* Posts by NerryTutkins

233 posts • joined 9 Jan 2018


Twitter sues Musk: He can't just 'change his mind, trash the company, walk away'


pedo* guy is at it again

*pedo being simply a miscellaneous insult completely unconnected with assertions of paedophilia, as legally established by Musk in a prior legal action

Musk really is a collossal pedo.

Microsoft pulls Windows 10/11 installation websites in Russia


Re: Oh Look, a recently created pro-Russian troll account.

I am rather surprised his name is not Ombomby Jesus Mbekellili from Nigeria, given his expertise in Russian affairs. All the experts on international affairs and economics these days are from Africa, don't you know. Every western news site now has hordes of Africans in the comments helping us Europeans to understand complex matters that we might otherwise struggle to appreciate.


Re: I resisted for all of 20 seconds

There is very little, apart from oil and gas, that we really need from Russia. We might struggle for a couple of years, we'll probably have to burn coal here in Europe again, and keep nuclear stations running. There will also be an even bigger incentive to move to renewable energy. It's much quicker to deploy solar panels at domestic and commercial level, and generate power close to where it is needed, and where no planning permission is required.

Russia might cause some economic pain to western Europe for a year or two. But it is a drop in the ocean compared to the pain they're going to experience. They will try to source from China where possible, but Taiwan, Korea, Japan are all on side with sanctions, as is the US, Canada and western Europe. They will simply not be able to get a lot of the electronics they need, as well as a lot of sophisticated machinery. Parts for aircraft and cars are already a problem there.

Fossil fuels was already a doomed industry, with perhaps a couple of decades left at most in developed countries. Russia has just moved that timescale forward, it is destroying its own market. The africans and indians might still be buying fossil fuels in 20 years time, but the market will be more than oversupplied, and the Russians and the head choppers will be competing to drop prices to silly levels.

The Russian economy is smaller than Italy. There is no way they win a trade war with the west. They might be able to keep making something approximating a big mac, but they ain't going to figure out how to make complex machine tools, semi-conductors, etc. and certainly not in the next few months.

They can probably survive, but they'll be effectively back where the soviet union was in the 1980s, with backward technology, a planned economy, restrictions on freedom and travel and fighting a war they simply cannot afford.

Cookie consent crumbles under fresh UK data law proposals


Re: Straightforward solution

Much as I agree, I think the whole cookie popup thing is a disaster. It should never have been that each individual site is responsible for deciding the wording and interface for opting in and out of cookies, and writing all the code to manage it.

Instead, there should be clearly designated types of cookies (essential, third party, tracking, etc.) as web standards, each site then only need designate when creating a cookie what type it is. The interface to opt in or out, or select what to do with each type of cookie would be built into the browser itself.

Of course this would only apply to browsers created going forward, but at least users would get a consistent interface regardless of site, because lets face it, it's a shit show now where every site you visit gives you options in different parts of the screen, in different colours and fonts, with different wording and options.

Furthermore, it makes far more sense to push the workload for implementing this to browser makers, of which there are very few, than instead expecting every web site on the internet to create their own custom code to manage this, or have to install some plugin or other code. This way, each site only needs to add an attribute to each cookie designating what type it is, and the browser takes care of presenting the choice to the user and accepting/rejecting cookies.

Electric Vehicle DC charging tripped by a wireless hack


The cables lock in place when the charging starts. On my car (VW ID4) you need to click the keyfob to unlock the car to release it, even if the car is unlocked already.

Similar happens at the other end if you are using a cable to connect to a lower output public charger, such as those outside supermarkets.

Typically you don't need to stay with the car while charging, you have an app on your phone so you can see the status. Therefore you want to make sure that someone else cannot stop your charging by unplugging you, or steal your cable.

Russia acknowledges sanctions could hurt its tech companies


With the Russians grinding to a halt, a shit ton of supplies (food, water, medicines, and of course weapons) will have been sent in to Kyiv and other cities which are not yet cut off. Even if Russia pummels the cities from the air, they can never hold the rural areas - it's a vast country. The west will continue shipping Ukraine the latest infantry weapons, including anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons and the west is not going to run out of money. They will also be supplying intel from air and satellites.

This war is absolutely unwinnable for Russia. There is no prospect, even if Kyiv falls, that the highly motivated Ukranians in the rest of the country won't have some kind of centralized command, even if it is run from inside NATO territory.

If the Russians have not accepted defeat yet, they better start looking for what the best they can get from any peace deal is. Because the longer they go on, the worse their position looks.

