* Posts by Simon Ward

652 posts • joined 3 Apr 2007

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UK.gov wants to stop teenagers looking at tits online. No, really

Simon Ward

Doomed to failure ...

And not for the obvious reasons either - the biggest tits of all are on open display during PMQs

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Former spook bigwigs ask for rewrite of UK’s surveillance laws

Simon Ward
Flame

Dear spooks,

Go backdoor yourselves.

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Why the BBC is stuffing free Micro:bit computers into schoolkids' satchels

Simon Ward
Happy

Re: Any bets whether supplies will fall short of promises?

At my comprehensive school were fortunate(?) enough to have 4 or 5 Model Bs, along with the usual RM380Zs and their ilk - surprising, given that we were consider the 'rough' school in town, and if you weren't doing O-level computer studies then your chances of getting anywhere near one were close to nil.

That said, given the way that the Beebs were typically used, at least by the lads in my class (myself included), it's a wonder that we didn't get O-levels in 'Playing Elite' rather than computer studies.

(most of my early coding was done on a Commodore 64)

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Simon Ward
Thumb Up

Re: The Pi will eat it for breakfast.

I don't have the BBC article to hand, but I'm fairly certain that the stated aim is to complement the likes of *duinos and the Pi - whilst it might be a creditable alternative to the Atmega-based Arduino boards (although there are now ARM-based boards like the Due available) comparing to the Pi is like comparing raspberries with, well, something that isn't a raspberry.

I must admit, when this was first announced a while ago I was distinctly underwhelmed by it but having seen this final spec I'm thinking that there are a fair few uses I could put these to, both in conjunction with a 'larger' system (eg. Pi, Arduino etc.) and in isolation.

Whether or not the intended audience takes to it remains to be seen.

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ALIEN SLIME SHOCKER: Approaching comet probably NOT inhabited, say boffins

Simon Ward

Only *probably* not inhabited ...

... not the same as 'definitely' not inhabited.

I, for one, welcome our comet-borne gelatinous overlords.

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It's the hottest day of the year. So check out John Lewis' Xmas tech range!

Simon Ward

Re: Food processors...

No - last time I checked (admittedly a long while ago) I wouldn't have classified Domino's peculiar brand of cheese-topped styrofoam as 'food'. 'Building material' or 'garbage', perhaps, but definitely not food.

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Revive the Nathan Barley Quango – former Downing Street wonk

Simon Ward
Mushroom

Re: Shoreditch again?

Frankly, if something like this keeps all the Hoxditch hipster twats in one place then I'm all for it - makes it easier to nuke 'em from orbit.

Nathan Barley was satire (and very good satire, at that) - now it's beginning to look more and more like a documentary.

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Mum fails to nuke killer spider nest from orbit

Simon Ward

Re: Daily Fail

Bloody foreign spiders, coming over here on our bananas etc.etc.

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Simon Ward
Flame

Re: Which as we all know is the only way to be sure

Clearly you've never been to Cleckheaton .... it's grim up north, don'tcherknow (and I ain't kidding - here in the Vale of York it's more like bloody November than June at the moment)

I, for one, welcome our venomous, bananaphilic arachnid overlords.

(fire, and lots of it ... it's the only thing that works)

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Pint-sized PCIe powerhouse: Intel NUC5i5RYK

Simon Ward

How much?!

"Yes it’s pretty pricey, and yes you have to add in your own memory and storage, but it’s been designed so you can do that in a heartbeat."

Presumably, this is the heartbeat that you'll have after you've been resuscitated after finding out how much the damned thing is.

I don't care if it does use Intel componentry - £325 for a bare-bones system is having a giraffe.

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Remake, remodel: Toshiba Chromebook 2

Simon Ward

Re: Your wish is granted.

Hm. My previous comment seems to have disappeared, so ...

Chromebook + Crouton is the way to go if you want to run something close to a 'full fat' Linux in tandem with ChromeOS - installation is an absolute breeze and I've now got everything I need to do development on the move should I feel the need to - xfce4 on the full-HD screen really is rather nice, and the ability to switch between xfce and 'native' ChromeOS using the top row of the keyboard is an added bonus.

