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* Posts by Tim Wolfe-Barry

38 posts • joined 23 Apr 2008

Citrix: Wearables allow conference calls 'while rocking a baby to sleep'

Tim Wolfe-Barry

Not sure about jogging but...

I remember going for a bike ride after work a few years ago and being passed up-hill by my then CEO whilst he was on a conf call.

Perhaps it's just all about fitness...

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Titsup UK Border IT causes CHAOS at air and seaports in Blighty

Tim Wolfe-Barry

Re: Lack of customer service...

Clearly no-one commenting here has flown into the US.

I now avoid traveling there if at all possible (working for a US company, curiously, means I travel there less!). An hour's wait for immigration is routine or even quite good - I've several times stood in line for 3 hours - and this at very major hub airports (Chicago O'Hare is particularly bad for some reason...).

I think the *only* time I went through quickly was at Minneapolis when we landed about midnight and were the last flight in that night.

The only consoling factor is that they treat US citizens just as badly as foreigners!

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So, just how do you say 'the mutt's nuts' in French?

Tim Wolfe-Barry

Re: But why are we translating it literally?

Snerk, Splutter!

Just snorted my bedtime coffee onto the keyboard!

I just want to add that this conversation is absolutely spiffing (now translate that!) and quite a lot more interesting than writing emails to colleagues in California which is the usual reason for being on-line at this point in the day...

Thank-you

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Yes! New company smartphones! ... But I don't WANT one

Tim Wolfe-Barry

Re: The Big Question

I'm in a similar position at work with my much-loathed BB Bold being replaced. Choices were all BB apart from the 5s and the SGS4.

Since my personal phone is an HTC OneX+ I've chosen the SGS4, at least that way I get a common eco-system and I don't have to learn (much) new stuff.

What I *really* want is to have ONE device - I have to carry a work phone 24x7, and don't want to put work to my personal line, so what I really wanted was the HTC One Dual - a proper top-end smartphone (forget 4G; I live amongst sheep and cows, so there's no danger of actual coverage for years) with dual-sim sockets, active/active.

Sadly not available through work and I'm a bit loath to spend £500 to buy it outright myself...

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LOHAN test flight LIVE: All the launch action

Tim Wolfe-Barry

What are the various circles on the map?

And why is Buzz stuck at the start?

Confused...

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Texas students hijack superyacht with GPS-spoofing luggage

Tim Wolfe-Barry

"Before the panic starts, it should be pointed out that the Texans are spoofing civilian GPS systems."

Speaking as a WAFI (Lewis will know...) that worries me MORE.

Most of the world's freight moves about, often in quite confined waters (Dover Strait anyone), with minimal human supervision - supertankers typically have a crew of ~20, which means about 6 on watch at any one time (3-watch system), so that's 6 dozy guys following the GPS tracking up the english channel all night.

A navigational error of 1 degree at the start of the channel will subtend an error of 6 miles at the other end, 350 miles away. So if I drift a ship by only that 1 degree as it passes Scilly, I can easily make it hit the coast at Calais.

Of course you hope that someone might notice this and correct it but even so...

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Nuke plants to rely on PDP-11 code UNTIL 2050!

Tim Wolfe-Barry
Pint

DL0: 167300 g

I *think* that's the correct sequence, but it has been nearly 20 years...

Should restart a sleeping PDP-11/73 via the serial port - useful if it's been shut off and you're working via a modem.

Supporting a call logger on PDP-11 on RSTS 8.x was where I started in 1994, I'd have expected them to be all gone by now although I think the US air traffic guys had some until after 2000!

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Help save the endangered QUANTUM OWL, pleads Reg man

Tim Wolfe-Barry
FAIL

Re: Something for the weekend?

Indeed.

I live an hour or so from London and have 3 boys who'd LOVE to do some of the things offered, but there seem to be no more family days this year, since one on 2nd March.

Happy to join if I find stuff to do that will make it worth me spending the £70 to get the mob to London on the train.

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Samsung's new Galaxy S 4: iPhone assassin or Android also-ran?

