* Posts by gormful

51 publicly visible posts • joined 24 Jul 2017


Turns out cops are super interested in subpoenaing suspects' push notifications


Ron Wyden is a national treasure. I just wish we had more legislators pulling along with him.

Not even poor Notepad is safe from Microsoft's AI obsession


Re: Microsoft?

Windows (and DOS) use '\' for a path separator because early DOS versions were already using '/' for an option flag.

Allegedly this is because Bill Gates didn't want to copy the Unix-style '-' for option flags.

Either way, it's a stupid "change for the sake of change".


The best thing about Notepad is that it has always launched instantaneously -- it allows you to write something down before you forget it.

The second-best thing about Notepad is that it just recorded what you type, not what Microsoft thinks you meant to type.

How many minutes will we have to wait for this new version to launch? And how will it improve all the phone numbers and so forth that I type?

EU launches investigation into X under Digital Services Act


Fortunately, X won't be a VLOP for much longer.

HP printer software turns up uninvited on Windows systems


"Our test Windows 10 PC was far too busy suggesting that we should take a look at Copilot to bother with the HP Smart app nonsense."

10/10 for sarcasm, sirs.

Microsoft kicks Calibri to the curb for Aptos as default font


So the lower-case "l" doesn't look like a capital "I". Instead, it looks just like the digit "1".

Such progress. Much wow.

Microsoft will upgrade Windows 10 21H2 users whether they like it or not


Remember that old ad campaign for Windows 10 as "the last version of Windows"?

I can't imagine what made me think of that.

Cop a load of this DIY e-ink calendar to help plan those projects you'll never finish

Thumb Up

Thanks for this article. Stavros's project writeup is absolutely hilarious!

NASA to send prototype robot surgeon into space


An autonomous robot surgeon would be wildly useful right here on Earth, from underserved communities to the battlefield.

The only reason this is a "Robot Surgeon -- In SPAAAACE!" is that NASA is willing to fund it.

Repairability champ Framework's modular laptop gets a speed boost


I just want them to sell a keyboard with full-height up/down arrow keys.

Is that too much to ask?

MIT's thin plastic speakers fall flat. And that's by design


Can this thing be driven as a phased array? Sound is directional at 100kHz...

C: Everyone's favourite programming language isn't a programming language


I wish I could upvote this comment multiple times for calling out the best SF novel ever written.

New York Times outlays seven-figure sum for 1,900 lines of JavaScript – yes, we mean Wordle


Well, crap. My wife and I both play Wordle, and we share a subscription to the NYTimes.

I guess she'll get to do Wordle on the even days, and I'll take the odd days...

Google Chrome 97 relaxes privacy protection just a little to help out Microsoft


Our (large multinational) company has a TON of internal systems of various ages. To log on to some of them in Chrome, one must first remove its cookies from the previous session.

I can't IMAGINE teaching some of our users to do that through the developer API. (And if they remove ALL corporate cookies the new way, they'll have to reauthenticate to every other damned Web site in the corporation.

Good move, Google.

Texas' anti-moderation social network law blocked by judge


These are the same bozos that insist that a corporation is a "person" and can even disobey the law because of its corporate "religious beliefs".

Maybe Twitter et al could explain that moderating content is part of their religion?

Banned: The 1,170 words you can't use with GitHub Copilot


Gonna be hard write that pod-racing game when the word "race" is blacklisted. (Or whatever word you're supposed to use instead of "blacklisted".)

Faster Python: Mark Shannon, author of newly endorsed plan, speaks to The Register


I wondered why the IronPython team just announced an alpha version of IronPython 3.7 after years of inactivity.

But it makes sense now that I know Guido is working on Python at Microsoft...

Microsoft has gone to great lengths to push its tech, but survey suggests many devs slipped through the .NET


"Not entirely sure but the category ".NET Developer Command Line Interface" probably represents the Vim/Linux users."

Or we Vim/Windows users who can't stand Visual Studio.

I like C# a lot, and the .Net libraries aren't bad at all. But I'd drop them like a hot potato if the only way to use them was with an IDE.

Chipmaker TSMC to build 'up to five' more factories in Arizona


Chip fabs require lots and lots of process water. One of the reasons for TSMC's reduced output recently has been a shortage of fresh water in Taiwan.

So they're expanding to one of the three driest states in the continental US? Makes perfect sense.

