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* Posts by Neil Alexander

145 posts • joined 19 Oct 2007

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Not so ESXi? Open sourcery could help VMware win... virtually

Neil Alexander

Re: VMware is probably screwed

There are definite benefits to using multiple blades as hypervisors over a single large physical server as a hypervisor. For example, if you are running multiple blades, a single blade failure is not catastrophic and can be dealt with very easily (i.e. vMotion). You can pretty easily scale up or down, you can shut down blades that are not being used at a given time, and you can probably pack more raw processing power or memory into the same space. I'd rather lose 1 out of 20 blades at a given moment than for a motherboard failure in a single server to knock out every virtual.

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Bright lights, affordable motor: Ford puts LED headlights onto Mondeo

Neil Alexander

Re: Daytime running lights

Yes, I think it is to do with whether the model of car was type-approved before or after February 2011.

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Linux turns the crank on code for cars

Neil Alexander

"key applications developed in HTML5 and JavaScript"

Am I the only one who hears alarm bells ringing?

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DOH! Google’s internet of things vision is powered by… Mac OS

Neil Alexander

It's a well known fact that a huge number of Google employees use Macs. Why is this news?

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EFF wants you to open your Wi-Fi to IMPROVE privacy

Neil Alexander

What isn't clear from this article is whether the EFF are encouraging people to open their wireless networks and allow people access to the Internet using your subscriber IP address (regardless of whether on a separate VLAN to your own devices on the LAN side), or whether that secondary VLAN stretches right the way out into the subscriber network providing guests with a different subscriber IP (like BT FON does).

If the former, then they have got to be mad. At least a large network like BT have provided the capability to easily provide the latter, but a lot of ISPs won't.

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How farsighted is Microsoft's Azure RemoteApp?

Neil Alexander

Re: what's the difference

Not really anything, other than streamlining the process significantly.

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Concerning Windows Phone and its relevance to the larger business

Neil Alexander

In an environment powered by Exchange/ActiveSync and Lync, Windows Phone really is excellent. The integration with Exchange mailbox/calendars and meeting invites is seamless, as is joining Lync meetings. It just seems to fit together very well.

I'm not sure if I would fancy the challenge of trying to integrate Windows Phone into a non-Exchange environment though, especially given that IMAP support in Windows Phone seems a bit lazy (and lacking in IMAP IDLE) and I don't know if having to support CalDAV/CardDAV separately complicates things somewhat. (Maybe this is an issue for iOS and Android too?)

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So you reckon Nokia-wielding Microsoft can't beat off Apple?

Neil Alexander

Re: It's got similarities to the desktop market, but huge differences too.

"3) Media Store. MS doesn't have a good media store like Apple and Android. Again, there are work-arounds."

I don't know about Xbox Video, but Xbox Music is perfectly fine.

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Apple: You're a copycat! Samsung: This is really about Google, isn't it?

Neil Alexander

Re: Apple Requires Competition. Deceitful Liars And Plagiarists Need Not Apply.

Oh boy, you are full of it if you think that the courtroom is the way to achieve competition. Real competition comes from companies innovating, not litigating.

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Partner firms: Microsoft kept Surface from you for YOUR OWN GOOD

Neil Alexander

Re: "Seriously contemplating Linux, now."

Oh, is it the "Year of the Linux Desktop" is it? ... yet again?

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Backdoor snoops can access files on your Samsung phone via the cell network – claim

Neil Alexander

"Back door" is the wrong term. "Security weakness" is the correct term.

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The browser's resized future in a fragmented www world

Neil Alexander

The HTML Problem

What's interesting though about the web vs. app debate though is the actual means in which we expose and transfer data. The typical webpage has just far too much presentational data woven in and therefore HTML is mostly meaningless to a computer. How is a computer supposed to know a news article from a weather report by just looking at HTML? (Hence the half-rising of "microformats", to try and allow computers to make sense of the kludge.) At least in an app-driven world, the web services are delivering structured data that is usually well-defined and exposed through somewhat organised APIs. We just need more of those to be open and well-documented instead of highly guarded commercial secrets.

