48 posts • joined Saturday 12th April 2008 03:09 GMT
Is it stable yet?
Had to lol at the LTS comments above; I'm running 12.04 (LTS) and I'm still waiting for it to stabilize! It's certainly the most crash-prone Ubuntu I've used, and I started on 06.06
So should I move to 13.04? Well, given that this presumably only gets 9 months support, I'll probably have to pass. But then again, I feel like 12.04 has been left to rot. It's crash-prone, but it's also got a skip-load of stupid bugs like the often-ghosted-paste-menu-item-in-nautilus bug, or a weird one that I see all the time where when the mouse rolls over menu items, they seem to change their size causing the whole menu to jump about... and I've no idea how to even search for a bug on that. It's hard enough to describe!
It's almost like Canonical are focusing on their business plans, and completely forgetting their users are what stops them from being a complete irrelevance.
MORE TH>N password policy
The "More Than" insurance people have a kind of silly password policy also:
Please bear the following guidelines in mind:
* Be between 8 and 14 characters
* Not include more than 2 repeated characters in a row
* Not include the word 'guest'
* Not contain swear words
The first point isn't sooo terrible except for the top-end limit of 14 chars. The second point really doesn't help much with entropy. The third is kind of weird... firstly I wonder why? How can that upset the system, and secondly, what if my surname was "guest".. that'd be annoying. And the fourth point seems to indicate that they store things in clear text. That or their OS is easily offended.
Re: Buy British!
But they're using Media Temple for their unparalleled, rock-solid, reliability. Or... maybe not.
"parents are warned to keep an eye out for telltale signs that their kids might be indulging in it."
What like turning blue? Or is that too late?
Not Mac Compatible
Re the two Ultradisk products, when you say "not Mac compatible", are you really saying "Windows only"? Us Linux users need to know!
Also.... I'm intrigued how they managed to be incompatible with Macs. So my next questions is "Why?"
I think where a lot of these companies screw up is that they want to make huge margins, but they don't have the product quality to do it. Apple are expensive, but at least they do manage to have a consistent fit and finish both though their hardware and software. Costs more, looks lovely, works pretty much perfectly provided you don't want to root it... which most "normal"** people don't.
Cheapy clones from China can compete on price alone.
But "brands" like HP and Dell seem to think they can knock out something pretty average looking, and still charge Apples margins. They can't. They might sell to business who can negotiate a slightly better deal plus support pacakge, but with consumers they need a better product. I'm guessing they don't lower their prices though because that would just kill their business market?
But the interesting thing with the HP TouchPad is that they were selling their own WebOS. But as WinMo7 proves, if you're starting on a back-foot (small user-base) you're unlikely to get anywhere. HP had an advantage over MS in that they have (had?) their own hardware AND software.... so, with the benefit of hindsight, if HP had built the TouchPad to the cost of say, the Hannspree Hannspad Tablet (10.1" ARM9 + Tegra II T20 1GHz), loaded WebOS on it, sold it at the same price as Hannspree (£149), then with an advertising push, they would've not made much money, but they would've likely gained much more market share which is important for WebOS and it's app-store. Once they have earned the right to charge a larger margin, they can.
Basically... HP should have *ME* as their CEO. Let's face it, it couldn't be much worse! :D
**Yeah, so not us lot!
Have the ICO ever actually done anything?
Do the ICO ever prosecute anyone? Only a few days ago I was reading about some clowns who lost a USB stick in a pub with thousands of housing association tenants details:
They got away without so much as a token fine!
I am most concerned at the lack of technophobia
In years gone by, this would have been reported by el-Reg as a Rise-Of-The-Machines(TM) incident! So contrary to the first poster, I can't help but wonder if the writer has been "turned".
It's also quite clear to me that the "human driver" of the Google PriusBot *was told* to say he/she was driving at the time by the car itself. On pain of death most probably.
Charge more for distance from power source?
I guess no one really wants to be living near any kind of power generation facility, but we all want electricity. So maybe the solution is to charge people more the further they are from a power source?
LulzSec should hack him!
...just for the lulz!
I'm surprised no one else picked up on this...
