* Posts by Joe W

765 posts • joined 8 Aug 2018


Ex-health secretary said 'vast majority' were 'onside' with GP data grab. Consumer champion Which? reckons 20 million don't even know what it is

Joe W Silver badge


Yes. So much.

(I did think and comment the same, a few months ago, no doubt I was not the first one to remark this, no doubt you won't be the last)

Iranian state-backed hackers posed as flirty Scouser called Marcy to target workers in defence and aerospace

Joe W Silver badge

Re: I ran

----> (icon)

Thanks oh so bloody much!

D'oh! Misplaced chair shuts down nuclear plant in Taiwan

Joe W Silver badge

it was always the (dry) cleaner (doesn't the icon look like somebody working in one of them places?)

At least it is a change from unplugging some equipment to plug in the vacuum cleaner...

Scam-baiting YouTube channel Tech Support Scams taken offline by tech support scam

Joe W Silver badge

Re: YouTube tech support?!

Yeah, and "only stupid people fall for scams"

No. Just... no.

Google updates timeline for unpopular Privacy Sandbox, which will kill third-party cookies in Chrome by 2023

Joe W Silver badge

Re: They brought this

The problem is that those who buy the advertising space still believe that the "targeted" (trough personal browser and search history) ads are 1) really targeted and 2) sensibly targeted and thus 3) worth more money than other forms of targeting.

The problem is that since 1 and 2 are wrong, 3 is wrong as well. The examples are abundant in threads here on ElReg, so I won't repeat them.

What's wrong with advertising stuff related to the page content? No need to track people, and the ads might actually work[*] in that context. Say... IT and generally geeky stuff here, or tools on diy and home improvement websites? So, ads related to what I am looking at right now? Preferably without sound, moving pictures, java script etc.? Then I might actually reconsider the whole adblocking stuff (almost) everywhere (though blocking JS will stay in place, and this catches most of the annoying stuff).

[*] yeah, there will be the same problems with ads for stuff you don't need or already have - but this time the system does not pretend it is doing something extra special inteligent (<-- I'll leave that typo).

What is your greatest weakness? The definitive list of the many kinds of interviewer you will meet in Hell

Joe W Silver badge

Re: That Meme

Once told the interviewer that I do find this a stupid and completely dishonest question. I could giv them a calculated, dishonest answer, I'd never tell them I was an axe murederer. So, really, this is a stupid question. My weakness is that I have a very short temper when it comes to objectively stupid questions, and people f'ing up statistics.

Much to the glee of the professionals across the table.

Mgmt didn't like it...

Apparently they often ask stupid questions and have no clue about stats.

BOFH: You say goodbye and I say halon

Joe W Silver badge


I guess?

Nice back and forth between the two bastards.

The old New: Windows veteran explains that menu item

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Keyboard shortcuts

Except that some keyboard shortcuts are defined depending on the language you use. In an international environment this can be just crazy. Some have Norwegian language settings, others English, other machines in my family other languages.

I hate it.

(it's mostly word, though)

(which I don't like)

Open-source dev and critic of Beijing claims Audacity owner Muse threatened him with deportation to China in row over copyright

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Illegal bootleg of the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' theme

Yes and no.

Imagine you leave the terrace doors open and go to work. Sombody sees it and tells a burglar, who pays you a visit and steals the Mona Lisa that you had on loan from the Louvre. It still is theft. You will have problems, like "gross neglect" or whatever the legal term is, the insurance won't pay, and the owner will hold you accountable for the loss, etc. Both you and the thief will land in deep doo-doo, and the person telling the thief about the painting being in your house and the doors left open will also be held accomplice (I guess).

I fully agree that having the private / copyrighted / restricted data being available through an API call without any access control in place really is gross neglect, but telling world and dog about it is wrong as well[0]. And obiously just because you can access apparently copyright (or otherwise) proteced data does not mean you should download it as well. I don't think that anyone looks particularly good in that story, neither Tang nor the Muse.

