* Posts by Nick Ryan

1773 posts • joined 10 Apr 2007

Linux Foundation whacks open JavaScript projects umbrella

Nick Ryan
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Facepalm

Re: The problem with JavaScript in web pages...

Performance. Which benefits those on low bandwidth. I take it you are aware of offline applications?

Web browsers already do a very good job of optimising content. It's called caching. If the caching mechanism isn't broken by the web server/site then the number of repeat downloads is quite low and this makes it very suitable for slow or low bandwidth connections.

Applications. These are very different to the majority of websites. Offline applications are a great idea, shame about the ball ache of browser compatibility.

Yes, I have heard of the History Web API. It can be useful, however good luck with mobile browsers and many toolkits just don't even support it. Unfortunately because the toolkits don't support it usage is low and then there are the security and privacy problems of history manipulation...

I can take a Stradivarius and play the Paganini capricci on it. The result is guaranteed to be shit. Must be that stupid Stradivarius.

I'm not sure what bearing this analogy has. Could be that many toolkits are poor because they are designed not to enhance basic web functionality (which is accessible and usable) with enhanced features but to instead replace and supplant the basic web functionality? Yes, some toolkits are better than this than others but a great many of them are appalling and cause many usability issues particularly when developers try to enforce desktop application paradigms onto web pages. I still come across copious examples fo dumb developers who want to prevent user's closing browser windows, navigating forwards and backwards through their history or just make reckless and stupid assumptions about screen orientation/space and DPI.

Do you realise that paged (or otherwise filtered) results can be obtained via AJAX methods just as easily as via any other method? It depends purely on the server implementing the appropriate endpoints.

Yes, but the point is that this does not really make any improvement in overall efficiency. It usually kills usability, accessibility and standard web navigation and when the caching mechanism isn't broken the server load and data transfer difference is trivial. When a page pulls down all of the data in one hit and this is manipulated by JavaScript there are genuine performance gains at the client end however these are offset by trashed usability and accessibility.

...seems to be a spontaneous rant about something not related to JS at all?

I am sorry, but I get the impression that you are criticising something that you're not very familiar with.

Then comes over that you are clueless and blinkered - sorry if this is wrong but it's the impression I get from this... Create an application using a toolkit that replaces the standard interface objects because you want some "consistent" (consistently awful) user interface? Try to maniuplate the browser windows and interface to delude yourself that your application is running as a rich desktop application and not within a web browser? They're different, plan and design applications differently.

As for my experience... hmmm... let's say I've been through every iteration of web stupidity from the start so get to see the same dumb things being repeated over and over. And I'll admit that I did many of them myself before learning better. There's little practical difference between what many stupid developers did in the past with Flash through using it not to enhance a website but to replace every part of it leaving just a single page that loaded the flash object and what the same, or similarly stupid, developers are trying to do with JavaScript.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: The problem with JavaScript in web pages...

Completely.

For most websites JavaScript should be there solely to enhance the website experience. It shouldn't be there to replace perfectly working HTML solutions, just to enhance them. Why? Because almost without fail every time some idiot developer replaces working HTML solutions with a JavaScript alternative usabilit and accessibility suffers and usually the only "benefit" is a few transitions and a few less server requests (the latter can be important, but given most websites really isn't for most).

For example, what real benefit is there in having a JavaScript provided data grid that pages through a dataset compared to requesting the page from the server controlled by URL passed parameters? The JavaScript page is non-bookmarkable, usually fails basic accessibility tests and on many occasions is bug ridden with the single plus side being that the page request is sent once along with a single request for all of the data but this starts to fail on large datasets where paged results are more efficient.

The other serious problem is where developers who could barely vomit up a usable User Interface in a Windows (i.e. rich) client application just don't comprehend that a web page is fundamentally different and must be built differently. Instead they go to great lengths to break the entire browser experience to try and replicate their own personal hell of a User Interface. Typically rammed in the top left hand corner of a much larger browser window with custom interactive components (why use the standard browser/HTML provided controls) and entirely non-scalable or liquid layout compliant of course.