If we can standardise the APIs and web formats of the web once again (like what we did with e-mail all those years ago), then we can start delivering information in a way that is easier for computers to process for a variety of tasks, allow the "apps" of the world to handle how to make that information human-readable, and let people choose which web service providers they want to mix with their "apps".

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Microsoft tries to re-invent GPS with cloudy offloads

Neil Alexander

"few applications drain a mobile device's battery more rapidly than contacting satellites"

This seems to be a really common misconception about GPS. The handset is never "contacting" the satellites. Instead it just listens to them - pure GPS is an entirely passive technology.

(Admittedly this makes me wonder how manufacturers manage to get GPS so wrong - I realise that there's some fairly intensive number-crunching taking place on GPS chips, but the battery drain involved in doing so should not be that high.)

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Server tech is BORING these days. Where's all the shiny new goodies?

Neil Alexander

Moonshot

Clearly the author of this article has never researched Moonshot. Some modern servers are plenty interesting.

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THOUSANDS of UK.gov Win XP PCs to face April hacker storm... including boxes at TAXMAN, NHS

Neil Alexander

Because IT departments are lazy and rely too much on the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" mantra.

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I've seen the future of car radio - and DAB isn't in it

Neil Alexander

Re: Sat radio

Maybe, but there are a plethora of satellites already beaming signals at the UK and Europe. It wouldn't be totally unreasonable to make use of one of these for satellite radio.

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

Neil Alexander

Imagine working with a programming language

... that needs to constantly talk about it's feelings.

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Inside Steve Ballmer’s fondleslab rear-guard action

Neil Alexander

Bootnote: Multi-threading

"One runs your app, one runs your antivirus or some OS stuff in the background, and the others do sod-all most of the time."

Not strictly true. The operating system scheduler will balance processes/threads across all available cores, even if applications themselves are not technically SMP-aware. There is no specific affinity by default for your antivirus or your background "OS stuff" to run on one single core.

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iSpy with my little eye: Apple wants to track your every move

Neil Alexander

Re: I presume...

This is Apple we're talking about. Of course you can't.

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Yet ANOTHER IE 0-day hole found: Malware-flingers already using it for drive-by badness

Neil Alexander

Re: who cares ?

No. Just no.

There are reasons that Linux does not dominate the desktop. The "YOU SHOULD USE LINUX BECAUSE IT IS BETTER!!!1" argument is getting exceptionally tiring. The average person and their family do not care about Linux, or your opinion.

Besides, all software has vulnerabilities. The only difference is that Microsoft vulnerabilities are more publicised.

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Windows 8 fans out-enthuse Apple fanbois

Neil Alexander

Re: Don't believe it has fanboys

I like Windows 8. I do exist, whether or not you choose to believe it.

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Myst: 20 years of point-and-click adventuring

Neil Alexander

Re: Dear Esther

I'll definitely take a look. Cheers!

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Neil Alexander

Myst certainly holds a place in my heart, as one of the earliest games I played when I was younger (and frankly without any idea what I was doing), progressively improving my thinking as I grew older until finally one day reaching a eureka moment and actually progressing into and out of the Ages. It's total lack of direction can be boring to some, but it can also be frankly inspirational, much in the same way that Minecraft achieves. What I wouldn't give to see a version of Myst reimaged for today's high density displays and GPU power.

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Windows 8 Surface: best tablet, best laptop OR compromised and confusing?

Neil Alexander

ElitePad

As a HP employee I was taken in by the discount pricing we get on the ElitePad 900, and whilst the Atom processor may not be a powerhouse, this is by far the nicest tablet I've ever picked up. It's a solid build with an aluminium case and Gorilla Glass, it's lighter than the Motorola Xoom that I had before it (and apparently lighter than the Surface too) and it gets decent battery life. I also find Windows 8 very intuitive with a touchscreen. I would easily have paid full price for it.

