* Posts by Joe W

1513 publicly visible posts • joined 8 Aug 2018

'Return to Office' declared dead

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Of course

I'm actually OK coming in twice per week. There's a bakeholic on my floor, and she usually has something to eat...

Joke aside, meeting my team once a week face to face is not a bad idea. This of course means we have to coordinate those days. Works out every other week. I also get a chance to chat with my fellow greybeards.

To get work done I prefer my own cave. My tea is quite nice.

UEFI flaws allow bootkits to pwn potentially hundreds of devices using images

Joe W Silver badge


"Exploits bypass most secure boot solutions from the biggest chip vendors"



Bloody brilliant. So.... why do we insist on the bloody mess? F' that.

Bank boss hated IT, loved the beach, was clueless about ports and politeness

Joe W Silver badge

Re: bullshit detected

The phone line has only two leads anyway - so having all of these extra pins is just way overkill. Only the two central pins are actually used.

(yeah, I know, there's other standards, but this one is most common here - and then for different speeds you need different types of cables, but that's networks, CAT5 and upwards...)

Ex-school IT admin binned student, staff accounts and trashed phone system

Joe W Silver badge

Re: NerdRageQuit

Also quite a d'oh moment for the IT department of that school. Why is their account still active after they had stopped being employed? No, I do not blame the victim, but that was a stupid thing to have happened. If you sack somebody you need to disable their f'ing accounts... Jeesh!

Still, not a cool move.

And the bofh would not have been sacked, and not found out. Instead it would have been pinned on the head of systems, helpdesk and IT.

Japan's digital minister flamed and shamed for using his smartphone in Parliament

Joe W Silver badge

That's really weird... I mean, getting work done on a tablet is pretty much impossible.

Get me one of those -->

Yeah, it's morning, but I already had too much stupid to deal with and it feels like going home time already...

Firefox slow to load YouTube? Just another front in Google's war on ad blockers

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Firefox and YouTube shenanigans

They are also removing the ability of content creators to disable midroll ads (apparently..).

Lawyer guilty of arrogance after ignoring tech support

Joe W Silver badge

... and all of us hope noone sees it.

I had the urge to klick on an underlined text.

In a printed document. I spend too much time on teh intarwebz...

Need one of them --->

Let's head for the next watering hole and leave the lusers to their misery

US Air Force wants to see some atomic motors for future spacecraft

Joe W Silver badge

Wow, innovative!

The interesting thing is that these ideas have been around for the better part of sixty years. I have several versions of spacey books for kids, back to 1969 (the moon landing was just about in it!). And especially the early books are full of enthusiasm about interplanetary travel and nuclear powered warships spaceships. Basically "yeah, we'll reach Mars within the next decade". Fun stuff!

Fedora 39 waves goodbye to modularity, but has enough spins to make your head spin

Joe W Silver badge

I really do not get this...

"It's also ahead of Ubuntu in the number of editions with alternative desktops, with 11 official spins."

Yeah... why do you need that? Why can't you just install a meta-package to pull in the DE of your choice, or jut an easy way of getting th packages installed? Why does there have to be a separate "spin"?

YouTube cares less for your privacy than its revenues

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Nail, meet head!

Now you are thinking of the content creators - their bottom line is irrelevant for YT / Alphabet.

But I wholeheartedly agree: show me relevant ads! I'm actually good with that (ok, mostly). Don't show me crypto scams, pyramid schemes, irrelevant stuff - instead, when I'm looking at, say, a video on repairing some bike stuff, show me ads for a cycling rag, or a bike parts dealer, or maybe even some equipment like jerseys, or maybe even nutrient supplements for athletes (I'm not interested, but they might be relevant for others in my position).

The current system is broken.

On purpose.

Never attribute to the incompetence of Alphabet what can be explanied easily by greed and malice.

Scarlett Johansson sics lawyers on AI biz that cloned her for an ad

Joe W Silver badge

Re: The Beatles – or what remains of the band

Yeah, the last one (was it "Free as a Bird"?) was bad enough already. Let the man rest in peace.

