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* Posts by The BigYin

3026 posts • joined 25 Mar 2008

Latest Java patch is not enough, warns US gov: Axe plugins NOW

The BigYin
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Re: I could get rid of Java ...

Thanks! Dunno how I missed that. My excuse is that I'm laid up with the lurgy.

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The BigYin
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Re: I could get rid of Java ...

Can you cite a source for that, please? I'm genuinely interested to know if OpenJDK/IcedTea is affected or not.

A bit of quick searching only yields me forums postings - nothing authoritative.

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Facebook shoves biz pal Microsoft aside, unzips new Graph Search

The BigYin
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Re: Only on this site...

Anti-MS? El Reg is as pro-MS as they come.

Apart from the bits that aren't.

Summary: They get the balance about right.

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The BigYin
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Do I understand things correctly?

Now I can ask my friends without needing to ask my friends?

Is it just me, or is Facebook trying to drive a wedge into norma human interactions. A wedge it can then copyright, patent and monetise.

I knew there was a reason I didn't have a Facebook account. I have this quaint habit of talking to people.

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NRA: Video games kill people, not guns. And here's our video game

The BigYin
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Wassa matter JDX, get out of the wrong side of bed this morning?

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Patent trolling surges, but righteous cavalry on the way

The BigYin
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Re: Wrong legislation wording

The patent should go to the Open Innovation Network, thus protecting other organisations from future threats (e.g. from the successful defendant). Basically...you troll, you will be open sourced.

If the court finds a patent to be invalid (e.g. poorly written or whatever) then the patent office should face censure, up to and including the people responsible losing their jobs. And if they can't be identified, you go to the management level (gross incompetence). And if you can't identify the managers, go to the executive layer.

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The BigYin
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Duty, shcmuty.

The rep's job is to place a nice veneer over everything whilst making as much money as possible for themselves and their cronies. To think anything else is naivety in the extreme.

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Amazon-bashed HMV calls in administrators, seeks buyer

The BigYin
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Re: It was only a matter of time

"Retro Gamer magazine. "

Tesco. I see it in there all the time.

Ideally you should ask you local newsie to order it for you and buy it there. Support you local traders, they pay taxes (unlike the big boys).

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The BigYin
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Re: Wonder how much tax HMV paid

>Oh my god!! We live in a nation of 40 million tax minimizers."

Of course we do, which is why we should lobby our MPs to change the tax laws.

Never happen though.

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WTF is... WebRTC?

The BigYin
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Just wait

MS will implement "improvements" to this so it will only work on IE and only if you have required Skype libraries installed.

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The BigYin
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Re: And what will it be used for?

So what? You think Hollywood blazed the trail for the VCR?

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Hooking offshore wind farms into UK grid will HIKE bills, MPs warn

The BigYin
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Re: PFI - Epic fail

"You cant ask the bats They are dead."

That was my point...

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The BigYin
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PFI - Epic fail

All PFI is, is a way to take money from the poor (via taxation) and hand it to the rich. It should no longer form any part of any state enterprise. And all these "private partners being paid by results" need to go to; it's the same kind of scam.

As for wind power...utterly useless (expect in a very few cases) and it will remain so until we have a way of storing the power for when the wind does not blow. Liquefying air, making fuel from H20 and CO2, pumping water uphill or whatever; unless we can store it, there's no point in having it.

Unless we want to be like Germany and have to import dirty coal power.

And, of course, wind power isn't very green; just ask the bats.

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Review: Google Nexus 4

The BigYin
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FAIL

I was thinking of one of these...

...now I'm not. A battery life of 10 hours is utterly ludicrous. What is it with this obsession in making phones the size of monoliths? Have our hands and pockets trebled in size or something? The battery for these things has got to be measured in days, and weeks for standby. If it's not, then it's not fit for purpose.

I'm still looking for a new phone, but there is nothing on the market. It's like laptops - all 16:9 1366x786 glossy screens and thus utter shit. Wrong aspect ratio, dreadful DPI., wrong finish. 16:10 matte screens are the only sensible choice.

Why is technology racing forward on the one hand,but engaged full reverse in the other?

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Blighty's schools shake on new 3-year deal with Microsoft

The BigYin
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Re: Evil fuckwits

"to allow them to use FOSS software"

The article says "freeware". That may or may not be F/OSS.

