* Posts by Nick Ryan

1510 posts • joined 10 Apr 2007

Britain’s device-theft capital is now … lovely Leicestershire

Nick Ryan
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Lifting phones (or on the odd occasion just MP3 players) is something that would appear to be ludicrously easy on London's transportation systems - mainly underground, trains and buses.

If I had a mind for it I'd have been able to snatch lots of phones and likely purses as well. How? Why? It's simple: For some reason a huge number of people (mostly female) feel a need to keep their bags open with their purse and phone on the top within easy reach should a call or text come in. They then helpfully (for the would-be tealeaf) sling the bag on their shoulder in a busy place and the only thing protecting their goods is the watchfulness of other passengers as they themselves are totally and utterly oblivious to everything around them. Until they try to find their phone and it's not there of course...

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Boffins raise five-week-old fetal human brain in the lab for experimentation

Nick Ryan
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Re: Do vat grown brains dream?

I wasn't sure how to feel about this, and I read the article unlike some here and understand the difference between 5 week fetal and 5 week (or old) baby. It is getting a bit creepy. However a few things to remember that appear to be missed:

This proto-brain was not grown from a human egg and sperm. It was grown from a single adult donor's cells. Consider it this way - if an adult agreed to donate some of their functioning brain cells for medical research would we consider this a problem? While different this is not so far removed from that.

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Two weeks of Windows 10: Just how is Microsoft doing?

Nick Ryan
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Re: "Despite these concerns...

Because Gartmer have always been the paragon of reliable and unbiased information...

Sarcasm or not, that's half true. You pays your money (to Gartner), you gets your reliable information.

As for unbiased... hmm.

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Introducing the Asus VivoMini UN42 – a pint-sized PC, literally

Nick Ryan
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Joke

Re: For space retrieval hints.

Modern file systems have ways to reduce this problem

Bigger disks? :-p

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'Sunspots drive climate change' theory is result of ancient error

Nick Ryan
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Some comments here slag off climate research because it does not achieve a precision that is (and will continue to be) simply beyond the capabilities of scientific research.

Yep, largely because the entire biosphere is extremely complicated with lots of interacting cycles, altering one may not be serious because others may compensate, others may be created (even small, previously unoticed cycles) or the effect may or not be predictable.

The climate modellers can only genuinely prove their models after the event and even then there would be questions as to whether or not they got the correct answer through coincidence or through accurate modelling. It's made worse because if they are predicting something unpleasant that we'd rather didn't happen it's a bit late at that point.

Dumping pollutants into the environment is demonstrably and quantifiably bad in a local area. Somehow there are those who find it in themselves to deny even this. Past the local area it becomes harder and harder to accurately predict and even measure impact because many aspects are cumulative with time based modifiers. Weather forecasting is hard enough (and is largely built from previous recorded experience of weather patterns), biosphere forecasting is next to impossible except for broad generalisations.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Here we go again

When will the madness stop.

I give up. Are you being sarcastic or trolling?

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Android faces SECOND patching crisis, on the same scale as Stagefright

Nick Ryan
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How serious is this? Seriously? While it sounds bad and has been written up to sound even worse, it reads to me like it's a vulnerability in remote control software. What remote control software? Software to remotely control a phone or for a phone to remotely control something else?

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AIDS? Ebola? Nah – ELECTRO SMOG is our 'biggest problem', says Noel Edmonds

Nick Ryan
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Re: Minions

Well it certainly wasn't for him - all ego and no (nice) personality (IMHO).

"Everything is about energy," said the former associate of Mr Blobby.

On the other hand, this is one amazing quote and attribution assasination in one. Can a QOTW come from a staff writer?

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New study into lack of women in Tech: It's NOT the men's fault

Nick Ryan
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Re: Its the mothers fault mostly...

While boys and girls are biologically different and it's been proven that there are differences between male and female brains and how these changes take effect at different points in our lives (puberty, pregnancy / parenthood, etc) these differences are broad generalisations such as "spatial awareness" or "empathy / social skills" and these general traits are usually found to be compensatable through learning.

