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* Posts by Nick Ryan

1115 posts • joined 10 Apr 2007

LibreOffice 4.0 ships with new features, better looks

Nick Ryan
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That's a very blinkered and crazy point of view.

Libre Office is very good for the vast majority of business users. Why? The vast majority of business users use their entire Microsoft Office suite to:

* write the odd letter, maybe even mail merge

* record a few values in a spreadsheet

While there are a large number of users that use more advanced features and there are a lot of (suicidal) organisations that somehow run their entire operation on Excel Spreadsheets, their number is considerably less than the majority. The majority of business workers do not sit in finance offices juggling Excel or Word macros across multiple documents, they sit in grotty offices using Microsoft Word in place of a type writer.

I like Libre office (and Open Office prior to that), and use Microsoft Office extensively, but what I'd like even more is for Libre Office to be challenging MS Office much closer and forcing Microsoft to actually improve their product rather than just change the user interface skin every few years and somehow make the entire thing larger, slower and more bloated with every release.

The key lock in to the Microsoft Office suite is Microsoft Outlook. Unfortunately despite being awful in a huge number of ways, it's the best email and calendaring client there is.

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The Register: Our all-new app now available for Android

Nick Ryan
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...and there I was thinking that HTML 5 offline storage could be a good solution to reading articles offline rather than (yet another) app.

I'll admit that I haven't tried using this functionality in anger, only in noddy test environments. Apps can do smarter things though, such as fetching content in the background even when the browser is not running, but that tends to upset user's data plans.

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Space station 'naut supplies Reg with overhead snap of Vulture Central

Nick Ryan
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If it's a bog standard camera (or even if it isn't) then they're probably radiation interference. Even a height of 240 miles makes quite a difference to the level of radiation that you're subjected to.

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Kids as young as FIVE need lessons in online safety - NSPCC

Nick Ryan
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Re: 70 per cent more boys had called in about seeing porn online

This reminds of me of hearing about the son of the directors of a company I used to work for. His son was suspended from school for peddling porn. It turns out that his son was videoing the late night trailers for the soft porn cable and satellite channels, putting them all together and duplicating and selling videos of it. Given the soft nature of it all he really wasn't sure whether to be angry about it or proud because of his son's entrepreneurship.

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Nick Ryan
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As far as the end of the road? That's very, very dangerous - there should be a law against that kind of thing. After all there are paedophiles behind every bush and gate down the street so it must be a mercy or arrogant luck that any of the poor innocent children actually make it to the end of the road, let alone back again.

We'll ignore the fact that almost all child molestation is carried out by a close family member of course. It's the exceptional cases that make the news, and often these wind up being a close family friend or family member anyway.

</rant>

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What a Liberty: Virgin Media in buyout talks with telecoms giant

Nick Ryan
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Re: well we can hope

Not forgetting that it's been a VM policy to not hire anyone on first line support who has English as a first language.

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Android gets tipsy on Wine, runs WINDOWS apps

Nick Ryan
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Re: running on a Mac which was itself running an Android emulator

... and the reliability of a Sinclair QL.

No idea about that, I've been waiting since last week for it to boot.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Daniel Palmer

While the emulator is a dog, even the recent versions that run much better than older ones, It's not a good line that it "runs perfectly on my Nexus 1". Runs and runs efficiently are entirely different.

Often I think that developers should be purposefully given slow machines with low resources so they can produce efficient code rather than the monstrous bloated abominations that appear to be "normal" these days.

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Samsung: Never mind Steve Jobs, let's snap off a piece of stylus biz

Nick Ryan
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Re: Round and round....

Why does it have to be so polarised? You can use many tablets with either finger or a pen. Some interactions work best with fingers such as pinch zooming, broad swiping and scrolling however with a pen handwriting recognition and fine selection and interactions work much better. This gives you the choice of using the optimal or your preferred user interface interaction method. We'll see similar arguments whenever voice recognition finally matures and becomes useful.

