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* Posts by P. Lee

2418 posts • joined 4 Dec 2007

Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS

P. Lee
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FAIL

Bug or Design Flaw?

Surely this is yet another example of MS putting security (or lack of it) into the GUI where it doesn't belong. The security should have been on the file system and the GUI should run as the user. Even if you have have horrible buffer over-runs in the code, a dialogue box should be running at the same level as any other user process.

Ah, you've put stuff in the kernel because you value speed over security? That isn't careless coding, that's a design fault.

I know, I think all major OS's do it, but I think Windows is almost the only one left that you pay for isn't it? Rather like in most citrix configs I've seen. You're blocked from accessing C:\...\cmd.exe in Explorer, but you can go through a file->open dialogue box and get to it.

Pretty much the whole point of an OS is to sandbox applications and provide them with their own "virtual machine." At least, that's what I was taught over two decades ago. Now we have more CPU power than most people can use, perhaps it is time to do things properly.

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SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans

P. Lee
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Re: Polar Bear

My wife says that while camping in the Mara (a long time ago) in the morning there would be lines in the dust around the car doors where elephants had sniffed along the door seals for the water that was in containers inside.

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Microsoft: We're making ONE TRUE WINDOWS to rule us all

P. Lee
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Re: One OS

What lies at the heart of it is not just "decorations."

Different form factors and screen sizes mandate completely different ways of interacting with an app. In short, even if you did make one OS/kernel/architecture to rule them all, people wouldn't want to run a desktop app on a phone.

The upshot is, you still need different app development skills for different form factors, even if the OS were the same. There is no silver bullet to transform a desktop monopoly into a mobile one.

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MPs to sue UK.gov over 'ridiculous' EMERGENCY data snooping law

P. Lee
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Mushroom

Re: How long....

You mean the constitutional crisis provoked by urban MPs over the issue of rural pest control?

What a great day for British politics that was!

No, I'm not a hunt support, but that was stupid and embarrassing grandstanding.

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Climate: 'An excuse for tax hikes', scientists 'don't know what they're talking about'

P. Lee
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Trollface

Re: People of the world?

No actually, "the world" is correct.

Some ancient Babylonians hailed Tiamat, goddess of chaos and salt-water from which all things came.

In our highly evolved society, we don't use that name any more. Progress eh?

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HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs

P. Lee
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Measurement confusion

Part of the problem is the confusion between producitivity and profit.

For solid growth, you need productiivty - doing something useful. However, profitability can disguise non-productivity. The problem in the West in general is that far too much depends on marketing rather than production. The core dev teams for Windows, MS Office etc are tiny compared to the overall organisation. Blanket advertising forces out competition - that's why we get the massive campaigns around the Voice et al. They have to exclude competition from mindshare in order to succeed. This isn't about being productive, meeting needs etc, this is about using previous profits to crush competition - not specific competitors, but competition in general.

We then end up with monopoly profits which hides inefficiencies in big business in a way they couldn't in small business. That's why you suddenly have large cuts - it takes a long time for the problem to be evident and then critical to deal with. People are getting paid, but productivity is low for their job.

Herein is the problem with MS software recently: using windows 8 over windows 7 or windows XP doesn't make most people more productive. Or at least, not enough people in the organisation are more productive to warrant the upgrade. Software has gone from an enabler, to a very large cost centre. There was some benefit to going 64-bit (i.e. v7 for Windows) but after that, MS have not really added much in terms of end-user productivity. Win3.11 to W95 gave significant UI features. Win95 to (NT/)2000/XP gave significant stability increases, W7 gave address space and UI advantages. Now (in the Windows World) we have a reasonable UI and stability. What more are you expecting from an OS?

What I want more from an OS is all the stuff they have been pumping into hypervisors. That should be in the base OS if they want me to upgrade again. UI tweaks won't cut it.

Of course, *nix/floss users are (rightly) a little smug. I don't know if MS have noticed, but I'm seeing a lot of indie games arriving for linux. I don't know if its linux per se or general cross-platform to get the OSX crowd or prepping for Android/IOS releases (probably all three) but if I were MS I'd be worried about 5 years down the line. Games are less OS dependent, but with excessive CPU power comes platform independent applications. Hard financial times mean that previously unassessed decisions come under scruitiny.

