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* Posts by Nick Ryan

1293 posts • joined 10 Apr 2007

Viruses infect vital control systems at TWO US power stations

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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Einstein almost tagged dark energy in the early 1920s

Nick Ryan
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Re: Dark matter

The boiling water freezing faster has been explained, or at least explained to the point that there are few arguments about it.

We're still utterly knackered on the first problem though. Tens of thousands of dilligent research and still no closer to understanding.

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NAND then something new came along: Nanotube men get $10m

Nick Ryan
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Alert

Just a thought... if this type of memory is used to replace RAM in a system then just how the hell are we going to get an errant OS working again? The main fallback situation of IT support is still "turn it off, wait, turn it back on" (i.e. restart)

We'll be knackered unless there's a hardware, not software controlled, function to clear the contents of memory and to start again from a clean slate! :)

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Archaeologists uncover 'Unicorn's lair'

Nick Ryan
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This unicorn...

...is there a song along the lines of "I so lonely" interred in there as well?

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Scientists build largest ever computerized brain

Nick Ryan
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Re: Keep in mind the human brain runs at <15 Hz.

There's no such thing as analogue. At some point the measurement is discrete, it's just the scale is high. e.g. you can't have half a photon or atom. OK so you can, but things get a bit interesting at this point and we're generally interested in stable structures.

The human brain is a massively parallel pattern matching machine - emulating this in a procedural computational environment is never going to be optimal.

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BYOD: A bigger headache for IT bosses than Windows Metro?

Nick Ryan
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Stop

Who's pushing this exactly?

...as in, where's the money? Who benefits financially from BYOD?

It's not the business - only an utter twat of a bean counter will fail to see that reducing the relatively small cost of hardware compared to the additional costs required for, usually, new networking kit, management systems and disparate system support balance massively the wrong way. The business will still have to provide the software that they need the users to use and to police the licensing of it, or is part of this scheme to force employees to also purchase the full and latest version of Microsoft Office, Microsoft Project, Microsoft Vision, Adobe Acrobat, <x> Antivirus plus whatever more specialist software may be required?

Users don't benefit either... Oddly, despite the rhetoric about users preferring their own systems to do their employer's work, given the choice of spending hard cash on the hardware and software, without corporate discounts, they'll be looking at up front startup costs of at least £1000, but given typical MS Office costs, is likely to be more like £1500. OK, the business could purchase some of the software, but there are extensive licensing issues involved in this - MS's licences state that the software can only be installed on systems owned by the business, and what about when the employee leaves? Should the business buy back the system when they employee leaves or should they take control of the system (which could have interesting legal issues) and wipe it thoroughly before the ex-employee leaves the premises? What about the users who don't want to spend out their own money to do their job? Talk about enhanced benefits and other nonsense is just this - realistically the majority of employers will not give employees anything extra to compensate them for using their own systems... that's yet a further cost.

Employees are paid to a job and are usually given the tools to do this. While there are exceptions to employees being given the tools, these are far between compared to everything else. Computers in the workplace are *tools*, they are not their for the employee's personal pleasure. Would a guy on a production line be expected to buy his own socket and screwdriver set so he can assemble components - would his choice of tools actually work properly and not potentially cause production problems, possibly very expensive?

What about when an employee's own system breaks? Who replaces it, and who's at fault? Did a cleaner knock it when cleaning the office, did the system overheat due to a clogged fan, did the user's choice of AV software fail to stop an exploit hitting the system? Who's going to pay for these to be fixed? How about when a user's system contacts some nasty malware that on a corporate system would have been prevented from running but on their own system, took hold, and exploited and infected 50 other systems in the business? Who pays for the clean up? It's no longer then business's problem as it's a user's system that caused the problem therefore should the BYOD user be forced to pay up for their own lack of computer security knowledge?

So who's driving this and is likely to benefit?

The PC manufacturers? As a consumer working as an employee is likely to replace a system when starting than use an older one.

The network kit suppliers? New kit will be required to replace the existing working just fine kit, in order to segregate and protect systems from each other... if you haven't looked into it properly yet, without adequate hard networking policies in place, each of these devices will be able to trample across the entire network - the solution is to effectively segregate every end point into it's own VLAN and carefully martial access to the required internal resources and to protect the device from and to protect the wider Internet (nobody needs their Internet connection blacklisted for spam because of personal systems sending junk mail). Pretending that Windows server can manage this is putting the gate in the wrong place... it's too late by the time a device may happen to have been authenticated and checked on the domain.

The management software suppliers? They have a new market too push, and they have the tools and a desire to maximise profits through selling management systems that may just about work and then to sell ongoing support and updates - nobody in their right mind is going to think that a single purchase of this software will do the job, devices and software change all the time therefore the management systems have to be updated on an ongoing basis as well.

What this issue does bring to the fore though, is a good discussion about keeping system selection and software use alive and dynamic rather than a monolithic one size fits all approach to IT. A more agile IT provision where the appropriate tools can be reviewed regularly, or in some cases, on demand, fits the modern business environment much better than introducing expensive cost to satisfy a few buzzword toting sales reps.