Google is updating Meet so at least you won't have to look at your hollow, careworn face


I actually prefer Meet to either Teams or Zoom, and use it whenever I can.

But I'm trying not to get too attached to Meet, because Google will inevitably drop it in a few years regardless of its popularity.

The JavaScript ecosystem is 'hopelessly fragmented'... so here is another runtime: Deno is now a company


Obligatory XKCD reference: <https://xkcd.com/927/>

Choose your fighter! March Mammal Madness pits poor, innocent critters against each other in mortal combat


They had me at "Saber-toothed Anchovy".

HP bows to pressure, reinstates free monthly ink plan... for existing customers


Re: Alternatives?

I *love* my Brother laser printer. It prints great, toner cartridges are cheap, and there's none of this "subscription" nonsense. And my Brother sheet-feed scanner also Just Works.

Hmmm... I wonder if HP will come up with a way to charge a per-page subscription fee for scanning? I wouldn't put it past them.

Excel Hell: It's not just blame for pandemic pandemonium being spread between the sheets


Re: What should I use instead

How about just Excel, but with a flag that turns OFF all automatic data conversion? Just edit the strings that are there; don't strip leading zeros from stock numbers or interpret gene names as dates.

It would be AWESOME simply to have an application to edit data in CSV files that DOESN'T "re-imagine" data values whenever it bloody well feels like it.


Brilliant! I nominate this for the "Single Most Useful Reg Article Ever" award.

I'm going to share it with every last one of my users who talk about "building an Excel database".

US voting hardware maker's shock discovery: Security improves when you actually work with the community


Why don't they just remove the wifi and cell modems from the voting machines? And stop connecting the tabulators to the Internet? And stop using an opaque non-human-readable barcode as the official "paper ballot"?

But ES&S has an entire C-suite full of rabid Trump donors, so instead they talk about "bug bounties" to stall discussing real issues until after the election.

Or states could just choose to use hand-marked paper ballots. But that's not the way America rolls. Sad.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin. Hang on, the PDP 11/70 has dropped offline


Had the same issue with a VAX 2000 we installed in a power plant control room in the early 90s.

The CPU drawer was positioned near the bottom of the rack, which put the RUN/HALT switch at the exact height of the rim of the janitor's wheeled mop bucket.

We got a spurious HALT every couple of weeks. Fortunately, the HALT switch on a VAX merely suspends the CPU; pressing the switch again continues operation without missing a beat (except for timed-out network ops).

Famously flawed, it is 30 years since the Hubble Space Telescope was launched


The missus and I went down to Florida to watch the launch of Atlantis on STS-125, the final Hubble service mission. It was cool seeing two Shuttles ready for flight. (Endeavour was prepped for a rescue, because Atlantis couldn't reach the ISS from Hubble's orbit if necessary.) The launch was awesome.

Interestingly, STS-125 was the only Shuttle mission ever to launch early. NASA bumped it up a day, because keeping Endeavour ready to launch was expensive. It cost me a fortune to change our travel plans at the last minute to make it to the Cape in time for the launch.

RIP FTP? File Transfer Protocol switched off by default in Chrome 80


Not again.

Heck, I'm still trying to get over the demise of Kermit.

From Soviet to science fiction icon, the weird life of Isaac Asimov 100 years on


In 1973 I attended a lecture by Asimov at college.

After the talk, I stood in line and watched him patiently sign fifty or sixty copies of "I, Robot" and the Science Fiction Book Club edition of "Foundation Trilogy". When it was my turn, I bashfully turned over my copy of "101 Lecherous Limericks" (it was the only Asimov book I had on with me on campus).

His face lit up, and he stood up and declaimed a couple of dozen REALLY filthy (and really funny) limericks.

Good times...

We strained our eyes with Lenovo's monster monitor: 43.4 inches for price of five 24" screens


I'm not a fan of wide monitors -- give me vertical pixels!

On the other hand, kudos to El Reg for working in a reference to my favorite movie!

Google relents slightly in ad-blocker crackdown – for paid-up enterprise Chrome users, everyone else not so much


Re: I'm suffering from deja vu!

> Mozilla will have made it as painless as possible for the people

> least interested in changing browsers to switch to Firefox, while

> alienating all of the users that want something other than Chrome.

> They will have made the move to Firefox as pointless for Chrome

> users as it is painless.

Brilliantly put.

I've been using Firefox since the Phoenix days, even though Mozilla has always worked hard to discourage me. Fortunately Google is doing their best to push me away from Chrome.

