* Posts by philnc

21 posts • joined 15 Jan 2018

Microsoft decrees that all high-school IT teachers were wrong: Double spaces now flagged as typos in Word



The _only_ grammar checker that I ever found tolerable was Grammatik IV (DOS) back in the 90s. At the time XyWrite was the wordprocessor of choice in my law firm. Even then, I usually ignored it. Over the years, one of the first things I do with a newly installed copy of Microsoft Word is disable both grammar and spell-checking, finding both annoyances and unhelpful. Instead, I rely on hard copies of Strunk & White's _The Elements of Style and Webster's _New World Dictionary_ that are always within easy each. Microsoft flagging two spaces after a punctuation mark? Barbaric.

Chrome ad-blocker crackdown preview due late July. Here's a half-dozen reasons why add-on devs are still upset


Re: Firefox on Android?

For me, after many years of Firefox on Chrome, the browsing experience has only gotten better. Over the last year I attribute this mainly to the ability to run uBlock Origin. Without that, browsing most sites in Chrome has become painful, usually causing me to give up on the site altogether. In essence, Chrome becomes unusable. The problem is really mindless, box-checking marketing execs who pay for those advert services, and then pay Google for the analytics that justify those choices to even more clueless board members and shareholders. Eventually they'll kill the businesses that employ them, but will be able to pull the ripcord on their golden parachute to land at another: where they'll start the whole destructive process over again.

Pentagon cloud contract sueball: Oh no, Oracle doesn't need those docs, AWS tells court


Re: Reached number 3

Groklaw was -- still is -- an invaluable resource. Scanning some of the posts there this evening , I was struck by the truth of the words, "There is nothing new under the Sun".

OnePlus 6T: Tasteful, powerful – and much cheaper than a flagship


Re: Huawei alternative?

As someone already mentioned, Nova Launcher might be an option for anyone put off by a hideous shipping ui, especially when run on a model with a generous portion of memory. Of course maintaing the drumbeat over bad design may someday drive handset makers to see the error of their ways and change, so it's worth pointing out at every opportunity (same point for hardware: give us back the damned audio jack, lemmings!).

In news that will shock, er, actually a few of you, Amazon backs down in dispute with booksellers


Re: Choice

Always favored Alibris over Abe, but had no idea Abe was actually a Borg drone. Good to know for the future.

Love Microsoft Teams? Love Linux? Then you won't love this


Re: "Vanishingly Small"

But, sadly, Evolution also gives you ugly and sometimes unpleasantly surprising message formatting if you go with HTML mail. Honestly, the sorry state of mail clients on Linux probably drives a lot of people to web mail.

Wi-Fi Alliance ditches 802.11 spec codes for consumer-friendly naming scheme



This is so stupid I'm going to break my own rule and not post anonymously here (who could possibly object to my opinion here?).

Because simplistic, snappy, brand names have always advanced the use and enjoyment of technology.

Anyone interested in a copy of Windows 98?

We've found another problem with IPv6: It's sparked a punch-up between top networks


Re: IPv4 Address Pool Has Been Expanded Significantly

The 240/4 proposal, that is -- but AbeChen and gnarlymarley, et al. make a good point. The arrogance of proposing the wholesale replacement of the standard that the Internet was built on with a "new" and non-inclusive standard was not only socially inept, but a major engineering fail. Doubling down by rejecting solutions like NAT64 only makes it worse. After 20 years an objective mind might think, "I guess the market has spoken".

By this point in early computer history TCP/IPv4 had roared ahead of its rivals and made the expansion of the Internet possible.

The 240/4 proposal is a good stopgap and should definitely be pursued, but the "never NAT" IPv6 purists also need to give up on their opposition tot NAT64, which was itself proposed as early as 2002. Had NAT64 been supported back then, the transition to IPv6 might have been successfully completed a decade ago.


Re: IPv4 Address Pool Has Been Expanded Significantly

G-d dammit. This is brilliant!

IPv6: It's only NAT-ural that network nerds are dragging their feet...


Like the alien said in Buckaroo Banzai: "It's a really bad design".

FBI boss: We went to the Moon, so why can't we have crypto backdoors? – and more this week


The correct metaphor

The correct metaphor here is the burglar who breaks into your house when the family is away on vacation and then leaves the door off its hinges when he escapes into a stormy night. The house, of course, gets inundated and probably visited by both other nefarious humans and hungry wildlife. By the time you get back the place is near uninhabitable and certainly not a safe place for your kids to sleep.

Tacked on that last sentence just to be able to say, "What about the children?"

Can't really blame the FBI. Their brothers over in the NSA and CIA have been playing the vandal burglar for years while pretending to protect the public, and have only recently been getting called out for it by the technical community.

