* Posts by Lon24

415 publicly visible posts • joined 3 Jul 2020


Scribbling limits in free version of Evernote set to test users' patience


Re: $130 per year?

I plead guilty to spreading free Evernote to my clients and acquaintances of old. Then several years ago as they began to get restrictive - I moved to Simplenote. But then as my needs exceeded its functionality and I had a server I used DokuWiki as a dump for all that miscellaneous stuff one accumulates - howtos, changelogs, scans of documents etc. Now that info is available anywhere on any device. Never looked back.

Thank you Evernote for starting me off digitising my notes and forcing me to sort it properly. Now I regard freemium products/services as tactical solutions not to get hooked on. Only genuine open source software is unlikely to extract money with menaces. A pity that. 20 years ago I paid for most of my software giving authors reward for their code. But one by one they sold out to corporations that saw their objective as screwing the customers base rather than delivering better value for money.

Electric vehicles earn shocking report card for reliability


Redmond Law

Hey - this is an IT forum and are we forgetting Microsoft? Version 1 of any product is best regarded as an alpha release, version 2 is a beta and version 3 is actually usable.

Most EVs available have yet to get to version 3 when the most obvious bugs have been fixed. EVs are best regarded as 4 wheel computers. I rest my Excel :-)

Meta sued by privacy group over pay up or click OK model


At least in that day a 1p stamp would get your missive delivered anywhere in the UK next day thanks to those nouveau steam engines - maybe the same day if you lived anywhere civilised ;-)

Whereas today the wrong side of a quid might get a letter delivered sometime/ That's if you can find a biro that actually works. But what's wrong with this new fangled emaily thing? You really need to get into the twentieth century before it's too late!

Author hopes to throw the book at OpenAI, Microsoft with copyright class action


Re: So what about all the students reading books to write papers?

Yes, basically adding value by integrating it with other information or applying the knowledge gained to a new situation. Even so it is both courteous and maybe a legal obligation if the input to added value is substantial to give, at least, a citation.

Something I am unaware these bots are designed to do or even if an LLM has the concept of being able to identify any relevant single input related to output. Just a collection of very sophisticated word correlations that are effectively independent of any one work but totally dependent on ALL our work.

Bezos might beat Musk to Mars as NASA recruits Blue Origin's New Glenn rocket


Back to square 1. Do not pass Go. Do not collect ...

"Engineers overhauled the rocket's initial design, changing its boosters and engines,"

Errm, isn't that basically the rocket?

Want a Cybertruck? You're stuck with it for a year, says Tesla


Re: This Even Legal

Except like all Teslas it is a computer on wheels. The computer runs software and without that the vehicle won't run. Hence won't you be subject to any software licensing rules? Goodness me even IBM/RH are restricting the passing on of open source stuff. Tesla don't even have to sue - they can just disable your vehicle in the garage with an OTA update. Job done you naughty boy.

Musk's broadband satellite kingdom Starlink now cash flow positive – or so he claims


Re: Cash flow positive

Choose any period when they don't pay for a launch a rocket or take delivery of a satellite but do bill some customers then it is a cash positive period. What has gone before or yet to come doesn't affect that. It has nothing to do with profitability or asset value. We are nearly all cash positive on pay day no matter whether rich or in spiralling debt.

India's lunar landing made a mess on the Moon


Yep, the next folks to be sent to the moon should be the sanitisers to clean up methinks

Where do people feel most at risk of being pwned? The pub


Re: For those times when there's no mobile signal...

Make sure it is a truly random collection of letter and numbers. One of my GMail accounts has been accidentally been used twice by different people. My address is a is a straight string. The other two used the same string but with the two random digits Google appends to avoid duplicates. Either they or the online company managed to forget the digits. Why online companies selling stuff don't do a simple email verification beats me.

Two banks decided (after many years of use) to declare another email address as invalid because it isn't a personal address 'for security reasons'. It isn't a personal address for the very reason that should it fall into miscreant hands they can't infer my name. That's security. Neither bank bothered to inform me that my valid address was now invalid until I tried to get into the account and stopped receiving emails. Perhaps they had but their stupid system wouldn't send it. Doh!

