* Posts by tcmonkey

121 posts • joined 26 Jul 2017


UN warns of global e-waste wave as amount of gadgets dumped jumps 21% in 5 years


Recycling not a panacea

Here in South Aus we have an organization that provides e-waste recycling bins at everybody's favorite DIY store. I used to know the man who ran it, nice chap, he was all about the re-use side of things. And that's the thing, for every device that gets "recycled" we only reclaim the smallest amount of useful material, especially when it comes to the rarer metals. It's far better in the long run to squeeze every last drop of useful life out of our electronics before committing them to the grave. I also got some stonking good bargains this way back in the day. Dual socket Xeon workstations that are only 3 years old for scrap value, anyone?

Of course, my mate doesn't run that business anymore, and now all the bins have signs that say "DO NOT TAKE ITEMS" on them. Shame. I suppose protecting the few cents worth of scrap value is more important than actually enabling people to make a positive change to the environment.

Apple said to be removing charger, headphones from upcoming iPhone 12 series


"Apple would only include a USB-C to Lightning cable with its next crop of phones"

Still no USB-C iPhones then? That's the most disappointing part of the whole article. I won't personally miss the snail's pace charger or earphones so bad they make listening a chore.

Finally, a wafer-thin server... Only a tiny little thin one. Oh all right. Just the one...


The most dangerous devices in the room

I rebuilt a UPS following a failure a few years ago. It was one of APC's 5kW switch-mode double conversion jobbies. The one with the 200 odd volt lead acid battery. Very fancy. The machine in question had suffered a dead short circuit in the inverter. The mess was biblical, there was a colossal black scorch mark on the board and all components in the output stage were fried. Most of them had gone open circuit, others had holes blown in them and others still appeared to have been almost completely vaporized, leaving only a nasty smell and some stubs of legs behind. Surprising literally nobody, the battery fuse had not even blown. I dread to think about the amount of energy that must have been delivered by the battery in the couple of hundredths of a second that it took all of this to happen. I wasn't there when it went, but I'm told that the resulting bang could be heard through several walls, over the din of both the computers in the machine room and an office full of call center operators.

What happened to the unit I hear you ask? As far as I know it's still in service! It was worth spending a couple of hundred quid having it repaired by a tame engineer when a replacement was several thousand.

Macs, iPhones, iPads to get encrypted DNS – how'd you like them Apples?


Re: Joy

I agree that DOH is a disease for many a-reason, but you should probably read the article a little closer...

"boldly go where its peers have gone before" - I.e, everyone else is already doing this. Sounds like you already had a problem that you weren't aware of.

Apple to keep Intel at Arm's length: macOS shifts from x86 to homegrown common CPU arch, will run iOS apps


Re: ARM?

I guess we'll see. IMO it will either work wonderfully, or flop spectacularly. I don't foresee much middle ground.


Getting away from Chipzilla is all well and good, but to ditch the entire architecture instead of chatting up AMD seems like a bit of a stretch. Plenty have tried this whole mainstream ARM thing before, and all of them have failed, or at least not succeeded in the way they thought.

Boffins find that over nine out of ten 'ethical' hackers are being a bit naughty when it comes to cloud services


Re: It is happening now

Is there actually any evidence of this happening, or is it all a story that you have invented?

GitHub to replace master with main across its services


Re: A long time ago...

If you think they’re not just as big a pack of bastards now then I’m afraid I have some bad news...

PS: Are you the same heyrick as the one who created ARMWiki? If so, greetings to you, and thanks for creating such a fantastic resource!

IBM blames 'external' network provider, incorrect routing, traffic flood for its two-hour cloud outage



"major cloud"

-confused noises-

Microsoft's own operating system should finally start working on its own hardware ... 'in the coming weeks'


Re: Think long term...

Actually, I think you might find that it's spelt B - S - D, since Linux seems to be taking it upon itself to copy all of Microsoft's worst ideas.

MacOS on Arm talk intensifies: Just weeks from now, Apple to serve up quarantini with Kalamata golive, reportedly


Re: "I’ll never forget you, Windows Mobile 6.1."

Don't forget that back in those days the only alternative was a Blackberry. Whilst I didn't have anything against Blackberry devices, their pricing was non-competitive for random proles. Special plans and whatnot.

