* Posts by Howard Sway

444 posts • joined 12 Oct 2020

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Facebook may soon reveal new name – we're sure Reg readers will be more creative than Zuck's marketroids

Howard Sway Silver badge

I've had a name for it for years : Fucking Facebook

As in "Are you going to spend all day on fucking Facebook?"

US lawmakers give Amazon until November to prove it didn't lie to Congress

Howard Sway Silver badge

its own-brand coffee grinder, cereal, and vacuum cleaner popped up

My God, you're the richest guy in history and you're still pissed off that someone else is making money by selling corn flakes, and insist on muscling in on that market too. The end result of course will be lower quality versions of every product on the planet, produced by workers in the worst allowable working conditions, and prices jacked back up as each sector is monopolised.

The phrase "jack of all trades, master of none" should be kept in mind when tempted to buy any of this stuff.

Facebook posts job ad for 10,000 'high-skilled' roles to 'build the metaverse' – and they'll all be based in the EU

Howard Sway Silver badge

A dream that nobody wants except for the tech giants

I'm sure visions like this are a great way to get yourself noticed if you work somewhere like Facebook, but who's going to actually want to use it for any length of time? I can't see it being anything more than a world of not greatly convincing graphics, where you get to do little more than roam a virtual shopping mall and get constantly bombarded with advertising in order to pay for the huge cost of constructing and running it. An hour of it would probably be enough to send anyone stark raving mad and go "I spent two grand on a vr headset for this shit?".

US Army slows ~$20bn project to put Microsoft's HoloLens VR headsets into the field

Howard Sway Silver badge

Re: "increase lethality"

Sadly these things might well increase lethality. Especially when the software craps out, and they BSOD in the heat of battle, leaving everyone wearing one with a very sudden disadvantage.

All I want for Christmas is a delivery address that a delivery courier can find

Howard Sway Silver badge

"Sorry you were out when we called."

I have to say I am enjoying these tales of delivery drivers being unable to find an address - it brings back a wonderful nostalgic glow for the days when we in Blighty had things like delivery drivers, petrol for their vans, and goods for them to deliver to us.

OK, maybe i'm exaggerating a little here. A minister has just been on the telly to tell us that "we’ll be able to buy things, there will be food on the table" this Christmas. Which is totally reassuring, that he felt it necessary to have to do that.

Shatner breaks the age barrier, goes where no nonagenarian has gone before with Blue Origin rocket trip

Howard Sway Silver badge
Alien

Take me on a trip upon your magic swirling ship

My senses have been stripped....My hands can't feel to grip.....

Macintosh Classic II and triceratops skull on auction: One's a dinosaur, the other has three horns on its face

Howard Sway Silver badge

just a fugly beige box with beige keyboard and mouse

The only question really is which dreadful ad agency full of massively overpaid Apple-addled hipsters this thing is going to end up being displayed at, like some sort of holy relic.

Australian PM and Deputy threaten Facebook and Twitter with defamation liability for users' posts

Howard Sway Silver badge
Devil

Re: Unintended consequences

That'll be £5 please.

I lied about the I'll-defame-you part.

Howard Sway Silver badge

Unintended consequences

If they made FB liable for defamation in user posts, I might be persuaded to sign up. Just for the occasional bit of FB profit reduction now and then when I got bored. You could even start making "you-defame-me-and-I'll-defame-you" agreements with other people and both pocket the cash.

Microsoft turns Windows Subsystem for Linux into an app for Windows

Howard Sway Silver badge

WSL-as-app

They are obviously determined to try absolutely anything to stop people doing a proper Linux installation and having dual-boot systems. VMs, WSL, WSL-as-app.... just don't ever let them discover what booting up Linux properly feels like, in case people start to question whether having Windows is all that necessary and find themselves choosing the Linux option more frequently and finding free alternatives to paid for Windows applications.

They could make Linux dual boot an ultra easy one click option if they wanted. But they really don't want.

The planet survived six hours without Facebook. Let's make it longer next time

Howard Sway Silver badge

The worst case that never happens, happened

The worst case that never happens, always happens eventually.

Unfortunately that also happens to society too. Time to press the off switch permanently. And let whoever replaces it know that if they facilitate the undermining of democracy, knowingly profit from violence and organised disinformation or behave in ruthlessly anticompetitive behaviour then the off switch will be activated there too.

