* Posts by Kez

43 posts • joined 8 Jan 2019

It's been five years since Windows 10 hit: So... how's that working out for you all?


How's that working? See icon.

Five years, and Windows 10 *still* has a dual, even triple personality when it comes to managing the OS. Microsoft cannot seem to make their mind up whether settings should be in the Control Panel, "Settings" app, or obscured behind a PowerShell command, Group Policy or command prompt. So where does this leave the users? Utterly confused and always playing catch up.

Singapore releases the robot hounds to enforce social distancing in parks


"Spot the robot dog"

There he is!

... Mine's the one with the "Silicon Crunch" robot dog biscuits in the pocket

Forever mothballed: In memoriam Apple Butterfly Keyboard (2015-2020)


Re: "attention to detail"

I wanted to post this video about Apple's "think different" mindset with my original comment, but have only just found it. Enjoy!



"attention to detail"

"For a company defined by design and attention to detail"

Really? For me, at least in recent years, they have been defined by poor hardware design choices that emphasize form and disposability over function and longevity. Let's take the latest Macbook Air as just one (amongst many) example: Would a company that cares about the performance and life span of their products, and values the input of hardware engineers, design a laptop such that the exhaust fan is placed a good distance away from the hottest components, and with no direct link to any heatsinks? Early reports of high CPU temperatures, thermal throttling (and even some rumours that motherboard components are frying themselves) suggests not...

Facebook's mega-chatbot has 'a persona, discusses nearly any topic, shows empathy.' Perfect for CEO version 2


Zuckerbot Mk.2

Clearly the old Zuckerbot has had trouble maintaining the facade of 'human-like' qualities and a 'persona', so Facebook have decided it's time they replaced him with a new model.

Mystery cloud added 10,000 new AMD Epyc servers in under ten days to handle demand for you know what


Re: Advertising...

I expect they have tried only to be met with a response of

"We would love to advertise your product, however this would conflict with certain... "exclusivity arrangements" with our existing marketing partners"

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Light-powered nanocardboard robots dancing in the Martian sky searching for alien life


Re: Pollution

If we're ever going to send astronauts to Mars, the least we can do is make it feel like home

Her Majesty opens UK Parliament with fantastic tales of gigabit-capable broadband for everyone


Re: Really?

Do people actually believe anything that politicians* say they'll do to help them?


'Ridiculous, rubbish, outrageous, complete bollocks': Just some reviews for Amazon's corporate contribution to Blighty's coffers

Thumb Down

""All of us as individuals pay a variety of taxes. We all pay our council tax, and we pay VAT.

"We don't think that absolves us from the duty of paying our income tax.""

Bollocks. I wouldn't pay income tax if I thought I could get away with it. The state of public services (that in many cases we're made to pay for upfront as well; see transport, passports, licensing) suggests we're not exactly getting value for money.

If servers go down but no one hears them, did they really fail? Think about it over lunch

Paris Hilton

Re: Lunch isn't always a bad thing

"Oh yes, we have a whole team of XXX people"

I have worked for the odd outsourcer / MSP in the past - the experience was a little like being prostituted, but I didn't realise expectations had risen quite so sharply...

Backup your files with CrashPlan! Except this file type. No, not that one either. Try again...


No one cared who I was until I turned on the (backup) task

Customers: "Congratulations, you got yourself caught, now what's the next step of your master plan?"

CrashPlan: "Crashing this data... With no survivors!"

Banhammer Republic: Trump declares national emergency, starts ball rolling to boot Huawei out of ALL US networks

Big Brother

Re: "Unacceptable risk", eh? - let me guess

The real "unacceptable risk" is that, if America's comms infrastructure is replaced with secured Chinese gear, the NSA will lose the ability to spy on US citizens. You know, for "national security".

Double-sided printing data ballsup leaves insurance giant Chubb with egg on its face


'anging's too good fer 'em

You're not still writing Android apps in Oracle's Java, are you? Google tut-tuts at dev conf

Big Brother

IoT Farce

"Google put its Home products under the Nest brand and announced the end of its Works with Nest developer program, which will shut down on August 31, 2019"

Reading this from other sources, I understand that Google is effectively removing support for existing third party integrations for Nest hardware that people have already installed in their homes. Why is this allowed? You can buy your Things™, adorn your home with them, but they will never truly belong to you - at Things™ inc. we reserve the right to render Things™ useless with OTA updates. Just another page in the book documenting the never ending farce that is IoT.

Spending watchdog: UK.gov must say who will prop up Verify from March 2020. C'mon, you've had six months!