I almost did buy a Surface, but was ultimately put off Windows RT (and not wanting to pay the kind of money for the Surface Pro when it's so bulky/heavy and with such bad battery life).

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Increasing number of sites inoperable in Firefox?

Neil Alexander
FAIL

Re: Increasing number of sites inoperable in Firefox?

"Yes, of course, the answer depends upon the add-ons. I use NoScript, Adblock, Flashblock, and Cookie Monster (yes, of course, you are correct, I am a Yank, so nothing less than overkill will do)."

You are modifying the pages and stripping out features. What else did you expect to happen?

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No Choice but Windows 8?

Neil Alexander

Re: No Choice but Windows 8?

Windows versions going back as far as XP, or possibly even 2000, have had the ability to prioritise background services over desktop applications. And as for Live Tiles, they can be turned off.

Just buy a Windows 8 laptop and have done with it. Why everyone has such a thing against it I have no idea.

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Microsoft's next device could be a Surface Watch

Neil Alexander

Re: "they've been about being in the market"

Zune = iPod. Tablets = iPad. Fossil Watch = iPod nano (near as damnit). Kin phone = iPhone. Microsoft TV = Apple TV.

To say that any of the above ideas were "flops" is inaccurate - in fact, in different incarnations, the ideas you mentioned have all been a commercial success. The important factor here is time; these ideas were ahead of their time when Microsoft built them. The only reason that Apple succeeded with them is because they were more tuned to market trends of the time.

The only reason I don't mention Windows CE above is because Windows CE is more of an industrial embedded solution than a consumer one.

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Wireless traffic-info networks could save BEEELIONS per year

Neil Alexander

I don't really care if GCHQ know where my car is. They already know where my phone is, and that's usually in the car with me. However, the prospect of using this information to improve busy roads and driving is a very enticing prospect.

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Biz bods: Tile-tastic Windows 8? NOOO. We lust after 'mature' Win 7

Neil Alexander
Mushroom

We have Windows 8 at work

... and no issues. Everything works and users are happy enough with it.

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Android is a mess and needs sprucing up, admits chief

Neil Alexander
WTF?

Re: The real problem with Android

"Android was designed to run 'java', well, actually it's not 'java' it's just some propriatary thing that looks quite a lotl ike java but isn't. The glaring consequence is all that existing stuff needs a lot of work to port it when on symbian there wasn't such an issue."

Did you ever try programming anything on Symbian? It was awful. Making use of the Java language was one of the smartest things the Android development team could have done - make use of existing programming knowledge and remove a number of scary low-level considerations.

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Apple asked me for my BANK statements, says outraged reader

Neil Alexander
Facepalm

"she emailed over copies of them... and then immediately began panicking"

When people are asked for these kinds of details, why are they not asking why first? Why does common sense never seem to prevail before people act?

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Google to Glass devs: 'Duh! Go ahead, hack your headset'

Neil Alexander

Outstanding ignorance. Google have already publicly stated that advertising on the device is banned.

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Ten Windows tablets

Neil Alexander

Disappointed that the HP ElitePad 900 never seems to make it into these reviews. It is an excellent contender, even if it is a "business tablet", whatever that means.

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Review: HP ElitePad 900 Atom tablet

Neil Alexander

The Atom chip used in the ElitePad is not 64-bit capable.

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BT boss barks at TalkTalk for being 'copper Luddites'

Neil Alexander
Thumb Down

In fairness, the guy has a point. TalkTalk are all too happy to wait for BT to spend the money on fitting fibre. They don't like BT's terms but they aren't prepared to do it themselves.

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Hey, media barons: The noughties called, they want their mobile tech back

Neil Alexander
Thumb Down

Distraction

The problem with advertising online is that it's just distracting. On a full-sized webpage on a desktop or laptop computer it's less of an issue, because usually there is more than enough screen estate to sacrifice a little bit for advertising. On a mobile phone, the opposite is true. The mobile web-surfing population do not want advertising because it's already compact enough as it is. These ads that appear in apps and mobile web pages aren't useful or nice. They take up too much space, the animations are annoying and they are using up my already-precious-and-expensive data allowance.

