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* Posts by Stephen Channell

319 posts • joined 28 Sep 2007

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Microsoft Research adds interactivity to Windows 8 Live Tiles

Stephen Channell
Bronze badge
FAIL

still fundamentally flawed

When a tile on a large desktop screen is as big as a full screen app on a little device, it doesn't take a Phd to work out that a tile should/could offer the full app in part of the window.. But stupid "charms" prevent it.

the demo did not show left/right scrolling,because (without focus) it can't distinguish between scrolling the app and scrolling the "start" screen.. And they cant use the edge of the screen for start scroll because that is hard-coded to "charms".

gesture interface might make sense if/when we all have kinetic (xbox) controls, but for now it is as intuitive as Ctrl-Alt-Del without the onscreen prompt or the start button.. Epic epic fail

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Why won't you DIE? IBM's S/360 and its legacy at 50

Stephen Channell
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Happy

Re: S/360 I knew you well

S/380 was the "future systems program" that was cut down to the S/38 mini.

HASP was the original "grid scheduler" in Houston running on a dedicated mainframe scheduling work to the other 23 mainframes under the bridge.. I nearly wet myself with laughter reading Data-Synapse documentation and their "invention" of a job-control-language. 40 years ago HASP was doing Map/Reduce to process data faster than a tape-drive could handle.

If we don't learn the lessons of history, we are destined to IEFBR14!

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Microsoft in OPEN-SOURCE .Net love-in with new foundation

Stephen Channell
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Happy

good start...

Roslyn is the real meat here because many of the other libraries are apache open source already, which is great, but the next step is to offer the MS .NET runtime for {Unix,linux bsd,posix} deployment, very few will use it, but will settle concerns about Mono performance/compatibility.

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Dark SITH LORD 'Darth Vader' joins battle to rule, er, Ukraine

Stephen Channell
Bronze badge

tartar source

Crimea was billed as a tinderbox because of the ethnic and religious tension between Tartar's (original population of Ottoman Crimea), Russians and Ukrainians. From a western analysis, the Tartars should lean towards the pluralist EU supporting liberals rather than Russia which (under Stalin) expelled the tartars after WWII, but that is not what happened. That a ethnic group culturally/ethnically/historically closer to Istanbul than Moscow would vote overwhelming to join Russia demands serious analysis and respect.

Had the USSR followed market forces, there wouldn't have been a reason for Khrushchev to give Crimea to the Ukraine to route water, power & gas.

Nobody is seriously considering a reenactment of the 'charge of he light brigade' to defend Communist planning or the agreements of a pissed and broke Boris Yeltsin, so lets quit the rhetoric and accept that Crimea is a pawn in the diplomacy over Syria.

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It's 2014 and you can pwn a PC by opening a .RTF in Word, Outlook

Stephen Channell
Bronze badge
Boffin

two roles for RTF

Back in the early '80s IBM had a very brief leadership of PC word processing with DisplayWrite before being eclipsed by WordStar (ported from CP/M), WordPerfect (ported from Wang), MS Word (ported from Xenix). DisplayWrite was developed in a PC emulator running on MVS... was slow, memory intensive with a blockey UI, and larger files due to RTF, which was text based for transfer to/from S/370,S/36,S/38 versions which used EBCDIC instead of ASCII. RTF support in WordPerfect & Word started out as IBM compatibility.

For Microsoft RTF was a surprise saviour because it was the only way to share files between Word for DOS and MacWord which had incompatible.DOC formats due to big/little endian differences between 8086 & 68000.

IBM lost interest in RTF, because it had a better idea with GML (which it standardised & some contractor @CERN copied for his web-thing).

MS wrote-up the spec because mail-merge used to be a separate program, and is still used in document generators.

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Stephen Channell
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Unhappy

The RTF file format predates Windows, and was included in Word for compatibility with the leading packages of the early eighties'

safe to bet that every version of word (right back to the Unix original) is affected

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Reality check: Java 8 finally catches a multi-core break

Stephen Channell
Bronze badge
Meh

Re: Only 6 years after C#... and 3 years after C++

I respect (but don't like) the way they've implemented lambdas without proper type inference to ensure it is only used for anonymous classes and not functional code like Scala, C# and C++.. it reminded me of the incremental updates to COBOL.

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Intel reinvents the PC as giant 'Black Brook' fondleslab

Stephen Channell
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Facepalm

That is so funny...

