* Posts by Joe W

480 posts • joined 8 Aug 2018


$5bn+ sueball bounces into Google's court over claims it continues to track netizens in 'private browsing mode'

Joe W Silver badge

Ah, but it's not the isp nor the websites you visit that are tracking you. It is Google, through the ads....

They've only gone and bloody done it! NASA, SpaceX send two fellas off to the International Space Station

Joe W Silver badge


Between the "launch america" logo and that of "emporio Armani" (if you squint a bit). Or maybe that's the beer..

Guess who came thiiis close to signing off a €102k annual budget? Austria. Someone omitted 'figures in millions'

Joe W Silver badge

Re: the key words "figures in billions"

British English was changed in 1974 to be the same as US English in this respect.

Ok... seriously? What's next, changing the gallon to be a mere 3.8 litres?

Software bug in Bombardier airliner made planes turn the wrong way

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Just a reminder

... and the question, as always, is: why not start with trains? At least they run on tracks...

Surprise! That £339 world's first 'anti-5G' protection device is just a £5 USB drive with a nice sticker on it

Joe W Silver badge

.... obvious enough for you?

Joe W Silver badge

"prime contender". You are a bad person.... (and owe me a keyboard)

Laughing UK health secretary launches COVID-19 Test and Trace programme with glitchy website and no phone app

Joe W Silver badge

I think it got covered here, but I'm too lazy to search...

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Good and bad

Interesting case from Germany: A Baptist congregation obeyed the rules except the face mask wearing and no singing for last (or before) Sunday's mass. 200 infected a week later...

This seems to point towards aerosols.

US cable subscribers are still being 'ripped off' by creeping price increases – and this lot has had enough

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Sign up for your $1.32 payout

"innovation in billing"....

I'll steal that one - > have a beer! (or that time of day, a coffee, though if you are stuck with kids in home office you might need something stronger)

SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon cleared to hoist real live American astronauts into space

Joe W Silver badge

Excellent! When working internationally, give the time in UTC. Also my experience from different international projects (across too many time zones).

Thanks! I was a bit too lazy to look that up :) But I will grab a couple of cold ones and watch the coverage.

Joe W Silver badge

Re: EST not EDT

So 19:33 Z (also known as UTC)?

Is there live coverage?

BoJo buckles: UK govt to cut Huawei 5G kit use 'to zero by 2023' after pressure from Tory MPs, Uncle Sam

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Build it here

Tough one. It's especially bad in the US, looking at the wages in the service sector. Compare that to Norway, where waiters are being paid ok. Not huge amounts of money, but still. Same with other lines of work, most wages are not insultingly low nor excessive - except for the oil and gas sector, where wages are (were?) sky high. Norway is a bit special, since benefits are reliant on the income generated by oil exports (and they do a good job with actually not overspending, and being able to save some money for the future).

The question is, what difference in terms of wages are we willing to accept? My current job pays little more than the previous one (same company) but comes with extra responsibilities and stress. Maybe the little extra pay is not worth that.

But yeah, I'm with you on the low wages. There are so many people woefully underpaid (health care, child care,...)

Wanna force granny to take down that family photo from the internet? No problem. Europe's GDPR to the rescue

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Rough summary of the court's decision

I think that 4.6 is likely the stronger argument and allone would already be sufficient (it is here in Germany). 4.5 makes everybody jump and scream "because GDPR"!!one!, but the text does make it clear that this is quite a delicate argument being made. I read it as "if you pass on information to commercial entities when you have no business / permission to pass them on to it is BAD". From that argument it might be facebook that is acting against GDPR, not the grandmother (but I am no lawyer, and this contains a lot of wishful thinking ....)

To test its security mid-pandemic, GitLab tried phishing its own work-from-home staff. 1 in 5 fell for it

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Not bad? Users? Policy?

If gitlab has staff, they most likely have a department for HR, or at least payroll, or some management. Then, there's marketing and other... stuff. So not all of those were "us" (I hope). Still, you are right, for an IT company that is too many (well, it is too many for every company - it's just that we should expect a better quota from them).

