410 posts • joined 13 Jan 2008
I imagine that a night down the pub with Reg commentards would be like a night out with UKIP, only with more beards.
Some things are better kept online.
Re: only in the warped reality field of the Register...
If your stockbroker tries to tell you a company increasing market share from 50% to 55% is faster growing than one increasing its market share from 2% to 6%, I would suggest you get a new stockbroker.
Each % point of market share translates to a number of PCs. Let's keep it simple and say the market is 100 million machines (of course the market is considerably bigger, but you get the point).
So 29.23 million machines up to 29.53 million machines vs 3.95 million to 4.1 million
Which is faster growing now that it is no longer a ratio of a ratio?
If you actually believe the answer to this question changes depending on whether you quote the original number of machines or a % of the total, then that really is maths abuse.
only in the warped reality field of the Register...
... could a rise from 29.23% to 29.53% be considered 'faster growing' than 3.95% to 4.1%.
Re: History says otherwise
Apple got a way back partly because Jobs had a clear picture of the niche they needed to target. But also because the rise of the web and email in the late 90s as the major use for most PCs. This effectively diluted the monopoly effect of Windows, because you could choose another OS and still view/create emails and web pages that everyone else could read regardless.
religion and politics
When I see those who lack the appropriate scientific credentials laying into the clear scientific consensus on the basis they seem to *know* what is really happening, seizing on any morsel of 'evidence' they perceive helps make their case I cannot help but conclude the person is either a religious or political nut.
cannot get rid of it
I am using Win 8.1 and a recent update has stuck a little sky drive cloud logo in my system tray. There appears to be no way to turn sky drive off, at least not what would be the obvious way of right-clicking it and accessing some properties. I have dropbox already, all my phone photos go to that, and it syncs all my work. I don't need skydrive, but I appear not to be able to get rid of it.
It all looks rather like Microsoft back at its old tricks - build in something which an innovative company has already provided, and don't let people remove it, so a lot of people just end up using it by default.
information useful to Al Qaeda
Greenwald has released huge amounts of Snowden's information via the Guardian and other places. The government, NSA and GCHQ tell us this information is of massive value to terrorists.
So then.... where are all the mass attacks, the carnage, the end of the world? I've just looked down my street and there isn't a terrorist in sight, or any mushroom clouds, or bodies lying everywhere. And Al Qaeda have known that the NSA is spying on Facebook and Angry Birds for **months** now.
None of these surveillance schemes were ever about terrorists - it was always about mass surveillance of the general public.
Re: Not quite the same
Presumably it is fine for the North Koreans to arrest and harass people there, if they find them to be in possession of information contrary to NK law?
Re: Too late..Angela
But she obviously does have something to hide, because her phone was tapped by the NSA/GCHQ.
And as has been made plain repeatedly, it's all about terrorism, the spooks are not interested in reading your emails or mine, or conducting corporate espionage.
So the only logical conclusion is that they suspect Merkel of creating bombs on her kitchen table or some other underhand activity to forward the cause of jihad.
Then again, it might be that we've been lied to....
While introducing jelly fish genes or whatever to potatoes may make some people uncomfortable, you should consider that genetic material is rarely exclusive to any particular organism. For example, human beings share 36% of the DNA of a fruit fly, and 15% of that in mustard grass. If 'alien' genes can contribute to improving the crop, then where is the problem really?
It is true that we may be introducing genes and creating organisms that would not happen naturally, but subverting nature is hardly a new phenomenon. Human beings cannot fly or go into space, or swim 200m underwater, and yet science has enabled us to do these things too. We can cure countless diseases, avert some natural catastrophes and give some childless couples fertility that nature has denied them. All of this is playing 'god' too.
I suspect in 50 or 100 years, the bulk of the anti-GM lobby will appear as Luddites, what with their smashing up scientific trials and so on. Most environmental opposition is based on an ideological view that nature knows best, but they've happily watched scare stories being fed to the great unwashed such that the average UK tabloid reader thinks GM food is poisonous or causes cancer.
