187 posts • joined Wednesday 14th March 2007 13:51 GMT
What kind of nonsensical argument is this?
Is a copy the same as a backup? Of course it is! That's what a "backup" IS; a copy. Whether you move that copy off site, ASCII dump it to a line printer, or stick it up your nose, it makes no difference.
Whether it is recoverable should it need to be, well, that's up to you, but it doesn't change the meaning of the word.
What a load of bollox. Some people have way too much time on their hands!!!
GPL 2.5 ???
My understanding (and I accept I may be way off the mark here) is that many projects don't like GPL3 and so are sticking with GPL2.
In that case, why not issue a GPL 2.5 that just includes the patent-related clauses (unless it's there clauses that people don't like). That way, the GNU people should at least be able to plug this particular hole without forcing full use of GLP3 (which is largely not happening anyway).
After all, it iwas a similar half-way-house approach that led to the LGPL, and that caused huge benefits in take-up of the software (though for very different reasons, granted).
Aspartame is dreadful stuff. You should avoid it like the plague that it is. It has been linked to neurological damage and all sorts of other stuff. It should be banned. Indeed it should never have been passed as fit for human (or animal) consumption in the first place.
I can't remember the exact figures, but it was presented to the US food & drug administration dozens of times (and rejected each time) to try and get it passed for use as a food additive. When it was finally passed, the guy at the FDA that passed it then resigned and went to work for the company that make the stuff. And goodness knows why the rest of the world allow it. The whole business is a scandal.
Don't touch it with a barge pole - if you want something sweet then use sugar!
While I dislike the various record industry's tactics, what with suing 6 year old girls and grannies and such like, I really can't see how anyone can seriously consider the Pirate Bay as legit. It's not. Simple. It's purpose is to facilitate the copying of pirated stuff. Shit - they even call it "Pirate" Bay for goodness sake.
It reminds me of the interviews with The Shamen about their song 'Ebeneezer Goode'. In interview after interview they denied it had anything to do with drugs.
Of course, years later, when asked the same questions they answered "of course it was about drugs". And of course it was - EVERYONE KNEW it was. It was just convenient to deny it at the time (so that the BBC etc didn't take it off the air). Good song too :-)
The PIrate Bay is the same thing - everyone knows they're talking bollox when when they say "of course it's got nothing to do with piracy". Ask them all the same question in 20 years time when it's all long gone and all but forgotten about.
But where is this Mecca?
GPS co-ordinates? Google Map Ref? ANYTHING!!!!!?????
You can't just go round willy-nilly dangling hope of this Shangri-La only to then not actually say exactly where it is. It's cruel. Inhuman, even.
I DEMAND satisfaction Sir!
English is a very robust language
I worked in Germany for a time, and what I found there is that if you pronounce something even slightly wrong, nobody has any idea what you're talking about! Many other languages are the same.
English on the other hand is very robust in this regard - you can speak is extremely badly with very poor pronunciation, missing words etc, and it is STILL possible to understand.
Poor spelling isn't really an issue at all in this respect - it hardly matters at all in terms of being able to understand it. An example is the "take a sentence and remove all the vowels" test. It's amazing how much of the sentence you can still read and understand with half the letters missing.
I'm not saying spelling doesn't matter - it's just that ...well ...in a practical day-to-day way, it's not THAT important. Of course, everyone knows the yanks can't spell, but that's another issue, and one that I wouldn't care about except that it's been polluting proper English for years now with "Drive Thru's" and "Center" and "Color" (something I deeply resent when I'm writing HTML). Shudder....
"We have now received several complaints about the image that was blocked at the weekend being hosted on Amazon..."
I'm not defending this image or anything, but you've got to love these people, don't you think? Yesterday, nobody batted an eyelid about this particular image. Today, lots of people felt the compulsion to actively hunt for it just so they could then complain! That's exactly what bloody Mary Whitehouse used to do.
It reminds me of a TV program I saw years ago about some council dept dealing with neighbour disputes. Some woman complained the chap next door was sunbathing in the nude in his garden. When the council chap went to investigate, he found that he had to crawl behind her shed and stand on a box in order to see next door's garden!!
