* Posts by Jeffrey Nonken

1208 publicly visible posts • joined 3 Sep 2007


Unable to write 'Amusing Weekly Column'. Abort, Retry, Fail?

Jeffrey Nonken

Not an error, but one of my favorite prompts comes from early DOS:


This happened if you typed "FORMAT" without specifying a target drive. It would by default format the drive you were currently logged to, and would give you that prompt.

I once accidentally typed FORMAT without specifying a drive and then froze, uncertain what to do. Because ESC is a key, after all, and so is any other key you might think might abort the process.

After a few moments' thought I unplugged the machine.

As for Yes / No / Cancel, sorry to ruin the joke, but it actually makes sense in at least one context: you try to exit a program without having first saved your work, and the computer asks if you want to save before you exit. "Yes" means yes, you want to save whatever changes or edits you've done and then exit. "No" means toss away the changes and leave the current file unmolested, but exit the program anyway. "Cancel" means on second thought, you've changed your mind and don't want to exit after all.

As for sharing my favorite errors, I'm afraid most of them are variations on the ones already mentioned, or are simply bad English translations ("No any drive exist"). The classic "hit any key to continue" for a missing keyboard is certainly one of my favorites, though.

ICANN responds to Ukraine demand to delete all Russian domains

Jeffrey Nonken


Fatal Attraction: Lovely collection, really, but it does not belong anywhere near magnetic storage media

Jeffrey Nonken

Not about disk corruption, but about magnetic interference

This isn't about fridge magnets or corrupted drives, but it is about magnetic fields. Had a user with a CRT that kept getting 60Hz interference. He had to use the computer during the day so I had to wait until after hours to play with it. Took three late nights to fix.

Looked for nearby fans or space heaters. Nothing. Swapped out the CRT. No change. On the third night I was sitting at his desk contemplating the possibilities when I remembered an important detail: one end of his desk was pressed against the wall dividing his (shared) office from the hallway, the CRT was at that end of the desk, and on the other side of the wall was an access panel. That panel accessed the circuit breaker panel that fed power to the entire factory floor. There were about 100 gazillion amps of 60Hz AC running through ginormous wires mere inches away from the CRT. It wasn't obvious because from his side it was just a blank wall.

No wonder the poor thing was upset.

I gently moved some of his tchatchkes out of the way, moved the CRT to the other end of the desk, and voila! the interference disappeared.

Left the CRT there and a note. He was happy with the solution and simply re-arranged his desk to accommodate.

(Two things will be obvious by now: 1) this was in the USA and 2) this was in the 1990s.)

Fix network printing or keep Windows secure? Admins would rather disable PrintNightmare patch

Jeffrey Nonken

This explains the problems I had a couple weeks ago.

FTR (electronic record only) it's a network-connected HP all-in-one on a home network. It's previously worked flawlessly. This time it took at least an hour of swearing and trying different computers.

Live, die, copy-paste, repeat: Everything is recycled now, including ideas

Jeffrey Nonken

House I grew up in is still there. They added a second master bedroom, replaced the asbestos siding and repainted, various repairs done (including a new roof) and the street's been renumbered. Some ailing trees have been chopped down. But by and large it's not that different from when we left it, considering it's been over three decades.

The town itself, however, has seen considerable growth. There are places I do not recognize. I weep.

Google hits undo on Chrome browser alert change that broke websites, web apps

Jeffrey Nonken

1973 here, but same. First language was FORTRAN IV on an IBM 1130.

I didn't know about ALTER but I'm not fluent in COBOL.

Tesla battery fire finally flamed out after four-day conflagration

Jeffrey Nonken

We didn't start the fire

Soz. Already got my coat.

Is it broken yet? Is it? Is it? Ooh that means I can buy a sparkly, new but otherwise hard-to-justify replacement!

Jeffrey Nonken

Re: Ah, "I will know it's new".