Ask a builder to fix a server and out come the vastly inappropriate power tools


Re: Shocking!

Some of us are more magnetic than others enhanced by our choice of apparel ;-)

King Charles III signs off on UK Online Safety Act, with unenforceable spying clause


Re: Safe

The politicos may have not noticed that serious criminals are serious about their IT. Without budget constraints and clever devious minds will they outwit this blunderbuss of a law? Thinking imported mobiles, sideloaded apks and VPNs

Tenfold electric vehicles on 2030 roads could be a shock to the system


Re: No shit

They are slowly spreading around here (Lewisham & Southwark). Originally they were 'fat' 7KW points which could only be located on wide pavements. But now they appear to have switched to using lamp posts where they are next to the kerb or lamp post sized bollards where they are not. Example: here

The real problem is these smaller chargers don't have marked bays, are not obvious unless you know they are there, so do get ICEd.


Re: increasing reluctance in the insurance industry to actually insure

You forgot this link: https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2004/mar/24/transport.world ;-)

Millions of smart meters will brick it when 2G and 3G turns off


Re: Wouldn't be so bad if they actually worked

Our first display didn't work. The second did - yippee!. But then one day it complained it couldn't get data from the gas meter. This could possibly be because we don't have one. But it is never satisfied suggesting we should move the gas meter closer to the display - or something like that.

I suppose I could call our electricity provider or the meter installation company again and again. Or possibly Samaritans who would probably be more helpful - like answering the phone!

The old analogue meter was at least easily readable. The replacement with bright green background with a slightly darker digits when you are upside down under the stairs is not. Nightmare.

Windows 11: The number you have dialed has been disconnected


Re: Change and the obsession with the new…

You can read ... HANDWRITING. How quaint ;-)

The problem with Jon Stewart is that Apple appears to have cancelled his show


Re: Who’s Jon Stewart

Yep, I remember the Channel 4 days. His successors were very good but the Daily Show with Jon was unique and very much missed. He certainly gave the impression of taking no prisoners so good to hear he isn't compromising his principles over Apple's pecuniary interests. So hopefully we might find him doing something else and available on Freeview for us unwilling to pay the Apple/Netfix/Disney/Paramount .... shilling. Though I think it more than that these days!

First Brexit, now X-it: Musk 'considering' pulling platform from EU over probe


Re: Best argument for rejoining EU

Given that Elon wants X/Twitter to embrace payments and banking then trying to satisfy regulators around the world is worse than a nightmare. Dedicated banks have difficulty. Hence making X/Twitter a US-only corp has attractions if he wants to move fast and break things.

Not that he hasn't done too badly on that front so far.

Take Windows 11... please. Leaks confirm low numbers for Microsoft's latest OS


Re: Maybe it's the installer

I'm a Linux user but I keep Windows on some machines as a dual boot "just in case". But frankly the days when third party apps were exclusively Windows have rapidly diminished so its mostly symbolic,

I really can't see much difference between 10 & 11. It.s only a click or two to put the taskbar back where it belongs which was my major nag. I rather stupidly upgraded a Win10 laptop to 11 but the installer screwed up the MBR banishing Linux into the place that Microsoft keeps for any competition. OK I can re-Grub to bring back my default desktop but it's a faff. So in 2025 do I upgrade or ditch Win and donate the partitions back to Linux?

Raspberry Pi 5: Hot takes and cooler mistakes


Overclocked & Overstocked

The really annoying thing about RaspberryPis is that they don't die. I have a drawer of assorted RPi1 & RPi2 in perfect condition gathering dust. Their tasks now handled by RPi3 &RPi4 most running 24/7/365 without cooling in open racks. So trying to justify a RPi5 means I need a bigger drawer for the displaced kit. Trying to get that past my senior management team is going to be challenging.

Throwing them in the bin would be sacrilege. Putting them on eBay is a bit of a faff. But I really want a new one, or maybe two ;-)

Tesla goons will buy anything – including these $150 beers


Re: Lager?

Ruby Hobgoblin £1.59 a bottle in Lidl. Backpacks are £14.99 and count towards your bonus offers. Lidl don't do EVs sadly.