What I find odd with this is that on the one had, HMRC are saying "Small businesses are run by criminals and are avoiding tax and we hate you and are going to change the rules (again) to make you pay"
...and then on the other hand they seem to be saying "Times are hard and we know that if we bring this law in now then a lot of you are going to go bust (or at least find life very hard indeed)"
Now, as a small businessman myself, while I very much welcome the U-turn, surely, if HMRC genuinely believe the existing system is "unfair" then it MUST be changed ....surely? I mean, nobody would suggest (say) delaying bringing in a law against house burglary because "times are hard and we know you need the cash (or telly/hifi/whatever)", would they?
So, either HMRC are talking complete bollocks (again) and don't REALLY believe that all small businesses are thieves or ...errr ...I can't actually think of an alternative reason :-)
And the point is?
"The words "Friendster," "Klum," "Nazr," "Obama," and "Racicot" are not recognized"
Strangely enough, neither are the words "fremble", "snroon", "zmophle" or "grnerg".
...but then I wouldn't expect them to be :-)
And I wonder what the German translation of "nazr" or "klum" is?
Socket entropy and cruddy TCP stacks
I've read the headlines about this bug fix and I know that it's not just a MS issue, but if the problem is simply a lack of socket number entropy then surely this is an indication of the crappiness of the underlying Socket layer / TCP stack rather than a fault in the DNS protocol itself.
I note that djbdns (for one example), gets round the problem by binding to specific (random) port numbers in its requests, and I understand that these recent patches are doing similar things.
However, they shouldn't NEED to. This is a flaw in the OS's TCP stack. the OS should not be generating easy-to-guess socket numbers. Windows is particularly terrible in this respect (or at least I know it used to be) because it just allocates successive ephemeral port numbers. How crap is that??? Answer - VERY VERY crap!
OpenBSD fixed this problem a loooooooong time ago by randomising the ephemeral port allocation. This protects ALL network-bound appications, not just DNS.
And if stuff like Zone Alarm is now falling over because of this change, well what does that say about the security of Zone Alarm (ie - it must be making assumptions about the traffic it is monitoring based on the allocated socket numbers - again - how crap???)
It's all just as well that so much effort is being put into stuff like the latest MP3 player skin or animated dog cartoons in Word! 'Cos THEY are really important and useful!
"eBay's Ts&Cs specify that sellers cannot push one payment over others"
How does this sit with the "PayPal Preferred" logos that come up on many eBay listings then? Does eBay remove these listings as well?
Re: eBay's Australian boss Simon Smith said: "While we disagree with the ACCC's draft notice, we have decided to withdraw the notification to stop any further confusion and disruption among the eBay community."
Eh? WHAT confusion? Your average eBay punter is NOT "confused" - everyone KNOWS full well what's happening; eBay are trying to screw everyone and in Australia at least, the ACCC doesn't like it.
You've got to love the way eBay are trying to twist this around to make the ACCC look like the bad guys, and to make eBay look like your "friend" (read as "smiling knife"). Somehow, I don't think anyone will be taken in by this particular bit of PR bollox.
Air travel is indeed getting very unpleasant in lots of ways.
It was never "nice", but these days, customer service is akin to that of a mobile phone company, the final cost of the flight bears no resemblance whatsoever to the advertised price, we get charged extra for checking in (WTF???), for being so bold as to take baggage aboard. The airports themselves have ripped everyone off for years with their "duty free" offerings (I'll never understand how booze or fags which have 70% (or whatever) duty imposed on them STILL cost 90% of the high street price at the "duty free" shop!!!), and NOW they want to bombard us all wish crap on our mobiles!
And is the "if you don't say we can't then we will track you" policy actually legal?
I'm with a previous poster - I'll turn my phone off when I get to the airport.
So now you can't even tell someone to fuck off without getting nicked!?
And using a well known masturbation hand gesture to express your displeasure and contempt for someone after they run a red light and crash into your car is well out of order!
eBay's new "positive-only" feedback policy is just the tip of the iceberg - now if someone mugs or rapes you, are you supposed to apologise for getting in your assailants way? Offer them compensation for troubling them, perhaps? Offer them a cup of tea while they get their breath back, maybe?
