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* Posts by Neoc

1243 posts • joined 13 Jun 2008

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US Senate's net neutrality warrior to Comcast: Remind us how much you hate web fast lanes

Neoc
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"...those in favor of paid prioritization argue big websites should pay towards the network infrastructure they're reliant on"

Because, as everyone knows, traffic from big websites just magically appears on network infrastructures. There isn't any peering agreements to allow company A from sending/receiving data from company B's network. In other words, Netflix somehow manages to get its data on Comcast's network without paying anybody.

Bull.

The moment the data leaves Netflix's network, *someone* gets paid. And when that data moves from network to network so does money change hands. Until gets to you and you pay to receive the data (hmm... does this mean your ISP double-dips?).

So what this basically means to me is that Comcast, like most ISPs, oversold its network capabilities and is now wringing its hands saying "look how our poor networks are being flooded" without acknowledging why said network are having difficulty coping in the first place.

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Google offers sweet new SDK to let Android devs join 'Lollipop' guild

Neoc
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Re: Not sure about this

Looking good. Will try it for a while and see how it goes.

Thanks!

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Neoc
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Re: Not sure about this

Tried CM on my Galaxy S4 and went back to the Samsung version of the OS. Don't get me wrong, I liked CM, but there was one thing that annoyed the bejesus out of me - the stock android keyboard. I prefer the 5-rows Samsung keyboard over the 4-rows Android keyboard. And once I installed CM, the only replacement keyboard apps I could find seemed to be re-badged variations on the stock keyboard.

Small point, I know, but I like not having to swap between alpha and symbol every time I need to type numbers.

So, keyboard app developers... where's a keyboard app that *isn't* the stock keyboard with a new colour scheme?

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NBN Co adds 'burbs to copper map, claims 'speed up' rollout

Neoc
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Thumb Down

Oh, FFS! My parents live 100Km outside Brisbane and they have access to the NBN. Me, I live 10Km from the centre of the city (as the crow flies) and the entire area around me (not just my suburb) is not even getting a look in, let alone planning details.

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Win a year’s supply of chocolate (no tech knowledge required)

Neoc
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Option missing

There's an option missing in the "how did the Aztecs use cocoa": currency.

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WikiLeaks reveals new draft of Trans-Pacific Partnership

Neoc
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“the US remains fairly isolated in its efforts to overhaul patent and copyright law around the world”

That may be because the US' idea of overhauling patent and copyright laws is to remove more rights for the consumer and instil them with the US companies. This is based on the last few rounds of "releases" where the US seems to be desperate to squash anything that would allow "grey market" trading.

If a company shops overseas it's outsourcing. If *you* do it, it's criminal. (at least that's what the new TPP is trying to make it)

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That's no – actually it is: DEATH STAR MOON 'could be full of life-friendly water'

Neoc
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Coat

Boffins have found Minas wobbles. Maybe it got drunk after taking one too many librations at lunch.

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Prehistoric swingbelly KANGAROOS were TOO FAT to jump – scientists

Neoc
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I remember a study quite a while ago that "proved" that kangaroos could not possibly eat enough to supply the power needed to hop around all day... until someone pointed out the study calculated the energy requirements of dead-lifting the roo's weight instead of taking into account the spring-like action of the leg muscles. If memory serves, the whole think was put to rest by Terry Dawson in the 70's using kangaroos, a treadmill and a modified breathing mask.

So I'll take this new study with a sprinkle of salt until it has been properly peer-reviewed, thank you.

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On Nov 12, a human-made space lab will try to HARPOON a COMET and land on it

Neoc
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Black Helicopters

Re: re. " ... a human-made space lab ... "

Yes.

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Neoc
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"By August the comet will make its closest approach to the star, and cook Philae"

Does this mean we'll end up with Philae Mignon?

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Aboard the GOOD SHIP LOLLIPOP, there's a Mobe and a Slab and a TELLYBOX

Neoc
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I think I'll give the Player a miss - based on their own promo page the damn thing doesn't access local content, only internet-based content. I'll stick to my HTPC running MediaPortal with NetFlix plugin, thank you.

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Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!