Airbus commissions three wind-powered ships to sail the Atlantic

Joe W Silver badge

Re: What happened to .....

The car-carriers (the Ro-Ro roll on, roll over) variant is quite susceptible to taking water when the nose breaks off - which then sloshes around in the car deck, leading to listing and the ship keeling over.

On-by-default video calls come to X, disable to retain your sanity

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Not Holding Junk Debt

Nah, CxOs are not rated on their performance, success of the company, intelligence, or even wisdom.

Dontcha read the news?

Don't overthink it. They get a fuckton of cash and that is what matters.

Joe W Silver badge

The plan...

... as per his Muskiness (as far as I understand it) is to turn TCFKAT into a "general communication thingy" (basically everything should go through that... app-thingy), so yes, moving all those Farcebook direct messages and WhatsApp voice calls to TCFKAT was the reason for the rebranding.

Or maybe he's just making things up as he goes and Xitting all over the place.

Infosys co-founder calls for youth to work 70-hour weeks

Joe W Silver badge

Let's put it that way....

One of my mates, who is a genius[*] (and a nice guy), once told his boss during a similar discussion:

"Look, I can be a genius not more than eight hours a day."

I think that for me the limit is about six hours, but I start at a way lower level of intell-uh-djence. So working only part time (young kids & stuff, and stupid "back to the office at least 50%, no matter if the colleagues you are working with are in the same city, or even state") actually is a pretty good deal for my company. I'm pretty sure I achieve pretty much the same as when I was working full hours. Except when reading ElReg[+]. Ok, back to work, slouch.

[*] not the fruity tat merchant type, but a guy who actually has both a high IQ[#] and can actually apply his genius-ness (I'm not a genius, so I'm allowed to make up words) to real world problems - yeah, he is a genius (or at least quite a bite more intelligent than I am).

[#] he kept quite stumm about it, but we found out, his wife (who is a physics professor) mocked him about it in front of his mates (many do have a PhD in a real science, so not humanities or arts, so I guess it is pretty ok to mock him about it in that group - it is not bragging, that's what I mean)

[+] I am keeping abreast of recent internet technology, as the PFY once put it... and if reading ElReg is not part of your job you got the wrong job.

GNOME Foundation's new executive director sparks witch hunt

Joe W Silver badge

Re: ...dull grey, one size fits all goo.

"or" not "xor".

Sheesh, basic logic (boolean and philosophical, which uses the same notation and is maths without maths....)

It is 2023 and Excel's reign of date terror might finally be at an end

Joe W Silver badge


I mostly import data from files or need to copy stuff from other programs - the last time was copying and pasting from SQL Server Management Studio into Excel.... did not work. Half of the numerical columns got converted correctly, half didn't. No clue why...

More X subscription tiers could spell doom for free access as biz bleeds cash

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Free speech.

"Free speech"...

look up what that means, and who is not allowed to censor what you say.

He is totally allowed to do that!

(not that I actually find anything of this great, reasonable, or satisfying) - f' em.

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Personally, I don't pay for ads.

ah, there's the problem....

... I don't use Ubuntu anymore, not since it turned out to be "brown windows" (as a friend pointed out, both ease of installing and pushing you to other stuff...)

meh, I don't particularly dislike it, I am good with them having a commercial offering - good luck to them. But please don't push amazon ads (and... I won't start any of the discussions regarding the pulseaudio guy's stuff)

Making the problem go away is not the same thing as fixing it

Joe W Silver badge

Also interesting: "Well, There's Your Problem"...

Atlassian users complain of cloud migration dead ends, especially in UK

Joe W Silver badge

"The reader quoted above told The Register they’ve started a migration to GitLab."

Yup. Same here. Similar requirements (data souvereignty et c.).

We are lucky, we had some dev teams host their own GitLab solutions (they were sort of a separate entity), so there are people with some experience (like being able to say: yeah, don't do that stuff, sounds great but you'll regret it).