The way Dyson talks, you'd think Samsung had form for copying an innovative rival who'd revolutionized the sector with cheap and inferior knock offs designed to look as much like the original as possible.
I really don't think they've thought about this
Surely, the input method for this is going to be exceptionally complicated? I want to select Taipei 101... so I have to go hunting on some map for Taiwan, find Taipei, and so on? And do that each time I login?
Or I suppose they could simplify the interface to a text box, and I can type in 'Taipei 101' as my password. Which I could do right now of course.
yes let's just trust scientists...
...unless it's about climate change, and then we'll trust right wing radio hosts and Lewis Page instead
The new Microsoft guy must be rubbing his hands. It's an open goal in front of him.
After Vista, MS just had to do a bit of tinkering to produce Windows 7 which is generally regarded as the best ever.
It's pretty obvious what changes Windows 8 need, if MS had have listened to feedback on the pre-release versions, they'd have done this from the start:
1. Put a proper start button back
2. Have a proper start menu
3. Don't force anything to full screen, don't split settings between desktop and full screen places.
Basically if they really must have these Windows apps things, then just have it as something that can run in a Window within the normal desktop environment so people aren't forced out of their desktop.
It doesn't need a huge amount of engineering or research to know what the problems are or to fix them. And as with Vista -> Windows 7, if they do a decent job, then they'll be able to sell it.
superficial at best
I saw an article recently regarding this which commented that coding was the new Mandarin. I think that is spot on.
I see parents now having their kids go to Chinese classes, as though an hour or two a week is going to give them any real benefit. Having learned Chinese some years ago, I can say that it is probably going to do nothing other than make them disinterested. They're certainly not going to end up speaking Chinese, other than the odd word. Coding seems to be no different.
Chinese, coding and such skills can only be learned by people who have an interest and a desire to learn, and so commit their own time to it because they enjoy it. It's not a bad thing to have these options presented to kids, and to ensure that those that are interested have the opportunity to get access to the right facilities. But to think that forcing kids to reach a certain basic level in these things is going to make any positive contribution to the economy is wishy washy nonsense.
What a howler. I imagine they're trying to avoid checking credentials on ever page for performance reasons, given that Magento isn't exactly spritely and snappy. But if you're going the route of not verifying the credentials on every page, it's pretty staggering they didn't consider they'd need some kind of hashing of the account credentials to prevent tampering like this.
not necessarily deliberate
It seems to me they're being a little bit quick to jump on Microsoft for this.
I imagine the quantity and nature of material on the Dalia Lama and other issues in both English and Chinese is significantly different. So it seems more likely to me that the search engine is just basing its results on what it finds in each language. Considering that most Chinese content will come from China, and will obviously be heavily censored, a search engine is probably going to give the Dalai Lama less prominence if relying purely on what it finds in Chinese.
Similarly, I would imagine a search for EastEnders is unlikely to produce the same quantity and prominence of results in Chinese as it would produce in English.
Decisions like this only highlight how brilliant and insightful our political class is.
If only the shackles of the EU were removed, our talented and inspired politicians would be free to extend such brilliance in governance to every aspect of our lives.
A more efficient (and safe) way to know conditions ahead would be the kind of GPS traffic feedback Google maps etc. already have.
Having spent a significant amount of time in that part of the world, i noted that trucks squashing minibuses jam packed with twice the legal number of occupants were a daily occurrence. I further noted (judging by the large crowd of gormless onlookers who never seemed to help or be even slightly moved by the mass carnage) that fatal car crashes were also the most popular form of entertainment. So it seems to me this Renault guy is slightly sugar coating it by claiming it will be used to see 'how serious a traffic jam is' - what he means is 'get some great video of severed heads and body parts'.
In a country with some of the most dangerous roads in the world, you'd think they'd be focusing on making a car that could survive a collision with a truck driven by an imbecile. But no, they've decided to accept that's how things are and build in the ultimate robot rubber-necking tool.
