* Posts by Trevor

18 posts • joined 21 Sep 2008

MS warns of bumper patch batch

Trevor

@ @ what patches

Well, it's a curious little thing. That windows slows down towards the end of it's lifespan is verifiable. GO run an RTM Win2000 or WinXP on a machine, throw the benches at it, and re-run after fully patching. Depending on the age of the hardware, (low RAM, and small hard drive) you will definitely see that more fully patched systems are slower.

There are a few reasons that I can think of. Firstly, on systems that are older, (I still maintain a fleet of P-IIIs with 20GB HDDs,) a fully patched Windows is much larger than an RTM version. This pushes your app installs and data to the end of the drive, where everything seems to be quite a bit slower.

Also, it seems that a fully patched system has a slightly larger RAM footprint...and certain components behave quite differently when loaded. (Windows Explorer enumerating 100,000+ files, for example.)

IE got bigger, fatter, and less responsive under a great many "normal" loading scenarios. Etc. etc. The list could of course go on.

While I doubt that there is any great conspiracy to "slow down" Windows in an effort to sell the next generation, feature creep, patches, and even the sheer size of the OS can make a difference in speed, most especially on older systems.

Is the windows bloat noticeable on a system with a 500GB HDD and 4GB of RAM? Not so much, really. The speed differential between RTM and Fully patched XP is probably less than a rounding error. On a 10 year old system? That's another story.

There will always be those people who jump up and down and claim that if you don't have the fastest, the newest and the greatest hardware and software, you have no right to complain. That's their privilege, but not everyone has the resources for that. Many a small business or not as well off family has to "make do" with a system that is five or ten years old.

In any case, that is what I see as regards the speed of "aged" Microsoft OSes. Hope that helps some!

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US mega retailer settles spyware charges

Trevor
Stop

@Ian Michael Gumby

"Its not a perfect world."

And so your solution is to simply accept this without even the attempt to change that world? How proud of yourself you must be.

The solution here isn't to turn a blind eye yet another time to yet another corporation, smile, and prepare to do the same yet again when another corporation steps over hte line.

The solution is to start changing the laws such that corporations (And the people that both own and run them) bear the same legal responsibilities as do the "proles." If I go to jail for killing someone, so should the people in charge of and owning a corporation. For each and every law this basic rule should apply.

The time has come to put the farce of corporatism behind us, and hold those in power responsible. It's not a perfect world, so let's all work very hard to try to make it closer to one.

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ICO tells cops to behave on CCTV

Trevor
Unhappy

@why does everyone moan about a lack of privacy

Have you heard of "Freedom of Association?" In short, it's the right to hang around with whomever you want, for whatever reason you want, without someone suspecting you of a crime due merely to the fact that you are gathering in a group, or who you may be associating with.

There are lots of examples where monitoring who associates with whom, and where can lead to revealing sensitive information that can damage the lives of law abiding citizens.

Let's say that several employees from a company are seen meeting with a representative of a Union. It could then be assumed they were trying to unionise their workplace, or perhaps it could be assumed they were seeking to leave their workplace, and take up elsewhere. A dozen other assumptions can also be made. This is only one small example, but many more exist.

If everyone can see who you hang out with, when and where, then the only activities that become allowed are those that benefit those in power. If you step over the line, just a little, word will spread, and you will lose.

Constant monitoring by the police is a short step to constant monitoring by employers, parents, spouses, etc. Any information made available to the cops can be made available anywhere else for a fee.

When I gather in public, sometimes I am gathering in a place, and at a time specifically to avoid other entanglements. Sometimes no one owns property large enough to hold an assembly of all those I would spend my time with, and yet we do still expect privacy and a freedom to assemble anonymously, should we choose. If every bar, strip club and fetish shop must monitor everyone, how long then until every hotel must as well? How long before you can not rent time at a convention centre or a conference room without your details being recorded?

In that society, where do you go then if you want to unionise? Or what if you want that secret tryst with the secretary, or want to arrange to see that rare collectible sports card or anniversary gift without your spouse or parents knowing? How about living a fantasy? Changing your name for a weekend, paying in cash at a hotel, and pretending to be someone you're not, just to see how the other side lives? Many fantasies, or business issues, personal issues and so forth simply can't occur without a reasonable expectation of privacy and a certain level of anonymity.

Maybe you enjoy following all the rules set at all levels of your life, but not everyone is so content with their existence. If everyone's movements are known all the time, then any opportunity they have to better their situation other than doing exactly what they are told and waiting for a pat on the head is taken from them.