As it prepares to abandon its on-prem server products, Atlassian is content. Users? Not so much

Joe W Silver badge

Several issues....

... and here in Europeland and in my company's line of work we have data souvereignty and strong privacy regulations. I sure hope the powers that be have a migration plan away from things like confluence and jira in mind.

The other problem is that coud is just other people's computers. Some in our management get that. I sure do hope they show Ye ancientte signe for banishing daemons (as Sir Pterry described it) and move to a different product (I know that the technically minded are pushing for it...)

GNOME developer proposes removing the X11 session

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Quick question.

Thanks for making me feel young (in comparison...I just hired a new colleague who is half my age)


Next one is on me

US lawmakers want China export bans to include open tech like RISC-V

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Previously undocumented C++ backdoor

I stand (ok, sit) corrected...

Joe W Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: Previously undocumented C++ backdoor

It is US politicians. They don't get what "open" or "free" means...

AI girlfriend encouraged man to attempt crossbow assassination of Queen

Joe W Silver badge

Re: The weapon looks like something from Ankh-Morpork (Discworld)

Nah, it was considered where he'd put it. The assassin he discussed this with told His Grace that being caught by the watch would be the nicer option... Need to reread "The Fifth Elephant", my memory is a bit hazy.

Not even the ghost of obsolescence can coerce users onto Windows 11

Joe W Silver badge

Re: How long?

And I thought I should bring my calendar to a reputable calendariologist... whew, I was a bit confused myself.

BOFH: A security issue, you say? Activate code tangerine

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Wonderful episode once again!

The tinfoil-cutout _is_ an idea from an earlier episode (bugger'd if Iknew whcih one)

Lawsuit claims Google Maps led dad of two over collapsed bridge to his death

Joe W Silver badge

Re: So answer this.

There's also the shape of smaller lakes, slightly misspelled / changed names, I think I once saw power lines added.

Signal adopts new alphabet jumble to protect chats from quantum computers

Joe W Silver badge

Weird structure?

I personally would have put the explanation of the asymmetric key, the first paragraph of which is not specific do the algorithm, much further up in the text. And the paragraph starting with "This type of attack" comes out of the blue, the data harvesting should come before naming the attack, I think.

For this readership I would have left this stuff out anyway. I am pretty sure that most of us know these things quite well (and many know more about it than I do). Additionally, saying that some the countries trying to implement this type of key cracking are considered adversaries by the US read quite weird for this international readership. Many of us do consider spying by the US and US companies a threat, even if we live in the "western" world.

And I would have liked more insights into what makes the new algorithms more difficult to attack,I guess I need to read the papers...

Activist investor to GoDaddy: Cut costs, improve sales, or sell

Joe W Silver badge

"activist" investor

As we say over here "ich kan net so viel fressen wie ich grad kotzen könnt" (I cannot eat as much as I would like to vomit out again now). "Activist investor" is just a made up newspeak term for somebody who is after quick money and will leave the business in tatters, has no long term interest in the company. I would say that for a tech company the biggest treasure lies in the knowledge and skills of their technical staff. Getting rid of them just "to reduce headcount" in a "non central" business will have long term effects. I hope management gives them the "old familiar suggestion" in the "baroque style of New York City's underground wall writers".


That had to get out.

At least they did not yet buy GoDaddy with its own money, did they?

Apple's iPhone 12 woes spread as Belgium, Germany, Netherlands weigh in

Joe W Silver badge

Not the US

Came here to say that. Why link to an irrelevant stardard? Why did Apple not have the phone certified in the EU prior to sale if it is such an important market? And... why are they allowed to sell a phone that has not been through the relevant tests? Unless, of course, companies do self-certify...

Airbus takes its long, thin, plane on a ten-day test campaign

Joe W Silver badge

Re: in a 3-3 economy class configuration.

Last job had a lot of international travel. I do not miss it.

