1369 posts • joined 10 Apr 2007
Re: The small ironies of life.
I couldn't agree with you more about the schools. I cycle past Pembridge Hall ("Preparatory School for Girls") in Notting Hill everyday and it's a nightmare; over-privileged parents thinking that £10,500 / year also gives them the right to park the 4x4 wherever they want, even if it causes accidents.
All it needs is enforcement - there is none. I guarantee that if every illegally parked car was being ticketed/towed/clamped then the bad behaviour would stop overnight and we'd all be better off for it.
There was a complete uproar at a school nearby that happened to be on a vital through road. The parents (following the usual rule of "requiring" the largest possible vehicles for the smallest, palest kids) couldn't possibly have their kids walk more than 30 seconds to their waiting personal-bus. It was often the case that they parked up a full hour before the school closed and waited, as close to the school as possible. Given that this waiting was on a bus stop, pedestrian crossing, single and double yellow lines, blocking private drives, too close to road junctions and so on, let alone the obligatory double parking and parking on both sides of the road, the parents were given notice that traffic wardens would visit the following week. Which they did then given the uproar of the lazy parents, the police had to be called to sort it out and the following week the police just started off escorting the traffic wardens. Then the parental health-and-safety brigade got involved and any child that walked (using their own legs for what they are designed for) more than 10 metres because they were no longer allowed to illegally and obstructively park where they damn pleased and had to walk along a, safe and wide, public footpath to where their car was parked.
In the end the obnoxious parents made it so expensive for it to be policed / patrolled that the local authorities gave up trying to enforce the laws of the road.
Re: This is why....
"highly accurate weather reports"
Pull the other one.
Perfectly possible to have highly accurate weather reports.
Forecasting the weather... well, that's something else... :)
the worst I usually have to deal with is Kangaroos jumping out at me in the middle of the night on a Motorcycle
Shit, you really do have problems... kangaroos riding motorcycles.
Re: Stock Android
Some of the manufacturer specific stuff I can see why it's embedded in the OS as it adds functionality at a fundamental level.
Other stuff such as the customised interfaces and other bundled applications, can just bugger right off and be implemented as a normal app.
The US Safe Harbour provisions have always been useless.
They were self certified and not backed up by law, they had to be specified individually for specific purposes and datasets and had so many exclusions where the company could just do whatever the hell it wanted with the data anyway. And this is before any local or government organisation with, or without, legal direction could access or copy the data and once a copy is made by these organisations there were no protections inferred or implied.
If the MS head of cloud gets to be the head of MS... how that does look for the future?
Doubtless more focus on cloud - cloud - cloud - sharepoint - cloud- subscription - cloud - 360 - cloud and no worthwhile development, innovation or anything for anything else.
Re: Pics? Specs?
Agreed. There aren't even any pictures of it so we can't complain how ugly it looks or how it has rounded corners. Slack Register reporting. :)
Must be a Friday! Only one thing to do... (see icon)
Unfortunately there are a lot of piss poor game designers / developers out there...
Repeat after me:
Tedious is not the same as difficult.
A lot of game designers seem to entirely miss the fact that games are meant to be fun (a point repeatedly noted by previous posters) and can be social and played with friends. Take the fuckwits at uplay who have Settlers IV - a potentially fun multiplayer experience catastrophically ruined by their insistence that multiplayer games cannot be saved and that everything revolves around downloadable content, even if it is just pointless bling that makes no difference to anything at all.
Re: When driving, the road is in the center of your vision
The worst car that have I ever had the misfortune to drive, a Renault Twingo (I'd be hesitant to recommend it to people I hate, let alone never to friends) had a sodding rev-meter where behind the steering wheel where the speedo is normally in cars. The speedo itself was mounted so far across the dash it was nearer the near-side rear-view mirror than the direction of travel so it was actually very dangerous to look at as it required a full shift of direction of vision and focus before being able to read it and then to look back and re-focus at what you were about to drive into.
Mind you, this speedo was less of an issue because at any speed above 40mph the god-awful suspension set the car bouncing at every smallest blip of imperfect road surface so badly that it induced travel sickness. I have never suffered from travel sickness while actually driving a car before...
"Unfortunately, they supported a standard box model that was subsequently changed."