Zoom-o-cracy: Wales MP misses vote, allowing COVID-passport rule change, blames the IT dept

Howard Sway Silver badge

It was the IT department's fault...

I suspect that as he was attending the party conference, his inability to participate might be due to the 15 pints of IT department that he drank the night before.

IBM US staff must be fully vaccinated by December – or go back to bed without pay

Howard Sway Silver badge

IBM’s health and safety practices are driven by science

Genuinely pleased to hear them say this. Although they probably can't also say it, their technology is also driven by science, and therefore anybody dumb enough to fill their brain with anti-science ravings from the dank depths of social media should be easily prevented from working in a job where understanding of science and mathematics is a basic prerequisite.

You have the right to believe all the uninformed conspiracy theories if you want. It doesn't give you the right to job that involves intelligent processing of information, in fact it proves that you're not very good at it.

Intel's €80bn European chip plant investment plan not bound for UK because Brexit

Howard Sway Silver badge

Hope it's chips, it's chips, we hope it's chips, it's chips............

We won't need chips in this country, because apparently we're going to "build back burger!".

At least according to one of the reportedly "brilliant" jokes our leader told us yesterday from the big stage only he was allowed to use at his party conference.

Want to check out Windows 11 but don't want to buy a new PC? Here's how to bypass the hardware requirements

Howard Sway Silver badge

Oh, the irony

Remember the days when in order to get Linux installed and working, you sometimes had to hack around with low level hardware configuration before you had a working system?

Well, Windows has finally devolved to that level, whilst I've not had a Linux installation that didn't work instantly for years.

Windows 11 in detail: Incremental upgrade spoilt by onerous system requirements and usability mis-steps

Howard Sway Silver badge

Fred had a multimedia computer with sound recording and video playback back in 1981!

He even drove an electric truck, decades before Musk. And often rocked the hard hat look well before Peter Norton.

We have some sad news about Facebook. It has returned to the internet after six-hour mega outage

Howard Sway Silver badge

it saved a single network administrator over eight hours of work each week

And caused a share price drop that reportedly cost the boss $6 billion.

I thought I'd seen plenty of IT false economies in my time, but obviously they pale into insignificance compared to this. (as in, they should have tested it properly - not suggesting that scripting is bad!)

Pretend starship captain to take trip in real space capsule

Howard Sway Silver badge

famed for some nerdy TV show from the 1960s

You're not one of those mad conspiracy theorists who claim it was all faked are you?

Microsoft shows off Office 2021 for consumers ahead of the coming of Windows 11

Howard Sway Silver badge

a substantial proportion of users will be in need of a new PC

Good job there's not a global chip shortage, or any other supply chain problems then.

Netflix sued by South Korean ISP after Squid Game fans swell traffic to '1.2Tbps'

Howard Sway Silver badge
Coat

Re: Looks like the ISP wants 2 bites of the cherry

If you compare the prices in South Korea and the UK, over there it's sick squid a month cheaper.

UK.gov presents its National Space Strategy: Space is worth billions to us. Just don't mention Brexit, OK?

Howard Sway Silver badge

Boris Johnson’s 'Galactic Britain'

Good idea - send him off in a rocket to negotiate a trade deal with the Andromeda galaxy. It's where the new opportunities really are, and we can finally free ourselves from the shackles of the "Failing Milky Way".

UK government rolls out £3.6bn management consultancy framework amid scrutiny of rising external expertise spending

Howard Sway Silver badge

Another day ..... another few billion announced

Just waiting for the day when they announce that they are working on procurement for a new strategy to deal with all the procurement strategies they've bought.

It appears that an infinite amount of advice is required in order for government to understand that you can automate administrative processes with IT systems.

YouTube expands vaccine misinfo crackdown, nukes anti-vax channels for good

Howard Sway Silver badge

video giant said that content making false claims that approved vaccines are dangerous

so, are they going to return all the money they made from knowingly disseminating this garbage that kills people for many months to something like a fund for vaccinating people in less wealthy countries who would dearly love to get the vaccine?

Why's it taken nearly a year of all that lovely ad revenue to realise the harm it was causing?