MariaDB ditches products and staff in restructure, bags $26.5M loan to cushion fall



If it's that vital to Samsung and is probably better engineered than a costly migration to another product begs the question - why wasn't it worth Samsung taking a stake to bail itself out of the problem? Mere peanuts to this chaebol's coffers.

Australia threatens X with fine, warns Google, for failure to comply with child abuse handling report regs


Re: $385,000 fine?

True. But could be replicated by other jurisdictions around the world. Repeat infringements tend to trigger an escalation in penalties. Hence unless Elon changes tune this could be the beginning of some significant cost of doing business his way. By a magnitude or two?

That would hurt. Maybe cheaper to withdraw from those territories.

Mint freshens up its Linux garden for Ubuntu and Debian fans


Re: In a galaxy far, far away...


Musk's first year as Twitter's Dear Leader is nigh


Re: Social media is overrated

Nice article - just that I missed the bit about the announcement of social.theregister.co.uk or even (fingers positioned in a formerly known as Twitter formation) social.theregister.com instance.

Given that these columns do reveal a peculiarly non-Twitter demographic currently denied El Vulture's more pithy tweets.

Google promises eternity of updates for Chromebooks – that's a decade for everyone else


Re: At Google, 10 > 13

Google's other cheat is the word 'automatic' which I assume means no user intervention. Updating Debian or Ubuntu does require user intervention between versions if only a click or two. Funnily enough Linux, unlike Microsoft and Google, tends to prefer the control of a PC remains personal rather than corporate. How weird is that these days?

NASA rockets draining its pockets as officials whisper: 'We can't afford this'


Re: Please, ell me another one, that one was hilarious

To be fair there was the German ICE crash in 1998 which killed 101 with 88 survivors - not the total as in most serious plane disasters. But as I guess from the language used the writer is not from this side of the pond and might not be familiar with the record of safe fast train travel in Europe & Japan for 30 years or more. I think he may just be scaling up the wreckage of Amtrak.

HS2 is coming off the lines financially even if it never actually gets on the lines at all. Not sure what would tempt me to desert Chiltern. Used to cost £6 minus railcard discount from a civilised station not half way to Reading to another civilised station (Moor Street) in, not adjacent to, Birmingham City Centre. Not the fastest but with larger carriages, free wifi and sockets meant you got the work done before you arrived unlike the 'fast; Virgin to Mordor Central. Speed is an illusory attraction when it's only 100 miles or so. Bit like taking Concorde to Glasgow.

In the UK the train routes that really need speeding up generally don't have London as a terminus. Whereas there are serious capacity issues in and out of London which aren't going to be solved by speed (or in HS2's case made worse). Germany and France being much larger countries the advantage are greater and with more space the costs are lower. And a headline price of 19 euros for a 6 hour TGV from Paris to Nice means they are delivering more than we could ever aspire to.

Power grids tremble as electric vehicle growth set to accelerate 19% next year


Re: For many of us, hybrids make more sense than BEVs

There is a distinction between off-road charging and road charging. Off-road EVs are much more economical (unless you do 200+ miles per day, every day). Fast charging is expensive and undesirable unless you need it to complete a journey. For most of us it represents a tiny percentage of total charges and doesn't really figure in the cost of ownership.

For those without drives It largely depends on your local authority having an agreement with a good provider to provide a trickle charge lampost or equivelent nearby which doesn't get ICE-ed. But with a drive there isn't an economic argument beyond the capital cost. Given that 75% of households have a drive and hence no charging problem then we should be most concerned of the 25% without home charging where low cost local charging is essential That's sorted in my part of London but ymmv. Overall charging is not the problem the anti-EV lobby pretend it is.

Disclosure: I'm a EV owner of four years with a drive.

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


Re: connected services as a strategic imperative and a driver of future revenue

but of course in an electric car so does the hot air (with an ICE you get that "for free"I

Maybe on today's fancy computers on wheels. For real cars like my old A30 only the expensive DeLuxe models sported a heater. In t'others you froze in winter. I remember having to drive leaning out of the side window 'cos there was nothing to defrost the windscreen. Cross-ply tyres on ice kinda made it extra challenging. Frozen trafficators, dodgy drum brakes, no seatbelts, breathalysers or MoTs. Amazing any of us survived*

* about 5,000 a year didn't.