Git365. Git for Teams. Quatermass and the Git Pit. GitHub simply won't do now Microsoft has it


Re: Trolling for comments

The renaming of Lync was clearly... stupid. At the time some of us assumed they were going to re-platform or even drop consumer Skype. There's clearly a bit of competition going on behind the scenes, and MS Teams voice and video only make it more confusing. But Redmond can afford to muck things up, because they have no effective competition in the space (talk about stupid branding: what slacker at Google thought that "Hangouts" was a good name for an enterprise conference system -- it's like the 7th graders took over the schoolyard!).

Linus Torvalds decides world isn’t ready for Linux 5.0


Re: 'sure enough, there's a number of those.'

I remember thinking when I taught my 9 year-old how to ride a bike, "Well, at least he isn't interested in a unicycle."

It's those near misses in life that wind up sticking with you over the years.

Firefox to feature sponsored content as of next week


It would have been far better if they'd classified that data as _personal property_ and established a value for it like Copyright's compulsory license for music, then provided a private right of action against infringers. _That_ would create a serious incentive for the proper handling of your info and returned us all to our traditiinal role as customers instead of product.

Microsoft's Teams lights solitary candle, hipsters don't notice


Re: My users are loving Teams!

A private Exchange group and SharePoint site get created whenever a Team is set up by a user. By default I think retention is set to forever. I'll take your word for that being subject to global policy.

The ability for users to spin up these resources on their own with Teams is a big selling point for me. Traditionally enterprise IT has liked to maintain firm control of those kinds of things, but clearly MS is taking us in a different direction: probably for the better.

Oh, and if your rolling out Teams you'd best polish your PoweShell skills. A lot of what gets set up can't be managed in the current admin guis. But that's also inevitable since a moderately sized company is probably going to wind up with 1,000's, not 100's, of Teams in a short time.

Samba settings SNAFU lets any user change admin passwords


Only because password reset mechanisms aren't governed by the protocol. LDAPv3 is just a transport protocol, it doesn't specify a whole lot of what goes into making a practical directory server. It's only because of the dominance of a major commercial firm (Sun) and an open source project (OpenLDAP) that it sometimes seems more. AD is mostly what we used to call an NOS directory, like Novell's. Its design is optimized for authentication and authorization. But it is more difficult to deploy in the role of a "white pages" directory than the Netscape-Sun line of products due to cumbersome schema extension, attribute access control and indexing mechanisms. The inability to change passwords over LDAP is a minor annoyance (or saving grace) by comparison.

The SMB protocol itself is pretty inefficient though, all its implementations suffer for it. Its security model has always been a root problem. NFS is better as a transport but has it's own security and management issues that make it a challenge to use for desktop file sharing -- not the least of which are prohibitively expensive or complex implementations for Windows.

If Microsoft were to roll out decent ssh client and server integration for its products that would be a big win for its customers, although the devil would, as always, be in the details.

Unlucky Linux boxes trampled by NPM code update, patch zapped


Re: So testing before deploying isn't a "thing" anymore?

It's the licensing model, and MS isn't only one at fault. Because setting up prod incurs eye-watering fees per core or seat, a lot of shops both large and small skimp on their test envs. Over time they don't look much like prod, or get borrowed (stolen) by "special" pet projects of some exec or another. Got spoiled running free ae s in beer OSS for many years, and was shocked to see this so prevalent

Who wanted a future in which AI can copy your voice and say things you never uttered? Who?!


Re: Bedtime stories...

Because it has such a solid grasp on grammar... I've spend a not insignificant amount of time over the years disabling both grammar and spelling checkers created by people who should never have been passed through freshman English.

BIG open-source love Microsoft and Google? You still won't catch AWS


Not just branding

A lot of what has been written about open source in the cloud, like this artcle, simplistically treats it as if it were a brand like DirectX [TM] or Naugahyde [TM]. Clearly it's not. It is, first and foremost, a licensing choice. Depending upon the specific license it might also be about requiring contributing back useful improvements to the source project.

Which gets us to one point the article got right, the distinguishing feature that makes open source attractive to beheamoths like Amazon: the communities that exist in and alongside open source projects. Those communities aren't just customers, they're also part of the product. Big companies (Oracle?) who have stumbled in dealing with open source usually get their by ignoring or actively excluding those communities. Amazon, Microsoft, and to some extent even Google, have succeeded in not making that mistake. Of course, there's no accounting for what a megalomaniacal CEO might Tweet or fart out in the future, so the old adage still applies: "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty".

Why did top Home Office civil servant lobby Ofcom for obscure kit ban?


Dilbert vs Peter Principle

The Peter Principle is an empirical observation that people within an organization rise to the level of their own incompetence. The Dilbert Principle describes one organizational self-preservation response to the reality of the Peter Principle, where those who have risen to their level of incompetence are shifted to roles where they can do the least harm. Unfortunately, the operation of the Peter Principle almost always dooms the application of the Dilbert Principle to failure: as those charged with its implementation are themselves too incompetent to succeed.


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