* Posts by skelband

2044 posts • joined 18 Aug 2008

FCC hit with SEVENTH net neutrality lawsuit

skelband
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The cable companies in the US are *far* too powerful.

Here's hoping for a big slap down by the courts to put them in their place.

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What's that THUD sound? It's your Lumia's best feature after unflashing Windows 10

skelband
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Why are manufacturers making phones that can brick?

Surely a single, simple bootloader that cannot be changed and therefore always accessible via a boot key sequence is not that hard to implement?

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LA schools want multi-million Apple refund after kids hack iPads

skelband
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Re: Good for them

> Don't forget the nice professors who force their own textbook on their students and release updated editions every few years.

Some of them pretty much every year, even for subjects that are not continually updated.

It's a well-known trick for professors to mandate the latest edition so that you can't buy second hand.

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skelband
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Re: Good for them

A disturbing trend that I have been seeing with my daughter at university is the textbook/online token combination. This is publishers trying to kill the second hand text book market and they're not being subtle about it.

To complete a course, my daughter has to either buy a new text book which comes with an "online" token that she has to use to complete the course ($x) or get a second hand textbook and pay $(x-smallamount) for the token on its own. In other words, they're trying to make it more expensive to buy a secondhand book than to buy new.

The publishers are no longer content with fleecing students for the obscene costs of textbooks, but they're trying to strong-arm themselves into the business of running courses.

The universities should tell them to FO but of course, they're getting kick-backs from the publishers.

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NASA probe sent to faraway planet finds DWARF world instead: Pics

skelband
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I have to say I'm quite excited about seeing proper pictures of Pluto.

However, to call these the first colour photos of Pluto, while being technically correct, is rather overstating the importance of this very blurry blob with a slight tint.

Let's wait for some decent piccies before getting too excited, shall we?

Nice test for the camera though.

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This open-source personal crypto-key vault wants two things: To make the web safer ... and your donations

skelband
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Re: More anonymity for criminals and terrorists

> And do you seriously believe the CIA/GCHQ has the slightest interest in you?

How do you know?

If I'm not interesting, why do they want to look at my stuff?

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Sinister lobby group (AT&T, Verizon among membership) sues FCC to kill net neut

skelband
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> He claimed that the rules would slow innovation and infrastructure investment, and lead to higher costs for consumers.

You mean it could *more* expensive and *slower*?

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Microsoft goes cloud KERR-AZY, chops Windows Server to bits

skelband
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Perhaps we can look forward to a more modular Windows Server in the future.

That would be a good step forward.

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CoreOS bags $12m, touts Tectonic – a DIY Google cloud for big biz

skelband
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Re: @1980's ... Yeah but you have to like the name...

> "Tectonic ... try and copyright it. :-P"

I think the word you're looking for is "trademark".

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skelband
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> The irony of all this being essentially technology from IBM circa 1971 is also delicious. MVS, LPARs, etc. -- all ideas that the cool kids are rediscovering for themselves forty years later. I would be great to have El Reg interview some of the old IBMers...

Aint that the truth :D

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Dot-com intimidation forces Indiana to undo hated anti-gay law

skelband
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> "We are a Christian establishment. We're not discriminating against anyone, that's just our belief and anyone has the right to believe in anything."

In other words, "We won't serve gays but we'll serve everyone else".

In what way is that not literally discrimination regardless of what you think of the morality?

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Light the torches! NSA's BFF Senator Feinstein calls for e-book burning

skelband
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When politicians call for the burning or banning of books, that's the time we have to start worrying.

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Comcast: Google, we'll see your 1Gbps fiber and DOUBLE IT

skelband
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Their linked page makes interesting reading:

"We’ve consistently offered the most speeds to the most homes, but with the current pace of tech innovation, sometimes you need to go to where the world is headed and not focus on where it is today."

I suppose 512k would be the "most speeds" (highest speeds surely?) if you have no real competition. It's hardly a ringing endorsement.

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skelband
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> Comcast did not admit what the Gigabit Pro service will cost per month, and what installation fees users may incur for having a fiber line installed.