I know Microsoft has adopted Chrome, but they should be financing Mozilla as a hedge against Chrome becoming even suckier.

Just do IoT? We'd walk a mile in someone else's Nike smart sneakers, but they seem to be 'bricked'


I laughed out loud at one comment on Twitter: "Have you tried taking them off and putting them on again?"

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


Firefox forever (except at work)

Unfortunately, I still have to use Chrome (or IE) at work. Firefox doesn't integrate gracefully with the Active Directory authentication needed for all of our intranet stuff.

But for everything else, I've been using Firefox since it was named Phoenix. This latest announcement makes me feel even more smug about my choice.

Fee, Fi, bring your own one... Google opens up Project Fi to mobes built by Apple, LG, Samsung


Good news

Project|Google Fi is cheap, and has hassle-free international roaming and hassle-free support. Here in the US, Fi is a steal: $20/month for unlimited talk/text for the first line, $15/month for each additional line, $0 for a data-only SIM, and $10/GB/month (with a refund for unused megabytes!). The service works in almost every country in the world. And the Fi app has a dedicated button that dials tech support, where friendly agents speak unaccented colloquial English and solve your problem without trying to upsell you.

I've used Fi for several years, but I've never recommended it to my friends because the phones have been so flippin' expensive. This is good news.

Internet luminaries urge EU to kill off automated copyright filter proposal


Invest in hard drives

How the hell can a Web site be expected to recognize and filter ALL copyrighted material unless it has a database of all that material? Does the regulation mandate that EVERY rightsholder supply free copies (or hashes) of EVERY copyrighted work to EVERY Web site?

Hello, this is the FTC. You have been selected for a free lawsuit... Robocall pair sued


Didn't we hear about the phone companies asking for permission for "ringless voicemail" a few months ago? Because that sounds like it would be a boon to these kinds of scumbags.

Das blinkenlights are back thanks to RPi revival of the PDP-11


Wow. I lost both of my PDP-11s (and a couple of MicroVAXen) in a house fire in 2010, and I've missed the blinkenlights ever since. Gotta get one of these.

And I ALSO have to get one of the PiDP-8 kits. I cut my teeth on a PDP-8 in 1970. Still remember the thrill when I first got to use a "high-speed" fanfold paper tape reader back in 1973.

Looking forward to displaying both kits, with lights a-blinking, in my old VAX 2000 short rack.

Software development slow because 'Most of our ideas suck'


Re: More utter bullsh ... snake oil

"Good luck trying 'continuous experimentation' in software that actually *matters* like healthcare."

Or pharmaceutical manufacturing. Or chemical manufacturing. Or power generation. Or a dozen other industries I've written software for in the past forty years.

Astroboffins spot a fat 'monster' ALIEN planet terrorizing tiny dwarf


Re: They should call the big one Planet Weinstein...

Nah. "Mesklin".

Mozilla whips out Rusty new Firefox Quantum (and that's a good thing)


Re: Got scared about losing extensions

Looks like the three add-ons I find critical won't be ported to FF57: Master Password Timeout, Open in Browser, and Classic Theme Restorer.

(sigh) If I wanted to use a fast browser that's ugly and doesn't have the features I need, I would have simply switched to the deplorable Chrome. Thanks, Mozilla!

Google to kill Chrome autoplay madness


Re: For Firefox Users...

"A word of caution: some web sites can't cope with this and flip out at the very possibility that someone wouldn't want their video to play automatically."

Yep. Vimeo in particular refuses to play video if 'media.autoplay.enabled' is false. Bastards.

Chrome wants to remember which Websites to silence


"Chrome's developers are testing a permanent mute for Websites that insist on running autoplay videos the instant they load."

Betcha five dollars it won't work on YouTube.

HMS Queen Liz will arrive in Portsmouth soon, says MoD


Re: wrongo

"I'm with you on the first part, the second sounds a bit presumptuous, I mean there's a Gerald Ford and a Ronald Reagan floating around..."

To be fair, Gerald Ford went through several battles while serving on an aircraft carrier (the USS Monterey, maybe?) during WWII. I can offer no similar excuse for Ronald Reagan.

Steve Bannon wants Facebook, Google 'regulated like utilities'


Bannon wants "utility-style regulation" for Google, but not for the cable companies and ISPs that control our access to the Intertubes? He couldn't POSSIBLY be thinking of regulating or censoring search results, right? Right?