Tim Wolfe-Barry

64 GB should be enough for anyone...

This is all going to be down to personal preference; I've just switched from a Desire S to a One X+ because I'm a fan of HTC sense and the different overlays that each manufacturer puts on Android mean that it'd be as much of a pain (IMO) to go from HTC to Samsung as to iOS.

What people also forget is the home ecosystem you build around your phone - Mrs foredeck is an iOS user and recently upgraded to a 4S rather than 5 because the very expensive iPhone dock/hi-fi we have won't take the new connector. Switching from iOS to Android (or iPhone 5) would mean we've wasted about gbp500 in the last couple of years...

The interesting part of this is only that what Samsung to today the others will do tomorrow, so this gives you an idea of spec and features of the rest of the Android community for the next year or so.

My new HTC doesn't have SD card expansion or a swappable battery, but the built in capacity is 50% of the SSD in my laptop (and more than the whole of Win7, apps and actually useful stuff takes on that PC!) so I can't imagine it running out soon. Battery swapping is similarly unimportant - I get ~2 days from it now and am rarely that long away from a charger; the Desire S battery is still going strong 2.5 years later so I'm sure the new one will last until my next upgrade.

To sum up, if you like Samsung and are going to upgrade in the next 12-18 months, you'll get this. If you don't or aren't then you won't.

Now move on.

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Use your loaf, Europe! Eat more fibre - high-speed web lobbyists

Tim Wolfe-Barry

Re: You do have a choice...

Really; you don't.

Sure if you happen to live in a city somewhere where LLU is economic or where Sky or Virgin have fiber in place then you have a choice.

Unfortunately I don't. My local exchange has about 900 connections and we're 7 miles from the nearest town; so I'm stuck with ADSL and 'up to' 8 mbps. Despite the fact that Virgin's main fiber trunk passes within a mile or so of here it's still not worth their while to put connections in.

Any moment now someone is going to say that I should move house to somewhere there is FTTP if I care that much; unfortunately I can't afford the £20,000 it would cost (in fees and taxes) to move, even if I did think that having better broadband was more important than a garden for the kids to play in.

The point is that we shouldn't HAVE to choose like that, and that people living in farms and villages shouldn't find themselves cut off from the rest of the world just because rotten ADSL connections don't have the capacity to get them on-line.

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DoCoMo tests blackout-proof hydrogen cell base station in Japan

Tim Wolfe-Barry
Thumb Up

Re: Lack of maintenance??

Well, as soon as the mains come back on you could use an electrolytic cell to replenish the hydrogen - might be a bit slow but if you assume that power-cuts are the exception rather than the rule, it ought to work...

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Software sucks these days - and just maybe it's all YOUR fault

Tim Wolfe-Barry
Thumb Down

So when will Software Development become Engineering?

I think (and have for a long time) that Software Development is stuck about where Brunel was with Civil Engineering.

We can see the possibilities, but we haven't yet worked out the best way to do stuff and so everyone reinvents everything each time.

Back in 18xx Civil Engineering was exciting because people didn't know how to build large strong bridges and so did the best they could. Then, when the bridge fell down in a storm (Tay Bridge, or Tacoma Narrows more recently) they did it better the next time.

Nowadays Civil Engineering has progressed to the boring position where we can build something like the Padma bridge - any consulting civil engineer could tell you how (or give you a max of 2 choices) and the actual construction gets farmed out to one of several global consortia.

We're still at the 'Bridge falling down' stage; but frustratingly seem unable to learn any lessons or improve matters the next time and probably won't until some real disaster strikes and the losses from cr*p software equal the casualties from earlier 'real' disasters.

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Register SPB hacks mull chopping off feet

Tim Wolfe-Barry

What about the Universal Engineering Standard?

I've been using these for as long as I can remember:

Gnat's<Smidge<Touch<Nudge<Bit<Lots

Then again I am on record as describing a trench as 4m long by 6" wide - only in the UK!

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LOHAN poses for sexy wide-angle vid

Tim Wolfe-Barry
Go

High Speed Vid...

If that's a 60KM ride in 3 minutes, then the apparent speed of the vehicle is 750 mph (1200 kph). By a curious coincidence, the Thrust SSC land speed record is 763 mph, so the vid give you a pretty clear idea of what Andy Green saw on those runs.

