* Posts by kmedcalf

326 posts • joined 27 Aug 2019


Microsoft takes tweaking tongs to Windows 10's Start Menu once again


Yes, that is all true. I had forgotten about the disappearing menu items misfeature as that was always amongst the first things that *always* had to be fixed with Windows -- the infantile date format, the hidden file extensions, the hidden "system" directories, and the "hiding" of menu options.

And yes, I use Classic Shell in order to get a proper Start menu on anything since Windows XP/2003 (the Windows 7 Start Menu thing was also crap).


Re: Desktop Themes

And the ability to make Window borders visible again.


The Windows 7 Start Menu? Why would anyone want to return to that pile of shit? Windows 2000 had a proper start menu and it (and the entire Windows UI) started going downhill at ever increasing velocity ever since.

Now they are just trying to put lipstick on a pig.

Purism's quest against Intel's Management Engine black box CPU now comes in 14 inches


Re: Security does come at cost...

You can get Dell machines that do not have Intel network cards, have no camera's and no microphones.

In fact, it costs LESS MONEY to buy a Dell machine that does not have Camera and Microphone because those things cost money (even for the cheap chinese crap).


Re: Assertions that ME is a backdoor

There are only two ways that the ME can access the network:

(1) It can have its own networking stack and access to the network hardware.

(2) It uses some sort of "shim" into the Operating System.

In case (1) simply using a non-Intel network compatible adapter would "fix" the issue since it is unlikely that Intel will include drivers for "Tom and Jerry's Network Adapter" in their ME. Then of course there is the problem of arbitrating multiple access to the network adapter.

In case (2) simply not installing the "shim" in the Operating System would "fix" the issue.

Of course, case (1) is necessary if you want to be able to have access over the network by the ME when the Operating System is not "Operating" because in case (2) if the Operating System is not Operating neither is the "shim" that permits communication to occur.

So it is not a "secret back door" in the manner of Billy Barr's backdoor. It is a frontdoor that requires quite a lot of deliberately chosen moving parts in order to "make work" and it is extremely easy to make "not work".

In fact, I would suspect that it would be somewhat difficult to make work properly *even if you deliberately wanted it to work* for some reason.

It's not a Windows 10 release without something breaking so here's a troubleshooter for your OneDrive woes


Re: My first step

There are third party tools that will actually remove the crapware.

Using PowerSmell just "hides" the bits (sort of like deleting the shortcut from the menu) but does not actually get rid of the crapware (it will keep coming back like burping up bad mexican food) until you actually delete the crap using "alternative means".

Sort of like Microsoft will keep resetting the Windows firewall to permit unsolicited connections to and from the Internet for all the Microsoft crapware until you go and do deep surgery to completely abolish the rules that Microsoft wants to reinstall.

Note this is one of the *BEST* reasons for making sure you do good backups of the system drive. While reinstallation of Windows itself it not too much of a bother, the amount of fixing required to turn a "fresh" install into something suitable for use is a very long and arduous process that has grown from what used to be (in the days of Windows XP/Server 2003) a few hours process, now takes a few days or weeks.


Best thing to be said about OneDrive

It uninstalls and disables well.

Firefox 78: Protections dashboard, new developer features... and the end of the line for older macOS versions


Re: Recommended by Pocket!!

How can things be "recommended by pocket"? And where exactly do you see these recommendations -- are they written on your bathroom wall?

Hats off to the brave 7%ers who dived into the Windows 10 May 2020 Update within a month of release


Never a Problem

Never had a problem since I stopped allowing Windows Update to install "new versions" last time it buggered up, which was during the upgrade from Windows 8.0 to Windows 8.1. Since then I simply download the ISO image (not the media creator bullshit, but you have to set your user agent to something that the microsoft website thinks cannot run the media creation tool -- I use a Firefox 2.0 on MVS user agent -- which seems to fool the microsoft webspy just fine). When Microsoft sees a user agent that it thinks cannot possibly run the "Media Creator" bullshit, the website offers the "real ISO" instead (it has a proper install.wim, not the imitation shit foisted off by the Media Creator crap that cannot be used with the SDK).