Linux on the Arm-based Thinkpad X13S: It's getting there


Re: Not worth looking at it

Might it be that building the relatively bulky ethernet port into an ultra-slim laptop is challenging? Plus only us odd-bods ever connect a laptop by cable these days. Plus, of course, we probably already have a USB-C/RJ45 adaptor in the drawer together with a lot of other adaptors that we felt vital at the time but now gather dust.

While one could argue that Lenovo know an ARM base laptop is, as yet, aimed at a specialist market who like sticking plugs in for speed and security. But like cars, small volume niche products are usually built or based on one of their standard platform designs which define the case mouldings to keep development cost/unit from going stratospheric.

India's Moon mission continues to triumph, Japan's waits for better weather


Re: [party face emoji]

Unfortunate it wasn't the other way round. The late arrival of LUNA-25 would have provided an excellent calibration opportunity for Vikram's Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA) and belatedly, if unexpectedly, adding to the sum of lunar scientific understanding.

4 in 5 Chromebooks sold to US students in Q2 as demand rises


Re: Lifespan

Chromebooks don't need the power, ram or space to run Windows because they don't need it to give the similar or better experience as a thin client. Whether a thin client is appropriate for this application is a different question.

More to the point on lifespan - are Chromebooks still being manufactured with locked down firmware so you can't simply replace the OS when support drops for a supported OS or as a fatter client? I've had to throwaway perfectly good hardware for that reason which is why Chromebooks are now off my acquisition list.

Landfill friendly.

Cops cuff pregnant woman for carjacking after facial recog gets it wrong, again


Re: Perhaps facial recognition isn't the issue

It's probably not intentionally racist but anybody who has photographed faces will know it is more challenging to get good definition of dark faces and in low light next to impossible.Plus the greater contrast with the background may confound auto-exposure probably calibrated for paler faces. Hence the rate of false positives is going to be much greater. Question is whether that is accounted for in the matching algorithm. I suspect not.

What does Twitter's new logo really represent?


Re: X-citing!

Hoover was unrelated to vacuum cleaners. It just became the dominant brand and hence the generic for the product i.e. "I hoover my carper with a Vax". The same could be said of Google which became verb (though I use Startpage). It doesn't matter if the brand name was appropriate but not now. International Business Machines is now a service/software company - but it is still IBM. They also keep the icon designed to be shown on character only monitors. They are not going to throw either away anytime soon.

It's this unique identity of the name/logo/product belonging to few companies. Every mention of the word is a free advert for the product. All thrown away. X starts not even at the beginning of brand re-build because people will still remember deadname Twiiter/Tweet/ReTweet that negates the brand. That's why there are so many shaking heads in the industry. It's not about the prettiness or not of X. It would be the same whatever he changed name he chose. Everybody is wrong - apart from Elon?

Place your bets!

LG to offer subscriptions for appliances and televisions


Re: Rent seeking

"But I duly dumbed it down by refusing it to connect to the internet and use a set-top-box for all 'smartness' I need, connected by HDMI."

Ahem, HDMI enabling is only £9.99/month sir.

Threads versus Twitter: Shouldn't we be happy the wheels are falling off antisocial social media?


Re: Let me be clear

I don't see that. Mastodon & the Fediverse are too small to worry the giants. Threads target is clearly Twitter which is maybe 100 times bigger and collapsing under its own incoherence. Meta will be laser focused on that. Thanks to Elon, Meta will have to work hard to fail.

BlueSky is collateral damage - why today would anyone now go there? BlueSky couldn't grab the opportunity last weekend and threads now has volume = content that BlueSky can only dream of - and it's trivial to join. You can be sure the Meta developers will work hard to make it completely intuitive to Twitter refugees. They did well to get it going so fast and not falling over on the first day.Their only restraint is what their lawyers might restrict.