[quote]"Nokia could be punching out Windows Phone handsets at the rate or one every two months, the company has said."[/quote]
Are they sure there's that much demand?
I just want a screen that can bend... slightly!
Rather than a whole, foldy-upy screen, I just want to not have to worry about bending my smart-phone when I stuff it in a pocket, so if it was just able to bend a bit without damaging the screen, that'd be great.
Why XML is good
XML is good because it preserves the semantics of data, as opposed to say a comma delimited file, and includes namespaces so it's easier to add to, or remove data from without then having to change the software wot consumes said data.
The human readable bit is just that you can view/create/update XML data with a simple text editor. Or pretty much any programming language since it's just a text file. This may not seem like a big deal, but if you're stranded managing a legacy system and you need it to talk to something else, things like this really matter.
But don't misinterpret "human readable" as meaning it is intended to be consumed by end-users.
Is XML efficient? Nope. But that wasn't the intent. But it is useful as a data exchange format that's easy to work with -- easy as in lower barrier to entry.
I wish they had kept the captioning uniform rather than CAPITALISING a bunch of sections. It just makes the video-reporting seem a little biased. Plus the videographers sniggering didn't help much either.
Why all the TIFFs ?
FWIW .tiff files don't seem to render in Chrome -- so I can't see any of the images in this article. And who uses tiff files anyway... you weirdos! ;)
So how many WP7 deployments?
So MS haven't given any figures on WP7 deployments yet, but we know that "small number" of users were affected... and now also know that that's 10% of WP7 users. LOL! Clearly these two messages bypassed MS Public Relations.
Smells a bit funny!
I can kind of see why users might complain about OpenOffice over MS Office, but the former should still be workable. But everything else really shouldn't be an issue. According to the slashdot coverage of this story, printer and scanner drivers were cited as a problem.... apparently they were having to write their own? That sounds to me like either they've got a bunch of unusual legacy hardware -- in which case that'll likely not work in Windows 7 either, or they've bought new kit that doesn't play nicely with Linux -- in which case that's a procurement problem surely?!
If they'd already made the switch to Linux, I really can't see how they'll save switching back to Windows, *except* if they're being given sweeteners, which will obviously mean that long term it'll cost more.
What happens when MS buy Nokia?
My main concern is that at some point in the future, MS might want to acquire what remains of Nokia, and then it'll own a lot of mobile phone IP. They might then use that "persuade" other mobile phone manufactures to go with WinMo7 perhaps?
If that isn't their (MS's) long-term game, then surely this buddying up with Nokia is just going to distance them from all their other "partners" marginalising them even more... so that's why I'm wondering if IP buy-out isn't the real end-game.
Was sceptical, watched the video and....
Having watched the video, it was interesting. To sum up, when a user inserts a USB, it auto-mounts (which is fine*), opens a nautilus windows (Gnome file browser) which in turn will try to generate thumbnail images of the files on the USB drive. There's skip-loads of code that could get run doing this though -- an example mentioned was the totem video thumbnailer which covers a large number of video formats and therefore has multiple code paths.
Net result - it's entirely likely the some thumbnailer code somewhere has vulnerabilities and can be exploited this way.
Yes an example did use evince (PDF viewer) which has been fixed, but they didn't side-step too much real-world code. If I recall correctly, I think he said that AppArmour doesn't cover evince by default anyway, and certainly apparmour didn't cover all thumbnailers. There were other mitigations, but none seemed absolutely water tight.
* Although possibly a malformed file-system could exploit a flaw in a FS driver if you can find one!
Presumably there's a Firefox plugin too?
Presumably MS have also released a Firefox plugin considering it currently has more market share than Chrome? Or is this _formally_ a pissing contest?
Is there any where I can see the the user-base for H.264, 'cos it seems to me that only OS X and Win7/Vista (ignoring mobile users) users get H.264 out of the box? So as far as I can tell, Flash still seems to be the best* way to deliver video over the interwob to desktop/laptop clients.
*best in this case meaning least likely to fail.
Still can't customise routes though
Nice updates, but I still find the Navigation feature sometimes takes the wrong route, but I still can't manually tweak the route like I can on the web-based Google Maps.