Never a problem with any "upgrade" since doing that. Plus, of course, it installs in minutes from the ISO image instead of spending hours and hours fucking about with WIndows Update "Downloading" (but doing nothing) "Getting THings Ready" (but using no CPU or I/O), "Installing" (but still using no CPU and doing no I/O", then "Getting Ready" some more (while still using no CPU and doing no I/O), then "Downloading" some more (but still doing nothing) -- lather rinse repeat for about 5 hours before actually getting around to perhaps just maybe have a wee bit of network activity.

Downloading the 5GB ISO takes about 30 seconds, and then the installation is all done less than half-an-hour after that. Then it is just checking *all* the settings and fixing them since Microsoft will have changed them *all* to the "Spyware Approved" settings, and it takes about two hours to review and reset them properly.

'90s retro resurrection PowerToys hits 0.19, bringing raft of fixes and a final flash from the desktop


Does it fix the invisible Window Borders?

Do they fix the invisible window borders yet? That is (one of) the most annoying bugs in Windows 10. The rest of the bugs are the rest of the UI.

I was screwed over by Cisco managers who enforced India's caste hierarchy on me in US HQ, claims engineer

This post has been deleted by a moderator

University of California San Francisco pays ransomware gang $1.14m as BBC publishes 'dark web negotiations'


The length of time it takes to "recover" (go from the after state to the before state) is the same as the amount of time it took to go from the before state to the after state.

That is to say that if it takes you 6 months to "decrypt" your files once you have the decryption keys, it also took 6 months to "encrypt" them.

There is no excuse for being so incompetent that you did not notice FOR SIX MONTHS that you files were in the process of being encrypted.

Also, it is highly unlikely that, except though incompetence, one would not notice the exfiltration of gigabytes or terrabytes of "copied" information.


Improper Language, more

Why is the data "stolen"? It is not stolen, merely copied. The original "owner" *if there can be said to be an owner* is not deprived of possession of the original data. If a car is stolen, the original possessor no longer has the use of the car -- however in these cases nothing is "stolen" -- it is merely copied and the original possession is not deprived of their possession of the thing copied.


Improper Language

Why is a lawful business enterprise being referred to as a "Ransomware Gang"? Are they not merely a business engaged in the Security Assurance business by exposing those with shoddy computer security practices? It should be pointed out that the Government is the biggest "Ransomware Gang" of all in that they act directly to torture its victims into paying them money.

'It's really hard to find maintainers...' Linus Torvalds ponders the future of Linux


Re: "COBOL programmers of the 2030s?

Windows has a /tmp directory from the moment you create it, and Windows had a gcc compiler when it was called OS/2 before it became OS/2 New Technology (aka, WIndows NT)

Remember when we warned in February Apple will crack down on long-life HTTPS certs? It's happening: Chrome, Firefox ready to join in, too


Re: That kinda sucks...


When you buy a five year certificate the CA just gives you five certificates, one for each of the next five years, all at one go, and you install them all. What's the problem?

Former UK Labour deputy leader wants to know how the NHS's contact-tracing app will ensure user privacy


Source Code

Let's see the source code.

How do you "prove" that source was used to generate the binary blob?

What privacy indemnity do you have?

You probably have no indemnity against violations of privacy because the app *knowingly* contains violations of privacy. Not backing your crap with financial indemnity makes clear that their is no warranty or assurance that the app does what is claimed and in fact is a good indicator that it does the exact opposite of that which is claimed.

We were already secure enough for mass remote working before COVID-19, boast IT pros


Where I used to work ...

Where I used to work before I retired, "remote working" was put in place as a part of the "Business Continuity Plan" in 2003 or thereabouts after the SARS pandemic (and for some business lines, like the one I worked in, had already been in effect for at least a decade). It was continually practiced and drilled since that time. So in effect the only "action" that needed to be taken to implement "work from home" was to tell about 10,000 employee's across the country to take their laptop home tonight and work remotely until further notice.