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HMRC hops back into bed with Microsoft, finds purse £10m lighter

The BigYin
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Re: (km123) This is about Government POLICY overriding a PREFERENCE for Windows

That German FO switch was more about politics (as there was a power shift in Germany) than practicalities from what I understand, especially given this from the story you link:

"All that despite McKinsey confirming in 2009 that the German Foreign Office had splurged less cash on its individual IT workspaces then any other federal authority in the country while running a Linux desktop shop."

Although understanding anything a government does is difficult at the best of times.

We can cite stories back and forth, but that doesn't change anything. Whilst people use MS only formats (e.g. Office Open XML*) and MS only code (i.e. anything that only runs on Windows); then MS have you by the balls. If organisations spec open standards and portability, they have a much better bargaining position and can keep their costs down (even if they ultimately remain on Windows).

*Before some Windtard chimes in, yes; I do know that in theory Office Open XML is an ISO standard and in theory an open standard. The actuality of that is, however, rather different (e.g. the "openness" only applies to a specific version of ooxml). The only true open standards IMO are those spec'd by OASIS (e.g. odf).

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The BigYin
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Re: Incoming!

By "portable" I mean you can take yer J2EE mega app running under JBoss on Windows and drop it on to JBoss on GNU/Linux and it will just work. Unless some ass-hat coder has made explicit assumptions about file-paths and other resources.

If have been that ass-hat coder.

(Sorry about that)

If you are a customer and you do not spec portability...then you are spec'ing "Please lock me into one specific vendor who can gouge me forever more."

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The BigYin
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Re: Incoming!

J2EE is (well...should be...) portable, ASP.NET isn't.

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The BigYin
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Re: Incoming!

@Chris Miller - Yeah, one could save on licensing but I am going to bet that HMRC doesn't really use vanilla Office (if they use that at all for doing your taxes; the UK taxes managed in Excel? *shudder*); it will have custom apps (probably Windows only) and add-ons for Office (Windows only).

Whilst it would be nice for HMRC to be out from under the yoke of MS, the savings from licensing etc. probably don't give a quick enough return over the re-implementation costs. I don't know, I don't have the figures. Picking any solution purely on dogma rather than prudent considerations is almost certainly going to cause one problems.

What, maybe, HMRC could threaten MS with is moving their back-end away from Windows. e.g. Samba 4 instead of Active Directory. Or CentOS rather than Windows Server (assuming they aren't using SQL Server, of course). HMRC could push this even further by still running Windows etc, but commissioning new applications/services that can be migrated from platform-to-platform (e.g. JBoss, Apache or whatever instead of IIS, Java, Mono, Python etc instead of .Net). In fact, I would strongly suggest that engaging new projects in such a manner is the correct decision, as it make future negotiations that much easier.

And thus, F/LOSS does its job. Maybe not directly, but it makes it harder for the monopoly incumbent to gouge the customer (and thus us, in this case).

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Mozilla claims 25 per cent JavaScript speed boost with Firefox 18

The BigYin
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Did a run in a Windows VM on a different PC (I had upgraded the host from FF 17 to FF 18 already). Host is almost the same as above, save it runs Windows 7 and has a 3.1GHz Core 2 Duo

FF 17 - 263ms

FF 18 - 312ms (18% slower)

So I don't know where Mozilla is getting their "25% JavaScript speed boost" from, guess I should have held-off on the upgrades and checked out the V8 benchmark. Can someone else run these before an after upgrade?

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The BigYin
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I concur after trying Sunspider

Ubuntu 12.10 64bit, KDE 4.9, 4GB ram, Core 2 Duo 2.4Ghz

FF 17 - 293ms

FF 18 - 323ms

So based on the mighty evidence of one sample, I say that FF 18 is 10% slower and a regression.

I believe this comparison to be fair as the same add-ons were enabled in both runs.

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Nuisance calls DOUBLE, Ofcom vows to hunt down offenders

The BigYin
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If I get a computer...

...I hang up. If I get a human, I waste their time for as long as I can. Strangely enough, I don't really get any nuisance calls. Maybe I am on a "Don't call this number, the guy is on to us" list?

(WARNING: Incoming F-bombs)

What I want stopped, ***NOW*** are these fuckers texting me about PPI. Seriously, fuck off.

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The BigYin
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I hope someone does. I'd love to know how to set such a thing up, chuck the landline and have cheapy-cheap VOIP calls.

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'Not even Santa could save Microsoft's Windows 8'

The BigYin
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Re: Again and again: BALLMER AND HIS ENTOURAGE MUST GO first....

MS can't lose what they never had.