Such core general traits can usually be attributed to "hunting" compared to "nurturing" activities that are usually segregated in most human societies to males hunting and females nuturing. Some of this just logic as a heavily pregnant female or one tending to a baby just isn't going to be as good at hunting compared to another individual that isn't so encumbered but it's also comes from observation of remote and largely untouched human tribes who still operate this way of segregating male and female duties.

Social learning happens at a very early age and a key aspect of social learning is learning how to interact and how to "fit in" with peers. For example at this age if a lot of girls are pushing prams and playing with dolls then most young girls will do so too because they observe what is expected of them so they can do the same and therefore fit in with them. This doesn't mean that young boys at this age won't be found playing with dolls and pushing prams (I know a few that just love it) but when faced with their peers who don't do this these boys will usually change to fit in.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Maths != IT

Some of the worst coders I've come across are those that while they were highly qualified on the maths front just couldn't think in a logical manner and could barely break a task down into manageable steps even with help. The most polite way to describe it is that their code was not fun to review or work with in any manner.

Not to say that being good at maths means you can't be a good developer, just that one doesn't equal the other.

Then there are the mathematical zealots who will swear blind that developers will be out of a job "real soon" because of 5GL or whatever inane bit of crap they've been told by another maths zealot. While it is true that limited scope computer algorithms can be defined mathematically, as soon as a system extends beyond the mundane, let alone anything event driven, requiring user interaction or where different systems interact, the required mathematical scoping would be so complicated and unweildy that no system could ever be developed in a reasonable time frame or at a reasonable cost. The fact that such a system would likely never be remotely efficient was something entirely lost on these idiots and on the rare occasion that they recognised the efficiency problem their response was either "systems will be faster, it won't matter" or "the designer can design for that" (a.k.a. a developer).

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How much of ONE YEAR's Californian energy use would WIPE OUT the DROUGHT?

Nick Ryan
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Re: UK problem

Absolutely. There's no way, whatsoever, that some form of convenient, already extremely well researched and implemented technology could help. Nope, definitely, absolutely not something like canals that could be used to transport water from one part of the country to another while also providing a phenomenally cheap, if slower than road truck, way to transport heavy goods (cheap on fuel). It'll never work.

It's not as if there's another country in the world that's putting this kind of thing in place. Oh, except China.

</sarcasm>

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Lottery chief resigns as winning combo numbers appear on screen BEFORE being drawn

Nick Ryan
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Re: how that could be reliably faked

While such a trick may affect the weight and therefore probability of certain balls being "picked", it's unlikely to also affect the order in which they were picked unless you managed quite a distinction in the weights and therefore quite a high weight at one end of the scale - which ought to be obvious.

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Assessing the power of Intel’s SSD 750 … but check your motherboard before buying

Nick Ryan
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Re: Does it work on AMD-compatible motherboards?

The MSI 990FXA board supports NVMe (not sure if there are additional PCIe v3 x4 slots for it though). It's rumoured that much more widespread NVMe support for AMD will arrive with new chipsets in Q4 2015.

Given the price of the buggers I'm happy to wait for 6 months anyway.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: A Hard Disk - on a card?

2.8" DSDD? 1Mb?

You wur lucky! We 'ad 36" single sided 'alf density disks that wur so 'eavy it took a team of three operators to mount one. T'storage capacity wer nobbut 360kb, and if you forgot to press Ctrl-C you 'ad a BDOS ERR and everybody 'ad to go 'ome for t'rest o' t'day while you rebooted t'system.

What's especially scary is that at one point this wasn't far off the case. Although IIRC you'd also have to be careful what terminal you were using when switching drives (i.e. wheeling the damn things across the computer room on a trolly) possibly because of the VT compatibility you'd managed to bodge in place using a paperclip in place of a jumper. And then there was the strange case of that one terminal connection that for some reason, despite having apparently "identical" wiring, would only accept a certain VT... something like VT100 rather than VT102 (this wasn't the master terminal, some arbitrary other connection).

Some things are better left forgotten.

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Got an Android phone? SMASH IT with a hammer – and do it NOW

Nick Ryan
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Re: Bloody tools

Isn't this video processing? That's not something you'd want to do in anything other than as efficient a way as possible, particularly on a mobile device.