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NHS patients must be taught to share their data, says EU lobby group

Nick Ryan
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I'm very accepting of the fact that the more medical data that is shared the more medical science can progress.

What I'm not accepting of is the fact that medical corporations will take public money and my personal information and then make phenomenal profits by selling symptom masking drugs at price gouging prices.

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Google: We look forward to running non-Intel processors in our cloud

Nick Ryan
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Re: Plus ca change: 48V

48V is also the "normal" voltage for PoE (PoE provides 15.4W, PoE+ provides 30W). I doubt if these bits of kit will run over PoE in a fully loaded configuration, as in with the PCIe buses fully populated, but it may possible that the basic configurations could particularly as Google and others tend to spec low power kit both for energy cost and heat dissipation reasons. Also, running a consistent power supply voltage makes the deployment of power rather simpler and less prone to potentially expensive mistakes.

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GlobalSign screw-up cancels top websites' HTTPS certificates

Nick Ryan
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Re: Browsers

I'm intrigued by the difference in browsers as well - particularly if this was a browser implementation issue, a server side issue or some horrible combination of the two. From an experience point I'd usually lay the blame on the Microsoft front and their implementation of "standards" however on this one it feels a little muddier than that.

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Nick Ryan
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Browsers

For those that don't know, this issue primarily affected Internet Explorer and Edge. Most other browsers seemed to work fine with the borked cert chain.

IE did it's usual of hiding any overly useful information. Amazingly Edge provided a little more information in that it stated that the cert had been revoked (not identifying which cert of course) and even gave the option to proceed to the website. Which in true and traditional Edge style didn't work and simply redirected the user back to the same error page.

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Smell burning? Samsung’s 'Death Note 7' could still cause a contagion

Nick Ryan
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Re: Disagree with general consensus here...

The "it must have a removable battery" brigade are sounding more and more like a religious belief system.

Seriously, I really don't understand it. External battery packs are considerably more convenient and safer - easier to charge and safer as you don't have a relatively naked battery lying around. They're also somewhat more "future proof" as batteries are only suitable for a single revision of a mobile phone. I've done this, been there and I've moved onto external battery packs. Yes, they're not quite so glamorous as we have to have a cable connected but I can at least charge and carry them safely.

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Majority of underage sexting suspects turn out to be underage too

Nick Ryan
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Mrs May, why are you not using an anonymous commentard account or one in your real name?

/shame on you

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Facebook pays, er, nope, gets £11m credit from UK taxman HMRC...

Nick Ryan
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I'm not even sure that this is anything bad. I've yet to really work out how Facebook make a lot of income, let alone profit compared to the prodigious amount of storage and computing infrastructure they require.

I'd say that it's a huge amount of up front investment with the potential of getting returns that may repay all of this back. Eventually. In this case building up losses to offset against tax the following year (or years, depending on how you account for it) is perfectly correct and above board.

I'd never thought that I'd be defending Facebook, but on this point given their infrastructure costs compared to the likely trivial advertising income (at one point AIUI they got most of their income from idiots paying for in-game items in click-fest games), I'd not say that it's unreasonable. Unless of course they're making a pile of cash in this country and then "purchasing" services from another arm of the same group which is just a way of shifting profit from one tax regime to another.

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Device-as-a-Service to make life simple? Nope

Nick Ryan
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Re: Arrrrgh

It reads eerily like mainframe or "supercomputer" billing methods moved to desktop systems: "here's the hardware, you can use some or part of it and we'll charge you for configuration changes that a monkey could make using the configuration software. We're also going to make it very hard or expensive to downsize."

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Four reasons Pixel turns flagship Android mobe makers into roadkill

Nick Ryan
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Re: It's the age old problem...

Unfortunately in all these years what Samsung have comprehensively demonstrated is a total and utter inability to write software that on any reasonable measure is usable, good, stable or in a good spot on any other positive outcome measure.

