* Posts by Ali Dodd

76 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Apr 2018


Microsoft offers China-based engineers an option to relocate

Ali Dodd

Hydorgen for anything like the solutions electricity is good for is a leaky pipe dream

Hydrogen to replace natural gas will not work as it leaks from everything. The space programme can't solve their issues with it leaking how in earth will terrestrial distribution?

Hydrogen is also less efficient by a considerable margin and is it exceedingly unlikely to ever have party with charging technologies - mainly due to conservation of energy.

Hydrogen production I'm sure can be improved, but again why spend energy creating it from water to just turn it back into water, CoE again losses. From Methane it's never going to be efficient or not have CO2 issues.

Hydrogen is fundamentally not the most common solution, might do a fraction but still it's difficult to work with & harder to store.

UK law gives green light to self-driving cars from 2026

Ali Dodd

Re: Waiting lists

cyclists being two abreast if there is two of them means an overtake needs LESS road than if they were in single file and is safer than forcing them into the gutter - it's always been 'allowed' and now it advised. Roads are not just for cars..

Angry mob trashes and sets fire to Waymo self-driving car

Ali Dodd

Re: Related to Chinese New Year and the robot trying to drive on a crowded street?

Indeed this is the actual cause, I head the street was effectively closed to traffic for Chinese New Year and the robocab didn't understand this so as they seem to want to do it tried to barge through and was met with more than just Fireworks outside the vehicle

Boffins demo self-eating rocket engine in Scotland

Ali Dodd

Re: An interesting idea...

don't think it's like a glue gun, it's just riding along the tracks and attached to the top of the engine so as that eats itself it pulls it along towards the engine.

I think it's great, much more likely to be used in military rocketry I suspect to extend range of those with the low thrust size they are planning.

NASA makes purrrr-fect deep space transmission of cat vid

Ali Dodd

for those wondering

The distance was:

1.4 billion Brontosauri or boringly 80 times the distance between the Earth and the moon.

FCC really, truly won't give SpaceX nearly a billion bucks for Starlink rural broadband

Ali Dodd

UK price is £75 pcm

thats a flat rate no 'installation' direct from Starlink. Must be sold cheaper in Spain as more rural areas more competition + standard internet is much cheaper as gov has properly invested in it unlike UK where a few quid is shoved at BT who do a little and then wring their hands saying it's hard can we have more cash.

Bank's datacenter died after travelling back in time to 1970

Ali Dodd

Re: Yearly tasks....

modern email/organisation systems (as they are more than just email if they contain a calendar system) should have a Shared Calendar facility so you don't even need a fake user to handle it, which could expire or be purged in "tidying up" by accident..

User read the manual, followed instructions, still couldn't make 'Excel' work

Ali Dodd


Saw a similar thing long time ago, someone trying to change language settings in office (multinational staff in company). IT writes guide and emails it to staff. Staff member has problem with it and another techie goes to help. Brings up the guide email and in the email itself (not even full screen) tries multiple times to click on the screenshot menu (despite the actual menu showing above the screenshot!). Fails and gives up going to get help. Other non IT staff member points out issue and correct menu & user fixes it themselves and tell techie it's all fine now.

Massive fail by techie who has left that profession now and moved onto project management. Probably for the best as same techie didn't know what a heatsink was, slight lack of technical aptitude.

Microsoft's bug bounty turns 10. Are these kinds of rewards making code more secure?

Ali Dodd
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"Announce that you will give any unspent funds in the bug bounty pot to the dev team, a set period after product launch"

ONLY if no bugs are found... or reducing by 10% per bug detected before that time.

European Commission loves Oracle enough to sign six-year cloud deal

Ali Dodd

"less risk and cost."

and less he'll break your windows and knees "systemise speaking" than them try and move off Oracle systems. Oracle acts like a less morally focused drug pusher, once you are in you'd better keep buying or you are screwed by the dealer, let alone the drugs...