Mastodon may also be collateral damage even if Meta don't actually target it. But, unlike, BlueSky Mastodon does have at least three USPs - data privacy and a more liberal tone and a safer environment for the vulnerable. Like Linux it can take a niche of the market as the thinking person's town square. Becoming too big and losing its tone may paradoxically be its demise. Frankly most folks will sell their souls/data for a decent 'free' service. Indeed they have done it already.. What they are less inclined to do is pay as well. The penny 's dropping at Twitter that you pay or you may be served some limited scraps and may only comment unheard.

Unless there is a change of leadership the only question about Twitter is how long? Will the answer first come from the user migration or bankers trying to salvage some of their investment. Hence I think Threads will be the big winner and Mastodon/Fediverse the small winner/survivor. Twitter/BlueSky RIP or rot in hell depending on your worldview.

Disclosure: I am a small Mastodon instance admin.

Techie wasn't being paid, until he taught HR a lesson


Re: Someone shopping at Bunnings for Crescent slabs?

There once was a Bunnings in Penge. It reverted to a Homebase but the layout remained - except for the sausages >:-{

New York City latest to sue Hyundai and Kia claiming their cars are too easy to steal


Re: The only option is....

True - but when I bought my last car did I check to see if it had a immobiliser? No, because I assumed in this day and age it would. Did the US Hyundai/Kia promotion material make this misassumption clear? I doubt it. Indeed it's difficult to get any detailed technical information until you have bought the car and ploughed through the several hundred pages of how to tune the entertainment system.

I'm afraid this is one clear case of getting big government to continually try to regulate big motor to protect us. Even they fail (Dieselgate) that cost countless lives so what hope the average motorist?

Yaccarino takes wheel at Twitter early as advertising woes become public


Is revenue the biggest problem?

OK 59% is bad, catastrophic for any other organisation. But with the salary bill down around 75% and datacentre by 30% plus consquent slimming of other costs - the operating deficeit might be manageable if it wasn't also required to finance the debt loaded on the company. That's Elon's greatest contribution to the company balance sheet. Will the creditors stand by him?

Fidelity's investment in X/Twitter is smallscale compared to SpaceX & Tesla. I guess they just see it as a sweetener to secure their cut of NASA's budget. As for Saudi Arabia - again small change for a grip on America's right.

Debian 12 'Bookworm' is the excitement-free Linux you've been waiting for


Re: A welcome change!

Excitement is for the desktop - not the server room.

A great quality of Debian is this means painless upgrades (well regrades). What surprises me is that Debian based RP-OS (the 64bit version is complete Debian apart from the occasional blob) support doesn't approve of upgrading - but complete re-install. OK if it screws up then you do a re-install from the backup data. But there is more to go wrong in a re-install or more certainly prolong the upgrade procees - like re-implementing all the little apps, fixes & workarounds you didn't completely document.

China EV market share hits 27 percent as tax breaks extended


Re: One to watch

Yep, an affordable electric MGB would be wonderful for all those who don't find tuning twin-carbs fun!

BTW I was impressed the electric enthusiastic Norwegians featured two pristine MGBs in 'Afterglow' (BBC4's latest Saturday night Scandi).

Bookings open for first all-electric flights around Scandinavia … in 2028


One would expect the plane to be used on multiple routes to increase utilisation to conventional airline levels. Indeed as one may expect (like cars) the higher capital cost to be dominated by the batteries. Yes, you would achieve lower running costs - but you need to pile in the flights to repay the capital cost - not standing around on an island beach plugged into a long extension lead to the nearest 3 pin plug. (I jest a little, but you get the picture).

Swapping would seem to be the only feasible option in the long term as the faster you charge to minimise turnarounds you also, with present technology, shorten the life of those very expensive batteries.


The flights will be short but what about recharging? These days 20 minute turnarounds are expected. Do they recharge in situ or swop batteries? Either way do small islands/airports/beaches have the infrastructure to deliver enough power quickly enough?


Re: Got to start somewhere...

"30 seats isn't much"

The DC-3, the most popular airliner ever built has 32 seats in standard format. And I bet in 2028 93 years after entering service there will still be more DC-3/Dakotas flying than the grand total of all electric planes in commercial service.

And they don't have to update software. Just new generation wetware ;-)

Smartphone recovery that's always around the corner is around the corner


My Honor phone today entered its fourth ywar. Just as good as new - apart from security updates ending a couple of years ago. The same as the phone before that.