[0] some conditions apply, look at discussions about how to handle security related bugs in software and how to disclose them, but this is not applicable here

Make-me-admin holes found in Windows, Linux kernel

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Verbification*

As Bill Watterson once wrote in a Calvin and Hobbes comic:

"verbing weirds language"

Windows 10 to hang on for five more years with 21H2 update

Joe W Silver badge

Re: okay...

Ah, so it's self inflicted. Masochist?

Welcome to the club. I don't have the time for that any more, but I did that a while back. And with a new machine I always tried out three different distros. I guess when I replace the current 6 year old AMD-underpowered laptop I'll do that again. I want to try alpine Linux and see how well Devuan supports the hardware. Don't know what I'll settle on them.

Joe W Silver badge

Re: **allowed** to choose.

Two things. First, the last LTS kernel will be supported another couple of years, which is probably enough until the hdd finally gives up the ghost, or another vital component. Then you might be able to replace it with a raspberry pi (unless you need some legacy ports, but there might be a hat for the pi). Second, you write that "it may be having other software update issues already" - hopefully not of the security kind.

Oh, and c) nobody forces you to use a new kernel. With Debian based Linuxes you can pin packages to a certain version, and the kernel is never upgraded to a new (major.minor?) version automatically (or even never ever, i believe). So why not stick to a 4.x kernel (or even 2.x)?

To be clear, your thoughts echo mine when I read the announcement. I thought about the impact on my old stuff, and it can be mitigated.

NASA fixes Hubble Space Telescope using backup power supply unit, payload computer

Joe W Silver badge

We're your next contestants, the Hubble Brothers Blues Band.

Without a warning, they broke the part, the comp wasn't working, they tore 't apart.

Joe W Silver badge

Not quite as basic.

They changed the power supply.

Which is indeed a very common replacement (on cheaply sourced pc in my old job - no, I'm not suggesting the Hubble parts were sub standard, our power supplies failed after only a couple of years, I think just outside warranty).

Great job though!

This page has been deliberately left blank

Joe W Silver badge

Re: He's lucky it was just some t-shirts...

Saw one a few years back on the neck of a girl.

Read "cheap"

Might not have been a mistake...

ZTE Axon 30 Ultra: Strong effort from an entity-lister, but your tiny child hands may struggle

Joe W Silver badge

Not big...

... if you are trying to land a small plane. Don't get me wrong, I like having a bigger screen, a 7 inch tablet is about perfect for browsing on the couch, but I am really unwilling to buy a phone I cannot put in a normal trouser pocket, or that I have to take out when trying to sit down (otherwise it would bend, or I might lose body parts).

And the price is decidedly not mid range. Yeah, the so called flag ships are even more expensive, I know, but it is still an awful lot of money for a bloody phone that will get dropped within a year and be obsolete after three.Still, it keeps the money in circulation, so I guess that's a good thing?

Linux Mint 20.2 is a bit more insistent about updating but not as annoying as Windows or Mac, team promises

Joe W Silver badge

Re: All I know

The Desktop environments usually are. This is not limited to Mint, nor to recent releases... For my purposes, WindowMaker or LXDE are good enough. I'm running mint on a 6 year old AMD (under) powered notebook / netbook and a 11 year old Intel one. Apart from resource hogs like discord they work well enough to not warrant replacement right now.

Boffins decide what world really needs is indestructible robot cockroaches

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Counter-measures

Simples. You need a robotic, neigh-indestructble robo-gecko that eats robo-roaches to power itself and replicate. I mean, what could go wrong?

Richard Branson plans to trump Jeff Bezos by 9 days in billionaires' space race

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Sigh

This is one of the best comments I read.


Thanks and have another one of those ~~>

Local brewery, grew up in that village.

It's also a bit like those random age groupers with a 2hr+ half marathon cheating by cutting the course. Seriously, I saw that. Pathetic.

Joe W Silver badge

Re: To quote a well known phrase...

They will not slip the bonds of earth. Last time humans managed that was in the Apollo program. We'll continue being stuck in this (gravity) well.