Microsoft's 11-year itch: The uncelebrated anniversary of Windows 8

Ali Dodd

They don't seem to have learnt tbh

I didn't mind the Metro and it was great on a touchscreen. Improved in 8.1 but yeah a simple choice would've helped & the odd hide the close X issues did not help at all. Shame they have not learnt as the WORST thing about Windows 12 is again it insistence of hiding all your apps in the start menu, Painful.

Zoom CEO reportedly tells staff: Workers can't build trust or collaborate... on Zoom

Ali Dodd

Re: Context is everything

don't the German pay for their country-wide local transport ticket by taking profits from running UK railways badly?

On a serious note the studies that say making public transport free (or seriously cheap) reduces poverty, reduces car travel massively and increases productivity and general population health so the country benefits even monetarily way more than it costs?

Microsoft signs 1.5 million seat contract for Office 365 and more

Ali Dodd

Not an MS apologist

but an astonishing amount of comments here don't seem to know that MS Office is the new name for the entire online service formerly known as Office 365 - not 365 apps which is what the new name for Office suite(nothing like a confusing Microsoft renaming!). So this is 1TB of storage online per user plus unlimited email archiving (effectively) plus everything else so sounding like telephony inc VoIP via teams to standard lines, Intune, a large threat protection suite (which isn't actually that rubbish) for Mail, documents and connected machines AND a load of other bits too which some are quite useful (not all..).

Certainly not the equivalent of the £60 pa personal plan, more likely the e5 full caboodle which is more like £50 pcm normally.

Sounds like a good deal, excepting the usual MS 'changes' and the eggs in one basket side of things but for normal users on windows it's actually rather sensible. NOW if the NHS had it's own build of Linux and internal team to support that plus a good telephony provider for VOIP, etc, etc.. we'd have an alternative (so wish this would happen, they are so big it would revolutionise the use of Linux in the workspace for ordinary users).However, as it is the 6m pound gorilla who we know and can publicly be shamed to some extent will have to do and is not the worst solution possible.

Keir Starmer's techno-fix for the NHS: Déjà vu disaster or brave new blunder?

Ali Dodd

NHS Linux

Designed to be secure by default, run in house for NHS. Can build connectors/convert to legacy systems and bring them on board to remove legacy shite. Stop paying MS billions for licencing and forced upgrade paths.

Software for the NHS by the NHS and not external consultant companies wanting some of the pork.

Support THAT and you might help Kier. It'll take time but it'll make a huge difference. With modern builds of Linux the users 9 out of 10 times don't even need to know they are not on MS

Parts of UK booted offline as Virgin Media suffers massive broadband outage

Ali Dodd

Prices up every year

and much more than inflation - 16% profit given directly to the shareholders. FFS our system is broken if a provider that is actually this bad can still make so much money squeezing it's users. Telecomunications is now a cartel, there is no real price war it seems they put the prices up to match what the others do and the customer loses.

EU mandated messaging platform love-in is easier said than done: Cambridge boffins

Ali Dodd

Just use Matrix and be done with it

Matrix is decentralised and lead by an open source foundation so logically it's the sensible choice as oppsed to signal or whatsapp which this article then seems to think are the only real choices (one mention only of it!). Obs EU gets behind matrix and it'll be mistrusted by Russia and others obvs.

Labyrinth of 371 legacy systems hindered hospital's IT meltdown recovery

Ali Dodd

Re: IT is a cost to be minimised

And the idea that making cuts in IT will actually result in any sort of cost savings in the organisation. 9 times out of 10 you cut IT you will increase overall costs to the business (more likley 99% of the time really). Increasing funding to IT usually has the result of reducing costs elsewhere, not to say there are not efficiancies to be had and changes can be benficial but you save a few quid in IT to your peril as it is the blood and lungs of your organisation and aids every other department to do their job. Very rarely will it be treated anything like that however.

Tales from four decades in the Sinclair aftermarket: Parts, upgrades and party tricks

Ali Dodd

Serious Hat Tip for this chap

That wizardry with printers and a PI is a very very clever idea. It's going to save companies millions if they know about it. Excellent work!

Sure there's alot more that tech like that could do for old systems that work and cost a lot to replace, thinking CAM machiens etc. Wonder if it's a relatively simple translation it could be done on a PiZero?