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'Please label things so I can tell the difference between a mouse and a microphone'

Nick Ryan
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Re: Engineers!

Being an arse, when in a sales demo and upon coming across a prompt to "press any key" I'd press a key modifier key such as Ctrl or Shift instead and ask them why it didn't work. The response was often went "any key except that one" followed by myepressing a different key modifier key instead...

If you write "any key" damn well make sure that you really mean any key.

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Nick Ryan
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I've watched somebody hold a mouse at 90 degrees to how it's meant to be used, contorting their fingers onto the buttons in a ludicrous manner as well. This came about because one user couldn't understand instructions referring to the left mouse or right mouse buttons... turns out that if you're a complete fuckwit and hold a mouse sideways it's not obvious which is the left or right button.

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No surprise: Microsoft seeks Windows Update boss with 'ability to reduce chaos, stress'

Nick Ryan
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Re: This job should not exist

"our best ever" always rings oddly with me as it's a weirdo marketing statement of nothing much. As in, it's stating what should bloody well be obvious and always the case. Similar to other gems that I've seen recently for example, "architect designed" on a new block of flats... who else would design them?

However the one that's a gem to watch for is "now our best ever" which really is an admission that what was being peddled previously really wasn't very good at all.

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Oops: Carphone burps up new Google phone details

Nick Ryan
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Re: Swappable Battery

Eeek. I'd manage to block that pain out of my memory... I had to battery remove reset my S3 on occasion as well. I think there was a fallback power off function on the thing as well but just removing the battery was easier and given the quality of Samsung software, most likely required as well.

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Nick Ryan
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Go

Swappable battery

Seriously - phone's don't need swappable batteries. The additional interconnects, shape and therefore space and design issues and dust/water ingress that removable batteries entail just doesn't make them economically or design-wise viable. I've had phones with swappable batteries, and gone through the battery swapping and charging rigmarole and external battery packs are easier to use, usually cheaper with better capacity, easier to store and charge and can be easily used with a new phone or even shared with others. A reasonable quality phone battery should easily last 3 years without too much noticeable loss given a decent charging circuit and it's generally accepted that most phones are changed at least this often and usually rather more often.

SD Card

I'd rather have much higher capacity without being price gouged on it. The number of times that I swapped SD cards was minimal and again this inflicts space and design issues on the entire phone design as well as dust/water ingress. I can pick up a 64GB class 10 card for £15 yet the bastard phone manufacturers often feel the need to charge hundreds for this extra capacity. They could even market it them as something like "64GB phone with 256GB media storage capacity", but no...

Decent camera that is fast rather than a giga-pixel pretend SLR

I'm still waiting on the "next gen" vertical stacked sensors to be put into production :( The more pixels there are doesn't always make for a better image but unfortunately that's what the public expects. The other side is down to the optics and the slight physics challenges of fitting in lens and focus arrangements in just a few mm. Fast response, optical stabilisation, great low light response and a colour range more similar to the human eye is all I'd want :)

Headphone socket

Totally with you on this one. Another device to charge and manage for little benefit but enormous cost really doesn't do it for me. Shame about the socket being a great way to let in dust/water but we can't easily remove all of these problems.

Bluetoof, Wifey, GPeas of course and NFC for Android pay

LED Flash cos I use the torch function a lot

Definitely - these seem to be standard features these days.

Nice to have

FM Radio

Why bother? Seriously. More and more places are dropping FM radio and switching to DAB. Or there's Internet streaming and this is another arial circuit that doesn't need to be in the phone (affecting the others as well). OK, so DAB's often hit and miss as is Internet streaming, but why isn't DAB built into modern phones? While it might seem like a fair idea, it's possibly worth considering the change of radio given the Internet and how it's use is steadily dropping. Except in cars of course.

Water Dust resistant

I'd rather have this than swappable batteries or SD cards. And I'd like this without annoying rubber flaps as well.

