* Posts by Joe W

507 posts • joined 8 Aug 2018


Analogue radio given 10-year stay of execution as the UK U-turns on DAB digital future

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Thank fuck for that

Is there any station at 192kbps? In Norway there's none. I think about 64kbps is maximum...

And that is the main reason why DAB sounds... well... shite.

Linux Mint 20 isn't exactly bursting with freshness but, hey, there's kernel 5.4 and it's a long-term support release

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Upgrading?

And for Debian-based distros, the upgrade process has been working pretty well for 15 years or so. Only new versions of apache and postfix can be a bit tricky, but one should not blame the OS for the applications, I guess.

Dependencies are tricky if you try and skip a major release or two. This is "a bit of" a no-no, i.e. a complete and utter mess (you brought upon yourself). What can break are drivers for stupid hardware (like the f'n' *** of ***** *** of a wireless network card in my notebook), if those needed to be installed via a third party solution.

Boffins baffled as supergiant star just vanishes – either it partially blew itself apart or quietly turned into a black hole

Joe W Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Destroyed by the Inhibitors?

Another possibility ;)

Yes, Prime Minister, rewrite the Computer Misuse Act: Brit infosec outfits urge reform

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Good

Well, using an example where it worked in an article on how it is broken is maybe not that great an idea...

And maybe it is that in any political system, fear should be that the only working portion will be broken when rewriting / updating the law?

Beware the fresh Windows XP install: Failure awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Alternatives are good.

Thanks. Now I feel rather peckish - but we are out of hot peppers! I'll give that a shot when I have restocked the pantry.

It might also be a nice home made present... (we have an agreement with some friends and family that anything homemade food is ok but not mandatory for birthdays / christmas - the main thing is that you actually turn up in person, which is the biggest present, plus we all have too much stuff already).

Joe W Silver badge

Re: chewed wires

One of my school friends had ... dunno, some sort of rodent, I think a Chinchilla or whatever they were called. After the first attempt of the foul beast to electrocute itself, cables were protected by a cable channel (with rabbit wire wrapping).

My piano teacher had a rat who liked to climb up onto the piano via the student's legs (but only if they were playing reasonably well, I could tell when I did something wrong by the disappearance of the rat...).

The state of OpenPGP key servers: Kristian, can you renew my certificate? A month later: Kristian? Ten days later: Too late, it’s expired

Joe W Silver badge

Yes and no...

But having a single person in charge of anything is a bad idea. Anywhere. Clubs closing down, because noone wants to run it (or can run it) after the last founder resigned / died / disappeared because llife.

That reminds me: I need to 1) invest more time in documentation 2) give a select few some more administrative access and 3) train these people.... not only in my job.

Google isn't even trying to not be creepy: 'Continuous Match Mode' in Assistant will listen to everything until it's disabled

Joe W Silver badge

Shodjai did not explain how users will end a Continuous Match Mode session but presumably this will be ...

... after the heat death if the universe?

PC printer problems and enraged execs: When the answer to 'Hand over that floppy disk' is 'No'

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Ah IT 'managers'

As Simon put it: "Just because he is now an IT manager he thinks he can manage IT"

(and then there's those whom you gladly buy a beer at the pub as they keep the manure coming from above from interfering with your work, who actually know their stuff but also the limits of their often quite extensive knowledge)

Ryzen shine, kids: Huawei buries AMD silicon in latest laptop, hopes to lure 'young professionals'

Joe W Silver badge

Re: 3550U

You completely missed my point.

The new CPU will be outdated next year, so why bother getting the latest and greatest. Rather get something decent and spend less money (or upgrade more often, if you really need that).

I totally agree on the screen - though I am no longer traveling that often (and much less by plane, for the last two years) I can still remember that. In a plane, even an 11" screen is almost too big, it's a ton of fun watching fellow travelers trying to open their laptops, getting the screen only halfway open, typing with their hands between the keyboard and the half opened lid....

Joe W Silver badge

Re: 3550U

Considering the lifetime of Laptops is now more like 5 years, this year's CPU will be outdated for 80% of the machines life as well. Additionally, the single thread performance of modern CPUs is no longer growing rapidly.

If you really think about your budget and performance over the whole lifecycle you can a) spend in the order of 1k or 1.5k for the latest and greatest now. If you use that machine for, say, four years you will be 3 years behind at the EOL. Or b) Spend half of the money for a laptop and you can buy a new one after two years already, which will be one gen ahead of the machine in a). Plus you can try to sell the two years old machine, or give it to one of the kids, or a relative, or use it as a media centre.

Amazon's not saying its warehouse staff are dumb... but it feels they need artificial intelligence to understand what 'six feet' means

Joe W Silver badge

Re: What this is really going to be used for

Sure, agree.

Still, I would love to have this at the local grocery. And the DIY store. Oh, and the railway station. People stopped thinking about the distance the moment they put on the mask.

If you're despairing at staff sharing admin passwords, look on the bright side. That's CIA-grade security

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Seriously

But back in the mesolithic period you talk about, 180GB of data would have been much more difficult to move around on physical media than today....