Neoc
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As part of a couple who appears to have waited too long to be able to have kids, let me say that I (for one) approve.

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Ada Lovelace Day: Meet the 6 women who gave you the 'computer'

Neoc
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Actual events

I remember being part of a job-interview team. There were three of us from the IT side (all male) and a representative from HR (female) to make sure we weren't doing anything improper. We had finished winnowing down the written applications and were doing the actual interviews. We had set things up so that the HR person was our "user" as we wanted to see how the applicants would react when faced with clients.

We interviewed both men and women. At the end of the interviews, the HR person turned to us with a look of disbelief on her face and said "you really don't care, do you?" We had to get her to explain to us what she meant; apparently, she was expecting us to treat the men and the women differently. We all looked at her and one of us (can't remember who) asked "were we supposed to?". We finally got through to her the fact we were more interested in whether they could do the job or not, since an incompetent person meant WE would have to take up the slack.

Eventually, we *did* settle on a female candidate as the best of the bunch (she was the only one who started the "client" interview asking what information the client wanted on their report instead of what language they wanted it written in). We had been told this position needed to be filled in a hurry and so we went from getting the applications to final choice in less than 7 working days. And then HR sat on our recommendation for over two weeks, by which time our preferred candidate had gotten another offer.

<sigh>

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Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE

Neoc
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"The machine is expected to net between $300,000 and $500,000, depending on how wealthy and overexcited the audience is."

"At the current price of $1,299.00, you could buy about 300,000 units of the basic MacBook Retina model for the same price."

Beggin' you' Lordhip's pardon... but $300,000 to $500,000 divided by $1,299 gives you between 230 and 384 units (rounding to whole units, of course).

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Breaking news: Man with Apple shares really wishes they were worth even more

Neoc
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Didn't we recently have an article about this sort of behaviour...?

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/10/09/shareholders_should_take_a_backseat/

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I want to TRANSPLANT your storage BRAINS: WD desktop NAS refresh

Neoc
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Re: Desktop versus enterprise firmware

@Henry Wertz 1:

"Regarding disks, I saw one setup where they had like 64 drives racked onto this custom rack thing they'd built, with all these external port multipliers hooking it all into a couple SATA ports on 64-core system."

Yes, I saw those. The company (whose name I can't remember right now, damn my memory) has even made the plans available to the public, including how to order what were (at the time) made-to-order SATA port multipliers. They will even sell you an empty rack-mount enclosure (since they also designed that from scratch) for you to build your system in.

Unfortunately, shipping one of those across the Atlantic is too expensive for me. As for using the plans to get one made here in OZ by a local sheet-cutter... would cost even more (I checked). :(

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Neoc
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Re: Meh.

@John Tserkezis:

"What you want is cheap and good at the same time. Face facts, you're not going to get it."

Depends on what your definition of "good" is. Mine is different from an enterprise.

"You do have some options, such as the WD Red drives. They are physically Green drives (bottom of the barrel desktops), with firmware changes that make it suitable for use within an array. So they won't randomly fall over and still pretend to be OK, but they are ARE shit drives, so will fail (catastrophically) statistically earlier. But given the price, they're plenty good enough for cheap not-so-critical mass data applications."

That's exactly my my needs are: "cheap not-so-critical mass data applications".

Point of order, BTW - I use exclusively WD Green drives and my self-built box has 9 of them in a RAID5 array. Never had any dropout, haven't had a failure yet in all those years (I had *one* drive fail the first time I spun it, replaced by the shop under warranty, replacement is still spinning) and, as I said, the oldest has been spinning for 14+ years (except during the odd power failure in the area).

My experience with those "shit" drives (as you call them) has been very good FOR MY PURPOSE. And that's my point; I am *not* an enterprise - I do not have staff all trying to access storage, I do not need quick access, etc, etc. So far, my 15x WD Greens (in the first array and various PCs) have been spinning without a single hiccup. I have replaced CPUs, but never one of my drives.

YMMV, but *my* experience with all those drives has been spotless.

"You're going to have to deal with it: Better products cost more, crappy products cost less. There's more to this of course, where choosing a drive for any given array is not like choosing a tyre for a car, it's more complicated, and there are many more issues to look at. And yes, price is one of those."