Tobacco giants don't get to decide who does research on smoking. Why does Facebook get to dictate studies?

Howard Sway Silver badge

Transparency is the first, unescapable step toward holding social media platforms accountable

This kind of statement is emblematic of the piecemeal approach to solving the problems on social media that won't really get to the true heart of the matter.

Yep, more transparency would be good, no doubt, but you're still looking for a technical solution to a much larger problem.

They've profited for too long from harmful behaviour, and been far too happy to carry on doing so, despite some of it provably having cost actual lives. This refusal to be regulated should be met with a proper demonstration of how unhappy the measures that could be taken will make them if they don't start cleaning up their act. Letting people become unaccountable because of their wealth and power is never a good idea.

Chocgate: The fallout. Partially taxpayer-funded £6k+ staff luxury treats land ICO in lukewarm water

Howard Sway Silver badge

Exactly. £25 each for the employees to show a bit of appreciation for their efforts at Christmas is hardly some great scandal. How many rolls of gold wallpaper would it have bought?

Don't touch that dial – the new guy just closed the application that no one is meant to close

Howard Sway Silver badge

the words "DO NOT CLOSE DOWN THIS APPLICATION"

Foolproof!

Until, as always, nature evolves a cleverer type of fool.

If your head's not in the cloud, you're not in the right place

Howard Sway Silver badge

The complexity and scale of a proper corporate infrastructure

Is why you need specialists in different skillsets in order to manage it. Is why companies used to have separate groups of people with years of experience in development and years of experience in operations to cope with that complexity. Is why the beancounters dream of requiring the IT people to do both and calling it "DevOps" was always going to mean knowledge spread more thinly over a greater surface area of complexity.

The point of containers and "serverless" was supposed to be that developers didn't need to care about the runtime environment. But then they decided that the developers should also have to be experts in operating the much more complicated runtime environment created to enable that simplification.

UK Ministry of Defence tries again to procure £1.7bn tri-service recruitment system

Howard Sway Silver badge

£1.7bn procurement for MOD recruitment

Join the outsourced Army IT. Travel the world. Meet interesting people. And bill them.

Texas law banning platforms from social media moderation challenged in lawsuit

Howard Sway Silver badge

In the meantime they will have to get ready to implement the law

And of course they will have to publish everything the governor and his party post - whatever it is!

They could do this by publishing it at a URL of the companys own choosing, such as www.twitbook.com/governorgreggabboottisanobnoxiousassholewhowethinkshouldbecompletelyignored/666/dontreadthis/thewordsofamoroncanbefoundhere/

and presumably still obey the law. Oh, and they only have to publish it, they don't have to link to it from anywhere else. You can still access it by typing in the URL.

Obviously the law will be challenged, but it would be interesting to show him what the consequences could be like, and subject him to the mockery he deserves.

One-size-fits-all chargers? What a great idea! Of course Apple would hate it

Howard Sway Silver badge

Wait for it.....

The Apple USB-C charger : only $89.99

DORA explorers see pandemic boost in numbers of 'elite' DevOps performers

Howard Sway Silver badge

To be elite, one must deploy multiple times per day

No Grasshopper, to be truly elite one need only ever deploy once.

It hardly ever happens these days of course, but is nobody ever solving problems that take more than a few hours to solve? Is any devopser ever concerned with good design? Thank goodness I programmed as a paid company worker in the days before it became infested with the stupid idea that programming is nothing more than lists of microtasks, generated by some supreme being...............

Infosys admits it still hasn't fully fixed Indian tax portal

Howard Sway Silver badge

working expeditiously to further streamline end-user experience

Simply the best attempt I've seen to describe desperately attempting to fix a broken system, whilst trying too hard not to admit it's broken.

Japan, Singapore, perhaps the whole world.... Get ready for robot waiters from Softbank and Keenon

Howard Sway Silver badge

Alas, I fear that these service robots days are already numbered

Once they figure out that customers will accept a dehumanised dining experience, they can replace the robots with a microwave on each table, next to a handy little fridge full of ready meals. OK, maybe with a robot arm to move the meal from fridge to microwave to customer once you've selected your meal from the app.

Court of Appeal says AI software cannot be listed as patent inventor

Howard Sway Silver badge
Alien

What happens when a highly advanced extraterrestrial civilization visits Earth?

