* Posts by Neil Alexander

191 posts • joined 19 Oct 2007

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UK's first 'DIY DAB' multiplex goes live in Brighton

Neil Alexander

Finally.

Ofcom doing something useful.

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HP insists 'we don't have a global dress code' – while deleting one from its website

Neil Alexander

Re: genuine HP clothes

They also would need to be green on one side, blue on the other and be separable with zips.

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MORE Windows 10 bugs! Too many Start menu apps BREAK it

Neil Alexander

"Their manager should be fired."

I wish I could use that one at work.

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Wi-Fi 'reflector' hooks you up at 0.1 per cent of current power budget

Neil Alexander

This probably has some great potential in the IoT world, sensors and the like, since it would probably greatly increase the amount of time that a sensor can operate from a battery (if one is needed at all).

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We put Windows 10 on a small fondleslab: STILL not ready, 3 days to go

Neil Alexander

Re: From one mistake to another...

"Frankly, the task bar is really useless in tablet mode"

After foisting a Windows tablet upon my dad, the first thing he said after a couple of minutes of furious prodding was "I can't find anything!", especially as the edge-of-screen gestures (whilst natural after a while) are completely alien at first. Bringing the taskbar back like that is a good way to remove the barrier for people who are picking one of these devices up for the first time and wouldn't know about those invisible gestures.

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Now car hackers can bust in through your motor's DAB RADIO

Neil Alexander

Re: "this isn't a fly-by-wire fighter jet you know"

In modern cars, it is very much drive-by-wire, especially in cars where stability control (ESC) is standard, or have any optional features along the lines of cruise control (or the adaptive variant), adjustable speed limiter, lane keeping assistance or any number of other features that modify the throttle, brake or steering input in any way.

Not to mention that ABS is computer-controlled, as are TCS and TVC (on cars that have them), and so are plenty of other safety features (whether you realise the car is doing them or not). Sure, you don't need these things because these systems are technically non-essential - you could own a car that has none of them - but if I'm about to be involved in a potential accident, then I welcome all the computerised help I can get to minimise the impact.

Finally, a number of parameters to actually keep the engine itself functional are typically regulated by a computer too - things like idle revs, fuel/air mixture and operating temperature. That's partly why modern engines are so smooth and actually work properly in extreme cold, extreme warm, etc.

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WHOA! Windows 10 to be sold on USB drives – what a time to be alive

Neil Alexander

Re: Windows should let users create a 'live' boot disk

They already invented Windows To Go in 2011 for USB sticks, and even before that, Windows Embedded and WinPE have been able to boot from alternative media for years.

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Neil Alexander

I imagine it's more to do with ultrabooks, nettops and tablets, and the disappearance of DVD drives.

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Neil Alexander

Re: Mac OS X

Apple didn't really need to provide USB media anymore because around about 2011 was probably the same time that they added the EFI Internet Recovery to Macs and started providing OS X upgrades through the Mac App Store.

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Microsoft nixes A-V updates for XP, exposes 180 MEEELLION luddites

Neil Alexander

Re: "We strongly recommend that you complete your migration to a supported operating system"

Equally, and at the risk of hundreds of downvotes, I don't fully understand why so many people reject Windows 8 either (and I'm typically an Apple or Linux kinda guy). I use it at work everyday, set to boot to desktop with my favourite programs pinned to the taskbar or on the Desktop, and I don't remember the last time I even saw the new "Start screen".

It's largely no different to Windows 7, except for the fact that it boots up faster than Windows 7 did. People will make mountains out of molehills.

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Blighty's BONKERS BANKING BONKING BONANZA: Apple Pay arrives

Neil Alexander

HSBC are systematically incompetent.

So no Apple Pay for us yet, then.

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BT issues formal whinge to Ofcom over Sky dominance in pay telly

Neil Alexander

Two words:

Virgin Media.

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Blurred lines: How cloud computing is reshaping the IT workforce

Neil Alexander

"[...] push code out live with minimal testing and not get vanished in a dark alley for it."

"What could possibly go wrong?", they asked.

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Migrating from WS2003 to *nix in a month? It ain't happening, folks

Neil Alexander

"because you can totally migrate from 2003 to 2012R2 in a month"

You stand a better chance of achieving a Windows upgrade in a month compared to trying to migrate your solutions to an entirely different operating system, even if the upgrade does require some work. The road ahead is not necessarily free of pot holes, but at least there's a road.

