100 posts • joined Tuesday 26th February 2008 20:04 GMT
Re: Windows 7 is a poor OS
> It's closed source and cannot be audited for back doors
Linux and co have pretty much proved in the last 5 years that just because you can audit code (1) it doesn't necessarily happen, and (2) where it does happen it often introduces more issues because the people doing the auditing don't actually understand what they are looking at.
I don't yet see any MSftisms quite as bad as the Debian SSL keygen cockup, which really was quite spectacular. And some of the kernel paths with bad NULL pointer checks. They were good too. Microsoft isn't perfect, and there are a lot of problems with their security model, but if you believe that Linux is immune to this because "it is open source" you are really living in a dream land.
The biggest issue Windows has is an utter lack of a sensible permissions model, and that is mostly a UI issue. The underlying technology is actually much more flexible than default Linux permissions model, just nothing actually uses it because it isn't really wired up the GUI or explorer in any way which actually works.
I see two major issues:
(1) Who pays for this?
When schools sit exams the whole school (or significant portion there or) tends to be in exams. We go from a system needing a hundred machines in a computer lab, to 600-1000 machines.
Where do you put these machines? Laptops are possible - but not the most cost effective, and likely to give half the kids bad backs, so you're gonna need small machines with LCD panels at least. Assuming you have 120 kids in an exam hall each running a machine drawing a few hundred watts peak power then suddenly all of your exam halls need a big old power feed and some means to get power to the desks. So you also need to rewire all of the schools in the UK.
Then what happens when these machines fail mid-exam?
(2) What "computer" skills would be actually gain? All of these machines would be heavily locked down to one application with spaces to type in if the exam security guys have any sense. The only skill you gain for all of this expensive messing about is typing.
If you want typing skills then how about actually teaching typing skills? Most kids are not and will therefore use the one or two finger prod. Which is probably slower than hand writing unless you have a "known issue" like dyslexia (in which case you get a compute already under special dispensation rules).
I work in tech, and most days I have to write by hand (log book / meeting minutes, etc) - it is not an obsolete skill.
> You're missing the effect of all this, it is the parts that are hard to obtain that are potentially being printed, not the metal ones
Which bits are those then? The rubber band, the nail, or the metal pipe?
Guns are not exactly difficult - bang the spiky bit into the cap and it goes bang. Have enough strength in the system that that it doesn't remove your face by mistake.
The only vaguely "functional" part of the printed design is the "spring" coil; the barrel would be better turned on a lathe (even if you wanted one made out of plastic), the nail and ammo you have to provide yourself anyway. The rest is mostly aesthetic.
The automatic version is more interesting from a technical perspective - but risk of user injury or heat jamming the whole thing still would seem to imply that there are better ways to do this.
I can change my password ...
I can't change my fingerprints ...
If the security of the system gets compromised they are screwed - I mean what are they going to do?
"We've emailed all users to warn them of a breach in our security and have asked them all to change their hands and eyes?"
But Cisco are not the only one out there right. There are dozens on _specialist_ companies who build switches ...
Sure - being stuck on one vendor is a pain in the arse - but there are plenty of other alternatives. I'm just not sure why Facebook suddenly think they can do better. If they were doing "something special just for our workloads" then fine, but that's not what they are saying.
It just smells like not-invented-here syndrome, and if I were a shareholder I'd ask if what they are doing is really part of their core business.
Internal use ...
For internal use within our organization I find that they have two really nice uses:
You get a nice human name for the caller ID, along with their digital business card so you know what team they work for. Hardly rocket science, but it's nice to have in an organization of a few thousand employees and you don't know everyone.
We can now move desk simply by unplugging all of our crap from the network and plugging it in at the destination. Provided you plug the phone into the network socket with PoE support it all works, and your number migrates without the IT team doing anything. On the old analogue system desk moves were a real pain in the proverbial, especially when moving a whole team - often a few hours without phone, etc. Desk moves are now much more casual and less needing military co-ordination to make sure they run smoothly.