There was never anything standard about the abortion that is the IE6-8 box layout scheme. While it was possible to apply dumb-as-hell "fixes" to work around the complete incompetence that generally revolved around the "hasLayout" attribute there were so many other fundamental failures that it was usually an exercise in hair yanking rampant insanity inducing pain just to make older versions of IE render something in any way that approached the standards or what would have been reasonably expected. I still put HTML and CSS together very defensively as a result...
IE is much better than it was previously...
It used to be an exercise in abject frustration, getting a website to work according to standards and then having to go back and fuck it all up so it rendered nearly as expected in IE. Of course, if you were an idiot you "designed" the website for IE in the first place... and then got bit by it's steady iteration to actually applying most of the standards in a recognisable manner.
Is anybody else suffering with frequent page lock ups on El Reg due to scripts from "media.struq.com" locking up?
Nearly... the NSA take on it is that you need every haystack in every farm in every country on the planet. To find a needle that may, or may not, exist in one particular farm. The needle is probably in the sewing kit, on the table.
Re: Reactive filtering: FAIL
SPF doesn't block spam... spam is technically "unsolicited commercial email".
If a company sends marketing material that you don't want but their DNS servers are configured with SPF records that correctly associate the originating server with the address that it purports to come from, then it will pass the SPF checks.
What correctly configured SPF does does do is to help to prevent the case where somebody sends mail that is made to look like it comes from a specific domain or email address where in reality it doesn't. This is usually phishing attempts but also helps to block the millions of compromised PCs out there from sending emails directly.
For those that have no clue what SPF is there for...
I'm not going to repeat what others above have previously stated is what it's for, and why a hard fail indicates that the mail should be junked automatically (as distinct from a soft fail where it indicates that it might not be valid mail).
Here's an example, from Microsoft even (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2640313):
For example, a bank needs to control who can send email messages on behalf of the bank, and the email senders' IP addresses come from a narrow set of IP ranges. Because spoofing is common in phishing attacks, the organizations such as banks might use a hard fail in the SPF record.
And this is an example from the company that supplies a huge chunk of business mail exchange servers and for a long time pretended that SPF didn't exist... apparently because it wanted to foist it's own, Microsoft centric, solution on the Internet instead.
Re: Re:What did he expect from a bank?
That would be nice, but this is Natwest we're talking about here. The one that the "cough in your face and tell the customer that the 'computer said no'" sketch was almost certainly based on.
Re: All your passwords are belong to us!
Universities are already using cheap GPUs in various forms for cluster based processing.
As far as I understand it, currently not often specifically as large HPC clusters but certainly for smaller systems with 10s of cards rather than 100s. You'd be surprised at what gets done on a limited budget and the innovation this forces.
Through being an extremely violence prone player in game, I do remember the "bastards" moment when I found that the computer team cheated through somehow summoning up more substitutes than they had available. Admittedly it may be more that the ruination of my intended tactic with getting the "hot ball" and repeatedly wiping out and generally beating their players until they had no substitutes left didn't work as well as it should have...
I still remember the shocked look when the first time I played a friend who tried to play it "nicely" and tactically (i.e. non-violently) got thumped into submission within a few minutes when I just pummelled every player of his into the floor.
Not just VM of course
...but VM, being one of the big players, are a bunch of cretins when it comes to making clear what is available and for what cost - it's always about upselling to the next price tier which inevitably gives little or no benefits to the customer.
However the worst I've seen recently is a BT fibre ad which claimed that it was something like £12.99 per month. Except when you read the small print when you find that this is excluding £14.99 line rental and after six months the price will rise to £24 per month and after an arbitrary fourteen months it rises to £28 per month - all with the £14.99/m line rental on top. (the prices and times are from memory and are wrong, but it's the cretinous principle that's the point).
Re: I'm sure I've worked there ...
Moving from INI file to registry settings was the first mistake.
Step 1) Ask the Operating System where data files should be stored for your application.
Step 2) Write INI files there. Or even XML files, your choice.
Avoid the useless nightmare that is the registry at all costs. There are no real advantages to using it for most application purposes and it's best left well alone.
Want to be able to easily support your product? Simple with INI of other file based settings. When (not if) the computer goes down you can far more reliably and easily extract files from the file system than settings from the registry. Want to copy a customer's configuration? Easy, copy the configuration files from their system to yours. Want a user's configuration to follow them around the network? Easy, store them in their roaming profile (assuming that it's configured, but that's a different problem).