I'm shuddering right now at the thought of a video decoder written in C# with regular pauses in playback when the garbage collector kicks in. Yes, I know that smart coding and a sensible approach from the start can mitigate this but then this is another complication - https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms973837.aspx.

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Jeep breach: Scared? You should be, it could be you next

Nick Ryan
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Re: CAN Bus

CAN Bus is a great implementation given the age of the standard and the fact that it has to operate in an electrically horrible environment with as cheap as possible (e.g. as few a wires as possible and as little heavy duty shielding as possible - and often cheap wire as well). However as noted above, by other posters, it's not designed for security as it's just a relatively low level transport mechanism.

To implement security in a CAN bus network you don't connect anything remotely insecure to the CAN bus network; it's that simple and is a simple method of implementing security. Unfortunately in this instance some numpty brain dead fool decided that a good feature would be "remote start", "remote control of lights" or similar utility functions which while not bad as such, their implementation would have to be extremely well thought out. In this case it's very clear that the implementation wasn't thought out at all and a relatively direct connection between the public Internet and an internal CAN bus device was established, most likely for ease of development and cheapness of implementation. What should have happened is that the public Internet device was connected solely to the CAN bus through a dedicated communication route, i.e. communicating with a CAN IO module that simply fired specific messages across the CAN network in response to the IO signals. The worst that could happen in this case is that the specific remotely enabled functions could be triggered and no more however it's plain that the Internet connected device is directly connected to the CAN bus network and can therefore send whatever CAN network messages it wants. Such as an implementation is flexible (in case UConnect want to add interaction with other systems), cheap to develop, implement and support but utterly, fucking stupid.

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HP slaps dress code on R&D geeks: Bin that T-shirt, put on this tie

Nick Ryan
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Very blinkered attitudes here

What's very evident here is that are some very blinkered attitudes here in these comments and while that's not be unexpected given the techie readership, it is a little disappointing when smart people don't understand the value of appearance.

Firstly, everything we wear is effectively a uniform - it doesn't matter if it's a suit, grey hooded tracks and a flourescent yellow fly attractor, jeans and t-shirt, summer dress, cocktail dress or skirt and blouse. It's all a uniform of sorts and the clue is in the word "uniform", as in a common appearance - to whatever paramaters you assign "common".

First impressions do matter and we are perceived by what we wear and our appearance. If you dress like a builder then you'll be treated like one because that's what you look like and you'll find it easier to relate to other builders as a result; we only have limited time in our lives and that doesn't allow for asking every person we see that's dressed as a builder whether or not they are a builder or are in fact a security guard. And so on... security guards dress in a distinct manner so they can be recognised as such and of course this is used in reverse where sometimes they pointedly don't dress as one so they aren't recognised.

So rather than hissing and spitting about how bad it is that some companies have dress codes (aka uniforms), start with the understanding that how you dress really does affect how others see you. This is still the case even if you claim not to care how anybody else dresses, although if in your next statement you claim that "everybody in a suit is evil" you evidently have a false = true problem. How we dress is a tool we can use and it's one I learnt that lesson a long time ago and even directly experimented with it at trade shows where my business partner and I took it in turns to wear a suit or more casual clothes and the change in how we were treated even while standing next to each other was dramatic.

Not that HP's sudden insistence on a stronger dress code will make a lot of positve difference to such a large and laughably inefficient company...

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Microsoft delivers Exchange 2016 Preview

Nick Ryan
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(groan).

In general anything that "requires" Sharepoint is bad, very bad. If Microsoft are having to use this kind of tactic to force enterprises to use Sharepoint then this indicates a serious problem.