Yet again, you're making my point for me - I DON'T NEED ENTERPRISE-LEVEL RESPONSE/MTBF. And, I have yet to experience to drop-outs you said I should be experiencing with my crappy drives. Why? Because I am a home user with home-user requirements out of the hardware. Which is why I complain about the fact that in order to get more drives per NAS I also have to take a quality/price hit WHICH IS NOT REQUIRED FOR MY PURPOSE.

Your response to my complaint is EXACTLY why I am complaining in the first place.

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Neoc
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Meh

Meh.

I am a home user. A while back, I got tired of trying to find the movie/TV-series DVD I wanted to watch and started ripping my DVDs to hard-drive. ...and promptly ran out of drive-space which prompted me to look into NAS boxes.

My first foray was building a rack-mounted HDD farm, shoving Linux on it and using software RAID. 9x2TB drives (plus a system drive). Nice but, as another commenter said, not a backup - if anything went wrong with the box itself (rather than a drive), I'd potentially lose the whole dataset. Mind you, it's been around for almost 7 years now without a hitch.

So I went looking for a commercial solution to do the backups and that's when I realised no-one out there catered to my need - you either had home-level solutions that sat on a desk and took 2 (or if you were lucky, 4) home-level HDDs; or you went for the enterprise-level solutions that required you to have enterprise-level drives. Expensive. I eventually settled on a Netgear ReadyNAS and shoved it full of 3TB HDDs, then had it sync with my home-made NAS RAID box. I can now sleep (more) soundly at night.

But my initial annoyance still remains - there is nothing for the home hobbyist; you have to choose either from the small home solution or the more expensive (per HDD hosted) enterprise solution. Come-on, storage people - how about an 8 (or more) drive unit (rack-mounted or not, I can handle both) which takes "home" PC HDDs instead of enterprise-level HDDs? I don't care about recovery speed, I don't really care about MTBF (I haven't had a drive failure in forever - my oldest working drive is 14+ years old), I don't even care that much about access time. I *do* want a large-storage box to store my DVD/BR rips, thank you.

Oh, and somewhere to store my physical DVDs/BRs once they're ripped, but that's another problem for another time.

(edited for spelling)

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NSA spying will shatter the internet, Silicon Valley bosses warn

Neoc
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Too late USA.

No amount of "we're gonna be good now, honest" is going to allay the fears that what your TLOs* had been doing in the shadows won't still be happening in the shadows regardless of your public contrition.

*Three-Lettered Organisations.

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Sapphire glass maker's woes caused by Apple relationship 'breakdown'

Neoc
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Well, duh

"What we do not understand is why the two companies did not restructure the agreement to buy some time for GTAT and how did this relationship potentially breakdown to this extent"

Because Apple's executive are back-stabbing SOBs who do not care about anything else but Apple's bottom-line. Why pay a premium when you can force the other company's stock-price down and buy it all for small change?

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Take THAT, hated food! It's OVER, tedious chewing! Soylent strikes back with version 1.1

Neoc
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Trollface

"Soylent 1.0's effect of having him "out-gassing more, and the resultant emissions are noxious.""

Version 1.0: Soylent but deadly.

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Neoc
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No.

Damnit, I don't want Soylent White; I want my Soylent Green!

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DARPA joins math-secured microkernel race

Neoc
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Weasel wording?

"...can't be hacked from a pathway that wasn't intended".

...but kindly leave alone the security holes that were intentionally placed by various TLA agencies.

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Chrome update to raise alarms over deceptive download bundles

Neoc
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Interesting

Does this mean it'll flash Adobe software as "dubious" because its constant attempts to include the ASK toolbar in its downloads?

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No more turning over a USB thing, then turning it over again to plug it in: Reversible socket ready for lift off

Neoc
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Re: Standards proliferation

So... a downvote, but no reason why. And yet all I stated was a simple fact.

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Neoc
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Re: Standards proliferation

Re Dr. Mouse's "All connections are from a host port to a device port, so all cables should have one A and one B end."

Unless you have an Android Phone which allows you to plug USB storage devices to it.