That's not sayin I don't share your sentiment, but one astronaut commented that this takes a couple of days: on the first day they pointed out their home regions, on the second their countries. On the third their continents until on the fourth they marveled at the fragile beauty of Earth. I cannot remember the exact quote, or who said it, but it seems like one should make our heads of state spend some weeks up there. Maybe at the same time, so they are forced to cooperate.

Xiaomi my heart is still beating: Reg hack takes Chinese giant's new fitness band for a spin

Joe W Silver badge

Very use case oriented review

I like it. 10/10 would read again ;)

Not gushy, not completely against it, but weighing the additional data and analyses against the (in)convenience, the struggles in setting up, and also the "style" of the device. It makes me realise: no, I do not need one. At that price point I am severely tempted to, but then what's the additional benefit (and I don't even use Strava, but simple GPS track recording)? And more importantly: will I make use of the data, and how? Maybe (probably? likely? almost surely 1?) not as much as I might plan to. Same with buying a new bike, sure, it's nicer and quite a bit lighter - but I know that I can easily save twice the weight while saving money, simply by reducing my sweets intake (oooh, nice looking pastries, which are often not as satisfying as they look, so no actual loss!). So: yeah... nah, I'll pass. On the bike and the fitness band.

Good luck with your planned ride! Ride safely!

Oh dear, Universal Windows Platform: Microsoft says 'no plans to release WinUI 3 for UWP in a stable way'

Joe W Silver badge

And that's the reason we cannot have nice things!

At least one of the reasons why developers jumped ship from Windows Phone was (allegedly, I'm no app developer) the constant platform changes, with the needs to rewrite your apps for the new platform, that was supposed to be universal, and life was going to be so much simpler, and for the long term, and univeral and all fluffy bunnies and unicorns - until two years or so later the next platform change all of a sudden happened with similar promises attached. I can totally understand people not wanting to commit to that any more. So: fewer apps, nobody wants a phone that does not have you baking / public transport / whatever app, fewer people buy it, fewer devs bother because it's a small market segment, even fewer apps...

I miss my windows phone (and that's coming from a long time linux user).

India's IT minister angry that Twitter broke local law by following US law

Joe W Silver badge

Re: What a wonderful law

There are things like illegal content. Free speech does not cover harassment or inciting violence for example. The rules that govern this are laws passed by the nations the service operates in (or the user lives in, whatever). It is not up to the service to make its own rules.

The Indian law violated was that the user needs to be notified. Makes sense, look at the struggle content creators have with YouTube and its algorithms.

The fact that it was a government official with the current... struggle does not look good though.

Wish you could play tabletop Dungeons & Dragons but have no friends? Solasta: Crown of the Magister offers a solution

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Friends ≥ null program

We are back to playing in the old group, online through discord and maptools. Works well, once a week, only for two or maybe three hours.

Much better than nothing, and the group dynamics still are there. Yeah, most of us have kids, and since two are a married couple with young kids this is sort of the only way to do this.

Had it not been for lockdown we would not have started it!

Ouch! When the IT equipment is sound, but the setup is hole-y inappropriate

Joe W Silver badge

Happens to me as well (though ethernet and USB is a bit too tight a fit). I use different laptops privately and for work and projects and....

... and of course they are all very different concerning the placement of different sockets. One has the ethernet socket where others have a USB one - thankfully the USB pugs are a tad too wide to be crammed in, though maybe I could manage using excessive force. The USB plug fits into the display port socket though, and stubbornly refuses to work there.

Russia spoofed AIS data to fake British warship's course days before Crimea guns showdown

Joe W Silver badge

Ukranian waters

not Russian

Mars race: China dreams of nuclear rockets, manned bases, and space elevators

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Cosmic Dodgeball

Blow up the moon, simple. Or mine it for ressources?

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Here's the plan

You mean "first step"...

Pretty much like with the colonies in Australia, right? And there's lots of red sand and rock on Mars as well, no good surfing nor diving though, but maybe the wildlife is not as dangerous?

Hubble Space Telescope may now depend on a computer that hasn't booted since 2009

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Er, yes, mate?