"If you store batteries for a long time, storing them at colder temperatures may extend their shelf life." For alkaline batteries we're talking about five to ten years, mind you. Still, some of that time is taken by warehouse storage and shipping and so on. Batteries made today aren't going to be in your hands tomorrow afternoon.

"...do not put them in the freezer." Our CFO used to do this. Cheap bastard, but not as smart as he thinks he is. Aside from taking up valuable frozen dinner real estate, we kept yelling at him that a) if he was buying enough batteries to last a decade*, he might want to re-think his inventory practices and b) freezing them was having the opposite effect from what he wanted. Every web search said so, the manufacturer said so, the fact that we had failures in the field said so.

Fortunately he's no longer in charge of... well, a lot of things... and the batteries are now sitting on a shelf in the shop that is only refrigerated enough to keep the employees reasonably comfortable. They're also handier for the people who most often need to access them.

* Not necessarily a critcism aimed at individual storage practices. Businesses tend to operate at a different scale.

Jeffrey Nonken

Hah. My computer died recently and rather than diagnose the problem and try to repair it, I decided it was time for a complete upgrade.

Be fair, it's a 9-year-old 3570k with 20GB and a GTX 970 graphics card. I'd been musing the possibility of an upgrade for some time, but hesitated to take the plunge. Granted it's mostly been keeping up with my gaming, but it's starting to show its age.

So it finally died and I replaced it with a standard system from work (duly approved and purchased; this did not sneak out in my pocket after hours), and I'm now the proud owner of a 9900K system with 32GB and an RTX 3070. While I was throwing money around I picked up a relatively inexpensive 144Hz monitor. With this kit I can now switch my graphics settings from "cautiously optimistic" to "go for it!" and gameplay is smooth as butter.

(Postmortem examination revealed the problem with the old system was the graphics card. I slapped some old thing in that I had lying around, added a case and power supply and the old monitor and an SSD and so on; it's now running dual 7 Days to Die servers, and quite nicely. Old though it is, it is a gaming rig, after all, and the graphics don't matter when you're not rendering.)

Then there was replacing my car last February; upgraded from an aging budget compact to a much newer luxury crossover. My excuse? Occasional family visits required driving over mountains, which meant meticulous driving in truck lanes lest I damage the geriatric hamster under the hood.

...And then right after I upgraded, the pandemic hit and visits were out of the question. *sigh*

Early this month I finally got a chance to put my new(-er) purchase through its paces, and I'm happy to say it muscled right over those mountains. The roof rack and extra cargo space have also been handy; it's a quieter ride and more comfortable, there's a button for everything, and the paint isn't peeling off.

Speaking of which, most people would call the color "gold" but the official name is "Satin Cashmere Metallic." Even the PAINT is pretentious.

Anyway, yeah, I'm with you on this. Can't wait for stuff to break so I have an excuse to replace it with something new and shiny! Which I admit only works if you have a budget that can tolerate the purchase. One silver lining to being divorced, however, is that I only have to justify it to myself.

319 terabits – great Scott! Boffins in Japan speed along information superhighway at new world record

Jeffrey Nonken

Re: using national stereotypes here

"Did anyone misread "The boffins also used Raman amplification " as misusing ramen amplificatoin?"

Didn't misread, but I saw the pun and got a chuckle.

Just add boiling water to double your internet speed!

Happy 'Freedom Day': Stats suggest many in England don't want it or think it's a terrible idea

Jeffrey Nonken


Last year the seasonal flu was all but non-existent. Funny, that: when you're taking precautions against contracting a respiratory illness, other respiratory illnesses are prevented, too. Relaxing the precautions for one, in order to get it over with early, means dealing with more of the other.

It also means more deaths and suffering. The numbers don't work for me.

SonicWall suggests people unplug their end-of-life gateways under 'active attack' by ransomware crims

Jeffrey Nonken

Re: SonicWall were good 20 years ago

They got bought out by, hmm, Dell I think? Soon as that happened I gave up on them. Around 10 years ago IIRC.

Eh, my unit was already obsolete by then, so no great loss.