Also, although my phone supports two finger gestures, I don't need to be able to two-finger drag the screen to change the 3D angle... not that it matters that much, but it'd be nice to do! I also don't seem to be able to rotate the map using fingers either.
Re: Have you been to Orange's web site at all?
Nothing can help the Orange website. It frequently doesn't work -- enter details, submit, wait... wait... wait... and *then* it says it's not working and to try later --and even when it does work it's slow. And it's been exactly like this since... I dunno... 2005 or earlier maybe? I think the only reason Orange exist is because of good branding/advertising. Also their mobile network is acceptably reliable. Everything else Orange is kind of sucky though.
Fragmentation less of an issue than security?
Whilst I don't doubt Android fragmentation (varied hardware & software specification) is an issue for app developers, hardware is *always* going to change over time. The underlying OS is more likely to stabilise I'd guess, although the UI might evolve and cause problems for app devs.
I think a far bigger problem for Android is that security updates don't get to end-users handsets in a timely fashion... if at all. As a result, there's a risk of Android phones becoming the security disaster-area that has historically been Windows. So I think that Google should really require that OEMs/Carriers that wish to bundle Google software *must* supply security updates in a reasonable time-frame. I think that is a reasonable requirement and shouldn't cause them any problems since security updates should not change functionality.
Rory Cellan-Jones wasn't impressed with the Next tablet!
So I'd be kind of wary of the Dixon one for the same reason, although they've got more to loose trying to punt a duff product.
Re TrueCrypt and plausible deniability
One thing occurs to me; I use TrueCrypt to encrypt backup data. If the plod decide I might be a terrorist or whatever and pull me in for questioning, and I give them my password -- no point in me not given that there's nothing more exciting than my bank details -- surely there's still the possibility that I've not told them the "other" password, and therefore I must be guilty?
So even though I don't have a hidden part of my TrueCrypt data, no one can prove that I don't and therefore I may not have disclosed a password!!
Seriously... this is nuts!
Also, what if I've simply created a file in some app or other, passworded it, and then forgotten about it? E.g. if I'm testing the application. Or if I've genuinely lost the password but I've not deleted the file.... because of course, I wouldn't because I'd be hoping I'd find/remember the password at some juncture. And *then* I find that because of this I'm guilty.
I honestly can't believe this can be legal.
I can understand why this is an issue to the police/MI5/who-ever, but their approach is terrible. Would they not be better keeping the encrypted data on file and waiting until they do have the tech to decrypt? In many cases I'd expect there will either be a crack discovered which weakens the encryption algo and certainly there will be more computing power available for brute-forcing over time, so I'm sure they'd have the tech to decrypt within 10 years? Not ideal I guess, but better than throwing people in jail for a different crime.
vBulletin = worst search function ever!
I've always really really really hated vBulletin for having a search function that is pretty much useless. If you search for multiple keywords it's always an "OR" search, and you can't change the boolean logic. UbuntuForums.org is where I've been forced to use this rubbish -- I never understood why they went with something commercial anyway -- anyone know?
So anyway... when the Orange San Francisco review?
I've got bored waiting for an Orange San Francisco review and I've order one and it arrives tomorrow -- but it's a similar spec to the Sammy, but has a 480x800 OLED capacitive screen and only costs £99. I know I keep banging on about this phone like I work for Orange (I don't btw!), but it does seem like a significant product in that it's price rather under cuts... pretty much everything by a significant margin. It deserves a review!!!
Resistive vs capacitive
I know it's always said that the cheaper end products probably have resistive screens, but what is the price difference? Are we talking a significant chunk of the product price or just a few quid?
I've just read a review* of the Orange San Francisco (still waiting for the el-Reg review!!) that says it comes with a " 3.5″ OLED capacitive screen and 800×480, just like the Nexus One, Desire, Galaxy S. It’s crisp, clear and the colours look great. If this is a cheaply made phone, it doesn’t show here, that’s for sure ". Accepting that the 'cisco screen is only 3.5", but Orange have still managed to supply a high-quality screen at a very low cost... so it's doable!
So MS believe they can compete at the higher end?
I'm not sure how MS will try to position their phones, although I guess they can't really compete with Android on price, but I can't see anyone outside corporates likely to be willing to spend much on something that isn't an iPhone/Blackberry/Android.