US imposes sanctions as Russia invades Ukraine


Re: A quiet word in China's ear is needed

Here in the UK, the largest donors to the Tory party are Russian which means any sanctions we propose will be immediately bogged down in distinguishing "good russian money" from "bad russian money"

I predict that a hefty donation to the Tory party will be the major qualifying factor as to whether ones money is regarded as good or bad.


left him too long

Putin's rise from authoritarian yearning for the glory years of the Soviet union to full on threat to world peace surely cannot be a surprise when one looks at Chechnya, Georgia, Crimea, as well as his goons going out to poison critics while on a brief holiday to Salisbury to see the cathedral. The west didn't do enough about him, and now we're sitting on the precipice of WW3. The warning bells should have been ringing the moment Putin served two presidential terms, then did a stint as PM while having a lackey hold the president's job. It was clear this was a guy who had set himself up as dictator for life, irrespective of whatever the constitution might say.

You could see from the ghoulish public performance with his lackeys being called up one by one to endorse his attack on Ukraine that they are terrified of him, and of what he is likely to unleash. It's clear that there are a lot of people around him who were doing very well, and this war serves no purpose for them. Ditto the russian billionaires around the world who will now find their activities curtailed and some of their money frozen.

Rather than all out war, the focus needs to be on doing what Putin has done to the west back to them - weaponizing a portion of the population with anger and distrust, filling their minds with conspiracy theories and turning them against their own countries. And making sure those around him start to consider whether their fear of him, when they surely outnumber him, is worse than their fear of what he might lead them into if they let him get away with this attack.

Google's Chrome OS Flex could revive old PCs, Macs


Re: Hot Garbage

Because of this change, now there are good solid reasons for Windows-centric businesses to consider ChromeOS, which can be legally deployed across an estate of computers, for zero licence cost. That's significant.

As with business gmail, it'll only be free for some time, even if there are no plans to charge now.

If it turns out to be a success, they will in time charge, and it will be even harder to move away than it is from an email service.

Worse, if it is not a success, at some point they'll give you 6 months to move your shit before they nuke it, as is the Google way.

UK science stuck in 'holding pattern' on EU funding by Brexit, says minister


Horizon programme

Apparently the UK replacement waiting in the wings is called the "End of Nose Programme", reflected the readjustment in scope and ambition of Brexit Britain.


Re: Brexit got done

The UK could have had a single market deal of its own. That was always on the table from the EU side. I would mean no NI border issue, so no NI protocol. It would also have avoided customs checks between the UK and France, avoiding the motorway queues of trucks we have now, plus all the time-consuming paperwork.

The UK would not accept the single market principles, in particular freedom of movement, so would neither have joined EFTA nor accepted a single market deal. That was why the promised cake did not materialize. Because the UK government decided that "leave" had made a bunch of promises, but as "remain" said, they could not have single market access and end EU immigration as they claimed. They chose to pander to the anti-immigrant right, rather than the pro-business centre, and the rest is history.

In 5 or 10 years, once it is clear that Brexit cannot be made to work, and that the growth and trade friction cannot be offset by trade deals outside of the EU, the UK will eventually sign a single market deal, and be bound by the rules. There is no other reasonable choice from an economic standpoint, and the benefit after several years of trade disruption will be an easy win for whichever party eats humble pie and admits that the UK needs the EU more than the EU needs the UK.

UK government responds to post-Brexit concerns and of course it's all the fault of those pesky EU negotiators


Pick n choose

I love the way the brexitters can argue about what they should be entitled to because it's in the brexit agreement without a hint of irony, While at the same time insisting that if the EU doesn't agree to rewrite the Northern Ireland agreement to their liking, they don't have to follow it, and are already unilaterally ignoring bits of it and extending implementation dates.

I suppose when you hold all the cards you can do this kind of thing? Though curiously despite holding all the cards last time, Johnson and Frost signed an agreement they both say now is intolerably damaging to the UK only a few months later.

Those EU guys must be pissing themselves laughing at the UK for electing these clowns.

Microsoft's do-it-all IDE Visual Studio 2022 came out late last year. How good is it really?


Re: The Microsoft naming department

I am old enough to remember when ASP.NET first came out and was called ASP+, and I swear the web.config file was originally called config.web. Which made no sense, when the filetype was really a config file, and it seemed likely you may have config files relating to other things in the future. Some of these significant changes seem to be made very late in the day, often after the RTM. They don't seemed to have learned these lessons.

I did think the blue theme didn't look very blue, but I am a bit colour blind, so assume that was my problem not theirs.


Re: The Microsoft naming department

We also have a huge legacy codebase on webforms, and I think it's a mistake for them to dump it. At the very least, they should open-source it so others can try to implement it in .NET (the new one, not the old one).

The irony is that most of the hate for webforms stems from the view that it's a layer of abstraction between the code and the resulting HTML, which is a bad thing, reduces performance, etc. even if it makes coding easier. And yet, you are now virtually pushed towards EF, which is an abstraction layer between the application and the database which supposedly makes coding easier, but is 5-10 times slower. Considering that online apps are nearly always database limited when it comes to performance, this seems a curious paradox. You make the application code a bit harder to write, but cleaner and faster, but then do the exact opposite with the database.

