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* Posts by Paul Crawford

1375 posts • joined 15 Mar 2007

Revealed at last: Universe's intergalactic dark matter skeleton

Paul Crawford
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Pint

@Gareth Perch

I thought it was Toyah Wilcox?

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Paul Crawford
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Coat

Noodly appendages

The answer is simple and obvious - those dark filaments are the cooled hyper-pasta of the Flying Spaghetti Monster's noodly appendages!

Thanks, my jacket and hat is the pirate one with the book on global warming in the pocket...

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Microsoft sets October date for Windows 8 release

Paul Crawford
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Re: Windows 8 - what is it?

I don't think there is much change the the underlying OS that is major, but it has has some minor improvements. Had there been a no-Metro option I think most commentards here would be less hateful in their comments, probably looking forward to it in fact as an improvement over 7. But sadly they have already tried the preview...

Maybe on a tablet/phone it has a purpose, but on a desktop it sucks. But don't trust me, I don't own a fez.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: hate for XP and the Teletubbies references

I hated the XP teletubbies appearance, but at least they let you change back to 'classic' look.

With win8 they have gone out of their way to stop you, the useless bar stewards!

Mind you, Ubuntu's Unity is well on its way as the Linux moment of pulling defeat from the jaws of victory, think of all those XP users who would find Gnome 2 quite usable? Ooops, we screwed that one.

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Cisco backs down on cloud control of routers

Paul Crawford
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Re: Well, that's OK then

Give up your base? Or maybe time to get another product from a company that is not doing this to you and make damn sure you tell world+dog about it?

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Mozilla shoots down Thunderbird, hatches new release model

Paul Crawford
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Yes, that plain/HTML bug annoys me a lot.

Also the in-line spell checker 'forgetting' to check a whole paragraph, etc, if you just did an edit. Buggy since V2 I think. Finally on my annoyance list is the inability to run filters on the "global" inbox, meaning if you have several email accounts and use the unified folders thing (which I like) you need to define multiple filters.

Email is long established, just fix the bugs please! Oh and give us back coloured button text - that black text only crap is not so good for quick recognition.

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Door creaks and girl farts: computing in the real world

Paul Crawford
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F'in caps lock key?

Please will somebody realise that caps lock is of little use, and for most non-perfect typists just a source of hassle when you accidentally touch it going for 'A' or similar.

If dropping anything that is "no longer needed" please get rid of caps lock!

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Are you really going to pop that disc in your drive?

Yes, because I don't have a stupidly configured computer that runs anything presented to it, and there is a good reason to expect it is valuable to me. Even with Windows one of the first things I do is disable autorun on *ALL* media via the registry setting.

How would any other media be safer? Infected USB are depressingly common...

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Paul Crawford
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Parallel printer ports on motherboard

If you need older hardware support in a modern computer check out the DFI EL620-C ATX motherboard, it has a parallel port (you need a bracket/25D/ribbon cable thing unfortunately as it is not rear-facing), two rear facing serial ports (and more inside), PS2 mouse & keyboard, 4 rear-facing USB ports, and two Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Oh, and it also has 3 ISA slots for industrial cards like we use!

Supports the older socket 775 CPUs unfortunately, but Intel still make the Q9400 quad core one (and others) if you can find a supplier that is not utterly incompetent to actually sell you them.

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DNSchanger shutdown may kick 300,000 offline on Monday

Paul Crawford
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Indeed. Some how I don't think it will be the grandparent generation who are the worst affected...

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Numbers don't lie: Apple's ascent eviscerates Microsoft

Paul Crawford
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Re: Apple treated differently than Microsoft.

If you look at the article, you will find that MS has fallen to "If you factor in iOS devices, the ratio drops to less than 2-to-1". So basically if you include all Apple devices: desk-top computer, laptop, tablet and phone, they are still a minority compared to Windows.

That is why no one has investigated Apple. Yet. The time will come I hope...

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Leap second bug cripples Linux servers at airlines, Reddit, LinkedIn

Paul Crawford
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Facepalm

Sadly I am troll-feeding but its worth noting this bug was introduced around the time of the last leap-second.

Real problem is lack of testing of such rare events. Windows is no better really, it ignores the leap second so clock is simply wrong for a while which can be a problem for transaction systems.

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Paul Crawford
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Boffin

How to test?

Why can't someone set up NTP server called skippy or something, that every two days it adds an anomalous +1 leap second and then two days later has a matching -1 leap second?

That way you could set up a test machine that is more-or-less on time, but makes sure that your kernel and any Java, etc, updates are all happy with the concept of a clock shift.