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Happy birthday, Amiga: The 'other' home computer turns 30

Nick Ryan
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Because Commodore lost the plot. :(

While it appeared that they languished on their success they were developing some remarkable new systems to replace it with - I had the technical details of some parts and they really were very clever, efficient and way ahead of their time. Unfortunately they struggled with the hardware development including one point where, according to hearsay (I lost my contacts within Amiga HW dev at this time) they had to reverse engineer their own chipsets as they'd "lost" the designs; I still don't understand this or know the truth behind it. One of the more interesting developments that they were apparently attempting was hardware windowing support where each window could have it's own colour palette, colour depth and (possibly, was never sure on this) even DPI resolution. This was an evolutionary change from the multiple screen system where each screen could have its own resolution and could be split vertically (horizontal bands of differing display modes), simultaneously splitting the screens horizontally as well and effectively creating hardware windows would have tasked the chip designers somewhat but the efficiency and performance could have been amazing had they pulled it off.

As a result of Commodore's failure to capitalise on their success they let the (initially) technically inferior PCs overtake them in the market and with the opening up of the PC market by OEMs and the subsequent reduction in costs Amiga's fate was effectively sealed.

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UK.gov makes total pig's ear of attempt to legalise home CD ripping

Nick Ryan
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Re: Has anybody ever been convicted of format shifting?

Unfortuantely and largely started by the previous bunch of lizards (who to a large degree were either lawyers or closely linked to them) a huge number of what were previously civil offences were changed to become criminal offences. Great for lawyers and marketing-statistician-liars, not so great for everybody else including the police who then got lumbered with a lot of extra, usually petty (jn the schems of things) and quite often unenforceable offences to deal with.

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Ginormous HIDDEN BLACK HOLES flood the universe – boffins

Nick Ryan
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Re: so...

There's quote a lot of unanswered physics questions that aren't particularly answered and are likely to have some significant bearing on the "missing matter" and "missing energy" problems.

For example C is assumed to be a constant therefore the obvious questions are such as why should it be a constant, why should it have the value it has and how to definitively explain why this is a set velocity regardless of the emitter's velocity and if there is such a set velocity, should there not also be a set lack of velocity, e.g. absolute zero velocity. While absolute zero may never be achievable by standard matter in the same way we can't accellerate an atom to C (just very close) but some particles / waves may achieve it in the same manner that EM manages to propogate at C.

Then there's the rather interesting question as to what gravity exactly is and how it's effect is propogated. Similar questions apply to the other fundamental forces which while they've been isolated and identified their mechanisms, or how and why they work, are rather less so.

But then I'm not a physicist... :)

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Microsoft: Stop using Microsoft Silverlight. (Everyone else has)

Nick Ryan
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Re: Dear MS, Please put your own house in order

I can't remember where I found it (so don't blame be), but drop these in a batch file - it works for me:

reg delete HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Silverlight /f

reg delete HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Installer\Products\D7314F9862C648A4DB8BE2A5B47BE100 /f

reg delete HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Installer\Products\D7314F9862C648A4DB8BE2A5B47BE100 /f

reg delete HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{283C8576-0726-4DBC-9609-3F855162009A} /f

reg delete HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\install.exe /f

reg delete HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AgControl.AgControl /f

reg delete HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AgControl.AgControl.5.1 /f

reg delete HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\{89F4137D-6C26-4A84-BDB8-2E5A4BB71E00} /f

rmdir /s /q "%ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Silverlight"

rmdir /s /q "%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Microsoft Silverlight"

Normal disclaimers apply: i.e. use at your own risk, do not apply to first born children, it's not my fault if your system goes up in smoke and triggers the apocalypse, yada yada yada.

You may have to reformat the lines depending on El Reg, and your browser. If you can't do this you probably shouldn't be running them in the first place. I think after this you just need to tell Windows Update exactly where to go with the Silverlight "essential" install and that's it. If some cretinous app installs Silverlight on you, you can re-run these commands (and break the app, no doubt).

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Migrating from WS2003 to *nix in a month? It ain't happening, folks

Nick Ryan
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Re: Sorry...

Pah! I just try to select the most appropriate tool given the requirements. Once I've managed to disentangle the tool from the requirements of course. Far too many folk out there are too stupid to know the difference and state their solutions in the same breath as their requirements.