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FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'

Neoc
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Glad for the bootnote - up until then I had glanced at the picture and wondered how long before Apple screamed at the similarities with the iPhone.... and why Samsung was leaving itself to such an obvious lawsuit.

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Amazon smacks back at Hachette in e-book pricing battle: We're doing it for the readers

Neoc
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Two sides

While I agree that Hachette et al have been naughty in their collusion, there is another underlying problem - the "walled garden" mentality of the eBook sellers.

With normal books I can walk into *any* bookshop, buy a book, and read it when and where I want to. In the case of eBooks and Joe Public, if I want to read an eBook from Amazon I have to read it through their Kindle device or app. Ditto with Kobo. Ditto with... you get my drift here. I cannot easily buy from one eBook supplier and read it on my chosen device or app. (Yes, I am aware that Calibre and Adobe copyright whatever-its-name-is will allow me to do this, but I am talking about Joe and Jane Public who are lucky if they can figure out where the off switch is on their computer.)

Until you can easily (and legally) migrate your eBooks from one device to another regardless of where you bought them from, then Amazon and its ilk are hypocrits when decrying they are doing this "for the readers".

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Sony reads the future, quits e-reader market says German report

Neoc
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<shakes head>

I have both Tablets and eBook readers (note the plural). Why? Because while tablets *can* be used as eBook readers, they are to damn heavy to be used on-the-go for any length on time. In my case, I have become able to read while walking down the street (pausing to cross said streets - not suicidal), as well as the more usual "while standing in public transport during peak hours".

eBook readers are light, not to mention frugal on power. Tablets are more powerful and are in colour (great if you're planing on reading trade magazines or, as I do, old french/belgian comic books) but are power-hungry and get heavier-and-heavier the longer you read them using only one hand (the other being used to steady yourself on public transport - get your minds out of the gutter).

I don't bother watching videos or TV while I commute/walk around, so that "killer application" which supposedly differentiates tablet readers from eBook readers is a non-starter for me.

Ideally, I suppose, I'd like a 7' eBook reader with a colour screen (for reading - screen refresh speeds don't have to be that high).

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YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS

Neoc
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"But it seems perfectly acceptable to be running this year's iOS on old kit."

Tell that to my iPad1. :( No upgrades for me unless I shell out for a newer iPad... so I got myself an Android tablet.

For the record, I own an iPad (original version), a few android tablets and an android phone. Apart from the iPad, they all run the latest version of their respective OS... and in some cases, versions that haven't yet been released by the local Telco (here's a dirty little secret Telcos won't tell you - most versions of Android for a device are compatible around the world. For example, I'm running a French image in Australia, in English. If you live in the US, though, you may be out of luck thanks to your different radio requirements).

So if you want to upgrade your Android device but don't want the bloatware from your Telco, try the manufacturers stock release. And if you don't want the manufacturer's bloatware, install cyanogenmod's version of Android.

As for the iPad, I keep it handy for one app which I can't get under Android (yes, there are similar apps, but they just can't hold a candle to this one). And I can't upgrade the OS at all, so no more app upgrades for me either.

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Facebook: Want to stay in touch? Then it's Messenger or NOTHING

Neoc
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Let's look at it another way.

I wasn't using FB's messaging option all that much before - now, I guess I'll be using it even less.

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Canuck reader threatens suicide over exact dimensions of SPAAAACE!

Neoc
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"Now, back to business. Just how many As are there in SPAAAAACE, exactly?"

Depends on which season of the Muppets you are watching.

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French telco takes on US rival Netflix... with whose dongle?

Neoc
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Meh

I have a home-theatre PC. The HTPC software I use has a plug-in so I can watch Netflix through it (without having to shut down the software and call up Netflix's website) and it also interfaces with my networked free-to-air TV tuner.

I wouldn't bother with this unless I could integrate it into the HTPC, but these companies seem to go out of their way to make sure you can't see their broadcast except through their hardware (I'm looking at you Foxtel and IInet), even though you've paid for the service. :(

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Euro banks warned off Bitcoin as Canada regulates it

Neoc
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Easy out.

You buy bitcoins. You sell bitcoins. Their actual values are based on supply and demand. Does that sound like something that already exists?

