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* Posts by Nick Ryan

1380 posts • joined 10 Apr 2007

For PITY'S SAKE, DON'T BUY an iPHONE 5S, begs FSF

Nick Ryan
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Stop

Oh FFS

There is a huge difference between a fingerprint scanner for convenient (biometric) access to a consumer device and that required for fingerprint recognition for legal or criminal investigation uses... i.e., multiple digit, entire finger extent imagery with "interesting" topological points indexed for quick comparisons.

In this case, fingerprint recognition is used to check that your finger roughly approximates to the finger that you configured to be allowed to unlock the device. Apple have also specifically stated that the matching parameters are only stored on the device itself and that Apple do not upload it or do anything else with it. While it's quite sensible to have some concern about this being the case or future creep of this information, it's not such a big deal.

Why? This is a consumer device and the matching details will not be unique enough able to match your details on a database of millions of others, instead it's likely to be accurate enough to ensure that something like only 1% of the population could unlock the device because they and your fingerprint profiles are similar enough. Don't forget, this is just about unlocking a consumer device therefore it has to work more often than not compared to real security fingerprint readers where if there's a chance of not being a match they will err on the side of rejecting a match but where if Jo Public's shiny new mobile started doing this depending on the relative temperature, health and water conditions there'd be an uproar that people were locked out of their devices. To mitigate even this, there is always a standard pin number or other fallback unlock method.

I'd have more concerns about it being used to approve AppStore purchases but given that many people don't even bother protect this, therefore allowing their kids to rack up hundreds of $£, etc in in-app purchases, adding a marginally more convenient way to protect such purchase is an improvement.

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New iPhones: C certainly DOESN'T stand for 'Cheap'

Nick Ryan
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Re: my 64 bits

64 bit addressing could be used for a unified memory architecture - I think that's the term currently in use to describe the scheme where volatile and non-volatile storage can be addressed identically.

64 bit addressing is optional, 32 bit addressing op codes still work fine otherwise you'd need to recompile 32 bit code to work on a 64bit system rather than just run it.

64 bit processing can improve data throughput, performance and therefore power usage for some computational tasks.

So while if you look at 64 bits purely when it comes to addressing (more than) "4Gb of memory" on a phone then it doesn't make so much sense, but taken in the long run and when accessing non-volatile storage makes a lot of sense.

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Should Nominet ban .uk domains that use paedo and crim-friendly words?

Nick Ryan
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Given that most child abuse is carried out by members of the child's family or somebody who is very close to the child's family (as in a close family friend), how is blocking arbitrary names on a single TLD going to help?

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Nice business you've got here, guv

I think some urban dictionary listed it as "double-standard puratanical nimby zombie-sheep". Or something like that, I'm now too scared to search for it in case out illustrious thought police come calling.

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Nick Ryan
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Yeah, that one had me smirking for a while when I was considering that their domain name with the dash (-) in it was annoying to type and then realised what it spelt out without it...

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Google Nexus 7 2013: Fondledroids, THE 7-inch slab has arrived

Nick Ryan
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Re: Best Tablet in the World?

Re: Best Tablet in the World?

0/10 too obvious trolling attempt, must try harder.

Yep, yet another waste of space shill. This one hasn't even had the foresight to register months ago and make arbitrary trivial posts before blatantly trolling.

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Crack open those wallets: Microsoft is raising software prices AGAIN

Nick Ryan
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Re: Microsoft? Hosting?

@Anonymous Coward - Posted Saturday 7th September 2013 18:24 GMT

Go on then, show us these statistics to demonstrate that you're not just yet another MS-paid shill.

Of course, if the statistics are based around there being far fewer Windows Internet facing servers to hack compared to Linux based Internet facing servers then that argument is as flawed as this interesting and entirely true fact: Pink cars have less accidents than any other car. Why? There are fewer pink cars than any other colour.

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WikiLeaks' Cablegate server touted on eBay for $3k-plus by Swedes

Nick Ryan
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It could also be read another way, as a statement of fact rather than a complaint. In other words, distancing Wikileaks from Bahnhof's (marketing) actions.

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Beat the UK's incoming smut filter: Pre-censor your grumble flicks

Nick Ryan
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Re: Puritanical Britain

That's horribly. How will they be able to walk without ankles?

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10,000 app devs SLEEP together in four-day code-chat-drink tech orgy camp

Nick Ryan
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Re: That Coder in the Photo

...and her name's not Shirley.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: That Coder in the Photo

Definitely. She works for the organisers and is not a coder. :)

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Microsoft buys Nokia's mobile business

Nick Ryan
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Re: Depressing Inevitability

It wasn't so much the OS, which when running on a phone isn't bad... it's just not great, is ugly as sin (my opinion) and has a few too many annoying lacking features that other phone os users take for granted. Some things it does quite well.

However it was more the pathetic attempt at marketing. Both Apple and Samsung sell the "experience" (Apple are better at this IMHO). Nokia adverts, on the other hand, are "here's Microsoft Windows Phone", as in selling the Operating System. However the Operating System and company behind it arguably have a reputation of irritating the crap out of everybody that comes near them.

Agreed... I was thinking about the transfer to Nokia of the crippling stack ranking that MS (as in the top execs) love, that kills all business efficiency, innovation and real competence in favour of perpetual brown nosing and continual political bitch fighting within departments and teams. Even ten years ago it was an industry in joke that Microsoft would create a team of 200 to develop a competing product that was developed by 5 people in another organisation.

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US mobile app dominance threatened by ANGRY BIRDS revolution

Nick Ryan
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A lot of the more useful apps are relevant for specific geographies, therefore of course there will be a lot of "loyalty" to own country apps. While some app development is naturally outsourced much is either licensed as if it is local or developed with local partners who are more likely to understand the requirements.

Specific apps? How about the underground, taxi, bar and club, local travel and restaurants, dating, banking, tourist information and other area specific apps?

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Web showered in golden iPhone 5S vid glory - but is it all a DISTRACTION?

Nick Ryan
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Re: but Apple will probably wait ..

Apple aren't particularly innovative and usually aren't first to market.

However what they did do that turned the entire phone industry on its head was to produced a polished product that brought together various innovations from elsewhere all in one package and create a well supported ecosystem for it all to work in. There have been more than a few hiccups a long the way, both on the software and hardware front, but overall the iPhones have been well engineered and have given users a smooth experience that they appreciate.

Compare this with the "super feature" phones that were out at the same time, with their arbitrary PC software packages that often didn't work with the phone that they came with, had all kinds of odd foibles by way of supported applications, had effectively closed "app stores" or none at all and often felt like you were fighting the device rather than using it. Not that all devices were like that, but the majority seemed that way.

Apple's marketing is, however, very good although it's slipped recently with much more adept competition and a market that is pretty much saturated in many regions.

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Amazon DISAPPEARS from internet

Nick Ryan
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Re: In the meantime

If "homicidal maniac" or "mouth breathing pond life" is your idea of interesting, we have a lot in my neighbouring town...

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Bureaucrats foil Nestlé's bid to TRADEMARK KitKat's chocolatey digits

Nick Ryan
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So how does this compare with the case of supermarket "own brand" ketchup, marmite (yeast spread), breakfast cereals and so on... All obvious facsimiles of the original, or at least the market leading, branded products.

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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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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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