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UH OH: Windows 10 will share your Wi-Fi key with your friends' friends

Neil Alexander

Apple only use random MAC addresses for Wi-Fi beacons/probes - once you connect to a known network, the primary MAC address is always used, so as to not cause a problem with MAC filtering.

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Chap slapped in Dogecoin crap app flap

Neil Alexander

Theft of electricity!

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Yep, it's true: Android is the poor man's phone worldwide

Neil Alexander

re. things you can do on Android which you simply can't do on iOS because it is too locked down

Does the average person want to do these things? Probably not.

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VMware's got SaaS – and you – surrounded with SSOaaS

Neil Alexander

What else can we make into an "as a Service"?

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Dodgy colon bug is a total pain in the butt for Skype users today

Neil Alexander

"tweaked its servers to simply blocks the transmission of the characters between users"

I guess that rules out end-to-end message encryption, then.

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Turkey president: Nuts to 4G networks, we're cutting straight to 5G

Neil Alexander

Re: What does LTE stand for again?

Yes, indeed. There is certainly plenty of room to grow in terms of LTE air interfaces (I think it is scoped up to 300mbps?) and I would expect that most operators probably struggle to even get a single 300mbps backbone pipe to each 4G base station, let alone 10Gbps.

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Mac bug makes rootkit injection as easy as falling asleep

Neil Alexander

Re: @Neil Alexander (was:Wasn't EFI depreciated a decade ago?)

They are, for all intents and purposes, the same thing. What we call "UEFI" is the naturally evolved specification of EFI after Intel contributed it to the Unified Forum.

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Neil Alexander

Re: Wasn't EFI depreciated a decade ago?

The original Intel EFI standard was, but there are newer UEFI standards which are commonplace in modern computers. That said, the Apple implementation is non-standard anyway (even though OS X seems to have no problem booting in more generic UEFI firmware).

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Long, sticky summer ahead: Win 10 will be with OEMs by 31 August

Neil Alexander

Re: New task bar thing-a-ma-jig has appeared. Win7

"unless you actually want a Mobile OS on your desktop"

Your argument is tired and boring. On the contrary, Windows 10 actually goes a long way to restore a lot of the Desktop. Also Windows 10 Mobile is actually based on the desktop operating system now, which is very interesting indeed.

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Bluetooth privacy is mostly ignored, so you're beaming yourself to the world

Neil Alexander

Re: It beggards belief

Or, you know, just turn Bluetooth off.

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It's the end of life as we know it for Windows Server 2003

Neil Alexander

Re: "Can you survive without support?"

Support isn't just about hotfixes for network vulnerabilities and Windows Updates. It's about being able to actually get some help from Microsoft when it all goes pear-shaped.

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How Project Centennial brings potentially millions of desktop apps to the Windows 10 Store

Neil Alexander

Re: Choices? Who needs choices?!

"You mean that for 20+ years we could do what we wanted to with out computers, without needing Microsoft's approval? Oh, the horror!"

Microsoft are not stopping you from doing what you want with your computer. They are just putting what you want to do with your computer into logically isolated sandboxes. That way when you do something with your computer, it will not be as likely to break other things on your computer. Makes enough sense in my mind.

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Inside the guts of Nano Server, Microsoft's tiny new Cloud OS

Neil Alexander

Let us embrace

... the miniature Hyper-V future!

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Stuff your RFID card, just let me through the damn door!

Neil Alexander

There is no doubt that HID Corp. are globally responsible for many tears and arguments with control room staff. That's when the doors or turnstiles themselves are functioning properly, too.

It's a whole other story when you scan your card, the light goes green and you try to walk through the turnstile to be met with a loud clunk and then get trapped in the damn thing.

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Microsoft points at Skype, Lync: You two, in my office – right now

Neil Alexander

"carefully skinning Lync ... to look just like Skype"

Good Lord, why would they do that? Lync 2013 looks smart and clean. Skype looks like a Tonka toy.

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Ford: Our latest car gizmo will CHOKE OFF your FUEL if you're speeding

Neil Alexander

Re: Don't worry

It's not warning you about a speed trap though, it is warning you that you have exceeded the set limit. The car doesn't know or care if you are near a speed trap or not.

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Neil Alexander

Re: My wife's car has automatic headlights.

Yes, I also have automatic headlights and they come on in pretty much any condition that is not 100% daylight. They have never turned themselves off incorrectly due to street lighting. If anything, they probably come on quite often when not necessary.