The table is useful if you don't have one of those huge "laptops" (luggables, I'd say, or your lap is bigger than mine). I bought an eleven inch Lenovo, low power, ten hours on battery, small enough to work on a plane (if I did not booze myself up in the lounge to numb the pain of air travel and slept most of the flight - a viable plan). Having a high-ish frequent flyer status made some things less aggravating, but since I traveled a lot (too much) the sum of annoyance was high enough to make me not want to go on holidays anywhere I need to fly. Admittedly, one gets used to all sorts of things and is pretty unfazed by most curveballs airtravel throws you. Winter storm, flight cancelled? Ah, I'll spend a night at some hotel, maybe can explore the snowy city. Flight delayed, missed connection? Lounge, have lunch / breakfast / dinner, drink a nice glass of wine (depends on the airline), they'll get me on the next plane. Luggage lost? I got most things with me, it'll turn up eventually, yeah, I'll take the "socks, undies, shirt" money and get changed. Just... relax. Especially when talking to ground staff, who are really not at fault for any of these things. Have a friendly word for them, the job is stressful enough. Show patience. And just... relax. Ask them for a voucher to enter the lounge, some actually can give these out (if you are not eligible) but only if there's not a massive mob of angry paxes that would then shout "UH ME WANT THAT TOO!"

BMW deems drivers worthy of warmth, ends heated car seat subscription

Joe W Silver badge


I don't know about my fellow commentards here, but this term has not aged well. I will forever connect it with AMI, American Megatrends Inc. and boot screens...

Norway court upholds miniscule fine against Meta for flouting privacy rules

Joe W Silver badge

... and it has not been in effect for two years or so. OK, correction. Five f'ing years (since mid 2018)! And it had been decided in 2016 already.

How about filing something like "contempt of the court" or whatever that is called, since they are clearly unwilling to do anything.

Farewell WordPad, we hardly knew ye

Joe W Silver badge

Re: So LibreOffice it is then.

Well, yes and no.

Yeas, it has the same keen pricepoint.

No, it is not as lean as WordPad (which can do the most basic things only). Loading time is quite a bit longer, especially on not-that-new hardware, and it times it can feel a bit sluggish (depending on document size - but these programs are just not fit for longer documents, I very much prefer LaTeX, but let's not start that discussion).

No, LibreOffice does not open the newest docx-format-files in all cases without issues. Formatting gets f'd up - but then opening the same file on different Word installs (even within the same company, centrally maintained installs, same central print server, etc.) has similar effects (don't know about WordPad, when using .rtf, as it does not save to .docx).

LibreOffice has more features, but (actually, in my opinion, like Word) too many possibilities for most people - and offers the wrong options too openly, which leads to people not writing properly formatted documents (don't get me started...).

I actually do use LO on my personal machines, it is not bad. But it occupies a differnet niche than WP.

antiX 23: Anarchic for sure, but 'design by committee' isn't always the best for Linux

Joe W Silver badge

Great. Now I need to download and test yet another distro on my hand-me-down laptop (the one my kids program their microbit/elecrow on).

It looks intriguing, so this is now on the list of things I will test. Oh, maybe also for my first netbook, which sits quietly in a corner, playing music.

BOFH: What a beautiful tinfoil hat, Boss!

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Draws them through the Multiverse

Joke aside: that series is a great read.

I need --->

Twitter says it may harvest biometric, employment data from its addicts

Joe W Silver badge

User consent....

"In analyzing each image uploaded to Twitter to determine whether it contains nudity, Twitter actively collects, captures and/or otherwise obtains; stores; and/or makes use of the biometric identifiers and biometric information of any individual included in each photo," the suit alleges, in violation of Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act.

X makes clear in its new privacy policy that such data will only be collected with user consent,

Ok, let's assume some xithead takes my picture and posts it on xitter. There is no bloody way to get consent from the individual on the picture, user consent has sweet fanny adams to do with that!

Bah. Eejit.