The only thing missing was the bit at the end when a kid drops it and mum & dad go ballistic.

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Windows hits the skids, Mac OS X on the rise

Stephen Channell
Bronze badge
Unhappy

Windows 8.1 is a fine half-an-OS

Once you add Classic shell and go through and disable all the chimes, it is not bad, but leaves a lingering taste in the mouth, and resentment that you've debugged, hacked & fixed something they could have finished so easily.

"it may very well slip into – caducity" is understatement (as anyone who's tried to follow MSF will tell you) caducity is the stage they're at already with windows, but MS is not a frail human body.. they have the power to rebuild it.. but can they be bothered?

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Microsoft closing in on Apache's web server crown

Stephen Channell
Bronze badge

Apples & Pears

nginx is primarily a reverse proxy load balancer with a neat edge host for static content and termination for encryption. For Java/Mono apps it does away with the need for a full Apache web server and helps the like of Node.JS scale.

Microsoft's ISA server does the equivalent, but reports IIS as the host type.

Thanks to Mr Snowdon many more web sites are going to move to https for everything (including static content) so Nginx can expect much better growth because the CPU load of SSL is a big motivator for reverse proxies.

It is Apples & Pears because Nginx might just be fronting Apache/IIS.. All that is clear id that nobody is using Squid anymore

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Steve Ballmer: Thanks to me, Microsoft screwed up a decade in phones

Stephen Channell
Bronze badge
Facepalm

Re: The man is a priceless treasure

The company he joined was a languages (interpreter & compilers) & tools company that had a nice shared operating system (Xenix). Sure they'd sold DOS to IBM, but that was just an upselling gimmick, like cheap beer in a Supermarket.

After 38 years with his leadership, the board decided the kind of CEO they needed was someone from a languages & tools background, with a nice shared operating system (Azure).

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Microsoft to get in XP users' faces with one last warning

Stephen Channell
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Facepalm

desktop hardening service pack would be good

If you're never going to update the OS, you might as.well lock it down and prevent all changes in the way they did for "windows for warships".. With no new OS, driver, exe,dll or hardware changed allowed there would be no worries about virus and no need for "MS support". It wouldn't be difficult either:one final NTFS filter blocking exe write or network/USB load.

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'No, I CAN'T write code myself,' admits woman in charge of teaching our kids to code

Stephen Channell
Bronze badge
FAIL

a little more effort or truth would be good

Really, if you're going to take on something like this, you should go to the effort of learning it before pontificating to teachers about how easy it is.. Teachers will need to debug students code, so more tricky

she could have told the truth: (1) she's a tory flunky filling in before she becomes an MP (2) an experienced person would cost more than the government is prepared to pay (3) there's money to be made selling coding skills to Tory flunkies

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Microsoft takes InfoPath behind the shed, says successor will be better

Stephen Channell
Bronze badge
Coffee/keyboard

goodbye Visual Studio Tools for Applications

I looked at it in 2003 but frankly it was a stupid idea in 2003 & it's a stupid idea now.. if they'd put the effort into IE instead there would be no Google Chrome. Even in 2003 the HTML forms could do most of what InfoPath could do, and if you're going to go to the trouble of installing a desktop app, you might was well do a proper one.

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Big tech firms holding wages down? Marx was right all along, I tell ya!

Stephen Channell
Bronze badge
Pint

Labour theory of Value

There is nothing particularly Marxist about objecting to price-fixing cartels; if anything cartels and other corrupt practices are a left-over from feudalism. Economist rightly point to the damage that these cartels do to the efficient working of markets.. morally corrupt corporations might start with market abuse, but pretty soon they’re selling pictures of your half-naked children to fizzy drinks companies (yes, Facebook, you).

Where Marx has something to say, is in the theory that Value is only due to the Labour that went into making it (gold is expensive, dirt is cheap).. and nothing else (owning the gold mine doesn’t count). Marx calls profit ‘surplus value’… which in IT terms means “all the money, that all the internet behemoths makes, should be shared by the workers who create the software”!

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IBM reveals radical email interface rethink

Stephen Channell
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Unhappy

a less crap Lostit Notes would be a start

Lostit Notes search is beyond doubt awful and not properly updated for the new millennium.

nobody is ditching Lostit Notes for lack of photos.