Poor UI aside, WM was really very capable at the time. I used and liked it all the way to the HD2.

25 years of PHP: The personal web tools that ended up everywhere


Re: Don't know PHP, but, woudl probably take it over client-side JavaScript hell any day

I hear you. "Not very exciting and not much to it" sounds like a dream come true these days. Every time I have to deal with some frothing-at-the-mouth evangelist about the latest pattern x, language y or working method z I die a little inside. It's just another thing to have to spend time learning to keep one's head above water without any meaningful progress. I have no problem with learning new things, but when it's just a never-ending constant stream of BS that never goes anywhere it starts to grate.

I must be getting old.

Smart fridges are cool, but after a few short years you could be stuck with a big frosty brick in the kitchen


Re: Never understood this

I can see the appeal. There have been a few times when I wouldn't have minded being able to put the recipe I am following up on a large display in a convenient spot, or would have liked to have been able to continue watching something other than a pot (which will subsequently never boil, of course).

In the end though, both of those are essentially just "I want a fridge with a monitor". I can just build that, and then use a regular PC/thin client so that I'm not at risk of being stuffed over by unsupported Android trash. I do the same thing for the TVs.

Not exactly the kind of housekeeping you want when it means the hotel's server uptime is scrubbed clean


Once worked for a place in the UK that will remain nameless. The building/campus had an exceptionally large UPS in the cellar (it was the size of a bus). The UPS powered every computer in the entire building, including client workstations, through a bunch of red 13A sockets with "clean power" printed on them.

We had a cold and dark winter one year that resulted in many issues with building power. It was eventually discovered that various office workers were plugging their 3kW fan heaters into the clean supply, and the poor UPS was having to resort to rolling blackouts to try and cope with the load. No amount of training, polite or otherwise, was sufficient to break this habit: we ended up having to swap all the sockets over to ones with a specially shaped earth pin to prevent a regular plug from fitting in.

Microsoft's Bill Gates defrag is finally virtually complete: Billionaire quits board to double down on philanthropy


Re: As in all else, Orwell is correct.

So buy a machine from a manufacturer that will sell you one with Linux on it? System76 and Metabox are just two examples to come to mind without having to search around. You could also get a Mac, and those have been around a very long time. Jesus, this isn't difficult.

There are plenty of valid reasons to dislike Microsoft, but this stopped being one a *long* time ago.

IBM's outgoing boss Rometty awarded $20m+ in 2019 for growing revenue 0.1%


In her defence, finding an equivalent replacement would be a hard task. After all, we would normally flush such turds straight away.

Australian privacy watchdog sues Facebook for *checks notes* up to £266bn


Re: Bollox


"Industry leading" it may be, but that doesn't mean they're leading them in a good direction.

Stop us if you've heard this one before: HP Inc rejects Xerox's $36.5bn buyout plan as takeover saga drags on


Re: won't someone think about Canon :P

I was a little unfair with my first post. I believe HP did/do make the formatter unit on their lasers, which is the big brain in the machine responsible for translating PS/PDF/PCL into a bitmap image that the engine can actually put onto a piece of paper. These days you can do that with a crappy ARM board and some open source software, but back in the day it was a big deal.

Unsure what Xerox are doing, but based on the other comments it sounds like they have a similar gig going.


I wonder what happens to the non-printing bit of HP Inc once Xerox acquires them. I'd say that the acquisition is all but a certainty at this point, but surely Xerox isn't going to want all the PC bits associated with them?

I was looking at new laptops recently, and HP had some semi-interesting stuff. Trouble is the vultures are circling at almost the speed of sound at this point, and I'm not at all confident about getting support in 18 months time.


Re: won't someone think about Canon :P

For a very long time now the engine in most if not all HP lasers has been a Canon design. HP just bolt on the ancillary bits (plastics, embedded print server, UI and what-have-you) and then sell the unit as if they made it all themselves.

How many times do we have to tell you? A Tesla isn't a self-driving car, say investigators after Apple man's fatal crash


"Drivers should keep their hands on the wheel when the software is engaged"

And I'LL ask again (though for the first time on El Reg, admittedly): why does the software not instantly disengage and sound an alarm the moment the driver takes his or her hands off of the wheel?

