* Posts by Just an old bloke

39 publicly visible posts • joined 9 Oct 2020

Google bakes new cookie strategy that will leave crooks with a bad taste

Just an old bloke

Any change Google makes is primarily for the benefit of Google. Improvements in user experience are happy coincidence.

Oh look, cracking down on Big Tech works. Brave, Firefox, Vivaldi surge on iOS

Just an old bloke

One down vote just to annoy you :D. Firefox is the choice of the cognoscenti!

Just an old bloke

I pretty much use Firefox for everything. The only exception is Google Ad shite for which I use Chrome. I've found Firefox clean and quick, OK it needs some tweaking to get it running as you want but it is independent and not based on Chrome. Got FF on Linux, iOS, MacOs and the MS shizz. I just wish Edge would uncouple from Windows, that's an aggravating browser. FireFox has a wonder Facebook fence plugin, stops Meta tracking your stuff. It's worth it just for that!

Amazon fined in Europe for screwing shoppers with underhand dark patterns

Just an old bloke

Amazon, it'll be a long time a dying.

I have the great fortune of living in the Canary Irelands.

Amazon.es, our "local" Amazon are the absolute pits, they ship hardly anything to the Canaries and it they do, it'll take weeks to get here. Since Brexit, Amazon UK is a no-no. The local customs will sit on UK parcels for months, I still have a Christmas present stuck in Las Palmas customs. In real terms, that just leaves Amazon.de which is marginally better than the others. They will still take an order, sit on it for a month and only ship it when you threaten to cancel. I am convinced they sell stuff they've not got in stock, they definitely send returns out as new and they also charge tax when they shouldn't.

They are also turning into a tech Temu/Alibaba, look for any hook-up gear, adaptors, converters, or power supplies and it's all the same crap slightly repackaged which is available from China at half the cost (and this stuff doesn't get held in customs).

Decent product sold by companies is usually marked up over and above the price sold on the supplier's website which makes it much more expensive but the Amazon addicts still buy it. (I know it is up-priced as my daughter uses Amazon and eBay as sales channels, mainly because it's cheaper than paying Google PMAX charges).

There is a move away from Amazon by the better quality suppliers, not so many years ago almost anything was available, if it carries on like it is it will be an outlet just for Chinese tat.

Oh, and they treat their suppliers really badly.

Trying out Microsoft's pre-release OS/2 2.0

Just an old bloke

Does no one remember C/PM machines running dumb terminals via stat mux’s. No GUI, cheap kit just pure function. All forgotten. <sad face>

Musk 'texts' Nadella about Windows 11's demands for a Microsoft account

Just an old bloke

Musk is making a perfectly reasonable point here, Microsoft should not make it appear that an account with them is a requirement to run Windows, because this is how it looks.

Pretty much everyone who reads the Register will know how to circumvent this but the average user won't and will sheepishly follow Microsoft's setup instructions. The gathering of personal data is one of Micro$ofts prime business drivers. Knowledge is power.

Microsoft issues deadline for end of Windows 10 support – it's pay to play for security

Just an old bloke

And back to WIndows 7 we go.

Just an old bloke

Re: Need the EU to step up…

And makes it annoyingly complicated to avoid using Onedrive. At least with Apple you can ignore it and use your whatever you choose.

Douglas Adams was right: Telephone sanitizers are terrible human beings

Just an old bloke

Re: Real Sanitizers

A very un-Eagles Eagles song. Brilliant stuff.

No more feature updates for Windows 10 – current version is final

Just an old bloke

I have had with Microsoft, now using Linux Mint and Macs. So far, it’s proving to be much cheaper, with being able to recycle hardware. Have experienced no serious problems and a lot less junk is downloaded by users.

UK emergency services take DIY approach amid 12-year wait for comms upgrade

Just an old bloke

Re: Too Big?