Or how much of your privacy they will rape you for.

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Tech leaders: Is your biggest threat North Korea or your own board?

skelband
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Headmaster

> Less PCs, more devices, even more security threats

"Fewer PCs" surely?

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Locally Integrated Menus back on Vivid Vervet’s menu

skelband
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Re: Systemd

> But he is no fool...and the distros don't think so either.

He might not be a fool and I have read a lot of what he has to say on the subject but to understand the objections, you have to ask the question "How easy is it to replace systemd with something else?"

The answer to that question *should* be fairly straightforward. If the answer is "not very" then this is a big problem.

Free software has advanced and evolved at a rip-roaring pace over the lat 5-10 years. At least one of the reasons for this is that no single person controls a large part of the Linux ecosystem. Each traditional part of the GNU/Linux ecosystem is replaceable by other versions of that component and in this way, parts can be replaced with better implementations. If you don't like this cron, use a different one...or use something else that performs that function in an entirely different manner. Choosing to use a different cron does not affect the rest of the system in such a pervasive manner. The change would not be entirely painless, but the influence is limited.

systemd and the accompanying infrastructure is very pervasive and is controlled by one person. For such an important piece of infrastructure, this is a terrible state of affairs. You could argue that the kernel is in the same situation but again, in theory, the kernel could replaced by something else that was plug compatible and the largely GNU infrastructure atop would still work.

I won't argue that there aren't some awful aspects to the state of the Linux infrastructure. Printing is still a dog's breakfast for example. And a good replacement for SYSV init would be fairly welcome. But as the uselessd project has shown, systemd can achieve its aim but with a less pervasive influence over the rest of the system.

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Europe could be drowned in 'worthless pop culture' thanks to EU copyright plans

skelband
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> And Polish film goers will lose interest in Polish films if they're available elsewhere in Europe? Really?How does that one work?

There seemed to be a logical gap in the argument somewhere.

It wasn't very specific about how to make a connection between a larger audience and fewer sales which was the implication of the view expressed.

Perhaps Andrew has some further comment on this.

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skelband
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> Modern European copyright arguably owes more to the French, who introduced the inalienable moral right of the author (”droit d’auteur”) to decide how their work is used; EU copyright is based on the French, rather than the utilitarian US and UK approach. The UK incorporated moral rights when it grafted EU law into the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act in 1988.

Well if that's true, then let's see copyright terminate on the death of the author then.

At least that would be an improvement over the insane period of the author's death plus 70 years that we currently have now.

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Bye bye, booth babes. IT security catwalk RSA nixes sexy outfits

skelband
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Re: About friggin' time.

> Referring to women as "meat" is I think quite offensive and disgusting. Just because they are there purely to give sex appeal to a product, doesn't mean you should demean the women who do that by suggesting that they are nothing but meat.

Both you and I know that the women are there to give the nerds a stiffy and to get the technology buyers aroused enough to make rash buying decisions. There's nothing distinctly stylish about booth babes.

And I make a distinction here. I'm not talking about attractive sales personnel. I'm talking about *very* short skirts, swimsuits and the like. It's objectification plain and simple.

I'm in to all that like the next man, but conferences and technology shows are not the right place for this sort of thing.

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skelband
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About friggin' time.

Booth babes are frankly embarrassing.

I can't think of a bigger turn off at conferences than scantily clad meat draped around technology.

Call me a prude if you like, but technology should be able to sell itself.

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'Why don't you buy from foreign sites?' asks Commish, snapping on the gloves

skelband
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Re: Amazon

> The problem is not usually Amazon, it's the suppliers who geo-restrict things, and often Amazon say this item can be shipped to you, you can even filter on ship internationally, but when you finally get your basket to the check you will be stopped.

Strange, my experience is the reverse.

On a number of occasions, I have tried to buy from sellers on Amazon who state that they ship globally, only to be told by Amazon's website at the very last moment that it can't be shipped to me. Usually it is CDs or DVDs. It's becoming a bigger and bigger problem.