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Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months

P. Lee
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> Bring on the high-end Nokia droids!!!

+1

If you want to be independent of Google, maps are the killer app that's the hardest to do, and Nokia has them. Search is usually browser-based and can be farmed off to google.

Put a security/privacy sandbox around apps on Android and sell it to business. Do a filtered, advert-free-app store with proper FLOSS and paid apps.

Perhaps do an Apple and produce some decent app software themselves.

but I must stop dreaming...

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Boffins fill a dome with 480 cameras for 3D motion capture

P. Lee
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Re: Camera phones at sports events

> it is improbable it will capture anything worthwhile

Tag the picture with GPS and compass data and you might be able to calculate line of sight to see if its worthwhile adding the image to the processing stack.

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Intel teaches Oracle how to become the latest and greatest Xeon Whisperer

P. Lee
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Re: this sounds like something VMware would want...

Surely if you have a 15-core box and you are switching off cores, then you're doing virtualisation wrong.

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P. Lee
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Re: Smells like copy-protections

Have an upvote.

I despise software houses who want to own and control your hardware too. The last thing we need is to get further into the position where application software counteracts hardware advances by switching off cores and down-clocking the CPU. I know it could be useful, but I've seen humanity at work.

Yes, I hate "appliances." Market segmentation on the flimsiest pretense.

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NASDAQ IT security spend: $1bn. Finding mystery malware on its servers: Priceless

P. Lee
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Re: You are confused

but..but...but we buy expensive software from reputable vendors so that _they_ take the risk...

Whaddayamean "they don't"?

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Will the next US-EU trade pact prevent Brussels acting against US tech giants?

P. Lee
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Holmes

Re: Please tell me I'm wrong...

It usually does though Europeans do tend to despise large corporates more than Americans. Perhaps because the large corporates tend to be American.

Anyway, I smell a headline grabber. A stupid overblown clause designed to distract attention away from the rest of the pact and be discarded.

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UN to Five Eyes nations: Your mass surveillance is breaking the law

P. Lee
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Re: Dangerous precedent

> Firstly comparing any potential trial against Snowden to the Nuremberg trials - against individuals

> complicit in the torture and death of millions of people - is at best questionable.

At this point, possibly. However, the infrastructure has been put in place what the Nazis or the Soviets could only have dreamt of for spying on their own people. All we need a a financial jolt large enough to make a lot of people hungry and people will accept any leader charismatic enough to persuade them that he has a solution to their problems.

I have little fear of Islamic international terrorists - they have a track record of doing very little damage. National governments on the other hand have a long history of terrorising and slaughtering their populations.

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Microsoft: OK, Office 365 sellers – you can be customers' 'first contact'

P. Lee
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Trollface

Re: In other news-

Haha!

You are now first line hell-desk support! With all its attendant roles, privileges and responsibilities... and pay.

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Dungeons & Dragons relaunches with 'freemium' version 5.0

P. Lee
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Re: Paper shortages

No XP rules...

That's in the premium pack?

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WiGag war: Tiny low-power chip promises mobes 4.6Gbps Wi-Fi

P. Lee
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Re: 60GHz! Are we all standing right next to the transmitter?

>So you need line of sight for this to work reliably?

I'd doubt that's too hard. Mostly you'll want to sit in front of the telly with your phone and use the phone as a remote.

This isn't for general in-house networking, but fast sync and video display. Few people use 4k video, so the extra bandwidth mostly helps cope with interference. However, being able to properly use my 27' screen from a mobile device sounds nice. It might even allow desktop apps on a phone...

I might settle for a magnetic-connected optical link + power cable rather than running down the battery, though.

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Huge FOUR-winged dino SPREAD LEGS to KILL – scientists

P. Lee
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Extra precise?

I think your local peregrine falcon would suggest that isn't the case.

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Nadella: Yes I can put 2 THINGS FIRST. I will say them at the same time – CLOUDOBILE

P. Lee
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Re: "'We are building an operating system for human activity'"

>I think he means 'Not just Office, but, like, life 'n shit.'

>Photos! Documents! Memories! Shiny people!