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Paul Crawford
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Linux

Re: Leap seconds: not a one-off unique event

I don't know why they hung. All of our Linux machines ran quite happily (as they have done fore years before including this event) using NTP and Trimble GPS for precise time-keeping.

It is not like the folk behind NTP don't know about this, it has been supported and documented for a long time:

http://www.eecis.udel.edu/~mills/leap.html

Sounds like something that was not tested during the last leap second event, but still, I fail to understand why it would take the system down for more than 1 second?

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Used software firms win small victory in shrinking on-premises world

Paul Crawford
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Sensible decision

Seems the EU has sense here, after all the claims that software is "Intellectual Property" should come with the same sort of rules that physical property has, that you can if necessary re-sell it. I hope this ruling also gets applied to music & DVDs that are delivered on-line to break the distinction between physical and virtual delivery. Of course, there are big concerns that a number of customers won't be honest and delete the copy before selling it on, but really, are they not likely to be the ones obtaining it dishonestly in the first place?

As for cloud-only to get round this - I can see a number of cases where that is simply not practical due to network latency & bandwidth concerns, not to mention issues over data sovereignty and applicable law.

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Euro Parliament kills ACTA treaty before court can look at it

Paul Crawford
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"backdoor control laws"

That is the key point: the secrecy of negotiation.

The fact that some very controversial proposals were included then dropped from ACTA (but not Japan's own laws?) shows the attitude of some aspects of those pushing this forward. I hope, but don't really expect, that in future the revision of patent, copyright and trademark laws are done in the open and NOT simply to maximise large company profits.

This applies obviously to the heinous business of DRM and so on being pushed by the content industries, but equally to the land-grab of copyright by the likes of Google, etc, against small players. The law should be fair to all parties.

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Microsoft gets its hypervisor war face on, squares up to VMware

Paul Crawford
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For what client?

For a Linux VM or Windows VM? My own experience shows NFS as significantly faster than CIFS for the same hardware/network system, so can we please have some like-for-like comparisons?

Methinks MS pushes CIFS because that is Windows default networking and not because it is actually any better...

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Australia goes cold on ACTA

Paul Crawford
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Re: The "dropped" part matters

Irrespective of any merits in ACTA, the manner in which it was negotiated and the attempts to use it to bypass parliamentary process is a VERY SERIOUS matter. Same in the EU where it is/was being pushed by the commissioners as a done-deal to be passed by the EU parliament.

This cannot be allowed to happen!

For the sake of democracy everywhere it is important that ACTA is rejected and politicians made to sit up and take notice that new laws or trade agreements need to be done in the open, and with the goals and participants all visible so that it actually reflects what the people want.

As Andrew has pointed out in past articles, most people are not "freetards" and will support creative work by paying if it is made a easy and good choice, but this has been a long time coming with music finally becoming easy to download DRM-free. Prices are a bit high (compared to CD per-track cost when manufacturing costs are excluded) but not bad. However video is still DRM-encumbered and subject to stupid regional restrictions.

Can the industry groups get round to fixing the carrot before demanding ever bigger sticks?

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Paul Crawford
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The "dropped" part matters

The fact it was dropped matters, as criminalisation was proposed behind closed doors. And considering Japan, one of the original proponents of ACTA, has gone and introduced this independently you can be sure it was not a joke:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/06/27/anonymous_japan_ddos/

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ITU denies plans for global internet power-grab

Paul Crawford
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"from friction comes life"

Getting fscked?

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Ten... pieces of tat for Apple fanboys

Paul Crawford
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Re: In the interest of fairness

Certainly, for windows:

9 sets of AV software + Original CD to nuke it from orbit and re-install.

And for Linux:

8 books on compiling a kernel for Dummies/Fun/Profit/Sysadmin/BDSM/etc, a signed posted of Richard Stallman + a Tux penguin for your desk.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Just visit your doctor...

Yes, and no Windows CD-ROM either - now try changing your IP settings!

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Powering your iPad costs $1.36 per year

Paul Crawford
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Gimp

But what is the cost of running (rechargeable) battery powered sex toys we ask?

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LinkedIn faces class action suit over password leak

Paul Crawford
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Re: Definitions - are you sure?

The salt can't be "random" but could be something complex and user-specific, such as their email address (or a MD5 hash of that).

The goal is to make the required rainbow table too big so a standard table (for, say, all 8-character passwords and common longer ones) can't be used, and the time & storage to generate one big enough is unworkable for a reasonable time-scale so you are back to brute-forcing each user.

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Windows 8 'harder for malware to exploit', says security analysis

Paul Crawford
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Linux

Re: Err...

Secure boot is a double edged sword: while clearly a major step to preventing rootkits, it is also a good way of stopping freedom.