That NHS England patient data platform procurement, FDP, is live. And worth up to £480m

Ali Dodd

Re: It's just another asset to be sold

Not only that it'll be sold in a way that any new governement in a year or twos time can't do anything about it as the contract will definately be biased to the company not the NHS or the people of this country.

Wonder which Tories/NHS England directors end up on Palantir's board in a minor but well paid role when they get kicked out of power (or even befor)?

Apple aims to replace Broadcom, Qualcomm wireless chips with its own

Ali Dodd

Walled Garden or Prison

Bluetooth and Wifi and Cellular built by Apple? First sign of issues and they'll be 'You are configuring your wifi/headphones/phone network wrong". We know they don't play well with others so this sounds very dangerous, Another reason for me to avoid fruity phones (your milage/koolaid consuption might vary)

As liquid cooling takes off in the datacenter, fortune favors the brave

Ali Dodd

Have rear door water cooled DC here

Have rear door water cooled DC here and i work in a middling UK University - it's great the DC is much quieter. Every rack has a hulking rad on it to pull the heat out of the kit. Was put in over 10 years ago so nothing new, thought it was the new big thing in DC cooling yonks ago.

Look like Bane, spend like Batman with Dyson's $949 headphones

Ali Dodd

Snot Cannon

This is actually danagerous to health of those around the user and should be banned. Blowing air onto & into the user's mouth and nose will spread any pathogens to the surrounding area as it is not then filtered. It's moronically stupid and dangerous and will cause more infections and potentially kill people, not the wearer, no that selfish prick will be fine...

A fan powered costume caused a super spreader event in a US hospital as the fan spread around everybody near it the wearer's unknown illness. This a snot cannon and really REALLY dumb (and studpidly expensive to boot).

Eat up, Windows 11 users – this is your last non-security preview update for the year

Ali Dodd
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Re: WINDOWS 11 is NOT ready for main streams use....

8? Have people forgotten the mess that was Windows ME? Still my most hated version. 8 was prolematical but shockingly it did have good aspects. ME was hideous beginning to end.

Rackspace confirms ransomware attack behind days-long email meltdown

Ali Dodd

Farcical support more like

China declares victory over teenage video game addiction

Ali Dodd

Blizzard is pulling out of China

All Blizzard online games e.g. WoW, Diablo, OverWatch etc will be pulled from China on the 23rd of Jan, Surprised to see China is not claiming this victory then... or maybe it will as another 'sucess'

If Apple's environmental rhetoric is meaningful, Macs and iPads should converge

Ali Dodd

Re: Because the iPad store lets Apple make more money than macOS

MS tried an OS that worked well on a tablet unfortunately they also forced desktop users to have it, then instead of making it have two modes one for tablet and one for desktop style use they threw the tablet stuff away... real shame as win 8 was great on a tablet, dogshit on desktop. 10 really should've had both modes depending on use for those that could understand it.

Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes sentenced to 11 years in prison

Ali Dodd

Re: Some...

no mention that her fraudulent product actualy caused people to die as the tests it used were considered accurate at the time but of course were now. 11 years is too short.

Tired: Data scientists. Wired: Data artists

Ali Dodd

Seems actually sensible

Instead of grab everything perhaps look at what you can grab and start off with targeting more, ends up with more relevant and less data which is easiest to analyse. The land grab of record 'EVERYTHING' has been massively wasteful in storage and processing as most organisations don't tend to use 90%+ of the data in the end, more often than not you use the same data you did before.

List every item you can record, plan out what you might need and target on that, can always expand that if you know what is avaliable.

Perhaps a short term big pile is useful to do this but doing that evermore is just a waste of time and resources

NHS data platform procurement delayed for a second time

Ali Dodd
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whole process is corrupt and disgusting. The proposal is weighted towards Palantir they may as well have written the spec(and probably did). Should be prison time for those involved but most likely we'll just roll over an let it happen (with some nice fat kickbacks) and the people of UK get screwed again.