I am afraid of your world, sir.

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Organised crime cops seek international hacking powers

Trevor

@Richard Kay

And exactly why should he believe that this "democratic process" you are so fond of hasn't already been coopted or corrupted? Even if the individuals that the "majority" votes for are elected, where are the checks, balances, transparancy and accountability that ensure that the elected officials follow the mandate of the voters, and not the mandate of the lobbiests with the deepest pockets, and the shrewdest law-doging, backhander-dealing lawers?

And exactly what, short of revolution, are any of us to do about this?

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Otellini questions EU logic

Trevor
Stop

*sigh*

This isn't about AMD or Intel's current technology, or pace of technology, or the current price/performance or anything like that. What this is is very simple:

Intel, being in a monopoly position has the ability to lean on customers, spread FUD, hand out "incentives" and "samples," and generally do things that are considered as "good business practices" when you are not a monopoly. (I.E. they are a well accepted and understood pack of business practises designed to promote your organisation, and screw your competition.) These practices are VERY common in IT, as the ball swings between those who have something cool and innovative, and those who are selling yesterdays crap.

Now, and I know this is where you all get lost, these business practices are illegal if you are a monopoly. Why? Because capitalism is (supposed to be) something that provides the best possible advantages to everyone via the magic fairy dust of competition. If, as the 800lb gorilla amongst the mice, and you use your position to step on as many mice as you can, you're generally regarded as stifling rather than encouraging competition. You may not like it, you may disagree with it, but that is the law as it stands today.

Intel did this; full stop. When AMD finally had a good product, rather than answering with a good product, they stepped on AMD over and over again until they could bring the great machine of their company into play and truly answer them technologically. In a competitive environment, (and without Hector Ruiz,) AMD should have been able to make huge inroads into market share, buy/build more fabs, ramp up production, sink loads of cash into R&D and actually meet Intel toe to toe for decades to come. Yes fanbois, regardless of how much you love Intel, that was how far ahead AMD was at the time all these various anti-trust investigations started.

In the meantime and betweentime, Intel shart all over AMD, which caused them to devote an abnormal amount of their resources just to getting places like Dell to buy their chips. Not an objective soul can honestly say Dell was all Intel because there was no demand. HP ran roughshod over them for years because they didn't shift AMD kit, customers screamed up and at them to sell them AMD kit of all flavours, and Dell (amongst, I have to admit, quite a few others,) only did so when Intel said "okay, we've finally got a price/performance answer to AMD, sell whatever you want." (The fact that various lawsuits were now out against Intel, investigating this very thing might also have played into this.)

Add in the "freebies" and "promotional items" which meant that ON THE WHOLE, company X got Y units for below the cost of production. (Thus undercutting AMD severly, who didn't have the resources to use loss leaders like that.)

So, in short, the point is that a way back when, the 800lb Intel gorilla stepped on the AMD mouse. In doing so, they prevented AMD from capitalising on the excellent work they had done in advancing technology, and thus hampering their ability to truly pump more money into R&D, thus really cutting into their ability to be competitive in the medium and long term. This then meant that Intel had ensured that as soon as they finally caught up to AMD there would be no possible way AMD could pull ahead again.

That ladies and gentlemen, is how the consumer was hurt by this business. Intel used tactics that are illegal to use as a monopoly to directly harm AMD's long term chances of being able to pump adequate money into R&D, and thus it's ability to be a medium or long term competitor. Does Nehalem walk all over Shanghai? Yes. Why? Because Intel spend billions making sure that it would.

On a personal note, I would not honestly be shocked if Intel spent more money per year stepping on AMD than AMD actually had in REVENUE. You honestly have to bear in mind the difference in size of these companies. AMD is not the slightly smaller plucky underdog. AMD is vastly, VASTLY smaller than Intel, and exist only because Intel lets them continue to do so. You can bet that every year at Intel, there is a meeting between people much more intelligent and worldly than I where the question is asked: "do we make more money by allowing AMD to continue to exist, or do we wipe them out for good, and just eat the anti-trust lawsuits?"

So please try to expand your minds beyond "AMD chips are not as good as Intel’s, thus this is all bollocks because who would buy AMD?!?!?!?!?oneoneone!!111!1oneone." Think about WHY AMD is so far behind, when they were, not that long ago, dramatically ahead.

Thank you, and good night.

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Cops collar Russian punting dog dressed as lamb

Trevor

@GrahamT

*sigh* Put your masks back on, Hex.