My own preference would be for a uniform and guaranteed way of turning it off, of cource with BIG MESSAGES ABOUT THE DANGERS so Joe Average is not fooled again by malware in to shafting himself.

The Linux option that blocks things like pci access, etc, to allow signing is not good in my view as I use that sort of thing in development. OK< I don't need secure boot, but would like the half-way house of knowing most of the boot process went OK and only the modules (or hardware access) were things to worry about.

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Paul Crawford
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Linux

Re: Amazing!

Windows users being forced to pay more for the privilege of using their PC?

Oh my fishy heart bleeds for them as I play a surprisingly small violin...

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Adobe feeling drained by new model, but hopes things will improve

Paul Crawford
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Gimp

Re: People are sick of Adobe

Shame those people did not help/sponsor improvements to GIMP as an alternative.

Even if you prefer photoshop, you get more of a reaction to asking if its OK if you & the GIMP can touch up their wife & daughter after a party photo!

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Schneier spanks AV industry over Flame failures

Paul Crawford
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Re: Mike

Nothing wrong with USB ports, its the stupid OS that lets stuff run from them, in particular autorun[*], and people who don't care to (a) lock them down, or (b) take care what you do with them.

[*] sadly Linux is not totally innocent though not as brain-dead as the old MS approach, also why do so many Linux distros mount file systems on external media with execute permissions enabled?

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EU boffins ponder robot copters that carry people but no pilots

Paul Crawford
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Re: Not enough fuel?

Did "recent plane designs" mean optimised cruising in an airliner, or a helicopter?

No idea how the proposed future craft fair for efficiency, but current full-size helicopters are around 2-3mpg AFAIK, and I suspect improvements in that would be matched by improvements in car/bus/trains.

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Paul Crawford
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WTF?

Wrong in so many ways!

Firstly, as already pointed out, we have a fuel/energy problem with cars and they need a fraction of a helicopter's energy for a comparable journey.

Also touched upon - where do you park them all? Buses drop passengers off, then move on...

And GPS for kids to make them non-targets - some Orwellian wet dream methinks? Who was the muppet who thought that anyone, or anything, should be forced to carry the cost of protecting themselves from someone else's transport or toy?

Self-driving cars are much easier, but just as capable of being deadly if they went wrong. I would like a ruling on liability first, for example, can the on-board software (and thus the maker) be held accountable? Will it have the usual weasel-worded EULA passing the responsibility on to the 'operator' who may be unable/not expecting to take emergency control when the unexpected happens?

Taxi please!

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Apple-Moto patent punchup can come into court, says judge

Paul Crawford
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Trollface

Re: Your doorbell runs android?

Seriously - I have an HTC Wildfire and that is about all its good for.

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HBO 'sorry' for skewering Dubya

Paul Crawford
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Re: Oh look!

I see what you did there!

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Two new Jovian moons confirmed

Paul Crawford
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Re: @Tom 7 re. "girly is a non sexist term ..."

Oh I like it when cunning linguists argue!

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Linux Mint joins mini-PC hardware business

Paul Crawford
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Paris Hilton

Re: No, it's not just you....

Ribbed and silent - just what you need for enjoying a 'special' video at night.

Yes, cost is high but then they don't have the volumes that laptop makers enjoy.

Paris, she enjoys a large volume...

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HP still NOT porting HP-UX to x86?

Paul Crawford
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Common socket?

Why has it taken so long, and still not there, to make Itanic & Xeon hardware-compatible?

My own view is the Itanium was a wasted development, but once started it seems crazy the Intel did not make then socket compatible so they could sell them to makes of x86 boxes as an alternative choice of CPU, rather than having to roll out white elephant hardware just for the Itanium.

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MPAA sympathetic to returning legitimate Megaupload files

Paul Crawford
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FAIL

Re: @AC 21:34

Nope, the FBI can't seize anything that is outside of USA jurisdiction. Sadly the seem to believe that having a .com name puts you under USA law, something that other countries need to stand up to.

If you break the law in your own country, then you should be prosecuted there.

If your web activity is illegal in another country, tough. Why, for example, should I be subject to Sharia law (or a bastardized version of it) just because my web pages have an Iranian visitor?

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Paul Crawford
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FAIL

@AC 21:34

Sorry, you are the f*king ignorant one - the FBI did that in ANOTHER COUNTRY and without the explicit approval of a local judge.

While some in the USA appear to believe their law applies everywhere, it dose not (though a few countries appear to lack the backbone to tell them, like the UK I live in).

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Climate scientists see 'tipping point' ahead

Paul Crawford
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Terminator

Re: I am reminded...

And the reason for doing so?

Because humans, as a generalisation, are a lazy self-centred bunch who will make little or no sacrifice unless it has an immediate gain/threat.