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Dart 1.1 bullseyes JavaScript performance in latest benchmarks

Stephen Channell
Bronze badge
Pint

Re: JS is the new ASM?

somebody has clearly been the victim of one of those "lets use every pattern we can" Java systems designed to impress (recent) University lectures rather than customers and users... unfortunately it comes across like the reformed alcoholic looking for probation... Interfaces & stong types are not a problem, inappropriate ones are the problem.

The IFood example is telling because it is an anti-interface (doesn't taste awful).. you could (with experience) define IFood to exclude plastics, but would have trouble with human sausages.. don't try to rationalise meaningless "interfaces", concentrate ones that describe a finite set.

"Factorial (n) {...}" can be inferred to be numeric quite easily, but inference that a non-integer values result in infinite recursion is "tricky". What we need is optional type annotation for cases where type can not be derived from usage: e.g. "Factorial (n : integer) {}".. we'll end-up using TypeScript, regardless of whether we try Dart first

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Latest Chrome adds Chrome OS flavor to Windows 8 'Metro' mode

Stephen Channell
Bronze badge
Pint

British & Irish isles, but Guinness/Stout/Porter is English!

The Irish American name now used by the British Loins Rugby (not ones for politcal corectness: Tripple Crown is for the Crowns of England, Ireland & Scotland).

Stout comes from old London Town, specifically Covernt Garden and only moved to Dublin for clean water

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Report: Prez Obama kicks Healthcare.gov contractor to curb for web disaster

Stephen Channell
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Unhappy

lazy journalism: B+ for reading WSJ, D- for NHS Reference

It's lazy journalism to compare failed projects... Like you were a skunk-fueled adolescent Lamenting "what's the point of anything". If you look past the buzz-words Obamacare and NPfIT could not be more different.

Obamacare didn't have a single project management authority; first thing NPfIT did was to hire a master project management contractor.

Obamacare website does little not than a GP survey to BUPA website; NfPIT was about the difficult stuff of healthcare.

Obamacare failed because it didn't do proper testing; NPfIT failed because it required clinicians (that couldn't agree) to test & signoff.

Oracle Sedona is technically a better comparison, but few have read about that billion dollar disaster outside a small IT community.

Lets all celibrate HP getting the gig, those Oscilloscope they used to make prove they know health! (or maybe that's just plucking random words)

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Gay hero super-boffin Turing 'may have been murdered by MI5'

Stephen Channell
Bronze badge
Facepalm

Re: Peter Tatchell being stupid again!

You kinda need access to the KGB archives to learn which cyphers the Russians used after the war, but we did provide the Russians with Ultra intelligence starting with artic convoys to relieve the Leningrad blockade and ending with the siege of Warsaw when the Russians ignored detailed intercepts of German orders and left the uprising to its fate. Lawrence Olivier did a great monolog on Russian complaints about allied intelligence officers with Ultra knowledge allowed to fall into the hands of the Gestapo in the ‘world at war’.

Turing would not be interesting to the KGB when he died because his operational knowledge was ten years old, and his mind was operationally useless in case he was a mole. Fun as conspiracy theories are, it is stupid to think the security services would rather kill him than answer the question when he asked Police to call.

Which is a better case for investigation: tenuous Conspiracy or very real Homophobia?

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Stephen Channell
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Facepalm

Peter Tatchell being stupid again!

Had the Manchester Police dealt with the complaint that Alan Turing made (that he'd been robbed), there would have been no question, no issue, and other gay men would not have had to accept that police turn a blind eye to homophobic crime. When police ignore a Man being beaten to death for being Gay, it is rather stupid for Peter to focus on the foolish notion that Alan was assonated.

The stupid conspiracy theorists should know Russians knew we’d broken Enigma, because we’d told them (but not how), so they knew we didn’t use it after the war.

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Feminist Software Foundation gets grumpy with GitHub … or does it?

Stephen Channell
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Go

Clearly a joke... otherise it would be O+ or Grace !

Seriously though there is a need for feminist paradigms in programming language design, especially now that computers are so much faster, and algorithms need to be parallel/cooperative to get more done. Characteristics of a “Grace” language would include:

Agent oriented, pervasive multi-tasking.. agent decides when it runs.

Relationship is the fundamental abstraction. All agents interact through bidirectional relationships that define privileges through an agent’s lifecycle & relationships can change.