That said, most dogs I have had the pleasure of spending time with don't exactly seem to have much meat on them (%-wise) as compared to say...a cow. So you sort of have to wonder at the scale of this operation, if it feeds 50 restaurants. Hexadecimal "couldn't eat a whole one" or not, really, how many per day/week/month are we talking?

I think the numbers would shock people.

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Brown red in face after blusher found in cab

Trevor
Coat

@dedmonst && @ Sarah

Two people enter, one Sarah leaves!

Two people enter, one Sarah leaves!

++coat.

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Hackers stuff ballot box for Time Magazine's top 100 poll

Trevor

Time...

...they need some dog curtains.

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Google chief lectures newspapers

Trevor
Paris Hilton

@AC 20:08

Wow buddy, you got some pretty screwed up ideas of what socialism is.

Obviously somewhere you got "capitalism," "anarchy" and "good thing" all cross-wired in your brain. While at the same time “socialism” “dictatorship” and “rape everyone” got all cross-wired too. See a shrink. Or maybe a political scientist trained somewhere other than a hard-core republican state.

I weep for our species, that it has people in it that believe as you do. Until then, I am going to go enjoy living in a country that is at least partially sane. Thank you very much sir, honestly, a HUGE amount.

Sometimes, I despair of my country, and its slow slide towards greedy corporatism, because of fool anarchists who think that without any government, they would be better off. (Oh yes, because without a government of some king, the dude with the biggest rock didn't start bashing people over the head until he FORMED a government. One nation squirming under his boot.) Oh, and in case you start bawwwwwing about how your anarcho-capitalist leanings are only Darwinistic and thus good, I would like to point out to you that you are very wrong. Homo Sapiens is a PACK ANIMAL, not a solitary uber-predator. Without the pack, we’re pretty pathetic. As soon as you have a pack, you have an alpha. As soon as you have an alpha, you have a form of government. Survival of he with the most friends bearing pointy sticks.

No matter how far my nation and our unfortunate cousins to the south have slipped, (and continue to slip,) we're still better off than if we were run by you.

Thank all the deities, random cosmic events, luck, skill, the giant marshmallow man, and Paris Hilton for that.

Amen.

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Apple sued over iPhone, MacBook multi-touch tech

Trevor
Coat

@ Apple Haters

When you pay for the illusion of quality, shouldn't you also expect to pay for the illusion of a warantee?

Getting my coat...

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Intel mobile roadmap promises Air for the masses

Trevor

@Mac Tablet

...nicer alternative to what?

Actually, come to think of it...the old 386 notebook i was using for a paperweight is looking a little worn...

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Romeo 419ers take Canadian women for $300k

Trevor

And from me home town!

Ouch. It stings when something like this hits anywhere near home.

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Boffins plan Titanic balloon trip

Trevor
Boffin

SSP Boffin Post!!

Worthy or not, Mr Newton: Thank You. Reading about missions like Cassini/Huygens, the (unbelievably unkillable) Rovers, Phoenix, etc. etc. are among the only events in the news that give me any sort of hope for the future.

The world might be ending, the world might not be ending. Financial Crisis, Peak Oil, Murder Spree, Tainted Meat, Superbug, Superdrug, War, Famine, Pestilence Death and Apathy.

Somewhere however, SOMEWHERE...thousands of people all did thier part to painstakingly assemble, test, program, break, re-assemble, re-test, re-program and launch robots to OTHER PLANETS. (Or celestial bodies that are not *quite* considered planets, etc.)

I understand the science, I understand how building this little critters is possible, how easy, and how hard all of it is. To me, the message is not in that we learned this, or that, or that we accomplished someone that had not been accomplished before. The message, the important one, is that despite all the strife and angst, despite any and all past successes or failures, we found the will, the money, and people to get out there and give science another try.

So to every person involved in these endeavors, from the project planners to the programmers…

…we’re not worthy.

:D

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Guy Fawkes stunt arrives early

Trevor

With luck, he is an elected official

With luck, he is an elected (rather than appointed) official. In which case, I hope my British brethren demonsstrate to him who his masters are next election.

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Microsoft seeds second comms server release

Trevor

LCS/OCS

We have been using Live Communications Server since LCS 2005 (pre-sp1) and are currently sitting on the SP1 version. I haven't had a chance to toy with 2007 outside of a test lab.