Yep: Bitcoins are just easily-tradable stocks (but without the whole bullshit that goes with short-selling, futures market, etc...). So treat them like stocks and you'll have already-existing regulations.

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Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE DNS outage

Neoc
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Interesting

Some of Vodafone Australia's mobile customers were suffering from a DNS outage yesterday as well (call it 11am - 3pm AEST). In my case, my mobile was affected but my tablet wasn't.

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Conformist Google: Android devices must LOOK, WORK ALIKE

Neoc
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Meh

First thing I did when I bought my last two Android phones was to change the Launcher.

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Half a meellion euros stolen in week-long bank smash 'n' grab

Neoc
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Coat

I guess someone ran out of Luuuk.

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Google pries open YOUR mailbox, invites developer partners

Neoc
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Re: I wonder

@Chairo: It won't (just) be in Android - If Google are planning on superseding the IMAP API as stated then it mean that any email account you hold at Google (via gmail.com or your company having parked their mail server there) will be accessible via this API. Although I'm sure they'll squeeze it into the Android mailing client so that your non-gmail letters can be perused.

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Neoc
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Re: Google gets permissions wrong again!

Download "App Ops" from the Play store. Depending on your version of Android it provides access to the permission manager.

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Neoc
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Oh Problem? Where art thou, Problem?

<<The Wall Street Journal says, for example, that “A travel app, for example, could scan your email inbox for booking confirmations and automatically compile them into an itinerary. An expense app can dig through your inbox for receipts and automatically file them to your cloud-based account.”>>

Funny, TripIt already does that with my emails and doesn't require a new protocol. Yet another Solution looking for a Problem.

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Content control freaks are peddling futility, says iiNet

Neoc
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>> His simple prescription to the content industries is that “start treating your customers as customers, not the enemy, and you might find things improve”. <<

Amen to that. Hint to the Australian Government: treat the cause, not the symptoms. If "piracy is rampant in Australia", figure out what caused it and fix THAT.

Of course, the media companies won't like that concept...

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Vodafone AU in new four-hour Vodafail

Neoc
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Vodafail, but not for the obvious reasons.

I am a Vodafone customer, have been for quite a while. There have been some disturbances here and there, but mostly the problem has been really poor voice reception or download speeds - including in the heart of the CBD.

But yesterday was a page out of the "how to lose customers" handbook. Voice and SMS went off the air (pun intended) but data continued. The first I realised there was a problem was because I was trying to get in touch with Vodafone (via a landline) to ask them some questions unrelated to the subsequent problem; there were long, silent pauses in the menu system which eventually simply disconnected me. By the third try the menu system wasn't responding and I was getting disconnected within 3 seconds. On a land-line. No automatic messages, nothing.

Went on-line to find out what was happening. Vodafone's "network status" page kept saying everything was working perfectly, regardless of the postcode I typed in. Except it was very obvious that things were going horribly wrong. You'd think that by now they would have taken that obviously flawed page off-line and placed a great big banner on their front-page announcing a problem. Instead; the announcement was buried in the middle of their forum.

As for the announcement itself, it simply stated that there was a glitch (my word) and that some customers were having intermittent problems. Not quite, Vodafone: I lost connectivity between (roughly) 12:10pm and 5:00pm. And I may have lost it beforehand and not realised. So that's almost 5 hours (some reported 8+) where mobiles stopped working for all intents and purposes. Considering that Vodafone's business model is to try and wean people off landlines altogether and onto mobile voice and data, is it any wonder your customers were calling for someone's head on a platter when their only mode of communication (both private and commercial) is via VF's mobile network?

Eventually the network came back up. Apparently, Optus and (so I understand) Telstra also suffered outages - I can't attest to either. But there has been no word as to what caused the problem in the first place; only vague wordings about a "technical issue". And that includes the press release. That seems to be Vodafone's PR stand on this event: say nothing and hope nobody asks questions. Except of course that just about all of their customer will want answers - if not for the outage itself (excrement occureth), then for the piss-poor customer- and public-relationship displayed during this outage.

TL;DR, Vodafone's greatest failure yesterday did not come from their network, but from their corporate headquarters.