I don't really want to think about stats now, but I would put an uncertainty of about 5 people on those numbers for around 75% uncertainty. That would be click rates between 10% and 30%. Maybe somebody else can do the full Bayesian calculation...

Attorney General: We didn't need Apple to crack terrorist's iPhones – tho we still want iGiant to do it in future

Joe W Silver badge

Re: China sends its thanks

You surely mean: for all iPhones manufactured in or using parts manufactured in China....

Crooks set up stall on UK govt's IT marketplace to peddle email fraud services targeting 'gullible' punters

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Honesty among thieves

What I was wondering about was whether the gullible mark would be the one to buy the service....

Dutch spies helped Britain's GCHQ break Argentine crypto during Falklands War

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Re: Great name, great beer

Dang, now I need to get somebody to spring for a "business trip" to Munich - I sort of have have an excuse (I think / hope) but we are currently not allowed to travel as per our company's official line. However, since venison stew is more of an autumn dish I have some time!

Beer gut-ted: As many as '70 million pints' spoiled during coronavirus pandemic must be destroyed in Britain

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Milk consumption?

Flour does not keep indefinitely long. Especially wheat flour (the really fine, white one). It degrades over time, and the results will be pretty poor especially in yeast dough. I think the glutene degrades, as this is (mostly) what sticks together, forming a net to trap air so the dough rises. Yes, I did have that happen, we wanted to bake pizza at a friend's place who didn't bake that often.

The shortage is (here) mostly in rye flour and wholegrain - there seems to be a reasonable supply of spelt whole grain, but bread becomes dry pretty quickly when using too much of that. The mills shifted production over to the fine, white wheat flour because most people focus on that. Now I'm running out of whole grain rye, so my daily bread (no, not daily in the sense of baking every morning, I'm not that crazy) is jeopardised. I think there's just about enough for one loaf, which will last us until Wednesday...

Joe W Silver badge

Re: K'in eejets.

There's some brilliant light beer in Scandinavian countries (lettøl), low taxes, low percentage, good taste. I drink for the taste, not the alcohol induced effects - mostly...

Joe W Silver badge

Re: K'in eejets.

Main problem with cider outside Hesse state is that people don't fully ferment it. The sweet, nasty, icky stuff that people sell as cider elsewhere is.... ugly.

OK, there's other dry ciders in the world as well, and I do like those.

If you don't LARP, you'll cry: Armed fun police swoop to disarm knight-errant spotted patrolling Welsh parkland

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Plague Doctors?

Actually all of this face mask theatre (either bloody useless or a medical article that other people are experiencing a shortage of, like medics, nurses) let me think about exactly that. At least a "plague nose" would be more efficient in protecting both the others and myself. If I put in a filter... hm.

(about the effectiveness of cloth masks: yeah, they do sort of protect the others a bit so you don't cough on them directly, but even better - and in fact what you still should do - is 1. keep distance, 2. wash hands and keep them out of your face, 3. when in doubt don't go out - feeling unwell? Stay at home! Don't use the train and ffs don't come into work (like people used to). 4. avoid being inside with others. A cloth mask mainly keeps back some of the bigger droplets you exhale). Ok, so it's not completely useless, but not terribly efficient either... And looking at how people are wearing theirs, or putting it on / taking it off - that makes it bloody dangerous to them or others. Touching all sides of the (worn already for a fortnight) mask before putting it on and then touching the shopping cart or the packages, or door handles, etc means that they are spreading whatever they are breeding in that almost perfect environment of their mask very efficiently. Then, when packing the mask away, they again touch all sides of it, so they can add every germ they have picked up to their mouth-covering (most seem to forget to cover the nose) petri dish. Sorry, but that had to get out. I'll grab a drink, it's Friday and I have all sorts of alcohol in my office (at home, workplace is dry, so not everything is bad). Stay healthy (and if you work in an important job, like healthcare: thanks! Though those probably don't have much time to read, surely not my drivel.)

