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* Posts by Nick Ryan

1364 posts • joined 10 Apr 2007

Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid: Eco, economy and diesel power

Nick Ryan
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Diesel Electric

What's happened to the diesel electric cars, not "hybrid" that were predicted?

i.e. Where a (small) diesel engine running at a largely fixed RPM (and, IIRC, therefore rather more efficient, although I believe a set of efficient ranges were required) generates electricity to power the electric drive motors.

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'But we like 1 Direction!' Rock gods The Who fend off teen Twitter hate mob

Nick Ryan
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Coat

I have a nasty habit of usually reading it as "1 dimensional" or similar. :)

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Microsoft DMCA takedown requests targeting OpenOffice

Nick Ryan
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Joke

Re: That probably involves tuning whatever 'bot it uses

They've limited it to our "nearest and dearest"?

That's an improvement... shows that Microsoft is listening to its customers...

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Superstar cluster-Zuck as Facebook tries out celeb-only edition

Nick Ryan
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Re: Melanie Sykes

Was it Boddies that also had the boyfriend cleaning the house by licking up the spillages?

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Peak Apple: Samsung hits DOUBLE the market share of iPhones

Nick Ryan
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Re: re: ALL FACTS ARE GOOD.

Only two international manufacturers profit from smartphones. Apple and Samsung. Apple make quite a lot more by way of profit. All the other international Android device manufacturers - about 5% of total market profits ! (though note: there are some new and very exciting Chinese manufacturers, who have taken a fork of Android and will probably market internationally soon).

You are trying to claim that Lenovo, HTC, etc don't make a profit from their smartphones? While their market shares may be smaller than Apple and Sansumg, they still sell a lot of units at fair prices yet you claim that "it's a fact" that they don't profit? Back this up with their financial reports.

Revenues from Android remains lower for app developers - there are some exceptions of course, but they are few and far between.

This is true, but it is steadily improving. While Android (Google Play Store) prices have been necessarily lower, in part due to competition as it's easier/cheaper to compete on the Google Play Store there is more acceptance of paying for content as the content is getting better.

Cost of development for Android, for those wishing to address the "full and larger market" is much higher than for iOS - for example the BBC has to spend approximately 3 times the amount developing for Android as for iOS.

This says more about the BBC, who excel at idiotic inefficiency, than Android vs iOS development. As another poster has already noted, it is much harder to develop iOS applications efficiently for multiple resolutions compared to Android where this requirement and the supporting toolkit has been in place from the start.

teenagers in the US express the desire to buy iPhones than Android phones, even though more are now purchasing Android phones because they can't afford iPhones.

You've partly answered this already in your sentence. People, especially impressionable teenagers, aspire to what is just out of reach - this is a normal fact of life. The better question is to look at the appropriate market group that has the most disposable income, the "20-something" crowd. This group are able to sign mobile contracts on their own behalf, are usually a little more financially astute than teenagers are.

Significantly more Android users plan to switch to using iOS than iOS users want to switch to using Android (even Android Authority ran a piece detailing this is the case).

Depending on the exactly how this is reported, this is not surprising. Firstly, there are considerably more Android users than iOS therefore more are likely to want to switch (numbers vs percentage). Secondly, there are a lot of awful Android phone models out there compared to Apple's relatively low number of devices and (generally) good design and build.

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'Abel, you're fired!' Hear AOL supremo axe exec during conference call

Nick Ryan
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That would explain why I've never heard if it... it's a US only "social" site that's largely redundant already and even my give-a-care knowledge of US states, seems to be missing a few from their home page "Browse by state" list.

This is aside from a long practiced intentional blindness to anything with "AOL" anywhere near it. :)

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Magnets too slow for disk writes? Use lasers

Nick Ryan
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Re: LASER not laser

Except when you spell out what L.A.S.E.R. is / was meant to represent: Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Which in physics terms is far from ideal as "Light" isn't a specific physics term in general use and there's definitely no amplification going on.

"Controlled energy (wavelength) photon emission alignment through the repeated reflection from mirror to mirror until the photons that escape out are largely going in the same direction" isn't quite so catchy though. [Yes, I know this isn't entirely accurate but it's close enough]

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Netflix dares UK freetards: Watch new Breaking Bad NOW or torrent it?