Also, will elReg be reviewing the Orange San Francisco (£99 pay as you go Android) soon?
Replacement for MacBook?
To me, the white-plastic MacBook has looked awkward in the Mac range for a long time -- I suspect it has only hung on because the uni-body Macs appeared just at the time the global economy tanked, so having a lower cost alternative probably seemed like a good idea. But even now, having something to compete with netbooks and low-cost laptops seems wise.
But the white MacBook isn't a million miles from a low-end MacBook Pro in terms of spec. So perhaps they'll replace the white MacBook with a range of low-power, non-optical-drived, small light-weight MacBooks.... kind of like the MacBook Air, but this time re-positioned as the low-end portable Mac?
For the same reason, I'd suggest MacBook Pro pricing can remain the same, the existing MacBook disappears but is replaced with this MacBook Air-like machine at the current MacBook price level..... all pure speculation of course! ;)
50cent on Charlie Brooker's gameswipe
Whenever I hear the name "50cent", I'm always reminded of the 50cent game mentioned on Charlie Brooker's Gameswipe. See here, and skip to 4:10 minutes in:
Google should move to the EU
Google should move to the EU to make a protest at software patents!
Ad-blocking in Chrome
AFAIK, Ad-blocking in Chrome merely hides the advert but does not prevent it from downloading and presumably executing.
Is there any kind of light-weight personal web proxy that you can run locally, that doesn't bother with caching (no point if it's on a single computer and the browser already caches) but that allows for inspecting/tweaking http requests/responses?
For example, I sometimes want to kill referers, tweak my user-agent string, and maybe block google-analytics when I'm testing a website locally. As it is now, Firefox is pretty flexible and probably has an extension for those things, but other browsers can be a bit more bothersome.
I would've thought it would be cheaper to just bolt lots of web-terminals to the walls of the hospital -- given that the design wouldn't have to be as super slim as an iPad, and given that it wouldn't need any batteries (which really, is going to make it a lot easier to manage long term anyway), it should work out cheaper... even if you need more of them so that there's always one in easy reach. Plus they'd be less nickable!
Is a swap partition necessary?
I'm using one myself, but I believe the 2.6 Kernel allows a swap file to be just as fast as a swap partition according to this:
What about iPhone nano
It was mentioned in another post here, but whilst Apple aren't talking about an iPhone nano, it is the obvious next product. But they couldn't do that before without removing features from their existing phones... and there wasn't much scope for that! But with iPhone 4, they can now produce a "nano" product based on the iPhone 3G or 3GS, but sans GPS, probably with giros (for gaming) and it shouldn't risk customers switching to the cheaper product.
Having said all that... Apple traditionally produce "premium" products. They look nice, they work well, they're desirable, but they also cost more. As such, they're never likely to totally dominate any market. Whilst they have done well with iPods in terms of market share, I'd say this is because they're inexpensive -- yes an iPod Shuffle is twice as expensive as a competing music player with similar features, but at that price point, it's not a huge purchasing decision.
iPhone on the other hand has always been too expensive to dominate, and given the number of Androids available, and given their lower cost, Apple will never achieve the same level of success as they did with the iPod. If they release an iPhone nano they'll do better though... but I suspect they're going to have a tough time with this.
And to conclude my rambling post, Apples market cap is high because they're profitable *and* they still have considerable scope for expanding market share. But they can only maintain this if they continue to increase profits... which requires increasing market share... which can only happen if they can capture customers at the lower end of the spectrum.
Re 64bit linux
I wondered the same! I've installed 64bit Ubuntu 10.04 and I'd assumed the included Firefox was also 64bit. Certainly I'm running the 64bit Flash plugin (it's still in testing, although it is very stable) so surely it *must* be 64bit Firefox?!!
I do love Apple design -- they do make lovely, albeit slightly* expensive -- products! However, since I also need to use a bunch of "normal" PC keyboards, I find I really miss not having Page-up/Page-down/Home/End keys. And I also don't like having to use an "International" type layout rather than a proper British layout.