You overstepped and infringed British sovereignty, Court of Appeal tells US in software companies' copyright battle

Joe W Silver badge

Yeah, except that this is likely either null and void or at least not enforcable. If you sell anything in the EU, EU rules apply. If you sell stuff in the US, US rules apply. See other products like cars, bike helmets, electrical appliances, food, to name but a few. Yes, things become tricky if either company has no presence in that region.

Google says it'll pick up the tab – and stick it in a lovely colour-coded Chrome group

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Just like...

Exactly. My first thought as well.

The Rise of The (Coffee) Machines: I need assistance. I think I'm running Windows. Send help

Joe W Silver badge

... "and out came a substance that was almost, but not entirely, completely unlike tea"

got one of those at work

Total Eclipse to depart: Open-source software foundation is hopping the pond to Europe

Joe W Silver badge

Re: A long time coming

We-ell, having it as an option is not per se an issue. Having it as the default is. (See posts further up the page... also concerning the paper format - though those f'in' Krauts[*] can put their decimal comma "Wo die Sonne nicht scheint" (no, not the place close to Zugspitze). It is a mess for data transfer, especially when brain-dead lab software defaults to a csv for export, refuses to change the delimiter (it's "comma separated values", I get that - Microsoft don't, look at Excel...) and gets the decimal from the locale of the control software - I'm looking at you, Tectronics! Messes up your data files big time.

[*] yup, I know what I'm talking about.

CEO of AI surveillance upstart Banjo walks the plank after white supremacist past sinks contracts

Joe W Silver badge

I don't downplay his past (I hope, I really don't mean to), and a driveby shooting is a serious thing, not matter what and whom you are shooting at. That said, how long until you can be considered to be a... better..(?) person than what you had been? Maybe never, though never is a very long time indeed. Sure, this will absolutely depend on what you did. Still, I do find this a really difficult question.

Behold: The ghastly, preening, lesser-spotted Incredible Bullsh*tting Customer

Joe W Silver badge

Re: No Mention yet?

Also known as a "layer 8 problem" or the "swivel-chair-interface" (the German "Drehstuhlschnittstelle").

Or listed with the identification of 10-t...

The point of containers is they aren't VMs, yet Microsoft licenses SQL Server in containers as if they were VMs

Joe W Silver badge

Like Oracle....

... I think I heard some gnashing and wailing from that building across the road where our org's org sits (HR, licenses, law, anything administrative - nothing tech related), and I think Oracle's licenses are even worse, but Borkzilla is getting there.

What do you call megabucks Microsoft? No really, it's not a joke. El Reg needs you

Joe W Silver badge

Re: stabs...

Bad taste, mate -> have one of those

Joe W Silver badge

> 'EaaS' (Everything as a Service).

Evil as a Service - but that would also be The Chocolate Factory [TM]

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Good taste?

Judging from what you get at most supermarkets, is there another kind of pork? (fnar fnar)

Data centre reveals it modeled interiors on The Hunt for Red October sets

Joe W Silver badge


I really like the "Red October" setting based appearance. Imagine how much fun that was for the architect and crew involved to build this!

Ours is all standard components, we are not allowed such niceties (I understand and appreciate the reasons, especially under the current situation). However, it looks a bit like the death star. The head BOFH hates beige computer boxes, so everything is black. Our main vendor (don't ask me, I was in there once for a tour and a few pints afterwards) has really nice doors for their racks. Everything black, shiny, grates, glass, and the ubiquitious blinking lights...

Spyware slinger NSO to Facebook: Pretty funny you're suing us in California when we have no US presence and use no American IT services...

Joe W Silver badge

Interesting argument

"any bypassing of technical restrictions would not qualify as a CFAA violation"


Except people who try exactly that to make charges stick (phishing mails?)

Oh, and when trying to break drm'd content, I think I seem to recall.

Tesla sued over Tokyo biker's death in 'dozing driver' Autopilot crash

Joe W Silver badge

Re: If the experts aren't safe,

Not in civilised countries, no. In civilised countries you are required to stop and help. By law and by moral obligation.