Also, this new legislation that they were talking about regarding VAT being charged at the buyer's country rather than the sellers is a big problem for small businesses. I can't see that helping much.

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Hawk like an Egyptian: Google is HOPPING MAD over fake SSL certs

skelband
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Gah, came here to say the same thing.

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NYPD cop in court for allegedly hacking into the FBI

skelband
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> and “the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

Nice to see law enforcement officers realising the difference.

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$30 Landfill Android mobes are proof that capitalism ROCKS

skelband
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Re: history repeats

> Android does have a decent base level of smartphone features but they are a trying experience at the cheap and cheerless level. So either you find other candidates apart from Android or you ship hardware which is overpowered so that Android just (about) runs.

I'm not sure why you're getting so many downvotes here. Symbian as a mobile platform had a huge amount going for it. With it's event driven infrastructure and well engineered internal design it was awesome on a low power machine. Given sufficient work since then, it could have been as beautiful to look at as modern interfaces are. Displays and processing technology have moved on so much since that last decent Symbian phone. There's every reason to believe that if the same kind of effort was put into the Symbian GUI experience as has been for Android or iOS it would look just as good and would require a fraction of the power.

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NORK internet outage was payback for Sony hack – US politician

skelband
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> He declined to comment on whether or not the US was behind the action, Bloomberg reports.

So does he know who did it or not? Sounds to me like he's talking out of his ar*e.

Let me guess: he's a redneck fundamentalist christian. Whatever next? Earthquakes caused by homosexuality? Aids revenge for sin?

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We need copyright reform so Belgians can watch cricket, says MEP

skelband
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> Sabine Verheyen, a Christian Democrat MEP from Germany, ridiculed Reda's analogy: “After all, I can’t buy Finnish bread in any German supermarket or bakery. Far too few people here would buy it, so the market doesn’t offer it to me. And you don’t see me demanding that the European Commission bloody-well make that product available to me!”

It's really distressing that these people obviously doesn't understand the analogy and they're the ones discussing the future of a far reaching legal framework in the EU.

The problem being talked about is the active and explicit attempts to prevent the movement of goods between territories with the weight of legal sanctions behind it, not a demand that companies deliver internationally.

And if someone wanted Finnish bread in Germany and someone was willing to ship it, why wouldn't they be allowed? The fact that some people think that this should be reasonable and the norm for creative works in the age of the Internet and instant delivery is bizarre.

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'What don't we want? Robots. When don't we want them? Ever.' Anti-droid hipsters hit SXSW

skelband
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> The hell it is! Not that I'm particularly challenging that description, but if you can imagine a futuristic society so flippin' perfect that _NOBODY_ ever does anything that would harm others, you're smoking something mighty fierce.

Erm, I guess my point was that there is no reason to believe that a piece of clever, benign hardware would necessarily turn rogue on us. That is clearly us projecting our instincts onto it.

Take the Terminator for instance. Why on earth would any relatively intelligent computer system designed for and tasked with our defence decide that the best way to defend us would be to kill us all? In the mind of a lunatic maybe but a rational intelligence wouldn't likely come up with conclusion.

However, the technology in the wrong hands would be every bit as efficient as its benevolent counterpart at carry out its insane programming. But at the heart, we are therefore the problem.

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skelband
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The problem isn't technology, it's people.

Imagine an android 5 times more intelligent than a human, 10 times as strong and quick.

Such a thing could be great for search and rescue, space exploration, whatever.

But some prick will tell one to do something bad, you just know it. And being as quick, intelligent and strong it will do it with ruthless efficiency.

I see the problem but it is not an issue for technology, it is an issue for the primitive apes that we are.

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My self-driving cars may lead to human driver ban, says Tesla's Musk

skelband
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Re: @Crisp

> Also I think it is moronic to have the assumption of "phone home" operation. What if you loose connectivity or the central servers go down for whatever reason? Does your car just stop?

My reading was the "phone home" part was for the processing of experience data for bulk improvement of the training of these things, not for the actual running of the machine.