Oh SUSE Q2. Oh SUSE Q2. Pay IPO shares bread, it leaves you in the red, SUSE Q2

Jeffrey Nonken

One of my favorite songs of all time.

My sister, whose name is Susan, hates it.

Facebook pulls plug on mind-reading neural interface that restored a user's speech

Jeffrey Nonken

Whatever you do, do NOT stick this thing into a cat.

George Clooney of IT: Dribbling disaster and damp disk warnings scare the life out of innocent user

Jeffrey Nonken


Back in the 1990s, had a guy doing a Powerpoint presentation and talking about computer errors, when he changes slides just in time for a BSOD. He turns to the IT guy with a long-suffering look and says, "What the hell, Bob?" Bob's looking slightly panicked and starting to get up to check the system, when John hits the clicker again and gets the next slide.

John had put a BSOD into his presentation for effect.

Several of us were chuckling evilly at that point because it was actually our idea, enthusiastically adopted.

How to ensure your tech predictions catch on in a flash? Do the mash

Jeffrey Nonken

Some decades ago I heard a slow jazz version of the Speed Racer theme with a female singer. I thought it was very well done, but I didn't think to try to record the artist's name, and I've been unable to find it since.

Alas, while the Internet is a vast and immensely useful resource, it does occasionally let me down.

Airline software super-bug: Flight loads miscalculated because women using 'Miss' were treated as children

Jeffrey Nonken

Re: Not necessarily.

The metric system is the tool of the devil! My car gets 80 rods to the hogshead and that's how I likes it!

Web prank horror: Man shot dead while pretending to rob someone at knife-point for a YouTube video

Jeffrey Nonken

Re: This is why they should be banned.

"Because you live in the kind of country where..."

But nobody else will take me. I bet England wouldn't even let me in. Also, I don't speak the language.

We imagine this maths professor's lecture was fascinating – sadly he was muted for two hours

Jeffrey Nonken

This is probably a stupid idea, but...

Everybody log out for 5 minutes except the one guy holding up the sign.

Not sunshine, moonlight or good times – blame it on the buggy

Jeffrey Nonken

I really hate this damn machine,

I wish that they would sell it;

It never does just what I want,

But only what I tell it.

America's largest radio telescope close to collapse as engineers race to fix fraying cables

Jeffrey Nonken

Re: Lack of long term investment in decaying infrastructure?

"...[if] you do not give the "right" answer, they will ask the same question again, but phrased differently, and keep doing this, in the hope that you eventually change your mind."

Oh, I thought it was just retail customers who did that.

Thought the FBI were the only ones able to unlock encrypted phones? Pretty much every US cop can get the job done

Jeffrey Nonken

My house is in plain view from the street, so it's OK to search it without a warrant.

My filing cabinet is in plain view once inside, so it's OK to search it without a warrant.

My hidden safe is in plain view once you've found it, so it's OK to search it without a warrant.

So the fourth amendment only holds for things that cannot be seen and are not contained within things that can be seen.

We put the "mock" in "democracy".

The vid-confs drinking game: Down a shot of brandy every time someone titters 'Sorry, I was on mute'

Jeffrey Nonken

Re: Alternate reality

This house: https://www.google.com/maps/place/7+McIlvain+Dr,+Downingtown,+PA+19335/@40.0281241,-75.674671,3a,75y,355.48h,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s1kiCW1WU4tRlbaELuWNoew!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!4m5!3m4!1s0x89c6f506959c3193:0x170bf344e506b75f!8m2!3d40.0286113!4d-75.6746959

Also there are things like dormer windows.

Jeffrey Nonken

Re: Alternate reality

My daughter and I recently moved into a duplex backed onto the main street, with a light railway on the other side and a station nearby. We drove directly by the station on the way to view the house, so it's not like it was a big surprise. (The connecting street even shares a name with the station.) We shrugged and said sure, whatever, we'll be fine.

Honestly, it's not very noisy; but even when it is, we don't much notice. These things are easy to get used to if you simply allow yourself to instead of coming across the victim and obsessing over it.