No information hiding and no delegating behaviour to a base class, exceptions guard access, relationships are viewable.

Every action can cause exception because legality is subject to type of relationship and every exception must be handled.

Agents cannot be killed, but you can ask them to stop.

Inversion-of-control is invasive.

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Google may drop Intel for own-recipe ARM: Bloomberg

Stephen Channell
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Unhappy

FUD until you see a contract with Nvidia

It's all about price: specifically Google asking for a cut on Intel prices to stash in one of their offshore tax-free pots.. a cut they expect the rest of us to pay for. If they were serious they talk about paying Nvidia to build an ARM version of the Xeon Phi.

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Oh no, RBS has gone titsup again... but is it JUST BAD LUCK?

Stephen Channell
Bronze badge
Facepalm

do be serious

The OS that run the mainframes used to be distributed as source (OS/360,OS/VS2,MVS), but customers didn’t want it, and bits of the IPL code that boots it is older than some pensioners. The code is not the issue, it’s the people. Fact is a 55 Systems Programmer can’t be bought with a promise of promotion; its cash or dash. A 40 C-something has no real understanding of what that guy does and doesn’t believe him anyway.

We’re about to get one of those lessons in what a promise is really worth to a bright 20-year on (UK) minimum wage looking for a route overseas.. meanwhile HSBC & Barclays will pay what they need, and we’ll never hear about it.

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Ford says Microsoft CEO target Mulally not going anywhere

Stephen Channell
Bronze badge
Windows

Re: cars & airplanes are not computers...wrong

Frankly, a distinguished aircraft engineer is better bet than some shmuck who’s pimped his butt round Silicon Valley or some fizzy-drinks vendor. Boing & Ford are serious engineering companies that under Mulally have gone to great lengths not to kill people (that wasn’t always the case). Microsoft needs to focus on solid engineering that nobody would want to replace; while scaling a large scale cloud that everybody could trust.

Given time Nokia phones & tablets will beat Apple by scaling solid engineering with clever quality supply-chain, which Boing & Ford have excelled at with standards.

2015 is not too long to wait for the right candidate.. and Bill can fill-in as interim-CEO until then

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XBOX ONE and PS4, you'll make us RUN OUT of INTERNET

Stephen Channell
Bronze badge
Facepalm

caching proxy server vendor points to the need for caching proxy servers

How very public spirited of them. I'm surprises they didn't mention that all the ISP with caching proxies will be fine and may even help the other ISPs that don't record your clickstream by reducing traffic

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Intel: 'Y'know that GPU-accelerated computing craze? Fuggedaboutit'

Stephen Channell
Bronze badge
Unhappy

MIC likes Monte Carlo

for embarrassingly parallel apps like Monte-Carlo simulation of alternative futures Phi wins over GPGPU (which wins for fluid dynamics) with little code change, especially for portfolios that need virtual function dereferencing.

No shelling cash to M$ (Phi has an embedded Linux kernel), doesn't run Windows (which is a shame because it precludes .NET)

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Microsoft FAILS to encrypt data centre links despite NSA snooping

Stephen Channell
Bronze badge
Big Brother

HUGE difference between data that is volunteered

When I started using: google, there were no ads (2000); the facebook, there were no ads (2003); Visa, there were no list sales; BT, there was no list sales.. at no time have I volunteered data, so I don't see a big difference between commercial or government snooping, given the warnings "searching for fertiliser bomb recipes may lead to police attention" or "facebooking in-a-relationship may lead to insurance being declined in 20 years" would help get a sense of proportion.

If I'd gone to Benghazi (Lance Corporal Gerald Fleming, Grenadier Guards RIP Salerno 22-sep-1943 was there), GCHQ would use every snoop to stop me being beheaded, but the facebook wouldn't even ban the video

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Stephen Channell
Bronze badge
Big Brother

Re: So now we need VPN aware TOE for server-to-server

My grandfather was a desert-rat in WW2; my daughter did a project on him, reading all his love letters with big red "censor approved" stamps on them. We're going to visit his grave in Salerno, but can't visit Tripoli, Benghazi (where he was hospitalised) or Egypt because some Islamists think they're at war.. " your suggestion would be what?" ... get over yourself, you're really not that interesting.