Bye bye BoJo: Liz Truss named new UK prime minister

Ali Dodd

Re: Please don't take this the wrong way, but

Don't worry they'll kill a whole load of pensioners down south too, don't forget half the care home staff have left and the rest can't afford to get to work so will be a heck of a lot of conservative voters dying everywhere as they'll have inadequate care.

Here's how 5 mobile banking apps put 300,000 users' digital fingerprints at risk

Ali Dodd

Re: Assuming they were properly hashed

Still not good enough and terrible security practice. Worrying that 98% were iOS apps as users on that have a impression of greater security from the platform which is heavily eroded if a lot of developers tend undo a load of good work by being lazy.

Crooks target top execs on Office 365 with MFA-bypass scheme

Ali Dodd

Re: Unbelievable

Not defending MS and their system does have some serious issues to look into but:

Both the primary method of managing your account on 365 and Azure AD do list the device name (internal model on android and name you gave it on IOS) against the authenticator.

If you want to get into the security methods to change your authenticator you do need to authenticate again...

This is on a standard tenancy with no special configuration - just checked.

it would be useful for MS to give more info about the authenticator like location last used but that would get into issues with privacy. They should ask you for a unique name when you set it up.

WhatsApp boss says no to AI filters policing encrypted chat

Ali Dodd

This is meta so a translation

""What's being proposed is that we – either directly or indirectly through software – read everyone's messages. I don't think people want that.""

or more accurately:

"We've tried it because we can make so much money out of your info if it worked, however our AI is shit and we don't have enough headcount to cope with the volume to do it without people noticing and complaining"

Meta never cares about privacy, never has never really will - YOU are the product they are selling.

Smart thermostat swarms are straining the US grid

Ali Dodd

Nope I'm not stupid enough to buy a Centric/British Gas product, they will screw you every time.

A 7 day timer is good. A timer that adjusts for temperature in every room and regulates the main heating is much better, plus it also stops heating automatically when I'm out of the house/on demand & starts when asked remotely. It's not 'smart' per se but it is a damn sight smarter than a fixed standard 7 day timer and a lot more useful.

Had a Nest (quite dumb and limited) and now have a Tado. Which is as far as I'm aware their core business and not particularly likely to go into the sunset for a while. Not everything is tainted by money grabbing fools and arseholes like Hive (peleton, etc) blatantly is.

Ali Dodd

I do like em but everything has issues and "with most homeowners only seeing energy savings of 5-8 percent, as opposed to the 25-30 percent they're capable of."

capable of? I'd read advertised as capable of, I doubt any smart thermostat would ever save you that much unless you previously never set a schedule..

Hive to pull the plug on smart home gadgets by 2025

Ali Dodd

This is British Gas (centrica) of COURSE they will screw you, should've been a given.

Logitech Zone Vibe 125: Weightless comfort on the ears that won't break the bank

Ali Dodd

Bluetooth in windows is terrible

Bluetooth in windows doesn't support proper stereo, it's a god awful implementation. I tried Bluetooth headphones for connectivity in video conferencing and they are the pits. Have to use a decent wireless set with it's own dongle or you get hideous sound, no matter what you spend on the headphones.

Giant outsourcer keeps work from home, loses tax breaks. Government says 'good riddance'

Ali Dodd
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What the government is doing removing the subsidy is right.

What the company is doing is more shocking and seems eminently sensible - should happen over here. Put hubs in residential areas to support home working, I think there should be a lot more desk sharing facilities out of the centre of towns, lets stop traveling so far and support communities and be distributed much more. Big old landowners will hate it but the nature of work evolves - a decentralised workforce reduces a whole host of pressures and costs AND is better for the environment.

LIDAR in iPhones is not about better photos – it's about the future of low-cost augmented reality

Ali Dodd

Why bang on about Apple and LIDAR

when at the end he just mentions intel and camera inside out tracking?

It's also on the market now and a lot cheaper than an iphone plus (the one with the sensor) - the Meta Quest 2 does it quite well for £300!

If you dislike Facebook there's a really nice open source product on it way shortly the Lynx platform https://www.lynx-r.com/

I'd love Lidar to become really popular as it's very accurate but also expensive, I think more will just use normal cameras as its a fraction of the cost. But yeah Tracking happens!