I suppose I might have awoken when a car lost control and hit the back fence, breaking off one of the posts which slammed against the outside of my bedroom wall near where my head would have been, except it was midday and I was wide awake and out of bed. Other than that, not so much.

Jeffrey Nonken

Re: Alternate reality

I've heard any number of utilities or travel hubs being built far away from civilization, then towns and cities growing up around them, and then people moving in and complaining about noises and/or smells emitting from the original plants or airports.

Jeffrey Nonken

Re: Alternate reality

A few decades ago we moved into a house in a small suburban neighborhood directly outside Philadelphia. We discovered upon moving in that the local church (by "local" I mean a few hundred feet away) had bells that chimed every few hours, usually on a timer. It was annoying for a while, but eventually we just got used to it, tuned it out as part of the background.

One day I got a temp programming gig at a company that made electronic carillons. My office was right outside the shop, where I was warned there would be both shop noise and, especially, carillons playing at various times; it could be anything from distracting to infuriating. (Apparently the previous guy doing this project was pretty high-strung.) I assured them I would be OK, if it got to be too much I'd don headphones and listen to music.

...And then I heard the carillons play, and I laughed and redoubled my assurances. Apparently THIS was the actual company that made the very carillons that the church owned, and I'd already spent several years tuning out their chimes. Piece of cake.

The chief engineer looked up the church in question, was able to tell me the model and options they'd bought, and offered to give me manuals needed to fix it. (I declined with thanks, not being a member of the church nor being interested in providing free service just because I happened to live in the vicinity.)

As I predicted, I was OK, donning headphones if it got to be too much.

Jeffrey Nonken

Re: Alternate reality

I grew up in a 4-bedroom colonial -- I think that's a US thing, dunno how that translates to you Brits. In this particular design, the main house is 2 stories and there's a 1-story attached garage with its own roof. The master bedroom has a small window that overlooks the garage roof on the North side. It would be quite possible for a bird to land on the garage roof and sit under a bedroom window without involving any non-Euclidean geometry.


President Trump to slap fresh restrictions on H-1B work visas, refuses to hear public comment on changes

Jeffrey Nonken

Re: Another abused system

I don't claim to know his situation, but I note that he said "I live in Australia" and not "I'm an Australian citizen."

Ring glitch results in global ding dong ditch: Doorbell bling flings out random pings but they're not the real thing

Jeffrey Nonken

Re: Jeff Bezos' Ring?

He got his own trope. https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ChuckCunninghamSyndrome

There ain't no problem that can't be solved with the help of American horsepower – even yanking on a coax cable

Jeffrey Nonken

Re: Closest I've had to that ....

If you like that, then you're gonna love how some of us Murricans pronounce the letter "t".


Glottal stop FTW!

NHS COVID-19 app's first weekend: With fundamental testing flaw ironed out, bugs remaining are relatively trivial

Jeffrey Nonken

Re: Critical Mass

That does have the drawback of putting more stress on your battery.

Jeffrey Nonken

Re: Call me Mr Cynical but...

If that's how you define "bug" then, yes, you're correct.

Not everybody would agree, I should think.

NHS COVID-19 launch: Risk-scoring algorithm criticised, the downloads, plus public told to 'upgrade their phones'

Jeffrey Nonken

"(Weird - I am defending Apple, but own Android, and use a PC)"

Hey, it's OK not to hate Apple.

All you're doing is pointing out the fact that the OS release dates don't necessarily correspond to the capability of the hardware.

Also, to be fair, the software in question, and the choices made regarding backwards compatibility, weren't made by Apple. Apple simply made the platform, somebody else made the app. So you're not really defending Apple. If that makes you feel any better. :)

Meantime, I own multiple PCs and multiple Android devices and I don't hate Apple, either. In fact I still have an old MacBook sitting in a box somewhere, and my iPhone 3GS still works (granted it's a Frankenphone...), though not for long with 3G being phased out. :( A shame, it's really a nice little phone.