Lars Ulrich makes veiled threats of another Metallica album during web chat with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Deluded article from a cretin

El Reg: One of the biggest and best circuses around ;-)

sort of agree on the critical view of the newer (great, now I feel old...) albums - though I do happen to like "The Unforgiven" (also "II"), as well as "And the Memory Remains". I think Reload was a good attempt (after "Load"). I really dislike how half-hearted the stuff with the orchestra was - an orchestra does offer much more possibilities than what they used (what was it? S&M? I forgot... not that it - or anything Else Matters). As somebody who has been playing in orchestras a lot I was really underwhelmed by that "effort".

(but then my current playlist for coding stuff includes Hammerfall and Manowar, so my taste in music is... ah, well - de gustibus non est disputandum)

Who's still using Webex? Not even Cisco: Judge orders IT giant to use rival Zoom for virtual patent trial

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Webex and Skype

"looked like it had barely evolved in 5+ years"

You are saying that if it was a bad thing. I generally hate what people are dong with the "modern" UI crap. It is not intuitive and looks (typically) like carp when using on a real computer instead of a cell phone. And it is not usable, because it is optimised for a portrait mode layout, not landscape (exacerbated by the crazy wide screens, or rather squeezed down screens of modern laptops)...

Three things in life are certain: Death, taxes, and cloud-based IoT gear bricked by vendors. Looking at you, Belkin

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Never buy IoT kit

I only remeber them from the box that came with an ESCOM tower PC to store floppy disks inside - even had a floor to clip in to store them new-fangled 3.5" disks.

Didn't really remember they were also actually producing computer hardware (I might have seen a mouse by them - or maybe it was only the mouse pad?)

too much of that since then --->

Arm dumps risk for CISC – Chip Indies Skip Costs: Early-stage startups can pay $0 to access CPU, GPU blueprints

Joe W Silver badge

Oooh, a praeteritio!

"Now we could mention ..."

(though methinks the praeteritio is overused a tad, also by myself, but I won't mention that....)

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

Joe W Silver badge

Re: It may be a US "standard", but...

"It makes sentences more discrete so that people can see where one finishes and another starts. This can make it easier to understand"

Only if your program is too stoopid (Word is... mostly) to detect the end of the sentence or does not bother about putting in a slightly larger whitespace after a full stop. Two whitespaces are w-a-a-y too big in any font, they mess up the grey value of the final page, looks like somebody did a drive by with a shotgun.

(so yes: the spacing after the period, at the end of a sentence _only_, should be wider. Use a proper program to typeset the text.

Guess who's back, back again. SE's back, tell a friend: 2020 reboot looks like an iPhone 8 and even shares components

Joe W Silver badge

Re: but how is it selling?

There very little reason for anyone who owns a working 7 or 8 to bother with it.

Yes. _working_ being the important part. That said - sure, spot on, not many will likely buy it. If it were not an i-Thing I might be tempted though (tried the interface, didn't like it, still miss the Windows phone 8.something that I had). Small screens are a niche, so of course I do not expect miracles regarding sales. As this is an iPhone 8 (essentially), and development costs were probably pretty low for Apple, low sales numbers won't matter. (except to snark, but hey, nothing wrong with that).

Forget tabs – the new war is commas versus spaces: Web heads urged by browser devs to embrace modern CSS

Joe W Silver badge

Re: What's wrong

Bah! Men can only see 16 colours, this the EGA palette

There are always two sides to every story – except this one, which is just a big billboard borked in all directions

Joe W Silver badge

"even in these interesting times, artisanal dough prodding will endure"

You have to refresh a sourdough starter now and then, depending on size, storage temperature and flour used. So you more or less have to keep on baking...

(considering my sourdough - or parts of it - is older than my kids I'd hate to lose it, almost like a pet you only have to feed once a week... the sourdough, not the kids)

Icon: need to bake soon, almost out of bread.