Of course he did it on the flat in a desert, I think the vid also demonstrates why, the apparent Gs in the corners you took would be extraordinary!

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Hundreds of websites go titsup in Prime Hosting disk meltdown

Tim Wolfe-Barry
Stop

Re: Not to step into libel territory

Thanks for this - I was desperately trying to find the references before posting; I think the 1st place I saw this was here, back in 2007: http://storagemojo.com/2007/02/20/everything-you-know-about-disks-is-wrong/

The critical parts are summarized (below), but basically the upshot is that the more and bigger disks you have, the GREATER rather than LESSER the likelihood of a failure during rebuild...

========

Data safety under RAID 5?

. . . a key application of the exponential assumption is in estimating the time until data loss in a RAID system. This time depends on the probability of a second disk failure during reconstruction, a process which typically lasts on the order of a few hours. The . . . exponential distribution greatly underestimates the probability of a second failure . . . . the probability of seeing two drives in the cluster fail within one hour is four times larger under the real data . . . .

Independence of drive failures in an array?

The distribution of time between disk replacements exhibits decreasing hazard rates, that is, the expected remaining time until the next disk was replaced grows with the time it has been since the last disk replacement.

Translation: one array drive failure means a much higher likelihood of another drive failure. The longer since the last failure, the longer to the next failure. Magic!

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Cameron's F-35 U-turn: BAE Systems still calls the shots at No 10

Tim Wolfe-Barry
FAIL

Heard Lewis on BBC R4 this morning

Talking sense as usual...

This is just so bl**dy depressing; I've been avoiding the news and beeb website all day as a result.

UK Gov't wastes 10s of millions of our money now and later too, whilst UK forces are crippled by inter-service squabbling and inferior equipment. It'd make you laugh if it wasn't a tragedy.

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I need a New Laptop!!

Tim Wolfe-Barry

Re: Dells are Cheap

My work LT is a Dell E6240 with quad-core i7, 256GB SSD, 1600x900 screen and 8GB RAM. No idea what it costs, mind.

I've also had good experience with Lenovo - previous model was an N200 with the same screen but Core Duo processor and only 4GB (and a spinning disk); that was about 700 GBP but over 4 years ago.

At home we have an Acer Timeline which is lovely, again it's getting a bit long in the tooth but they've really done magic with the battery life - still gives 6 hours ++ on a full charge, even after about 4 years!

If style is your thing (and you *really* don't want an Apple) then Sony's Vaio range might be worth a look, although you do pay a premium...

All of these suppliers have websites that let you review and (mostly) update the specs and all (last time I looked - 2011, YMMV) allow you to spec-up to the sort of components you want.

Where you may find difficulty is if you expected to buy something off the shelf at PCW or DABS that meets the spec...

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ViewSonic V350 dual Sim Android smartphone

Tim Wolfe-Barry
FAIL

HOW frustrating?

This is the product that I've been waiting for for ages... I am part of another community that would really benefit from a good dual-sim smartphone: I'm a Tech Support Manager for a software company, my work phone # is published to all and sundry, so I keep a personal number as well (so I can turn the work one off from time to time...).

This means I have to carry 2 handsets, maintain 2 sets of contacts, keep 2 phones charged etc (not to mention that the work handset is a BB so I have to know how to drive 2 different phones, have different peripherals, cables and chargers...).

What I want is essentially a dual-SIM Desire S; a great Android smartphone with 2 slots so I can choose which SIM to use. I've tried various 'dual SIM' plugin cards but they always want you to reboot the phone when switching...

Now the apparently perfect phone comes along and it's cheap, plasticky, slow and out dated! Gah!

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Top techs preview CES 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017...

Tim Wolfe-Barry
WTF?

On my network, that will arrive ~55 minutes after the actual event, then...

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Bill Gates discusses nuclear development deal with China

Tim Wolfe-Barry
Thumb Up

BillG goes up and up in my estimation

Worthy successor to earlier generation of philanthropists - many current chief execs and *ankers could learn a thing or three!

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It's time to end the Windows Wait

Tim Wolfe-Barry
Go

@SJ - Corporate Win7...