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The BigYin
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Give it time

Windows 8 will be in almost every home and office. Not out of choice, but due to the fact it's pre-installed and you have no choice. You will have Windows, and you will like it. Unless of course you are rich, in which case buy an Apple and enjoy a different walled garden.

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Sir James Dyson slams gov's 'obsession' with Silicon Roundabout

The BigYin
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Re: Hypocrite

Thank you, I didn't know he was paying a "moral" tax level. I assumed, like all other large companies notionally based in the UK, he was engaging in tax efficiency.

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The BigYin
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FAIL

Hypocrite

"British knowledge is simply taken abroad."

Dyson products are made where, exactly? Clue: it's not in the UK.

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FAVI smacks your dumb TV with £30 Android SmartStick

The BigYin
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Re: HDMI HiFi

To add to AC, I have a TV that works (but is not smart). I can afford £30 if I want smartness, I can't afford £500+ and I do not want to be locked into the restricted services provided by the OEM.

Also, my guess is that devices like this will be hacked to provide even more functionality than a TV OEM would ever want to give you.

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Israel plots gigabit fibre-to-home rollout

The BigYin
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Re: Two thirds of the country ?

Just because the Sudan is bad, does not mean Israel is also not bad. There isn't some finite amount of badness that can exist in the world, us humans have an infinite supply.

The Palestinians have committed acts that are repugnant. This is without question. And so has Israel, this is also without question. Recognising that Israel has committed such acts does not make one an anti-Semite, it makes one a realist.

I am sorry if people who do not view Israel with your pious view offend you.

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UK.gov: You didn't trust us with your ID, so we gave it to private biz

The BigYin
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Re: Round II promises to be very busy

"Copies of the electoral rolls compiled constituency-by-constituency would all be stored unedited with the credit referencing agencies."

This is my data, that I have provided under threat of legal sanction. Do I now have to pay these private companies £10+ a month to be able to check the veracity of my data? Screw that.

"GDS have appointed seven "identity providers", one of them being Mydex."

So we need to ensure compatibility, security and reliability by demanding that the data and protocols used be 100% open (and I mean, free & open; not the MS patent-infested idea of "open") up-to and including a private individual being able to host their own, personal identify service (this is perfectly feasible by going down to, say, a post office and submitting the various keys along with primary ID). A failure to provide this is to disempower the public and have them held hostage to private concerns.

Want to check you data? Pay up or shut up, bitch.

Oh and one last thing; should any of these private companies be compromised, I want to see the executives held personally and infinitely liable for all losses suffered by persons breached and all fines levied. In the exact same way banking professionals are not. Why so stringent? Simple. These people only understand money, so the only way to make them behave and not profiteer is to put their wallets on the firing line.

But wait! No business will agree to those terms and the service won't be provided! Well, I have no problem with that either. We truck along right now quite happily.

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The BigYin
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Re: Bite my...

I forgot one thing; all hail the DarkNet. Let me see you put that genie back in the bottle; bitch.

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The BigYin
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Re: ... eradicate terrorism and pedophilia.

Define "terrorism". Setting a bomb on the public street? Sure, we can all agree that that is terrorism. But our state goes much further than that and the laws pass (potentially) from protection into oppression. Sometimes that person saying the thing you don't like and don't want to hear is saying the thing you need to hear.

The Tories and Labour are cut from the same cloth; they want all the power for their rich Etonian friends, but none of the responsibility; is it any wonder the minor (and some rather repugnant) parties are gaining traction? The country is screwed because of Labour and Tory policies over the past 20 years (i.e. PFI), we know this; just be honest, swallow your party pride and fix the problem.

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The BigYin
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Children are most at risk from relatives. Children should not have families. THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

May is a fool.

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The BigYin
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Re: The national ID debacle - round II coming up.

The system should be federated and public so that if I want to, I can host/provide my own ID verification system. I probably won't (I do have something that vaguely passes for a life), but the only way to keep the bastards honest is to ensure that at any time you can yank the rug from below them.

I agree with the main thrust; if the state wants me to be open with it, then it must be open with me. That means that I can authenticate (via OpenID or whatever) and view all the information the government holds on me, and all MP/civili servant interests and expenses etc.

I'm happy to accept some restrictions for national security (e.g. active police investigations) but not one heck of a lot. I said it below - I want to see my MPs and MEPS leads by example; not engage in hypocrisy,

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The BigYin
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Re: ID

Godwin. You ruin an otherwise good point.

A public action can still be private (I go to the toilet, that is public knowledge, the action remains private) and it is often by acting in public that we are at our most free and anonymous. The state wishes to remove this - why?