Nick Ryan
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Joke

I think a correction is due here... your wife has had sex at least twice. No evidence to show that you had anything to do with it :)

I agree, however anime doe have have an appalling sterotypical image. Often not helped by those that are obsessed with it but the anime medium does lend itself to some very diverse environments and effects to back up the plots and scenes. While this may seem odd, it does compare well to many modern "main stream" movies which have spent tens of millions on effects and "name" actors but entirely forgot about the plot.

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Despite Microsoft Surface RT debacle, second-gen model in the works

Nick Ryan
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Stop

Re: Really?

WTF?

Microsoft Outlook is an Application. What kind if fucktard marketing gimboid thinks that it should be restricted to a "second generation device". Why not release a full version of it for the current device?

On the other hand as the core code (a.k.a. bugs that have been around for years and still not fixed) is doubtless a ghastly spaghetti mess of undocumented function calls and crafted insanity it may take them a few years to get it to compile on a different platform.

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Xbox One users will have to pay extra for Skype and gamer-gratifying DVR

Nick Ryan
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Re: Centre of the Living Room?

It's not just that customers are thought of as being morons... it's that they're simultaneously being thought of as bovine financial assets.

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BYOD for our staff? 'Career limiting' move, says Dell exec

Nick Ryan
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BYOD is seen as a massive headache for IT directors but something that is desired by some in the workforce, particularly younger folk.

Just not so desired by the "younger folk" when they realise that they'd have to fork out for the entire price of the hardware and software up front when they start their job and when it fails they're on their own. And even with all that they either have to run their system as a pimped up dumb terminal or have a suite of restrictive software sitting on it instead.

A poll of 232 IT managers by Insight last autumn revealed that nearly four-fifths of those surveyed did not plan to implement a BYOD strategy despite perceived productivity gains.

Now here is sense... where nearly 4/5 of them see through BYOD (for computers>) as nothing but a sales ploy for the vendors punting the systems to manage BYOD. As for the perceived productivity gains... much more can be achieved through running a responsive and pro-active IT department than attempting to join an industry inflicted fad.

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They don't recognise us as HUMAN: Disability groups want CAPTCHAs killed

Nick Ryan
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Re: I'm all for choice...

These are standard alternatives, however do have problems:

* Math's questions can be bot-automated. It only takes a simple parser and they'll have the answer

* General knowledge questions are very region and language specific. Want to have an international website? Then forget it.

* Shapes and colours don't work for the visually impaired or just the colour blind.

I wish I could think of a proper solution to the captcha problem but, the best solutions will be multi-layered and will need to adapt regularly in a kind of "arms race" with the spam bot engines... very much like viruses and anti-virus software. That's not a fun prospect.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: From the Department of The Bleedin Fekkin Obvious Department...

There are a couple of further problems:

Abuse of the email verification system to abuse mailboxes - sending thousands of non-wanted "confirmation" emails from your domain is a quick route to be marked as a spam source. Similarly receiving hundreds of these things would quickly annoy any recipient.

Secondly... what about the case where it's not a registration link? How about where you're just sending a message or reply on a website? Do you really want the hassle of having to check your inbox for a message, that is likely filed under junk, just to send a two line reply to a post or message?

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Microsoft Surface sales numbers revealed as SHOCKINGLY HIDEOUS

Nick Ryan
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Coffee/keyboard

@AC 31st July 2013 07:29 GMT

"Therefore I think Microsoft should focus on full blown Windows tablets with it's inherent security / performance / functionality advantages over IOS and Android"

You owe me a new keyboard. I wish there was a way to filter out obvious trolls / shills...

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Lingering fingerprint fingering fingered in iOS 7 for NEW iPHONE

Nick Ryan
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I think that was one of the hardest to read titles I've come across for a while... and I'm not going to even try to read it fast repeatedly! :)

Interesting note about holding the device with left or right hand and reflecting that on a help screen. I haven't spotted these devices being sensitive to handedness, is this something new or something I just haven't spotted?

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Bugs in beta weather model used to trash climate science

Nick Ryan
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Cloud Computing...

Given the interesting posts here about testing of different systems when switching (i.e. upgrading) from one supercomputer system to another... I wonder how this kind of effect will show itself in "cloud computing".