We've dabbled with server side Blazor, but it doesn't seem anywhere as well supported as webforms and still feels like it's a trial being chucked out there to see if it sticks rather than a well-considered replacement for webforms.


The Microsoft naming department

Really bugs me how Microsoft cannot seem to figure out the confusing they often cause naming things so badly.

ASP and then ASP.NET didn't help, but then ASP.NET Core, and then deciding to have the new 5+ version called simply .NET and now calling the old stuff .NET Framework just adds to the confusion.

They've managed to do a similar thing with Blazor, so we have Blazor web assembly and Blazor server, being client or server side.

Then Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code, which are really entirely different things that do broadly the same thing.

At the very least it makes Bing-ing for things confusing, because you invariably end up finding information about something entirely different to what you're actually after.

Microsoft is big enough that it really shouldn't need to leverage established names for new products, Visual Studio Code would surely have stood on its own without name-checking its older brother.

Russia's Putin out the idea of a broad cryptocurrency ban



I don't think the problem they are not underwritten is important. FIAT currencies aren't underwritten by anything really, the gold standard went out long ago.

The primary problem I see with bitcoin is that what utility it might have (effectively a store of value like cash, but unlike cash, one that can be transferred electronically while maintaining that relative anonymity) that creates value merely encourages speculators which in turn renders it useless as a currency, because nobody is going to spend something that can double in value in a few weeks, and nobody wants to accept something that can drop 10% in an hour.

'IwlIj jachjaj! Incoming LibreOffice 7.3 to support Klingon and Interslavic


Re: Well done Liam...

I tend to just say everything in the present tense and use helper words like "yesterday" and "tomorrow" to specify when

You'd love Chinese. People think it's hard, but once you get past the writing and the tonal pronunciation which takes a few months, the grammar is beautiful....

No tenses, no verb conjugations. You literally learn a verb, and that's the only form of the verb there is. You can add "yesterday" or "tomorrow" or "the time when I was young" or "next year" to clarify when you are referring to, if it is not clear from the context. If someone asks what you did yesterday, you can simply say "I go to school", because the time is clear from their question. And I, you, he, she, it makes no difference - no silly endings. Therefore no irregular verbs.

Also no plurals either.

Every language should work like that!


Re: Well done Liam...

I was never really a language person at school.

In my early 20s, I met a girl and ended up moving to Taiwan for couple of years. I remember at the beginning chatting to an American guy who to me seemed to speak really good Chinese. I said to him I didn't think I'd ever learn, because it was so difficult.

He said something which I never forgot. How can it be difficult when over a billion people speak it? Even the stupid people in China can speak Chinese. But I said, well, that's because they learned it as kids. To which he said, looking at it another way, even stupid *kids* in China can speak Chinese.

Turns out, it's actually rather easy. No tenses, no verb conjugations, no plurals.

Everyone has the capability to learn languages. There is nothing inherently difficult that is beyond the brainpower of anyone. It's not calculus.

I ended up getting pretty fluent in Chinese in about 18 months.

The important things:

1. Speak it. You will make mistakes. But unless you just keep doing it, you will never get fluent. Like playing a musical instrument, you just have to keep on doing it or you will never get good.

2. Get in a class with a teacher who doesn't speak English. If your teacher explains things in English, you'll ask questions in English, and so will everyone else. After a year, you'll have learned quite a lot *about* the language, but you'll have learned virtually zero of the language. It's impossible to learn when you keep flipping back to English because trying to explain your question in Chinese is difficult. But if you don't force yourself to do that, you have no hope of doing it in the wild when you have someone who *doesn't* speak English.

3. If you're single, get yourself a girlfriend who doesn't speak English. I was in my mid 20s in Taiwan, I realized pretty quickly that the pool of English speaking girls was pretty small. A little bit of Chinese, and suddenly the pool was much bigger. There is nothing that motivates you to learn like hormones.

I ended up marrying a Brazilian, moving to Portugal and now have to speak yet another language. But after doing German and Chinese, I knew what I was in for, and even in my 40s, I can get by now though it's definitely a little harder now.

If you don't think it's in you, you're wrong. Those people who go to jail in Thailand end up fluent in Thai in six months. It's all about necessity. If you put yourself in a position where you need to speak it to survive and no one around you speaks English, you'll be amazed at how quickly you'd learn.

New submarine cable to link Japan, Europe, through famed Northwest Passage


Re: Who are the customers?

Significantly for geo-stationary orbit, but for newer satellite constellations with hundreds of satellites in low earth orbit, the difference in distanced is marginal, and could even be less depending on how many curves there need to be in the subsea cable.