Not for the children; that is the systematic failure of outdated, superstitious organisations that (for whatever reason) still get special treatment. Also, if our own MPs and MEPs divulged their information publicly (you know, to their employers) then I would have more sympathy. Until then, in the words of that great philosopher, "eat my shorts".

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The BigYin
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Mushroom

Bite my...

...asymmetric crypto, VPS, VPN and multiple accounts; bitch.

The government can handle my data in via the private sector the same day they engage in full disclosure of all expenses, all gratuities, all benefits, all share-holdings/directorships etc. In other words, the day they lead by example is the day I follow.

Until then the government will be treated like the clear and present danger they are and get the minimum information they require to function.

What is worse for children? The (small) risk of being interfered with physically or the very real risk of their state regime systematically mining their personal information. And every regime that follows. The state is elected to obey and to serve the people, not the other way around. We forget this at our peril.

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Ten… top tech cock-ups of 2012

The BigYin
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Petraeus now makes sense

He gave out his CIA login? He didn't just use a public system like mail.com etc?

Surely giving out such sensitive details is not just worthy or firing, but of jail time, dishonourable discharge, and goodness knows what else? He gave unfettered access to his CIA email, and not happens, yet Manning rots in a military prison.

Seems in the USA (like in the UK) justice is no longer blind and actively favours the rich.

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Trust the cloud with my PRECIOUS? You gotta be joking

The BigYin
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Re: I Call Bullshit

I think you miss the point. A lot. See that spec on the horizon? That's the sign post telling you where the point is.

"Your Macbook HD with its 2-3 warranty is more reliable than multiple server farms spread across continents?"

Of course not. Not HDD is. That's why we have RAID and multiple back-ups (with at least one off-site).

"Techies will steal your music?

No. But they may mine the information and report yo to the authorities. Heck, the authorties could even compel them to do so. Also, your data comes under the jurisdiction of the hosting country which could land you in some very hot water if you are unlucky.

"Cloud server administrators cannot and absolutely will not deliberately delete your files."

Unless compelled to by law or other threats (see above). Imagine the MPAA issuing takedowns for movies/music you have uploaded for personal use. Heck, just doing that could be a criminal offence.

"So be circumspect with what you store and where you store it."

Oh, you did get the point after all.

Me - I will store my data locally, keep back-ups and use the cloud only for information I need to share with other and, for whatever reason, don't wish to host it locally. When in the cloud, most of that data will be encrypted/locked by me to ensure that only the people I want have accees

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Rampaging gnu crashes Microsoft Store, hands out literature

The BigYin
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"the default Gnome desktop UI was primitive and -awful-. Reminded me of Win95. Which, you know, was 17 years ago."

What utter cobblers. In fact this is clearly a lie or a very, very old distro. Maybe 17 years old?

The default Gnome UI (called Gnome Shell) looks nothing like Win95 and behave nothing like Win95. It might not be your cup of tea (it isn't mine), but it is way ahead of anything Win95 could offer and not quite as crippled as the Win8 Tiles.

The other thing one could do is, y'know, try a different distro or desktop. That is the thing with GNU/Linux, choice. Not all distros are equal. Some are highly focused/optimised for a particular job.

"I'm not interested in spending the next 3 months tinkering with GTK scripts to enhance it."

I feel the same way about Windows. It takes me far to long to hack it around until it works.

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What Compsci textbooks don't tell you: Real world code sucks

The BigYin
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@AndrueC - Which brings me back to code review. Before hitting trunk it should be reviewed (and this includes comments). I know that is an ideal case and not always reality.

Code and comments go hand-in-hand. IMHO you need both.

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The BigYin
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FAIL

Re: I try to write clear code

Oh FFS. "foo" (and "bar") are standard names used by just about everyone for basic examples of syntax etc. Of course I don't call things in real code "foo" or "bar".

Unless of course that do actually happen to be a "foo" or a "bar".

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The BigYin
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Re: I try to write clear code

This. Which is why I doc the living hell out of my code so that people reading it (or the API) know what I mean by "foo" and how I expect it to behave. If they contact me to ask a question, either they haven't read the docs (in which case I give them short shrift for wasting my time*) or the docs were inadequate (in which case I update them).

And if coders don't understand a ternary operator, you need better coders.

*That may seem a bit harsh, and I don't actually mind answering sensible questions. But it's not a case of just one person asking, it's the next and the next and the next and the...so I make them read the docs and come back with a sensible answer. I know some folks always do check the docs, so I know from the get-go they are asking something sensible. Other folks? Not so much.