If the solution happens to be running Windows because it's easier for them to manage and easier to transition them to that's quite possibly the "correct" tool for the job even if there are slightly better alternatives. Similarly if Linux (or any another OS or platform) can do the job then I'll consider it in the same light as Windows and weigh up the costs vs the benefits and disadvantages - and generally all platforms will have some disadvantages for any given scheme. So whether the decision is to run a file server service on a NAS box (often Linux derived), deploy MS-SQL server because it's what clients and partners are expecting (even if integrating it into a Linux type environment is annoying), then this is what happens - there is no "one size fits all" solution and there is no need to be either. Only muppets attempt to deploy one solution or technology regardless of best fit.

And if a pen and paper is a customer's optimal business process platform... then that's what should be considered.

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Amazon just wrote a TLS crypto library in only 6,000 lines of C code

Nick Ryan
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Re: I applaud this and hope it is clean. However we could have written this in Perl in 1 line.

Maybe you need more imagination? :) The lunatics at The International Obfuscated C Code Contest make this an artform. And a competion.

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Who wants a classic ThinkPad with whizzy new hardware? Lenovo would just love to know

Nick Ryan
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Re: I'm gonna get flamed for this...

Regarding tweeking the thinkpad ... no. Not unless they sorted out that FN+CTRL mess.

Having the stupid FN key in place of where on every other damn keyboard the CTRL key was the biggest single problem common to the old Lenovo keyboards. It made switching from one keyboard / system to another stupidly awkward because while you could get used to the dumb positioning of the FN key in place of the CTRL key, as soon as you switched to a normal keyboard layout you had to get used to it all over again. I frequently had to switch from thinkpad to normal system so this was a common problem. However as noted elsewhere, at least these could be swapped in the BIOS.

The other major dumb-ass "innovation" was the navigation "back" and "forward" keys sited in such a spot where it was all too easy to mis-press them or to accidentally press them in place of a normal navigation key such as cursor or Page Up / Page Down. I never found a software fix for these cursed keys (the Lenovo remapping tool refused to remap these) so I just popped the keys out and left a hole in the keyboard.

At least there was an option where the function keys weren't mapped to "special" functions by default and to use the function key as a function key you had to press FN and the function key. Oops.. sent the system into hibernate. Again. All I wanted to do was refresh the page...

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Yahoo! displaces Ask in Oracle's Java update crapware parade

Nick Ryan
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Maybe there's some money to be made from installing ****ing useless and pointless toolbars that do nothing other than slow down the browser and make it crash more often?

Other than that... yeah. Almost as relevant as AOL.

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Microsoft U-turns on 'free' Windows 10 upgrade promise for ALL previewers

Nick Ryan
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Re: Guessing games

Is this regarding the MSA business for Win 10 or just Microsoft licensing in general?

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Assange™ celebrates third year in Ecuadorian embassy broom closet

Nick Ryan
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What is Ecuador getting from this?

Just a thought... Ecuador isn't likely to be doing this purely from a sense of international justice or human interest, so what are they getting, or likely to be getting from this? It's not going to be especially expensive for Ecuador to home them in their embassy, because realistically he's less than a drain than a convicted criminal in a jail and he just has food, clothing and likely a few pieces of tech. However this compares very spectacularly with the reported millions "wasted" on posting police and security around the Ecuadorian embassy 24x7 just in case he decides to try and leave or an attempt is made to smuggle him out.

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Would EU exit 'stuff' the UK? Tech policy boss gets diplomatic

Nick Ryan
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Re: A lack

If the governments want a better skilled population, do you think it would be a good idea if they invested in a better skilled population?

Don't be silly. Education should be democratised so any school leaving fuckwit can, and should be encouraged, almost forced, to go to University. It doesn't have anything to do with them being academically capable of it, just as long as the "pass" grades have been manipulated enough that a failing academic system can be statistically proven(*) to be producing better, or at the very least more qualified, students. These bright stars of the future can then join universities up and down the country dragging the level of learning down to such a level that the entire first year of many courses is trying to both teach elementary level aspects of the course that should have been taught at GCSE level and re-programming students to think for themselves and not to just be exam-passing automatons who can't think outside of the narrow range of questions that they'll be guaranteed to be in a paper. Naturally this level of "enhanced" university tuition is expensive and therefore the university grants should be cut, universities allowed to charge "up to" a trivial level to make up for the greater level of cuts they've suffered and the process is complete.