Anyone seriously suggesting implementing that I think would be laughed out of the room.

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skelband
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Re: Real world testing

> I want to see how these things behave in blinding rain. I want to see how these things behave when they hydroplane in blinding rain. I want to see how these things behave hitting a pothole at freeway speeds in blinding rain, and blowing a tire out. Those are things I have to face every summer.

Humans are spectacularly bad at driving in these kinds of conditions, as evidenced by the sharp increase in accidents when bad weather comes our way.

Most accidents in bad weather are caused by poor driving, such as driving too fast, not paying attention or driving too close to the car in front.

Once you've sorted out the basic logic and image processing, there's every reason to believe that computer driven cars would *far* exceed the capabilities of even the best drivers.

Given that humans can't see in all directions at the same time (like a computer car could) and even in infra-red or ultra-violet I really don't see the practical justification that automated cars wouldn't be *much* safer than their meaty alternatives.

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Not in the Budget: Spooks beg UK.gov for £111m brown envelope

skelband
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> £1.9bn

Really? Jesus. I had no idea.

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What’s new in Office 2016 for Mac (and why it doesn't totally suck)

skelband
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Re: Boot camp still required then

> If you need 64-bit Excel I'd suggest you're definitely using the wrong tool for the job.

You don't need 64-bit Excel for larger spreadsheets handling bigger numbers. That's naive rubbish.

Applications compiled for 64-bit instruction set can take advantage of faster/"larger" instructions and as a consequence often give much better performance for the same task.

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skelband
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Trollface

I suppose the real question is "Have they added any new functionality that people are likely to need since Office 97?"

Or Office 2.0 for that matter....

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Pi(e) Day of the Century is upon us! Time to celebrate 3/14/15 in style, surely?

skelband
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> An abbreviated YY year has led to all sorts of complications

This is a pet peeve of mine.

Database programmers (and UI designers) are forever being caught out with ambiguous date formats.

What I can't fathom is why we still insist on stupid date formats on web pages and on forms like 01/02/03 when an unambiguous form is just as straighforward and less likely to lead to mistakes, especially after the Y2K fiasco.

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skelband
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Or if we want to be standards compliant (ISO 8601): YYYY-MM-DDTHH:MM:SSZ for UTC at least.

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Timeout, Time Lords: ICANN says there is only one kind of doctor

skelband
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Joke

Re: In the UK Medical Doctors aren't Real Doctors!

> Herr doktor doktor.

"That's Mister Doctor Professor Schmidt to you!"

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Netflix: Look folks, it's net neutrality... HA, fooled you

skelband
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Re: Hypocrisy! Favoritism!

> Level playing fields are antithetical to capitalism. If that's what we want we have to change the West's economic system.

Agreed. If realistic competition exists, then I'm all in favour of a free-for-all. Cable networks don't tend to be rife with competition though, it's the nature of the beast. That's the rub.

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skelband
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I'm a big fan of Netflix, but I have to say that I largely agree with Andrew on this one.

Traffic discrimination based on source (rather than protocol needs) is always bad where there is little effective competition between the last mile ISPs.

In this case, Netflix are paying for priority. That's great for them, but equally bad for everyone else which is what the Net Neutrality debate is all about. Putting servers into ISPs' data centres is fine as long as it is helping both the ISP and Netflix with their delivery infrastructures, but prioritising outgoing traffic is a different story.

To be honest, I'm not a big fan of legislation in this area, but it is undeniably necessary for the US where various oligopolies control large swathes of the Internet infrastructure.

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Forget 1,000 lashes for Facebook posts, Saudis now want to behead blogger Raif Badawi

skelband
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Re: Give some thought about all this...

> This is not the Saudi government practicing some extreme form of radical Islam. It is the Saudi government killing its opponents and keeping the population oppressed, just like dictators everywhere.

I beg to differ.

This chap merely stated that he has a different opinion about the nature of the cosmos. For this, the Saudis want to kill him.