What the f&$%* $£&(^%^@ #~*$%&* hell is this country coming to???
"That person could be found guilty of another new offence, that of coercing a person into looking at an image of a sexual activity."
So "Oi, mate, look at the knockers on her" could land you in the clink too???
Sounds pretty obvious to me.
I am stupid. Therefore I don't really understand much and I'll latch on to what beliefs (however irrational and nonsensical) other people have.
I am intelligent. Therefore, I have a mind of my own and can see right-through the loony irrational beliefs that are proclaimed by other (less intelligent) people.
The whole idea of God is just plain silly. It's a figment of (some) human's imagination and has no place whatsoever in the modern world.
Re: Gonna party like it's 19, 90, 9!!!
It's exactly this attitude that has left us with massively bloated software that takes up too much space on disk, is slow to load, and even slower to run because the OS has to swap most of it out when it's running!!
You clearly have absolutely no idea.
...but as long as you're happy with your new "skin" on your MP3 player gizmo - Yes, that's really "useful" :-)
Not cheap though
"Library titles cost £7 (€9) to download permanently to your hard drive, whereas the latest movies are priced at £11 (€14) each"
Ok, it's pointing out the bleedin' obvious, but that's not much less than you'd pay for many DVDs (if you shop around) and they have the distinct advantage that you don't have to buy them again when your computer breaks down or your hard disk goes "bang".
...and are the downloaded ones full DVD quality or have they been re-encoded into a somewhat-less-than-sparkling quality?
If it's that easy...
If so many attacks are apparently so simple - ie - attacking ports 135 (30%), 139 and 22 - (12%), then why aren't more people simply closing off these ports at their firewalls?
I can accept that for ports 135 and 139, in many cases, these will be attacks on machines at home and the poor victim won't know one end of an ethernet cable from the other (actually, they're the same... ok - bad analogy), but I would think that most people using SSH know a bit about what they are doing and so ought to be on top of this problem.
Maybe there ought to be a standard whereby internet router manufacturers pre-set their equipment with default firewall rules to block these very common ports on the basis that if you DO want these ports open, you probably know what you are doing anyway and can open them up again.
Most people only need outgoing ports TCP 25, 80, 110 (I think that's POP, no?), 143 (IMAP, or 993 - IMAPS), 443, and UDP 53 plus a few other ports for the pirated-software-and-music-distribution-protocol software of your choice. Everything else can be closed off, most people wouldn't see the difference, and for the most part, it would save an awful lot of grief.
@Non geo numbers
"Just remember all non geo's have a DDI under them so for example 0870 100*** will point at 0161444***** so simply them you will be calling from overseas and you need the DDI"
Sorry - can you explain that again? How do you get from 0870100 to 0161444? I'm not saying you're wrong - I would just like to know how you do it - it's actually useful to know.
And from past experience, I can say that many people in companies simply can not tell you what their real phone number is - they only know the 0870 one.
That's alright then
"3. You probably don't want to be writing your own framework anyway (or even seeking out a third-party one, for that matter)"
...from the co-author of...
"Use Case Driven Object Modeling with UML: Theory and Practice, which illustrates how to drive functional tests and unit tests from use cases, using the <b>Spring Framework<b/>, JUnit and Enterprise Architect."
Nobody else see the irony here? :-)
...and I can't help we're falling into the "extreme programming"-type nonsense of pointing out the bleedin' obvious and selling it as revolutionary thought.
Sorry Matt - nothing personal.
0870 number and their friends are a pain in the arse and ofcom ought to make the bloody things illegal.
They are an even bigger pain when you call them from a mobile because (for reasons best known to the mobile operators - oh, let me guess - it makes them a pile of money?), these numbers are excluded from your "free call allowance".
I use saynoto0870.com as often as I can. The problem is though that a lot of companies don't publish "normal" numbers - I have asked my bank etc for a normal number and quite often, they just don't know what it is! Luckily saynoto0870.com is reasonably good at coming up with the goods.
Lst's face it...