Getting a pizza the action, AS/400 style

Joe W Silver badge

Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

Exactly. I read somewhere that "it [unix] came with a set of distgustingly dangerous utilities that meant nothing but could render a system useless within seconds".

Play with

# fire

get burnt....

Australia to make Google and Facebook disclose ranking algorithms and pay for local content

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Fishing

Yes. Oh yes, definitely. You use other people's work to make money? Unless they willingly gave it to you for free you should pay them for their troubles. (See also Youtube...)

No, I don't like some of the so-called newspapers (some real papers I do respect but still don't like), and yes, there are problems with people owning papers being really close to politicians (or the politicians themselves, look at Berlusconi...). No, I don't think the Aussie government is... that great, and focusing on a media outlet that is closest to them does make sense, sort of. However, focusing on this single paper ("News" or what it was) is not helpful for analysing the overall problem and serves mainly to push the interpretation in a certain direction. How about local papers? How are they doing? How much of their content is (sc)raped by the likes of g**le and f'borg? I have talked some local reporters here and there (continue to meet them shrough clubs' activities), and they genuinely want to do a good job (sometimes mixed results, I admit), even with the quite limited ressources their paper has to offer. Shouldn't these be mentioned as prominently as well - or do they not suffer the same fate?

And the author's sentiment that it serves them right for not using a robots.txt file is... misplaced. "Serves you right getting mugged, you left your home" is along the same lines..

Cloudflare goes retro with COBOL delivery service. Older coders: Who's laughing now? Turns out we're still vital

Joe W Silver badge

Re: “Old Hardware” is fake news

Yup. My thoughts exactly. The throughput achieved by these systems is amazing...

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Mindset

They probably mean the architecture, I guess. Our shop is running an early 70s architecture. Ah. Well.

Trello! It is me... you locked the door? User warns of single sign-on risk after barring self from own account

Joe W Silver badge

Re: the old company has no right to his personal IP

Yes. Secondary address. There was data tied explicitly to the former employer (via that secondary email address), and that data got removed when he quit. The account was primarily tied to the "main" address, which was used for login etc. Thus I do not think that it is as clear cut as you make it - but then probably neither of us is a lawyer. What if there was another secondary address, tied to yet another company? What would happen then? Why should a secondary email address (that had some data in the account tied to it, which was actually cleaned up) be sufficient evidence to tie all data in an account to a company?

Still, not good to mix personal and business data. That just does not work and will result in more problems. Sure, we all agree that he should have opened a second Trello account tied to his work address, but hindsight is 20/20.

Bad news: So much of your personal data has been hacked that lesson manuals on how to use it are the latest hot property

Joe W Silver badge

Re: So, basically businesses should acquire fraud guides

Time to set up the Dark Web Room !

... said the actress to the bishop.

Well... that term sounds a bit.... hm. sketchy. Might attract the, ahem, other kind of customer.

In case you need more proof the world's gone mad: Behold, Apple's $699 Mac Pro wheels

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Re Cycle Wheels

C'mon, cycling has been rife with religious wars like forever. Campa vs. Sachs, Campa vs. Shimano (also vs. SRAM, nowadays), Steel of various sorts with magical proerties, carbon tubes glued into metal lugs, aluminium vs. titanium vs. carbon, different layups, ultra narrow tyres and now wide tyres on the road, MTBs coming up (and staying, a bit like gravel bikes, which are Cyclocross bikes for whimps ;p)... tubeless tyres, sewn-ups (collets, or tubular tyres), clinchers, different rim diameters, rebranding the 700c (or 622 ETRTO) as 29er...

Fun: Passing people in a race on expensive bikes while riding a cheaply bought, not very well restored old french road bike. It's the legs for us mere mortals that make the most difference (but some of the really high end stuff looks really great, not sure how it rides, don't have the money for it or don't want to spend it)

BOFH: Will the last one out switch off the printer?

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Mmmm

... in Krautland stores either don't carry it or them Covidiots bought all of it as well.

We are slowly running out of flour, the kids go through crazy amounts of bread at the moment....



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