But this is all for the greater good, university level education should be available for everyone, not just the academically gifted. (While the premise that university level education should be available for everyone that is academically gifted and not just those with the cash to fund their education is a good one, somewhere along the line the entire process has gone horribly, horribly, wrong).

/rant :)

(*) http://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Lie-Statistics-Penguin-Business/dp/0140136290

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Nick Ryan
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French is the official language of the UN. It's used in the public sessions.

However whenever anything useful is discussed, e.g. in the side rooms, it's always in English. Even the French speak English in these side meetings, although they might grumble about it. It's nothing against French as a language, just that when you need to find a common language and the only one in common is English that's what gets spoken.

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It's curtains for you, copper: IBM boffins push the LIGHT FANTASTIC

Nick Ryan
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Re: The real issue is how cheap you can make it

The difference may be trivial but I thought that the wavelength had an effect on the data transferable on fibre therefore four different wavelengths down one fibre would support slightly different throughputs?

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Could you jam optical computers ..

...and if you find yourself with too much black paint you could always paint a ship black. And then the insides black. And then all the controls and screens black. What could possibly go wrong? (Intergalactic rock stars aside of course)

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Silicon versus GaAs

Being a bit behind the head hurty field of nanoscale circuitry... isn't one of the advantages of GaAs that the circuits can be made smaller and use less power than the equivalent silicon based circuitry.

On the other hand, the production techniques for GaAs really aren't anywhere near the level of refinenent of silicon. Possibly because it's more expensive to start off with and doesn't get any cheaper at any point.

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HP haters: Get ready to rage against THE MACHINE 'next year'

Nick Ryan
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Initially I was quite (or very) skeptical when I read about this new computing platform. However the way the design has been rotated around to be memory rather than CPU centric is rather clever and really could lend itself to some computing tasks very well. I suspect that even if it works, at first it will be a very niche product but it should scale down as well as up and a small version of it could also be equally innovative. In some ways systems are getting closer to this with multiple core processors, multiple processors (e.g. one low power, one high power) and general purpose GPU systems with hundreds of parallel processors.

I'd be testing it with DRAM in exactly that way if the core memory tech wasn't ready yet. Good modular design will help the thing in the long run anyway.

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Sysadmins rebel over GUI-free install for Windows Server 2016

Nick Ryan
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Re: If only IBM had included Rexx at the start

Very capable, very extendable and pretty damn simple to use. Pretty simple to expose Rexx interfaces as well in your applications which allows some very clever automation between applications.

These days though it probably feels like it has a few deficiencies compared to other scripting systems.

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Couple sues estate agent who sold them her mum's snake-infested house

Nick Ryan
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Re: Inspections dont work in the UK

Some of us in the UK realized that a while ago and employ a proper structural engineer, the cost is not much more than a bog standard 'survey'

Exactly. I found local surveyors that would deal directly and produce a "limited" guarantee report starting around £800. The "limited" side came from them stating that they would not damage the property while performing the checks but would check everything they could otherwise and clearly state any concerns that they might have if they couldn't check things but had concerns.

Sending somebody into a house you don't own to knock holes in it isn't the most welcome approach. But a good survey will pick up things that while not serious are useful to know anyway, such as misfitting or broken back boxes for electrical sockets. Not a big deal, I could replace those myself with little effort but the kind of thing that's useful to know in advance before you let little children loose.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Inspections dont work in the UK

These homebuyer surveys are utterly useless, the "it's not our fault regardless" disclaimers aside.

When I sold my last house the inspector came up with all kinds of crap for the potential buyer such as "inadequate underfloor ventilation" for a solid floor or "signs of woodworm" where the timbers were around 300 years old and had been pickled in all manner of chemicals on a few recent-ish occasions. When 300 years old, most wood will have some form of "sign of woodworm".

The real gem was the "energy efficiency" savings section of the report that couldn't find any sign of cavity wall insulation for a single brick rendered wall or that replacing the light bulbs with "energy saving" bulbs would save energy where if the inspector knew anything he'd have spotted that there was just a single incandescent bulb on an external security light and every other light in the house was LED.