Replaced several times but still live and kicking: Windows Forms updated for .NET 6.0


Re: Missed opportunity

That's basically what ASP.NET web forms is, which Microsoft has effectively killed by not rolling that through to .NET 5/6

In the '80s, spaceflight sim Elite was nothing short of magic. The annotated source code shows how it was done


changed computer games

I was a 13 year old kid when Elite came out. My friend already told me about it on his BBC micro, but his parents were weird so I'd never been over to see it. What he described seemed too good to be true. We had a commodore 64, but I was still used to games being a disappointment, where you look at the exciting pictures on the cassette box, and the reality of screenshots when you get things running was never anywhere near as good.

When Elite finally came out on the c64 myself and my brother spent the entire school summer holiday playing all day. It was the first "open world" game I can remember, with no particular aim other than just to improve yourself and your ship and just go around having fun.

I have oolite (an excellent open source homage) installed on my PCs, but my kids are unimpressed, even though the graphics are far better, it retains the charm and sticks very closely to the original, virtually identical trading screens, ratings, etc.

That these guys put it together with such a small team and on such puny hardware is nothing short of a miracle.

Why machine-learning chatbots find it difficult to respond to idioms, metaphors, rhetorical questions, sarcasm


understanding idioms

It seems even by the 24th century, the scientists still haven't figured it out. Lieutenant Commander Data has a positronic brain and is smarter than anyone else in the crew of his starship, but he still queries routine idioms and takes common expressions literally.

I suspect that might date as badly as the ships computer in the 60s original series

Facebook's greatest misses: The five nastiest bits from recent leaks


facebook moderation is a joke

They claim to stop antivax and other false information being redistributed, but they really don't. It's just zuck talking, there is zero actual action.

They have a report mechanism that lets you report breaches of the Ts and Cs, when you report a comment or post, you can select false health information, or hate speech based on ethnicity or nationality.

So you'd think that someone sharing a post on a dubious blog claiming that covid vaccines are more dangerous than the virus and have really killed millions, or that infectious diseases only arise because of "the Chinese" would breach them. But apparently Facebook reviews these and decides they're fine.

But if you call someone who's an idiot, an idiot, you can get put in facebook jail.

It's no wonder it's just a medium for people to spread shit around.

Apple beat Epic Games 9-1 in court. Now it's appealed the one point it lost


Re: Dear Apple...

Just out of interest, was microsoft ever a monopoly? People could have gone to Apple or other alternatives, and could easily have installed Netscape or other browsers too.

Certainly both Apple and MS have/had a large captive audience with significant barriers to moving away. Microsoft forced a free browser on people (but they were always free to install alternatives), Apple controls what you can and cannot install, takes a massive cut of 30% and charges developers (while Microsoft was giving dev tools away for free, and still does - SQL Server, Visual Studio, etc.).

As a developer, I would say that phones have created a platform for developers that is far more restrictive, fragmented and expensive to work on than the PCs and computers of the 80s and 90s. In the past, you could produce software and distribute it yourself cheaply via the web. Now, you effectively have to jump through Apple or Google's requirements, and hand them 30% for the privilege.

Windows 11 in detail: Incremental upgrade spoilt by onerous system requirements and usability mis-steps


visual redesign

This is just going round in circles. They do everything glassy in Vista, tell you its fresh and modern.

Then they get bored of that, now "flat" is best, everything goes flat and texty without icons. Then the icons start to creep back in, and a bit of shadow too.

Then now we have a new glassy look.

Each change, we're told, makes things easier and more comfortable to use.

US Congress ponders setting up permanent UFO investigation office


Re: Are artilects alien beings or human constructs ‽ . And are they friendlies or hostiles ‽ .

I'm not sure what ET could gain from a sight-seeing tour of Earth. He's not short of technology, and natural resources are easier to obtain if they're not sitting at the bottom of our gravity well.

I am open minded about whether aliens exist in reasonable proximity to be able to visit earth. My gut feeling is that it's more plausible that the US military are trolling us or fabricating incidents to help nurture belief in UFOs, so that if/when their own exotic secret aircraft are observed, there is plausible cover that they might not be "ours".

But if such aliens did exist, I think it's perfectly reasonable that they would regard earth as an interesting place, with humans in particular being the most significant species of interest. I suspect that microscopic single cell life may turn out to be reasonably common in the galaxy (given that it appeared very soon in the life of the earth) but multi-cell organisms far less common (because it took a couple of billion more years for those to appear). And intelligent multi-cell life capable of reaching space, most likely extremely rare. In the hundreds of millions of years since multi-cell life arose, there have been all kinds of animals develop, and become extinct. But nothing has come anyway close to even basic features of human achievement like writing, or basic technology, let alone complex computers, vehicles capable of reaching space and so on.

Our present level of sophistication does not diminish our interest in ancient egyptians or the chinese and what they achieved in terms of science, navigation and so on, or our interest in animals. I would expect humans would be fascinating, even to advanced aliens. I doubt they would see us as a threat, though if our planet turned out to be capable of supporting them, they may well be a threat to us.