It's a forward thinking more from Samsung though. Increased usage of stylus inputs could easily happen in the near future and positioning themselves like this is wise.

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RIM ends Reg headline pun filth (and launches two new phones)

Nick Ryan
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Looking just at the supplied picture, subjectively it's definitely not a particularly attractive phone by a long way. However Blackberries have always tended to be a bit more function than form focused anyway so this isn't really surprising and in real life the thing could easily look quite good, marketing shots aren't always that great.

10h talk time? In a modern smart phone? :) What are they thinking?

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Help us out here: What's the POINT of Microsoft Office 2013?

Nick Ryan
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Re: SkyDrive?

@Jason7

Usually it's not a requirement that such a service has to be located in the UK. For appropriate Data Protection cover anywhere in Europe (the EU) is acceptable. Taking data that should be protected out of the EU and into countries that do not have adequate, or any, privacy safeguards is in contravention of the Data Protection Act. This includes storing data in cloud infrastructures or heading off to US organisations that are not specifically registered under the Safe Harbor (sp) act for the distinct and specified purpose required.

I'm in no way affiliated with them, but Wuala provide EU based cloud storage. It's a bit clunky in places but has some good features that are well suited to business as well rather than the complete focus on individual storage that is usually found everywhere else.

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Microsoft tries to sell home Office users on subscription pricing

Nick Ryan
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Re: Never underestimate the IQ of MS Office users

Strange that I'm defending it, but there's nothing "wrong" with PowerPoint , it's a great tool when used correctly.

Unfortunately it's the "used correctly" caveat where 99% of PowerPoint users stumble.

A PowerPoint slide show is not a presentation. A presentation may have a PowerPoint slide show to assist with parts of the presentation, but that is very, very different.

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Nick Ryan
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Stop

Greedy bastards

Are MS trying to kill their joke of a subscription model even before it starts?

£80 per year for a bloated, hard to use (thanks to TIFKAM influence) office suite containing a massive amount of crud that no sane home user is ever likely to want to use? Fine, it can be installed on up to five systems, but how many home users really care about that? To save money most are willing to have it on one or two system and leave the others as they are.

As a generalisation, home users don't care about Outlook, most use webmail these days as online mail services integrate well with mobile phones, attempting to use Outlook effectively ties you to MS mail services of some description. Publisher? Sane professionals don't use it, home users get by with Word. Next they'll be flogging powerpoint to home users... The home users that may want to use much of this software tend to want to use it for business purposes, which if you check the licence terms on this service is prohibited - it's for home, personal use only.

Now if MS were to provide something like a subscription service for just MS Word at £15 per year for home use only then they'd have a massive uptake. Unfortunately the greed has set in and they're more interested in foisting the rest of the MS Office suite at users and trying to get them locked into proprietary non interoperable software packages and systems than providing a good value service for end users.

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Mozilla blocks auto-loading of plug-ins by Firefox

Nick Ryan
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This is new? I've seen this for a while now with Java applets. Made me look twice when I first saw it but a very good idea.

Shame that IE doesn't have anything sensible like this... time to clean up yet another PC infected through a drive by java exploit where the effing Java on the PC can't be updated to the latest version or even have the latest version installed as well, because the corporate Oracle software that requires it is so incompetently written it only works with old, unsupported, versions of Java. The irony of this is not lost :)

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ITU signs off on H.265 video standard

Nick Ryan
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Re: Silly resolution.

Human perception while nominally of quite a low resolution works much more cleverly than a simple "pixels across by pixels down" basis.

When looking at something you eye has a much higher resolution of detail in the centre of your vision, specifically edges, but colour as well and this resolution of detail reduces from the centre of your vision outwards. The edges of your eyesight have much better motion sensing but pretty crap colour (technically none) and little edge detection and our brains combine all the details together with remembered details to come up with what we "see".

