* Posts by johnnytruant

319 posts • joined 12 Aug 2008

Page:

Google Apps boss says cloud computing is your destiny

johnnytruant

I don't see Gmail ads

'cos I use IMAP to access my mail using an old school, standalone email client. Thunderbird certainly has it's faults, but I still prefer it to gmail's web interface.

1
0

Latest boffinry: Feeding TNT to sheep

johnnytruant
Coat

cows, also sheep.

"A bovid is any of almost 140 species of cloven-hoofed mammals belonging to the family Bovidae. The family is widespread, being native to Asia, Africa, Europe and North America, and diverse: members include bison, African buffalo, water buffalo, antelopes, gazelles, sheep, goats, muskoxen, and domestic cattle."

Mine's the one made from exploding wool.

1
0

Joy Division get the Playmobil treatment

johnnytruant
FAIL

Jedit's google must be broken

"Let's dance, to the song they're playin' on the radio" - Bowie, Let's Dance

"Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance to the radio" - Joy Division, Transmission

4
0

British e-reader readers still not stealing books

johnnytruant

fans of Gutenberg

Should also check out feedbooks.com - an excellent source of free ebooks both new and old (Charlie Stross has some books on there, as does the excellent Peter Watts), and if you sign up for an account, you can even have them generate custom pdfs for your device. Can't beat reading in 10pt Helvetica.

0
0

Sony tweets 'secret' key at heart of PS3 jailbreak case

johnnytruant

see, that's all fine

A PS3 would make a rather good HTPC, they're quiet and powerful and they come with a wireless controller - you could put some games on there too (mmmm, ScummVM on the big screen!) and using it for crunching Hard Numbers if that's your thing too. I'd definitely like to have a PS3 as part of my video processing and image stacking system. Lots of grunt in those Cell cores for that kind of thing.

The problem, from Sony's point of view, is the PS3 unit itself if a loss leader. They lose money on every console they sell - they make it back when you buy games, download stuff from PSN and so on. But if all you do is install linux, then Sony are just subsidising your HTPC, and they don't want to do that.

There were quite a few people using them - standalone or clustered - for Science, at least until it got cheaper/easier to use a stack of GPUs and OpenCL for most things. Sony, as a business first and foremost, didn't want to be paying for research that they didn't benefit from. I understand their point of view, but they handled it badly - they should have known that removing OtherOS would have triggered this kind of arms race, one they will always lose. How to handle it any other way is the difficult question - although it's possible that the negative publicity they're seeing now is costing more than a handful of PS3s!

5
0

Android bites big chunk out of Apple iPad market share

johnnytruant

what?

"Android came equally out of nowhere to capture 2.3 per cent of the market with total shipments of 2.3 units, by far the majority of them being Samsung Galaxy Tabs."

2.3 units?

Where can I buy my 1/3 tablet from?

2
0

Assange relishes US banks 'squirming' over 'megaleak'

johnnytruant

cryptome ftw.

John Young outclasses Assange by several orders of magnitude.

Also, openleaks.org is up. And their launch content (little more than their FAQ) has already been leaked to and posted on cryptome.org

Lovely.

0
0
johnnytruant

such a leaktease

If he's got goodies, and genuinely wants to expose them, he should just publish already.

I know he's a massive self-publicist and everything but it's reaching the point where I'm starting to genuinely doubt he has any real commitment to getting anything published except column inches about Julian Assange.

2
8

UK tech retailers are rubbish

johnnytruant

last time I bought a telly

But a few short months ago, the chap in Curry's was extremely well-informed, and interested in what he was selling (to the point where he excitedly got out a magnifying glass so I could admire the extra yellow pixel on the Sharp display). I did feel this level of service was rather unusual, but I did leave with a bigger, and more expensive (and better!) TV than I went in with.

In East Anglia, we're lucky enough to retain an independent electrical goods supplier - Hughes Electrical. Never, not when asking about fridges, TVs, dishwashers or whatever, have I spoken to anyone who isn't knowledgeable, helpful and able to answer any question I have without attempting to upsell me pointless crap. I happily pay the little more they charge because it's worth it for the service. Also, most recently, they're the only place any more who will let you listen to headphones before you buy them.

0
0

Apple patents miracle combo mouse-keyboard

johnnytruant

yes and no

If you hammer a flat surface, that's definitely bad. but then same same for a keyboard.