Except that MS don't do that stuff. Cloud is a vendor dream. Business customers only accept it because running server-software is too hard and decent load-balancing is too expensive. Personal customers don't really care and don't know how their data is being farmed.

Google's cloudiness works mostly because of google's high-speed network infrastructure. Apple's cloudiness works because they put the UI in people's hands and they have apps which do things for people. Look at their ad's - its all about how Apple stuff enables you to do cool stuff. What does MS do? They have no iLife and precious little mobile market share.

Mobile is not a great money-spinner. The apps are mostly trivial and fashion-driven or simply interfaces to (mostly web) servers. The prices are not that high either - you make money by becoming famous and selling for 99p.

MS are squeezed by Apple on the personal side and being pushed into a "business only" OS. There's nothing inherently wrong with that, but you get no fashion purchases and in hard times businesses like to sweat the assets. Even in non-hard times, the telephone system rarely gets an upgrade, so Lync goes in and won't be replaced in two years time.

Then there is the whole, "what is an OS?" Does he mean Windows gains sensor-awareness? e.g. GPS, tilt, finger-print capabilities? "Human activity" sounds like Userland Apps, not OS territory. The OS is the application / hardware interface manager.

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Hey, channel guy. STOP. Don't lock yourself into vendors' refresh cycles

P. Lee
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Why bin good kit?

That's why the vendors are in trouble. It used to be that the new kit was measurably better. Now they've realised "measurably better" doesn't trump, "good enough for purpose" and that's where we are.

Consolidation has been driving the industry for a bit, but that's reaching equilibrium too.

First there was the drive to (underpowered) appliances because normal servers were too fast to segment the market. Then the push to Cloud, so that customers can't see what's going on.

It's all very well, but if Lync in the Cloud does really well, someone will do a decent Asterisk/AD hookup and that MS app-rental model is going to come under attack.

Did your firewall vendor make the thing too complicated to use in an effort to build an "ecosystem" of skilled engineers? The Cloud might sort that out, but once the firewalling is an outsourced function there is less reason for pretty GUI's and all the other things which sooth customers and a whole lot more pressure on price.

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Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?

P. Lee
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Trollface

Re: ATTENSHUN!

> Some people want something new, whether or not it's better.

That would be the marketing people.

> I want something better, whether or not it's new.

That would be why the tech industry is in trouble. You destroyer of the economy! Why can't you just consume the new stuff like everyone else?

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Native Americans KILLED AND ATE DUMBO, say archaeologists

P. Lee
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Re: We kill and eat Wilbur. And Nemo (if not Nemo, several of his cousins). And Bambi. And Daisy.

"If the juju had meant us not to eat people, he wouldn't of made us of meat."

FTFY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGW-qnlrMjs

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NASA: ALIENS and NEW EARTHS will be ours inside 20 years

P. Lee
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Re: Promises, promises

> Oh yeh! Anyone else remember the "paperless office".

These days, its more of a question of who remembers a paper-run office with massive filing rooms? We may not be completely paperless, but where I work there isn't much of it around and its mostly used for proofing and signing.

The universe may be rather large, but it appears he hasn't done the stats on the probabilities of the evolution of life as we know it.

"20 years and there will be aliens"... AKA, "Funding Please!"

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New leaked 'Windows 8 screenshot': The Start Menu strikes back

P. Lee
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Re: Win 8.x?

> If 8.x is supposed to be a taster for win.9 (as I suspect it may be)

I don't think so. It's supposed to be a taster for windows mobile, one area where MS haven't saturated the market and therefore hope to gain new sales.

I discovered right-clicking the start button brings up a useful menu from the time that TIFKAM forgot. Actually, it looks a bit like a Win3.1 drop-down menu, so I'm not surprised that they want to theme it. However, a tile-themed menu sounds like something else I'm going to have to edit to fix.

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New Doctor Who episode leaks online as proper trailer debuts

P. Lee
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Re: Don't look Ethel!

Mooned 'er... right there in front of the home team!

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Murdoch calls for ISPs to be liable for users' activities

P. Lee
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I don't mind the idea

as long as media owners also become liable for the all the actions of their consumers.

And their employees too.