Heck, I still have a PowerBook G3. In a box somewhere. I should dig it out and see if I can sell it to somebody.

He was a skater boy. We said, 'see you later, boy' – and the VAX machine mysteriously began to work as intended

Jeffrey Nonken

Re: Static

Pfft. KIM-1. 6502, 1K of RAM. Never did anything useful on it; I had some utilities (like an assembler, for one) and was on the verge of burning a ROM that would have helped bootstrap me towards more utility when the tapes were stolen from the back of my car. Somebody must have been surprised when they played the tapes and got a lot of screeching, but that gave me little satisfaction. The utilities were no longer available, so I gave up.

My first practical computer was a Z80-based TRS-80 Model 1. Ran a dial-up BBS on it for a while. I had the RAM maxed to 48k, modified it and the OS so I could run a faster CPU; lower case with descenders; and four double-sided floppy drives.

Family wrongly accused of uploading pedo material to Facebook – after US-EU date confusion in IP address log

Jeffrey Nonken

Re: Simple solution

Personally, in most cases I'll use DD-MMM-YYYY (e.g. 12-Jan-2020) or some close variant, which makes sense to everybody (well, English-readers, anyway) while being unequivocal and brief. If it's a filename or something else that needs sorted I'll use YYYY-MM-DD or similar (if it's likely to be sorted I'll use leading zeroes as well). Obviously if a form specifies a format I'll use that format. Sometimes if I'm filling in USian paperwork I'll use MM/DD/YYYY, but only if it makes sense to, and I'm always conscious of it.

I grew up with MM/DD/YY but I've experienced considerable enlightenment since then.

But I will give up my weird measurement units when you pry them from my cold, dead hands. The metric system is the work of the devil! My car gets 82 rods to the hogshead, and that's how I likes it!

We need an icon for Old Man Yells At Cloud.

Jeffrey Nonken

Re: International Standards Organization

I have been led to understand that the joke about the Stonehenge monument being in danger of being crushed by a dwarf (This is Spinal Tap) happened because we Murricans also swapped the meanings of " and ' for feet and inches for the same reason: spite.

I didn't even know about the symbols being swapped until a friend pointed it out. And suddenly I understood the joke.

I remember learning the two symbols as a child and thinking that it made more sense for " to mean "feet" and ' to mean "inches" because " was a larger symbol and feet is a larger measurement. But what would a child know about sense, eh?

Mate, it's the '90s. You don't need to be reachable every minute of every hour. Your operating system can't cope

Jeffrey Nonken

I have my desktop e-mail client set to check every 30 minutes. I have my work client set to alert me, but just a quiet sound.

I have my phone set not to bother me. If I want to see if gmail has anything new, either I'll catch it on my desktop or I'll manually run it on my phone. I do not check my work e-mail on my phone.

If it's that effing urgent, text or voice.

Anyone else noticed that the top countries for broadband speeds are well-known tax havens? No? Just us then?

Jeffrey Nonken

Depends on what you're measuring.

If you're measuring speed per connection, then including people without connections is wrong.

Speed per person: technically, yes, scribbling in "0" for those without connections is arguably correct. How meaningful is this number? If you have a town full of Luddites who refuse to connect regardless of availability, it's going to lower your average; but piping 10-gigabit fiber to every home in that town won't change anything except the level of money in your pocket.

"Entitled to answer 0 if they haven't hooked up your water" is not a very good analogy and is probably a red herring. Where I live, you can't have a legal residence without having active water, sewage, and electric service; but phone and internet service aren't considered to be necessary for it to be habitable. So if I'm not hooked up to water, "0" is a meaningless number because either there's a temporary service interruption (which is counted in a different way), it's not a legal residence, or it's time to call a lawyer. Sorry, but "there is no water" isn't the same as "water pressure is zero".

And it's hardly fair to count somebody's internet connection as 0 if they don't want one. It's like saying my phone service is crap because I haven't asked for a phone line. Your local grocery store doesn't carry food because you don't shop there.