Re: At last
Actually it may even only be fed off the initial PS Booster ring (older still than the PS and much smaller). I do like how they just keep taking the output of one accelerator and throwing into the next bigger one the make - can't wait to see what the LHC feeds in 50 years ;)
Re: At last
ISOLDE != LHC
The ISOLDE lab is fed by the Proton Synchotron - a much smaller accelerator ring which predates the LHC by about 60 years or so ...
If it helps:
@ David W "You don't need a net connection."
Err. Yes you do. It's not a need for a permanent "always on" connection, sure, but the software does phone home periodically at startup and if it can't get a connection when it wants to do this then you're shafted.
As a happy user of their offline tools, and one machine licensed with CC (laptop - see above - really annoying when travelling because "free wifi" isn't that ubiquitous in rural England), I'm sad to say they won't be getting any more £££ from me.
Re: Does it has to be because of internal warfare?
> According to the financial papers, that is because most of their cash is outside the US, and bonds are the most tax-efficient way of returning $100 billion to share-holders.
Sure, but you're still assuming that they have that pile of cash in 30 years time when the bonds vest. Still a gamble.
Re: An excellent result
>> "Strip away the faux complexity of the models, and for climate science, correlation is causation."
The issue isn't that the models are "too complex"; if anything it is that they are too simple and missing factors. Accurate modelling of any system is really hard work, especially when systems are non-linear and self regulate; errors in the model tend to stack up pretty quickly. It doesn't mean the models are worthless, but as a scientist you need to admit the weaknesses in the methodology rather than insisting that the CPU is always right because the model said so.
> What BS. The predicted warming is based on physics. The greenhouse effect. It has nothing to do with correlation. If you did study climate science at degree level you probably failed.
It is possible to based something on physics and for it still be be wrong if the physics in question is not a complete set of variables.
Re: Surging iPad sales?
> While the iPad sales increased 27%, Android tablet sales increased 177%.
Statistics, statistics. Surprisingly if you increase a small number by X you get a much larger percentage gain than if you increase a larger number by X.
I'd be very interested in that figure in profit terms - I suspect most of those Android tablets are cheaper than an iPad, and actually make far less money for the companies. Not saying Android tabs are bad (I have a Nexus 10), but not all tablets are equal. It's like complaining Ferrari doesn't sell many cars in emerging markets.
> So if you can be prosecuted for punching someone in the street, then why not for mentally torturing them online? It's all hurt.
Mostly because it's very hard to write a sensible legislation around. "I smacked him in the face" is very easy to identify, very easy to define "you should not do this". Also it requires both offender and victim to be in the same place, so "contact points" are statistically much less likely and so it scales.
Mental "hurt" is subjective; what offends some people doesn't offend others. Many humans are petty, selfish, not particularly nice people (it's in the genes folks - the bastards survive) and the internet is "there" - especially with social media - and a low barrier to entry. You therefore have a high "contact" point and many people wouldn't think twice about posting crap online, but they would think twice about swinging a punch.
See the latest kerfuffle about the "Youth PC" and some of her historical twitter posts - kids will be kids (and many are spiteful little snotty brats, that's in the genes (and hormones) too) - you don't honestly want to suddenly start locking up all 12-16 year olds, right ...?
You then have a group of people who go out of their way to be "offended" - see the recent issue at PyCon. See I didn't even mention dongle once.... ah .. bugger. Lock me up. I offended someone.
but but ...
How hard is it to change suppliers anyway? Read meter. Phone new company. Say "I want to switch". Most will sort out the rest for you.
It takes all of about 5 minutes. The main issue is that they are all a bunch of profiteering bastards and awfully close to cartel pricing (i.e. once one jumps they all put up their prices within a week).
But still not of that justifies a many 100 £££ smart meter which will probably need replacing every 3 years once the security bugs start rolling in.
Re: Who let the data out?
> Until somebody comes up with a convincing reason for such connectivity
I read that and agreed. And then I realized you probably weren't meaning Facebook ...
Re: Don't want DRM?
Since when does "not buy" == "download illegally"?
If you don't agree with the company that made it just don't want it. period. full stop. Don't go and watch it - that just proves you really actually do agree with their model (i.e. they make content you actually do want to watch) and you are just a cheapskate ...