Re: Login with Amazon

If ever I needed a reason to cancel my Prime subscription...

Uber, Lyft rides among the biggest reasons why you're probably sitting in traffic right now – study

Big Brother

Public transport?

"ride-sharing trips could have been swapped for walking, public transport, or cycling."

I was led to believe that these things were tantamount to communism in the land of the free

Is that a stiffy disk in your drive... or something else entirely?


Can we have a rewrite by Dabbsy? A piece about tugging on stiffies seems right up his alley

Did someone forget to tell NTT about Brexit? Japanese telco eyes London for global HQ


Just an observation. I don't see anything wrong with it as such - businesses exist to make money, not give you the warm and fuzzies - it just struck me as moderately callous language, which is apt for how large companies see their employees and customers.


"a wealth of human capital"

It's phrases like this that reveal exactly what international megacorps think of us lowly fleshbags. We're not people, just 'capital' to be exploited.

iOS 13 leaks suggest Apple is finally about to unleash the iPad as a computer for grownups


How about mouse support, Apple? This is one of the big blocks to this being a proper little productivity machine.

Bit nippy, is it? Hive smart home users find themselves tweaking thermostat BY HAND


I have often wondered whether you can render the 'smart' functions of a so-called smart meter inoperable by wrapping the thing in foil. Alternatively, if you find yourself with a smart meter (e.g. by moving into a property with one pre-installed), is there anything stopping you from tearing the thing from the wall and installing a good old dumb meter?

What's holding up the 5G utopia in Britain? Quite a lot, actually


"Duct and pole access is not quite as sexy"

You haven't seen my pole

Raiding party! UK's ICO drops in unannounced on couple of dodgy-dialling dirtbag outfits


"Hello, have you been involved in an ICO raid that was very much your fault? Get fast and easy legal representation today!"

UK joins growing list of territories to ban Boeing 737 Max flights as firm says patch incoming


Re: We've downloaded some updates for your plane.

Your plane will be automatically restarted in 30 minutes to finish installing updates. Please save your work, and pick an emergency landing spot or begin inflating life rafts.

Crew Dragon returns to dry land as NASA promises new space station for the Moon


Re: Why?

I could be very wrong here, but as I understand it, the SLS upper stage engines in particular are much more efficient (higher specific impulse) than the Merlin engines in use on Falcon Heavy. The later iterations of SLS are intended to carry much larger payloads, much higher than Falcon Heavy is capable of - of particular concern to NASA, who want to launch large chunks (which may not fit in Falcon's payload fairing) of the new 'Lunar Gateway' in as few launches as possible. Of course by then, Space X may well have completed development on their methane-fueled Raptor engines, retro-fitted them to Falcon, or even have BFR in the skies.

Hipster whines at tech mag for using his pic to imply hipsters look the same, discovers pic was of an entirely different hipster


Obligatory: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QereR0CViMY

Icon: Brian

USB4: Based on Thunderbolt 3. Two times the data rate, at 40Gbps. One fewer space. Zero confusing versions


All I ask

Is for universal USB-C compatibility. Time was, you could plug a cable with a shaped plug into a port with a matching shape, and could reasonably expect some level of communication between the devices at either end (driver or software problems notwithstanding). With USB-C, you have ports and devices that natively support USB 3.0, USB 3.1, USB 2.0 Thunderbolt 3, charging, DisplayPort, HDMI, Ethernet, even PCI-E - the host device may support all of the above OR NONE AT ALL, and the only way to check is by looking up compatibility against a spec sheet. Try getting a non-technical person to understand that... It's even more confusing than the M.2. PCI-E / SATA debacle.

Age checks for online pr0n? I've never heard of it but it sounds like a good idea – survey


Re: Royal Assent?

Reports say raised voices were heard at Buckingham Palace, before Prince Philip was seen storming off in a huff.

BT 'UK's most powerful Wi-Fi'? Why, fie, for shame! – ads watchdog


Modem mode

I have had enough bad experiences (slowness, disconnects, crap configurability, woeful firewall) with ISP-issued routers (mostly Virgin Media) to know not to trust the damn things - they all go straight in modem mode to be replaced by more reliable kit. Currently a pair of Ubiquiti APs and Edgerouter do the lifting, but thinking of putting something together with PfSense for routing / firewall duties.

Lenovo ThinkPad P1: Sumptuous pro PC that gets a tad warm


Re: Nice, but ...