Judging by the high level of fraud and hacking attempts, I imagine most VPN use in Vietnam is scumbags trying to make it appear they're not in Vietnam while milking stolen credit card details.
India and Philippines probably accounted for by remote working.
For all his faults, Gates is a clever and successful businessman. He also seems to be a pretty nice guy, at least in terms of committing his fortune to fighting various diseases in the third world rather than winning sailing boat races or just taking a bath in money.
I don't know who this new guy is, but on the plus side, he's not Steve Ballmer. If Gates is going to be more involved in the business again, that is probably a good thing for Microsoft.
At least they've gone for a candidate who has a computing background. Going for the Ford guy would have been catastrophic. The world of tech changes fast, you need a CEO with a bit of vision to see how different things could be in 5-10 years. Jobs had that vision, Gates did too (and maybe still does). Ballmer most definitely did not.
The days of MS monopoly are gone; both Apple and Google have entire offerings to rival Microsoft in OS, mobile, cloud, apps, etc. More choice, is good for the consumer, and despite the obvious hatred many seem to have for MS, keeping them in the game benefits the consumer - even if they prefer Apple and Google stuff.
let's just give them benefit of the doubt
Dave reckons the public support it, that's good enough for me.
Like when Tony said 'trust me' Saddam has WMDs.
Sadly I think the politicians know that they can do what they like as elections are decided on economics rather than civil liberties or foreign policy.
I can now hook up my PC to a keyboard that is virtually impossible to type on, and which had a habit of coming apart within a year.
Can they make their next product a USB drive based on audio cassettes?
Some things are just better left to the memory, or for those lucky enough to own the real thing.
Re: Promise the world - small claims
I went to the small claims court about 10 years ago over a claim of around 1000 GBP. Basically I had a left hand drive car I'd brought in from Germany and registered in the UK; someone rear-ended me, and my insurance only paid up what it's 'value' was, which being LHD was about 25% less than what I in effect had to pay to get a similar make/model/age/mileage car.
Took a long time, the other party's insurer ignored me until a week or so before, then tried to settle for peanuts. By that point, I wanted my day in court. They sent some junior lawyer to the court, which is really just a judge's office where you both sit down at a desk and discuss it. If you're a little guy vs a lawyer or big corp, the judge will probably do most of the talking for you, especially if he's read the case notes and knows your position which he did in my case. If this happens, just shut up and let him get on with it, and just answer any questions he spoon feeds you with to make your case.
I won the case, got my money. But most important, it felt good to feel the system worked and that I hadn't accepted being trodden on.
It's relatively cheap, the other side cannot claim legal expenses (despite the fact they'll threaten to bury you with them to try to get you to drop your action). So you have very little to lose.
I am pretty sure cameras and microphones in every house will also general a fair few leads too. Far more than reading everybody's email.
People might at first feel uncomfortable that they're being filmed w*nking in the shower, and being recorded whispering in their loved-one's ear at night. But the NSA are not interested in this. As long as you're not a terrorist you've got nothing to fear.
As a first step, let's make it voluntary, and all those supporters like yourself who value security over privacy and 'have nothing to fear' because you've 'got nothing to hide' be the first to have the cameras and microphones installed in their houses.
Re: Wired ethernet is not a rarity for laptops
Most offices I go into have wireless. Aside from the proliferation of various devices like phones, tablets and laptops which connect, we even ended up putting wireless dongles on our desktops as it just made networking so much easier without cabling and to manage everything in the same way.
I think the Macbook air was ahead of the field here, kind of like when the first iMac came out, everyone thought it was nuts there was no floppy drive. I have an Asus ultrabook, it is my main work computer now and although it has an ethernet adaptor that comes with it, I have only used it twice in two years or so. Wireless isn't great if you need the optimum network speeds, but it's fine for 99% of users.
the real reason
One needs only to see yesterday's report that senior police in England are asking for water cannons in expectation of protests as further austerity cuts are made to see the real reason for all this blanket surveillance of everyone.
