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* Posts by Mark Dempster

34 posts • joined 6 Feb 2008

DARPA hands IBM £3.4m to develop SELF DESTRUCTING CHIPS

Mark Dempster
Joke

Mobile Phones

Let's hope they reintroduce the ban on using mobile phones on an aircraft before one plummets out of the sky with fried electronics.....

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When Symantec's away... 28-year-old Asigra becomes 'overnight' cloud backup success

Mark Dempster

'serious businesses'?

>We have over 1000 people in 350 businesses (FCA regulated and HM Government included) across four continents using our Cloud based Accounting and Business solution. Most definitely serious businesses!<

That's fewer than 3 people per business... those people might be serious about their business, but I don't think it's what the previous poster meant by 'serious businesses'.

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Fat-walleted execs? Nope, it's a corporate tax swerve that REALLY ticks Brits off

Mark Dempster

>Avoidance is escaping unnecessary burdens. How can it be unethical if you realise you are overpaying, and work out a way to avoid that overpayment? How is it ethical to bully people (or, yes, corporations) into paying tax that they don't legally owe?<

They're only 'overpaying' based on the fact they they've found ways to avoid paying the full amount. If there were no loopholes then you'd have no argument. None of us like paying tax, but most of us realise it's there for the benefit of the country as a whole; avoiding a fair contribution is simply immoral.

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The micro YOU used in school: The story of the Research Machines 380Z

Mark Dempster

Virtually unused at my school...

My school purchased one of these to use alongside our 3 Commodore Pets and ZX81. Unfortunately the matrhs teacher in charge of computing (a friend & I took over teaching the Computer Studies course from him!) was completely unable to understand the machine, and so banned everyone except one pupil who'd recently transferred from an other school & had used the 380z before, from using it! So he got the most powerful machine in the building to himself & the entire rest of the school shared 3 Pets and an ZX81....

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Microsoft says axed certificates were FAILING its software biz

Mark Dempster

Re: Let me see if I understand this

I was very surprised to find that ITIL was taken & marked on paper too, being a British Computer Society exam

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VMware plans courseware on smartmobes for Asian sysadmins

Mark Dempster

Am I reading this right?

Are VMware actually expecting people to take their certifications based on a short smartphone-delivered piece of 'training', having never touched the product itself?

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How the clammy claws of Novell NetWare were torn from today's networks

Mark Dempster

The REAL reason that NT killed Netware...

...was that it was so easy to run it without buying expensive licences. Netware user counts were strictly controlled by licenses installed from floppy (similar to the CALs that SBS used to use), and if you had a 50 user licence then the 51st person would be refused login. With NT, on the other hand, you could buy the basic 5-user package and run as many users as your hardware could handle. Made it much cheaper if you didn't mind the illegality of it, and back then most companies didn't. I've always thought that it was a deliberate MS ploy to remove Netware market share even at the expense of licensing revenue.

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Man the floodgates! David Cameron takes to Twitter

Mark Dempster
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Re: Benefits keep going up.

>You can see spending accelerating under the last government and dropping back to 1988 levels in 2012 (we have a way to go until the pre boom levels of 1997).<

You seem to have fallen for the traditional right-wing trap of thinking that all government spending is wrong. Many people including myself think that a high level of spending (on the 'right' things) is much to be preferred.

>Disability benefits have risen from £26 Billion in 2007 to 32 Billion in 2012 which seems a little quick. if you think Britain has got 20% sicker in 5 years then fine, if not then checking if people are swinging the lead or suppliers aren't ripping us seems a sensible move. Its probably being done badly , most government initiatives are.<

I don't remember the date that it changed, but when the previous government put a 6 month limit on basic unemployment benefit it forced a lot of people who couldn't find work that paid a living wage into claiming that they were disabled. The policy did what it was cynically intended to do (lower official unemployment figures) but did nothing to solve the underlying problem.

>Note tax credits nearly doubled over a similar period.<

Probably because most of the 'new, private sector' jobs that the current government is relying on to bring us out of recession are part-time ones that no-one can survive on - and which don't bring in the tax/NI that the government needs to pay for things. It's a vicious circle created by morons who think that an entire country can be run on the same basis as a small business.

>and all those vicious NHS cuts have resulted in a 20% rise in NHS costs,<

Cuts usually do result in higher costs elsewhere, but it's OK because that money goes to outside ' business consultants' rather than being spent on those depressing unwell plebs....

>Look at the other figures for expenditure, note everything peaked in 2010 despite the fact we knew the bubble was bursting.<

And yet borrowing has increased enormously under the Tories - how do you reconcile that?

>Call Me Dave is not a great world leader but compared to the alternatives he is probably the only choice for the squeezed middle.<

Sounds like you're suffering from Stokholm Syndrome to me.