SpaceX successfully sends four amateurs into orbit for three-day tour


credit where is due

That billionaire dude who donated three seats to worthy recipients... what a guy.

If I was going to be floating around in a metal can for three days, those three seats would be taken by a blonde, brunette and maybe a pot-luck to make things interesting.

He's a better man than me.

Feeling saucy? Wave of Microsoft releases includes go-live licence for .NET 6


market share

ASP.NET has lost out to PHP largely as a result of migration of many sites to SaaS providers, running a common platform, rather than ASP.NET sites switching to home-brew PHP sites.

It also has not been helped at the home brew end by the constantly chopping and changing and general instability of the offering, with things like webforms being sidelined and then dumped. Who'd invest effort in new things like Blazor when it's quite likely Microsoft will lose interest in that in a couple of years, and completely redefine some new paradigm as the next big thing, so all your investment in both skills and codebase become obsolete going forward?

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



People "it's just a few words, don't people have better things to do than worry about this, its 'cancel culture'...."

The Same People Two Sentences Later "i am going to vent spleen in the strongest terms, deliberately avoid such tools that implement these measures and demand laws outlawing this kind of censorship, while withdrawing all support from any projects that get on board with this...."

Personally I don't get particularly offended by most of these terms, but I am even less bothered by the fact that people coding tools might decide they don't want to auto-suggest them.

Oh the humanity: McDonald's out of milkshakes across Great Britain


Re: A number of sound decisions?

UK vaccination rates have slumped to a fraction of those in the EU because you have had a shortage of the Pfizer/Biontech jab over the past 2-3 months. These shortages have been well documented in the press, though perhaps not with the glee that the same papers attacked the EU's vaccination efforts and crowed over the shortages of vaccines earlier in the year:


You do indeed have a surplus of the AZ/Oxford jab, unfortunately you cannot give that to younger people because of the risk of blood clots (which is real, despite the UK's rather shameful attempts for a month to present it as "sour grapes" by the EU). Since all the old people have already been vaccinated, the surplus is useless to the UK, hence its being given away to other countries.

I have to say that our SNS here (Portuguese NHS) has absolutely smashed it with their vaccine programme. We're second only to the UAE now, and quite possibly will pass them in the next few weeks, which is a great sense of national pride. The NHS has also done a great job, and as with the shortages here earlier in the year, the sluggish rate in the UK over the last few months is no reflection on the NHS or its staff who have proven they can jab at much higher rates, if they have the necessary vaccines.


Re: A number of sound decisions?

No issues here in Portugal. Our shelves are full, our McDonalds are not out of stock.

We've even blasted past the UK on vaccinations too, because the UK didn't join the EU vaccine scheme and now has shortages, and can't give the shonky homemade Oxford jab to kids.

Taiwan president pokes the bear by saying the nation needs to lessen its supply chain dependency on China


Re: I blame Nixon.

It would have been impossible to ignore forever the fact that the CCP had won the civil war, and controlled the entire country, except a small island off the south coast. You can accept them as a the legitimate government for a few years after the exile perhaps, but by the 70s it was clear that the nationalists were never going to be able to take back the mainland.

The mistake was in accepting the "one china" principle. It was never really part of the debate, because both the CCP and the KMT in Taiwan both laid claim to the whole of China. So there was nobody at the time to push the case that Taiwan was independent and should have a right to self-determination. Can't even blame Nixon for that really.

Now things are very different. I spent couple of years living in Taiwan in the 90s, it held its first direct presidential elections. It has become a vibrant democracy, and a leading progressive country in the region. Meanwhile, the population increasingly see themselves as Taiwanese rather than Chinese. Something like 90% now.

So in the same way Nixon in the 70s recognized the reality at the time, the west now needs to accept the reality in Taiwan of the 2020s, which is that the people there no longer regard themselves as Chinese, they no longer want to rule the whole of China, they just want to be able to run their own country along democratic principles, play their role in the world, have their athletes compete under their own flag and not have the constant threat of China blocking them and putting pressure on western countries to choose a side because of economic reasons. China is powerful economically, but at the same time, if the western nations all simultaneously agreed to diplomatically recognize Taiwan, China would bankrupt itself pretty quickly and then face an internal uprising if it decided to cut all ties and trade with the west.


Re: A courageous decision, minister

It's true there was no democracy in HK under Britain, but the residents were never particular fussed. I lived in Taiwan in the mid 90s, and visited HK probably 10 times or so in the few years before it was handed back. The reason was largely pragmatism - their economy did very well because of the unique position they had as gateway to China, and Britain was largely and hands-off government, that certainly didn't suppress dissent, kick down doors and threaten trouble makers. I suppose it was seen as a benign dictator in some respects.