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


Re: No Problem

No, its a real computer, not a fondleslab. It does not surprise me at all that it does not work on fondleslabs since it is broken on real computers as well. However, as I understand it, it is likely that the root cause of the failure is the "Windows Update" process and has nothing to do with Windows itself if it was installed without all the fuckaboutery.


No Problem

Works just fine for me. Downloaded the "real" ISO image and installed it (you have to go to quite the lengths to get the "real" ISO image and not some crap from the "MediaCreationTool"). Never installed any new versions of Windows from the "Windows Fuckabout" (Windows Update eventually) tool since, oh, the first Windows 8.0 to 8.1 "Windows Fuckabout" installation was a complete failure (plus I do not have the time to waste while it does its fuckaboutery -- they need an option to "Get on with the Job at Hand, expeditiously").

Never had a problem. Except of course that each "release" of Windows seems to have a different permanent breakage. In the case of Windows 2004 this seems to be the inability to open the "Network & Internet Settings" ImmersiveControlPanel due to it being immersed in bugs and crashing, though I now have the ability to update Thunderbolt firmware again, which stopped working with Windows 1903 and remained broken until the 2004 version. Overall, I will take the ImmersiveControlPanel being immersed in batshit since it is useless anyway and I can get to the one useful thing, the Network Adapter properties, via another method.

I haven't noticed any other major breakage. Except the entire UI and crappy behaviour of Windows by default, but that can be fixed with judicious use of Group Policy and ClassicShell.


Re: Sums up Microsoft's quality control

Another tester? That would assume facts nowhere evident -- that they already have (at least) one tester.

Based on what one sees from an external viewpoint, they need to hire their first tester, after which they can hire another one.

Smart fridges are cool, but after a few short years you could be stuck with a big frosty brick in the kitchen


Re: 60-ish posts and...

The primary purpose of the Smart Fridge is to put an end to that. You will only buy the approved make and packaging and size of milk, and if you don't like it, too bloody bad for you. And of course you will need the approved brand of bread for your toaster and you can only use the approved brand of butter (well, you can use any brand of butter, but your fridge detects the presence of an unapproved product it will refuse to cool it -- only approved products permitted)


Re: Please stop calling them "smart".

You racist bastard. Wanting to separate your coloureds.


Re: No, don't check how long it will be supported!

The only feature needed is an HDMI input. It only needs one such input over which it receives the video to display. All the rest is just useless crap and totally surplus to requirements.

'Beyond stupid': Linus Torvalds trashes 5.8 Linux kernel patch over opt-in Intel CPU bug mitigation


Re: Obligatory Covid-19 analogy

"Immunity via exposure is just as prone to failure by mutation as immunity via vaccine. All a vaccine does is trigger immune responses in the body without necessarily making you sick first."

Incorrect. A vaccine makes you sick and triggers an immune response. The difference is only in scale.

A vaccine is like having a little squad of enemy soldiers with purple stripped uniforms dropped in the middle of your army base (but they are all sterilized and cannot breed). You kill them quickly and learn that the enemy wears purple stripped uniforms. This allows you to identify that you should be killing people dressed in purple stripped uniforms in case they ever show up again.

Contrast this with a bunch of tribbles (which you remember are born already pregnant) in purple stripped uniforms being dropped in the field over yonder down across the way. By the time you notice them there are already trillions of the little buggers that have eaten all your food stores and cleaning up the mess and eradicating them is quite a chore.


Re: Obligatory Covid-19 analogy

"If you live in a developed country, there really is no way to opt out of possible exposure to coronavirus."

Of course there is. And billions of people have done so quite successfully.


Re: El Reg faux pas

Those "poles" are called "standards" as in light standards. I think Polish folks would have something to say about your belief that traffic lights are held in the air by Poles.


Re: git broke English

Then of course there are those that huck all the time, professionally. We call them "hucksters".


Re: @devTrail - What kind of opt-in was it?

You do not understand computer security. The only way to have a "secure computer" is to turn it off, disconnect it from all power and network, then lock it in a sealed vault from which you evacuate all the air.

It is then 100% secure as long as it remains in that state. Not very useful for anything, but secure.