....it's just not going to happen is it? Microsoft absolutely will not support any kind of standard that anyone else does and (of course) those that it does, it "extends" with features nobody else actually wants, whether it be file formats, network protocols, you name it.
eg - They have their own version of the "standard" kerberos. Their "standard" (and pretty shit-poor) firewall authentication protocol (ntlm) is "standard" only to MS (the only reason anyone else supports it is because they HAVE to, not because they WANT to). They have their own email access standard (Outlook) which is a law unto itself and plays very badly with the network at large, they have their own idea of what HTML and CSS is, they have custom file formats that nobody else can understand, they invented that truly ugly abortion called "the registry",
MS should be banned from any involvement whatsoever in ODF specification development. What possible reason could their be for allowing them in? They have publicly stated that they don;t like it, don;t want it and have come up with a cruddy alternative OOXML who's only purpose is to be different (surely nobody seriously thinks OOXML is anything other than an expensive diversion to lure stupid business users away from ODF?). With this background, why the hell would you want them to have any further involvement in ODF? It's dancing with the devil!
As for "...Open XML [is] no longer exclusively a Redmond specification".
Maybe not, but this nobody else actually wants the bloody thing!
Bug tracking? Pah! This is Linux - we don't need no stinkin' bug tracking!!
...And so it goes round again ...and again ...and...
"...there are plenty of other options for users who want a distribution that does everything badly rather than a few things well...."
Rather than flogging yet another dead horse in the shape of a "new" Linux distribution that will eventually fall out of favour, maybe he should take a look at one of the BSDs? On the whole, they do lots of things very well indeed.
I wonder how many Linux distributions there have been over the years? Does anyone know? It's amazing how new ones appear, become massively popular and ultra-cool; indeed THE distribution to have, and then a couple of years down the line, there's a new kid on the block and everyone forgets about the "old" one, which is suddenly no longer cool for reasons that nobody can quite remember.
No wonder Linux is such a mess - there's no continuity in what's being aimed at. That's why you end up with loads of half-baked GUIs, 4 (at the last count) major audio interfaces (all completely incompatible, naturally), boat loads of video players, none of which does everything you want, same goes for audio players, etc etc etc... the list is endless and strewn with dead rotting corpses.
In the very sad words of a certain Mr. Williams, "oh, what's the bloody point"?
Re: I can forgive every coding blunder
Re Mixed Capitals - I've been writing code for ...ooo ...23 years or so, and I've never got on with mixed capitals either. I don't have a problems writing them, but reading them is (to me) a pain.
...is much easier to read than...
...but it seems I am in a very small minority. I can accept that, I just thought I would mention it. Just for the record, I also deeply dislike things like i_variablename (ie - indicating the type by sticking a tag on the beginning or end of the variable). It's messy, completely pointless (if you don't already know what the variable represents then you probably don't need to know) and totally redundant. Yuk!
...and yes, both these are style issues. Nothing to do with correctness.
A metter of degree
Good piece, and on the whole I agree with pretty much all of it.
A couple of points though...
I'll start with comments - I completely agree about the "why rather than what" paradigm - too often comments do not actually explain the philosophy behind the way something works, which can and does mean that when you come to work on the code, you get the wrong end of the stick and end up breaking it. Your comments on the lines of "...they get in the way..." and "...because they do not get updated..." are simply symptoms of lack of skill and/or outright sloppiness on the part of the coder though; there is no excuse for this. The other one which really gets me on my soap box is, of course "...it's self documenting...". I dread to think how many countless hours I have wasted pouring through other people's code trying to work out what is happening simply because the coder could not be bothered to comment it, and quite frankly, as the years have gone on, I'm getting to the stage where I simply can't be bothered to work through such code; life is simply too short. I don't know about you, but I don't have a microprocessor in my head and I don't understand code. I understand English, but not code; page after page of poorly commented (or often, completely uncommented) code is completely useless and utterly exasperating.
On to redundancy - it is is indeed irksome, and I have suffered many hours trudging through old code (often not my own) and making the same change/update many many times. However, it's a fine line between redundancy and practicality; you need to weigh-up extremely carefully at what point you choose to abstract something to remove redundancy. Otherwise you end up on the flip-side of the problem which is working through many many layers of abstraction and subroutine calls which in the end leaves you without a clear idea of what is actually going on on a higher level. This can bring its own problems with it in that it hides the nitty-gritty "too much" and so one ends up loosing sight of what is actually happening.