>Can you imagine the two Ed's in charge?<

Yes, I can. And I think their sympathies for the less wealthy would have resulted in a much less unpleasant situation right now.

> Why not get Nick Leeson to run the economy, oh sorry their party did deregulate so he could break the bank.<

Hmmm... I'd be very surprised if he wasn't a Tory supporter, wouldn't you? And the Tories had consistently argued that there was still too much red tape, and that deregulation didn't go far enough.

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Dredd movie review

Mark Dempster

Where's Walter?

I can't even imagine a Dredd without Walter the robot playing a major part.... ;-)

Yes, it IS a long time since I read a comic. But I am a grown-up.

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Office 365 turns Lotus eater

Mark Dempster
Unhappy

Yep, the company I worked for a few years back migrated from Exchange to Domino. They were US-owned, though (where Lotus is much more common) and we were in bed with IBM for all hardware from PCs to mainframes, so that might explain it.

I still hate Domino/Notes, though....

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'Picture of Dorian Gray' borrowed in 1934 is finally returned

Mark Dempster
Thumb Up

Re: It's not what you know....

He also, if I recall, appeared in Kate's video for Experiment IV many, many years ago - alongside Hugh Laurie & French & Saunders.

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North Tyneside: Mega-outsourcing deal will SAVE jobs

Mark Dempster
Unhappy

Re: "initial ten year term"

"Is anyone aware of any big outsourcing deal that has ever actually worked? Genuinely curious here."

I work for one of the big outsourcing companies, and no - I've never seen one that worked either. Beaurocracy that puts the public sector to shame, internal charging & so many different departments involved to do a simple job that it's ridiculous. It's no wonder insurance premiums are so high....

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Deadly pussies kill more often than owners think

Mark Dempster
Mushroom

Extinction-Level Event

I used to live in an area that had a small wooded area 100 yards or so from my house, in the middle of a large housing estate; the only reason it hadn't been built on was because it was a conservation area, a pond in the centre of it was the only home in the UK to a particular breed of newt.

My cat developed a habit of catching these newts and leaving them (usually in pieces) around the house. In the last 2 years I lived there, though, no newts were brought home. I honestly believe that she single-handedly wiped out the entire species...

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HSBC brands EVERY Apple iPhone 'an insecure PC'

Mark Dempster
FAIL

Crapport

I've had to uninstall this POS software from several customer PCs simply because it slows them to a crawl - even a recent quad-core machine was almost unusable. Once the software was removed it felt like a new PC.

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Cable lays plan for graduate tax

Mark Dempster
Thumb Down

Better solution

Drop funding for Media Studies, American Studies, and all the other crap that no-one really needs, and which really exist as courses only to reduce the unemployment figures. Provide free tuition in science, engineering andother subject that will benefit the country. Raise the bar so that not everyone can get a degree without reasonable effort, so that degrees aren't devalued in the way they currently are.

OK, fewer people will have letters after their name, but they can still get the same jobs they would have done with the nonsense degree - because they're rarely relevant to any real job anyway.

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Carmakers and blind boosters boost noisy leccy plan

Mark Dempster

This wouldn't help my wife...

... who IS legally blind (partially sighted, can only see blurred outlines etc).

unfortunately she has the attitude that the car drivers will see her even if she can't see them, so steps into the road oblivious of what's coming. She's been run over 7 times now (didn't say she was a quick learner, did I?)

A related, but funnier, story is about the time she flagged down a fire engine thinking it was a bus....

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Commissioner pledges protection for net neutrality

Mark Dempster

Re:The net should be neutral, ISPs need to start charging by usage

That's the way it used to be, but as soon as Demon introduced fixed monthly fees it quickly became obvious that that was what the public wanted - so all other ISPs followed suit.

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What’s new and improving about IT today?

Mark Dempster
Joke

Interesting, but...

... how does this relate to the Marillion business model?

(Sorry, in-joke!)

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Branson's SpaceShipTwo rocketplane gets off ground

Mark Dempster
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Erm....

>Being above the atmosphere seems a bit of a misnomer I mean you can do that in a conventional airliner...<

Really? Wouldn't you need the atmosphere for the engines of any airliner I'm aware of to work....?

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Proto-mammals survived ancient global warming in Antarctica

Mark Dempster
Paris Hilton

Am I missing something here?

If they didn't nurse their young, what makes them mammals? (or even proto-mammals?)

Surely the defining aspect of all mammals is the presence of mammary glands, which in non-human species is only ever used for nursing the young.

We, of course, have evolved to produce Paris and her ilk....

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Nissan to debut anti-prang tech next week

Mark Dempster
Unhappy

Sales reps will love this...

Now they can pay even less attention to what's going on around them.

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Microsoft marks Windows' anniversary with Windows 7

Mark Dempster

For all those calling Windows a Shell...

...how exactly does that differ from the GUIs in use on Linux?