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The BigYin
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"Even if they start out accurate they get out of date because there's nothing to enforce change in them as the code changes."

Yes there is, it's called a "Code Review". All code should be reviewed by the team, and preferably by some not involved in the actual project. Of course, time needs to be allowed for this and it seldom is.

"Every time you think of writing a comment, don't! Call a function or method or instantiate an object and put the comment in the name of the identifier."

That's good up to a point, and well named object/methods/params/members are a big help; but nothing, nothing beats proper docs and comments. It also means the APIs can be spat out and handed over to other teams fully doc'd, with behaviours, expected responses etc all done. No need to keep secondary documentation in sync. One line of code docs/comments per line of code (ish, depends on the language).

If you change the code, change the comments. Simple.

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The BigYin
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It starts out well...

...but then decays.

"I'll just shim this minor edge case in here...it's easier than re-architecting a bunch of classes" [repeat a few hundred times]

"Oh crap, this condition was never envisaged...I'll hard code in an if-else block to cope." [repeat a few hundred times]

"I really should update the docs, but there's no documentation time in the schedule, and I have 100 tasks to do before the end of the week."

"Unity test? Yeah, I should, but there's no time in the schedule."

"This code is obvious, I don't need comments."

"Code review? No time, no time...everyone is too busy."

"Hmm...fixing this minor UI glitch properly is going to mean re-writing loads of code to provide proper abstraction...the manager won't believe me that such a small change on the UI will take two weeks...better hack it than get into an argument." [repeat a few hundred times]

[Two years pass]

"HOLY JAYSUZ! What is this shit? What does that mean? WTF is that branch meant to be doing? Oh dear gawd! Who wrote this piece of shit? Oh, wait....oops"

You need to allow 3 to 5 times the coding duration if you expect to get quality.

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TSA agrees to review of perv scanner radiation risks

The BigYin
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Re: Typical knee-jerk reaction to technology

So there should be no problem with running the tests and publishing the results.

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Microsoft 'surprised' by Google Gmail 'winter cleaning'

The BigYin
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So...

....out of the frying pan and into the fire, eh?

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So, you want to get closer to the workers with social media?

The BigYin
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No

I do not express personal opinions at work, only professional ones (if you see what I mean). I will do my utmost to make sure projects work and are delivered on time, even if I personally think the focus is totally wrong e.g. Surface is going to outsell all other tablets - so only worry about that, forget Android, OS X, iOS etc.

My professional opinion is: we should stick to standards where possible and maintain portability to ease client migrations; we have to deploy on their current equipment after all.

My personal opinion is: Surface? WTF? Are you high? Have you actually used that vomit? You do know RT is a crippled POS, don't you? Are you paying attention to the real world at all?

One of these I will express at work, the other not so much. And as the professional opinion does not appear to be dissent, it actually gets listened to without giving them any clue as to what I really think.

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Microsoft to Moto: We'll give you $1m a year for your patents

The BigYin
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Patent me this,

Patent me that,

Who's afraid of the Redmond....<insert nawty word here>.

MS grabs $5 per handset.

Google gargles $100 mill or whatever for H264.

Apple slurps X for Y

Samsung...

The money goes around and around, time is lost, courts choked up and in the end it is zero sum (except for the lawyers). It's almost as if the world would be better off without this patent garbage on software; then folks would just get on with stuff.

But wait! Where would the investment go if it couldn't be protected? Well, they are already wasting sky-fairy knows much on lawyers and lost suits; perhaps than money would cover these mythical loses that would be incurred.

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Secrets of an ad broker: NoSQL, millisecond auctions and FLASH ARRAYS

The BigYin
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Re: How much did this article cost Tapad?

Surely if this was a pad-for puff (i.e. an ad) then would El Reg be required to declare it as such? Just like puff articles in papers are require to state "Marketing bullcrap" or something at the top?

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Facebook to debut auto-play video ads in 2013

The BigYin
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It would be nice to whitelist non-annoying ads on some sites; but I went for the nuclear option:

dnsmasq and an ad blocking config; kill the wee fuckers network wide.

Actually, I wonder if blocking ads means I'm breaching copyright? A bit like how the ad skippers in pVRs were done over.

Pretty soon sites will test for the actual presence of their ads before they show content; I've seen this already. Can't blame the sites trying to protect revenue, but rather than engage in an arms race; wy not just use nice, static ads that aren't migraine inducing?

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