With hindsight, it would have been rather better if Britain had established democracy and self-rule in HK a bit earlier, especially as Taiwan was democratising itself as a process through the early to mid 90s so they could have bound the two closer together.

But China's present actions to crush dissent and break the agree 50 years of continuity would have happened regardless. I don't think anyone thinks that China would have had any more respect for HK democracy if it had have been well established by the British years or decades before the handover. That's not how China works, evidently.

Firefox 91 introduces cookie clearing, clutter-free printing, Microsoft single sign-on... so where are all the users?


I really like Firefox, and used it as my main browser up until a year or two ago. I was a user since way back when it was Firebird. I am that old.

Sometime after the quantum update, it started to become really unstable for me, with multiple crashes per day. I have 16 GB RAM but it seemed to keep running out, every with nothing else open and only 4 or 5 tabs open.

There is an overhead in switching which kept me on Firefox after that probably longer than I should have stayed. I eventually switched to Vivaldi, which I found was more stable and offered many of the Firefox features and customizability which Chrome didn't.

I really want Firefox to succeed, and I think Microsoft missed an opportunity by not basing their new Edge on it instead of Chrome. That would have strengthened a true Chrome alternative so there would be more choice.

Sadly I cannot see Firefox surviving on its dwindling market share, with Google, Microsoft and Apple all backing effectively the same rival code. I know I am using Vivaldi, but I think it's a bad thing for the web if we end up with only one core codebase, even if that is open source.

Chocolate beer barred from sale after child mistakes it for chocolate milk


Re: Beer Definition

I did a german course in the 90s, and we used to get taken to local bars for a Stammtisch on friday nights.

Once after a few beers, i came back from a toilet trip and couple of people presented me with a "Wurstbier", basically a beer with a broken up sausage in it. The oil from the sausage mixed with the head and left a nasty mess in the glass, but the sausage was a pretty welcome snack regardless at that point in the evening.

It wasn't until I downed the lot that they admitted that they'd just plonked sausage in my beer for a laugh.

Redpilled Microsoft does away with flashing icons on taskbar as Windows 11 hits Beta


not eating your own dog food

"Windows users were given slips of paper to represent different operating system features and asked to arrange them in a way that they felt worked best," Microsoft said.

Rather amusing that Microsoft, one of the world's largest software companies that is very much oriented towards easy-to-use productivity and collaboration tools conducts this exercise with pieces of paper.

But aside from that, this kind of market research is asking for trouble. This is the kind of thing that led to New Coke. You can ask people what they want in isolation, find the answers are quite different to what they have at the moment and determine they want change. But they don't want change. They are making logical judgments based on the options you give them, which may make perfect sense. But in reality, they're familiar with what they have, and perfectly happy with it. In software in particular, these kinds of sweeping changes are completely unnecessary. Introduce new options by all means, but let people decide if they want to use those, or stick to what is familiar. Windows 8 was a debacle, not because it provided new ways to access programs, etc., but because it forced that on users by taking away the things they were used to, fundamental things, like the start button, and not even giving a simple option to go back to a classic interface. It would be trivial to provide that option, various start menu replacements did exactly that. But Microsoft opted not to do that, because it saw bigger strategic benefit in forcing its mobile/tablet interface on people. I hope they don't make the same mistake here, but it seems they will. Quite a few people are used to Windows 10 now, some things like live tiles are going to disappear, and so yet again, they will alienate a bunch of people.

The UK is running on empty when it comes to electric vehicle charging points


Re: Perhaps a hybrid would be a better solution?

Wife did the the panels, she says it is actually 47 EUR / month for 5 years, so 2800 EUR or so. Lot less than I thought turns out.

My point re charging is that people tend to look at the fact the grid is close to the limit of generation capacity at peak times, then consider EVs on top, and suggest that we need X amount more generation. But they are failing to consider that there is plenty of spare capacity overnight and other non-peak times, so EVs can be charged with that capacity, they don't need to consume electricity from the grid in real time when they are moving, which may well be during peak times.


Re: Perhaps a hybrid would be a better solution?

We are still waiting for our car. Apparently there is a chip shortage.

Have a loaner ID4, lower spec model until then. Same drive train, but no panoramic roof or fancier seats.

Had the solar array in place about a month so far.


Re: Perhaps a hybrid would be a better solution?

My 1.5kw array produces 1.5kw for at least 3 hours per day. Tails off either side, but we get a good 9kwh per day at present, sometimes 10! Portugal is really, really sunny. Will be less in winter (only had panels a few weeks so no figures yet), but we get 300 sunny days a year, so won't be as bad as you might think. This is not southend where it pisses down every other day, even in August!