To improve our visual definition further our eyes move slightly even when looking at a fixed point. This slight shifting allows the collection of additional image detail far beyond the obvious quality if you merely counted the number of rods and cones in our eyes.

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Star Trek saviour JJ Abrams joins the dark side: Star Wars VII

Nick Ryan
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I'm not going to judge what happens until the film are released and I get to see them. The first three films (IV to VI) were genre changing for what they did although by today's standards they don't look it, the next three films (I-III) were kiddified toy marketing and computer game cash in opportunities made into film so while entertaining enough (sans Ja Ja Binks) they just don't deserve quite such the same place in movie history as the first three.

While I don't particularly like the new Star Trek reboot and it's easy to hate change and difference in something you were brought up with, some of the changes just seemed to be made because it could introduce stupid Earth bound scenes and product placement rather than for any valid plot reason so they just felt very out of place. However, without exception, any time Star Trek goes near the concept of time travel the plots, characters and everything just seem to disappear up themselves in some inane wormhole continuum arsehole implosion and you're left with some special effects and a heavy sense of wtf have I wasted the last X hours watching this?

It'll be interesting to see what happens as while Disney itself has produced some great films recently it's also produced a lot of real dross. Lucas appears to have lost the plot recently in some ways, although how much of that was down to him and how much to the studios (or more accurately, the financiers behind them) would be interesting to know. The combination of what comes out will be interesting all right.

So if they can get quality direction and backing from Disney without it being massively turned into one very long product placement merchandising ploy, have worthwhile actors cast in the film rather than "stars", they keep sodding time travel out of it entirely and stick true enough to the spirit and background of the Star Wars "universe" then I don't see why Abrams couldn't do a good job.

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Don't like your cell network? Legal unlocking ends TONIGHT in US

Nick Ryan
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Re: ...the septics are fond of prosecuting you...

I don't believe that septic used in this way is down to that usage of the word. Instead it's "septic tank, yank" - as in rhyming slang. Although I'm not sure where "yank" originates from...

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Student claims code flaw spotting got him expelled from college

Nick Ryan
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Re: I would imagine...

@Mr. Nobby

I think it's more apt that you do a bit of due diligence and look around the bank before lending them your money. Are there doors and walls, is there some form of security, do the staff walk around in orange jail house suits? :)

Most of the time we rely on blind trust that there's not a wide open door at the back where anybody with a clipboard can walk in and out and access whatever they feel like.

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Microsoft to end Windows 8 discounts on January 31

Nick Ryan
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Re: Shooting themselves in the foot? - yes, by releasing Win 8.

Ignoring the foaming and other flame comments:

Win 7 driver model - each hardware device usually wants a specific driver installing. The Win 7 driver model is far better than previous as it moves the layer that a lot of driver functions execute in. Arguably hardware drivers should operate at the trusted operating level, however in reality there are a lot of very poorly written drivers out there because there are a lot of poor developers and poor emphasis in management above them to invest properly in good practices and resources to test and develop drivers. Poor quality or unreliable drivers directly affect a user's perception of the system, or Operating System as a whole - therefore when a particular device driver crashes then the immediate response is that the "computer" crashed and to blame the visible differentiating part - Windows. MS's shift of function execution mitigates this reliability issue quite a lot and also helps to resolve security issues as poorly written drivers are massive security holes that are just ready to be exploited, and often are. It's only the diversity of drivers (hardware) that has kept this security problem down. As for every hardware device requiring a specific driver, of course it does - there are hundreds of thousands of individual devices that can be plugged into a computer and therefore there are a large number of drivers. While it's true that generic class drivers can be used these do not give good performance and neither are they likely to take full advantage of the device itself.