They keep telling them not to do it, and then turn around and keep building solutions that enable them to do so.

You, FCC, tell us again why cities are only allowed to charge rich telcos $270 to attach 5G tech to utility poles?


"Well, we just reached inside our ass and pulled it out, your honor"

Where's the application form for a new keyboard? Mine has tea in it now.

NexDock 2 revisited: Could it be more than a handy Pi hole?


Re: Opportunity missed

Windows 10 Mobile had this feature. When the device was docked the entire phone screen acted as a big multitouch touchpad. It worked well. Ahh, memories.

No, I'm still not over the loss of that OS.

Tens of millions of biz Dell PCs smacked by privilege-escalation bug in bundled troubleshooting tool


Re: Remind me again:

Even if it was just business PCs, how crazy does a business have to be to not re-pave machines before use?

Who needs the A-Team or MacGyver when there's a techie with an SCSI cable?


Re: I used t build Frankenservers, not by choice.

I evicted a couple of 486 PC-based telephony appliances from the bottom of a comms rack less than 12 months ago...

Tech can endure the most inhospitable environments: Space, underwater, down t'pit... even hairdressers


Re: Surprisingly ...

Arghhhh, agreed.

I do not expect anyone to be an expert, but not knowing at least how to get around on a computer these days is like starting a job 50 years ago and saying "Oh, I'm not good with pens". Oh, really? There's the door, sunshine.

Oi! You got a loicence for that Java, mate? More devs turn to OpenJDK to swerve Oracle fee


"Note, though, that OpenJDK is official in that it is also maintained by Oracle."

So it has about 30 seconds to live, then?

Very little helps: Tesco flashes ancient Windows desktop on Scan-As-You-Shop device


Re: Windows Embedded Compact 7, which featured Silverlight and Internet Explorer...

You can get a WEC7 image into only a few megabytes without too much trouble. Please do not conflate CE with NT based systems, as they're not the same.

If the integrator chose to leave a whole load of stuff behind on the image these are running, that's their own fault.


The datawedge demo is just an example program showing how to interact with the barcode scanner hardware, it's not the main application.


These are still common because of the very low barrier to entry in terms of developer training. Can you write a .NET forms app for desktop Windows? Then chances are you'll be able to hit the ground running when writing stuff for CE, as it's very similar. You can also reuse a large amount of your existing code, for the same reason. For a good while it also had the best debugging experience one could find on a mobile platform, positively humiliating iOS and Android toolchains.

This is of course less of an advantage now, but 10 years ago when writing mobile apps was still a big deal it was a killer feature, especially in the world of enterprise development.

The BlackBerry in your junk drawer is now a collectors' item: TCL says no more new keyboard-clad phones


Ahh, Passport. My heart bleeds for thee. A device I truly liked, taken too soon.

'I am done with open source': Developer of Rust Actix web framework quits, appoints new maintainer


Re: People skills

Sure does. I worked with both Magento 1 and 2 a few years ago and I can safely say that I would rather dig graves for a living than go back to it. At least they'd be for other people rather than for my own sanity, which was being steadfastly murdered the entire time.

No backdoors needed: Apple ditched plans to fully encrypt iCloud backups after heavy pressure from FBI – claim


So, don't backup your devices to other people's computers? Wayyy ahead of you, sonny.

Latest patent brouhaha: Sonos wheels out Doomsday device in bid to block Google Home sales.... The Register


Re: BYO Popcorn?

I'm less interested in the speaker side of things due to having my own Hi-Fi gear that doesn't suck, but the voice response/small-display-in-nice-form-factor stuff looks handy. Lenovo do a device that costs about 100 Aussie Dollarydoos, so I bought one with the express intent of cracking the bootloader and loading something other than Google's spyware. So far I've only got as far as step 1. Free time? Wassat?

Big Brother

BYO Popcorn?

I will be watching this with interest. Whilst I don't presently partake of the home gadget market the concept is vaguely appealing to me, but the cloudyness and effective monopoly that Google have on it offend me deeply. Having some options in this space that don't involve Gigaslurp would be welcome.

Admins sigh as Microsoft pushes Teams changes – let everyone play!


Not even good bait.

