* Posts by Dark_Ronius

14 publicly visible posts • joined 22 May 2017

Plan to strip post-Brexit Brits of .EU domains now on hold: Registry waves white flag amid political madness


There doesn't seem to be any evidence that the fall in UK registrations is exclusively because of the actions of EUrid; simply that a fall has happened. I wouldn't have been surprised to see a fall in registrations from the UK regardless, just because of the impact of leaving the European Union. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a slight bounce, if a deal were to be approved, as a result of a so-called "Brexit Bounce", from investors holding back until there is more certainty for what the future holds for the UK.

Personally, I deeply regret our decision as a country to leave the European Union. For all of its faults, right now I have more faith that the EU institutions, bureaucrats and politicians will have respect for things like the rule of law, the courts and democracy than our own politicians or institutions.

Wearable hybrids prove the bloated smartwatch is one of Silly Valley's biggest mistakes


Handiest thing about android aear was sneakily checking my messages while at work. Besides that, I've now settled on a Mi Fit instead for health and notification features. It means it can last a couple of weeks on one charge, rather than having to charge the Google LG watch every night.

Windows Fall Creators Update is here: What do you want first – bad news or good news?


I'm, generally, preferring this approach of regular, smaller updates to my OS rather than big version updates akin to a new Windows OS. However, I fear it's falling for feature bloat. I don't mind this push for a more Mobile-like experience (at least from an update and new feature point of view), but at some point I think they should focus on the "barebones" experience, i.e. those that don't want a fancy 3D Paint app but also don't want something akin to Windows 2000.

I'm thinking similar to the "native" Android experience. At the moment Windows feels more like one of these manufacturer deviations we see on Android, rather any kind of core vanilla experience. Again, my point isn't the need for an ugly or over-plain version, but just something we can liken to a "vanilla" Windows install, in the same way as a vanilla Android one. In particular, I don't like edge or Cortana forced down my throat; I actually like using the Microsoft Android apps and how they sync with Windows, but there should be a much stronger element of user choice. Give us a plain OS with lots of optional downloads, rather than an increasingly bloated "default"...

uBlock Origin ad-blocker knocked for blocking hack attack squawking


It seems obvious to me that it's disabled by design. It's literally disabling something additional that isn't required to display the webpage. That, and those against CSP blocking seem to shoot themselves in the foot saying it's as simple and privacy invading as loading an image or text (in which case, why isn't this something which is obvious from other information derived from a visit?).

Using any adblocker is a very clear, positive, action from a user to say "I don't want any additional shit run on my computer". Adblock Plus has been burnt since automatically enabling "some non-intrusive ads". Now personally I use that as an additional filter in uBlock, as I generally agree with it (I equally hate these uBlock nazis that tell people not to use it; my adblocker, my choice) but that should never have been an automatically assumed choice, but an optional action by the user. To allow CSP, while not on the scale of a mistake of automatically enabling non-intrusive ads, seems part and parcel of what a user is asking for when they install uBlock.

Vid game's easiest level makes players white, hardest level makes them black


This is brilliant. I don't believe their's anything wrong with using media to make political statements, as long as it doesn't become a lecture (Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare were "SJWs" long before the acronym existed). This makes its point without needing any explanation, and entirely fitting with the humour of the show.

Firefox doesn't need to be No 1 – and that's OK, 'cos it's falling off a cliff


I switched to Pale Moon after the beta of the most recent legacy add-on switch-off resulted in 8 out of 10 of my extensions being declared "legacy", a few of them refusing to work, and Firefox randomly crashing within a few minutes of opening. I had already reduced my add-ons as I was willing to give the new browser a try, despite repeated protests to the Mozilla. However, the fact so many problems cropped up at once led to it no longer being my main browser. In the past I would have given leeway, but it felt like one change too many despite vocal opposition from users.

That being said, I have no brand loyalty to Pale Moon; the dev seems arrogant and snarky throughout his website, seemingly unable to resist making digs at how his set up and process is superior to Mozilla. It gets tiresome pretty quickly. I have never had a problem with WebExtensions, just their implementation of it, and having more sympathy for devs who have already had to make major rewrites because of Mozilla changes over the last few years. "Proudly" declaring "we will never support WebExtensions" frankly comes across as childish... Meanwhile a whole page is devoted to why having tabs underneath is superior, and why having an add-on bar is superior, before at the very end saying "...But nonetheless you can have it how you want". I prefer tabs on top, I prefer my add-ons to the side of a combined addressbar... Now, by the fact he delivers a product which is now far more relevant to me, I now am happy to use his browser. However, a company with a "head" person with those kinds of attitudes isn't ever going to win my support.

Mozilla, meanwhile, I always have a fondness for. It is fine not to be popular. It just feels the jumble of changes they have made to the browser in the last few years haven't put the user first. When they should.