From the article

"We note that the replacement unit contains the same 1980s-era parts as the original computer unit."

Price of Microsoft's Surface Duo plummets to better represent middling hardware ... but only if you're in the US

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Fool me once

Same here. The last proper windows phone was pretty good. App support was middling at best, though that was not that big a problem for me. It was pretty snappy also on sub par hardware, and pretty simple to use.

I miss it.

And that comes from a hardcore long term Linux user...

Pub landlords on notice as 'Internet of Beer' firm not only pulls pints, but can also clean the lines

Joe W Silver badge

Re: There is something to be said for dirty lines

You mentioned beer... so, what's that Carling stuff you talk about?

Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of great beer (and ale) to be had in many countries, it's just that Carling to me is like... Bud, Cors, Heineken, Stella, Carlsberg, Hansa (the Norwegian stuff), Molson and probably a ton of others. They just don't taste like proper beer, they are bland while being extremely unpleasantly tasting at the same time (especially the aftertaste). So... nah, I'll skip that. I'd rather have a glass of water. Or a nice coffee (though from experience I know that places that serve the above also often have crap coffee).

And Newky Brown tastes really weird, but maybe that's an acquired taste...

UK health secretary Matt Hancock follows delay to GP data grab with campaign called 'Data saves lives'

Joe W Silver badge

Re: "yet to confirm the new opt out date"


What kind of idealistic hippie would do that?

Monitoring is simple enough – green means everything's fine. But getting to that point can be a whole other ball game

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Green means

Well.... yes, for some. We have this "clash of cultures" in our company: one group believes (and by the official definition of what they are supposed to do and report) that "no valid measurement" means everything is alright (in dubio pro reo, et c.). My group interpretes this as "the monitoring is not working and we are concerned", but not as a failure of the monitored system. Depending on who we are reporting to it is treated in different ways. Internally I treat it as critical.

To CAPTCHA or not to CAPTCHA? Gartner analyst says OK — but don’t be robotic about it

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Street signs

There are countries where the fire hydrants are not above ground, but under a floor plate - so they don't really exist. Traffic lights are less.... diverse I would say.

Street signs are a mess, especially if they are in a language or writing style (alphabet and other systems, like in China, Korea, Japan, ...) you don't understand: is that a street sign or ad ad for something?

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Causes problems when travelling

Related (google blocked): I block everything javascript and googlely per default - so the stupid websites that insist on doing the stupid captchas don't bloody work, or only after I grudgingly accept some sites. And even then the stuff sometimes just fails. And yes, in some cases you really just have to use these websites, so sod off if "don't use those websites" was your suggestion.

I hate captchas. A Lot (as Brian of Nazareth said about the Romans). I'll refrain from complaining more, it is not good for my blood pressure...

TITAN crypto-token does the opposite of zero to $60: Value plummets in hours

Joe W Silver badge


Calendly’s new logo perceived as either bog-standard or kind of crappy

Joe W Silver badge

Toilet bowl?

... maybe a US one. The seats are weirdly shaped, if I remember correctly. To me it looks like somebody is injecting something into a cell, the needle is missing though.

I also failed to see hte "hexagon", as it has no corners - ok, maybe rounded ones[*] with quite a big radius. Maybe Apple will want to sue them for that?

[*] rounded corners.... either it is a corner or it is round.

Artemis I core stage finally pointing in the right direction at Kennedy Space Center

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Vertical

November, but which year?

Want to keep working in shorts and flipflops way after this is all over? It could be time to rethink your career moves

Joe W Silver badge

Not only Brits!

"Do it [working from a French beach rather than your normal location] for a while and you are liable to that country's tax, employment, and, since Brexit, right-to-work regulations."

Yes. That is an issue, not only for Brits, but for all. Spend a certain time (often > 180 days) living in a country (if you are allowed to) and you are all of a sudden subject to the local tax. That's why those 'digital nomads' travel around the world and pay no taxes anywhere (I guess unless you are a citizen of the USA, there are different rules for those). I don't want to start discussions on hwo that might be tax evasion or not and the circumstances etc., but as a company I would definitely not employ them - too much headache. Hire them as external staff? That's easier and likely less headache and paperwork.