Average or mean or median or whatever connection speed is one metric, but "per person" seems like a weird way to go about it. Let's see -- posit two homes, side-by-side. Both have identical service. One has 10 people living there, the other has 2. Are you going to divide the connection speed by the number of people living there? What if three of them are hanging out next door?

OK, you didn't say "per person", let's say you mean "per household." If a household is comprised of people who get all their Internet via phone service, one phone per person, how are you counting them? Do you add all the phones' rates and come up with a total? No, can't do that -- you've already said you didn't want a per-connection rate. But obviously 10 people armed with 100Mb connections (let's pretend they're actually getting that) will total 1Gb of available data. What happens if one household has two wired connections? Because I've done that myself. Two ADSL connections; one for me, one that everybody else shared. Per household was the sum of the two, but it seems to me that you have to count that as two connections; it required two phone lines, two modems, two routers, and twice the cost per month.

Hey, I could have brought in a third line. So if we're counting things your way, I should count that as a third line at "0" because I chose not to.

What about an abandoned house, or one at least with nobody in residence? What does that count as?

I have three phones. (Please don't ask why, I'll start to whimper.) What is my available speed? I can't meaningfully aggregate the connections. OTOH I could, say, watch Youtube on one while downloading movies on another. But is the aggregate speed really useful? Most of the time I'll be using one at a time, with the other two effectively idle. (Actually, the oldest phone sits in my car and plays music while I'm driving. It's more convenient than playing silly buggers with the connections every time I climb in.) And yet, they are three separate connections. I COULD perform multiple actions if I needed to. Or I could lend one to a friend who left his charger at home. Or... whatever.

If you don't understand why people are disagreeing with you, that's why. Any speed metric that isn't "per connection" doesn't make sense, because you end up with a metric that isn't really useful. Running around trying to count _potential_ connections as part of a data rate statistic? That way lies madness.

Mind you, there ARE things you can do with what you're saying. If there's a place where there are homes and businesses that can't get Internet, then that's not the same as saying they're getting 0bps of service; but there IS a metric that applies: percentage of homes or businesses that have service available. If you want to argue that that's at least as important a statistic as speed, then a lot of people will agree with you. It's just that you're trying to lump it into the speed metric, which makes both metrics invalid.

And then there's the listed-vs-actual bandwidth. Or the burst-vs-steady bandwidth. I'm on gigabit cable, which means that at 6pm I'm probably sharing my bandwidth with my neighbors; but at 3am, probably not so much. So there are arguments about all of that, and they're probably all valid things to measure and report, and TFA's quoted report is probably over-simplifying by ignoring all that.

Please don't fall into the same trap.

What's 2 + 2? Personal info, sniffs Twitter: Anti-doxxing AI goes off the rails, bans tweets with numbers in them

Jeffrey Nonken

Tempted to get a Twitter account, tweet a white box with a black border, and see if it gets suspended.

So... just 'Good' then? KFC pulls Finger Lickin' slogan while pandemic rumbles on

Jeffrey Nonken

The last two times I went to our local KFC, the chicken was underdone.

Not sure that Covid is my greatest threat at KFC.

FYI: Chromium's network probing accounts for about half DNS root server traffic, says APNIC

Jeffrey Nonken

"Determining what a browser user wants when the text input is a single word isn't always straightforward – the word could be a search term or a reference to an intranet domain."

Damned straight. Used to be I'd type in e.g. to connect to my router and Chrome would cheerfully convert it to, try to resolve the address of that URL, fail, and f**k me over as a result.

Effing Google.

They've since fixed that; I no longer have to haul out a different browser just to administer to my router. But damned if that wasn't annoying.

While the world pushes back against COVID-19, Facebook has a pandemic of a different sort – medical misinformation

Jeffrey Nonken

Masnick's Impossibility Theorum


I know a lot of people will just keep saying"all they need to do is throw more money at the problem", so I'm sure I'm just shouting at the wind here.

Jeffrey Nonken

You forgot the /s tag.