If you learn enough control of your fingers to maintain a light touch, then it's OK. I use a scissor-action/short-travel (laptop-style) keyboard because the pressure+impact of a standard keyboard is too much for me - keys that push down also push back, don't forget.

The advantages of not having a mouse (reaching off to the left/right to reach pointing device from your centre position is Bad), scrollwheel and other RSI-nasties probably outweighs the potential disadvantage of no key feedback.

iirc, the fingerworks board had a bit of give in it. not that I ever got to see one, thanks Steve.

0
0
johnnytruant

I was saving up for a Fingerworks keyboard

Then Apple bought them and shut down sales about a week before I had the cash.

I blame Steve Jobs* for my RSI.

* not really. Although I still do harbour a minor grudge against Apple for removing such an awesome piece of tech from the market.

0
0

Next smartphone tech? Predator style thermal cameras

johnnytruant

I've done two of those

It doesn't give you night vision. Not noticeably more than the original visible-light more camera could see at night either. IR-only cameras do create some rather pleasing photographic effects, but to use them at night you'd need an infra-red illuminator of some kind (a TV remote will work fine over short range).

It's entirely possible that the cheap-and-nasty sensors in most webcams just aren't up to the job. I expect someone ripping apart a DSLR and removing it's IR filter could get better results at night. I have no intention of taking a screwdriver to mine to find out though!

1
1

W3C apologizes for HTML5 brand confusion

johnnytruant

the thing is

There isn't really a version number for HTML, not in any meaningful sense. What there is, is browser support for a variety of features, depending on the browser. As a developer, you can only use elements which are well supported by the majority of browsers - you can't just say "let's use html5 or html4 or xhtml or whatever", you make decisions based on what (rough) percentage of users will or won't be able to use your site. You don't say "we'll use HTML5 for this", you say "we'll use <canvas> because it's an intranet site and we know that company runs the latest version of Chrome on it's desktops" or "we'll need to use Flash for this because we can't rely on enough users for the client to be happy having support for the <video> tag"

Hixie is right on dropping the version number. It's meaningless and always has been for the whole 15 years I've been making websites for a living.

The silly logo and so on is just pointless noise from Marketing hats who want to brand everything so they can talk about it and pretend to be techies. Thanks to this kind of nonsense, there will be studios all over the world where clients are demanding "the site must be html5" because they've heard of it and feel clever when they use acronyms and numbers, then the sound of facepalming devs will echo shortly after. Dropping any sort of version number will help this problem.

0
0

Google axes Jobsian codec in name of 'open'

johnnytruant

since last year

The spec hasn't changed. WebM doesn't suddenly have more capabilities than it did a year ago. That's kind of the point of a specification - how are the soft and hardware manufacturers to do anything if the goalposts keep moving?

Encode/decode speeds have increased as the various codec software has been optimised, but that doesn't change the fact that WebM is fundamentally less capable than H.264.

There's a reason there aren't many newer comparisons. It's because they're not needed. I did look. You're welcome to post a link if you know of any.

This comparison is a bit more recent, although a lot less interesting and less useful and devoid of nice screenshots with which one might draw one's own conclusions: http://compression.graphicon.ru/video/codec_comparison/h264_2010/appendixes.html#Appendix_8

1
2
johnnytruant
FAIL

I hope they make WebM suck less

Because it barely compares to H.264 for quality right now, not to mention compression.

http://x264dev.multimedia.cx/archives/377

Very technical, and interesting if you like that sort of thing, or skip to the end for screengrabs and conclusions. One interesting bit worth pulling out (he does cover just how much h.264 code appears to be in WebM in detail elsewhere):

"Finally, the problem of patents appears to be rearing its ugly head again. [WebM] is simply way too similar to H.264: a pithy, if slightly inaccurate, description of [WebM] would be 'H.264 Baseline Profile with a better entropy coder'. "

3
3

Civil servants touted ID cards to friends, family as flop loomed

johnnytruant

I wish I'd signed up for one now

I'd have kept it in it's original packaging and it'd be worth a fortune on eBay in ten years time.

No, wait, I'm probably thinking of Transformers.

2
0

Ubuntu Wayland: Shuttleworth's post-Mac makeover

johnnytruant

The unified menu bar was possibly Bruce Tognazzini's greatest contribution to HCI

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitts%27s_law

The menu buttons on the top of the screen are "infinite" - once your mouse hits the top of the screen you can keep scrolling up as long as you like and you'll never roll off the button - which makes them very, very easy to hit. The cognitive load associated with finding a menu option on a Mac is lower than on other UIs where you have to find the menu, then hit a small target which could be anywhere on the screen.