When you a run a cloud process on one day and then run the same cloud process on another, what are the chances of you using the same actual hardware? Probably quite slim, therefore like in this situation you could see differing results due to differing underlying systems.

Most of us would never run anything that requires that level of precision, but some people are sure to.

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Russia's post-Snowden spooks have not reverted to type

Nick Ryan
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While it is possible (but extremely unpleasant) to fully audit an operating system and the tools to build (compile) it... it is effectively impossible to audit the hardware that is in place.

Take a network card / chip - it will be comparatively easy for the circuitry in that to have its own logic where instead of just dispatching the packets that the overlying operating system sends, it also copies contents of memory (a network card will have Direct Memory Access and is considered a trusted device) it processes them and sends them onto another destination as well. The operating system would never know because the network card would behave exactly as it should.

Of course this is a simplistic example, an external, trusted (hahaha) device could monitor the network traffic. A much more viable alternative is a keyboard that records keystrokes within the chip in the keyboard itself and these keystrokes can be later downloaded, replayed or depending on how clever you are with antennas, wirelessly broadcast them. This functionality already exists with USB dongles inserted between keyboards and computers.

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New in Android 4.3: At last we get a grip on privacy-invading crApps

Nick Ryan
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Re: Finall

Cyanogen, or a bundled app that's used with it, has the capability to provide faked responses to apps that do not behave well when they cannot get their desired access.

Worked very nicely from what I hear and the limited time I played with it.

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Microsoft offers IE 11 preview for Windows 7 ... but not Windows 8

Nick Ryan
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Re: Redesigned developer tools.

oooh... that does look like it's definitely approaching usefulness.

While these days Firefox is a bit of a memory hog and unstable at times, the developer tools (FireBug, DomInspector, Web Developer) make it invaluable.

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'First' 3D-printed rifle's barrel splits after single shot

Nick Ryan
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Two things are going on, thermal and physical shock. Both of which would be difficult to engineer with plastics.

Neither are particularly difficult to engineer with "modern" plastics. However engineering for such with the types of plastics that 3d printers use, now that's entirely different problem...

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ISPs: Relax. Blocking smut online WON'T really work

Nick Ryan
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WTF?

Re: Job title

@Captain Underpants

Unfortunately far too true. There are steadily less and less support for parents (and teachers for that matter) when it comes to bringing up (educating) children.

It's a ludicrous situation that many women (or to be PC, either parent) with children are working to earn money to pay somebody else to look after their children, yet after a full day's work will often see very little change out of £5 when the costs and fees are taken into account. Is this helpful? Like hell it is, but women with children are pressured into working as that is what modern society dictates and if they don't then they're often stuck at home with few resources or assistance. Local groups and support networks help considerably, but with the growing litigation society, bureaucracy and these services being seen as easy cost savings for local councils mired in inefficiency and waste there are less and less of these.

But it is, of course, much more important to waste millions on high profile projects that throw money at the usual suspects, usually never work (for reasons of incompetence at all levels) and deliver no real benefits but tick the box about "having done something"... than invest in and promote ground level support that is harder or even impossible to quantify and therefore justify.

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Divers nearly DEVOURED by HUNGRY SEA BEASTS

Nick Ryan
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Re: Whales knew they were there ...

"In sonar, you are translucent".

This seems to defy all common sense, and possibly a few laws of physics as well. Do you have any reports or evidence of this?

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SIM crypto CRACKED by a SINGLE text, mobes stuffed with spyware

Nick Ryan
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Re: Like I said a million times.

...or the other thought-provoking response to "I have nothing to hide"... "do you have curtains?" :)

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Curiosity team: Massive collision may have killed Red Planet

Nick Ryan
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I'm pretty sure that's the case as well.

As In understand it, the large size of the these ancient critters was due to there being a rather higher oxygen content which allowed the invertebrates to grow bigger. Without lungs there is only a maximum size/area that can be adequately supported through surface oxygen absorption.

Which is why we don't have 1.2m wide dragon flies* or 5m long centipedes* to deal with. * or modern equivalents.

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Nick Ryan
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do you know what "solar wind" actually is?