Also, I checked with the mrs (she did the setup), and we actually pay 47 EUR per month for the panels, for 5 years, so actually only 2800 EUR or so. Not only that, but EDP also discount the electricity we get from the grid by 10%. So for the next 5 years, with the electricity we produce, plus the discount on what we use overnight and above what we make, the panels are pretty much not costing us extra over what we paid before. After 5 years, we own them, and then it's basically free electricity.

Electric cars are more expensive of course. However, here VAT is 23%, and for full electric cars, all of this can be reclaimed. So that's about a 10k EUR rebate on a 50k EUR car.

Of course I could end up spending far less if I just kept our 10 year old diesel golf. But since we're in the market for family SUV and one that drives really nice, when you compare costs of RAV4, Honda CRV, even the Tiguan, new (apples with apples) then electric really is the way to go, for our use case. The fact the car is unbelievably smooth and quiet, and not pumping out fumes and particles, is just a bonus really.


Re: Hmm....

We have an app from EDP, our energy company so we can track the actual power produced, in real time too, which is nify..

At present (admittedly, best case since long summer days and clear skies) we get about three hours a day where we're actually at 1.5kw. Tails off either side of that. Even at 6pm in evening, we're producing about 800w. So we are producing about 9-10kwh per day. It really is very sunny here (Lisbon is officially Europe's sunniest capital city. That is about 50km of range easily in the kind of driving we do locally, which is not at motorway speeds.

My school runs each day are maybe 15km absolute tops, few km more on shopping days if we go to supermarket. So over the course of a week, even a couple of trips to Lisbon (50km or so each way) a month we'd easily handle on solar alone. And this is a small 5m2 array on top of bbq area in the garden.


Re: Perhaps a hybrid would be a better solution?

Here in Portugal, a 5k EUR solar array can easily charge my electric car for daily needs. It's a 50k EUR car, so that's hardly a huge investment in comparison. We have a few panels on the roof of our barbecue area.

Hard in cities, but in rural areas, I would expect the market for micro generation to be huge in the coming years. Lots of wind, and even solar works in UK though at a somewhat lower rate. If designed properly, these could be cheap, quiet, clear and reliable. With all those electric cars, you also have a massive capacity for storing electricity which could (with suitable agreements) help out the grid at peak times.

Batteries may be old tech, but the amount of research money going in now is pushing things forward way, way faster than any gains possible from ICE engines. With solid state batteries and various other new materials, in 10 years time we may very well have cars with the same range as petrol now, which can be charged in the same time it takes to fill a tank. And they'll do 0-100km/h in 2 seconds without waking up the neighbours.

Electric cars are smoother (no reciprocating motion in engine, so basically zero vibration), quiet, clean and instant torque which comes smoothly as no gears. Once you've driven them, ICE cars can never compare. It's true that at present much of the electricity still comes from fossil fuels (at least in the UK, less so here in Portugal) but the UK has more than enough wind and sea to generate more than enough electricity, and the great thing about electric cars is they can store electricity so can be charged when it suits.


Re: Hmm....

I am in the process of buying my first electric car (VW ID4).

I would disagree re rural residents. Electrics work best if you have a driveway and can charge at home. Then you get electricity at domestic rates, and have the convenience of never having to go to buy fuel. Just come home, plugin in when not using it. Modern electric cars can easily do 250km on a single charge even in bad weather, and there are few rural residents doing more than each day.

Much harder if you are in a city and park on street so would need to use public chargers. Although in slow city driving, you may well get 500km on a single charge.

We're 40 mins south of Lisbon, we can charge at home, and the longest journeys we regularly do (few each month) would be into Lisbon, which we can easily do and probably only take 30% of the charge. A long journey might be a trip to the Algarve to stay with family few times a year, that's 2.5 hours on motorway. We normally stop with kids anyway at motorway services for picnic, there are ionity fast chargers there, so we can plugin and fully charge about 35 mins from our destination, then do a top up on way back. The electricity is much more expensive at these fast chargers, but they get us by on longer trips. For 98% of our journeys, we use cheap home electricity.

We also have a small solar array installed by our energy company. So we will actually charge our car during the day, primarily using this.

I am not sure there is a shortage of electricity generation capacity for all these cars. They have batteries, and can store electricity. So you can have them charge when demand on the network is least. Normally in the UK that would be overnight, which for most people would work just fine.

Our solar array is small, 1.5kw, but will easily keep our car topped up for daily use, school runs, odd trip into Lisbon few times a month, plus adding some power to our house.

Also worth noting that one of the issues of renewable energy is storage - you cannot choose when to increase generation, mother nature decides. Some EVs now have options to store and then output electricity, all these hooked up could potentially help the grid meet peak demand by using that stored electricity (if the clients agree for their cars to be used in this way of course).

And once batteries in cars are degraded, they can be repurposed for domestic use, where weight/size is not such an issue. Even if they drop to 60% of original capacity, stack of a few of those would provide cheap and useful domestic storage. Though battery tech is much better now and not losing capacity over time.