Some Brits reckon broadband got worse after lockdown – but that's just what happens when you're online 12 hours straight


Re: I'm a believer

Mutatis Mutandis DNS. Sounds like a local problem with crappy local "gateway" in severe need of a reboot.

Have I Been Pwned breach report email pwned entire firm's helldesk ticket system


No. The HelpDesk software is to blame because it is executing data.


Re: Also an age-old observation:

And what utility does comparing e-mail to traditional paper-mail have?

Already e-mail clients discard or do not show the "envelope" or the "seal" on the envelope but merely the "contents" of the envelope. Everyone with even a modicum of sense knows that you cannot validate the authenticity of even "snail-mail" without also examination of the envelope in which it was delivered.

Clearly e-mail is not and never was intended for communications of more import than what would in the ordinary course be inscribed on a traditional postcard.

It is also completely without a doubt that the same crowd that authenticates e-mail because it contains pretty HTML pictures is the same crowd that discards the envelope in which a letter arrives as being irrelevant to the veracity of the letter.


Re: Also an age-old observation:

The involvement of lawyers (solicitors to you Brits) usually addresses that problem. Same with entities that have been UDP'd or Blacklisted for sending of SPAM. Just because you dropped something in the post does not mean that I actually received it.


Re: Now, tell us, Troy

I always use


as a password. Seems to work really with the Gestapo.


Re: Also an age-old observation:

Plus it is quite impossible to "receive an e-mail in error". The reason you received it is because it was sent to you, so therefore if you have the e-mail you were obviously intended to receive it.

The disclaimer should say what those incompetent boobs that wrote the disclaimer meant: "If we accidentally sent this e-mail to you when we meant to send it to someone else, but due to our massive incompetence sent it to your postbox instead, please do not treat it as your property to do with as you wish like you would be entitled by law to do if we had rather sent you a credit card or brick of gold for which you did not ask."


I believe what you mean by "none of the three can be trusted" is "all three are untrustworthy". Yes, we know that they are all untrustworthy. This goes for the purveyors of software as well. If you think that the software you buy (or maybe it is free as in beer) then read the warranty and ask how much liability guarantee is included with the software to guarantee that it is "free of vulnerabilities".

What, there is no indemnity given? You mean the person that wrote it does not even believe that it is trustworthy? So if the person/company that wrote the software thinks it is untrustworthy and a pile of cow patties, why do you think otherwise?

So you chose to run it at your own peril, and you suffered the peril you permitted. Jolly good on you.


Not at all. Simply a statement of fact.


Re: Now, tell us, Troy

It is funny beyond belief. Quite obviously these people know that the only way to find out if they have been pwned is to ask someone else, to which the answer was "Now you are".

Seems spittingly funny to me.


Failure to separate executable code and data is not a programming error, it is a design error and must be corrected at the design level. Everything that mixes up code and data has the same problem -- look at every piece of Microsoft software and data file format, for example.


The correct version of any software to run is the fully updated most recently discontinued and no longer supported version. This tends to be the most stable and bug-free version. In most cases the "new version" is not released to fix bugs, it is released for the purpose of creating a new "bug stream" for the purpose of continued justification.

Fujitsu unveils new laptops 'optimized for remote work' – erm, isn't that what laptops have always been for?


Re: Nope missing an obligatory element

The quality of the display and the built-in keyboard/pointing device is only relevant for "mobile" use (in planes, trains, automobiles, busses, on a jetski, submarine or aircraft carrier, and in a hotel or motel) but not useful otherwise for "remote work" (as in from home or when visiting another office location). These places have things called "monitors", "mouses", and "keyboards".

In fact, most Hotels these days (at least in Canada) seem to have "large screen TVs (for a definition of large that means bigger than the laptop display) and HDMI connections. That means you only need to pack a decent keyboard and mouse. The laptop itself does not even need a display or keyboard or mouse -- and any video/microphone are best left disabled (or removed with pliers) anyway.

Laptop makers still include this crap anyway because apparently lots of "funny persons" like using laptops on busses and subways, in the car and at the bar.