My latest work laptop came with a 256GB SSD - now that my job doesn't involve having to run 8 different VMs on one PC that's LOADS of space - and it boots and resumes like magic (well, at least as fast as the DR DOS 5 based 386 SX-25 I had in 1994!)

Dell 6420, i7, 8GB RAM. no idea what it cost mind...

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Future wars will be over water not fuel, warns Intel sage

Tim Wolfe-Barry
Black Helicopters

Water...

Didn't James Bond get there first?

Can of drinking-oil anyone?

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Samsung's iOS rival gets multitasking and HTML5

Tim Wolfe-Barry
Coat

Presumably...

A search app for this platform might be Bada-Bing!

Mine's the one WITHOUT the Dave Award

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IPTV UK: failure to launch?

Tim Wolfe-Barry

Just get a Media Centre

So I've just installed a Media Centre PC (Windows because that's what I had a licence for and setup seemed easier)...

Blagged an old laptop from work, installed Win7 Home Premium, installed TunerFree MCE from Milliesoft.

Now I get BBC/ITV/C4/C5 streamed on-demand and also the ability to download for future viewing.

So you avoid the data speed issues (and your bandwidth cap) by downloading the shows overnight.

Total expenditure - £50 in cables and an adapter to make VGA & Phono into HDMI for the Telly.

Sorted

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Policing personal calls on business mobiles

Tim Wolfe-Barry
Thumb Up

I have a better solution...

I work in Tech Support and have to keep my company mobile on and with me 24x7. I also loathe the idea of carrying 2 phones.

The solution is to use a service that's part of the GSM standard - ALS or Alternate Line Service - which enables you to have 2 numbers on a single SIM.

So I have 2 fully-featured numbers on a single SIM/Handset. Different ring-tones mean I can tell if it's a work or personal call I'm answering, a single button-press switches between lines and I get separate itemised bills. Work pays for work calls, I pay for personal ones. Occasionally I make an outbound call using the wrong line, but that cuts both ways and, since I rarely use all the minutes included with either plan, it's very much of a muchness in the end.

What's the catch?

It's called Orange Line 2 and it's not available to new subscribers any more, and no other carrier in the UK offers it...

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Vote Lib Dem, doom humanity to extinction

Tim Wolfe-Barry

Swap Trident for the Carriers...

Lewis - I agree with you most of the time, but I think you're wrong here...

The main problem with scrapping Trident is it makes it harder to argue we should put Nuclear into the Carriers. As far as deterrence goes Trident is pure vanity.

The only nations with nukes & delivery systems that Trident could deter are US/France/Russia and China. We can hope that 2 of those are on our side (ha!) and the other 2 both have enough warheads they can blow us up, take a full-scale Trident strike and then blow us up again.

We should cancel Trident and Eurofighter T3. Put some of the money into Nuclear carriers (we still have nuclear attack subs, so we'll keep the infrastructure) with catapults. Scrap the F35-B and get -Cs for the Navy. The Riff-Raff can get F35-As with the money we'll save from T3 and we'll still come out ahead.

Taking the defence argument further, the Trident savings will have enough left over to build some more helicopter/marine carriers to help with peace-keeping/anti-piracy jobs.

We can reduce the threat from dirty/terrorist nukes by growing testicles and adopting a non-US-centric foreign policy (the Lib Dems would help here I think).

On nuclear power; you're right, we can't do without it, but we *do* need to work out what to do with spent fuel for the next 50K years - I'm not sure that ponds at Sellafield are a good long-term solution - so the quicker we get Fusion going and move away from Fission the better.

In truth, this argument is largely redundant as even the most woolly liberal knows they won't be in power by themselves on Friday. I do hope that they can get Trident brought into the defence review (and so save the Carriers, which look likely to get the chop otherwise), but no-one really thinks anyone (even a Liberal PM) would actually bin civilian nuclear and that certainly won't happen in coalition.

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New Reg comments system ready to launch

Tim Wolfe-Barry
Badgers

What about a 'First Post' button?

One that automatically makes your comment the 'First Post', whether you were actually First or not.

Of course users on the Premium subscription could jump past 'First Post' comments from those paying less.

;-P

(if only the BT Flood/Fire were an April Fool)

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Google coughs to PR gaffe with privacy-lite Buzz

Tim Wolfe-Barry

I seem to have been opted-in...