Consider this: comment on you weight on the facebook, and you'll get adds for diet pills that an NHS doctor would advise you to avoid; search google for anything, and you'll get targeted for ads; buy a postal subscription for "the economist" with a credit card and get telephone calls for "the time" newspaper; but lookup travel to Libya & accommodation in Benghazi, chances are, nothing..

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Stephen Channell
Bronze badge
Facepalm

So now we need VPN aware TOE for server-to-server

So we're going to have application SSL over company encrypted VPN over hosting providers encrypted VPN over Telco's encrypted VPN, with Akamai distribution for all static content (to compensate for the proxy caches that don't work anymore).. and you'll still get the odd Tory MP outing themselves (by blogging about google ads for sex toys) & millions of people giving the most sensitive info to the facebook.

After spending millions putting TCP offload engines (TOE) everywhere, the political process & legislation will catch up and we'll all have to agreed to "fair usage agreements" that mean we have to agree that specific keywords {sarin, rape, murder, etc} will result in disconnection. Lawyers will make millions dealing with petty cases like "my internet was disconnected 'cus I made a charitable donation to the Rape Crisis Center".

We'll spend millions and get no more privacy, no more protection, and no more security

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Oracle pours hot, steaming Java into heterogeneous heaven

Stephen Channell
Bronze badge
Meh

Clang version of C++ AMP seems to be the big news for HSA today

C++ AMP is a proper parallel extension to the venerable C++ language for execution on a GPGPU, that sensibly focusses on array structures that mapped as a block to the GPU without a load of copying (vector ->array -> GPU -> array -> vector).

Looking at the parallel sort examples highlights Java's aged problem that even at 8, you can't build something as simple as an array or pair/tuple {complex numbers, points, triangles, ...} because it does not have value-types (structs) for political reasons, so any parallel code will first have to copy into a (C++) library structure before execution.. critically limiting the usage.

The only real use-case of GPGPU accelerated Java seems to be fast garbage collection!

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'Daddy, can I use the BLACK iPAD?': Life with the Surface Pro 2

Stephen Channell
Bronze badge
Windows

When's the review of Suface Pro 3?

I really like my Lenovo Yoga because it adds another screen to my work environment for web, email and office while I do real work on a full-fat mobile workstation.. It's like a Surface (even runs RT), but was cheaper. For a Surface Pro to be a replacement for the full-fat laptop, it needs to have a proper docking station that allows you to plug-in multiple monitors, keyboard, mouse and secure network... the Surface dock fails in this department (no multi-monitor support). The docking station should also allow you to fold near flat (in desktop mode) so the screen becomes a glorified touch-pad and provide DVI/VGA ports to use that stack of old screens every firm seems to have.. and PCI-Express-3 is the port to make it happen.

So, Surface Pro 3 could well be a really good rig; Surface 2 will be good once they get the pricing right (that means waking-up to "free touch cover")

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'Burning platform' Elop: I'd SLASH and BURN stuff at Microsoft, TOO

Stephen Channell
Bronze badge
Unhappy

Now's a good time to stop spending on Bing...

We seemed to have forgotten that Yahoo! search programs were setup when "the web" got too big for Jerry Yang to do it manually himself; and AltaVista continued to be a useful search engine long after HP got rid of all the staff (though mainly for babel fish). Web-crawling, indexing and search query has not moved on exponentially in fifteen years and would continue to work with minimal staff and electricity. They’d lose the edge in profiling people for targeted ads and maybe the SEO stuff sites use to avoid paying for ads, but now is a good time to say “Search has been cracked; we prefer privacy to profiling”.

Same pretty much goes for Xbox: amortise the costs and focus on synergies with other PC platforms & wait for Sony to go bust under the weight. Provided we don’t get obsessed by NSA/Facebook monitoring, Kinetic will be a big part of how we use computers in the 2020’s, properly amortised the Kinetic experiment with Xbox will save the desktop franchise.

One area ripe for change though is horizontal integration: Office on Android/Linux; Android-Java/Obj-C apps on WinPhone; .NET on other platforms; desktop apps on WinRT

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WTF is ... 802.15.4e?

Stephen Channell
Bronze badge
Big Brother

without a broadcast 'chirp' it'll be a spy's delight

Whilst it is a neat solution for the 'internet of things' where hundreds of devices could end-up in the range of a home WiFi hotspot, having an addressable chirp would make spying devices incredibly cheap and virtually undetectable. Baking in a ping-chirp that would wakeup and identify all devices would minimise spying.