Right now, I can flick my mouse and hit the top-left menu bar (currently in Ubuntu, so it's Gnome/Applications/Places/System up there) without even looking. If you're on Windows, you can hit the start button with similar lack of thought. If I wanted to find out which version of Firefox I'm currently in, I have to look up, locate the menu bar on the window I'm in - which moves around and doesn't have an infinite top rail on it - then scan along it to 'About', then target a relatively small area - 'Help' - with the cursor and move there. It's more steps to do that than if 'About' were at the bottom of a menu on the top-left pixel of the screen (iirc, the Apple menu has 'About' at the bottom of it, Macists correct me if I've misrecalled), which is one of the five "blind" pixels you can hit without looking.

I agree that it's not perfect - no UI is - but it's one of the few things I miss from not using MacOS on a daily basis (with plenty of windows open and non-maximised, thanks). I've used MacOS, Windows and Gnome all a lot, they all have their excellent points and they all have their foibles. MacOS is, barring a few major clunkers (I can't type sftp://location into a finder window? wtf?), probably the slickest and easiest to use - once you get used to it. See next paragraph.

Tognazzini's other major contribution to UI was the discovery that there is no such thing as intuitive, only familiar. That's why MacOS feels weird to you, you're not used to it. MacOS users have the same problem with Windows - you can make every argument you just made about menu positioning but the other way around, if you're used to a single menu bar. Technically, from an HCI point of view and backed up with plenty of actual Science, you can make *more* arguments as to why Windows-style menu bars are less usable than Mac-style ones, but that's not really my point here.

Mac apps are also extremely consistent about how they lay out their menus, which makes moving between apps very easy and simple. Other GUIs are not as good for this, an eg: how many different places can you find the "Preferences" panel on a random selection of Windows apps? Gnome isn't much better, although KDE tends to be. On a Mac, 'Preferences' is in the same place in the same menu (not to mention in the same place on the screen) almost every time.

Full disclosure: I'm not a Mac fanboi, nor a Windowsist, nor a Linuxtard. I like my computers to work and work well, and I don't particularly care how they do that. Right now, I use a lot of linux because that's what currently works best for me.

3
1

Channel Five to air Walking Dead

johnnytruant

Uncompromisingly nasty

Some of the best zombie effects I've seen, and on TV too. Surprisingly good on that front. The half-a-girl in the first episode is particularly grim.

Shame the show is so dull though. I lost interest about halfway through. Weird how some shows can take a situation like that and strip out all the tension from it. The will-they-won't-they-make-it should be easy enough to ratchet all the way up and then some, but - after an admittedly strong start - The Walking Dead just shambled around slowly, mindlessly and without direction for a while before falling down to rot somewhere until season two. I'm hoping they can get a bit back on the ball by then.

0
0

The year's best... console games

johnnytruant

I entirely agree

Fallout New Vegas was excellent, as was Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, but while I enjoyed both a great deal, I put so many more hours into Demon's Souls. So many hours. So nice to play a game that was actually difficult, a game that - in parts - genuinely scared me (can't remember that happening since the intro to the original AVP, years ago). Looking back, perhaps a dark and stormy night, alone in the house, wasn't the best time to head down to the plague lake.

So yes, Demon's Souls for game of the year, no question.

0
0

Dell Duo to debut in December

johnnytruant
Coat

who cares?

just install Android or Ubuntu on it.

It's nice hardware, shame to waste it running Windows.

If I hadn't just bought a new mini laptop, I'd seriously consider one of these.

Mine's the one with the linux CDs in the pocket.

0
0

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood

johnnytruant

half a review

AC:Brotherhood never claimed to be anything more than an extension of AC2, so deja vu is to be expected. Personally I'm quite enjoying having more of a game I really enjoyed the first time around. AC3 is, I'm sure I read somewhere, going to be properly different.

However. There appears to be no mention in this three page review of the biggest and bestest new feature of Brotherhood - despite having several screenshots from it - the multiplayer option. Online assassin-offs against real people is great fun - team or individual modes both work really well and are what will keep me coming back to this game long after the single-player story has played out.

0
0

Hasbro unleashes 'Spastic' Transformer

johnnytruant

while I no longer hang out in playgrounds

I hear that the choice of insult among the young'uns these days isn't "spastic", but now "scoper"

Rebrand success!