Infra-Red Blaster for remote controls

I'm not sure how useful this would be and I'd find it more of a gimmick. I suppose if a phone that had it then I might use it but the last time I looked most IR apps seemed to be some ill conceived attempt to replicate a bloody physical remote control on a touch screen they tend to dimish the experience somewhat. Dependency on IR and line of sight comms (but keep the sensor clear of sunlight) is something I'd rather be past now.

OTT

Pretty much my point about FM radio :)

Big HD screen pretending to be a telly

Just install Kodi. Or maybe we could do with a built in projector function? :)

Stereo speakers pretending to be a Hi-Fi

If you want a stereo sound experience from something only a few inches from end to end, wear headphones or use external speakers. You'll piss off less people as well. While doable on a larger tablet held relatively close anything else just doesn't enough of a stereo effect to matter.

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One-way Martian ticket: Pick passengers for Musk's first Mars pioneer squad

Nick Ryan
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Sending Trump and Piers Morgan would be a remarkably efficient start to terraforming. After all, the atmosphere on Mars is rather thin and cold therefore adding a lot of hot air should be a good start.

there's probably a good reason why I'm not a rocket scientist!

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User couldn't open documents or turn on PC, still asked for reference as IT expert

Nick Ryan
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Re: her fault for being impatient?

No, it's rubbish PSU design. All too common.

This would have been in the age of 286s (early 1990's), when PSUs were somewhat less sophisticated and refined than they are, or should be, today.

Not that there aren't still a lot of poor PSUs these days, particularly for consumer networking kit and similar.

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Sage advice: Avoid the Windows 10 Anniversary Update – it knackers our accounting app

Nick Ryan
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Re: "operating system updates end up disabling the framework"

but, but, but... .net was promised as an end to DLL hell. Also, all .net versions would be forward compatible. So, DLL hell, caused by Microsoft's abject failure to do anything sensible with libraries, for example such terribly difficult to comprehend principles as a standardised version scheme built into the "open library" code, hasn't been fixed by DLL hell x 100 with added registry stupidity built in, or .net/COM as it's otherwise known which is of course the bastard descendent of ActiveX, OLE and DDE before it.

While I'm happy to criticise MS (to be fair, all IT vendors), Sage has some responsibility here as they should code their applications defensively and clearly inform users of any prerequisite failures and give them the information to deal with the problems. Checking for prequisites at install time only is not acceptable. Unfortunately from experience the quality of Sage coding has often left rather a lot to be desired but this isn't helped by Microsoft's VS environment which tends to promote hard linked dependencies without easy and graduated dependency failure handling.

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Google, Dropbox the latest US tech giants to sign up to the Privacy Shield

Nick Ryan
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Re: Tick .. tock .. tick .. tock ..

IANAL but from what I can tell "Privacy Shield" is as useless and pointless as "Safe Harbour"... it's purely a voluntary agreement with no US based legal ramifications for violation and countless get out clauses for whatever US reasons happen to crop up for accessing the data outside of this agreement.

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Ordinary punters will get squat from smart meters, reckons report

Nick Ryan
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Re: The consumer pays again

...and our bills won't ever go down.

Now if the supplier said something along the lines of "pay us £150 to install a 'smart' meter in your home and we'll give you a permanent 5% reduction in your bills which will allow you to save money after X months" then maybe they'd be onto something.

However they'd never do this because this isn't price gouging the customers enough, instead it will be "take money from the government for the devices", "charge all customers more for the devices", "never drop prices" and "save money on meter readers". Even if they did promise a reduction in bills they'd offset this by upping the price elsewhere and increasing the annual price rises to counter the reduction way before the customer would make a saving.

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The Great British domain name rip-off: Overcharged .uk customers help pay for cheaper .vodka

Nick Ryan
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Not expected?

New top-level domains have sold in far fewer numbers than anyone in the industry expected and have already caused a number of companies to close down.

I know this is normal marketing droid on acid fare (or just standard dumb VCs), but bidding millions for TLDs that have a very limited scope and most existing potential users within the scope already have a perfectly working existing domain name is rather dumb. Particularly as the existing domains are already out there printed on marketing materials, brochures, websites, business and all that.... and for some reason the normal person or company won't want to spend more for something pointless?