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Ten Linux apps you must install

Nick Ryan
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Re: Sad

"yeah if you can remember all the bloody commands and options.. and lets face it... how many of us really do that?"

Careful, that's close to blasphemy to the die hard command line or nothing zealots.

I can never remember the bloody commands and options either, while there used to nominally be standards for the structures of these, many apps have just done what they feel like. The result is having to get the help up for the app, inevitably scroll back through 3 pages of advanced options I'll rarely care about to get back to the basic options. Then try to remember to type the bastard things in the right order as the text has (typically) scrolled up the the page and out of view. I know I can use multiple terminal windows, I do it all the time, but spawning extra terminal sessions just to look at help feels excessive. An extra terminal window to look at command line parameters requires, of course, some form of windowing user interface... the shame of it!

Alternatively I can right click on the .tar.gz file and select "Extract here" and the appropriate commands will be fired off to decompress and unpack the file into the appropriate directory structure. It'll even give me a progress bar so I can see how far along the task is. Yes, if I did the process multiple times a day I'd remember the command line I'd need, but I have better things to do than that especially when somebody has already written a labour saving tool to do the job... The computer's job is to assist me, not to give me more things to remember.

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Chips in spaaaaace: old tech is in

Nick Ryan
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Alpha radiation light?

"In any case, spacecraft don’t really concern themselves with lightweight stuff like alpha radiation."

Hardly... it's the heaviest (most mass) radiation by far, and the most dangerous to humans. Luckily our skin, a handy layer of dead or soon to be dead cells, coated on the outside in oils and bacteria and then for the most part topped off with clothing, is impervious to alpha radiation. Ingest a source of alpha radiation and you'll be in trouble though.

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We CAN'T GET ENOUGH Windows 8 tablets, moan distributors

Nick Ryan
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Re: No interest..

It's hard to know whether it's aversion or apathy... the UI is ugly, crap and uninviting, the price of the devices are poor compared to other "similar" (in the eyes of consumers) devices and to top it off, they have a nasty habit of looking like just a line of new laptop-sort-of-tablet things on a shelf.

Consumers browsing in a store like that tend to want to look at what they perceive to be consumer items, not laptop-sort-of-tablet things with ugly interfaces. In other words, the target marketing direction is all over the place. Again. Consumers don't generally get excited by just another fecking Operating System... they'll tend to get much more excited by real tangible devices that just happen to run that Operating System. Does the Apple marketing fluff go on about the latest version of iOS or does it ignore that and sell the gadget? (That might happen to have new features as a result of the latest iOS, but that's not the core of the marketing message)

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Plastic screen outfit teams with Epson to offer screen on your plastic

Nick Ryan
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Re: Supermarket shelves

If it's similar to the products I've worked with, the device power and data comms run through a convenient track rail on the edge of the shelf. LCD displays need continuous power anyway, so may as well shove data along at the same time and there are plenty of off the shelf protocol implementations for single wire comms involving multiple devices on a single data bus. The smarter ones even have full two way comms so the target device can acknowledge receipt and operation of the data received and a heartbeat function is usually implemented as well. Both of these should be almost required for remote price display functions in a supermarket.

A plastic display or e-ink display could bring the price down and produce a more legible display for the end user - i.e. a wide range of eyesight toting shoppers.

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Windows boss Steve Sinofsky exits Microsoft

Nick Ryan
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True, but in the end if he's responsible for it then he should control the actions of his teams, not let them produce UIs like TIFKAM. There's a certain amount of delegation, then there's common sense.

It's makes you wonder if Julie Larson-Green is blind, colour blind, or has tentacles instead of hands and arms. Probably deaf as well as she can't fail to have heard complaints. To be fair, it may be the case that Julie Larson-Green was just putting in place what she was told to do from above and she does have a clue about UI design. Unfortunately given the management and working practices in Microsoft, there's no way she could criticise in any way anything coming from above.

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Nick Ryan
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So he oversaw the worst UI MS have foisted on users since MS Bob and miraculously he leaves just after it sinks, erm, launches.

The underlying OS is good enough, a moderate improvement on Win 7. The UI shell on the top is spectacular in it's ignorance of UI practices, general ugliness (subjective, but common) and inappropriateness for anything other than a small touch screen.

So far I haven't heard anything other than complaints of disgust from uses who have had it foisted on them. Naturally, the complainers are going to be louder than others and there's always a distrust of "different", but this is markedly worse than the step from XP to Vista/Win7.

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Judge drops TV ad-block block: So how will anyone pay for TV now?

Nick Ryan
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Re: Could herald TV's renaissance

Many networks don't give a shit about the indicated advert points and just run adverts cutting automatically into whatever happens to be on screen at the time. Not only is this exceedingly annoying and tend to ruin whatever is being shown, it's even more frustrating when 20s after the advert break a pre-set advert break transition comes in (i.e. scene change with pause - many shows have them).