UK regulator puts NortonLifeLock merger with Avast on ice

Ali Dodd

good the last thing we need is an okay AV being swallowed up by the pile of tires on fire that is Norton.

Why Nvidia sees a future in software and services: Recurring revenue

Ali Dodd

Re: They already do it on their GPUs for virtualisation

We'd already spent the cash before I got involved. We are unlikely to use them again however.

Ali Dodd

They already do it on their GPUs for virtualisation

There's a yearly licence fee to use a Nvidia GPU with citrix virtualisation for example, and it may not be expensive but if you've spent up to 10 grand on a card for a server having to pay a yearly fee is galling. They claim it's to allow their continued support and development for drivers etc, but I see it purely as money grabbing and wish we could dump them.

Yes, Mark Zuckerberg is still pushing metaverse. Next step, language translation

Ali Dodd

Re: Next step : virtual strip clubs

As is normal with the Zuck being's products, it doesn't care about you or your kids he just wants the data. Meta's VR technologies are WOEFULLY behind on parental controls, and any form of moderation control or even abuse reporting. Again it's an afterthought, not even that a minor footnote.

File suffixes: Who needs them? Well, this guy did

Ali Dodd
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Still humans in the mix here not just machines

"it should be possible to identify html or xml just by looking at the first few characters" so you have to open the file??? Trusting the OS to identify it is recipe for disaster and doesn't work in a text interface.

How about you have a simple convention, say a 3 letter label on each file so it's easily human readable in every context to at least get an idea of what it contains BEFORE you look inside it.

They never should've been hidden imho, that way lies pain and confusion.

Update 'designed to improve user experience' takes down the Microsoft 365 Admin Portal

Ali Dodd

Main Admin portal is affected but most of the individual portals are not. Here's a handy list of the others if you are tearing your hair out:


Hope it comes back soon but have found out can do most tasks in the others..

A smarter alternative to password recognition could be right in front of us: Unique, invisible, maybe even deadly

Ali Dodd

Been done

Was used by the space station/research facility in Alien resurrection (4). and showed how to bypass it also. Obs this is the worst Alien movie but it still looks good as the design was great (apart from the alien baby screwup) . The script however, yeah needed MORE work than the legions who tried to polish that mess.

Honor 50 Lite: Google Play Services are back on Huawei's former stablemate but that's nothing to get excited about

Ali Dodd

finger problems

"The fingerprint reader is built into a side button which also handles on and off, and both worked for us, though this seems a device for the right-handed."

don't you just register a different finger? I've had side unlock phones before and I register the easiest finger on both hands to use it with, so I can use it with both hands..

UK Treasury and Bank of England starting to sound serious about 'Britcoin'

Ali Dodd

Not sure if this is a cryptocurrency

rather just a digital currency, doesn't need to include blockchain or potentially onerous transactions causing huge costs both financial or ecologically.

However with a name like Britcoin I'm sure lit is likely to be a Shitcoin (sorry)

The return of the turbo button: New Intel hotness causes an old friend to reappear

Ali Dodd


I had an XT clone which I think had an 8088 chip back in the day that ran at 4.77mhz (as expected) and then if you held down the period key on boot it would power up in the nippier 6.22mhz... very weird, it certainly seemed to run faster when enabled

Honeymoons last a couple of weeks – the same goes for any love for the IT department

Ali Dodd
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Forgotten and the vote is still confusing.

Forgotten already.

The format of this debate vote is still very unclear and confusing. So the motion is: "The pandemic improved the status of IT workers … forever."

My interpretation is that if you vote FOR this then that means it has improved the status of IT workers?

Therefore as I think it's a flash in the pain I voted AGAINST and was surprised to see that FOR is winning with nearly 60% of the vote, which can't be right with my cynical down beaten IT monkey colleagues can it?

Can you please put on these votes, NEXT to where to vote a simple statement confirming what you are voting FOR or AGAINST. Please El Reg? Make it very clear... I n this case it would be "You are voting for or against the motion that 'The pandemic improved the status of IT workers … forever'"