Obviously they just queue up at the patent office so they can legally monetise their interstellar relativity warp drive and plasma death rays. Haven't you seen the film Patent Application Day?

Macmillan best-biscuit list unexpectedly promotes breakfast cereal to treat status

Howard Sway Silver badge
Linux

Madeleine?

Unless I've been very unobservant and missed some horrible imposter in the biscuit aisle, that is most definitely a little vanilla cake, not a biscuit.

Icon, because my desk-reachable biscuits are stashed in a foot high McVities branded Penguin shaped ceramic bicuit barrel, that I found in a charity shop.

Don't forget to leave a rating: Amazon chairman meeting with UK prime minister to talk taxes

Howard Sway Silver badge

he will discuss the “challenges” of taxing giant tech corporations in a digital economy

The challenge is simply to grow a backbone and start making them fucking pay. You don't go and discuss it with the guy who doesn't want to pay, and beg him to pretty please pay a bit more so it looks like you've scored some sort of victory and in return you'll ease off the other stuff about regulation and worker's rights.... unless of course you're a cynical, useless prat who doesn't really think the rich should pay for anything, as you intend to very much be one of them once you're bored with playing at being prime minister.

Amazon UK business swelled by 50%+ in 2020, and taxes soared. Lol, no, it means those paid by its staff

Howard Sway Silver badge

Amazon Web Services UK Ltd, for example, used the "small companies exemption"

Ridiculous. Why not allow them to use the "purple spotted unicorn exemption" or the "magic fairy wishing well exemption|" too - it would actually be taking the piss a little less than they currently are.

RIP Sir Clive Sinclair: British home computer trailblazer dies aged 81

Howard Sway Silver badge
Pint

An era has ended tonight for a generation

Without him, the beginning of mass ownership of computers in the UK would have looked very different, and would likely have been much more exclusive and limited, due to the higher prices of other machines. Sure, everything was somewhat quirky about the machines, and the business was ramshackle at times, but there was no roadmap for how to do home computing at the time and that's why it's so fondly remembered by those of us who were there. Nobody ever complained about corporate blandness in those exciting days.

Inventiveness and originality will always lead to as many failures as successes, and whilst the failures were often fun to laugh at, the successes were real and had a major impact on so many people. You don't become an icon like Sir Clive did without being the real deal.

Goodness knows what my teenage years and career would have looked like had my classmate not brought their ZX81 in to school to show us, typed some small programs in and run them, causing me to go "so THAT'S how they work". I'm still programming now, 40 years later. That's how much he influenced people.

Catch of the day... for Google, anyway: Transatlantic Cornwall cable hauled ashore

Howard Sway Silver badge

just a short seaside donkey ride from GCHQ's Bude listening post on the cliffs

See that nobody's commented on this glaringly obvious detail yet : Google was obviously made to use this location by the secretive guys running the donkey rides, in fact it wouldn't surprise me at all if they've already connected the cable into the stables so that the folks back in Mountain View can check availability of the smelly four legged beach attractions in real time.

Facebook building 'on-demand executable file format' that self-inflates using homebrew compression

Howard Sway Silver badge

Mmmm, lots of free space caused by the new executable file format

Surely they won't mind if we insist on building in a couple of extra data slurping and advertising APIs into every app in return..................

Spending watchdog blames British Home Office for delays to £1bn crime-fighting IT system

Howard Sway Silver badge

Home Office has "decided to accept the risk of running the PNC without support"

The image of Priti Patel screaming "make it work! make it work!" at a group of unfortunate techies springs to mind far too easily reading this article.

You can 'go your own way' over GDPR, says UK's new Information Commissioner

Howard Sway Silver badge

the "United Kingdom is entitled to take Fleetwood Mac's advice and 'Go your Own Way'

Nice one, that's a bitter, angry song about the breakdown of relationships, fuelled by the resentment caused, and most often cited as symbolic of the dysfunctional never ending soap opera that the band has been ever since.

The song's not "advice", it's basically saying f*** off to an ex-partner.

Is that how he's planning to behave?