Despite choosing NO when prompted to try Buzz yesterday.

Apparently I am now following 9 people, and 2 are following me. If only any of us knew where we're going...!

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Beeb storm cockup: Wrong day's shipping forecast read

Tim Wolfe-Barry
WTF?

Come on Lewis...

I like most of your articles, but I have to take issue with this...

Firstly; Most amateur yachtsmen use the Shipping Forecast for longer passages - the inshore forcast is no use if you're sailing to Ireland or across the Channel.

Secondly; The late-night and early morning forecasts INCLUDE the inshore waters forecast (the coastguard re-broadcast the BBC one!) so presumably the wrong inshore forecast was read at the same time.

I know you've been playing with bigger boats than most of us and have lots of lovely electronics to work with, but remember how unreliable all those gizmos can be when you're beating to windward in 30kts - I've used an old battery transistor radio to get the forecast on-deck when most of the ship's kit was soaked!

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Samsung X520 notebook

Tim Wolfe-Barry

Nice review, but...

Could you not have run the comparisom tests with the Acer Timeline 4810, or even Packard Bell Butterfly? Accepted the Acer is a 14" screen, but it's at about the same price-point and is targeting the same type of user (Mobile, extended use...) so it would be really useful to see the benchmarks for all of them together...

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Research: Airliners can be more eco-friendly than trains

Tim Wolfe-Barry
Joke

This makes sense of UK Rail Policy...

If the railways are only eco-efficient when 100% full, that explains why there are never enough seats & I have to stand for 4 hours from Yorkshire to the South Coast!

Suddenly a light at the end of the tunnel .... oh, it's an oncoming (and overcrowded) train!

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Acer DX900 dual-SIM Windows smartphone

Tim Wolfe-Barry
Thumb Up

There USED to be an alternative...

to having 2 SIMs.

Orange used to offer something called Line2. I have it on my SE C902 and it works very well. Basically 2 numbers, billed separately, on a single SIM. The phone allows you to choose which number to call from.

Sadly they seem to have stopped offering it now, or at least it's a pain to get hold of anyone there who knows about it.

I may never upgrade my phone again unless I can keep this...

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Brussels to sue UK over Phorm failures

Tim Wolfe-Barry
Stop

Eh?

"The ICO accepted BT's argument that it would have been hard to explain Phorm's interception and profiling system to internet users whose communications it was being tested on."

So if it's too difficult to explain WHY and HOW you're monitoring someone, it's OK to go ahead?

Presumably that means I can tap phones too, as long as I have no good reason and only do it to people who don't understand the technology involved?

Bah!

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Profs: Eating Belgian truffles will make you buy a Mac

Tim Wolfe-Barry

Solaris Users

Buy only hand-made chocolates from Fortnum & Mason's, each individually wrapped and costing a fortune & maintain that these are the only confection worthy of the name

However they (almost) all scoff doughnuts by the bag-full too as they have a Windows XP system for when they want to get anything actually *done*.

Mine's the one with the 'I love Oracle' pin-badge and the dog-eared MSFT SQL Server syntax manual in the pocket .

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NASA developing brain-monitor hats for airline pilots

Tim Wolfe-Barry

Better warning message

<Michael Winner>Calm down dear, it's only an Engine Failure</Michael Winner>

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OMFG, what have you done?

Tim Wolfe-Barry

Fixed-Width Ugh!

The rest is OK tho'. Just a shame that >50% of my screen is a grey bar down each side, where's the point in stupid wide-screen resolutions (1600x1280) if you can't use them?

I'll still be visiting 'coz the content beats most others into a 3-cornered piece of headgear.

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The Moderatrix will see you now

Tim Wolfe-Barry

RE: Negatives

Couth is a word.

So apparently (it turns out) is Pedant.

Is it the weekend yet?

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Samsung M110 Solid rugged phone

Tim Wolfe-Barry
Happy

But does it float?

As a 'nautical cove' I know the most common way to destroy your phone is to drop it in the briny. (or to have it thrown there by an enraged yacht-club commodore!)

If it floated we'd be able to retrieve it with a bucket or something...

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