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Call girl injected Google exec with heroin, drank wine, left him to die – cops claim

P. Lee
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Re: A shame @Tim Roberts1

> in the broader context he died of Calvinism

While I agree that the US has a bit of an obsession with the law, I take issue with your hypothesis. Forget that she was getting money for sex, he was married. Certainly in the (even nominal) Christian context that means a promise of "forsaking all others" - lifelong exclusivity with the one you are married to. Nothing places more value on a person than choosing them above all others. There are few things more demeaning than swapping her out for a younger/different model. How many films and soaps are built around this sort of betrayal?

Having women's rights enshrined in law is a very good thing, but its largely required because men treat them badly. In a more socially liberal society the drugs may be legal but what of the sex? Going outside marriage for sex shows you to be a liar and a promise-breaker and its demeaning to your spouse. You can do away with the promises and just have a a series of playthings that you throw away when you're bored with them, but that's just makes the fact obvious that you place no value on other humans.

For all our liberal values, we still have a gut feel that there is right and wrong. He was doing wrong, she was doing wrong, that combination took them to a tragic place where he died and she has a good chance of spending time in a steel cage. This is bad. Bad things happen when you do wrong. This isn't a problem of covering up appearances, this is a problem of disrespecting his wife. It was liberal ethics and hedonism which destroyed him. The needle was just the tragic consequence.

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The Windows 8 dilemma: Win 8 or wait for 9?

P. Lee
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Re: Boring

I've been running 8.1 for a couple of weeks. It is just a games machine, but I have some observations:

1. Things move. It isn't just different, its inconsistent. If I want to power off/sleep from the desktop I have to go bottom left, click on windows start-screen button. Then I have to move to the opposite corner (top right) for the power icon, then scroll down for the option I want. There's far to much movement.

Worse, sometime I've noticed that the power button comes up on the bottom right bleed-in panel.

2. pin to taskbar / icon on the desktop is a workaround for the start screen. I use this a lot. I did on Win7 too.

3. Start screen is full of MS rubbish. You have to delete all the MS junk from the start screen one at a time (no multi-select of icons appears to be available): select an icon, from somewhere on the screen, then click on the delete menu which just appeared (so you couldn't see where it was earlier and plan your mouse moves) at the bottom of the screen which is far too much mousing. There isn't even a rubbish bin shown to drop stuff straight into.

Then you have to replace the icons with useful stuff - control panel, explorer, Firefox :) and your other real apps. I shouldn't have to clean my environment on a fresh install - that just looks bad like pre-installed OEM crud. It's also tedious to remove and oh how I hate live tiles. It's like looking at a facebook page.

4. PC Settings. You'd think this might be the control panel. It isn't, it isn't that useful and it doesn't appear to have a link to the control panel. Where are my £$%^&* network settings? PC Settings is at the bottom on a right-side auto-hide panel along with some other stuff.

5. Menus/results. Right-side panel (lower) for some things, left side "start button (lower) on the desktop, almost top right for the start screen menu and search results. The menu's are all over the place with no apparent reasoning.

6. Going along with the theme. Click the start screen button (bottom left) and your apps appear not in the bottom left where your mouse is, but all over the screen - again far to much mousing. If I have a lot of apps and start typing in the application name, my filtered list appears in the opposite corner to where my mouse was. Yes I could use keyboard shortcuts but it's supposed to be a WIMP environment.

Or rather it isn't. This is a touchscreen, not mouse environment. Things are organised for fingers on opposite hands to be used in a coordinated fashion on a tablet-sized screen. It's rubbish for mouse-based operation on a 27' monitor.

Here's the difference between how Apple introduced IOS and how MS introduced Win8. With Apple, I was never left thinking "I don't know how to do X." Perhaps because it is an inherently simpler environment. With Win8 I'm constantly having to think how to get past the GUI to my applications or data.

Maybe its just my personality but I like structure, organisation and predictability. Search is a last resort when I've forgotten everything else or misplaced it. I don't want to be forced to search visually through a large screen of icons and neither do I want progressive search with its shifting icons and dynamic lists to be my main mode of access. Win7 search was fine, KDE search is fine, both attached to the start menu (and alt-F2 for kde). It feels like a desperate attempt to make windows cool by making it look as though "Windows just knows where everything is" rather than "I installed my app in that location and stored my data in that location."