Spying here is not the snowdam/NSA kafuffle, but the like of the Barclays/Santander criminal keyboard-USB intercept to pickup passwords.. when devices are cheap enough, every internet café/shared PC will get key-tracking USB sheaths.

To offset the spying risks, the standard really needs a 'ping-chirp' plug-and-play stack

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Microsoft investors advised: Sack the guy searching for Ballmer replacement

Stephen Channell
Bronze badge
Megaphone

They may as well stop now..it's going to be Bill Gates

The PR people will hype "the real steve jobs"; the press will talk about every new product; the make-over will be epic and...

The share-price will jump, and half the agitators will sell; then Bill can get on the serious business of finding and nurturing the real next CEO

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The importance of complexity

Stephen Channell
Bronze badge

Without NP-hard problems, can it still be called Computer Science?

I didn't do a Computer Science, but have written several NP-hard components {query path optimisation; query generation; swap solver; expression parser}. If Computer Science undergraduates are not taught how to approach complex intractable problems, how are they going to maintain systems that implement them?

A few years ago I worked on an Airtime sales/scheduling system where the users needed to pick criteria from across the database to filter slots; and implemented a query generator that would recursively search the meta-model to build a query without chasm or fan traps including all predicates. The review started with "it's impossible", moved to "it's non-deterministic in time" then to "we could use it to build the pre-defined/compiled queries", and went live in the TP system because it was faster than scanning a pre-defined list of all the permutations.

"NP-hard" is really not a helpful distinction: there are complex requirements and there are simple requirements... if you don't teach students to deal with the most complex requirements you know about; you're not teaching them terribly well

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Lumia 2520: Our Vulture gets his claws on Nokia's first Windows RT slab

Stephen Channell
Bronze badge
Thumb Up

Neat

If I hadn't already bought a Lenovo Yoga 11 (at half-price), I'd probably buy one off-plan.

Putting an extra battery in the cover is a neat idea for business travellers who are used to swapping battery on long trips, and flipping the mouse-pad over the back should make it very resilient to being dropped.

While the Office licence is home/student, in practice that doesn't mean you can't do work on it, just that you must also have a regular PC licence.

Having RDP and Remote-FX makes it a neat terminal for full-fat Windows.. which is why Windows-RT is hear to stay

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LG's 'Chromestation' trademark grab sparks Google tie-up speculation

Stephen Channell
Bronze badge
Go

chrome KVM/switch for WinXP refuseniks

Wouldn't sell many, but great publicity.. combine a browser with a hardware KVM/firewall to render legacy XP apps in a Chrome window would eliminate most of the risk of running an unsupported OS. Add in ChromeFrame & ClassicShell hocks and many people wouldn't even know they'd been switch (untill they switched to web apps).. Got to be worth the cost of extra ports

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Assange: 'Ecuadorian embassy staff are like my family'

Stephen Channell
Bronze badge
Pint

Well, the Sweedish case will lapse when he dies..

.. but I guess he's not thinking that far ahead

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Oracle says open source has no place in military apps

Stephen Channell
Bronze badge
Facepalm

Nice to fess up to the crippling ploy

The paper wasn’t so much FOSS is bad, but an admission that some of those “Open Source” Application Server and Database products have limitations that they know about, but will not fix unless you pay.

We all kinda know that Oracle doesn’t want MySQL to be very scalable, a little honesty is good, a lot of honesty would be better!

So Larry, which is less like a commercial DBMS: MySQL or MariaDB?

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Microsoft wants to 'move beyond' the Cookie Monster

Stephen Channell
Bronze badge
Big Brother

What do you think that Facebook "like" button is for?

It's not for the special occasion when you really really must tell the world you like something!

No it to track you for adverts.. same as Google+, MSN, yahoo and a whole load of others. All of whom share data with the NSA, and that's without mentioning the ISPs who are tracking your every click-stream again for advertisements.

Maybe the answer is not to bitch about the evil profiling they've all been doing for years, but to lobby for a "cookie jar" option in HTTP, and allow us to choose if and where our cookies are stored.. it might be a cunning plan from intrusive advertisers, but it is also kinda nice if a travel site know where you live regardless of whether you're using a phone, tablet or PC

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EU move to standardise phone chargers is bad news for Apple

Stephen Channell
Bronze badge
Meh

A great success for the the EU

The EU sausage-machine has been working on this one for the best part of a decade. way back at the start of the process was euro-MPs who had separate phones for {Home; Strasbourg; Brussels} moaning about having to pack several charges or borrow ones when they'd packed the wrong ones. Way back then, every generation had a different charger with difference size pins and power rating (I had {2140, 3110, 3210, 6310} all with different chargers), and as Lars states, Nokia was happy to change.