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Forgive me, father, for I have used an ad-blocker on news websites...

Nick Ryan
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Re: stop being annoying

The other extreme bit of advert related fuckery is the post-page load ads that are inserted into content after the page has "finished" loading. The kind of fuckers that as you scroll down a page slightly to view the next line of text suddenly get added above the fucking text that you're reading moving it all down a bit more. These tends to get inserted just as I try to click on a link that I want, inevitably inserting themselves under where I clicked on what I wanted.

As a result, AdBlock is essential - and anything this misses I have a local hosts file for. Java? installed on my system but not permitted anywhere near the browser. Silverlight? Never. Flash or any other Adobe provided plugin? Not on your life.

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Game over: IANA power-grab block pulled from Congress funding bill

Nick Ryan
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There really, really should be something in place to deal with what can only be deliberate lies and manipulation of facts purely for political or personal campaign purposes. Something akin to contempt of court, how about contempt of the public? :) (or just contempt of reality)

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2,000 year old man found dead near 2,000 year old computer

Nick Ryan
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Was he a type 2a or a type 2b?

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Apple seeks patent for paper bag - you read that right, a paper bag

Nick Ryan
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Re: US Patents - The Sitcom

There are a couple of ways to manage patent applications:

1) Rubber stamp every patent coming in, charging a nomimal fee for this, let somebody else decide (through the legal process) whether or not the patent has any merit or not. Loudly proclaim that the market is incredibly innovative because there are a lot of patents.

2) Investigate in detail every incoming patent bringing in knowledgable experts on all related subjects, charging a substantial fee for this. The patent validity will still be challenged at a later date, along with the opinions of the in-house experts and their neutrality or bias.

I suspect that there is a happier medium that can be found betweeen the two, however the shouty marketing of "lots of patents = lots of innovation" will always skew this.

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Nick Ryan
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Joke

A pointless race as Lidl won it already and are currently in discussions with carbon nanotechnology experts as to how their bags are thinner than graphene sheets.

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Brits: Can banks do biometric security? We'd trust them before the government

Nick Ryan
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This is an example of a good use of biometric identification. Duplicate matches will happen but because it's a controlled environment and a relatively rare process these can be dealt with.

Compared to using biometrics for authentication, which is daft because it's something that happens regularly and away from controlled environments. As a result the errors that occur generally need to either err on the side of success which naturally introduces security problems the alternative is erring on the side of failure which will piss people off and they will try and avoid the use of the technology.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Am I too cynical?

This is the same Visa that has the totally waste of time and annoying "Verified by Visa" "security" program? Quite apart from the lack of real security where the entire password is stored in plain text somewhere (otherwise asking for character 1, 2 and 3 of the password wouldn't be possible) for one of my accounts I don't think I've ever entered the password this way as it's far quicker and easier to just reset the password. This password change doesn't require any more information than an even moderate information scrape would require beyond the card details which an attacker would require at this point anyway. Then, of course, for "security" (I've yet to figure this one out) where they try to insist that adding alternative, but insecure, credentials to an account such as "mothers maiden name", "place of birth" or "first pet's name" actually adds to security rather than reducing it significantly.

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Apple's tax bill: Big in Japan. Like, $120m big

Nick Ryan
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Re: Sweetheart deals

This is my understanding of it as well - the low rate was negotiated a long time ago and was an incentive to have Apple base their operations in Ireland largely to bring in jobs in the tech sector - even if it was just for an "also ran" computer company. Where it appears that Ireland fucked up badly is that this wasn't a conditional or periodically reviewed arrangement where once Apples fortunes changed (and they did, very positively) that this tax incentive was renegotiated.

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Two Sundays wrecked by boss who couldn't use a calendar

Nick Ryan
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Re: "Have you been forced to do utterly pointless work?"