Give people an ounce of doubt and they will use that to get out of doing things, in particular, those difficult or unpopular decisions that politicians must do but still keep themselves on the gravy train.

And that is the dilemma, try to hold a reasoned argument with those who don't give a toss, are incapable of understanding science/statistics, or have pre-set views (e.g. religion) and you lose. Not because your data is out of agreement, but because the DON'T WANT TO BELIEVE that their actions are wrong/ill-advised/must be changed.

Or take on politicians at their own gain by spinning the facts to attention-grabbing scenarios and getting folk to sit up and take notice. Then once more to dismiss it because "its just spin" and not in their short-term interests.

Maybe skynet was right...

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Vint Cerf: 'COMMUNISTS want to seize the INTERNET'

Paul Crawford
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@Thing

You seem to be confusing "opinion I don't agree with" with "conspiracy", and have not noticed The Register actually has other journalists with differing options that are also permitted to speak.

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1 in 6 Windows PCs naked as a jaybird online

Paul Crawford
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Re: The ones to avoid are the full 'Security Suites'

Good point jason 7 there, if you have to ask the user you have failed already, as most users know nothing, after all, they are not pro system administrators.

As for firewalls, in the modern "IPv4 + NAT router in the home" world they count for little (but it is nice to know when something is calling home if you tend to tin-foil headgear as I do), and MS has been good at turning off some infrequently needed stuff in recent years.

In the NAT-free would of IPv6 that may change...

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Paul Crawford
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True words in jest...

In a lot of cases you have a choice between a well-sucky machine running AV all of the time that gets hosed occasionally, or a responsive one without McAfee/Norton (or other better AV) that gets hosed a little more often but is cheaper.

Which is better?

Personally the bigger worry for me is the lack of back-ups, as its not just viruses (mostly for Windows) to corrupt things, but hardware failures and "user's gross administrative error" to be recovered from.

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Japan to get Android phone with built-in radiation dosimeter

Paul Crawford
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Re: Misleading

And the long-term effects of all of the toxic industrial chemical washed out to sea during the tsunami's destruction of coastal industry?

It annoys me the way the mass-media press fixates on the nuclear incident and ignores (more or less) the enormous damage and loss of life caused by "safe" water elsewhere.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Could be a dummy device

Damn - I could do with a giant mutant spider to deal with some of those perky flies! Just not ones with an interest in blue crystals...

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Cisco predicts 1.3 zettabytes of annual data movements

Paul Crawford
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Really?

"world made 1.8 zettabytes of data in 2011"

Home much of that is duplicated web site access or bittorrent data? And how much of the apparently 'unique' data transfers are actually the same but with DRM (and hence uncachable at ISP nodes) like Spotify's traffic?

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Crazy Texans dunk servers in DEEP FRYERS

Paul Crawford
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Short term stability?

I was wondering about that, but also about the impact of a immersive cooling oil with relative permittivity values of 2-3 on the characteristic impedance and propagation delay-matching of high speed PCB tracks?

As a designed-for-oil system no problem, but as a normal board in oil it might cause issues with very high speed systems.

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UK.gov energy policy: You can't please all the people much of the time

Paul Crawford
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Re: Wonder how much it would cost

A lot. And also what do you do at night?

You need a lot of baseline generation, and storage (e.g. hydro) to smooth out renewable sources that are not constant (like geothermal).

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Dish Networks locks horns with broadcasters over ad skipping

Paul Crawford
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Re: Nice

Odd argument that they are altering the content so it is a copyright issue. As far as I can see the original content is not modified, all they do is allow you to see the bits you want and not the other bits.

Legislating against that would be bizarre as it would imply it is illegal to take a leak during the advert break!

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Paul Crawford
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Re: How far does the storage requirement go?

The 'legality' is probably something that engineers can't begin to understand the dumbness of, but I guess they can't argue against a de-dupe system as all of the copies are logically separate in the sense you can modify one without altering anyone else's "copy".

So today a mid-high end storage system could de-dupe this effectively and save a *lot* of space at the usual expense of having to have enough RAM for the de-dupe hash tables, which is hardly an issue now.

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Microsoft to devs: Don't ruin Win 8 launch with crap code

Paul Crawford
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"any other can or can't?"

The point is the OS should provide the appropriate restrictions for ALL applications, and regulated by only a few permission levels depending on what an app needs to do.

The beef here is MS want to play with APIs for IE and Office that others are not allowed to, a bit like the old Word vs. WordPerfect anti-trust case where MS, due to its inner knowledge of its own OS, could out-perform other software by using undocumented features (OK WordPerfect had other issues, but the API tricks are known).

Or the same tactic, used more sneakily, to break DR-DOS + Win3.0 etc.

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