It's not terrorists they're worried about, it's the general public reaching breaking point as politicians and bankers get richer and more powerful while everyone else gets a pay cut and a boot stamping on their face.
The people in charge know exactly where things are heading - so they're increasing mass surveillance and loading up on hardware to put down the dissent they're expecting.
Re: VPN would not make HTTP traffic secure....
I have to agree that the source's own grasp of internet security seems somewhat primitive if he believes that using a VPN provides some kind of alternative to SSL.
That said, I am often amazed at the faux outrage of those who complain about forms running http for submitting personal details like name and address on small e-commerce sites (that use off-site payment gateways with SSL to handle just the credit card transactions). For a start, anything they order is going to have their name and address written on it, then sent via the postal system (and posties are not renown for their honesty). And these people don't seem to have a problem being in the phone book or electoral roll, or posting all manner of stuff about themselves on Facebook.
Re: Fixing problems the Microsoft way
Failures are inevitable, however when aircraft components show a tendency to fail far earlier and more frequently than the engineers expect, then action should be taken to STOP the failures, not just mitigate the resuts of them.
Boeing never managed to reproduce the battery issue after the planes were grounded, and so they never found what caused the problem. So they just slapped on some sticking plaster and sent the planes up again with fingers-crossed. The FAA rubber stamped the fix I suspect for economic reasons, rather than because they were really happy it was a fix.
Now there is yet another fire.
Planes should not be allowed to fly when they have an important component that catches fire, and which has been 'fixed' without success. This time, the planes should not be allowed to fly until they actually identify how these fires are happening and make changes to them to stop it, not just put more fire protection around it.
Re: Proving His Enemies Right
And EU trade offices? Are you going to tell us the EU is a totalitarian dictatorship too?
I've had an Asus 13" ultrabook for couple of years. And I am a travelling businessman.
DVDs... seriously? It's 2014. I suppose you carry your music collection around with you on CD too? Bad too for anyone who's still on vinyl as it also lacks a turntable.
My ASUS came with two small dongles, one to plug ethernet in and another to plug VGA into the HDMI port. But let's face it, hotels, coffee shops and airports all have wireless, so who really needs to plug in these days? I imagine like most business people, the majority of what I do online is email and web browsing. What docs I am working on are backed up to Dropbox, so a few MBPS internet connection is just fine for that.
I don't play games on the thing to be honest, so maybe it's not great on that front.
But it is light, thin, sturdy (metal chassis), fast (decent CPU and SSD).
My only criticism would be that like most laptops, the battery has had it after about a year, but since I typically use it plugged in most of the time, I can live with it.
Windows Phone's market share is quite small, which must surely mean it is both technically inferior and ultimately doomed and not worth bothering developing for. Rather like Linux on the desktop.
No... wait a minute...!
I remember at school in the 80s being told categorically by my science teacher that it was impossible to ever see or detect planets around even nearby stars from earth because they were simply too dim and their stars too bright. Less than 30 years later, there are hundreds of stars detected via indirect observations and now even imaging. Scientists never fail to amaze me with their ingenuity.
To argue meta data - i.e. who is talking to who and when and for how long, but not the content of what they are discussing is not spying is like saying that following someone around with a telephoto lens and recording who they meet, and when and for how long is not spying because you're not actually listening to their conversations.
It quite obviously is, as my wife's restraining order confirms.
Re: It’s different when it’s happening to you.
Precisely the critical flaw in electoral democracy...
It is not representative government, because the only people in power are ones who explicitly sought it, and had to blow their own trumpets in a shallow popularity contest to achieve it. In other words, one must be both power-hungry and an egotist to end up as an MP.
If you want representative government, have an upper house selected on a pure jury basis, and apply the same strict rules as apply to juries - no outside influence on jurors, no discussion outside the chambers, no conflicts of interest. Then give this chamber the power to vote down any bill or make amendments. With a fixed term of a year, and no need to pander to anyone to get re-elected, jurors should be free to make their own decisions and as such, this body should be largely representative of the general public, far more so than Parliament presently is.