The reality is, it's a clean, simple messaging product, and, (here's the kicker) integrates with outlook. Now, the hardcore Open Saucers amongst you will cry out in pain at the thought of Outlook, but, tragically, I have yet to see a viable business-class alternative to Outlook/Exchange.

So, that in mind, LCS integrates nicely with outlook, and lets me use these cool "tab" things. The cool "tab" things are little more than an IE window available as a "tab" on the bottom of the communicator that displays a website. It does, however, offer a bloody fantastic way of pushing out a thin version of the corporate Intranet.

Oh, and links to all the relevant corporate files, parsed, of course, based on the user that is logged into that copy of Office Communicator. Which allows for a lovely single-sign-on to most corporate intranet services all based on that little "tab" in communicator. (And the fact that communicator passes the logon info as a POST item to my PHP scripts.)

Now, proper security has users re-authenticate for sensitive areas, and a bunch of other items, but it does cut down on the day-to-day bits the drones have to worry about. All they really have to remember is their windows logon and password, and for most people, they will only have to use it when they log in during the morning, or when they have been away from their desk long enough for the screen saver to lock them out. They never have to be confused by using their "windows password" for other services. (Which confuses most of them greatly.)

Communicator has always served it's purposes for internal communications, and the little "save as e-mail" feature is a godsend, for those of us who use our inbox as our "todo" list.

Honestly, try before you buy, but I have found that instant messengers have a place in the corporate environment, and this particular client/server package has proved it's value to our small business a hundred times over. We've only 4 stores in four cities, and maybe 50 staff, but it's worth the dosh to splash on this.

Oh, and this project did come from IT and no, I am not a Microsoft shill. We actually only use MS in "communications and legacy apps" VMs for our users, and the appropriate directory servers. The rest is Linux. Microsoft makes a LOT of crap, (Vista, Office 2007, I'm looking at you,) but they do have the odd gem. Live Communications Server is one of those.

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Sun, Novell, and Cray - Time to go private?

Trevor

@ Ian Michael Gumby

Hi, you must be new here. Welcom the El Reg's Comments Section. That is amanfromMars. His comments actually DO make sense, often more than most would give him credit for, but it takes a long time to learn to read what he is saying. He's quite a prolific poster, on this, and other IT websites out and about among the tubes. The jury is still our on if amanfromMars is human, or simply an advanced Turing program. (Some theories have amanfromMars being multiple people, but I prefer the single-author theories myself.)

I think you will find there are many people who who post frequently. Stick around, and you'll be able to spot them, even when they post as Anonymous Coward.

Oh, and two more things, don't respond to the trolls, (or Solomon Grundy,) and don't anger the almighty moderatrix, Sarah Bee.

Other than that, I am sure you will enjoy the Reg Comments Section.

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Mars Lander shows rock who's boss

Trevor
Coat

Sure it can move rocks...

...but will it blend?

Seriously though, when you think about it, the remote robitcs teams at NASA are pretty amazing. Not only do they deisgn rovers that keep going...and going...and going...(how far past the design life?)...but they also keep finding new and interesting ways to take thier toys and make them do something unforseen, but, (to them, and geeks of their ken,) pretty damn cool too.

You may not think moving a rock around is a big feat, but pre-programming it into a robot as "mission specific" as the Lander, and then having it accomplish the task with a minimum of soil disturbance using a tool on the bot not designed for moving rocks is pretty cool. It takes me a few days to change my robot arm's path to manipulate a slightly larger piece of paper, and I can try, re-try, and do it all over again. These folks coded it up in no time and sent it out with the Lander's morning dailies.

Somewhere at NASA, there is a coder who actually deserves his salary.

Mines the one with the "robots for utter idiots" in the pocket.

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Did the width move for you, darling?

Trevor
Thumb Up

The re-design is good.

I for one, like the redesign. I thank you for the return of our traditional "comment icons," I really disliked a lot of them. Paris is "iconic" to the Reg, as it the coat, and frankly, aManFromMars would have looked naked without his alien.

That said, The rest of the redesign seems good, well thought out, and makes sense. Thank you for the time and effort you put into listening to the comments and complains of yoru readers. For the record, El Reg is one of the very few sites i have in my "exclude from ad blocker" list. Apart from the fact that I want El Reg to make muchos wonga, and they deserve my clicking on a few things now and then...El Reg doesn't have horrible, bandwidth eating flash ads. I read my morning news in a VM. VMs are muchos big time bad for flash.

Overall, eveyrthing is good, awesome, and fantastic. Please continue in the direction you ahve been headed.

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