was Microsoft getting caught with QuickTime code in Video for Windows. Apple let them off easy by forcing them to guarantee continued Office development for the Mac.


IPv6 is built to be better, but that's not the route to success


Re: Can't disagree with anything there

"Most devices people are using today will be replaced within 5 years"

NO, they won't. There is virtually zero chance that's going to happen. I'm typing this on a computer that's already a decade old. My newest computer is getting close to 5, and it's not going anywhere anytime soon. Nothing short of a nuclear war will cause "most" devices people are using today to turn into e-waste in the next 5 years.

What you're describing is a tech company's wet dream, not reality.

Almost there: James Webb Space Telescope frees its mirrors and prepares for insertion



Here's the real one: https://i.redd.it/enppk11y8y781.jpg

A slice is better than none: Apple gives in, allows third-party app billing systems in Korea, per local law

Big Brother

Doesn't fix the real problem.

Unfortunately, this doesn't fix the real problem. Apple is still allowed to keep you from installing software on your iPhone from any source other than the Apple app store even in Korea.

I honestly don't care if Apple takes 90% of in-app purchases made through their app store if their app store monopoly can be eliminated. Fix that, and I'll find a way to buy an iPhone from whatever country does it first.

Microsoft Paint + car park touchscreen = You already know where this is going


Wasted opportunity

What a wasted opportunity. If you see something like that, you write "FREE PARKING TODAY" and the date on the screen. Then you take a picture of it so you have evidence that it's free parking, and you go park for free.

Developer creates ‘Quite OK Image Format’ – but it performs better than just OK


Re: Colour me impressed...

I was wondering WTF "I grew up with analogue" was blathering about, because analog TV was absolutely abysmal. ATSC is absolutely amazing compared to NTSC. And then I realized that whatever the Brits had before was probably not as bad as NTSC, and DVB-T is probably worse than ATSC.

MPs charged with analysing Online Safety Bill say end-to-end encryption should be called out as 'specific risk factor'


Re: It's OK, freedom of speech is a quintessentially British right

Here in the US you absolutely have to accept responsibility for your speech - from anyone who isn't the government.

You can be shunned by your community, you can be unceremoniously dumped off social media, you can be fired without warning.

But you CANNOT be imprisoned or fined by the government.

And that is as it should be. Speech is not a crime, no matter how despicable it may be.

CentOS Stream 9: Understanding the new Red Hat OS release for non-Red-Hat-type people



I ran CentOS on my servers for years.

Last year, I was in the process of testing CentOS 8 to replace my really good but annoyingly no longer getting security patches CentOS 5 along with the hardware it was running on that was getting pretty old.

It was being a PITA, so incredibly different from the wonderful 5 release. So things got delayed.

And then this stream thing happened. That was the kick in the pants I needed to nope out.

Everything is running on Xubuntu now, because yes, I absolutely DO want a GUI on my servers (no, they don't boot into the GUI) and because Gnome sucks now.

I'm not even remotely tempted to go to Rocky Linux at this point, I'm done with RH-based distros.

OK, boomer? Gen-X-ers, elder millennials most likely to name their cars, says DVLA


Re: What?

10 kmph faster and it'll escape earth's gravity.

Rolls-Royce set for funding fillip to build nuclear power stations based on small modular reactor technology


Re: This is good

We could have far more renewables with significantly less build price.

The time for this was 50 years ago. It's not needed or wanted now.

What we need now is solar+wind+storage+transmission. It's time to forget about nuclear fission as a viable future power source.

Fusion may have potential, it may not. I'm in favor of fusion research continuing, but let's limit fission to existing plants and start working on long-term waste solutions for the ones we have before we even think about building new ones.

Praise the lard! Police hook up with Microsoft to school us on National Phish and Chip Day



Lard, of course, refers to the police themselves, lard being rendered pig fat.

Ever wondered where the 'cloud' was in Adobe Creative Cloud? Here it is in beta form


Re: Ripoff

No, not "no different" at all. Apple doesn't even do software rental, their monthly charge stuff is all things like video streaming and extra storage. And at least MicroSuck offers a purchase option for their terrible office package, even if they do try to hide that it exists.

Adobe only does software rental now, at an exorbitant $50/month.

Matrix for the masses platform Element One goes live: $5 a month with WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram bridges



Ok, what? Seriously?

They want me to pay $5 a month to make Signal less secure? And they're trying to make iMessage less secure too?

Does this not just scream REALLY BAD IDEA to everybody?

Sovereignty? We've heard of it. UK government gives contract to store MI5, MI6 and GCHQ's data to AWS


This is stupid. Government data should be stored on government computers, in government data centers, maintained by government employees. Private companies should NEVER be allowed to do this sort of thing.

And Amazon's trustworthiness is only slightly better than F*c*book's. They're one of the worst companies in the world.

Google deliberately throttled ad load times to promote AMP, claims new court document


What do I care if they slowed ads that I block anyway?

Apple's Safari browser runs the risk of becoming the new Internet Explorer – holding the web back for everyone


Re: The choice

$ lynx

-bash: lynx: command not found

$ brew install lynx

$ lynx

LYNX - The Text Web-Browser (p1 of 2)



Copyright 1997-2017,2018 by Thomas E. Dickey


BOFH: So you want to have your computer switched out for something faster? It's time to learn from the master


I can't comprehend why any company would be on a 3 year replacement cycle these days, there just isn't that much improvement from a new machine when the old one is only 3. 5 to 7 years just makes a lot more sense now.

I'm diabetic. I'd rather risk my shared health data being stolen than a double amputation


It's not health insurance that's a threat.

Your car insurance company might decide to raise your rates because the data suggests your medical history might make you more likely to crash.

Your house insurance might decide you might be more likely to accidentally damage something.

Your bank might decide you may not be likely to live long enough to pay off a loan.

All of those would have a serious incentive to grab the data and de-anonymize it to use against you if they thought it would make them more money.

And health insurance doesn't really matter in the US either. They already have your medical records, and they're no longer allowed to deny you or charge you more because of pre-existing conditions, that's been illegal since 2014.


Re: We love it? A single list

I happened to have a window open.


To use those lists, documentation is available at https://docs.pi-hole.net/

Canon makes 'all-in-one' printers that refuse to scan when out of ink, lawsuit claims


Re: Standard Industry Malpractice?

And someone with experience will simply tell you that yes, they're all quality, and that bad quality is in fact a quality.

It really doesn't matter what brand printer you buy any more. They are in fact all junk.

The planet survived six hours without Facebook. Let's make it longer next time


Re: Life goes on...

Because I have a couple of racks of servers. It's a lot easier for me to spin up another account or add an address with a quick SSH than it is to go through Google's account setup process.

And if it's on my own hardware, I don't feel uncomfortable leaving the mail on the server and using IMAP. POP was amazing in the 1990s, not so much now.



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