From a business point of view, timesheets can be invaluable however this isn't about entering what a member of staff was doing between 11:00 and 11:30 on a particular day as that's tedious, usually unnecessary and often impossible to enter as on many occasions staff will multitask to a certain extent. The key is to make it as hassle free and easy as possible therefore just recording against a particular day the number of hours that were taken up by a particular project, or an element of a project, is usually good enough.

Where timesheets can be very useful is to record the hours spent on a project, whether or not this is broken down into documentation, implementation, testing or whatever depends on the project or the degree of detail required. Why is this useful? It's not for monitoring of staff purposes as a good manager should generally know what their staff are up to, it's an important feedback loop for the costing process. For example, if a project is priced based on there being X amount of hours required but it turns out that 3 x X hours were used instead then this indicates a problem somewhere which needs to be fixed. How this is fixed depends on the cause but it quantifiably indicates a problem which needs to be investigated and could either require better (or just some) training, better resource planning, a change of staff (Staff A might be faster, better or just prefers to perform a particular task compared to Staff B) or that the sales droid is in la-la land and needs to be beaten into shape. Without this basic feedback process a business will often badly misquote projects and without it a manager doesn't have the numbers to back up their cases when reporting project issues.

Myself? I hate entering timesheets :) but enough time running a business and projects you learn the value of basic metrics.

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You should install smart meters even if they're dumb, says flack

Nick Ryan
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Always buy quality LEDs, not the junk you get from supermarkets or DIY stores (including the pretty 'orrible Phillips devices). Buying the junk and getting a bad experience is what puts most people off LEDs as they believe that they are (relatively) expensive but very dim whereas the reality of decent LEDs is that they are still relatively expensive, but can be far brighter than the "equivalent" incandescent (mainly halogen these days) or CFL units. The halogens tend to blow within a short period of time and the CFLs cannot be dimmed (good LEDs can, but need good dimmers and careful planning) and the CFLs tend to be slow to start and pretty random colours.

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Spoof an Ethernet adapter on USB, and you can sniff credentials from locked laptops

Nick Ryan
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Re: Oh look, there's a dongle in one of the USB ports of my laptop

You may think it's rare, but I know that a few years ago (4+?) Imperial College London was on the receiving end of USB dongle interception devices - and given the targets it was judged not to have been students behind it.

These types of devices are particularly hard to spot because if your keyboard and mouse are on your desk and the wires run to the PC under the desk, when was the last time that you checked that there wasn't another cable inserted into this arrangement?

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Nick Ryan
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Re: 13 seconds?

AFAIK it's partly because of a dumb-as USB implementation within Windows which may in part have been caused by USB device manufacturers taking shortcuts (for cost saving reasons) and failing to provide a manner to categorically identify a USB device rather than just the class/model of the device. Categorically identifying a USB device requires that it has a unique ID programmed into it somehow but this cost that the manufacturers of volume, cheap as possible devices would rather avoid. I'm not sure whether or not this unique ID is a mandatory specification or not as it's a long time since I read the specifications and these things are probably different between device classes and USB revisions.

Windows stores the device configuration against the port that the device was connected to. Merely moving a device from one port to another triggers Windows into believing that this is an entirely new device and to install fresh drivers or configuration for it. This could have been avoided if there was a unique ID to trust and that Windows trusted this, however Microsoft chose to implement a per-port configuration model. While the per-port configuration is daft it does often help because as with anything registry based the damn configuration does get corrupted (likely due to a horrible database such as the registry not being transactional and it not being possible to apply settings atomically). In this case when a device stops working when plugged into one port you can simply move it to a different port for it to start working again as it will have fresh configuration.

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Pixellation popped: AI can ID you, even after PhotoShop phuzzing

Nick Ryan
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Re: What about numberplates?

Perhaps against a number plate recognition algorithm, however against a car recognition algorithm less likely to be immune. First consider the dataset, as in how many of your car (same make, body shape and colour) were produced - except for the most popular car this number will be surprisingly low. Then consider any after market modifications, such as hanging ornaments (or their absence), stickers or even the odd scrape, some of which would require a relatively high resolution image, and your car is not as generic as you might think it is and therefore it should be relatively unique.