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Stephen Channell
Bronze badge
Pint

Re: Standardised connector... like, err, Micro USB

When the EU started this process, the target was actually Nokia who produced a new charger every-time they changed the amps for each new battery. The EU consulted the vendors who unexpectedly suggested USB as the standard because all their new Symbian smartphones would need to connect to a PC anyway. After quit a lot of haggling they settled on micro-USB (I preferred mini-USB)

Apple wasn't in the discussion because even they didn't think the iPod-with-a-phone was going to replace real work phones.

As EU meddling goes, this has got to be one of those all-time great success stories.

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Windows 8 fans out-enthuse Apple fanbois

Stephen Channell
Bronze badge
Happy

apples & pears

The big difference is that Windows 8 allows multiple logons to the same device, where apple likes you to run the risk of in-app purchases every time you let a kid use your iPad.

A tech family will easily hit the limit with a PC, laptop & few tables without much sharing or any duplication.

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Bill Gates: Yes, Ctrl-Alt-Del salute was a MISTAKE

Stephen Channell
Bronze badge
Pint

there were bigger mistakes

like using the "\" key instead of "/" for file delimiters with PCDOS 2 to avoid maybe hundreds of people having to change their batch files..

What made Ctrl-Alt-Del special was that it sent a different interrupt to the PC that could implement a soft restart... Windows adopted it to mask the reset.

not wishing to detract from the Bill bashing, but... I think Bill wanted a button like the one on the AT&T 7300 Unix PC that had a soft restart button

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One year to go: Can Scotland really declare gov IT independence?

Stephen Channell
Bronze badge
Coffee/keyboard

Changing a countries name, is one of those things democracies like to have referendums for

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, would not be changing its name, and NO we'll not all be getting new UK passports to keep wee Alex happy.

They'll be no repeal of the act of Union, or spending the next 50 years amending all the legislation to keep wee Alex happy.. and not a chance in hell wee Alex will skip on a debt share of Royal Bank of Scotland or Bank of Scotland.

The flag won't change either (St Patrick's Cross is still in there), funny thing: the union jack blue is Royal Blue (from the Navy), not the blue in the Scottish flag.. but we could use a different white if it helps

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Stephen Channell
Bronze badge
Joke

"isn't in a position to bully" ... ho ho ho

Sorry, did I say Spain.. I meant Italy (with Lombardi), or was that France/Spain with the Basque country, or was it Belgium with Wallonia/Flanders or Germany with Norderstedt.

Try getting out of Kaliningrad without a visa! it's not about Schengen, its about illegal immigrants getting into Europe.

Poor wee Alex Salmon.. worst time in 300 years to go for independance

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Stephen Channell
Bronze badge
Joke

Independant Scotland outside the EU... ha ha ha

If Scotland chooses to leave the UK, it will be a decision for all the EU members whether they chose to let Scotland in on a fast-path (the treaties do not make provision), and Spain has already said it will object (mainly because of Catalonia, but also for economic reasons).. IF Scotland applied, it would have to take the Euro (thanks to the Treaty Mr Thatcher sent Linda Chalker to sign).

I'll take a bet from anyone who thinks the EU countries will allow Scotland to join the EEA (they have a choice), just because they don't want the euro... and outside the EEA the UK would be obliged to implement border controls.

"remaining the EU, but not at any price"... I think you'll find the price is really rather high.

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Stephen Channell
Bronze badge
Pint

It's just a question of price..

and if they don't have provisional contracts in place, they'll just have to cough up what the vendors ask, and whatever licencing fee Westminster will charge the vendors but that is "small beer" compared to all the other systems that will need to be developed..

GCHQ will be one thing they'll not have to worry about... after freeing the Lockably bomber, there's not much change of them "sharing" US intelligence.

The biggest change though is likely to be the end of {RBS, BOS, Clydesdale} issued Scottish Sterling notes before they're forced (by Spain) to join the Euro when joining the EU...

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