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Stopping IT price gouging would risk SOCIALIST DYSTOPIA!

Neoc
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Remember folks...

These are the same companies that tell you it's OK for them to go shopping around the world for the cheapest labour and biggest tax-breaks, but that it should be illegal for you to buy the same product from a different country.

Goose, meet Ganda.

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The cute things they say

Neoc
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Because sometimes their brains go into Neutral.

Let's dig one out from the 90's - my first job was with the department of education. They were using a rather well written (for the time) database system to help schools keep track of students, classes, scores, etc. The software ran on a *nix variant and came in two flavours: High-school and primary. The High-school version produced backups that were large enough to warrant 1/4" tapes, while primary schools' backups would fit on one or more floppies. All schools were carefully instructed on the values of backups.

Being lowest in rank, I spent my first few years as the guy being sent out to deal with problems at the local schools (we had regional people for the others). Every so often, the system would be so badly borked the only thing to do was wipe the drive, re-install the OS and the software and break out the backups. And of course, most of them hadn't followed the simple backup procedure we'd installed (5 weekly backups, one a day, reuse last week's media). So when I got called to XXXX Primary School and found out their system required a rebuild, I requested their backups fully expecting to be met with blank stares. But the Admin staff smiles at me and asks which day's backup I want. "You mean you keep a full set of backups?" "Oh yes, religiously," she replies, pointing to the whiteboard across the room where the backup disks are being held aloft by large magnets, under great big MON/TUE/WED/etc... headers.

Had a fun time trying to explain why I couldn't get any data out of any of the backup disks.

-----8<-----

Second one comes from the early 00's. The system was originally written before GUI and the screens were basically 24x80 text-based forms. Not a problem, it was early days for GUI so seeing an old green-terminal set of screens being re-created on a Mac or Windows machine wasn't that odd. What was odd was a set of requirements I got from a fairly high-end user. I paraphrase:

"We want three screens: a Query screen, a List screen and a Maintenance screen. If the user enters a query which returns more than one item, the system should display them in the List screen so that the user can pick the right one and update it. If the system returns only one item and it's the right one it should jump directly to the maintenance screen. If there is only one item but it's the wrong one, the system should display it in the List screen so the user doesn't accidentally update it."

It took me 30 minutes to finally get through to him that the system could not automagically tell if the record was the "right" one or not if it matched all the query parameters.

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BOFH: On the contrary, we LOVE rebranding here at the IT dept

Neoc
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Reminds me of when the Chairman of the University of the Northern Territory got his new "signature stamp", with his degrees and his position all nicely abbreviated.

Nobody noticed until the first batch of letters went out...

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So, what exactly defines a 'boffin'? Speak your brains...

Neoc
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I would have thought one of the major requirements would be for the work they are doing to have the potential of discovering/creating something new.

So - a metallurgist might end up being a boffin, but it's highly unlikely that an architect (no matter the number of degrees) does the same - most would be trick-cyclists.

But what about middle-ground, say Astronomists? I'd say the one which simply look at telescopes are NOT boffins, but the ones who use said observations to come up with new theories (or better places to look) are boffins.

YMMV

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Ireland accused of giving Apple 'selective advantage'

Neoc
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Actually, no matter what the Review finds, Apple has broken no laws. It has applied the Tax Laws as each country told Apple applied to it. What they have done may be immoral, but it is not illegal.

What the Review is checking is whether Ireland, by allowing this shenanigans, may have breached some EU rulings about Taxation across EU states.

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Google, Red Hat, Ubuntu, Parallels bet on virtualization's surprising successor

Neoc
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So, if I understand this correctly:

If you want multiple copies of the same hardware/OS tuple, use Containers.

Otherwise, you need to use Hypervisors.

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Japanese finally produce a ROBOT which isn't DEAD INSIDE

Neoc
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"There's good news for those of us worried about a robopocalypse: there's a speedy way to stay safe if Pepper goes berserk. Just climb stairs."

Pepper = Dalek 1.0?

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Boffins publish SciFi story to announce exoplanet find

Neoc
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He said "Kapteyn!"

I said "What?"

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