UK.gov is launching an anti-Facebook encryption push. Don't think of the children: Think of the nuances and edge cases instead

Howard Sway Silver badge
Big Brother

The ad campaign will run online

I wonder where. Surely not on the Zuckerborg, they couldn't possibly be paying the target of their ire could they?

According to research from fact-checking non-profit First Draft, 88% of the Facebook ads the Conservatives posted in the first four days of December were deemed misleading by Full Fact, one of the U.K.’s biggest fact-checking organisations.

Ban these evil organisations funding all this online harm!

Right to contest automated AI decision under review as part of UK government data protection consultation

Howard Sway Silver badge

Now that we have left the EU, we have the freedom to create a bold new data regime.

Unfortunately, we are an especially dull minded bunch of ideologues, so we will just decide to do exactly the opposite of whatever the EU does, in the deranged belief that this will yield good outcomes.

Not too bright, are you? Your laptop, I mean... Not you

Howard Sway Silver badge

Re: me too

Airplane Mode.

Happened to me with my Thinkpad, it's a very tiny slider switch on the side, coloured black with a black slider, just recessed into the black case. When it must have got switched, wifi couldn't be enabled no matter what commands I issued on the command line. And I obviously couldn't search for the answer online, and had no other device that I could use at the time. So, went down to the library, sat at a computer and wrote down lots more commands to try, but then fortunately found a page showing where the switch was and explaining what it did. Came home, moved the miniscule switch from green to black again and it was all sorted. The laptop of course has never been on a flight and will never be taken on one.

SAP 'investigating' after viral video allegedly shows anti-mask employee coughing on shoppers

Howard Sway Silver badge

Those psychometric tests win again!

So, the SAP recruitment process includes the following :

SAP numerical reasoning tests measure your numerical aptitude and your ability to interpret, analyse and draw conclusions from sets of data.

-- "millions dead = it's all a hoax!"

SAP situational judgement tests allow the recruiter to assess how candidates may approach workplace-based scenarios.

-- "You disagree with someone else's choice. Do you (a) accept that other people have other opinions or (b) cough in their face and call them sheep"

Amazon says Elon Musk's wicked, wicked ways mean SpaceX's Starlink 2.0 should not be allowed to fly

Howard Sway Silver badge

Rules are for other people

If Amazon think they can swing public opinion by trotting out this little gem, they must be totally deranged by their success. Considering their attitude to rules about employee rights, taxation, competition and other such trivia, they are not exactly operating from any moral high ground.

This pathetic "my rocket's better than your rocket" nonsense will hopefully cheapen their ego trips in the minds of many. I hope this row becomes louder, more intense and ever more revealing of the personalities of the rich boys with their big toys....

Talent shortage? Maybe it's your automated hiring system, lack of investment in training

Howard Sway Silver badge

88 per cent of employers agree, telling us that qualified high-skills candidates are vetted out

Then why the hell are you all still using this dumb useless system of HR people operating cv keyword filtering software?

They deserve every mediocrity they get : there is no shortage of talented and skilled people, merely a glut of unimaginative corporate desk warmers too stupid to recruit them. I learnt long ago to only work for people in software development who have actually written software themselves.

Intel may spend up to €80bn on chip plants in Europe over next ten years

Howard Sway Silver badge

Intel expects 20 per cent of the cost of new cars will be down to semiconductors by 2030

This could mean one of several things :

1. A £50,000 car would then contain £10,000 of computer hardware, which is enough to be able to run your own mobile hybrid cloud when you're on the move.

2. The cost of chips is going to be going through the roof, and the chip giants will be subject to "shortages" for the next decade, carefully engineered to enable them to reach these price points.

3. It's just some typical CEO bullshit that will be forgotten in 5 minutes time once everybody's concluded it was nonsense.

British data watchdog brings cookies to G7 meeting – pop-up consent requests, not the delicious baked treats

Howard Sway Silver badge

Iain Duncan Smith claimed it led to people being bombarded with complex consent requests

I can see how Iain Duncan Smith might well find it rather hard to solve a "complex" problem like deciding which of the two buttons to press.

"I Agree...I Don't Agree....... it's just so confusing isn't it?"

Also doesn't realise that it makes him sound like Alan Partridge when he found an "additional costs" item on his hotel bill and then claimed he got confused when his tv asked him to confirm whether he wanted to watch the adult pay tv channel or not.

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