Re: I can, therefore I should
@ Wize ...
Shhh. If you're not careful they'll ban sticks.
Re: You cant eat or drink..
But at the end of the day the base metals do at least have one big vested interest (i.e. a country) who wants to keep them useful.
Bitcoin just seems a little bit too much like a fad to me - it has no value other than people wanting to buy it and limited supply. If another "fad" e-currency turns up which has the same properties what's stopping people moving. Everyone says that the "value" in bitcoin is its limited supply, but it _isn't_ limited as far as anyone else could go and start another currency based on the exactly the same mathematics. They just haven't yet.
It's no worse than putting a few quid on the geegees, but serous investment for $11M - ha. No.
Re: p < 0.05 ???
> already super expensive experiment (tens of thousands of pound)
What you mean like CERN?
Re: The panel also recommended that digital copies of books should "deteriorate"
> we'll set the engine to blow up on purpose after 40,000 miles
They do. I mean it's not "on purpose", but we know how to build piston engines that run for a million miles relatively reliably (it's called a diesel train). Just they don't bother building them because it's not commercially viable, so they build one which makes commercial sense.
> Are they taking the piss?
Compression technology moves on, so you if you want the latest and greatest iDevice support with the best features I guess you need a new version. Given how often my library replaces paper versions I guess they really mean every 25 years or so ;)
End of day = much improved
> It's like being accused of genocide, and at the same time, of having bad table manners
This one really made the end of my look a little bit brighter. Thanks =)
Re: Reaching out to sellers........but not on Saturdays and Sundays
> One person alone posting on the UK powerseller board has had that many listings removed.
It was designed as a site for people selling junk from their attic. It still surprises me that "big vendors" use it as their main shop front. It should be pretty clear from their Ts'n'Cs that you pretty much have no recovery plan if it all goes tits up. Amazon seem to be more reliable, but also seem keen to recycle third party ideas which work as in-house products (both on cloudy software, but also physical products - now in the form of the Amazon basics range).
Don't like it write and host your own I suppose, otherwise do what every other vendor does and diversity (i.e. use Ebay and Amazon, and your own site).
Re: tat bazaar?
... sure but I bet you can't get the shark to go with it ;)
Re: "Garrett was able to demonstrate an application on Windows could wreck a machine."
> More to the point, the buggy firmware can be triggered from within the machine's native OS.
STOP PRESS, shock, horror, the native OS can write to memory.
Sure the memory happens to be a peripheral, but I mean I don't honest get why people are making such a big deal of the OS which is running. It's just a memory address ...
It's the blow hole ...
... where all the matter was blown in to the universe from "outside". If you fire a really big asteroid at it you can knock the plug out, and then we're all forked.
I mean the universe must be at higher pressure than the "outside" to stay inflated (say, like a bike tyre), and therefore at higher temperature (because higher pressure means higher temperature). The blow hole is sticking out into the cold "outside" and probably has a locally high surface area relative to volume of internal matter, therefore a cooling effect ensues.
Re: To fix the problem
> also the minimum wage needs raising too to encourage people to get into work.
Really? Have you worked out why all of the industry has moved over seas yet? Everyone says we need to stimulate job creation (i.e. attract companies to the UK) and then rapidly follows that up by asking for more money for the employees. Two mutually opposite statements ...
Yes we need a sensible standard of living. Keeping inflating wages is _not_ the answer - that will just drive more international companies overseas where wages are cheaper.
There are some obvious things to go after - the main one is housing. Housing consumes more as a percentage of income as in almost any time in modern history? Why? It's utterly nonsensical. Houses have no more worth now than they did in the 50s - i.e. it's a roof over your head, no more, no less - the main issue is that they are used as an "investment" and inflating property prices has been used to make us think the economy is booming . It's all bollocks, and an illusion to make the middle classes think they are wealthy. [I suppose I count as middle class and own a house, but even I admit it's all bollocks].
We need to build more houses / flats and in a large scale. It would be massively unpopular (i.e. house prices will drop and screw the banks and anyone with a small deposit will go into negative equity), but if you increased housing supply (or improved efficiency) by 25% you would cause a drop in living costs for everyone involved. No wage increase, but the same wages go further.