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skelband
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Re: Saudi Arabia

Or even better: us ridding ourselves of our dependency on it.

ITER: hurry the f*ck up.

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skelband
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> The sentence brought condemnation, but little else, from governments around the world.

Well, unless it endangers our oil supply, governments aren't going to officially give a rat's arse.

F*ck me. It's like the 20th Century just didn't happen in these countries.

For this kind of thing we need worldwide governmental sanctions. This is just one case among thousands or millions of quiet atheistic realisations. If that's not a vicious, brutal oppression of people worthy of international sanctions, I don't know what is.

The apostacy of the religious to atheism is the quiet revolution that hardly anyone talks about but it is the final waking up of people from our bronze age mysticism, the realisation of our proper birthright: the real world, full of wonder and astonishment.

Carl Sagan: "This is better than we thought. The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant." F*ck yeah.

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You're outta here! Baseball star strikes out sleazy trolls who targeted teen daughter

skelband
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> Isn't perceived anonymity better than actual anonymity?

Depends on your perspective.

My point is that their expectation of any comeback was minimal. They just didn't think that any consequences of their actions would be forthcoming.

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skelband
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The reason why these f*ckwits do this kind of thing on the Internet is because of some kind of perceived anonymity. There is a disconnection between their computer and the real world in their minds.

Most of these people would never, ever utter these kinds of comments to their victims' faces.

What stops them in the real world is shame.

In our modern life, we have far too little shame, that emotional response that comes from society psychically telling us that we are being a dick.

All that this baseball player has done is restore the natural balance. You say something that makes you a dick, then everyone should know about it. He also seems to be advocating that he and his family don't resort to violence even though he comments on his blog about the reasonable outrage that his daughter's boyfriend feels about the whole thing.

I'm the father of a 19 year old daughter. I have to say that I don't think that I could be quite so restrained.

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‪Obama criticises China's mandatory backdoor tech import rules

skelband
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Re: The difference is...

> Yes, because overthrowing dictators is all thats needed to bring about peace and harmony and goodwill to all men. Look at Syria, Libya, Egypt.... oh, wait....

You do realise that the US government supported (at least in part) and instigated the creation of most of those regimes don't you?

Gadafi, Hussain, all puppets of the US government at one time or another.

The US administration is the worst kind of backstabbing hypocrite.

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skelband
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Re: That's rich...

> Their job is to protect US interests...

That used to mean protecting the US from foreign powers.

As we know now, that (more often than not) is about working *for* American corporate and political interests and working against the American preople, particularly if they have the termerity to bring the US administration to book about what appalling things they're getting up to in secret in their name.

The theory is one thing, the practice is something else entirely.

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WHY are GoDaddy and Verisign stockpiling patents? Do I smell war?

skelband
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> What is striking about the applications, and awarded patents, is that most of them cover what are already fairly common practices in the industry.

Wait, what?

Only in the US.

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Snowden 'ready to return to US', claims lawyer

skelband
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Re: Yes

Matt, your comments are showing....

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Is light a wave or a particle? Beaming boffins prove it's BOTH

skelband
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Trollface

Pictures please or it didn't....oh. Forget that.

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Here comes Vulkan: The next generation of the OpenGL graphics API

skelband
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Re: Great...

Everyone in the Graphics realm would love a portable, low-level API.

It's great for game developers, hardware manufacturers and users alike.

If Microsoft don't embrace it, they're going to find that more and more Windows is the "alternative" platform that developers might consider if they have enough budget, because with one single API, they can tackle the majority of every other platform.

The real question is why we haven't had this until now.

I wish it success.

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Net neutrality secrecy: No one knows what the FCC approved (BUT Google has a good idea)

skelband
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Re: "more openness will make it easier for lobbyists"

> Hello? McFly? That's the current situation, not some hypothetical future scenario.

There's hardly any *specific* politicing at the moment and there are no court cases pending on this at this point in time. Since the details are secret, what would you build a case on?

When the details come out, the guns will start firing certainly, but there's hardly anything going on legally at the moment.

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