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Government Gateway login details found in pub car park

Mark Dempster
Unhappy

Who's to blame?

Whenever data gets lost the knee-jerk reaction is to blame 'the government'; but just who is this government? Correct me if I'm wrong, but have any of these losses been down to an elected official? I'm pretty sure that most/all of them have been the fault of the civil service or private companies, both of whom would still be there even if the elected government was changed tomorrow!

That's not to say that I agree with the totalitarian databases being banded around at the moment, and the risks involved do scare me silly. But let's put the blame for the ideas, and the current losses, at the right doors please.

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McKinnon supporters plan Home Office demo

Mark Dempster
Happy

I'd like to see him sue the US Military...

Remember that is the country where burglars can successfully sue you if the fall down the stairs while stealing your valuables...

Surely there must be similar grounds when files are left on unprotected servers just waiting for you to trip over them?

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Acorn alumni to toast tech pioneer's 30th anniversary

Mark Dempster
Thumb Down

Atom wasn't the first...

I think you'll find they marketed a simple single-board computer with an LED display & hexpad for program entry before the Atom. I seem to recall it being called System 5, which suggests there might have been 4 earlier versions too, but my memory might be playing tricks on that front...

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Houston, we have a virus

Mark Dempster

Linux Viruses

>A low risk Linux virus dated 2001, is that the best you could do? That's what

you consider "proof" that Linux is susceptible to viruses? What a joke!<

Any OS is susceptible to viruses, but until usage of an OS reaches levels capable of bringing in the profit they desire, most virus writers won't target it. I've always suspected that most of the 'nuisance' (as opposed to criminal) viruses out there are written by Linux users with a toolkit anyway...

And yes, I do know Linux quite well. I've been using various flavours of Unix professionally since the early 1990's, as well as Macs from an early stage. I have no doubt that should I be so inclined I could write a virus for any of them. Fortunately I'm not that antisocial! ;-)

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Intel Classmate PC lands in UK for £239

Mark Dempster

RE:How are these any good in a classroom?

The real question is, would the EEE (or any alternative) run the software needed for the curriculum?

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Solar-curtain "soft house" plan proposed by MIT prof

Mark Dempster
Joke

@Shame

>A really picturesque concept, but about as realistic as expecting to heat your home by lighting your farts.<

My wife is vegetarian; I think that this would be a perfectly feasible solution.

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Lenovo throws arms and legs around SMBs

Mark Dempster

Brand Prejudice?

>Well I've had IBM ThinkPads (renewed ever couple of years) for the last 12 years or so and have loved their robustness and quality. However, I wont be buying anything labelled "Lenovo" whatever services they bundle onto it.<

Even though it's the same company that actually manufactured your previous machines that you're perfectly happy with? It's a badge, nothing more.

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OpenSUSE 11 a redemptive OS with a Mactastic shine

Mark Dempster
Alert

The advantages of Open Source?

>YaST needs to die, it is bloated and buggy and a steaming pile of crap!<

Surely the main argument put forward for the 'superiority' of open source is that any bugs will be found by thousands of development peers, and put right before anyone notices?

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Stem cell researchers claim victory in battle with Church

Mark Dempster

Mixed Mitochondria

>I think the plan is to create embryos with human chromosomes (where most of >the DNA lives) and cow mitochondria. I have yet to read anything that tells me >the advantages of such embryos.

The only advantage is that they exist. If a good supply of genuine human eggs was available, then no-one would be contemplating complicated and expensive procedures like this, which won't produce 100% accurate results (but which will hopefully prove close enough to be worthwhile).

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Dixons admits 'it's even worse than you thought'

Mark Dempster

If you pay peanuts...

...you get PCW staff.

Seriously, anyone with the level of knowledge we'd like to see working there would demand so high a salary as to be untenable in a retail chain-store environment. Their staff don't earn significantly more than the Tesco checkout operators - would YOU work for that sort of money?

And that's why these places (not just PCW) will die out, to be replaced by special offers in the local supermarket and online purchases for everything else.

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Apple tops tech support success poll

Mark Dempster
Stop

Re:Amazing

>It's one thing to sell computers by the truck load (and Apple sure are doing that lately) but then to be there if they go wrong is the sign of a really great company.<

Really? I thought it was just a legal (and moral) obligation. For the 1st 12 months at least...

Mark

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Unbundling could cost you £125

Mark Dempster
Thumb Down

A to B to A?

I was fairly happy with my Talktalk connection, but wanted to move house - just 2 miles down the road. The owners of the new house were also on Talktalk. You'd think it would be fairly simple for me to take over the new connection? No. Both I & the other guy had to 'surrender' our line to BT, then ask BT to connect me at a cost of £125. Then, if I wanted, I could switch to Talktalk or another ISP - but I'd have to pay a penalty charge for only having the line a short time....

Complete ripoff.

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