Luckily the buyer had the sense to run his concerns past me and he personally came and looked at things as well. No 200 year old cottage is going to be perfect or meet the latest new house build standards but that was what they were testing things against.

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Fanbois designing Windows 10 – where's it going to end?

Nick Ryan
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Re: Will it be like my phone?

And have several apps running in the background for no apparent reason or utility (to me).

No, it'll be like previous versions of windows where there will be lots of apps running in the background for no apparent reason or utility (to you).

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Nick Ryan
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Re: A novel idea?

Also, only one of the options can be the default

Which is just the start of the trouble with Microsoft... when some braindead "User eXperience" drone decided that hiding all the keyboard shortcuts by default, enabling intrusive animations(*) and effects by default or at one point (when Active Desktop was the latest things to push), hiding all the bloody desktop icons by default. The particularly dumb stupidity is hiding all the notification area icons by default which when coupled with a retarted timer which starts when the application with a notification area icon first thinks about showing a notification, not when the OS gets round to showing, the notification shows for about 10ms or often just long enough for you to notice it but not to get the mouse there in time and by then the icon has disappeared (because that's "helpful") so you're not even sure which application produced the notification in the first place. Twats.

* I have nothing against animations in a GUI, just so long as they don't make the process of using the interface considerably slower than without them. Little more annoying than having a really fast PC then have the use of it slow to a crawl because every damn window and menu "needs" to animate in and out at an annoyingly slow speed.

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Bank: Without software mojo, Android OEMs are doomed to 'implode'

Nick Ryan
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Re: simple solution

Close, but in my opinion the problem is more likely that Samsung's software is so utterly appalling that it's unmaintainable in any way, shape or form. This isn't just Samsung's take on standard apps (uninstallable), but their drivers and in particular the worst culprit is Kies. There is not a single redeeming component or feature in Kies, the entire experience is painful at best and just flawed or broken as a baseline.

Samsung are / were in an ideal position to supply real quality software for their phones, genuinely improving the stock android experience (but optionally), adding value with their own applications. However instead we have applications that require inexplicable permissions, are uninstallable or unstoppable and other general crud supplied as "system components" where they plainly aren't.

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Hardcore creationist finds 60-million-year-old fossils in backyard ... 'No, it hasn’t changed my mind about the Bible'

Nick Ryan
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Re: Amazing!

...and crocodiles. and sharks. and coelacanths. However these could be explained away as swimming in water to which some great flood would likely not have made the worst difference.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Evidence.

The intriguing thing about the (Western) European recovery was that much of the recovery was fuelled by the rather smarter and more developed Arab states that preserved an enormous amount of ancient knowledge but also continued learning and experimenting as well. For example, we wouldn't have our fabulous cathedrals and other buildings from that time without the Arab knowledge and skills of building.

As for the "Holy Roman Empire"; many of the traditions and customs from it around the Emperor still exist but they are now associated with the Roman Catholic church and the Pope. These are most noticeable in the election of a new pope and the rituals and customs that surround this. Embrace. Extend. Absorb. A pretty traditional business model and it's worked exceptionally well for christianity which is an intriguing mix of a lot of older beliefs.

When it comes to the book of genesis, even I was taught (by a priest) that it was a later book added to the bible and should only be taken figuratively rather than as, erm, "bible"! Which raises quite a few issues with the whole bible... it's meant to be "god's word", except that it's a book written by people for people, translated from language to language which are bad enough. For example have somebody who's half competent with maps draw the progression of the Israelites out of Egypt and you immediate spot the problems - except that these can't be there because the bible is bible and is therefore utterly and totally infallable. And this is before you know about the arguments about which books actually comprise the bible, particularly which books have been removed from the bible and that this was a human act rather than some act of a divine entity. The rejected books of the bible are sometimes quite an intriguing read and it's evident why many have been cut as some of them are frankly batshit insane.

...not sure where the original of this comes from, but: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BssFvtWCMAA1WQ8.jpg

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Don't panic as Server 2003 rushes towards end of life

Nick Ryan
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Re: They can have my 2003 SBS.....