Re: Can be useful though
While I can accept that displaying the DSL password is a good idea, from the look of that screenshot that's the account password and not the DSL password.
However I don't use their services so have no way of knowing for sure, but it's under the section "users" and not "DSL" or "modem".
Just your end. That's the nice bit about it, it's a reverse connection.
I actually read it as that in the first place and had to double check back again!
Now is that the deep or the shallow end of the gene pool?
Agreed. It's simple sales / marketing - give the customers what they want.
Unfortunately Microsoft decided that they would copy Apple and tell the customer what they want instead. Unfortunately that works better for new systems than upgrading old ones, as even Apple have found out with some of their changes.
Re: I like it but I can sympathise.
Quick POP QUIZ: List the way(s) in which Windows 7 differs from XP, visually without having to cite the Aero Interface. Which is just XP Task Bar with a Translucent Alpha Chanel and a gimmicky 3D Task Switcher? ....
The most serious initial problem is the fucked up UI that's the login screen. Too much hidden and the bloody "switch user" button is bigger and more prominent than the "login" button itself. As a result, a huge number of users given their first experience of Windows 7 fail to login. Repeatedly. They can learn quickly but it's a recurring problem and sensible design would have prevented this. Likewise, the username is not prominent where even the XP login screen showed the username in more importance, instead the login user "picture" is shown much more important, visually masking the username below. Yes, users can setup their own login pictures but this is per user per system and while this works for a home system, it's complete fail on a company domain system.
Once the user is logged into the shell, it's a relatively simple case of showing them that the start menu (always a dumb name when linked to "shut down") and is replaced by a pizza splat icon instead much like certain versions of Office. The other part is to show them how to pin applications to the start menu and the taskbar and most users are set to go as the rest is familiar enough to Windows XP to not make much difference.
Compare this to Windows 8 where the user interface is so fucked up, I even had to google (on a different system) to work out how to unlock the screen... Hiding stuff in an interface, either through invisibility or obfuscated controls, and expecting people to find it is never a good interface design.
Re: Banned password dictionary
I forgot about running into that, but it all comes back to me now. It was a very sensible thing to implement even if it was frustrating at times.
However Microsoft got involved when they attempted to shift from single-user standalone devices to make them networkable after a fashion things went backwards. The passwords on these local systems were checked locally and 47000 words was probably too much of a dictionary for either the local storage / install media for the system to check against given Microsoft coding efficiency at the time. As a result, subsequently, if your website or service didn't allow a password that a local system that you used did, then it would appear to the end user that your website or service was defective, not the local system with poor or no security. Basically: Lowest Common Denominator wins :(
Re: When you do not want to create an account
Other that marketing@, other commonly used are:
The usual <expletives>@<theirdomain.com> are often good to go as well... If you can be bothered to do the research, the name of their owners or board members is also quite adequate and you'd be surprised how many of them don't appear to have accounts on their own systems that they foist onto the public.
Re: If it moves again....
Unfortunately the last I knew we had no functioning nukes in orbit around mars for this eventuality. Please write to your local government representative to let them know that you do not approve of this lack of planning.
However we do have a nuclear powered laser tank already deployed. ETA... errm, about 15 months.
Worshiping the vulture? What next? Biting hands?
It's worth than utterly incompetent...
The software that we have here that requires the old, very insecure, unsupported version of Java is written by Oracle.
The company has revenue turnover of $285m a quarter, what's the profit per quarter? Taking an (air plucked) 30% profit rate that works out at $342m profit a year.
What am I missing? $3.1b seems rather a high bid for this.
Re: What we want to know is...
While a lot of the comments around the Win8 UI revolve around the Start Menu, it's more the braindead manner in which it was implemented that was the problem.
As many people have already noted, the Start Menu in previous versions of Windows was a Modal interface - which for those that don't understand what "modal" means, it basically pops to the front and blocks access to anything else. Modal interfaces are generally modal with respect to either the application (or in tabbed browsers / applications, sometimes per tab) or the operating system (graphical shell). A modal popup within an application will force your attention to that popup window within the application when you try and use the application. A modal popup at the graphical shell level will prevent you from doing anything else in the graphical shell until you've dealt with it...