4
1

Shut up, Spock! – how Battlestar Galactica beat Trek babble

johnnytruant
Coat

I think they did have high-tech weapons

But as they very briefly explained at the very start of the series, they couldn't use high-tech, computer controlled stuff 'cos the Cylons would infiltrate it. In Caprica, set 60ish years before BSG, they have much higher tech stuff kicking around than you'll ever see on BSG.

One of the reasons the Galactica survived where other Battlestars didn't is that - dating from the first Cylon war as it did - it was largely low-tech/mechanical and couldn't be compromised by high-tech (cyber) attacks. It was on it's final flight before decommissioning when the Cylons attacked.

Anyway, kinetic weapons in space are pretty handy things, what with the lack of air resistance and everything. I'd have probably expected railguns on the ship rather than chemical explosives, but they don't flash and bang when firing so don't work as well on TV. Nukes are a cheap, relatively low-tech means of creating a very big bang. Quark bombs and matter/antimatter devices are bigger bangs, but take more tech to make and use.

Without wanting to spoiler the series ending too much - if you haven't seen it, you should probably stop reading before the end of this sentence - the humanoids in the BSG universe are not aliens by your definition. Clue is when BSG is set - in the far, far past.

Mine's the one with the robot hidden in the pocket.

3
0

Boxee box to come to Blighty

johnnytruant

PS3 doesn't do it all

You can't play video from an MKV container on a PS3. Or anything using soft subtitles, even though MP4 can supposedly contain a sub stream, the PS3 won't recognise it. Try adjusting out of sync audio/subs on the fly on a PS3 - one of the best features of Boxee/XBMC, imo. Yes, you can transcode/remux on the fly from media servers on your network, but you need some pretty hefty hardware to do that with HD video.

Another attractive feature of these little Atom/ION systems is they suck about 30W maximum power, and a mere handful of watts when not doing anything. A PS3 draws some 200W+, according to my energy meter. My HTPC (same hardware as the Boxee box, different case) is totally silent - yes, PS3s are quiet, but still audible. It's nice to not have any sound at all coming from a device that lives in the front room.

Not sure how customisable the Boxee systems are, but my XBMC system also runs a number of handy always-on services like a local wiki, webcam, file store, upnp server and so on. It's not a media client like the PS3 is, it's the house's main media server.

Don't get me wrong, I love my PS3, but it solves a different slightly problem to a dedicated HTPC. The only media-centrey thing my PS3 does any more is play blu-rays.

0
0

Sony Reader PRS-350 Pocket Edition

johnnytruant

the main advantage of eInk

Is that reflective screens are a heck of a lot nicer to read on than transmissive ones.

It's one of those things (like HDTV) than screenshots simply can't make clear - you have to see it in the flesh. Next time you're in Waterstones/Borders/whatever, see if you can have a look at am eInk reader in action and you'll see how different reflective screens are to look at.

I can't read for hundreds of pages straight on an LCD, no matter how high-res it might be. My (mere!) third-gen eInk screen, I can read for days on, not to mention in full sunlight.

1
0

No one needs Blu-ray, says Microsoft exec

johnnytruant

8Mbit/s eh?

Could you come and tell my internet connection that, please?

I'm on ADSL2+, 2.2KM from the exchange and on a very, very good day, I can just about squeeze 4Mbit/s out of it.

0
0
johnnytruant

Didn't Sony recently say...

...that they reckoned we were at least ten years away from (removable) diskless home entertainment systems?

Yeah, it's here: http://www.reghardware.com/2010/08/27/sony_forecasts_physical_media_future/

I'm siding with Sony on this one. My internet connection can barely handle a compressed SD video stream, let alone a high-quality 1080p one. Much as I hope otherwise, I don't envisage BT laying fibre to my house anytime soon.

On the other hand, my house has quite a lot of blu-rays in. I wonder where, if I wanted to, I could stream old episodes of The Prisoner in HD from? Or vintage films from the cash-strapped BFI, lovingly transferred to HD media..

1
1

Vodafone shares subscriber info with world+dog

johnnytruant
FAIL

After I posted on their forum about this

Their forum manager phoned me and apparently they are aware of the issue and doing everything they can as fast as they can. They weren't aware it worked with usernames too though.

"Everything they can" doesn't, it seem, include taking down the offending page. Which is strange, 'cos that's the first thing I'd do.