A poor install model - If Microsoft were to produce an online App repository for Windows (not RT), can you imagine the screams of complaints and anti-trust / anti-competition threats that would result? Now what they should do is to create an App-store repository system that's comes with the Operating System itself and can be configured to point to online, or more accurately networked, App-Stores that are free and available to operate. i.e. a clearly specified client-server system where you could link your system to a company's app-store and get updates and possibly new products from them easily, alternatively a corporate managed app-store where you can install corporate software or paid for packages and the deployment and management of these is automatic. Unfortunately the reality is that most Windows software is extremely poorly written, has ghastly dependencies (a Microsoft afflicted problem) and as a result won't operate too well in an app-store / repository delivery mechanism. This is just the tip of the problem with such Windows app delivery mechanisms.

Needs anti-virus - Whatever OS happened to be used by the majority of users would be targetted for malware. A large ecosystem of systems will produce more vectors of attack and therefore will be more vulnerable. Others OSes have security problems as well, however I will concede that by (mis)design Windows is far more vulnerable than others. It's improving but is hampered by being built on an extremely poor security model to start off with.

Hides file extensions - this is one of the utter stupidities that I agree with, it's a suicidal move and while it does save some problems with inexperienced users accidentally or intentionally changing file extensions, is a crazy thing to do and causes more problems longer term as user's just don't understand that there is a file extension and that it is very important. Other poor defaults such as "hide the fecking notification icons" are another UI stupidity as well as the inane animations that slow the usage of a system down - I don't mind animations and effects, but these shouldn't slow a system down, unfortunately many of the default Windows ones make a reasonable system appear slower than it is rather than adding polish to a system.

Command line - Just use Windows Powershell if you hanker after typing everything on a monochrome screen. It's very useful for automating a lot of tasks. However GUIs were created for a reason, to make systems easier and simpler to interact and manage, don't forget that while some users have a rabid fascination with typing, the majority of users prefer to point (and click). There are some tasks that I find much easier to manage with a command line, others that are much easier with a GUI.

Slashes, forward or back... who cares? Why is one superior to the other? Why don't we just use full stops (periods) to separate directories instead? No wait, that's been done already :) The primitive drive letter system in Windows is more of a problem than slash orientation and even MS have been trying to depracate usage of drive letters for years.

Windows 7 does require a lot of resources to run. It also does more, however I'm definitely not convinced that much of what it does is useful or required and there is a lot of unneccesary bloat, which is very bad in an Operating System. See the point above about drivers though and their general quality, or lack of. It doesn't run only on Intel - it runs on x86/x64 and even then only newer versions of these. It is very hard to track driver resource usage as for efficiency reasons they aren't monitored, so when your system is running like a slug nailed to the floor and yet the CPU is shown as 99% idle this is usually the reason. Or software services running at driver level to circumvent security to allow automatic updates to software. Not monitoring of driver performance isn't unique to Windows either.

File system - the Windows file system (NTFS version whatever, at least the more recent revisions), are not poor. They're not a proper journalled file system yet (grrr), but reasonable. The time to copy or manipulate files is usually down to the nonsense that the Windows Shell (explorer) inflicts on the process combined with Anti Virus and Anti-Malware applications getting involved as well, although most of the slowness is at the Shell level. Copy or manipulate the files using command line or other file manipulation tools and the difference is very noticeable.

Directory layout? You are kidding aren't you? /home/<user> is the same as \users\<user>. Applications go in one place, data in another, settings in another and user files somewhere else. Be careful, your demand to work straight of C:\ sounds like the demand of idiotic Windows developers who seem to think that their application is so different and special that it needs all of the files in one special location for it and the program files, data files and settings (and log) files all need to be in the same writable location. Nothing like making malware's job easy for it - programs files should be read-only at all times except when an installer is writing or updating the files.

Closed source hampering debugging? Have you no ideal how to use a debugger? I can remotely debug a Windows system session if I feel like, usually I tend to stick with local debugging though. You shouldn't need to debug against windows code even when writing drivers if you stick to the correct, documented interfaces and diligently check and manage algorithm inputs and outputs as you should be doing. The windows driver API may not be the most accessible beast to read, but it is clear.