MS needs to get over itself and concentrate on what it knows. By the time it's ready for mobile, mobile will be saturated and the market gone. Get some better local caching in Outlook so my laptop talking to the corporate mail server on the other side of the world doesn't spend ages trying to update its social media integration data. That would be nice.

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Victim of Tor-hidden revenge smut site sues Tor Project developers

P. Lee
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Lack of Judgement

1) Keep your pants on. Making yourself vulnerable at the deepest emotional and physical level is not something you just do for fun. Parents, its rather important that you teach your kids this, despite everything shown on TV, in films and broadcast on the radio and probably taught in schools. Stop living by your feelings alone and use some reasoning. Has your partner made a public statement of commitment to you alone, for life? If not, assume they will leave you. Has your partner had sexual relationships which ended badly? Why do you think you'll be any different? Feelings? We know those come and go. Love is a principled commitment to seek someone-else's best interest before your own. Until you have evidence your partner loves you and can control themselves, don't put yourself in jeopardy.

It seems a lot of effort is being put into trying to undo the consequences of living as if there are no consequences. It's a lie. There are always consequences. The right to be forgotten is a King Canute scenario. Your modesty is your responsibility, not the law's and it relates also to your choices before the photo's were taken. That's what the lock on the bedroom door is for.

2) No photos. There's no such thing as "private art." It's porn and it features you. If it won't be shown, you don't need it taken.

3) Social media. You risked pic's not just on paper, not just on your own hackable computer but out on the internet? (see title)

Yes its wrong to harass people like this, but there is usually an easy way to prevent it happening in the first place. Sadly, as a society, we seem determined to see the consequences as the problem and stubbornly refuse to acknowledge the real problem is with our own lack of judgement.

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'BIGGEST BIRD EVER': 21-foot ripsaw-beaked flying HORROR

P. Lee
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According to the abstract

Lift:drag ratios derived from the fossil design are near the upper end of all existing birds. That part sounds solidly scientific if you've got the design.

Unfortunately, if the design (apart from the lift:drag ratios) rules out flight because its above the theoretical maximum specs for flying birds (based on physics presumably), then it means either (a) we can't extrapolate animal characteristics from live species back into pre-history, which makes investigation of anything hazardous since we no longer have a solid starting point, or (b) the physics (air density?) was different, which again, means that the environment starting point (i.e. today) for extrapolation is not related to where we want to get to.

It also begs the question, was anything else completely different? Was there more helium in the air, resulting in all living creatures having squeaky, comedy voices? I think I'd like that: T-Rex sounding a bit like a kitten. Actually it has serious implications. Once you admit you don't know what physics were in effect, you're going to have some problems with lots of other theories which rely on guesswork based on modern things.

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WinPhone iView app flap: Microsoft to pull 'unauthorised' app... coded by STAFFER

P. Lee
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Paris Hilton

> That the platform lacks an official iview application may be one reason for low local takeup.

/giggle

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USA to insist on pre-flight mobe power probe

P. Lee
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Re: New???

> it's easy to spot if you have a small battery next to a separate pack of something nasty in the cavity.

So then... just x-ray it? My Dell has two battery compartments...

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FAKE Google web SSL certificates tip-toe out from Indian authorities

P. Lee
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Mis-issued?

Is it just me that thinks that the likelihood of Google going to an Indian CA for a cert is so remote that it should set of large enormous alarm bells to the CA issuing it. Given that the CA's only real work is to check identities, surely this has to be abuse. If it is incompetence, it is on a gross scale and the CA needs to be punished for that too. Given that they receive a lot of cash for very little, they need to stop hiring numpties.

It is like SEC regulations, they are expensive to comply with, nobody likes doing it, but if you get caught in breach, the consequences should be severe. Actually its worse than that, given that the only job is to follow the regulations.

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Sydney wallows in cesspit of WiFi obsolescence and ignorance

P. Lee
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Re: What's wrong with open WiFi networks

Indeed. Even my ancient little draytek does vlan'ed wireless and rate-limiting. Plus all the banking goes over wires.

Dual wireless is better - one for known devices inside the firewall, one for guests.