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Apple boots Windows 7 out of Boot Camp

Neil Alexander

Re: Meanwhile in the Linux world (rEFInd) as usual you get choice !

Please, tell me more about this year being the "Year of the Linux Desktop". Again.

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Neil Alexander

Apple have provided Boot Camp because it's actually been pretty easy for them to do, not because it helps to sell their computers or gain them cash. If their hardware/firmware did not support it then Apple would simply have never provided Boot Camp in the first place - they would not have gone out of their way, make no mistake.

A salesman in an Apple Store isn't going to sell you the thing based on its ability to run Windows. People who buy Macs most of the time don't care in the slightest about Windows, and nobody knows that better than Apple.

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Neil Alexander

My understanding was only Windows 7 32-bit needed BIOS emulation due to the weird Apple EFI firmware, and that 64-bit was capable of running natively in EFI mode without issues. I might be mistaken.

In any case, Windows 8 and upwards definitely run natively in EFI mode, so yes, it is probably Apple's way of housekeeping and removing things from firmware they really don't have any incentive to support.

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Neil Alexander

You can probably still install Windows 7 64-bit in pure EFI mode without Boot Camp if you wanted to. You don't "need" Boot Camp to run Windows on a Mac.

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Bulk interception is NOT mass surveillance, says parliamentary committee

Neil Alexander

There's an awful lot of "The government think this!" and not very much of "The people of this country think this!"

If the government bothered to ask our opinion every while, they might be surprised at how few of us want this kind of "protection".

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Apple design don Jony Ive: Build-your-own phone is BOLLOCKS

Neil Alexander

Re: The mans a dickhead

"just how much design has gone into the iPhone since the first version"

Actually, a lot more than you would realise. Some people at Apple have been paid an awful lot of money to make every iteration of the phone feel a certain way. To claim that they have simply made no design changes since the original iPhone is clearly false, and a pointless argument.

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Microsoft: Even cheapo Lumias to get slimmed down Windows 10

Neil Alexander

Re: Wait,,,,What?

"None of them really depend on the app market that much as all mostly run webapps"

Hahaha. Ha. Ha. Web apps turn out well for no one. Remember Apple tried that once? Yeah, exactly.

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Apple CEO: Fandroids are BINNING Android in favour of IPHONES

Neil Alexander

Re: Well its nice that the iPhone 6...

Specs are more irrelevant now than ever before on anything but low-end handsets. Take your average person into a carrier store and talk to them about 4K IPS and octa-core processors and RAM and they will glaze over. Instead they are now more concerned with "What can I do with it?", to which Apple are impressively still ticking the majority of boxes.

Can you browse Facebook with 1GB of RAM? Yes. If you browse Facebook with 4GB RAM, is the experience any better? No.

Granted, not all of that is Apple or Google's fault. A good example of this is how I can connect an iPhone to most USB-enabled car entertainment systems and it will work, whereas if you connect an Android device, they are often not compatible. The same applies for a whole wealth of accessories, audio docks, etc. Manufacturers have traditionally favoured Apple customers, and Apple can still capitalise on that.

The consumer then has to answer questions like this: Do you want your phone to have all these fancy invisible specs, or do you want to be able to do things like browse through your music library in the car?

In cases like that, we can be reasonably confident which way most of them will answer.

Experience and specification are not always directly aligned.

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You'll get sick of that iPad. And guess who'll be waiting? Big daddy Linux...

Neil Alexander

"What do you mean you don't understand the output of dmesg?"

"I only bought the mouse, I didn't build it..."

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CoolReaper pre-installed malware creates backdoor on Chinese Androids

Neil Alexander

Ironic

... given how paranoid the Chinese are about backdoors in US and EU kit.

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Google App Engine has THIRTY flaws, says researcher

Neil Alexander

Re: Surprise!

Am I missing something?

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NHS slow to react as Windows XP support nears the end

Neil Alexander

Re: XP Support

When it goes EOL then the security updates will inevitably dry up too, so this won't really help a lot. Besides, the issue is more about support contracts - when something goes horribly wrong and the NHS phone Microsoft for help, only to be told that they are running a teenage operating system that they are no longer prepared to support.

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Cops and spies should blame THEMSELVES for smartphone crypto 'problem' - Hyppönen

Neil Alexander

It is already well-known that BlackBerry have been more than complicit in servicing government information requests for BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) users, and BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) has been pretty much broken despite the encryption too.

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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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