Other than the above, yep - I think you're right :-)
Doing more. Delivering less
"Windows Vista is doing a lot more than Windows XP, and it requires resources to conduct these tasks"
...and therein lies the problem. Every incarnation of Windows does more and more "stuff", but doesn't actually provide any benefit to the user.
I want my OS to do less, NOT more! An OS should take up as little resource as possible. It's sole task in life should be to run applications. Yes, obviously this incurs some overhead, but I don't run an OS just to run an OS; it is not a goal in itself. As a user, I am not interested in the OS - it's not important to me. Why on earth would I want the OS the chew up 70% of the available resources? It makes no sense at all. Microsoft clearly seem to take a completely opposing view.
This is exactly why my 3GHz machine of today runs no faster (in practical terms) than my 200MHz machine of years ago running Windows 98! The only thing eating up all that extra power is the OS - it's a pointless exercise.
This is a completely pointless application.
If you are with an ISP that is using Phorm and it bothers you (and clearly it bothers a lot of people, which is fair enough) then why on earth would you want to stay with them?
Just move to another ISP! It's simple.
Not surprised - have you ever been to Linköping???
Obviously these people had a fair bit of time on their hands to do this research, and good on 'em.
...BUT ...if you'd ever been to Linköping you would know why! I went there some years ago for an interview. It is the dullest, flattest, most barren, and dullest (have I mentioned that?) place I have ever been to (image the north pole with tufty grass).
I didn't get the job. Mostly because the agency completely failed to match what they (Nokia) were looking for with what I did, but I'm sure my complete lack of enthusiasm for the place showed through too! The idea of working in an Ikea showroom (I kid you not) gave me the willies too :-)
Odd thing is, some years later, I met some Swedish people in Germany who went to Linköping Uni, and they reckoned it was a swinging place! So, what do I know? Either that or there are two places with the same name.
Oh well, must be true then
At least aliens have a testable plausibility about them. On the other hand, how can you take anyone seriously that believes in a concept as vacuous and nonsensical as "god"?
Indicates a change in the law is needed
It's no surprise to read that the chances of MySpace actually getting the money they have been awarded is pretty low.
Maybe the law should include a custodial sentence for spamming too?
Murdock is talking rubbish
"...but I am saying it does crowd out competition and innovation"
How's that work then? Ok, from a purely technical point of view, it's (arguably) not "innovative" (ie - it's an old idea now), but from an "actually delivering something useful to the public" point of view, it's pretty much the first of its kind (I don't include YawnTube et-al in the "useful" category).
And as for crowding out competition - well, (a) how? and (b) who else is trying to do something this useful? Errr... in round figures?
Maybe the BBC should start up a satellite service that regurgitates zillions of channels of endless pap consisting of game shows and inane talk shows, and age-old sit-coms? Now that would be REALLY innovative, don't you think?
Re: New rule needed?
"How about a new rule, something along the lines of "If a domain points to a linkfarm/adsite for 12 months it is automatically de-registered"
I like the idea but this would be difficult (impossible?) to police and administer. The policy adopted by trademark law could be a go-er though. Basically, if you are awarded a trademark, you can (of course) use it. However, if the use of that trademark lies dormant for (I think it's) 5 years then anyone else can challenge your right to it. This effectively prevents hogging of trademarks that you have no intention of doing anything with. In any case, the trademark has to be renewed every 10 years; this is to ensure that (a) the gov. gets some more money from you :-) and (b) that you're still interested enough in the trademark to keep it alive.
For domains, I would think you would want to reduce the time limits to something like the one year that you suggested, rather than 5, but the principle could work. I think.
Re: I don't understand fraud
There are a number of things that can go wrong...
Someone can pay with a stolen card and the card is processed and the goods shipped out before the merchant (or indeed the bank) finds out that the card is stolen. This can be somewhat mitigated by only posting to the the card's registered address, but unfortunately people move about so much these days that doing this can cut off a lot of your customers.