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Computing student jailed after failing to hand over crypto keys

P. Lee
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Re: Silly sod

He worked in AI. He had no chance of a decent job anyway...

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P. Lee
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Re: Chris W @ Condiment

You could... or you could suggest that he was keeping them tools on their source servers on the internet so that they couldn't be traced to him. The attack data could be encoded into a photo or a music track or video hidden amongst terabytes of data.

If he rescinds the threats made, you'd have to argue that he wrote something new and un-duplicatable in that truecrypt partition. That seems unlikely. Having access to the partition is not going to stop further crimes. If putting him in jail for 6 months doesn't stop the crime, jailing him for death-threats for 5 years is unlikely to stop it either.

So the most applicable item would be to detect if he committed the crime himself. That seems a bit odd if they can't prove that, given that that's what they arrested him for. Normally, you get the proof, then arrest. It sounds like an economical short-cut to me.

It seems to me that it is prudent to have two encrypted, unmarked partitions and some empty space on your disk. Yes, officer, I was playing with crypto partitions - here's the passphrase. I know, its just some cat videos I was using to test. The free space? I wasn't sure if I'd need it for Windows or Linux data.

Or have a micro SD card with the passphrases (or critical data) on in one pocket and a strong magnet in the other. You could eat it too.

He might be an oik, but we shouldn't put people in jail for that. Hard cases making bad law and all that.

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Panic like it's 1999: Microsoft Office macro viruses are BACK

P. Lee
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Re: receiving a document in a proprietary format

Shunning proprietary formats is fine until you make money from dealing with them and lose money as all your employees convert to/from them to deal with the rest of the world. Security is a tradeoff.

However, there are several things which could change to help the situation and this is where I hold MS to account for not progressing the state of the art in OS and application design. Free *nix is one thing, but if I'm paying someone for the next OS version, I expect progress.

The OS arbitrates resource access. MS can do this rather badly because it pushes security out to the application/GUI. E.g. on many citrix systems, cmd.com is locked down - you can't see it in explorer. However, open Word:File->open and you can copy, paste the file to a different name and execute it happily.

I want a "flag on modification" option from the OS, along with "remember for this session" options. I want separate installation locations for user-installed apps and admin-installed apps. I want security manifests with each application & user context. If IE wants to provide http access to other apps, the OS needs to mediate that. When you install an app, there should be a list of resources the app needs. Word might want access to http://wordtemplates.microsoft.com, which is fine. Access to all the internet is not. The security manifest can be ok'ed at installation and after that any resource access outside that manifest should be flagged by the OS. The same goes for email. Inter-application communication needs to go through the OS, not direct. That way we don't end up with a hodgepodge of apps doing their own thing. We'll also need categories for "its a local proxy" not and end-point.

I want directory filtering for data providers. Yes, skype can use my address-book without asking, but I only want it to see names plus any data it adds. Words with Friends can ask to use my address book but may only see names. So much data is held in network stores but our OS's haven't really progressed beyond file-systems. I want the WAF, DBF and LDAP firewalls to come to the OS, not be the preserve of rich enterprises. I know security is hard to do for end-users, but MS and Apple have enough market share to make it happen. Sadly, along with Google, they have all jumped on the, "all your data are belong to us" bandwagon. Perhaps this could be MS' USP in the mobile market, "We'll give you decent access controls on your data." It might work better than the Win8 TIFKAM strategy.

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Would it be BAD if the Amazon rainforest was all FARMS? Well it WAS, once

P. Lee
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Re: Surprise?

There are two issues with this.

1) Waterfront property is very expensive. That means lots of rich people lose money if sea-levels rise. That in itself will cause the powers that be to try to hold back the sea. If London and New York went under water, a lot of "wealth" would just disappear.

2) We've engineered ourselves into a highly lucrative but stupidly fragile economy. Until relatively recently, people could simply move over a bit and farm somewhere else and carry on. Now we've locked up all the land in ownership and (in the West) most people have no idea and no tools for growing their own food. If a company goes bust, not only do all the employees lose their income (and therefore food), all the feeder industries go down, and unrelated industries are hit too, from the battering of the centralised debt-carrying banks, stock market and pension funds. We have created a vast safety-net for ourselves by tying everyone together. The downside is that it hides problems until they are vast and (almost?) unmanageable. How much do you think Apple stock will be worth if people are desperate for food? The 1930's are really not that long ago.