* "slightly" because you can't compare a MacBook[Pro] with any regular Windows laptop. You need to compare it with a product with all the same features *plus* nice design, at which point you'll notice that actually, an Apple is just a bit more expensive!
Wasn't working at 10:40AM and still not working now
I dunno how people can access the site at all -- I guess they are just lucky! For me, the online banking site won't even load now: https://www.nwolb.com/
I did manage to get to the second page of login earlier today, but it hung after I'd entered the various letters of passphrase, and I daren't try again or it might log multiple failed login attempts or something.
Also, why the f** don't they have a service status page?
So just to clarify, if you had possession of a time machine, a machine that has the ability to to transport you (+ cargo of Samsung printers) through the fourth dimension, you would then use this technological marvel in order to..... sell printers?!
News just in...
News just in... apparently David Taraso has been found murdered. Police have recovered a sharpened Peek-A-Boo hack from the scene!
On a serious note: I read David T's more recent post and I can't believe how weak his arguement was. For example, apparently the fact that MS have pursued Google over antitrust issues and Google likewise versus MS, these things are all completely fine. Somehow it's *only* this issue that is a problem. Oh, and David also states that he doesn't really know anything about European antitrust laws. Great work there David... well done!
As far as I'm aware, no decision has been taken as to what needs to be done, but the reason why the EU (and oddly enough, Opera) are somewhat less than enthused at MS's remove-IE solution is because that's likely to have a net result similar to Windows-N.... e.g., it won't change anything! But the EU have stated that they are taking previous remedies, including Windows-N into account whilst deciding what to do here.
Yep, MS having to ship competitors products would be a bit weird for sure. But the reason for this proposed solution is because MS have a near monopoly position in the OS market place and have a history of abusing their position to move into other markets.
I'm interested in why any MS fanbois care. First up, Opera are not competing with MS as regards Operating Systems. So if Windows ships with IE or Windows ships with Opera, MS still get paid the same and users will continue to use Windows. And leading on from that, why do the fanbois think that MS cares?
The answer is: MS want to have IE available as a tool to extend their platform, so it is likely to be used to extend Silverlight market share for example. Opera conversely would favour standards compliance because that provides them with a level playing field. So would Mozilla, Google, etc.
Whilst IE8 is almost as good as anything else as regards standards compliance, MS only produced this after years and years of punting IE6 and telling us that that festering pile was as good as it gets and that they wouldn't be developing it any further. The only thing that forced them to produce IE7 and then IE8 was erroding market share and possibly the threat of EU action.
If the EU does nothing, everyone suffers. Even if you're an MS fanboi, why would you want IE to have market share?
AFAIK Safari uses libxslt, so the floating point bugs maybe there. I've had issues with this library before since the Apple-shipped PHP build uses the same old libraries. FWIW running xsltproc on the command line on my Leopard MacBook gives the same error, whilst it works perfectly on Ubuntu 9.04.
I don't know who needs to be leaned on within Apple to get this "fixed", but really it's just a case of them using an up-to-date library. I'll personally be pissed if SL ships with an old version of libxslt!
The screen corruption issue is something else though!! I don't have a version of Chrome to hand, but it would be interesting to see if the problem is common to that.
Just in case it's useful, I ran xsltproc -V against both Leopard and Ubuntu 9.04 and here's what I got.:
Leopard$ xsltproc -V
Using libxml 20616, libxslt 10112 and libexslt 810
xsltproc was compiled against libxml 20616, libxslt 10112 and libexslt 810
libxslt 10112 was compiled against libxml 20616
libexslt 810 was compiled against libxml 20616
Ubuntu$ xsltproc -V
Using libxml 20632, libxslt 10124 and libexslt 813
xsltproc was compiled against libxml 20632, libxslt 10124 and libexslt 813
libxslt 10124 was compiled against libxml 20632
libexslt 813 was compiled against libxml 20632
What, no Hans Reiser?
It'll be Hans Reiser next... mark my words!
Whilst the legacy binary MS Office formats are certainly in wider use than ODF, I believe I am correct in saying that ODF has greater use than OOXML.
And regarding the Microsoft ODF plugin, I believe that this provides import/export, but not native support on the open/save dialogs. Consequently, ODF cannot be configured as the default save format.