On the plus side, if we can find a way to extract electrical energy from Vodafone's incompetence, that'll be global warming sorted.

0
0

Do the Webminimum

johnnytruant

What Vic said

If you're a (wannabe) server admin and you can't even use a search engine, then why should I help you for free? Go and pay a helpdesk if you just want someone to proxy google for you. I'll be here, earning my own money to pay my own rent/bills, while you do that.

If you come to me having made a bit of your own effort and asking me questions that google can't answer for you in seconds flat - then I'll happily give up hours of my valuable time to help you out.

That said, I tailor my forum efforts to the forum in question - on ubuntuforums, I'll walk you through click-by-click (or command-by-command) because I know there are a lot of completely new linuxers on there who need that level of assistance. But then they're not asking me how to adjust the size of a MySQL query cache or flush Postfix's mail queue.

On a sysadmin forum, I expect a reasonable level of effort on your part, and in return I will share as much of my knowledge as I can, in as clear and simple a fashion as I can. I'll more than not learn new stuff myself by helping others, and I've even installed whole systems (in a VM) to help answer other people's questions for them. I don't mind doing this at all - I enjoy the challenge and I like being able to help other people, but only if they're prepared to put in some effort too.

I don't think that's me being hostile, or unreasonable. Remember I'm not being paid to help you, although if you do want that, I think you'll find my rates are extortionately high :-)

In my experience of using Linux (getting on for 15 years now), I've never encountered any of this hostility, wailing and gnashing of teeth and lack-of-helpfulness online. That's administering Windows and Linux boxes alike. I guess I just hang out in the wrong places - the places where people are nice and helpful and friendly... Or perhaps I'm just better at asking questions..

1
0
johnnytruant

Let me try doing that...

Webmin's been around for over 13 years, and is far and away the best GUI config tool for Linux servers. Possibly the only one worthy of the name. It's not hard to use - at all - if you can use a web browser and you have some clue of how what you're administering works (eg: it's no use trying to configure a mail server if you don't know a bit about what variables you need to plug in!), it's a breeze. As of 2007 (most recent stats I could easily find,) Webmin has racked up 8 million downloads with an extra 2 million added every year. It has modules for just about everything you might want to do with a server, including EC2 hosting, virtual machine management and more.

I've been administering linux systems for only slightly longer than Webmin's been around, and I don't know of another tool that even comes close. Why would anyone bother, when Webmin's so good and you can just make a module for it if it doesn't admin the thing you need it to? Of course, I'd love to be proven wrong too. :)

4
0
johnnytruant

75% is a pretty big rounding error

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_operating_systems#Servers

If you're going to troll, at least try and check your claims a bit first. Desktop linux might be in the 4-5% range, but you wouldn't normally use Webmin on anything but a server.

8
0
johnnytruant

Other people's milage may vary

But personally I never found that the Linux community was hostile to newcomers, back when I was a wet-behind-the-ears wannabe BOFH. Provided I was doing a bit more than asking a forum to parse a man page for me, people were nothing but helpful. Posts like "How does I X?" don't get quite the response that "I've googled and RTFM'd and tried A, B and C; but X is still doing Y, how can I make it Z?" do - but then I'd expect the same thing on any forum for any subject. Search, RTFM, then ask is pretty normal protocol, especially on busy fora.

In return for the help I got, I try to be as helpful as I can when noobs ask me "stupid" questions.

9
0

Ubuntu 'Maverick Meerkat' erects own App Store

johnnytruant

drivers?

Driver support is better than Windows 7, that's for sure.

I just install both on my new laptop. Ubuntu booted up with everything working, and I mean everything. When I plugged in my USB stick, it worked seamlessly. Phone? Same. Webcam? No problem. Wifi? Uh-huh. Printer? No worries. My old machine had a Broadcom wireless card, which doesn't have Free drivers. I had to make two whole clicks to install the non-free drivers.

When I installed windows, I had to go and find (on my own!) a driver for my wifi. My Intel wifi - no weirdy cheapo hardware. Then the same for my video, audio, trackpad and webcam (rebooting for each install, of course). Plugging in a USB stick lead to five minutes of disk access while Windows "Prepared a driver for my device."

The Ubuntu install took maybe fifteen minutes, during which time I browsed the web. There was another fifteen minutes post-install while it updated itself. It took up 3GB of disk space and installed with a full set of useful apps - including an Office-compatible office suite. A clean boot uses a hefty 350MB of my 3GB of ram.