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Dimension Data cloud goes TITSUP down under... after EMC storage fail

P. Lee
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The Cloud is a site. Worse, its a site which you don't administer. Plan your DR accordingly.

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Average chump in 'bank' phone scam is STUNG for £10,000 - study

P. Lee
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Re: What I don't understand

We just don't plug our landline in - give out mobile numbers only.

Personal friends have plans with cheap minutes, but it raises the bar for commercial callers.

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P. Lee
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Re: It would help an awful ****ing lot

> "Our records state you were born on the Nth day of the month; Please confirm which month it was"

Not paranoid enough with 1 in 12 random answers being correct and that not being very well protected data. We had personal data copied from a dentist's surgery used in a scam letter sent through the post. We know it was from there because there was an identical mis-spelling in our surname. I presume the rest of the data including DoB was taken too. In the above example, there's a good chance many people will blurt out the correct month and also provide the last payment to XXX Building Society too.

The correct procedure is: "We'd like to talk to you about X. Please call the freephone number listed on all our paper correspondence and our website and quote the following reference: abc.

Don't trust any unsolicited calls which request information. There are a million and one websites which ask for mother's maiden name as a backup authentication system. Anyone of those sites could be compromised and the info is then out in the wild.

Adding poorly kept secrets to a secure system doesn't add to security, it reduces it by providing work-arounds.

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Is there too much sex and violence on TV?

P. Lee
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Re: Where do we complain

Except that sex on TV is nothing like sex in real life.

TV thrives on conflict, betrayal and excitement and drama and its all packaged up in a neat 40 minute block. Real life doesn't thrive on these things. Conflict and betrayal leads to broken relationships - split families and communities which often don't recover.

Even the medium works against real life. If a teen is used to having gratuitous nudity with unlikely-proportioned actors available on demand, what chance does a later real-life partner have of living up to that? Why should they even be expected to? The actors are pretending - its all fake.

Counting the number of almost instant hookups (even if only in time-lapsed TV land) leads to unrealistic and unfair expectations. Third date and no sex? What's wrong with you? It's stupid and damages people's ability to assess a potential partner's character before bonding at an intimate level. Not having sex allows you to extricate yourself from a relationship with far greater ease when a partner is discovered to be unsuitable. Emotional trauma makes great TV but a really sad real life for damaged children.

Bad language is almost always abusive. I really don't get why you'd want kids to grow up thinking its normal to verbally abuse people. Yes they may do so at school, but that is not the same as including it in officially sanctioned entertainment. I simply don't understand the f-bomb. Why would you take something that's supposed to be really good and use it to describe something bad? Perhaps something a little less offensive, such as wishing someone would burn in torment, it isn't so bad is it?

We need to consider how long children (that is, people society considers too immature to make proper decisions) spend in front of the TV and how much they absorb as actually being normal.

Books and games are far better. They are essentially excuses to chat and interact as a family which solidifies relationships and leads to well-grounded emotionally stable children. TV is the opposite - it kills interaction between viewers. Plus the lack of adrenalin-fueled excitement allows them to get to sleep faster... which means more/longer sex for mum & dad.

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Future Apple gumble could lock fanbois out of their own devices

P. Lee
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Re: Another invalid patent on abstract ideas.

> Or the patent is "defensive". Essentially, Apple think they might want to do this - so they patent the idea, so if some product-less yahoo patents the idea they can't sue Apple for damages.

Surely if they tried, Apple would just point to their product and the date and say... "Prior Art."

I'm not sure that using GPS-awareness is particularly innovative. But then, we have "slide to unlock..."

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Girl gamers sexism row: Top e-sports federation finds reverse gear

P. Lee
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Re: How does that work then?

> How do you increase diversity by removing one gender?

The same way as in physical sport. What if there were a difference between men and women? Heresy I know, but for example, what if men focus on one thing better and women multi-task better? I don't know if thats true or not, but I couldn't juggle all the tasks my wife does and she has little interest in dealing with tech. That seems to be common. If the games are produced by men (for historical reasons) and aimed at what men do best, it is possible that women wouldn't be represented at all at the top flight of an open-only arena.