A customer can complain that they never received the goods. Unless it's recorded delivery, it's impossible to prove otherwise, and indeed sometimes it may be true. The customer can get a chargeback on the card and the retailer is left out of pocket.
There are other disputes that can result in the customer getting their money back, again leaving the retailer out of pocket (which may be justified sometimes but not always).
One this I saw quite a bit were obvious attempts to use dodgy cards. I didn't send good out as a result; it's difficult to post goods when the address given is something like "hhkjhguy, London" (I kid you not). Clearly someone was just testing cards for authenicity, but this still cost me money because it incurred a transaction fee with the bank (only a few pence, but even so). By the way, when I informed the bank about these transactions they (and let's not beat about the bush here) didn't give a shit. They were not the least bit interested.
The banks won't take responsibility
I used to run a small retail business. iT was only through doing this that I realised how much the banks wash their hands of any kind of fraud or failed transactions.
They are all too happy to send out glossy brochures to Jo Public extolling the virtues of their credit cards and how Mr. Public won't be liable for any fraud etc. While this is perfectly true, the banks completely fail to point out that THEY won't make themselves liable either! I'm afraid that most of the expense resulting from fraud adn other issues such as chargebacks are met by the businesses that are offering ccard services. And they have no choice but to agree to this because the option is not to offer any service at all.
It stinks - the banks simply will not take any responsibility and they pass on all liability to anyone that they can. This is why fraud and chargebacks are such a serious problem - it's because the banks don't care
How to confuse the public
"So far, Ubuntu comes with Alsa as its main audio system but also needs to support OSS (Open Sound System) because there are plenty of proprietary apps that still use it. It also includes EDS - the sound system developed by Gnome"
Anybody else spot the age-old problem here? It's not just Ubuntu of course - it's a Linux thing. As a user, I don't WANT three different ways of getting audio out of the damn thing. I just want one. And once it's been chosen (as I thought OSS had been!), it would be nice if they could bloody-well stick to it!
This is nothing new at all.
This (now rather famous) scathing attack on OOXML and how Excel fairs with it highlights just how bad MS are are meeting their own standard. It makes for interesting reading; the whole thing is basically completely buggered :
1.4 million hours?
A MTBF of 1.4 million hours?
Are you serious???
Re: MS have always said Vista was Bigger
"its designed for the next gen of computers as past OS's have.
People get crap performance when they update their OS but not the hardware."
This is a rubbish argument. Why does "better" have to always equate to "bigger"? (and I'm not in anyway way saying Vista is "better" - I'm talking generally).
Yes, as new features are added, code inevitably gets bigger. But it doesn't have to get 100 times or 1000 times bigger! Compare (say) Vista with the CD that Windows 95 came on! The code size difference is several orders of magnitude greater, but the functionality isn't. Is Vista (or XP come to that) 1000 times more functional than Windows 95? Or even 100? I think not.
> ...told the gathered crowd that the unloved OS was "a work in progress"
So he's admitting that it has been mis-sold and the wording on the box is not an accurate description of the product?
....errr What's the number for Trading Standards again?
> ...he also promised that Microsoft would learn from the mistakes it has made with Vista
How come? They've not bothered learning from the mistakes of all the other rubbish they've produced over the years? What's different this time?
It's a shame they're struggling with this; I hope they don't throw in the towel.
I've used IBM/Hitachi disks for years in desktops and servers, and I've always found them to be very very reliable and fast. They also generally run cooler than the Seagate / Maxtor ones.
If you're in the market then I recommend them!
Have your pie and eat it?
"Steve Jobs stated explicitly, when he launched the official iPhone developer's kit, that VoIP applications would not be welcome"
What kind of a statement is that? You can't advertise and sell an "open" software platform and then complain about the types of applications that people write for it!
As far as I know, even MS haven't tried to dictate the types of applications that their OS (I use the term VERY loosely) can run. Not officially, anyway.
No surprises then?
This reminds me a lot of the ISO9000 accreditation debate. It has nothing to do with quality (even though it's a "quality" standard).
As one leading business chappie said some years ago (I'm afraid I don't recall who it was) "ISO9000 has nothing to do with improving quality. It's just a way of ensuring the production the same crap consistently".
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