(that said: yeah, had to read some classified (well, really low classification, but still) stuff way back when, mostly on micro fiche[1], a couple of those might have been easier to transport, but they were checked for completeness when you went back to the front desk).

[1] which puts me into the palaeolithic, I guess....

No Wiggle room: Two weeks after angry bike shop customers report mystery orders on their accounts, firm confirms payment cards delinked

Joe W Silver badge

Re: At Chris G, re: Lycranthropist.

I have to admit I still do like the term lycranthopy...

Capes? I'd rather not wear them, I get soaked from the inside,which I do find more disgusting than the rain. It all depends on the weather and distance though. Bike commute one hour in Western Norwegian rain: triathlon shorts and a thin rain jacket. Sure, I was soaked, but I changed at work (showered...) and the stuff was mostly dry in the evening.

Joe W Silver badge

Re: At Chris G, re: Lycranthropist.

You have never ridden more than 100km, nor in the rain, I guess. I used to wear lycra shorts because they dry quickly for the commute back, and on longer rides the stuff does not chafe. So do I think I look good in that stuff? Hell, no! Would I wear it off the bike? No.

Bigger than big: Linux kernel colonel Torvalds claims 5.8 is 'one of our biggest releases of all time'

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Hence why he got

Nah, a weaver who recently migrated to my fort. A short, sturdy creature fond of drink.

Overload: A one-way ticket to a madman's situation

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Brings back memories

Wow, 4MB on a 386 was quite a bit back then. And the name "Cyrix" takes one back to those olden days...

I did manage to upgrade my 486 to 20MB at one point, helped a lot with gaming. Quake (Team Fortress), Rage, ... (yeah, and the dynamic object oriented machine earlier on as well, DOOM for short...). Memory fades a bit as to when I upgraded to which machine later on.

GitHub to replace master with main across its services

Joe W Silver badge

Re: "There's no slave in git though"

"main makes more sense". Yes. Oh so much. (though that is my personal feeling as a non-native English speaker).

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Master copy

The question then is: where does that term come from?

From the basis of the word "master", my guess is that it has a Latin root, as we find words like "maître" in French (I'm pretty sure there were slaves in ancient Rome). The root likely was "magister", which means "teacher" in some circumstances, and terms like (and that's what the whole slavery issue is about) "overseer" or also apparently in general (though I have not really encountered that use in my latin studies at school years ago) "leader".

The term "master" had uses along all three interpretations, like the "master of the household" (which was used in Medieval times - and then still in modern times on the plantations, with all the connotations that are discussed now), or in "master craftsman", which is one step up from a "journeyman", which is what you become after you apprenticed (though that use is limited nowadays to countries that still have that ancient system). Here the master is both a teacher - in fact you are only allowed apprentices if you are a master - and the leader or overseer of the shop.

Speaker for yourself: Looks like 5 patents are table stakes as Google countersues Sonos

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Popcorn

While I usually dislike the "only the lawyers win" outcome, I'd really appreciate that here. Came to say exactly that.

No popcorn, but have one of those.

Readers of a certain age will remember GPRS: Old insecure tech from turn of millennium still haunts 5G networks

Joe W Silver badge


"and we're not likely to get standalone 5G for several years."

you mean decades, right?

Yeah, ElReg is British....

Microsoft's own operating system should finally start working on its own hardware ... 'in the coming weeks'

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Sums up Microsoft's quality control

At least it is consistent behaviour.

Huawei launches UK charm offensive: We've provided 2G, 3G and 4G for 20 years, and you're worried about 5G?

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Swings and roundabouts

I don't really think it's two camps in the US.. Ok, maybe one is even more crazy than the other, and more right wing...

Joe W Silver badge

Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

I would not say that there's two Conservative parties in the USA. If go so far as calling one reactionary...

(and seriously, calling someone a socialist because he wants to introduce stuff that has been standard in Germany since the days of Bismarck [the guy, not the ship] is just silly)

Moore's Law is deader than corduroy bell bottoms. But with a bit of smart coding it's not the end of the road

Joe W Silver badge

Re: They shoot themselves in the foot

That was the paper in a nutshell. A specialised processing unit beats a general purpose CPU hands down. Not only for this task, but also for others. Same with optimised libraries, moreso if it's a problem that is not embarrassingly parallel (multiple instances of the same code to speed it up).

No, I don't find it surprising. It is a good reminder, but bleedin obvious. No wonder Science published it...

Travel-sick Windows needing a Systemwiederherstellung would be in Germany, right? Austria? Not necessarily

Joe W Silver badge

Re: You ain't seen nothing yet...

Norwegian is worse. Really.

There's also the funny sentence "det er ikke farten som dreper deg, det er smellen" that was allegedly translated as "it's not the fart that kills you, it's the smell"....

If Daddy doesn't want me to touch the buttons, why did they make them so colourful?

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Many years ago...

I remember the lecture hall with the switch marked "gravity on / off".

$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

Joe W Silver badge

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.



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