Germany's wild boars still too radioactive to eat largely due to Cold War nuke tests

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Meanwhile, in Japan...

We had Turkish tea, same experiment. And a brick from one of the buildings (strong K line)....

Fun times!

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Care?

I'm going to do the stupid "well, actually"....

Well, actually (told you so) there is a large number of geologists that are less impressed by so called epochs and eras if the stuff is still undergoing lots of changes. 'Quaternary Geology", my arse, the stuff has not even properly settled down. The main point is that apparent boundaries we try to identify now might not be as clear cut once it properly petrifies. As somebody else remarked, it is down to future generations (in the distant future, I'd say) to find good terms for this. And adding to that, we have just very recently entered the holocene (recently in geological terms).

Still, I absolutely adore the term "Pleistocene-Plastocene-Transition"!

After injecting pop-up ads for Bing into Windows, Microsoft now bends to Europe on links

Joe W Silver badge


Spare a thought for me. The company is a Windows shop. Yeah, we do have a bunch of Linux servers (Deadhat... oh, and SuSE, the admining of which I hate with a vengance, it sucks, a lot - but that's the Debian admin speaking). I daily set my standard broser to something sensible (firefox is available and even preinstalled) - but have to use Edge for the stoooopid sharepoint ($deity, I hate sharepoint, we don't even have all of the nice integrations installed / activated). Of course, Edge sets itself as the standard browser, because f'ing Microsoft of course knows better. (this is on Win 10 - let's see if Win 11 happens, with all of the telemetry it is currently unlikely).

Great, now I not only need a coffee, but also something to put into it, no, not milk, rather soemthing grain-based, fermented and distilled... I think I'll write some snarky emails first, the recipients do deserve it.

We're about to hit peak device count, says HTC veep, as AR takes over

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Alternate headline

You mean... "second life"....

(yeah, for those who don't even have a 'first' life)

Perhaps AI is going to take away coding jobs – of those who trust this tech too much

Joe W Silver badge

Low bar....

Heck, there's code I wrote that's hard to understand by myself a fortnight later.

Yes, I eventually did refactor the "gem" I'm thinking of. It still stucks wrt readability. But it is much faster than all other versions that were more readable. No, I don't like this.

US Republican party's spam filter lawsuit against Google dimissed

Joe W Silver badge

Re: No bias found, but…

Werlll... Assuming I get such an email I will flag it as spam. The filters (the weights...) will get updated accordingly.

I would also flag any other political begging for funds as spam, as I'm not interested in that. So they would be told to f'right off. Oh, and it certainly does not help if you send out millions of bulk mails. Spam filters really don't like that (lots of institutions had to learn that lesson, about two decades ago).

Musk's latest X-periments: No more headlines, old posts vanish, block gets banned

Joe W Silver badge

Re: It is amazing

1. Buy it with it's own money

2. Load it up with debt

3. Send it into bankruptcy

4. Lap up the rest for pennies on the dollar, stiffing the people helping with step 1

I cannot see a problem, he's on track.

Version 5 of systemd-free Debian remix Devuan is here

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Not my experience...

Maybe... but then I would not know ;)

Joe W Silver badge

Not my experience...

I have been running the (then testing) version on my laptop for a year or two now. The installation was easy, did set up dual boot, got my WiFi card working, used all screens I have on my desk. It just works. I'm quite happy with it.

Installers are weird nowadays, like the Debian graphical installer which refused to offer me a German keyboard layout when selecting the UK locale. Terminally stupid.

California DMV hits brakes on Cruise's SF driverless fleet after series of fender benders

Joe W Silver badge

Re: Emergency Vehicles...

My opinion exactly. De facto trains are controlled remotely through the signal boxes already. But since they do run on rails and there is usually no erratic other traffic veering from side to side it should be quite a bit simpler to automate.

South Korea's biggest mobile telco says 5G has failed to deliver on its promise

Joe W Silver badge


Yeah. It's not like these forums were full of people expressing this view. Like, from when 5G was being introduced.