For those that say you cannot trust the public - well, we trust this system to decide whether to send someone to jail for the rest of their life, or give them freedom. It's not perfect, but it's far less corrupt and far better at producing decisions than if we let a bunch of elected politicians make decisions based on who's paying them bungs or their own ideological principles rather than the facts.
Not sure, but in 2008 they apparently hoovered up all the calls in the Washington DC area code. This was later explained away as an accident - it is claimed that they wanted to intercept Egyptian calls (international code 20) but mistyped 202 and so ended up monitoring DC calls.
This is clearly not plausible. Firstly, it would have been clear almost immediately that they're not getting Arabic calls, and yet they were supposedly doing it for a month or more. We're supposed to believe it was important enough to set up a tap, but not important enough to notice for several weeks that they getting English calls instead of Arabic ones.
Secondly, the area code excuse just doesn't wash. For example, Algeria's code is 213 which is identical to a part of California (and not just similar). So the system must be able to distinguish between US calls and foreign calls or they'd get Californian calls every time they try to tap Algeria. Of course it would be trivial to have coded some kind of lock or error message if someone 'accidentally' sets up bulk collection of US calls, something they appear not to have done.
Now think about why the NSA might like to listen to all the calls in Washington DC in 2008 (an election year). Convenient mistake to make, no?
what is the point?
Government and security service investigations are always whitewashes that exonerate themselves and crucify anyone else.
Anyone who has any suspicion that the authorities are involved in anything untoward is always accused of being a conspiracy theorist.
Ironically, these are the same authorities that were convinced Saddam had WMDs, that there are terrorists under every bed (including Angela Merkel's), that every Huawei device can be triggered by the PLA to blow up or wipe data remotely and that there will be chaos and carnage if they don't read the Facebook account or monitor the World of Warcraft activity of every human being on the planet.... by their bonkers standards, suggesting Turing's death is a bit suspicious kind of pales....
Considering the present trend to having consoles rely on various online services, I wonder for how long it will be possible for anyone to maintain a collection of historical games software *and* actually run it?
Even if emulators were possible (despite all the various security keys embedded in consoles these days), the online services needed to play online games won't be operated forever. And so a huge part of gaming culture will be lost when those services go. In 10 or 20 years, we'll only have memories of what WoW or GTA online were like, because the ability to actually play these games just won't exist. Perhaps there will be a market for some start-up there to continue to run these games for enthusiasts under license.
Re: Give some credit where it is deue
Well, as a British person presently living in Portugal because my non-European wife is not allowed to settle with me in the UK (or even enter, thanks to the UKBA), despite us being married 4 years and having two kids together, I can say thanks to the EU for something *really* important - the right to live together with my family.
And the youth here in Portugal may blame many things for the job situation at present, but the EU is certainly way lower on the list than the bankers.
So let's jail all the bankers before we start this silly talk of leaving the EU.
Given the claims by Snowden about the NSA tracking browsing habits on adult web sites, as well as the recent news that it is possible to trigger web cams without the light coming on, perhaps I will suggest a more interesting bounty....
...$2000 bucks for a verified picture of one of the five eyes security chiefs with their pants down while browsing a left-handed web site... or for any government minister, senator or MP from one of the five-eyes countries who has been outspoken in support of such surveillance.
That really might make them reconsider the gross violations of privacy they've been enacting on everyone else.
easy upgrade is the key
I've looked into putting cyanogen Kitkat on my Galaxy Nexus. The steps are a bit daunting if you're not used to doing this kind of thing. I really don't see Jolla having much luck getting a huge number of Android users to upgrade to their offering unless it's really easy to do. It looks great, I'd happily stick it on my phone and give it a try, but for the mass market, having to access bootloaders, run command line and so on isn't going to be something the average user will attempt, however good the result might be.
Buying from Microsoft has always been a nightmare. They force you via resellers for most stuff, so the pricing is murky and the service is terrible.