Having a full screen modal Start Menu (effectively a Start Screen) or a partial screen modal popup window as the previous versions of Windows had shouldn't make that much difference. The previous incarnation of the Start Menu had serious deficiencies... install more than a few applications and before you know it you're having to navigate scroll lists, nested menus and all kinds of usability horrors. To help with this when Microsoft transitioned away from the "Classic" start menu to whatever the hell they called it in Windows XP, it was possible to pin favourite or commonly used applications, Most Recently Used application documents linked with these and the other most recently used applications were automatically listed while still allowing the user access to the full, nasty, tree of applications if they needed it. One downside of the TIFKAM start menu is that it removes the control that the user had and introduces an (subjectively) ugly and unusable lists of icons in place of the useful things that were in place previously. My main system runs Windows 7 and some of the most application launches I work with are, for example, opening the Start Menu, and selecting a spreadsheet out of the most recently used documents listed by the Excel link that I pinned to the Start Menu. This is far quicker than opening Excel and finding the document by either opening it through the file system or performing the ghastly operation of finding the most recently used document list in Excel and eventually locating the document I wanted. I also have the option, if I had a spreadsheet that I used all the time, of pinning common spreadsheets so they don't fall out of the Most Recently Used list (it's also possible to pin a document link directly in the Start Menu, but it's not simple: http://blogs.technet.com/b/deploymentguys/archive/2009/04/08/pin-items-to-the-start-menu-or-windows-7-taskbar-via-script.aspx has the details).
The (short) point of it is that the new Start Menu removes the functions that were steadily added that made the older Start Menu actually useful. As a result the Windows 8.1 Start Menu is a huge step backwards in usability and, while it can be customised, it can't be customised enough to replace the useful functionality lost and to make the interface itself actually usable on a non-touchscreen device.
...and that's just the content of the Start Menu / Screen. There are many other very serious user interface (user experience) deficiencies in Windows 8.1
Re: Bought one this morning
You won't be able to mine bitcoins on it. OK, technically you could, but your hash rate will be magnitudes inferior to even the current ASICs, let alone those that are due to hit operation soon (assuming that the new ASICs are not vapourware of course).
The website https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Mining_hardware_comparison has a definitive comparison of CPU vs GPU vs ASIC bitcoin hash rates. Average GPUs are 10x faster than the best CPUs, current cheaply available ASICs are 10x faster than the best GPUs and the new wave of ASICs that are promised will be 100x-1000x faster still.
Re: Miners will Decide (@Steve Todd)
While ASICs are the only way ahead (largely forget FPGAs as well as GPUs), this is currently only true for BitCoins or very similar. Other algorithmic digital virtual currencies have different requirements which don't search ASICs as well as they were designed as such from the outset.
Re: Same old suspects every single damn time..
They keep getting work because they are seen as "safe choices" due to their size and experience (admittedly at fucking everything up that they are contracted to provide). Many of these systems I could have had developed within a year by a small, quality team for a tiny fraction of the price... unfortunately unless you are a big, unwieldy organisation with the aforementioned experience (and directors in the right places), it is impossible to get these contracts.
Re: I want Windows 7 back because I prefer to be slow!!!
Dear Microsoft Employee "rebootweb",
Thank you for registering on El Reg just to troll. Your input is truly appreciated.
I sincerely hope you are being adequately paid to write on this website to tell us that the utter trainwreck that is the Windows 8 User Interface works for you and your long suffering family on every possible device that they have paid you to write about. Have you considered a career in Real Estate or in telemarketing? I hear that PPI companies are always on the look out for people just like you.
Re: Good luck
Which you'll have to pay for to fix the bugs and issues in the previous version that you also paid for.
Re: It's part of a bigger picture
The other month I stunned some American support staff of a product that we use by pointing out to them when they were confused that most of their non-US customers were measuring thing in millimetres, that the US is one of the three remaining countries on the planet that still uses Imperial measurements or, perhaps more accurately, does not use the metric system.
On an engineering front my previous dealings with a different US supplier was that they didn't seem to understand the RoHS rules (specifically lead in electronics) and how they were generally implemented in a similar way worldwide. Except for the US. As a result they had one product for the US and another product for everybody else on the planet, carefully glazing over when it was pointed out that producing an international compliant product would also solve their problems with the state of California that had similar requirements for their products and give them a single product to support. Their solution to Imperial nuts and bolts was also to send, at extortionate costs, imperial spanners...
* Yes, I know some countries use certain Imperial measurements on occasions, but the official designation is metric measures. I'll have a pint please... :)
Re: How many?