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HP warns consumers: Don't downgrade Win8 PCs to Win7

Nick Ryan
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Buyers of consumer HP kit, on the other hand – the kind sold through big-box retailers – should plan on getting used to Windows 8

In other words, plan on getting confused as fuck while glaring at an ugly, idiotic user interface that with a lot of random pokes and swipes you may just about get to work on a small touch screen device but is utterly retarded on anything else.

So far none of the feedback I've had from people I know who've been lumbered with this POS is in any positive. It's a shame really, the underlying parts of Win 8 seem to be better, it's the half finished, schizophrenic retarded user interface that's been shoved on top that's the problem.

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Medical scan record that the NHS says will cost £2k to retrieve: Detail

Nick Ryan
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Joke

Re: A lesson to us all

backup > NULL

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Classic game 'Elite' returns … on Kickstarter

Nick Ryan
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Re: It is our duty to donate :-)

Analogue stick docking? Pah! Unless you could dock at full speed using a digital joystick then you were nothing more than Mostly Harmless.

Hard experience showed that it was often safer to dock manually than wait for the docking computer to scrape every face of the space station or attempt to dock with the rear opposite face of the station... where there was no docking bay. The grinding noise (well, naff shield damage noise) as it tried to shove the ship in at 90 degrees to the orientation of the docking bay slot was also a far too familiar noise.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: "sumptuous graphics"

The algorithm isn't line based, it's a fairly simple winding polygon algorithm check. It's for this reason that there were no concave polygon structures - i.e. no sticky out bits or engine nodules on separate spars of the model.

The smart in the code then decides which polygons (given shared vertices) are visible due to the winding, normalises the vertice list (to ensure a single line between polygons isn't drawn multiple times) and then draws the lines between the visible vertices. The polygon filling and this algorithm was beyond the processing capabilities of many of the 8bit systems...

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Are you an IT pro? It's no longer safe to bet your career on Microsoft

Nick Ryan
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"what do people program in that customers with older OS/Browsers can still use?"

How about industry standard HTML? It's worked for years (with the exception of ****ing idiots who insist on putting in IE only "features") and is the underpinning behind the additional features available in HTML5. A good HTML5 website (application) will still be usable in browsers that do not support all of the new features - a bad one will crap itself and be unusable... if the application is still usable but not quite optimal then that is much better than not usable at all. In any case, having compatibility like this allows the application to support the required accessibility laws and guidelines.

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Windows Server 2012: We defluff Microsoft's 'cloud' OS

Nick Ryan
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because customers are starting to switch to Hyper-V, the Windows hypervisor-based virtualisation system which comes bundled in with Windows Server 2012, rather than paying extra for VMware.

This is probably one of the most important points... I haven't tried the latest version of Hyper-V, but certainly on previous versions VMWare was markedly superior. However when it comes to a price comparison, free (convenient) and separately paid for are very different choices and while as soon as you start expanding your requirements Hyper-V prices do stack up, it's the initial hurdle that's one that can be hard to beat. MS is just front loading convenience to get users used to Hyper-V as a form of lock in for later and it's something that VMWare would find hard to counter in a similar fashion without losing a large proportion of their income.

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Light ties itself in knots - spontaneously

Nick Ryan
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Re: But...

So why a welk particularly?

Because the use of butterflies and chaos is so last century?

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Microsoft aims to herd 70% of enterprise onto Windows 7 by mid-2013

Nick Ryan
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Re: Volume Licensing

You're right - that is what I really meant rather than "comes with" - it's more "only supports" as you noted. This is particularly true for laptops that tend to be less supported for older OSes.

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Nick Ryan
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So... the ongoing legacy of lazy, short-sighted, incompetent(*) developers cobbling together applications that only run on specific versions is holding Enterprises back. Who'd have thought that?

* to be fair, many will have had this foisted on them by much more incompetent PHBs who had no interest in long term support, applicability, security, stability or anything other than that month's statistics.

Next summer will be 3 years for most older desktops which, given corporate desktop replacement schemes, will mean that the systems are due to be replaced even if they still work fine for the job at hand. These new systems are likely to come with Windows 7, so increasing market penetration of it shouldn't be that unrealistic however "70%" will likely depend on what the marketeers decide to classify "Enterprise"...

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World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria review

Nick Ryan
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I think they're really running out of ideas and can't do anything original. It also looks amazingly like Blizzard are trying to expand their player base to the under 8s... the whole damn thing is pretty much kung-fu panda meets pokemon! You can't do that without intentionally targetting young children.

While it was revolutionary when it came out (in some ways, not others), the game is very, very repetitive... a.k.a. grinding for those who are used to MMO terminology. While this expansion has added a few new twists, the majority of the PvE game is "Collect/Kill X of Y" or "Take X to Y". Instances, bosses and PvP do add a lot more interest to a game as they force human to human interaction which is what makes these games fun, but there's still not a lot there.

It will be nice to see what, if anything, Blizzard can come up with next - but it'll have to be very clever and well thought out. The intricate dynamics of an online economy and repetitive, or accessible, game play that covers both casual players and addicts alike is not something that is easy to get right, or even to get not utterly-broken-and-easily-exploitable which is the usual starting point!

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