Storage-wise, I trust Google about as far as I could physically spit Scotland so I've bolstered my local storage with a 16Gb SD card (interim measure, a 64Gb card is on order) which does the job nicely - especially, as the review mentions, you aren't left with half the card sticking out of the slot. Of course, if you want to go down the USB flash-drive route there's nothing to stop you. That said, I don't have zillions of Chrome apps/extensions installed (apart from uBlock, Ghostery and all the usual suspects) meaning I've got the best part of 7Gb free on the internal SSD.

FWIW, I picked up the full-HD model for £219 at a certain high-street vendor who are never knowingly undersold - they were doing a £50 off deal at the time, although I don't know whether this offer is still running. Either way, I'd have happily paid full whack on the strength of the display alone. For a 'cheap' laptop it's an absolute belter.

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Camgirls, crypto currency and beer: The Register tours the Dark Net

Simon Ward

If you haven't already done so, check out the book - well worth a read (I blew through it in a single sitting) and it illustrates beautifully what a hive of scum and villiany some bits of the Intertubes are, as well as how utterly fucked-up some people are (and we're not just talking about the usual right-wing loons and paedos here, either)

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Acer Chromebook 13: The best Googletop on the market?

Simon Ward
Thumb Up

Re: Toshiba Chromebook 2

At the risk of indulging in some thread necromancy, I pulled the trigger on the full-HD version of the Chromebook 2 last week as a certain High Street vendor were doing it at £50 off (meaning it cost me £219)

I'd have happily paid full price on the strength of the screen alone - it really is rather nice. OK, so the build is a bit plasticky but at this price point I'm not going to argue about that. One thing I did like about it was the fact that it has a decent, ratcheting SD card slot - this means that the SD card goes all the way into the machine and engages (and disengages) with a satisfying click. As a result, the SD card is a) held securely and b) doesn't stick out half a mile.

Add crouton and you've got an extremely competent Linux-based development that'll even play Dwarf Fortress in a relatively pain-free manner.

Very impressed.

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Simon Ward

Re: One for dad

I gave my father my old Acer C720 - once I'd set things up for him and gave him a brief rundown of how things work he's been extremely happy with it. Hell, even my mind-buggeringly technophobic mother has been known to use it on occasion.

It looks like this one may resolve the biggest issue I had with the C720 - the screen resolution.

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Celebrating 20 years of juicy Java. Just don’t mention Android

Simon Ward

Re: +1 for JVM, -1 for Java.

But the JVM really needs a new flagship language and Oracle isn't the company to make it happen.

Scala?

It's what Java should have been from the beginning.

(personally, I'm a big fan of Jython)

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The yummy mummies' likeable wagon: Nissan Qashqai Tekna

Simon Ward

"Four rings of no confidence"

I prefer the term "Olympic Rings Of Twattery"

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Italian ISS trekkie sips first zero-G cup of espresso in SPAAAACE

Simon Ward

400 bar?!

Serious question - is that a typo?

I know that this isn't yer typical espresso machine (which seem to work at 15-20 bar) and could possibly understand it using 40 bar at a push, but 400?

And yeah, Lavazza isn't what I'd call good coffee either although I imagine that taking half a pound of Turkish-grind Mocha Djimmah into a microgravity environment isn't going end well.

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Vodafone wants to bonk you… wait, wants you to bonk

Simon Ward

NFC - No Fuckin' Chance.

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BBC: We'll give FREE subpar-Raspberry-Pis to a million Brit schoolkids

Simon Ward

Re: So... where's the spec?

If the pics on the Beeb's news website are any indication (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-31834927) it *looks* like a gutted Arduino with added blinkenlights. The pics aren't clear, but that's definitely an Atmel chip on there.

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Russian revolution: YotaPhone 2 double-screen JANUS MOBE

Simon Ward

Re: no sd slot, no removable battery, 550 quid

My thoughts precisely.

I like the concept, but the asking price is comfortably over the 'taking the piss' line and accelerating fast.

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Helium HDD prices rise way above air-filled spinning rust

Simon Ward

Re: A 6TB Helium-filled drive from HGST costs $120 more than a traditional 6TB drive from Seagate.

Beat me to it.

If I were still using spinning rust in anger I'd happily pay extra for something that, y'know, works.

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Turbocharged quad-core Raspberry Pi 2 unleashed, global geekgasm likely

Simon Ward

Re: *Really* Open Source now ?

This. As long as Broadcom are involved, referring to the Pi as being 'open' is somewhat disingenous.