Contact-tracer spoofing is already happening – and it's dangerously simple to do


But it is what is called "educated guesswork" -- which translates to the guesser having an MBA ...

So you really didn't touch the settings at all, huh? Well, this print-out from my secret backup says otherwise


Re: "the concept of saving face"

There was no "rules" merely blather. Whatsisname did not violate any "law" merely some blather.

'I wrote Task Manager': Ex-Microsoft programmer Dave Plummer spills the beans


Re: It hasn't been able to kill lots of stuff

The command prompt has not changed in ages and ages. There are a few more console applications (command line applications) for doing things that there used to be, but NONE of them are part of cmd.exe -- they are all external programs that happen to have operate in "console" mode and use "command ling arguments", but they are not "a more powerful command line".

cmd.exe has not changed in many decades.

Windows Terminal hits the big 1.0: Fit for production?


Re: Oh Really. It's 2020 and Windows Terminal is at Release 1.0. Wow.

xterm is not a terminal emulator. It is a "linux console" emulator for the X-windows hooey-gooey.

IE, when you exit the X-Windows hooey-gui and log in on the console directly, that is what xterm provides. It is not a terminal emulator.


Re: A terminal program?

cmd.exe (the command interpreter) is not going anywhere. cmd.exe is still there, will always still be there, and is the console (as opposed to hooey-gooey) program that processes commands.

What is being replaced is conhost.exe.

conhost.exe is the process that displays the results of calls to the Console APIs (or to which stdin/stdout/stderr are redirected in a console mode application) in a clickty-pokey window. It is being (optionally) replaced with a new fangled version that they are calling "windows terminal" although it is NOT a terminal. It is merely another clickety-pokey program (this time with tabs) to display the results of calls to the Console APIs.

It is pretty much nothing like a terminal and does not really serve any useful purpose. It is merely change for change's sake.

You can't have it both ways: Anti-coronavirus masks may thwart our creepy face-recog cameras, London cops admit


"looking after a sick person"

A cloth or surgical mask does nothing if you are looking after a sick person. The only time wearing a surgical or cloth mask does any good (assuming that you are not a surgeon currently performing surgery) is if YOU are infected and you are looking after a healthy person.

If *you* are looking after a sick person then either (a) you need to be wearing an N95 or better mask, in which case the sick person does not need a mask; or, (b) the sick person needs to be wearing a surgical or cloth mask, in which case you do not need to be wearing a mask.

There seems to be a lot of confusion about the purpose of respiratory masks (ie, low grade N95 masks or high grade P100 PAPR systems) and the use of surgical masks or cloth face coverings. The purpose of N95 or better masks/PAPR/SCBA systems is to protect the wearer from contamination via the respiratory route. The purpose of surgical/cloth masks is to prevent the wearer from contaminating the "sliced open" patient upon whom they are operating by preventing spittle from falling into the open wound.


"Surely you support "mandatory" mask wearing in businesses when required by the business owner though, right? Making you wear a mask when you are out walking your dog may be a step too far, but there's no reason why businesses can't require it of their customers, or governments require it if you want to enter their buildings."

If a business wants me to wear a mask when on their premise, they can damn well provide it, for free. If they do not, then that business will not be processing my money and will not be receiving any "profit" from me. They can roll the fuck up into a little ball and die for all I care.

The same thing applies to "government buildings". If they want me to be there, then they will provide the mask, for free. If they do not then obviously they serve no useful purpose and they can fuck-off and die, and the quicker they fuck-off and die the better.

This is not a negotiation.


The solution is quite simple. You go visit people to administer the vaccine. If they refuse, you brand their forehead with "DNT" (Do Not Treat). If someone branded with "DNT" on their forehead shows up at hospital sick, just send them on their way.

That way, the nutjob gene will be self limiting and eventually die out (assuming that you can manage to have them all die before breeding). If not, they will not be an expensive lot to maintain.

Nine in ten biz applications harbor out-of-date, unsupported, insecure open-source code, study shows


American Way

It is the American Way. Get used to it.



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