I'd heard that the number of drink drivers caught year on year has been getting lower in the UK recently. Which is positive. However this could also mean that the police are no longer out there trying to catch them...
However the number of people caught the morning after has increased. Again, is this because police are now concentrating on this or because more people are actually driving the following day?
Re: 1366 x 768
That's the most upsetting thing about it all... 1680x1050 8 years ago compared to what we have now.
I know that many of today's displays are more power efficient and have better colour range, viewing angles and overall laptops are cheaper now, but even with this it's just pathetic that we've gone backwards so far given how things should improve in time. That's the most upsetting point when combined with the modern user interfaces being space inefficient.
Has anybody at these damn laptop manufacturers tried (or suffered) with Office 2010 (the current standard that the majority of businesses seem to be using) on an x768 screen? It's all but unusable due to the waste of space interface elements. It feels like you spend more timing moving crud out of the way and scrolling to see the content than actually reading the damn content that you're using it for. Is x768 in use everywhere because they can pretend that it's a "HD" resolution? Before the switch to widescreen aspect displays the standard display resolutions were going up it was easy to find over 1000 pixels vertical on even the cheaper laptops.
x768 desktop monitors disappeared into obsolescence years ago which allowed Microsoft to expand the UI elements to "take advantage" of the increase in screen real estate, but with no recourse to a more efficient use of this space (Office 2013's metro incarnation is not helpful) and with laptop builders shifting bog standard low resolution screens on everything it's an ongoing usability problem. As pointed out by JeeBee above, even 1600x900 is significantly better.
Not a common or easy to find book (may even be out of print now), but there's a great book you need to read in dead-tree format n public: "how to make love to a black man".
Apparently it's a good book, from the technical / creative point of view, and absolutely nothing to do with what the title may suggest.
Re: The ultimate jeopardy answer to life the universe and everything.
"Now, Watson, what is the question?"
What is seven times eight?
Re: @Blue Eyed Boy
Yellow Pages - they were in a perfect position to be very strong, possibly dominant, in business search on the early Internet but were absolutely clueless and seemed to have little desire to do anything other than fleece existing dead-tree customers as much as possible.
It also felt like every time they did anything it was too intentionally hobbled and too late and generally worse than what they had before and always worse than anything else available. The old BBS / telnet version was a lot better than yp.com, which was better than yell.com and however many countless iterations those went through...
Given how appalling yahoo periodically make their mail interface, messing up on the encryption strategy is no surprise at all. It feels like every revision of yahoo mail has been explicitly designed to push previously happy users away to alternative platforms. I try to be forward thinking and give things a good chance before rejecting them, but with yahoo mail I just can't do it. And then yahoo intentionally screw up the "legacy" mail to make it worse than the previous mail so you're stuck with a deficient mail interface that superficially looks like the older one or a new one that's just deficient in pretty much every usability way they could think.
The Galaxy S2 was a great phone and is still available and is still good enough for the majority of users. The Galaxy S3 is likewise still a great phone and easily good enough for the majority of users. The Galaxy S4 is also a great phone, but not especially different to the Galaxy S3 for the majority of users.
In the developed markets, we've largely hit smart-phone saturation and the smart phone manufacturers should now be subtly changing tactics so rather than producing newer, bigger phones with more pointless features they should be arranging other streams of income and refining their devices to give better value. This isn't affecting just Samsung, the same is true for Apple. And to aptly demonstrate the problem affecting the flagship phones, Motorola (Google), produced the Moto G which is almost as good as the top of range devices of last year but at a bargain price.
Nothing to stop them coming up with some "entirely new", but smart-phones as they are have hit a plateau. Although I'd prefer the next gen of battery technology to come sooner rather than later...
Re: From Left to Right!
pulse, pulse, pulse, pulse, pulse, pulse, pulse, pulse.
Re: It's x86
Windows CE definitely (amazingly MS haven't killed this off yet), XP embedded (XPe) maybe, or perhaps more likely Windows 95/98 with the 98Lite approach, but full fat windows? No way as it's just too bloated and stupidly resource hungry.
Re: I'm normally quite relaxed about updating apps...
Similar to my take on the Facebook app - it's on my tablet (no SMS or mobile number to harvest) but on my phone I stick to using the Facebook website... in DESKTOP mode of course.
IMHO El Reg should remove this, effectively, malware advert from their website.
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