Windows 11 comes bearing THAAS, Trojan Horse as a service



I remember as a kid in the 70s, people would pick up the phone, dial someone and start talking.

Now, every conversation I have starts with either me or the other person, or normally both, saying "can you hear me, can you hear me".

I do appreciate video, the fact international and any calls are essentially free, the fact I can do all of this from a mobile device that I can take with me anywhere, and not have to sit fiddling with a coiled phone cable in a cold hallway of a drafty single glazed house.

But I really wish these services would stop focusing on emojis, animated gifs and so on, and spend a bit of time focusing on getting it back to where we don't even think about whether the connection is going to be ok and we can actually hear the other person clearly.

The framework that will not die: Microsoft gives Web Forms designer fresh lick of paint in Visual Studio 2022


open source it

I am all for MS's more recent open source direction, but I wish they'd open source the NET framework. It wouldn't be such an issue if MS provided a proper upgrade path from web forms to NET 5.

But since they don't, those with web forms apps are going to be royally screwed over.

It would be nice to know those apps can be run for as long as there are people in the community who will keep NET framework properly patched and updated.

As Europe hopes to double its share of global chip production, Intel comes along with $20bn, plans for fabs


Re: gimme gimme gimme

And the fishermen and farmers, who've been fucked over by....erm.... themselves

Hungover Brits declare full English breakfast the solution to all their ills


Re: German beer purity laws

In the early 2000s, I ran a software company with my brother. For our christmas party, we decided to take the guys (there were 5 or 6 of us) up to a medieval banquet near Tower Bridge. So we wouldn't have to get home drunk, we book hotel rooms not to far away.

They had a bottomless jug of beer on the table so we just kept knocking it back. We saw people going to the bar to order name brand beers, and we chortled what mugs they were. The beer on our table was a bit weak but we figured that was the medieval theme, and we'd just drink more.

At the end of the night we all headed back to the hotel feeling in a great christmassy mood. We knew it was probably a bad idea, considering how much we'd had, but we stopped in the hotel bar for a couple of whisky and cokes before turning in. I think when these gave us an instant shot, it finally dawned on us that we'd been drinking alcohol free all night.

Stob treks back across the decades to review the greatest TV sci-fi in the light of recent experience


"always bearing hard left"

This always bugs me on scifi shows. The ships in orbit always look like they are going around a planet that is only about 10 times bigger than they are. The beginning of Voyager makes it even worse with Voyager flying over the rings of a planet and following their curve around.

Other things that bug me:

Deep Space 9 Opening Credits


* The tail of comets is away from the sun, not behind the direction of motion. However, as we pan through the tail and the comet is directly in front of us, there is no sun behind it as their should be.

* Even if you want to think that the trail is somehow left behind the trail of motion (which makes no sense in a vacuum), there is no trail when the sequence starts. It only starts to be created as the credits progress, as if the rock was stationary and leaving no trail until the point the "camera" starts rolling.

Blue Origin sets its price: $1.4m minimum for trip into space


Re: "One wonders what good that money could do"

The state sponsored manned missions have been in a rut for 30 years, sending people into space to just go round and round in circles doing "science", which is largely researching the effect of zero G on people, to help the next batch of people who will go round and round in circles researching the effects of zero G for the next batch, and so on. Most of the other experiments they do not involving people could easily be automated and sent to space for far less, if it was important.

Meanwhile, we've seen amazing stuff done by unmanned probes. The mars rovers (especially the landings) and the helicopter and potential submarine missions to some solar system moons are far more interesting.

If taking $1.4m from super-rich helps develop manned space travel without government money, and maybe one day get it to the point where the development can be fully justified by private enterprise, then I am all for it.

I'd love to see people walk on Mars in my lifetime, or even a manned moonbase.... something that pushes things further. I was born as the last astronauts were walking on the moon in 72, and since then manned spaceflight has been endlessly disappointing to this kid who was promised we'd be going to the planets for our holidays.

Parler returns to Apple's iOS App Store with Hive mind to moderate hate


skynet, this is how it happens

I remember Microsoft had to pull the plug in its own AI after a day because it started spewing race hate after a few hours of interacting with the public.

Just imagine what an AI interacting exclusively with redneck conspiracy theorists and insurrectionists is going to be doing after a day or two.

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


Re: Hell I'm still using MFC

I do wonder though why Microsoft, with its open source tendency for new versions, does not allow the older legacy tech loose as open source. There are a lot of people still using Web Forms and other tech because it works and it suits them, and perhaps they have a lot of legacy code that would be expensive to completely rewrite in Blazor, etc.

As you say, they do a good job of keeping old stuff running (we still have some clients with old classic ASP scripts that still work fine) but it would be nice if they would open source end-of-line stuff they have no interest in continuing, because others may choose to keep them running or perhaps port them to the newer .NET versions.



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022