The Win7 install took three hours (including patching, drivers, rebooting) and installed with almost nothing. It takes up 10GB of my disk before I've installed any actual software, and uses an entire GB of ram once I've logged in. The disk constantly (and I mean constantly) accesses even if I'm not doing anything.

I know which I prefer.

The only app I've never been able to replace with OSS or make work under Wine is Ableton Live. That's the single reason I have Windows on my machine.

6
1

Doc develops RSI-reducing rolling mouse

johnnytruant

best rsi reducing pointing device

in my experience is a trackball I got for 20 quid from PC World.

2
0

ASA: You can't say 'f**k'

johnnytruant

As I understand it

In Ireland, feck is a different word - not a fig leaf for fuck in the same way that f**k is. Feck is the crap to fuck's shit. You can say crap on kids tv, but not shit. Same same for feck.

Also, FCUK is the internal abbreviation at French Connection for the UK office. The story goes that Trevor Beattie (the ad exec who came up with the FCUK campaign) was at a meeting at French Connection about rebranding when a fax came in from the Hong Kong office (FCHK) headed "Attn: FCUK." The rest is, as they say, history.

5
0

Vodafone issues real Froyo update for HTC Desire

johnnytruant

my wireless is fine

I'm also not aware of any antenna issues that a lot of people talk about.

Your phone, unless it's on a stock HTC firmware which it won't be unless you installed that yourself - gets it's updates from Vodafone.

Are you sure you don't have red icons for "Music Store," "Places" and "Web" in your menu?

That's 360 right there. The branding on the Legend is remarkably light, as it goes. I have a VF branded startup screen, 360, and that's pretty much it.

2.2 for Legend hasn't been released by HTC yet, rumours are that it's coming some time this quarter. On past form, VF users will then have to wait an additional month or so (at least) while Vodafone "test" and "improve" it before pushing it out to us.

0
0
johnnytruant

Vodafone's position on the Legend

Is their usual one - utter silence. When pushed, I got this:

"The announcement about HTC Desire doesn't affect HTC Legend in any way. We'll leave the thread open for you to discuss if you like, but there won't be any further updates from the team."

Which I'm reading as - "no, you can't have a nice clean firmware."

My dealing with Vodafone in the past have led to me to be rather pessimistic about the chances of getting decent customer service from them, especially regarding firmware not full of crapware and bugs.

2
0

UK set for eBook pricing showdown

johnnytruant

Amazon's DRM

has already been broken. there are python scripts out there on the internet for those who care to look.

0
0
johnnytruant

there will be

Here in Norfolk, the library service are about to roll out through-the-browser ebook borrowing. It's tied to Adobe Digital Editions at the moment (I think), but I'm sure that will change with time.

There is, as far as I know, no charge/subscription for this service. Not sure when other UK libraries will get on the case - apparently Norfolk is something of a national leader in library tech - but I'm sure they will.

0
0

Vodafone won't act on customers' HTC Desires

johnnytruant

I entirely agree

> The 360 apps don't even work!

This is the amazing thing about Vodafone. They can't even spam up your phone right. Not one of the handsets I've had from VF has ever shipped with all it's pre-installed crapware working. They release firmware updates months and months after every other carrier, yet they don't seem to bother testing them. I honestly can't work out what they're doing all that time.

I had a C905 off them just as it got released and every single VF-installed app didn't work to some degree or other - most didn't even load, and those that did were so buggy as to be unusable. Then I had a Satio and over half of those apps didn't work either. I haven't even loaded any of the rubbish they put on my Legend, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if most of that was faulty. In fact, I'd be amazed if it wasn't.

I sometimes wonder what the QA team at Vodafone do all day. I'm not joking when I say I've seen three-year-olds with better quality control than the world's largest telecommunications company.

On the other hand, their network coverage (at least where I am) is a lot better than Orange or O2.

0
0
johnnytruant
FAIL

while not quite so bad

Vodafone also sent out an update for the HTC Legend which, although spamless, did manage to break the default SMS app in such a way that it now refuses to jump to the most recently received message, meaning a lot (LOT) of scrolling is needed to get to the message that has just arrived.

It's not the end of the world, but it's quite annoying. Vodafone, when I contacted them, denied the issue existed. Despite it being mentioned on their very own forums and quite well represented by a quick look on Mr Page and Mr Brin's Patented Searching Engine.

Sure, I can install Handcent or ChompSMS or any number of other third party apps, but I like the default one.