...because the likelihood of being able to successfully upgrade from 2003 SBS to anything else is so close to zero as to be a mere rounding error in infinity.

Luckily I no longer have any involvement in any of the train wrecks that still use 2003 SBS. Don't get me wrong, it was a fantastic value product and while it had some quite lunatic restrictions was still rather well featured. As long as you don't want to upgrade it. Ever.

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Theresa May: Right, THIS time we're getting the Snoopers' Charter in

Nick Ryan
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Re: If you've nothing to hide, you've nothing to fear.

If you truly have nothing to hide, why are you posting as an Anonymous Coward or are you just trolling?

Otherwise, you sir are the problem. Learn history. It all starts with an erosion of civil liberties, government tracking all manner of information about the people and before you know it what starts out innocently becomes a fascist state determined to, oooh, let me think... how about: invade Europe and factory-murder anybody who isn't of the master race, has an inconvenient ethnic background or to their minds not of the correct sexuality.

As for our "friends in Syria" - you're much more likely to be killed in a motor vehicle accident.

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Windows 10 hands on: Build 10074 is for the brave - but it's pretty snazzy

Nick Ryan
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FAIL

Thought I'd give Win10 a look at in a VM just now...

Oh FFS: "Insider Stats" > "0 quests completed", "0 quests completed on this device".

Is this a fucking operating system (preview) or is it some retarded game aimed at tween / teenagers? Did I download and install the wrong ISO from Microsoft?

Other than that, good chunks are similar to Win 8 with items helpfully hidden away, an odd mis-mash of touchscreen friendly and non-touchscreen friendly controls and stupid and annoying sounds and graphical fade transitions when they're not needed and don't enhance anything. In many places MS still seem to have forgotten some of the most basic aspects of good UI design, but it's not as bad as Win 8 where randomly thumbing the screen in the hope that something happened was the design principle of choice.

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You can't keep a Secret and nor can anyone else: the app is closing

Nick Ryan
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Re: So he didn't really expect massive trolling?

New or not, he was utterly, totally delusional and any even vaguely sane person would have accurately predicted that this would happen. Not just him either as the investors must have been braindead when spunking up that amount of cash for this as well.

Even when Internet users are not especially anonymous, when hidden behind the bravado enhancing Internet (i.e. not face to face with somebody else), they will troll, abuse and generally grief others solely because they can. It's a continuation of talking about somebody when they're not there.

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E-voting and the UK election: Pick a lizard, any lizard

Nick Ryan
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Re: Plenty, though, were disillusioned with politics

A friend has a good retort for the "if you didn't vote then you don't have a right to complain" type of comment: "I'd rather vote for somebody that I want in than the one that I least don't want in".

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TURKEY-SIZED 'platypus' T. REX found by kid BAFFLES boffins

Nick Ryan
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Re: Balance

I always understood that if T. Rex ran it would have leant forward and raised it's tail, however I've also read that they may have largely been scavengers or opportunists rather than particularly active hunters. No reason why they wouldn't have been both though.

A more normal posture would likely to have been much more upright, possibly with tail down and legs a bit forward (similar to a kangaroo in some ways) allowing it to bend down and eat things at it's feet.

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Apple Watch HATES tattoos: Inky pink sinks rinky-dink sensor

Nick Ryan
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Without being narky... it probably wasn't tested with tattoos. I would hope that they tested with a wide a range of skin pigmentation and body fat weight ranges as they could, but even though I'm around quite a few folk with tattoos I wouldn't have considered testing directly on a tattoo. From this particular example it would appear to be a specific type of ink that caused the problem rather than any tattoo ink so Apple may have even tested on tattoos.

I'd guess that this will be included in the tests next time around and / or there would be a new option to disable the sensors that no longer work as a result of particular tattoo inks.

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Secondhand Point-o-Sale terminal was horrific security midden

Nick Ryan
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Re: Haven't these people heard of DBAN?

My brother-in-law worked for a company that supplied systems to the MOD, and when a HDD or a software problem surfaced the MOD returned the HDD; Wiped, smashed and shredded. Software issues were quite difficult to resolve apparently.

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