Pakistan's Punjab province tells citizens to get jabbed or have their SIM card blocked

Joe W Silver badge

F... an

vaccination rates for polio declined by 28 per cent

Isn't this one of the few places where poliomyelitis is still endemic?

Dealing with the pandemic by drinking and swearing? Boffins say you're not alone

Joe W Silver badge

Re: about swearing

As a non native speaker I always enjoy expanding my vocabulary...

McDonald's AI drive-thru bot accused of breaking biometrics privacy law

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Who's hungry, then?

So you are ok with any ole company using AI on your data without your consent for any ol' purpose? I'm not, and I actually hope there are too few of this sort of privacy laws which are likely too tame. 5k/person? Really? Make that 500k/person or tie it to global turnover and maybe it would not be classified as "normal business risk" by the bean counters. I used to think otherwise, but looking at some people's reckless behaviour, I feel that the risk of a) being caught and b) the potential damage both have to be higher.

Linus Torvalds tells kernel list poster to 'SHUT THE HELL UP' for saying COVID-19 vaccines create 'new humanoid race'

Joe W Silver badge

At a phsician's

you don't have to vaccinate your kids -

only those you would like to keep.

And a virologist bluntly said that the notion of herd immunity comes from closed herds of cattle, which humans surely are not - they trave too much and have too much exchange between localities. Thus it is not applicable and if you are not vaccinated or already had CoViD you are more or less sure to get it in the future. Good luck.

Y'all ready to get back to the office this October, Facebook tells staff in the US

Joe W Silver badge

Salesforce's Chief People Officer Brent Hyde declared "the 9-to-5 workday is dead

Now it is always on, always expected to read emails within seconds of delivery, take calls all day and night. Nope. Been there, done that, was not healthy for me.

Snark aside, even in my company 9-5 (well... more like 8-4:30) died a while ago. Most teams are required to have somebody to contact within "core business hours", apart from that we are more or less free, with certein limits: Don't start before 6am, don't work past 9pm (Sat: 6am-1pm), though you might required to work then if in a technical role, e.g. when we have to roll out bigger updates / maintenance of core equipment etc. (but that's a different story).

No digital equivalent to the impulse aisle found as online grocery shoppers buy fewer sweet treats than in real life

Joe W Silver badge

.. baking popularity

Yes. Those were my first thoughts as well. There was quite a shortage in flour, so unless people were baking healthy cakes (unlikely, the fine white flour was gone first) the total dessert intake did not change. However the factory made stuff contains lots of additives that you will leave out at home, so it's a win overall.

UK government bows to pressure, agrees to delay NHS Digital grabbing the data of England's GP patients

Joe W Silver badge

Re: 1st July, 1st September

... and by then all of the fuzz has died down. Like with WatsApp and Facebook.

Honi soit...

Apple settles with student after authorized repair workers leaked her naked pics to her Facebook page

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Details

So it is better to have $(personal_data) being stolen by Apple than by others, because you get more money out from a lawsuit?

UK's Labour Party calls for delay to NHS Digital's GP data slurp until patients can be properly informed

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Opt out?

And look at the acronym for this thing! GPDPR, that is so close to GDPR, and I really do not think that it is an accident...

UK Special Forces soldiers' personal data was floating around WhatsApp in a leaked Army spreadsheet

Joe W Silver badge

Left hand and right hand

Here we have a saying about one hand not knowing what the other hand does.

My army experience tells me, that the right hand does not know of the existence of the left hand.

In my current job: The (supposedly) brain forces both hands to actively ignore each others' existence.

Now that Trump is useless to Zuckerberg, ex-president is exiled from Facebook for two years, possibly indefinitely

Joe W Silver badge

No difference

political figures will continue to be exempt from having their ads [...] reviewed by its fact-checking program

So normal ads are fact checked? I find this hard to believe, with many complaining about ad scam on FB. I cannot check that, because I'm not on FB. Nor will I.



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