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Pubic louse falls victim to eager Brazilian strippers

Nick Ryan
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Oddly, not an entirely original solution. The ancient Egyptians dealt with lice in a very similar way.

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Viruses infect vital control systems at TWO US power stations

Nick Ryan
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Re: I'll bet ....

* By restricted systems I mean proper control systems such as PLCs, not PCs.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: I'll bet ....

The actual real time control systems will use dedicated systems for the job. These are restricted systems and they do what the are designed to do and generally nothing more.

The management systems, on the other hand, are often Windows systems. This makes the development task of producing a system than can collate figures, poke configuration changes onto control systems, generate reports and all the normal stuff that people, or more accurately end users and managers, need to see feasible. In any properly designed system the actual operation side is independent of these management systems.

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Nick Ryan
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FAIL

Oh FFS, just how incompetent do they have to be. Turn off, disable and kill auto-run with prejudice. It's not an especially difficult concept to grasp, but so many industrial control systems still have it enabled.

I'll admit that MS have made it moronically hard to fully disable unless XP SP3 is installed along with one or more updates, prior to that turning it off didn't actually turn the fecking thing off completely. After all, MS knows best on how to propagate viruses easily and what harm can there be from automatically running executable files from arbitrary removable devices?

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Bubble baron treats Space Station crew to blowup model

Nick Ryan
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It all depends on your idea of a small marble :)

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Nick Ryan
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From what I understand and remember of the design, the walls of the inflatable structure are a multiple layer compartmentalised layout. The flexibility will absorb much of the impact of a small object, and the multiple layered walls are designed, similar to kevlar or passive reactive armour, to reduce and / or deflect the impact of any hit.

The general consensus I've heard is that they're just as safe as standard rigid structures in space, but have a far superior weight to volume ratio.

Current rigid space habitats are very susceptible to orbital hits and when an object the size of a small marble is travelling at 10-30k kph it really doesn't make much difference what the structure is made of, it's more important what the object is made of. To reduce the chance of serious damage there is usually a forward facing (orbital direction) lump of material to get in the way, often a thick part of something that was being sent up anyway. Small objects that can be vaporised, (ice, etc) can be effectively protected against using a multiple layer shield where the outer layer forces the object to vaporise, a gap or filling material slows down the resultant smaller object (droplets) and an inner layer absorbs the impact relatively unscathed.

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Stroppy investor to Xyratex: Pah... research! Who spends money on THAT?

Nick Ryan
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Re: its worth remembering......

Yes, for all his detractors and everything else - he did a good job.

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Review: Google Nexus 4

Nick Ryan
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Re: Wot, no score?

Because the El Reg scoring system is unable to cope with anything other than 85%. ?

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Review: HP ENVY x2 Windows 8 convertible

Nick Ryan
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"Despite its size, the display presents a conventional Ultrabook resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels"

Or translated: Yet another shit resolution laptop / notebook / ultrabook.

Aside from that, as most of the processing gubbins and a good chunk of the battery if not all of it must be mounted behind the display, how does effect the thing's centre of gravity when in use as a laptop?

I'd hope that the keyboard base would have batteries in it as well, as that's a good opportunity to add them rather than running the keyboard as a glorified docking station, but even with that there should be a lot of weight in the screen compared to the base of a more traditional device and when used on a lap or perched in other more precarious locations, they're not likely to be held perfectly flat.

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Toy train company bids for West Coast Mainline

Nick Ryan
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Coat

Re: Ironic

My daughter currently has several rigidly attached bogeys.

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Lenovo, EA, Intel unite to DESTROY our childhood memories

Nick Ryan
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The computer version is awful though... effing annoying animations everywhere for absolutely no reason and AI players that cheat like buggers. Kids get a lot out of playing the board game, tedious as it often is... there's all the counting skills involved and the very basic tactics so it's quite an accessible game.