As far as I'm aware, Gmail on desktop doesn't have offline availability. Outlook is generally fine if you stick it online mode (assuming you have a capable Exchange and network infrastructure) since you're relying on the database, and not some rusty 12rpm laptop hard drive. Still, I have Gmail for personal use, because who wants to faff with Outlook in their own time?


Re: Nice, but ...

My experience with supporting users' Outlook woes, is that that they expect miracles from what is ostensibly an email client. Yes, your computer is likely to crash while loading 70GB of items in 11,000 mail folders from 20 different mailboxes attached to one window, and no there's not much I can do about it (as long as you insist that you absolutely must have all of it available offline in the same profile). It's a communications tool, not a CRM database.

Bloke thrown in the cooler for eight years after 3D-printing gun to dodge weapon ban


"the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms"

Uhhh... One of these things is not like the other things

Roses are red, Facebook will pay, to make Uncle Sam go away: Zuck, FTC in $bn settlement rumor


Was there ever any doubt?

Was there ever any doubt that the feds would allow Zuck off with little more than a slap on the wrist? If they had demanded *real* action to curtail Facebook's data collection practices, then Facebook's usefulness to US three letter agencies would be severely dented!

Return of the audio format wars and other money-making scams


If you're interested in retro audio gear...

I recommend taking a look at Techmoan on YouTube. Lovely anorakky sort of bloke - takes apart and inspects all kinds of weird and wonderful audio/visual kit from the miscellaneous format wars of the ages. He even plays samples recorded from defunct audio formats, so if you were ever in doubt as to whether to revive that obscure 1980s Japanese mini tape recorder (with 5(!) albums available), you can be safe in the knowledge that you're better off saving your money for another stupid eBay purchase.

Roses are red, this is sublime: We fed OpenAI's latest chat bot a classic Reg headline



Perhaps before we start drawing up Asimovian rules for AI, such as "a robot must never lie to a human", we should teach them the difference between fact and fiction! Incidentally, how did El Reg play with this thing? I smell an opportunity... Train the wordy bot on my past catalog of emails and ticket notes, let it loose on my PC, and sneak out early for a ---------->

Oh cool, the Bluetooth 5.1 specification is out. Nice. *control-F* master-slave... 2,000 results


Re: Tilting at the wrong windmill

Spot on. Orwell was very set on highlighting the dangers of controlling thoughts and actions by manipulating speech. People often ignore or miss this fact when quoting passages from 1984, as if it were a general warning against all forms of non-descript totalitarianism. I also recommend reading his essay "Politics and the English Language" (available through all good search engines) which discourages readers from using overly complicated or flowery language, to enhance clarity of meaning.

You got a smart speaker but you're worried about privacy. First off, why'd you buy one? Secondly, check out Project Alias


"There is unbound potential for nerdery in that two-second wake-up phrase"

Now that you mention it, and in keeping with the Star Trek theme, I now feel the disgusting urge to buy an Alexa just so I can trigger it with "Captain to engineering" and turn off the lights with "reduce our energy signature!"

Data hackers are like toilet ninjas. This is not a clean crime, you know


I would like to say I'm entirely innocent of leaving the office kitchen a bombed-out wreck, but when you're stumbling around in a haze searching for the first coffee of the day, like some primordial slime hunting for life-giving nutrients, who knows what actually happened?

Wow, fancy that. Web ad giant Google to block ad-blockers in Chrome. For safety, apparently


Re: Google Can Fuck Right Off With That

No idea, sorry. The 'Keep Alive' toggle did the trick for me.


Re: Google Can Fuck Right Off With That

Might I recommend Blokada? It uses the Android VPN to black hole DNS requests to ad networks and trackers across all apps, not just web browsers.

No Falcon Way: NASA to stick with SLS, SpaceX more like space ex


Re: Rocket cost

Perhaps more challenging than hitching a lift on passing spacecraft, is building something able to withstand the (less than artistic) poetry readings by its captain, before being chucked out of an airlock.

Thought Macbooks were expensive? Dell UK unveils the 7 meeeellion pound laptop


With that price tag, I might be able to coax the boss away from his pointlessly expensive Macbook. You'll be the envy of all the other company directors at the golf club!

Low-power chips are secret sauce behind long-life wearables


Re: Where does all the data go?

I have also been puzzled by this. Having been interested in fitness wearables for some time, I've yet to invest in one, for the simple reason that I can't find anything halfway decent that doesn't also depend on cloudy nonsense. It's bad enough that these companies can potentially sell your health data to drug companies, health insurers, or lose it to malicious hackers, let alone making you *pay* for the privilege.


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