Oh, and blocking unwanted mentions of broken stuff is pretty much par for the course on Vodafone's forums. They are spectacularly uninformed and unable to help over there - even the CSRs on the phones think the forum staff are useless - and by the standards of Vodafone's telephone support, that's really saying something.

0
0

Solar plasma aurora storm to hit Earth tomorrow today!

johnnytruant

aurora watchers may be interested

in this page: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/pmap/index.html

which has fairly up to date info on polar auroral activity.

here's hoping for a bit of a show in the UK tonight/tomorrow.

1
0

Next Gnome delayed until 2011

johnnytruant

strong acceleration

Not so. I've run Gnome Shell on my tiddly little netbook and it's snappy as you like (more than can be said for Compiz on the same hardware). Your 2003 gfx card might be fine, but my 2003 cpu just isn't powerful enough for Gnome. If I want to run a system on older hardware, I choose LXDE or Openbox or something - but I'd never put those systems in front of my Mum - but she's happy using Gnome 'cos it's got all the bells and whistles she needs and expects from a computer. Linux no longer needs to please the geeks, we've got enough options already. It needs to be usable by Normals, and Normals want slickness and polish and widgets and so on.

The shift in the way the gui works is pretty radical, but it's also pretty good. Try it for a little while, rather than just watching videos. I did. It felt weird at first, but became slick and powerful after a very short adjustment period - I didn't want to go back, but at that point there was no stickyKeys support and that's a deal-breaker for me. Yes, you shrink the desktop to use the overview (which includes the Activities menu) - but why not? Why not make the menu more accessible and easier to navigate? It's what most people need, so it makes sense! Power users like us can carry on using the shell and keyboard accelerators like deskbar etc, but for new users, it's friendly and simple and it does what they need.

Gnome as loads of options, it's just it tends to have them - as you say - defaulted sensibly. This won't change, it'll just be different (and gSettings is a lot better than gConf ever was). Mutter is, as you say, currently incompatible with Compiz. Can't see that lasting long.

Also I'm pretty sure that someone will keep the 2.x branch going, so y'know - just run that if you want. Isn't having choice wonderful?

0
0

Firefox 4 beta 2 preaches tabs-on-top love to fanbois

johnnytruant

on linux

you can enable tabs-on-top under (I think) the 'View --> Tabs on Top' menu.

At least you could with the alpha I was running last week.

What you don't get is the fancy new UI that Windowsers have with the big back button and so on.

0
0

Empires built on free code aren't cheap

johnnytruant
WTF?

M$PR

Pro-Microsoft PR in an article written by the COO of Canonical (Ubuntu)? An Open Source Initiative board member?

Really? You're sure about that?

0
0

O2 dithers over Apple iPhone 4 refund pledge

johnnytruant

Statutory rights

As I understand it, *if* you were someone affected badly by the antenna problem, you should be able to get a refund or replacement at any time during the next six years (although after six months you'd have to prove the defect was there at purchase - easy enough in this case) on the basis that the handset is not fit for purpose/of satisfactory quality - ie, it won't hold a signal. A reasonable expectation of a mobile phone is that it can make and recieve calls.

The Sale of Goods Act applies to all UK consumer sales, regardless of any manufacturer or retailer's policies - these are the rights that are usually described as "not affected" by any additional terms and conditions/warranties.

You'd probably have a bit of a fight on your hands convincing O2 of this, but the law is (probably*) on your side.

* IANAL, etc.

4
0

Steve Jobs morphs into Darth Vader

johnnytruant

the link in the article isn't very useful

So here's a more direct one: http://www.youtube.com/user/NMANews#p/u/7/Tn-YesqzvNk

0
0

Microsoft Xbox 360 250GB

johnnytruant

I agree

Although, on reflection, I think my washing machine (just) might be louder than an Xbox in full flow. But at least that's not in the same room as my TV and sofa.

Noise is the reason our Xbox is unplugged and gathering dust on a shelf, and why the near-silent PS3 is used all the time. It's much less fun to play games when it sounds like someone is hovering a Harrier jet just under the TV.

1
1

The Reg guide to Linux, part 3

johnnytruant

sure thing

Search synaptic for "clamav"

Click "Mark for installation"

Click "Apply"

4
0
johnnytruant

while I applaud the sentiment

directing new users straight to the command line is perhaps not the best way to cure people of The Windows.

10
0

Page:

Forums