Speaking to people I know who have/are worked on government projects is that they generally start well and make significant progress until someone up top decides it is vital that an overview is conducted by external consultants, one of the usuals -Deloitte’s, Crapita et al. At this point the project is doomed to a long and lingering death. The consultants hidden agenda is to find areas of concern, usually false, where they can slip in a junior consultant to do some consulting which in turn, brings in more of their chums. It’s like a corporate cancer. And it’s not often that the consultants pick up any of the blame, they only cart off millions in fees leaving the project dead in the water. And no one ever points to the elephant in the room. It stinks.

Epson zaps lasers into oblivion, in the name of the environment

Just an old bloke

I do believe we had a desktop Epson laser some years ago. It wasn't good.

Just an old bloke

And those Epson multi-function printers that refuse to scan if one of the cartridges is empty. How I miss dot matrix.

G7 countries beat UK in worldwide broadband speed test again

Just an old bloke

I’m living in a village in Spain, we have full fibre and 300Mb synchronous. It is genuinely very fast, very reliable and costs, Inc phone less than 30 quid a month. The UK could do this but the will is not there, it’s all about the large conurbations and making piles of dosh. Forget the small communities, let them eat 3G and suffer 1 up and 5 down.

US, UK, Western Europe fail to hit top 50 cheapest broadband list

Just an old bloke

What they do not mention is the quality or speed of the broadband received for the money. I suspect they're comparing apples with peanuts.

Here in the Canaries, you can get 100/30mb fibre from a 3rd party supplier for €15/mnth but testing results reveal less than impressive performance. However, if rented from Movistar (Telefonica owned national carrier) for 33€ a month you can get a 300Mb sym FTTD that tests over the advertised rate. For another 20€ you csn bolt on a mobile and TV.

What would have been more indicative would be a price per Mb/month.

Windows 11 growth at a standstill amid stringent hardware requirements

Just an old bloke

I installed 11 and reverted to 10 the same day. There were no improvement of relevence to me but the change to the filr manager right click dialog was a significant negative change, along with a few other petty "improvements" which I can't recall now. I'll be staying on 10 for the foreseeable.

Saving a loved one from a document disaster

Just an old bloke

Wordstar was a lot less complicated and nicer to use.

Users complain of missing data in UK wills search service

Just an old bloke

Just taken this for a test drive. All of the above is true, password in the clear for failed pw creation, password requires special characters which is OK providing the special character is a ?.

The interface and logic is straight out of 2001, the least intuitive system, most user unfriendly thing I've seen in many a year.

Chap who campaigned to oust Nominet's CEO and chairman and reform the .UK registry is elected as non-exec director

Just an old bloke

Excellent news.

US states' antitrust lawsuit against Google's advertising business keeps growing

Just an old bloke

Google Ads is vital if you sell to consumers online, there is no other game in town, Bing pick up the crumbs and the other routes to market are eye wateringly expensive. Our online ad costs have risen over the last 20 years from a reasonable level of 2-3% of cost of sales up to a painful 15-20%. Google manipulate the ad market, they are a monopoly in all but name and they are abusing their position.

Keeping on top of the SEO changes, controlling advert allocation and audience is a full time job, goal posts are changed regularly and often removed altogether. They constantly change the rules and oddly enough, their customer improvements and efficiency changes always involve spending more money, usually with the caveat “you may see a temporary increase in xxxx while changes take effect” but the increases somehow become permanent.

Google are evil.

Whenever automakers get their hands on chip supplies, the more expensive vehicles are first in line – NXP

Just an old bloke

I´ve an MGB with zero electronics but loads of electrics, an ancient Jaguar ditto, a 94 XJS with a modicum of simple i/c´s, an early S Type which has some but still too many and a modern car, a Seat Ateca which is loaded to the gunnels with pointless stuff that I never use, it's got a screen like Android on steroids, I can change all sorts of stuff, use cameras and motion sensors and it's all pretty much unused and is at worst a huge distraction when driving.