This is partly what the govt was trying to achieve by taxing spare bedrooms if you are on benefits - it encourages efficient use of the housing stock, although they haven't thought it though very hard [it also encourages those with a spare room or two to have lots of babies to stop the tax - which is probably the exact opposite of the effect you want in some areas ...].
Oh, and tax landlords so those "with cash" stop hoovering up the housing supply that does exist. It just encourages the inflation and is basically a tax on employment.
Re: Can you imagine the stress...
Just delete the file in the dodgy directory, right .
"You forgot the dot ..."
Meanwhile on Mars ...
"Please insert install disc"
Soon to be seen at a nearby fishing trawler ...
"Freeze this is a robbery... put all the fish in the bucket and lower it overboard and no one will get hurt ..."
Re: This could be useful
Those knobs _do work_ if you learn how to feed them (partition models, simplify, unpartition). Indeed commercial games developement tools do use tens of millions on triangles for most scenes, and then bake those down to a simplified model and a normal map / parallax map / whatever other fake displacement technique you want to use for "in game use". I can pretty much guarantee that those low detail models are auto generated - no artist wants to hand generate three different level of detail models and keep the three in sync.
> The guys who make games for a living invest a massive amount of time and effort into squeezing things down, and doing smart things with textures to the point that the hardware can deal with it and still give a reasonable performance.
Yep, they invest a lot of time in learning how to use the frickin tools so they don't have to hand roll monotonous boring shitty jobs such as simplifying models. Their time is too valuable for that. Yes they will need some hand touch ups for some parts, but the tools do 95% of the grunt work.
> every vertex, every poly you add to that slows things down exponentially
No. Just no. If the game developer has any common sense this will be log<n> at worst, and most decent algorithms are linear time. You don't think they actually use the on-screen geometry for all of the CPU-side tests do you? Oh dear ...
Re: Choice implies that the user is expert enough to make an informed decision.
Yes, your point?
Taking your toaster analogy half of the problem is that most PC's today will (1) randomly throw toast across the room in defiance of all normal and sensible rules, (2) contain 5 different levers to put the toast down and name them all in incomprehensible shorthand, and (3) rather than giving a knob with 5 numbers on will gives you a command line to enter the amount of amps you want to put through the filament.
Actually I think you are being unfair - most users are willing to learn how to use a PC, but don't want to learn the complex rules of which of the 5 possible ways work for each problem, for their precise distro. Infact they want to OS to (1) be invisible and (2) just work for their apps.
Re: Linux is about choice - right?
It depends what you want Linux to be. Geeks love choice - to get their terminal and emacs keyboards shortcuts "just so they work just how I like them", with their window manager, and their file system.
For the "average joe" in the mass market choice in computing is a huge no no. Choice implies that the user is expert enough to make an informed decision. If you don't have that knowledge and don't even understand the topic enough to know how to find out, choice is a complete feckin disaster. The poor user will go through three stages typically: (1) confusion (2) frustration (3) anger. As you might expect (4) is then take it back any buy a Mac or Windows box which have "one way" of doing things.
Canonical want to be a mass market OS distro, that means they explicitly need to _kill_ choice, or at least hide it by default. Which is pretty much what they have done - default = unity, expert = first thing I change is to get normal Gnome3.
When will the Linux geeks learn that they are not representative of "normal people". And if you then claim "but I like it how it is" you are pretty much hitting MS's point right on the head - you like to be "l33t".
Re: Following the tried and true patent troll recipe
I'm sure the amount is designed to "encourage" Cisco to pay up, rather than fight it in court. You can guarantee that if it was $1B there would be a lot of lawyers and 15 years before they see the $$$.
Re: I wonder
> Manned flight on that thing?
Pretty much every launch vehicle tested to date has self-immolated on the launch pad during or soon after launch, Saturn V being a notable exception (and given the mad rush to beat the USSR this fact amazes many in the industry). Many unmanned rocket flights of the Delta series _still_ fail on a platform which is getting quite old and well tested.