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Nick Ryan
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IIRC some of the recent theories on the Earth and Moon, there was one body initially and something comparatively large smacked into it, possibly shattering and then leaving or possibly merging with the resultant mess. In the debris that was left the Earth reformed out of the larger set of debris and the moon formed from the accretion(?) disk.

It's a neat solution to the problem of why Earth has such an enormous satellite and as I understand it, the chemical make up of both bodies does lend some support to it.

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

Nick Ryan
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Re: Netware 3.11 - the good old days...

Yes there was. Although it's such a long time ago that I can't remember what the pre-requisites for this were, but it was an amazingly useful feature and saved a lot of blushes.

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Nick Ryan
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There were many good things about Netware.

File and directory security wasn't entirely fubar'd... the Windows security model, even now, is still messed up entirely and is not as capable or effective as what was available on Netware. Access rights were centrally stored and administered which was a huge advantage when managing accounts as it was possible to see what rights a user had without having to check every single device and share somewhere on the network to see what arbitrary rights had been assigned there. Not that this model scales overly well but it was a lot easier to manage and more transparent.

Want to prevent a user from moving a directory? Easy with Netware, "impossible" with Windows... how many and how often are file shares dragged from one location to another and "lost"?

From my point, it all started to go wrong with Netware 5 and the continued fragmentation of the user interface... some tasks could only be done on the server on it's awful and extremely inefficient GUI, some on "legacy" client tools and others through using the text based interface. It's implementation of TCP/IP was massively improved but that didn't make it more of a joy to confgure.

I suppose the active changes that Microsoft made to continually break the Netware client and removing the login / authentication plugins forcing Novell to work around things all the time couldn't have helped either.

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Unreal: Epic’s would-be Doom... er... Quake killer

Nick Ryan
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Descent

Descent: Was this the first one that removed the horizontal floor and vertical wall "restriction" that seemed to be a feature of the earlier games?

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Cubesats to go interplanetary with tiny plasma drives

Nick Ryan
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Re: @Nick Ryan

Thanks. I'm obviously rather behind the times on satellite transmission comms like ribbon aerials, but I have no need other than an interest to be up to date on these things. And a ribbon aerial (now I've looked them up) would fit nicely with the cube sat scheme.

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Nick Ryan
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I was wondering about the communication problem as well.

Generally speaking, it would have to be a dish style communications method, as it's much more efficient to only transmit in the direction you want it to be received in. However the smaller the dish (generally the tighter the "beam" as a result and the lower tolerances) the more accurate the direction needs to be to hit the target. I believe this is similar to the problem where smaller consumer satellite dishes have to be more accurately aligned.

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Why I'm sick of the new 'digital divide' between SMEs and the big boys

Nick Ryan
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Re: Could not agree more

Thank you for remembering that it's really about what customers NEED.

Far too often I've been given what a customer wants, and spent (a relatively) a long time with them separating their requirements from their chosen solutions to get to the bottom of what they actually need. Usually they've been suckered by promises of automation solution nirvana (MS, IBM, Oracle, etc... they're all very guilty of this) where they lose sight of what they need. I've only ever once come across a client that where I've neatly redefined it like this didn't they appreciate the distinction... maybe I've been lucky or it's the way I've pitched it.

On a few occasions I've had to challenge the customer to run their newly designed processes, that they want to automate, on paper first. While this may sound odd I've found that if a relatively small company can't run their new (basic) processes on paper, there's usually no hope of them ever running them on a computer system either. Naturally testing a scheme, even on paper, really shakes down requirements as well.

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Ubuntu 13.10 to ship with Mir instead of X

Nick Ryan
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Re: Linux Graphics... is rubbish

To add to the optimisation talk... when you establish an OpenGL context in Linux it can be linked directly to the display device and not go through X. It's not a very portable solution though.

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STEVE BALLMER KILLS WINDOWS

Nick Ryan
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Re: Stack ranking.

That's one of the biggest things that's still killing MS from inside.

...and in the news recently they want to introduce a similar scheme for our Civil Servants.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: BS Corporate marketing language

I wish I could find it, but there was some staggering research into processing politicians' speeches and deriving them down to just what, if anything, meaningful was said. The same would apply here and would probably produce a similar result to your distillation of marketing BS words.