Also, don't play "through the ages"... play "Civilisation" or "History of the World" (preferably the tea-towel edition) instead.

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Intel bets the farm on touch-enabled 'convertible and detachable' Ultrabooks

Nick Ryan
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Re: Winning the battle...

ARM chips aren't slouches performance wise - the instruction set is very neat and efficient compared to x86. However Intel have more performance enhancement tricks and techniques in place in their chips and these do make a difference but again, this depends on the actual processor usage and the compiler that was used to generate the code. While later ARM chips have some of these chip based enhancements in place there are various patent and power issues that are involved that slow the implementation of these.

Optimising compiler generated code for the abhorrent mess of the x86 instruction set is quite different to ARM optimisation and the x86 compilers, through more requirements for it both time and deployment wise, are generally better optimised compared to ARM compilers. This should even out in time though.

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Twin brothers nabbed for scrap over sex with 'shared' girlfriend

Nick Ryan
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Paternity

Would be a hell of an interesting paternity test if it every came to it...

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USB 3.0 speed to DOUBLE in 2013

Nick Ryan
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WTF?

Re: The name

Wow... that's one of the most ridiculous page of marketing techno babble about a data cable that I've ever seen.

All that bullshit to carry digitally encoded audio down a data cable where the basic USB v1.0 spec has more than enough bandwidth to effortlessly transfer HD audio even with heavy error correction and with no perceivable impact to the quality of the sound.

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Minicam movie pirate gets record-breaking five years in prison

Nick Ryan
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Stop

Not just movies

In the (UK) press the other day there were articles about how the rise in digital downloads, both legal and not, when compared to the reduction in CD sales is virtual proof that illegal downloads are crippling the music industry.

No mention that we're in an effing recession, transport (rail and petrol) prices are shooting up massively above inflation and along with rising food and fuel bills a lot of people have better things to spend money on than overpriced and, subjectively, all too often poor quality music.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Shirley

The best quality cinema copies (i.e. before release on DVD/BD) are the promo copies of the films. It took them a while but the distributors are now quite good at extensively water marking in various methods these films so they know exactly where the film leaked.

Unfortunately for the movie industry, many leaks are before this stage where the watermarks are applied and therefore can only be leaked by insiders.

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MEGAGRAPH: 1983's UK home computer chart toppers

Nick Ryan
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Re: Funny...

Wrong. The Commodore 64 did have 64k of RAM. If you knew what you were doing you could access all of it somehow, but as many processor functions were mapped into RAM you had to be careful.

What it did have though, was two 8k ROMs mapped into a couple of high segments of this memory, the memory in these was usable if you didn't want to use the functions available in the BASIC ROM or the SYSTEM ROM as you could switch either of both of these ROMs out and access the RAM "underneath". The 38911 (from memory, so probably wrong) bytes free message when the system initially starts is the amount of free, contiguous, bytes available to Commodore (Microsoft) Basic when storing programs and basic data. Due to where the ROM images were mapped in memory space and the default display memory mapping the largest available contiguous RAM block for Basic to use was much smaller than it could have been. The non-contiguous memory was still usable by Basic, just not directly. For example it was often used to store data, graphics or to store assembly / machine code.

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Nick Ryan
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With a bit of luck this article and graph can be flung at some of the writers here at El Reg who seem intent to rewrite history with Apple being in any way relevant at this time. Sure, the IIe was a little more popular in the US but why attempt to use the US figures when talking about Global, European and in particular UK markets at the time?

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Ever had to register to buy online - and been PELTED with SPAM?

Nick Ryan
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I do the same, and these customised to each company email addresses give you a nice big fat stick to hit them with when they, inevitably, deny either selling or giving away your email address or having pathetic security.

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Do users have enough power?

Nick Ryan
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They don't need more power

Give users more power and they'll royally screw things up and then place the blame on anything but themselves and the cost to fix it, and the incumbent delays this causes to other tasks, will never be assigned to the user.