A few years ago, I wanted to buy 5 Visual Studio Pro licenses for a business in the middle east. Microsoft forced me to go via a partner in Dubai. Having a strong south asian influence there, the people I was dealing with had no idea about any of the software they were selling and quoted a stupid price that they'd clearly looked up in the wrong column of some (no doubt paper) price list. After we eventually got to the right price, they said I'd have to turn up with a credit card and pay in person because they didn't do e-commerce. Apparently 'it is not secure'. Slightly ironic considering Microsoft was heavily pushing Visual Studio for e-commerce development.
Eventually they settled for me sending over the wife with my company credit card, which she obviously couldn't sign for. This apparently passed their security threshold...
When it came to source control, one of the deciding factors in going for non-MS was that we just couldn't face having to deal with their moronic resellers again.
Microsoft really need to figure out quickly that protecting their legacy resellers is a false economy - ditch these clowns and let customers who want to buy stuff direct via a web site and download it.
probably a .NET problem
We found that .NET sites started having problems with IE11, especially postbacks. Upgrading the server from ASP.NET 4 to 4.5 fixed it.
Microsoft had all the same problems when IE10 came out and has learned nothing.
Re: The voice of reason
>>> Fiat currency is not the same - it is backed by the faith in the government <<<
Well that should inspire confidence.
But you're defining currency on your terms. Dictionary says:
1. Money in any form when in actual use as a medium of exchange, especially circulating paper money.
2. Transmission from person to person as a medium of exchange; circulation: coins now in currency.
It has nothing to do with whether it is issued or used by a government. Only that it is a medium of exchange, which it certainly is. Like cash, it has no utility other than as a representation of value.
Re: Fearmongering from the Masters
Who can guarantee the UK won't be flooded with counterfeit currency? Or that the Bank of England won't decide to print 375 billion pounds and buy up 1/3 of the national debt with it (and they have done just that in the last 5 years).
Bitcoin prices are a bit absurd, but the system itself is sound and is far more secure against counterfeiting or the kind of unlimited devaluation by printing that most traditional currencies have been subject to in the last few years.
cars are not computers
I cannot believe the Microsoft board would be clueless enough to hire a car exec. He might have done a brilliant job with cars, but Microsoft's business is completely different. Ballmer was capable enough as an administrator, but he was not a visionary. He was good enough at milking their established markets, but his failure to see the importance of mobile and tablets, or to put decent products into those areas, has sewn the seeds of Microsoft's demise, or certainly its total dominance. Apple too is sinking now they've put an accountant in charge.
The British car industry since the 60s declined for the same reasons. The German companies prospered and still do because they put highly qualified engineers in charge. Technology companies' long term success rests of having leaders who fundamentally understand the technology, not people who are good and looking at profit and loss accounts and firing people.
what the hell is he driving these days?
>>> Rubin said he was initially thinking about smaller, intelligent systems that could be integrated into existing products, like windscreen wipers that detect rain and fire themselves up. <<<
I really hope he hasn't spent the Google boys' money buying 7 robotics companies for this. What's he planning next? Headlights that come on when it gets dark and gearboxes that shift gears by themselves?
a bit of history
"Airbus is a European-based airplane manufacturer formed by a group of European aviation companies in 2001"
The present corporate structure was formed in 2001, but Airbus is much, much older. The concept came together in the 60s, and Airbus Industrie was operating from the 70s, The A320 dates from the 1980s.
not rocket science
Solar power is not viable on earth, even though we have huge areas of worthless empty desert where the sun shines every day and where the cost of delivering heavy equipment and maintaining it is minimal.
Adding in a million dollars per kilo to get plant to the moon, plus the massive costs of maintenance (think Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission x 10 or x 100) is completely bonkers from an economic perspective even if you get 3 o4 4 times the amount of power.
The sun already beams energy right to us in electromagnetic waves, we need better ways to collect it on earth, not ridiculous moonbases or whatever else.
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