Or were you serious? You just want to force people never to communicate? "Prior restraint" doesn't even begin to cover what you're proposing.

Whoa-o BlackBerry, bam-ba-lam: QWERTY phone had a child. 5G thing's newly styled

Jeffrey Nonken

A text I just sent to my daughter a few minutes ago after missing an autocomplete muff:

"Stupid airports. I mean autonomously. F***. I mean agriculture. Good gamut. I mean God damn it! STUPID AUTOCOMPLETE!!!"

(Self-censoring the f-word here.) All those A-words were me trying to enter "autocomplete", which I finally had to spell out. Would this have happened on a real keyboard? Newp.

Some days I really, really miss my Sidekick II.

Personally, I never liked the keyboard on the Crackberry. Too cramped. I did like the keyboard on the Sidekick. Less cramped. YMMV.

Clarke's Third Law: Any sufficiently advanced techie is indistinguishable from magic

Jeffrey Nonken

head scratcher

Back in the Good Old Days of CRT monitors, one of our desk jockeys had a problem with a monitor: it was getting what appeared to be 60Hz interference. I couldn't work on it during the day so after several late afternoons of trying a number of things (including swapping CRTs a couple times, checking for nearby fans and so on) I finally hit upon the issue. It seems his desk was directly against the wall that contained the breaker box where all the wiring came through for half the floor. Access to the breaker box was in the hallway on the opposite side of the wall, so it wasn't obvious from inside the office. His desk was perpendicular to the wall and the CRT was on the end closest to the wall, so it was getting full benefit of some humongous amount of AC flowing mere inches away.

I moved some of his tchotchkes aside and placed the CRT on the other end of the desk, ran a quick test, and left a note to "try it now". Next morning I explained what was going on, and he happily said that he'd just rearrange his desk.

It was that or re-wire the entire factory, and not all users are unreasonable. :) Problem solved.

AI assistants work perfectly in the UK – unless you're from Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham, Belfast...

Jeffrey Nonken

I don't think it's my accent

Oddly enough, any time I ask Google to arrange a three-way with Siri and Cortana, she claims not to understand the question.

In the market for a second-hand phone? Check it's still supported by the vendor – almost a third sold are not

Jeffrey Nonken


Also networks abandoning 3G.

If you own one of these 45 Netgear devices, replace it: Kit maker won't patch vulnerable gear despite live proof-of-concept code

Jeffrey Nonken

Re: Netgear flew off of our list years ago.

Off my personal list as well. From what I can tell, the WiFi radios tend not to last past a year or so. True or not, the "refurbished" one I bought stopped working for WiFi soon after I bought it; I ended up buying an RT-N56U and setting it up as an access point to handle the WiFi.

Not sure how much I'm liking Asus right now, either. I recently bought a GT-AC5300 and paired it with an RT-AC68R via AiMesh. My duplex is small enough that AiMesh should be overkill, but I had the 68R, so why not? Turns out the 5300's WiFi continually disconnects, even from devices less than two meters away. OTOH the 68R is rock-solid, so I moved it to a more central location and we've been happily using it ever since.

So much for MU-MIMO being the be-all to end all. My high-end WiFi router doesn't even WORK.

NHS contact tracing app isn't really anonymous, is riddled with bugs, and is open to abuse. Good thing we're not in the middle of a pandemic, eh?

Jeffrey Nonken

Re: One would have throught...

...perhaps. He has a point, though. My property abuts a major street with a sidewalk. Do I and my daughter get placed in permanent isolation? For that matter, ours is not the only house. One suspected infected person per fortnight walking down the street can keep hundreds of people in permanent isolation. And that's just one street. You seem cavalier about the potential.

Apple owes us big time for bungled display-killing cable design in MacBook Pro kit, lawsuit claims

Jeffrey Nonken

Re: This was an Apple device

I could do that on my 2016 Macbook in about 5 minutes.

It would take me closer to an hour, now. 55 minutes of that would be spent finding which box it's in.