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Oh please, PLEASE bring back Xbox One's hated DRM - say Xbox loyalists

Nick Ryan
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MS' XBOX One plans would have worked and worked quite well and been reasonably fair... but only if the games were released at a reasonable prince taking into account the restrictions. In my mind that would have been 20% or so of the current sales prices of console games.

However we all know that this would never happen, particularly with the studios carefully telling us how many 10's of millions of $ it takes to make a current hit clone / sequel / cut-scene-delivery-mechanism. There is also the problem that the console hardware is usually loss-leading and the recovery is made in the sales price of the games.

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Microsoft waves goodbye to Small Business Server

Nick Ryan
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This is a bit of a mixed thing really. On one hand, few things cause more problems than the "special" configurations that were foisted by default on users of Small Business Servers however the cost saving of the Small Business Server bundle compared to the alternatives made them a good solution.

No surprise that MS want to force everything possible onto Sharepoint (they've been beating this drum for years) and their cloud or, more accurately, their subscription offerings.

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EU chucks €18m at research for stupidly fast networks

Nick Ryan
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This isn't so much the increase in speed for a discrete user's connection, this is backbone technology.

i.e. You're in a street with 150 houses, 1/3 of which have an active Internet connection at 20Mb/s. Just that one street is looking at a peak throughput of 50 x 20Mb/s (4000 Mb/s). This street is neighboured to 9 other similar streets (10 x 4000Mb/s = 40,000Mb/s). This traffic has to get in and out of this neighbourhood, how many similar neighbourhoods are bundled together before the traffic starts diverging?

Obviously, these are simple peak throughput examples, but when you start to use Video on Demand services these start chewing through inordinate bandwidth when taken in just a small area.

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Love in an elevator.... testing mast: The National Lift Tower

Nick Ryan
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Re: Excellent Stuff!

Yep. And before this article I didn't even consider how lifts and lift designs were tested. Obvious sense that they are and should be, but it's nice to see it so well (and visibly) demonstrated.

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The future of cinema and TV: It’s game over for the hi-res hype

Nick Ryan
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Re: Holy shit ...

Hahahaha.. That's almost a utterly messed up as the monster cables website.

So far the gem of the site has to be the "13 amp - High Performance Hi-Fi Fuses"... from only £34.94.

And the inevitable techno-babble bullshit: High performance fuses will protect the circuit but the integrety of the supply line is vastly upgraded, Like a good power cable allow 50+ hours to bed in.

I'm also going to have to have serious words with my "bad" power cables that have a very nasty habit of obeying the laws of physics (and sense) and tend to work straight away without requiring 50+ hours to start to work properly.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: orly

Just to add to the flickering (light) topic here... human eyes have considerably more movement sensors on the periphery than in the centre, interesting balanced by having almost no colour sensors in the periphery where we see in monochrome and the brain fills in the detail with what it remembers (or guesses from experience).

As a result, many household bulbs don't flicker when looked at directly but look (!) at them from the corner of your eye and you'll see the flicker. This flicker can also be seen when the light is reflecting off a surface. It's one of the (many) causes behind offices fitted with fluorescent bulbs giving staff headaches.Interestingly the flicker is also one of the reason that these bulbs often come in pairs (or more) as gives not only gives fail-over in the event of tube failure but reduces the impact of the flicker through it being masked by neighbouring tubes.

Incandescent bulbs also flicker due to the power supply frequency but the effect is negligible as they operate by heating an element and this element does not cool enough between cycles for the flicker to be noticeable. However you can make it so you can see the flicker if you use a high output bulb and reduce the output to minimal using a dimmer switch.

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Mint 15 freshens Ubuntu's bad bits

Nick Ryan
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Alternative to Windows?

Dammit.

See icon.

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Windows 8.1 start button appears as Microsoft's Blue wave breaks

Nick Ryan
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Re: Start button - Never used it anyway.

Unfortunately you are a "power user" and have entirely missed the point.

99.999% of Windows users are not not power users. They have not memorised arcane keyboard shortcuts, they often don't even know that there are keyboard shortcuts (especially helped by MS's stupid insistence on hiding them as much as possible). They can just about wield a mouse in anger, often don't understand the shift key compared to the caps-lock key or know how to cursor through text instead of hitting backspace until they find the offending mistake and then retyping what they just deleted.