It looks nice and the spec is close to what it probably should have been in the first place, but given their track record with open-source the Broadcom angle is a dealbreaker for me. The Beaglebone Black and Cubieboard3 are both credible alternatives even if they do lack the Pi's media presence.

To each their own.

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UK slaps 25 per cent 'Google Tax' on tech multinationals

Simon Ward

Mmmm .... I love the smell of cooking books in the morning.

Expect a miraculous outbreak of 'losses' amongst the usual suspects.

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Remote code execution flaws fixed in tnftp and wget

Simon Ward

Re: wtf is a boilerplate response?

"You're transferring it wrong."

Or something.

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Cray-cray Met Office spaffs £97m on VERY AVERAGE HPC box

Simon Ward
Boffin

Cool - means that they can get the forecast wrong 13 times faster.

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Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...

Simon Ward

Re: Titis up?

g(.)(.)gle, surely ...

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Microsoft buys Minecraft for $2.5bn. Notch: I'm getting the block outta here

Simon Ward

"It's not about the money"

Yeah, right.

I'll give it three months before he's doing a Monty Widenius and moaning endlessly about the people he sold out to fucking everything up.

Minecraft fanbois downvote away - I, personally, never saw the attraction (I prefer Dwarf Fortress anyway)

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That stirring LOHAN motto: Anyone know a native Latin speaker?

Simon Ward

Veni, vidi, vermini - I came, I saw, I got ratarsed.

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Mine's 0.2 inches bigger than yours (says future fanboi of his iWatch)

Simon Ward

Remember kids ...

... you can't spell 'analyst' without 'anal'.

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Samsung's 'OS of Everything' Tizen still has little to offer

Simon Ward

I think it was Andy Tannenbaum who said "The great thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from"

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Facebook wants to LISTEN IN on the songs and vids playing in YOUR living room

Simon Ward
Megaphone

Time to dig out the Merzbow CDs, I reckon ...

Piped them through one of them --->

The Zuckerbeast can kiss my arse, bitch.

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A real pot-boiler kicks off Reg man's quid-a-day nosh challenge

Simon Ward

Say hello to the Tibetan blackbird for me ;-)

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Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing

Simon Ward

Re: is it just me...

More like 'Road to Nowhere'

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BSkyB, CityFibre, TalkTalk pull clear of bigwig BT's bundles – plan to set fibre to York

Simon Ward

I'll believe it when I see it.

OK, I live in a village about 6 miles from the centre of York and already have FTTC, which I have to say I'm more than happy with (probably helps that the nearest cab is only about half a mile away, mind)

However, I can see this either being stymied by York City Council, who couldn't find their collective arses with an atlas, or being restricted to the 'tens of thousands of new properties' that seem to be getting thrown up on any available piece of land bigger than a postage stamp.

If it happens, great, but I won't hold my breath.

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TrueCrypt audit: Probe's nearly all the way in ... no backdoor hit yet

Simon Ward

Re: Maybe

I thought this too.

Then I actually spent an idle couple of hours trying to make sense of some of the OpenSSL code.

Now admittedly, my C is a bit rusty but I wouldn't wish the auditing of the clusterfuck of preprocessor directives and godawful coding style that is the OpenSSL codebase on my worst enemy.

If an audit of OpenSSL was 'crowdfunded' (gods, I hate that term) then you'd actually need *two* funds - one to actually pay the auditors to do their thing and another for an extensive course of therapy for the poor sods afterwards.

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Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker

Simon Ward

Glad it's not just me, then ...

And here I was thinking 'couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of people ...' ... glad I'm not alone.

Karma is, as they say, a bitch.

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OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts

Simon Ward
Linux

Re: Its mostly C ....

Have a look at some of the other OpenSSL code - whilst it undoubtedly does what it is meant to do, there's no way in hell that it'd pass any decent code review.

Admittedly, crypto is probably the sort of thing that's done by mathematicians rather than 'professional' developers but whoever is responsible for that monumental clusterfuck of preprocessor directives and eye-tearingly bad coding style needs taking aside, given a book on coding standards and a serious beating with a Clue Stick.

Given how difficult it can be to get anything done with OpenSSL, I'm amazed it has gained as much traction as it has.

If APIs could speak, OpenSSL would be screaming 'fuck you!'