For example, sharepoint (an unmitigated POS at the best of times), has a security scheme that makes the standard Windows file and print security look sensible. Give users uncontrolled access to this and you'll be tracking access problems for weeks.

Likewise, give users full access to file security and you'll get endless problems relating to rights propagation, or rights not propagating. This is before the problem of share level rights overriding but not being overlaid in the security inspector and on some occasions propagating and others not.

These are just two examples of common technologies in place. Yes, MS could attempt to fix the abortive mess they created in the first place, but doing so would break millions of existing installations. MS may like to regularly fuck up the User Interface of systems but even they're not as stupid to make these changes.

The question is really what do users actually need? They don't need more power - it'll lead to problems. But the answer is partly in the question... "need". Needs change and a good IT department should be responsive and try to regularly re-assess users needs and promote a culture where users are able to suggest solutions and where the IT staff have the people skills to resolve what the users actually need, communicate with the user in sensible language and look for the best way forward.

Alternatively a snake-oil salesman can sell you BYOD.

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Cameron defends U-turn on web filth ban, leaves filtering to parents

Nick Ryan
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Ah yes filtering...

An ISP level block will never work:

* Too many false positives, far too many utterly safe sites blocked.

* Way too many false negatives (failure to block). I think the stat is that it would only block 20% of inappropriate content.

* What the hell is inappropriate content? I'd rather block graphic pictures of murder and shootings (which are OK in the US) and keep the more natural erotic imagery. Violence is generally considered very harmful (except by the US), erotica is generally considered not considered harmful (except by the US and control freak religious states). The important word here is "generally", what's OK for one child or one instance may not be the same for another.

* The age of a child dictates what is inappropriate. When a child is approaching puberty and beyond they really should be getting to see the world as it is - which is full of violence and sex. They wouldn't exist if it wasn't for sex and the modern "Western" world is far from angelic when it comes to violence now, let alone in the last 200 years or even within living memory of a lot of adults or the oil driven violence and conflicts. A child needs to learn about the world, not be so blinkered and protected from it that they start life as completely clueless, ignorant, useless adults.

* In a home there are people of different ages, an ISP block will hit them all. What's OK for the parents will not be OK for teenagers, what's OK for teenagers may not be OK for younger children.

* Parents should just learn to ****ing be parents. Parenting is not about dumping children in front of a television to be advertised at (often sexualised advertising, but largely crass basic mind control merchandising), neither is it about dumping them in front an Internet connection and hoping for the best. Parenting is about actively bringing up your children, having relationships with them (hahaha, teenagers) and being there for them, to lead by example and to bring them up to be well rounded, thinking individuals. Guess what? Teach children that parenting is something that you can do by being lazy and "trusting" it to the state, and see how quickly they'll have children of their own and how they deal with that.

* Children will find access to inappropriate (see above) content somehow - either through alternative venues, through lapses in filtering or through sites that find a way past the filters.

</rant>

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Dell slurps BYOD protector firm

Nick Ryan
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Sounds like whoever started Credant had his crystal ball out and did a good job of predicting the data management mess that mobile devices and storage would lead to. I don't know how good their products are and this El Reg advertorial isn't likely to say anything bad about their products but 11 years is a long enough time to get it right.

Shame I never thought of it so early myself, let alone when I first got my hands on "mobile" laptop devices. The first one I used was an orange plasma screen affair that produced so much heat you could cook dinner on it. You also needed to be very quick when unplugging it from one mains power socket to plug into another...

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Windows Vista woes killed MS Pinball

Nick Ryan
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Re: Decision making

Probably very true.

It's a fairly good marketing approach as well: MS Pinball was accessible to a lot of people in a similar way to which MS Solitaire is, just not quite such a wide audience (you can sneakily play solitaire in the office, you can't do that with pinball). On the other hand it had a lot more wow factor to it which would appeal more to a slightly younger audience.