I much prefer the classics to drive, no bleeps sirens and bongs, they´re just fast, comfortable, affordable vehicles that due to their age are now very green.

Modern motors are ridiculous.

Amazon India accused of copying merchant products and juicing search results to sell its own knockoffs

Just an old bloke

Amazon UK do this

My ex employer used to list certain products on Amazon, usually stuff that wasn't already listed. Sometimes they sold well, sometimes not so much. Those that sold well didn't sell well for too long as Amazon had picked up the product for themselves are were selling direct, cheaper of course.

ASDA used to do this to small shops, back in the day we extended our services from business comms and networks in to PC's and servers, opening a retail shop for the locals. A few weeks after opening, ASDA started selling low end Compaq´s for silly money, no support etc, etc... so our little shop, selling decent hardware with support lost most of its home business. After trying for a few months, abandoned Home stuff and concentrated on business sales. A few months after that, ASDA stopped selling PC´s there.

We were not the only retailer they tried to knock off, they did the same to a key cutter, a bike shop, a toy shop, pet sales, greetings card sales and a few others - as soon as they opened, ASDA went after their business and often the businesses closed. Not sure of the logic to this business model, perhaps it a "Oh, that looks like a good idea, lets sell that ..." rather than a dog-in-the-manger mindset. These small shops drew people to the town. Needless to say ASDA now reigns supreme over a town centre with boarded up premises, charity shops and estate agents.

CityFibre scores extra £1bn+ of funding to plumb in up to 8 million British homes by 2025

Just an old bloke

Here I am, sat in a small village in the Canary Islands enjoying a really great, low latency, fibre connection. I went for the cheap offering at 38€/month, 300Mb synchronous. I didn't feel the need for the 600Mb ...

Spring tears down math geek t-shirt listing because it dared to mention the trademarked word 'zeta'

Just an old bloke

Google AdWords often block our ads for trademark violation, even though it’s our trademark and it’s also our URL.

UK government names suppliers on £3.5bn contact centre, shared services, and outsourcing framework

Just an old bloke

Will the Civil Service ever learn from their myriad mistakes? Nope.

UK's biggest trade union takes aim at Amazon over 'price gouging' allegations

Just an old bloke

Not only Amazon causing problems. Google contributed.

As is normal with every supply problem, prices rise and suppliers take advantage of this, doesn’t make it right, it’s a fact of life.

The one that surprised me was Google. Our company sells dust masks, goggles and other safety stuff, not medical but some pretty high spec stuff. This is not the main line of business but a bolt on to complement the some the hazardous stuff sold. We’ve seen shipping this for at least 20 years. As soon as the profiteering hit, Google dumped this part of our shopping feed and our mask products stooped showing on search results. According to Google, this was because we were profiteering from a crisis. And no, we hadn’t e praised prices.

I wonder how many other companies experienced this.

KPMG wins Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council's £18m everything-and-the-kitchen-sink IT deal

Just an old bloke

This is one kitchen sink that'll get blocked. One of two things will happen, or maybe both; the council will find that the KPMG suddenly find they need more consultants to plug legal shortcomings "they have found" or the contract they signed is not the one they thought they signed and there will be extras, lots and lots of extras. Either way, they will be stuffed.

Seagate UK customer stung by VAT on replacement drive shipped via the Netherlands

Just an old bloke

This is not a VAT charge

If it was VAT our club owner could have reclaimed it in the normal manner, he just has to pay it up front first. This sounds like a) UPS abusing the current situation and b) Seagate screwing up the export documentation. At a push, UPS could be charging import duty under the heading of Government Charges but that seems excessive, it's also way too low for a VAT charge.

If it's a no cost exchange, there should be zero charges. UPS are greedy. Seagate need education in export documentation.

'It's where the industry is heading': LibreOffice team working on WebAssembly port

Just an old bloke

Nothing wrong with old software.