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Google's Glasses: The tech with specs appeal?

Neil Alexander

Expected an intelligent article.

Disappointed.

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Dead Steve Jobs tried to KILL Ashton Kutcher from beyond the grave

Neil Alexander
Thumb Up

"No mention of the health effects of running around screaming at people, another salient characteristic of the great tech CEO."

This actually made my day.

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Microsoft's Intel-powered Surface Pro to launch in February

Neil Alexander

Re: HD Graphics ?

Go and turn on the text scaling on your existing Windows desktop - that's how it'll work. Windows is capable of operating at even custom DPI levels, sizing the interface elements to match.

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Longest-standing bug?

Neil Alexander
Facepalm

Re: And people say...

Aw hell, someone forgot to cancel the Anonymous Coward's sense-of-humour-ectomy!

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Neil Alexander
FAIL

And people say...

... that the open-source desktop is the future.

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Nokia chief Elop: 'Android? Hey, anything's possible!'

Neil Alexander

Screw that. Get Nokia to work with Google on building a pure Nexus handset, and they will win.

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Microsoft 'surprised' by Google Gmail 'winter cleaning'

Neil Alexander
Facepalm

Re: i have to use outlook.com

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.outlook.Z7&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsImNvbS5vdXRsb29rLlo3Il0.

Now, please, sit down.

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Facebook to debut auto-play video ads in 2013

Neil Alexander
Thumb Down

I could "almost" cope with this on my computer, but on my phone? No thanks. The last thing I need is my data allowance going towards video advertising when browsing on 3G.

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Apple's poisonous Touch silently kills the GNOMEs of Linux Forest

Neil Alexander
Thumb Down

Re: RE: DiBosco

Am I the only one that is IMMEDIATELY turned off by how awful the text rendering is in Qt/KDE?

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Neil Alexander
Facepalm

Re: desktop environment?

What I actually mean is - if you can refrain from twisting my words for a moment - the average computer user has existing expectations of how their should work and what it should do, for example, the starting point to entering a task should be visible on-screen. Views like "fuck desktops just use a window manager guys! LINUX UNITE!" are narrow-minded and non-inclusive. Linux has failed to become an everyday desktop operating system for this reason; for a large number of people because these expectations are not met, and all Linux people seem to do is sit back and say "well gee just use openbox!" instead of fixing the issues at hand.

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Neil Alexander

Re: desktop environment?

You are not the typical computer user, then.

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Mozilla: Windows 7 browser bungle cost us nine MILLION downloads

Neil Alexander
Thumb Down

Re: AM Gale - So without free advertising, FireFox can't get downloads?

@M Gale "MS deliberately kept moving the HTML goal posts for no other reason than to shake off rival browsers and OS's (but claiming "richer browsing experience"). IE was the only browser which worked properly with many sites built with MS's own authoring software (Front Page I think it was)."

This is a weak argument though because the web is not, and never will be, fully standardised. The decentralised nature of the Internet simply doesn't permit it. Incidentally, FrontPage didn't need to guarantee cross-browser interoperability in the same way that Microsoft Word doesn't need to guarantee complete formatting consistency with OpenOffice. The people who chose to use FrontPage made a choice; they chose Microsoft.

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Neil Alexander
Gimp

Re: Maybe I'm cynical, but...

@Anonymous Coward "Apple is not a monopoly..."

The term "monopoly" would imply that Microsoft are the only people to provide a browser for Windows. You and I both know that this is not the case, and on a similar front, Microsoft have never actually stopped you from downloading and using an alternative either. It's no easier to download a different browser now than it was back in the Netscape era; the only thing that has changed is public perception of the issue. So please, step down from your high horse and take your pathetic insults elsewhere.

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