How much cheese does one person need to grate? Mac Pro pricing unveiled


Re: Use

That's where I got my Dell equivalent from. They're generally not too obscenely expensive off the back of the 3-year lease agreements that a lot of businesses have. And even 3 years old they will still absolutely cream conventional consumer gear.

If there's somethin' stored in a secure enclave, who ya gonna call? Membuster!


Let me see if I understand; they're saying that by sniffing the system bus, you can see goings on in a secure enclave communicating over said bus. In other news: water wet, sky blue, all this and more tonight on 60 minutes!

I thought that the whole point of a secure enclave is that it is usually on-die to prevent sensitive signals being routed over the PCB? This is essentially the mistake Microsoft made with the original Xbox many many years ago, it's nothing new.

Den Automation raised millions to 'reinvent' the light switch. Now it's lights out for startup


Many of the Tuya IOT devices (which are everywhere) can be freed from the default chatty firmware and loaded with the rather good Tasmota firmware using the tuya-convert tool, which does not require any soldering (or even opening your device).



I recently liberated a couple of "smart home" socket switch adapters this way. Now they only listen to my on-prem IOT controller and are not exposed to any cloudy nonsense.

Russian FaceApp selfie-slurper poses 'potential counterintelligence threat', FBI warns



I don’t have a horse in any of these political races, but a face morphing toy being used for espionage? Really? Really?! Please Mr Schumer, give the bottom of the barrel a break!

tl;dr what a load of shit.

We(don't)Work: Rent-a-desk outfit cuts 2,400 staff in bid to be a functioning business


If 2400 redundancies equates to 20% of their global workforce, that would mean that there were 12000 people under the wing of this firm. What in the world does an office rental gig need 12000 people for?! How many buildings do they have to require that level of staffing?

Huawei's first Google-free phone stripped and searched: Repair not too painful... once you're in


This. It always struck me as odd that people complain about portrait video so much. If you do most of your watching on a phone, it’s only natural to record in portrait mode. Yes it sucks if you’re on a landscape device, but that’s not how many people are watching these days.

The silence of the racks is deafening, production gear has gone dark – so which wire do we cut?


Re: The big red button

Maplin in the UK (or maybe it was Jaycar in Australia, this was nearly 20 years ago...) used to sell a combined PSU/UPS unit that housed battery packs in spare 5.25" drive bays. You could daisy chain as many as you had case room for.

I looked for it recently and could find no evidence of it ever existing, but I'll swear blind that it did. Or I'm insane, one of the two.

You'e yping i wong: macOS Catalina stops Twitter desktop app from accepting B, L, M, R, and T in passwords

Thumb Up


At least they can still type their amusement!

GitLab pulls U-turn on plan to crank up usage telemetry after both staff and customers cry foul


“This should not be an opt in or an opt out. It is a condition of using our product...”

Happy to not use your product then.


HP scores $176m win in CD-ROM drive price-fix case – after one biz emailed rival with 'Price Fixing' as the subject


I guess you could say that they had the drive to take this all the way to the court after being burnt before.

...I'll get me coat...

Woman sues Lyft, says driver gang-raped her at gunpoint – and calls for app safety measures we can't believe aren't already in place


Re: Par for the course

You’re going to get bad’uns in every breed, but a company known to be pretty rough and ready with its “hiring” practices (which is basically what the gig model is all about) is statistically more likely to have them. It’s a simple numbers game.


Par for the course

My sympathies for the victim, as this is obviously something that nobody should have to endure.

That said, when all these services launched there was a lot of concern regarding inadequate screening and checks of drivers, so I can’t say that I’m surprised in the least that such things have happened. Neither should anyone else be. You get what you pay for.

HP printer small print says kit phones home data on whatever you print – and then some


Re: Not me!

Yup. You'll get my beloved 4300 and 5500 series LaserJets out of my cold, lifeless fingers, and even then only with a pickaxe. I will continue to use them for as long as supplies are available. Given that HP appear to have made about a trillion of them I doubt that this will be a problem any time soon, and they're already 15+ years old.

Wake me up before you Gogo ... so I can jump out: Kenyan MP takes on aeroplane flatulence


Re: OK, own up

Sounds like a load of guff to me.



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020