No, your're not being silly. It's what many users want. I'd be happy with Wordstar, dBase II and Supercalc, the memory limitations would be a problem though. I still use photo imaging software for web stuff thats 25 years old, U-Lead Photoimpact because it's very quick, everything can be done with keystrokes and it's great at creating lightweight decent resolution graphics.

Have you ever loaded an old Netscape browser? Jeez they are fast, dangerously insecure but quick.

Anyone got a copy of Sidekick?

Just an old bloke

I really cannot see the point of porting Libre Office to a browser, increased security risk, more memory required and the necessity of being online to use it all make it a bit of a waste of time. And MS and Google have this stuff well covered already. They'd be better off using the reaources for rewriting the especially crappy bloated bits. No thanks, I still have a copy of Office 97.

Facebook rolls out full-page ads, website complaining Apple is forcing it to get consent before tracking you

Just an old bloke

Couple ousf points re FB

1. Their ads provide a dreadful ROI, no idea why people use them.

2. If you must use it, and there are some interesting groups available, use a burner email and make all your personal data ridiculously inaccurate.

3. Use a tight browser, FB hates Duckduckgo, Firefox do a decent job of blocking social trackers.

And then there is Google - far more insidious than FB.

Up yours, Europe! Our 100% prime British broadband is cheaper than yours... but also slower and a bit of a rip-off

Just an old bloke

Waiting on Movistar Cañarías to install FTTP. 300Mb synchronous, 38€ month.

Marketers for an Open Web ask UK competition watchdog to block launch of Google's anti-tracking Privacy Sandbox

Just an old bloke

De-Google your life. It's the only way. make it hard for them and your information worthless.

Millions wiped off value of Capita outsourcing deal with English councils amid 'further contract variation agreement'

Just an old bloke

This all harks back to the days of "Nobody got sacked for buying IBM". The public sector appear to find IT a problem and like all problems they want it gone. The problems start when they get to the contracts, get out clauses? They're in there but camoflaged to make it look like the customer is being protected. What they really need is decent, well staffed IT departments ahow are capable of managing and allocating jobs that are beyond their capablilities to smaller local companies. They should be trusted enough to manage their own budgets and report to the top bods exec, not the bean counters. Employing the likes of Crapita (and PWC, EW et al) means signing up to a bait and switch service, more often than not, the changes are outside the scope of the agreement etc... IT is much easier than it was 20 years back.

NCSC's London HQ was chosen because GCHQ spies panicked at the prospect of grubby Shoreditch offices

Just an old bloke

Shoreditch may be a tech hub but it is still a cr@p hole surrounded by very unpleasant parts of London. This does not make it bad. Worked there on a DR site for years, good pubs, decent caffs and real Londoners. This was before the beardie weardies took over and up-hipped it.

Billionaire's Pagani Pa-gone-i after teen son takes hypercar out for a drive, trashes it

Just an old bloke

I date from the time of crossply tyres, rear wheel drive, low HP engines and no seat belts in Austin A30's and Morris Minors. This combination teaches car control, how to get around a corner quickly and safely when you shouldn't be able to and above all, how to be a good driver, a driver who becomes part of the car rather than a computer operator passengering with a steering wheel where every mistake is auto corrected and crashes are much safer. Modern cars (post 1990) are pretty boring. In my yoof, the majority of crashes seemed to involve alcohol or were as a result of poor road design and lighting. Driving was so much more enjoyable in the sixties and seventies.

Just an old bloke

Re: Why this

Is that the fabled brass badge?

LibreOffice rains on OpenOffice's 20th anniversary parade, tells rival project to 'do the right thing' and die

Just an old bloke


Not it's not. It dead.

All it took was a global pandemic confining millions to their homes to remind businesses how much they appreciate the IT crowd

Just an old bloke

Until whatever passes for normality returns, then back to the status quo, an expensive pain in the ar#e doing a job the Board consider would be better and more cost effectively done by Crapita et al. Make the most of it folks.