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Latest Intel, AMD chips will only run Windows 10 ... and Linux, BSD, OS X

Nick Ryan
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Re: Unless you are Really Big Biz this...

svchost.exe exists for both very tenous lazy developer reasons and to simultansously ensure that it's nearly impossible to adequately secure a system by controlling what has access to what network resource.

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Newest Royal Navy warship weighs as much as 120 London buses

Nick Ryan
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Boffin

Pah! The daily fail and sun are pretty new and modern really, I wouldn't say that El Reg started it but El Reg has gone a long way to defining the standards:

So, what's the velocity of a sheep in a vacuum? (2007)

El Reg official units of measurement: Linguine, Jubs, Hiltons and all (2012)

...and no unit of measures would be complete without an online standards converter: The Reg online standards converter

Now go wash your mouth our young man and come back when you've studied the correct units of measure.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: "River"-Class?

My guess is badly. Given minaturisation, of both control systems and explosives, a relatively close launch of something distinctly unpleasant would be rather bad. On the other hand, the structure of these ships should be rather better designed to contain the damage - I doubt if they are built to deflect it in the manner of land based tanks.

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Nick Ryan
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120 London buses

Kudos for applying the correct measurement scales... however is El Reg missing suitable displacement measures? Should we allow El Reg to hijack another measurement for this undeniably important unit of measurement? :)

24 knots (arg, what non-El Reg unit is this?) compared to 20 knots... that's a fair gain but being the techo-geeks we are haunting El Reg, what gave it this improvement in speed?

Also, that's one big bastard "hangar" (I don't know what it's meant to be called) where the pic is showing the ship coming out from, how does that compare to the airship hangars, particularly compared to the recent Airlander.

Damn, I'm feeling curious today!

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Hacked hookup site Ashley Madison's security was laughable

Nick Ryan
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Regadless of the morals of a site such as this, what's staggering is the number of users who used their work (as in military, government or whatever) email address and not a throw away free one specifically setup for this website.

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Microsoft, Lenovo cross-licensing love-in: Android mobes knocked up with... Office apps

Nick Ryan
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Word on Android

I'd rather than waste time with shit like this Microsoft actually fixed MS Word so it didn't randomly insert words when pressing keys on the on-screen keyboard. Including the bloody delete key. The stupidity of this is pretty amazing and has rendered Word on Android totally unusable for the last two months.

No other apps seem to have this problem, changing different virtual keyboards doesn't fix it, the only thing that works is to use a bluetooth keyboard.

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Windows 10 needs proper privacy portal, says EFF

Nick Ryan
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Disk 1 of 2079?

On an aside, I am now going to be a gibbering wreck until it's beer o'clock.

Disk 1 of 2079? That brings back far too many painful memories of multi-disk software installation, usually failing on disk 37/38 but only on some systems and not others.

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We're going to bring an asteroid fragment into Lunar orbit

Nick Ryan
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Re: Still doubtfull

Well, it'll be useful for the study of an actual asteroid - or a small bit chipped off one which may, or may not, be representative of asteroids as a whole or even that asteroid itself. It'll be useful somehow as the study of what happens to stuff up in space for such a long time and what they're made of is rather revealing. Beyond the sciency side of early solar system research, asteroid mining could be phenomenally useful either on the Earth side resources front or on the space bound raw resource requirements.

It'll also be useful for the technology required to perform the actions of chipping a bit off an asteroid, separating it from the gravity of the parent object and while attached to it securely, changing it's solar orbit such that it intercepts with Earth/Moon and finished up in an orbit around the moon.

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Chip giants pelt embedded AI platforms with wads of cash

Nick Ryan
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At least this is "AI", as in a neural network based technology. A long time ago I dumped all my university modules that were meant to be AI when it turned out that they were nothing more than Logical Reasoning - i.e. extrapolated forms of "If This, Then That" and while useful this wasn't AI.