Welcome to the Rise of the Machine-to-Machine. Isn't it time to 'block off' some data ducts?


GW is almost active!

Does anyone remember MGS2? I played it again recently. It is quite frightening how much of the automated information tagging, context and control plotline, which seemed impossible and was a bit too tinfoil to actually happen in real life back in 2001, is now the norm on a daily basis. That one, giant, mind-screwery conversation near the end of the game seems to pre-date everything from the growth of social networking, to the next stages of the web described in the article... Even to fake news and the actions of the current administration:

(From MGS2):

"in the current, digitized world, trivial information is accumulating every second, preserved in all its triteness. Never fading, always accessible. All this junk data preserved in an unfiltered state, growing at an alarming rate... What we propose to do is not to control content, but to create context... The digital society furthers human flaws and selectively rewards the development of convenient half-truths... The untested truths spun by different interests continue to churn and accumulate in the sandbox of political correctness and value systems. Everyone withdraws into their own small gated community, afraid of a larger forum. They stay inside their little ponds, leaking whatever "truth" suits them into the growing cesspool of society at large."

TL;DR Hideo Kojima created Donald Trump

Judge uses 1st Amendment on Pokemon Go park ban. It's super effective!


It would seem to set a bizarre precedent if this law was upheld. What about geo-caching... something that usually directly affects the land by placing little boxes?

Or even, what if I decide to meet my friends at a specific location to take photographs and upload them online? This would be identical to Pokemon Go...

There is so much underlying snobbery in legislation like this, it is quite unbelievable. You think any kind of scheme that might promote new visitors to parks would be something to crave for, and something they would want to piggyback on. If this was some book author promoting a "visit your local park day!" there would likely be no backlash (even though it would likely generate an equivalent amount of rubbish). No, it isn't about parks becoming too popular... it's about the WRONG KING OF USER becoming too popular.

In my eyes, anything that gets anyone using more of their national parks is a positive... There are the health benefits, the history, biology... And more than anything, it strengthens the hand in both keeping funding and keeping these lands free of any kind of urban development.

There is so much they could do to jump on the bandwagon... Create leaflets with tips on looking after the environment of the park, to "protect the pokemon as well as other wildlife"... Even outfit the rangers with replica pokeballs to keep the fun factor (for the little kids anyway). They could even organise pokemon hunts at different times of the day with a ranger, so they can at least keep those under control. As I've never played the game I'm not entirely sure how the "catch pokemon" aspect works, whether a pokemon stays in a fixed location or whether just one person can catch it. However I was a player of Ingress, and I presume there is a similar element of co-operation within the team on that. Anyway, my point isn't on the game specifics, but that they could do a lot more to reap their own rewards

Amazon may still get .amazon despite govt opposition – thanks to a classic ICANN cockup


I find it hard to sympathise with Amazon- well full stop really. Personally, I'd rather not see a .amazon, or .google, or anything like that. But then that comes to the real question... What is the purpose of a gTLD? Or, what is the point?

There seems to be no reason why we can't have .james or .edward... Why does Amazon get all the fun and exclusivity? In my opinion, the fact there is already a location called the Amazon Rainforest should be the one reason there *shouldn't* be a .amazon domain. It might make little impact now, but we have no idea what the future might look like. Although it would be rather humourous for locals of the rainforest to make the argument they were there long before the company!

But it all comes down to the point having a restriction on the number of gTLDs is pointless once you start going down that route. It made sense having them tied to locations, or to a lesser extent broad categories like ".bank", ".coop" etc. But the further they go, the more arbitrary decisions are made which are inherently unfair. Why should The Amazon lose the rights to their own gTLD- seeing as the much smaller Wales gets one? Why should any locality lose those rights, for that matter? It was much easier when it was just countries to worry about.

Besides that, allowing anyone to register their own TLD would stop this madness of buying domains for the sake of protecting ip... There would be a single landgrab for everyone's IP, arguments over specific names. I mean it probably sounds like madness and unworkable. But the system as it stands now seems like madness. This comment sounds like madness because the whole concept seems ridiculous... It reminds me of that toolbar (forgotten which now) which "added" loads of new TLDs... I think it was new.net?

Stop all news – it's time for us plebs to be told about BBC paycheques!


I hope all those gleeful competitors slamming the BBC for this gender pay gap are prepared to publish statistics for their own organisations.

This all seems a pointless exercise besides making the BBC look bad so the Tories and right-wing press can finally put them out to slaughter. The one advantage being that, hopefully, this will cause the BBC to start seriously working on the gender gap.

But let's be honest, this is nothing to do with fairness... There are ulterior motives at play. Which aren't even particularly relevant to whether there is any point in the license fee or not. I believe there is, and more than that it increases the quality of other TV (take advertising US tv for example). But then I'd rather have a subscription-based service if it meant having more features to the iplayer app, with more historical content too... I would easily choose that over something like Netflix, and maybe that is the direction entertainment will go towards. Ultimately I'd rather the BBC as it is, although I've noticed they're pushing for users to be registered now and things like that.