Users require an indication that there is some functionality available, this is a basic, fundamental aspect of good user interface design. They should not be given an artistically blank and meaningless screen and expected to somehow "know" how to bring up some functionality on it by clicking / thumbing arbitrary screen locations. This is why buttons were created in user interfaces (and hyperlinks in HTML documents) to give a user an indication that there is an action available. Unfortunately now we've gone backwards and the "artistic" (form over function) trend is to hide anything vaguely functional so a user is left having to randomly thumb an interface or patiently wave a mouse cursor over it hoping for something interesting to be revealed.

For what it's worth, I've been a specialist in User Interface design for over 20 years. I also use keyboard shortcuts extensively :)

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Sourceforge & Classic Shell to the rescue! (@AndrueC)

Precisely, I've done that for years on dedicated kiosk systems where they need to login (auto-login is a feature that's been there for a long time) and setting the explorer.exe replacement for that particular user.

It's staggering just how many developers of "embedded" (kiosk) systems using full Windows don't know this and calmly boot to explorer as the shell then auto-load their application. All it takes is a use to alt-tab and they have total control of the system. If a maintenance user of the embedded / kiosk system needs access to the explorer shell it's a simple matter of running explorer.exe from within the kiosk application and access is given.

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PlayStation 4 is FreeBSD inside

Nick Ryan
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Re: *looks at Eadon and laughs*

Rebuild to change the IP address?

I think you're getting confused with the nightmares of Windows NT4 service packs. Arrrrgghhh! They're sending shivers back just thinking about the farcical things we had to do to NT4 just to make some otherwise what should have been simple changes.

As for Linux vs BSD - they share a lot of code and features and there's a lot of movement going both ways. This makes a lot of sense and saves reinventing the wheel code wise.

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Telly psychics fail to foresee £12k fine for peddling nonsense

Nick Ryan
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Partly Political Broadcast

They already do... those kind of entertainment shows have to be fronted by a clear, unambiguous "This is a Partly Political Broadcast on behalf of <insert party here>" statement.

This notifies of an upcoming show where we all need to be prepared to suspend our disbelief circuits and get our chunder buckets ready to watch the grinning lunatics hug otherwise previously innocent, unsoiled children.

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Nokia Lumia 925: The best Windows Phone yet

Nick Ryan
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Re: Quantity.

When you describe it like that, I completely agree about having a good range of devices - that have differentiating features.

The problem I have is that we're left looking at a line of devices that are (superficially) very similar to look at and who's to know which ones are actually worth the money and which ones are more land-fill?

Take a look at this page: http://www.htc.com/uk/smartphones/

Aside from the two Windows 8 devices (proving that it's not just Nokia that make them), the rest of the phones on the page are distinguishable by small variations in size (don't forget, they're all scaled to one size), by name... err HTC One - One SV, One X+, One XL, One X, One S and One V... wtf? By the marketing tag rubbish such as "Simply stunning" or "Exceptional performance comes standard" and the inevitable near 5 star rating lies that we expect to see on a manufacturer's own website.

There's probably only one or two phones on that page that are worth the bother for the money, a couple that are penis extensions for those with money and the rest? Probably land fill.

Looking at a similar Nokia page: http://www.nokia.com/gb-en/phones/lumia/ the problem's the same. Other than a couple of more rounded, possibly smaller, devices they all largely look the same and feature the same baffling product numbers that seem to make little sense and there's no order to on the page.

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Can DirectAccess take over the world?

Nick Ryan
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Re: Does not compute

I read it that DirectAccess functionality is required on every device on your network. :)

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New super maxed out on first day of operations

Nick Ryan
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My guess, on this much more important question that Crysis framerate ;), is that it'll be able to complete the task in a time span marginally longer than the total read time of the disc. Unfortunately blu-ray drives are not exactly known for read speed...

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NORKS harbouring 3,000-strong cyber army, claims Seoul

Nick Ryan
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Coat

Armed forces are running their own locked down network that's not the Internet? That's revolutionary! Maybe some of ours might like to consider that doing that (properly) is a good idea?

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