If you actually read any of the public NASA documentation it is amazing that any of these things work at all - every flight of any vehicle is effectively a test flight because there are simply not that many flights before you _have to start doing real work_ or it gets too expensive.
Manned space flight is, and probably always will be, a risk. Most astronauts are willing to take that risk, and they do so knowingly. Yes we should make it safer if we can, but if you wrap the whole programme in so much "health and safety" you will never actually get a rocket off the ground (either because you never reach your "safe" targets, or you make it so expensive it isn't commercially viable).
> It doesn't cost that much money to be consistent, yet so far they've been inconsistent.
Hmm, based on available evidence of every other rocket platform, it is both very hard and very expensive. Mechanical failure in a system with a few hundred K parts, massive stress loadings and vibration, as well as temperature ranges. At some point the cost outweighs the need to "just bloody launch the thing", and yes that includes manned space flight.
You can minimise risks, you can never eliminate them.
... but ...
They willing paid 60% over the price the market thought it was worth prior to the deal being announced. Surely that rang alarm bells _somewhere_ in HP.
Re: Internet should be free from meddling by the media cartels
... and the musicians want to eat. Your point is?
I want more money; it doesn't mean I can walk into a bank and help myself. Don't like "the man" then go elsewhere (there are plenty of indie labels out there), but please don't think that you have some right to free content.
Re: A twitter client in <20KB
Of course assembler lacks security. Asembler is a _language_, security is a _design property_. Always amazed that people think that languages provide security ...
Re: One question I have always asked myself
Cooling? Really ...
Where does all of that energy go. Lighting, cars, industry? All things which produce heat as their eventual end product. While it may well produce local cooling, in the absence of storage, the next cooling effect on the system as a whole will be zero.
> What does it give the consumer that Windows 7 cannot?
Re: Charging by person = FAIL
Yeah, I can't wait to see what targeted stream the dog gets =)
Re: MS ulterior motive for its weird UI
> The ribbon is not designed for fingers on a screen use.
On that note neither are word processors, spreadsheets, or coding IDEs.
Quite frankly who gives a toss about having Office on a tablet for anything other than reading, making mild edits, or marking up for review. Tablets are almost universally content consumption devices, and possibly drawing devices for those who like Wacom, but authoring and editorial devices they certainly are not.
Re: Plan B? Plan C?
> It ain't the guns pulling their own trigger, people ...
No, but you do live in a country where the lack of gun control makes it easier for those with a few screws loose to get hold of them, carry them around without questions, and hence when they do snap the consequences are worse than someone in the UK going mad with a snooker cue because that is what they happened to have access to at the time.
> Surely it's a better idea to remove them from the streets before they snap?
Ah that old chestnut. Will all the will-be-killers please step forward on to the loony bus, the rest of you can go on about your lives. I'm sure that will go down very well ... In many cases these are normal people before they snap - sure they might have depression, post-traumatic stress, etc - but if you start locking up people with depression you are going to need a lot more prisons. And a thought police .... I thought that was against your constitution too ...
There will always be depressives, and mentally unstable folk in society - if you give them access to tools which make it easy to kill people rapidly at long range then as a society you accept the consequences of that.
Re: This is why
> There [i]are[/i] people out to get you. It is now standard on non-mobile machines to get a warning whenever a program accesses the web for the first time, giving you the choice to block it
Oh sure, asking users to click yes to get the free stuff they want has really proven to be an effective security model. Numerous studies have shown that unless the box says "this app is going to steal your stuff" most users will just click yes because they think it is needed to play the game/app. The spread of the first Symbian worm required the user to click yes to:
* Do you wish to accept a bluetooth connection from an unknown device
* Do you wish to accept a file from <<device>
* Do you wish to execute file from <device>
No user in their right mind would click yes to any of one of those, but there were still some who clicked yes to all three. The average user does not have sufficient knowledge to make informed consent, so this method doesn't work.
Re: The next
> will have even bigger screens so there will be an opportunity to install a disc drive in them
Well the Lumia 710 and 820 did suddenly add a microSD slot ... seems like a suitably mini "disc" drive.