Behind the scenes of Slovaks' fight to liberate their .sk domain


There seems to be a holier-than-thou bias in this article, which ironically makes the argument that sovereignty and ownership of the TLD shouldn't even be discussed because of the efficiency of market forces; it seems to imply it is silly for the country's people or government to question what the best method of ownership may be, as a free-market approach is automatically the best so they should shut up and do it by default as it is most efficient. Which sounds, ironically, rather communist.

Arguments against a non-profit taking control seem to revolve around undermining the sincerity of the non-profit argument (look, they have ulterior motives) rather than looking at the positives of such an ownership model compared to the positives of selling the registry off. instead we get a flat "non-profit is bad, look people are doing it for political reasons" whilst singing the praises of how efficient the alternative is. It's no kind of fair comparison at all. Nor does it take into account, y'know, it's the choice of Slovakians; their government at the least, which we would hope are run on behalf of the people that elect them.

This seems to fall from the usual standard of El Reg articles. Even saying it is a comment article doesn't seem an excuse; even these usually attempt some reasoned debate before the author states his/her opinion. This, however, makes far too many assumptions that almost imply anyone who questions them should be undermined and labelled heretics.

Tech can do a lot, Prime Minister, but it can't save the NHS


Despite all the technology and ability to order repeat prescriptions, it still takes an age to have my medical records or even a list of repeat prescriptions sent to my new GP.

Online services are no good if you're still waiting on the bloody records before your GP will do anything!! I almost feel it would be easier just to give me the records to drop off at the new surgery.

What is even more bizarre is hospitals have instant access to all my medications, conditions through the summary care record. Surely these are details your new GP should have to hand immediately to ensure continuity of care? They might not have access to the information that proves you receive a repeat, but surely seeing it is an ongoing medication would be enough?

What takes the biscuit, however, is that BOTH surgeries used Systmonline for their online services. Indeed, my username and details were the same; I even had a period of a day or two where I could access BOTH surgeriies after logging in, with up to date prescription and medical detailss. It boggles my mind how/why my new surgery can't just transfer this information as a stop-gap until the full records come through. Actually no I'm being diplomatic- It boggles my mind how the hell they couldn't immediately send the records digitally or copy them to the new surgery, especially considering they used the same provider (so they would be equally as secure).

I might be ranting on about one issue that happens to be relevant to me right now; but my point is there is this is JUST ONE example out of many where services are embaressingly inefficient to the point their duty of care is negatively impacted. I understand it's all in the name of data protection etc, but then it brings me back to my first point: why not allow me to take a copy of my records directly, if there are medical reasons to need them? Sign them over and hand the responsibility to me? You don't even need technology to speed up some of these systems.

Indeed, I think the whole focus on systems rather than an element of individual care is another part of the problem, especially for mental health care (where people are routinely discharged from CBT style therapies after a maximum of 10 sessions as this is seen as the most effective, with little insight into whether a person is still unwell or even in some cases I know of still in crisis... The implication being it is their own fault for not being "fixed" after this number of sessions...)

Project Gollum: Because NHS Caring means NHS Sharing


Am I the only one appalled that an attack like WannaCry can happen to the NHS?

I know a lot of organisations that back up their data onto tapes every night. Meanwhile, at home, if Wanna Cry attacked my computer I'd more than likely get a bit annoyed, stick linux in, wipe my hard drive and start a full re-install of Windows (and probably think "Well it could do with a refresh anyway").

That this can apparently affect patient records and large swathes of the NHS is very troubling. I can understand GP surgeries, not bothering to back up regularly because they are relatively small (and overworked). Or not having the training for techie stuff, or waiting for tech support to refresh their system.

OK in my case I owe my sense of security to Microsoft, Google and Mozilla. I can understand wanting to do things in house. But, if anything, their back up systems should be more efficient and cheaper. I'd have thought.

The bottom line is I had a much needed Doctors appointment cancelled last week. And part of me feels like I should feel sorry for them and take part in the public anger against hackers. But another part of me feels annoyed I lost that appointment because someone didn't know how to do back-ups. And there seem to be a lot of those "someones" across the country.

I feel like I could do a better job blindfolded at a time I struggle to find work.......

Windows 10: Triumphs and tragedies from Microsoft Build


I've been a huge fan of Metro UI since I first caught a glimpse of it; although its integration into Windows has been a bit crap (going back to an older start menu fixes things a little; but I feel the Start Page would be much better as a desktop background).

Microsoft have probably had the benefit of monetising all my information from being in a bit of a daze the last couple of years because of circumstances. Now I have had Windows 10 for a good while, I don't see the point in changing it (which are probably the final cries of democracy before the machines take over...)