As I see it the problem with AI, as in neural networks, is that the more advanced they become the less provable they are and therefore for many purposes, the less useful. This sounds negative but for many touted AI purposes the requirement is for 100% accuracy (or as close as) which while nominally achievable, is considerably harder to prove if you can't fully test and validate each step in a process independently.

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Bees bring down US stealth fighter

Nick Ryan
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Facepalm

Re: "eight pounds, or in modern numbers, 3.6 kilos."

Good man. Now all I have to do is to get the thought out of my mind: are those bee stings or "proper" jubs.

I'm leaving...

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Flipping heck! Virtual machines hijacked via bit-meddling Feng Shui

Nick Ryan
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Re: Feng Shui???

In theory ECC could help here, however the description seems to suggest more than just single bit flips which ECC would struggle to deal with.

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Brexit Britain: HP Sauce vs BBC.co.uk – choices that defined voters

Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Re: Remainers are all Great Wen-based hipsters?

a) What's a London Underground? Some sort of armed resistance movement?

Not sure about the resistance, but on average it has about the same number of legs as arms. It's some form of torture/mind numbing device to shove as many people in as small a physical space as possible with guaranteed heating (regardless of the weather outside) and, certainly in the evening commute, with a "fragrant" undercurrent. All while oozing sympathy for the hard done by drivers who earn £50k a year largely for pressing "start" and "stop" buttons and occasionally shouting at passengers on a tannoy.

b) Spotify, iPlayer, Twatbooki, Instagram etc...given the quality of our broadband, I think not

You must be on Virgin Broadband (at peak time - 16:00 to 20:00) as well then...

c) Nearest airports are all about 3 hours drive away so no Easyjet

Given that internal flights from where I live take 2 hours to get to (including parking at daylight robbery prices) and at least an hour to get through the security theatre for just a 45m flight I don't think you have much to complain about. Unless you're complaining about the lack of EasyJet and being forced to fly with an airline that even pretends to give a shit?

d) Nearest Virgin Train is about 2 hours away.

Even longer if you live anywhere "serviced" (hahahaha) by Southern Rail.

e) Airbnb - does that mean B & B in a field? We have lots of Yurts for hire!

Been there, done that. Should have booked a hotel. Would have been cheaper. And nicer.

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'Alien megastructure' Tabby's Star: Light is definitely dimming

Nick Ryan
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Re: ALIENS!

Total electromagnetic silence in space apart from the clicking of quasars and the humming of stars.

Pretty much. If an alien civilisation follows the pattern of humanity in its technological progression (and there's no real reason why we're not pretty average and statistically we'd have to meet quite a few alien life forms to work out what may be a fair average) from the discovery of radio to primitive spaceflight and computers then there is only a very, very small time window that an alien civilisation will be recklessly broadcasting to the universe.

During this time window the relative power of the broadcasts will be pretty low and therefore should an observer happen to be watching at the appropriate time, the detection of the signals will be very, very hard due to their low power. After this window then efficiencies in broadcast techniques tend to make the wasteage considerably lower even as the effectiveness goes up - this is down to narrower bands and directional communications which overall require somewhat less power. We're probably not quite at the "quiet" stage of our galactic EM emission development but we're fairly close.

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London's 'automatic' Tube trains suffered 750 computer failures last year

Nick Ryan
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Re: Really?

I believe that many of the complaints revolve around the fact that most other train services (ignoring intercity routes) don't have a guard on the train. Therefore why does Southern require this where others don't?

Yes, having an additional person on the train ought to improve safety to a certain degree. Whether or not this makes any real difference is up to a lot of arguments and will naturally depend on the trains and stations involved.

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West country cops ponder appearance of 40 dead pigeons on A35

Nick Ryan
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Re: Sport

We disposed of the carcasses responsibly but I'm guessing that somebody in Devon might have taken an easier route.

Ah well, this is Devon. The only "easier" route is the A30, not the "OMG, when can we get off this road?" A35.

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