Remember, this is an commercial event. Why make money only on one event, when you can make money on two?

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Overclocking to 5GHz? We put Intel Devil’s Canyon CPU to the test

P. Lee
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> Where are the 6/8 core beasties...? Still sitting on my splendid 3930K hexcore.

Me too, although the 3930k's are less than 10% faster and use an extra couple of cores to get there. That's before you overclock though (Hello Water Cooling!) Since the 3930's have a much lower base clock, you should also get a greater percentage increase going up by 1Ghz.

I suspect the issue is that few people can use the extra cores. I got mine to run multiple VMs, so that works out nicely. I find that even with productivity software (I use the term broadly) such as Outlook, network/server latency is what makes it feel slow, as it tries to load all that social networking and IM presence rubbish. I'm not sure Word's rendering really takes advantage of multicores properly either. Transcoding on the other hand...

What makes me sad is all the architecture changes since the 3930k with so little performance to show for it. A cynic might say they might be using architecture changes to prevent piecemeal upgrades...

(Caveat - 3930k list prices are much higher - I just managed to get mine new for less than this new i7)

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Windows 7, XP and even Vista GAIN market share again

P. Lee
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Re: History repeating

> It seems evidently clear that Microsoft just don't understand their customers.

MS understand their customers perfectly. They just prefer to look after their own interests which don't coincide.

They should have saved the billions they spent on 8.1 and ploughed it into making WinPhone/WinTab really good. Mobile market share is their goal, after all. They should have done an equivalent of iLife/iTunes, teamed up with Amazon for media purchases, Nokia (or old-school GPS like Garmin) for maps and written a WinTab emulation system so you have the option of running tablet apps on a touchscreen W7 PC. It would have saved them a world of grief.

You can't own the ecosystem when you're third in the market. You have to go best of breed.

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Western Australia considers ban on R18+ games

P. Lee
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Re: Dumb

Its nothing to do with prudery. I've never seen so many sex shops in average suburbs as I have in Oz (admittedly, Victoria).

This is all about politicians seeking to be seen as relevant, which is (ironically) the fast-track to being irrelevant.

Let them go ahead with a pointless, almost unenforceable ban and show themselves up to be irrelevant.

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Walmart in iPhone 5s, 5c price slash – gotta make room for that 'iPhone 6', right?

P. Lee
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Trollface

Re: Heretic here

or they can't clear the stock at the higher price...

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Aereo has to pay TV show creators? Yes. This isn't rocket science

P. Lee
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> What sane broadcaster would do anything but jump at this chance to extend their audience at no cost to themselves?

Ones which charge the cable companies fees rather than have people actually use FTA?

The cableco's are in competition with FTA they don't want it to exist at all. They also don't want DVRs to exist.

If the cableco's go out of business, a lot of people's internet goes as well, which means all forms of content provision disappear and the broadcasters are left with no audience because they haven't provisioned towers, they rely on cable.

None of this is an argument against Aereo. It is an argument to separate content provision from access provision - break up the cable companies. The retransmission argument is silly. I have an HD Homerun. I don't pay fees when I convert RF to IP and transmit them across the garage to my mythtv DVR.

I wonder if it would be different if the aerials and DVRs were sold rather than rented. The company then just sold the hosting facility?

Bother, I've commented on one of Andrew's troll pieces.

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Physicist proposes 1,000-foot state-sized walls to stop tornadoes

P. Lee
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Joke

Re: Being American..

Why not just bomb the ground. Then the tornado (and any sharks) will fall into the hole and get stuck in it.

We'd need a lot of large bombs. Maybe a string of nukes all the way across the US, just to make sure the tornado's didn't go around...

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App maker defends selling S.F. parking spots as a FREE SPEECH issue

P. Lee
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Re: What's the problem now?

Actually, there are victims. Those that are nearby when the space would have naturally opened up but now have to pay for it.

Initially I wasn't, but now I'm with the city on this one. Since the parking space was provided free, you shouldn't be able to charge to pass it on when it doesn't have value for you anyway.

It would be stupid for people to be hanging out in a mall waiting for higher bids on their spot, when they would normally have left and freed up the spot before then.

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