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Meet the man building an AI that mimics our neocortex – and could kill off neural networks

Simon Ward

Re: Risky, but..

This.

Ever so much.

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Sticky Tahr-fy pudding: Ubuntu 14.04 slickest Linux desktop ever

Simon Ward
FAIL

Re: Head to head

Is that you, Satya?

To borrow from Wikipedia, [citation needed]

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Molyneux: Working at Microsoft is 'like taking antidepressants'

Simon Ward
Coat

So do I - I love the Fable 'universe' - hell, I even bought a bloody 360 so I could play Fable 2.

Sadly, since the franchise is now owned by the Beast Of Redmond, the chances of PM focussing on them are somewhere on the far side of nil.

Mine's the one with the Crunchy Chicks in the pocket, ta.

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ISPs failing 13m Brits on broadband speed, claims consumer group

Simon Ward

O RLY?

I'm in a village about 6 miles from York - my 35Mbps connection (Sky Fibre, with the cabinet about half a mile away) begs to differ.

Given that 10 years ago I couldn't get ADSL in any shape of form in the same location, I'll take it.

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That NSA denial in full: As of right now, we're not pretending to be Facebook or Twitter

Simon Ward

Re: This just in

Yeah.

I reckon the Zuckerbeast is pissed because the NSA can spy on his users so much better than he can.

Hypocritical bastard.

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Care Bears... share: NHS England promises to heal careless data-sharing plans

Simon Ward

If you haven't already opted out of this clusterfuck-in-the-making ...

Run, don't walk, to optout.care-data.info, print out the form and hand it in to your GP's surgery (don't make an appointment specially, although if you happen to be seeing your doc at the time then hand them the form directly and let him/her know what you think)

Fuck 'em all, and the horse they rode in on.

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Satya Nadella shakes up Microsoft, appoints 'Scroogled' man Mark Penn as strategy chief

Simon Ward
Facepalm

Corporatese bullshit at its finest ...

"multidisciplinary SWAT team" - what the everloving fuck?!

They're supposed to be a tech company, not the bloody Seattle Police Department.

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Apple's Windows XP moment: OS X Snow Leopard left to DIE

Simon Ward

Re: What are we waiting for?

This.

Ever so much.

My employers develop a product which can run on Macs, and the fact of the matter is that some of our larger customers are still running Snow Leopard on their production systems (for reasons best known to themselves, but there you are) with a few still running Tiger and Leopard on PPC hardware - end of life or not, we still have to support them - if you think that getting corporates to adopt newer versions of Windows is tough, convincing them that upgrading their Fruit Machines is a good idea is even harder and as such we still have to support them (and yes, we've got a metric shitload of legacy hardware running Snow Leopard, Leopard and Tiger so we can do that)

Calling it an "XP Moment" is probably over-egging things a bit, but it's still bloody inconvenient.

(can't comment on Mavericks, as I bailed out of Zombie Steve's Walled Garden before the Hillside Moggy was unleashed)

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Github brews text editor for developers

Simon Ward

Indeed it does - and this is exactly what Caret is; a text editor which runs as a Chrome app. All of which makes me wonder why GitHub decided to replicate the functionality in an arse-backwards fashion. Indeed, given that Other Chrome-Based Text Editors Are Available[tm] it makes me wonder why they bothered at all.

(note that I have no vested interest in the development of said editor, but I do use it a fair bit on my Chromebook if I need to do some quick-and-dirty editing that doesn't warrant firing up a crouton chroot jail)

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Simon Ward

And this is different from Caret how, exactly? (which, according to the blurb, was motivated by the desire to have something like Sublime/TextMate which ran on a Chromebook)

(despite having used vi/vim in various incarnations since I was at university in the late 80s, Caret isn't actually too bad for a 'graphical' editor)

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Rise of the Machines: Robot challenges top German player at ping-pong

Simon Ward

How would it handle 'Diabolus' ....?

http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2007/02/16

That is all ...

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Rise of the (tiny) machines: US boffins make nanomotor breakthrough

Simon Ward
Boffin

I for one ...

... welcome our nano-scale, sonically-propelled overlords.

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Video thrills the Google ad star: Susan Wojcicki becomes YouTube chief

Simon Ward

Given that most ecosystems are full of shit ...

... she'll likely be quite at home at YouTube.

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