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Comment Re:CGNAT (Score 1) 368

You can still throttle the spammers by limiting the frequency of posts based on IP address

Yeah, if you want lots of both type I and type II errors. In IPv4, a throttle will cause collateral damage for people behind the same carrier-grade NAT, such as students living on campus in the same dorm complex or residents of a country that doesn't have quite as many allocated IP addresses as the United States.

Hah, tell me about it! Sometime around 2004 or so, Slashdot managed to ban just about every broadband user in Swansea, the second-largest city in Wales, population 200k-500k (depending on how wide an area you count). Why? Because back then the major broadband supplier, NTL (now Virgin Media) ran everyone through a set of caching proxy servers that didn't preserve the original user's IP address. Obviously somebody in Swansea had been trolling/attacking Slashdot, and as a result the latter just put all the Swansea proxy server IPs onto their banned list, cutting off an entire British city.

Hilariously, when I emailed Slashdot support to explain the issue, I got a reply that seemed to think that "city of half-a-million people" actually meant "a few dozen people in an office", because the guy seemed to not understand the issue at all, and told me that until I, me personally, managed to find the troll and get him to stop hitting their servers, then the IP range would remain banned. And this from a major tech site. You had to laugh, or else you'd cry...

Anyway, I forwarded both mine and his emails to NTL (cc'd to Slashdot with a note to say that perhaps they might like to work together on the problem) and eventually, well over six months down the line, it got sorted by someone, somehow, I don't know the details.

In the meantime I got round the issue myself by manually sticking the address for another city's NTL proxy server into my internet connection setup (Bristol, if I remember correctly; not sure why I didn't use Cardiff, possibly too congested).

Comment Re:Thanks to (Score 1) 368

You missed the modern Plain Old Text mode then?

Plain Old Text: Same as "HTML Formatted", except that <BR> is automatically inserted for newlines, and other whitespace is converted to non-breaking spaces in a more-or-less intelligent way.

The old HTML-only thing where you had to keep chucking <p>s and <br>s in hasn't been required, nor I believe is the default any more, for years.

We also have a Preview function now, so you can check if your paragraphs have been mangled or not.

Comment Re:Cue the lawsuits. (Score 2) 443

When I read the article the other day about MS C++ compiler adding in telemetry info into programs compiled with it as a default option without any notice that it was doing it and having to explicitly turn it off, I was glad I hadn't continued getting new versions of VS.

Bloody hell, I'd not heard of that.

Seems that we're now only one step away from The Ken Thompson Hack, that's if we're not already secretly there already.

Comment Re:Cue the lawsuits. (Score 1) 443

I was... moderately hopeful that we were seeing a new Microsoft, embracing open source...

Remind me how that little saying goes? Ah yes...,_extend_and_extinguish

Obviously trickier with open source than closed, but given their resources and what they might intend to do, not impossible. After all, we've already seen a new init system on Linux made almost the de facto standard now, despite apparent mass hatred of it...

Comment Re:I assumed this was already a default (Score 1) 924

Have to agree with the person above me: the Backspace = Prev Page thing was a colossal pain in the arse... if for some reason you'd lost focus from a text entry box, you'd hit backspace and end up on the wrong page. There was no need to have Backspace do that; that's what Alt-Left (and Alt-Right for Next Page) are for.

Comment Re:Skype for Business (Score 1) 224

What I don't understand is we had really good IM tools not that long ago (10 years ago?) that had features like voice chat, group IM, etc...

Yup. When they killed MSN Messenger it was a very sad day. I remember running that with a webcam back in the year 2000 over 56Kb dial-up, and although it's probably rose-tinted spectacles talking, it seemed to work better back then than the last version of Skype I managed to use before it finally became unusable on my hardware.

I don't understand why, with internet links being 100 times faster, and machines being 20 times faster, how Skype could be worse; hell, how it could even be worse than the video chat on the last version of MSN Messenger (by then called Windows Live Messenger) that existed.

Well actually I suppose I can. Although all WLM text chat went through Microsoft's servers, their video chat was peer-to-peer. Once the powers-that-be discovered that terrorists were apparently communicating by holding up bits of cardboard with messages written on them to each other (not a conspiracy theory, there was a news item on it at the time), peer-to-peer video chat was dead - hence the move to Skype, ALL of which goes through Microsoft's unhappy servers.

And now Yahoo is going the same way - the new version of the Android/iOS app has been widely derided, it's actually removed features (like only having three statuses now - not that even that many are useful as apparently everyone shows online to everyone else whether or not they actually are), and in my case the PC client no longer logs in. So everyone I know is running away from YIM as well. Which just leaves Hangouts... which sucks too, for multiple reasons given by others above.

We used to have a wonderful set of chat/IM tools... pretty much all of them dead. Online chat/IM has basically been ruined over the last 10-15 years, in my view cynically and deliberately. Someone on here once called it The Balkanisation of Chat and they weren't wrong.

So sad.

Comment Re:Why do we always get this from the UK? (Score 1) 231

In the UK we used to have a chap called Jeremy Beadle on TV playing pranks on people. At the end he'd turn up as a traffic warden, policeman, or whatever and take off his fake beard and the mark would find it hilarious.

You've reminded me of Not The Nine O'Clock News' wonderful spoof of it, here:

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