Would I run a desktop or server that went out of support two years ago - no way! But then I can run 10 year old desktops and servers with modern supported operating systems. Junking almost mint phones is just so wrong on so many different levels and I won't do it. Even if contains some of my most intimate data. Guess the next replacement might be a Pixel or anything that promises LTS. Wish our government would insist on plastering the packaging with 'Supported only to 202X'. Like supermarket 'Best before' it would push people, like me to buy wiser and push manufacturers to be serious about supporting their products.

Oh - and when I asked a car salesmen when software support ends for the car he was trying to sell me - all I got was a blank look. And that's really serious money being obsolted at somebody else's whim.

Twitter now worth just a third of what Musk paid for it


I rest content that my 13 user Mastodon instance will, at this rate, be worth than Twitter by year end. I mean the power supply itself must be worth a fiver ... So Elon - if you want to see if you can get it right second time around - I'm open to offers.

Microsoft will upgrade Windows 10 21H2 users whether they like it or not


Re: I've run out of ways to hax0r the gui

Or Kubuntu - the KDE edition of Ubuntu. Ideal if hacking your desktop to the style you want. Plus, and this is a killer feature for me, the ability to fish:// into any ssh enabled server. This gives you their filesystem in your filemanager allowing you to copy/cut'n'paste from one server to another or you own PC. This extends to KDE applications. Example fish://user@example.com:/etc/config/network will open up a file/directory. You only need to type once since you can add them to your file menu just like any other directory with a name of your choice. Then they just become another part of your PC's filestore though they are on another server and operating system.

Yesterday I had to hack the Openwrt config files on a router. Openwrt only provides vi/vim editors - the Linux equivalent of Edlin and a real headbanger for those not raised in the ancient traditions of life even before Linux. Instead I could directly display them in the Dolphin Filemanager. Double click and the open up on the Kate editor on my PC. Modified they are written back as though they were local files.

If you are a SysAdmin, take a look.

Ubuntu 23.04 Lunar Lobster scuttles into public view


Bad Update

I have updated three Kubuntu desktops this morning. The first one (the oldest machine) went swimmingly. Within 15 minutes we were back in business after clicking a couple or so OKs. It's what I come to expect.

Confident I went on to the second. Update failed and here's the reason why: A BLANK BOX. Well that matched my mind. So where do you start debugging? I had been a good boy and when an apt update/upgrade and I happened luckily to have noticed there was a repository that didn't support the architecture but it was just ignored and apt carried on. Goodness knows how that got there but it had updated to 22.10 with it.. Anyway dropped it and the update went through swimmingly. Now to number three.

Update failed and here's the reason why: A BLANK BOX. Christ - disabled every non-mandatory repository. Rinse, repeat: Update failed and here's the reason why: A BLANK BOX. Let's do another apt update/upgrade - oops I hadn't done one since last week. Great, that fixed it. Three working boxes but that took too much time and effort. Ok it was not unexpected operator error. However, someone who was just a plain user would have been defeated. All because when it encountered issues while checking the configuration - it failed to give a clue why. Worse it had a box to give that reason but didn't.

A bug methinks.

Cardboard drones running open source flight software take off in Ukraine and beyond


Unfortunately the chief child-murdering genocidal monster is safely ensconced many miles beyond its range. It's more likely to kill folks he sent unwillingly to the front who have been normalised to hate and massacre their former brothers-in-arms by the monstrous culture he created.

Plus taking out a tank or other pieces of ordnance and logistics is really the objective in a war. Without those the soldier is virtually naked in a snowstorm.

Cisco Moscow trashed offices as it quit Putin's putrid pariah state


Re: Nice bit of neutral reporting. Not

"Where were you when the USA murdered 1 million Iraqis? Did you cheer on the slaughter?"

On a Stop The War march. Me and millions of others - just like in Moscow today Vlad?

Turing Award goes to Robert Metcalfe, co-inventor of the Ethernet


Drop out

i'm hoping Robert's many outstanding accomplishments didn't include the design of the easily damaged cat5 plug. See title.