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Nick Ryan
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I don't care.

Windows versions went down hill when they stopped supplying Tetris as part of the Operating System.

Oooh... a game as part of the OS? Hmmm... :)

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Grinchy Google to shut down another batch of services

Nick Ryan
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Errr... read the article.

They're not turning off ActiveSync, they're turning off the link between Exchange Servers and Gmail.

You can still use the proprietry ActiveSync connection to connect to Exchange servers

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NASA reveals secrets of Curiosity’s selfies

Nick Ryan
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The lab based self portrait is good for working out the scale of the thing. Putting it into proper context with objects we see and use day-to-day lends a good sense of scale.

Obviously we always need some sex interest in these pictures... it is Friday after all.

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It pays to study the habits of your email users

Nick Ryan
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Re: Filing

I had a very similar experience a few years back. Email was set to empty anything from the deleted items folder after 7 days (or something like that).

I had to demonstrate, physically, to the head of admin that storing stuff in the bin was a really stupid thing to do, naturally she wanted the purge process disabled just for her. I took physical paperwork from her desk, put it in her bin and asked her if she expected it to be there in the morning. She stopped filing mail in her deleted items folder very quickly.

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Google maps app is BACK on iPhones, fanbois spared death

Nick Ryan
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Re: Your move apple...

Who knows? The best result would be that Apple improve their offering considerably, which given the low starting point isn't hard, and this drives Google to improve Google Nav as well.

Unfortunately doubtless there'll be usual bull shit of US software patents and other nonsense so they can't do this and will instead fight over relatively meaningless UI features and functions that are available everywhere else and have existed as extensive prior art.

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Linux kernel dumps 386 chip support

Nick Ryan
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DX vs SX

IIRC the 386 DX flew... the 386 SX wasn't really much faster than the 286 clock for clock, but could usually be found at slightly higher clock speeds. Pretty sure it wasn't just the lack of an integrated maths co-processor either.

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Samsung's smart TVs 'wide open' to exploits

Nick Ryan
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Luckily the number of such "smart" TVs in use is quite low compared to any other target. Also lucky is that the browsing experience is so awful that most users wouldn't intentionally use them to browse the web.

Unfortunately this leaves those that will typically have no clue about security, updates or online common sense...

Doesn't explain piss poor security. Or piss poor UIs though. When "smart" TVs actually start to produce a usable UI then this will become a much more serious problem.

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UK climate expert warns of 3-5 degree warmer world by 2100

Nick Ryan
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Re: Another Scientist suffering from TB

The sun warms our planet. Very astute of you, however it's the level to which the sun's warmth is retained that is key, not whether or not the sun shines.

Carbon emissions have been proved, repeatedly, to affect the climate. The exact extent of the effect is the problem that is very hard to model and with such long term ecosystems of enormous complexity, the only 100% accurate method is to sample everything for 100 years and then look back on the results. By then it's too late to do anything to prevent any unwanted changes during these 100 years of course. To make it harder, because the planetary ecosystem is so vast and diverse, even this would be unlikely to provide an accurate prediction of the next 100 years because new processes and feedback loops and cycles could come into play or existing ones could change relative importance due to interactions with other factors. So basically, it's an utter bastard to model and predict 100 years into the future, but what is known and proved is that there is something wrong, and this is likely to be disastrous for a lot of the life on the planet, including ourselves. The extent to which our reckless pollution of the planet is causing these changes directly and to what extent these changes are part of the planet's natural cycles is what is up for debate. We've already fucked the planet's nitrogen cycle through dumping excess nitrogen into the cycle, we're getting close to fucking up the carbon cycle as well through the same. The exact short and long term effects of knackering these important cycles is still unknown but it's unlikely to be good.

Carbon trading is a scam... now this is utterly correct. It's a banker / politicians "solution" while not solving anything whatsoever.

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