* Posts by Robert Grant

990 posts • joined 22 Aug 2006

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Prof Hawking cracks riddle of black holes – which may be portals to other universes

Robert Grant

If the idea's been around for 20 years

Don't publish the announcement.

Either way - find out for sure before publishing.

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Robert Grant

Re: Have you ever lost anything you wanted back

I seem to get socks that aren't mine. With 9 toes.

Maybe you need to find the nearby person with one toe and give them back their possessions.

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Using SQL techniques in NoSQL is OK, right? WRONG

Robert Grant

Spark and Hadoop are not in any way equivalent

Spark is not about table joins across NoSQL DBs, or anything remotely like that.

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Want security? Next-gen startups show how old practices don't cut it

Robert Grant

Re: Not fully convinced

Insiders defeating the Great Wall of China is literally an example of why you need defence in depth. See also: the article.

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Linux boss Torvalds: Don't talk to me about containers and other buzzwords

Robert Grant

Re: Should've asked about microkernels

Good grief downvoters, this was a joke. Don't you know anything about Linux? (And if not, don't you know what a smiley is?)

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Robert Grant
Happy

Should've asked about microkernels

Wouldn't that be a better architecture for Linux, Mr Torvalds?

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Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell: El Reg on the hydrogen highway

Robert Grant

Re: So...

Well no, you didn't say any of those things but perhaps you ought to have done. 0-60 in over 12 seconds is SLOW. Slow and dull. You didn't say it was short of space but it clearly is from the pictures you've posted. It IS an unattractive car.

Maybe Newton had a delicate little friend who complained that the apple wasn't a perfect taste and colour.

This car is a technology showcase, and you feeling a little better about yourself by being able to go ever so slightly faster is not a good enough reason for people to stop researching every method possible of making transportation more sustainable. The last 50 years have done enough to screw the current/next generations; it's time to grow up and think of them for once.

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Apple: Samsung ripped off our phone patent! USPTO: What patent?

Robert Grant
FAIL

Re: The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) IS THE PROBLEM!

But congratulations on kicking off the inevitable chorus of commentators posting the same tired, unworkable "solutions" to the problems with the patent system, such as non-transferability and eliminating NPE ownership. We never get tired of seeing those same proposals in the comments for every single story that mentions patents.

Is this your example of a comment worth making?

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Robert Grant

Re: The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) IS THE PROBLEM!

I'm sure this has all sorts of problems, but I wondered if we could kill patent trolling dead by not allowing transferring of patent ownership.

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Windows 10 Mobile Build 10512 rolls out, but progress is sloooow

Robert Grant

Re: It does what it says on the tin...

Yeah exactly. This isn't the place for a frothy, medium.com article on how much/little I was delighted by this mystical technobox.

Bikeshedding later, please.

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ZTE Nubia Z9 Mini: The able Android smartie the company won't sell you

Robert Grant

Re: Dual sim

My wife has a Lumia 735. Or 730. Whichever is the dual-SIM variant :)

It was under 150 quid and she loves it. Job done.

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You CAN'T jail online pirates for 10 years, legal eagles tell UK govt

Robert Grant

Re: I'm a creator and consumer...

Possibly, but that only applies to music. Not filmmaking, for example. You've picked the easy case.

And even then, but there is lots of work to be done by the man in the middle, and record companies only make profits (and thus invest less per-artist) because they have a lot of scale.

So for example, if you want to only sell music on iTunes and never have any large live events organised or radios playing your stuff, for example, then you...can already do that without a record label. You just won't necessarily make a lot of money doing it; probably much less than you would make working with a record company. It's when you want to do bigger stuff (such as a film or live concert) that you need capital investment and lots of experts and equipment and contacts.

Some of these services may individually become commoditised (e.g. iTunes could facilitate pay-per-play for artists on the radio) but most are a long way off.

The way to desocialise bootlegging is not to do it. All I do is say "no thanks" when someone offers me bootlegged content, and if you don't do that, then it could well be that you're recommending an impossible course of action (all media industry must vanish before I stop bootlegging!) just as an excuse to keep doing it.

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Government embarks on futile mission to censor teen music vid viewing

Robert Grant

Re: Won't somebody think of the parents???

If you want parents to watch everything in full before their kids do (unlike with films, where there's at least a guideline), then that's fine, as long as at least one parent stays at home to keep up. Or, don't moan about a classification that doesn't have any role other than helping parents avoid obvious stuff their kids shouldn't watch (if the parents agree with the classification levels). So if you're 12 and your parents don't mind you watching 15s, then they can exercise that choice, but still stop you from seeing 18s. I honestly don't know why you think that sort of thing is bad.

As for your alternative to an unenforced classification system, which is that parents shouldn't let their kids use a computer growing up, as they probably can't configure it properly, then we're going to have a lot of IT-illiterate 18-year-olds. How you can think that a blanket ban on technology is better than a classification system is beyond me.

Finally, and more generally, can we cut out the moronic "if things are given a classification then parents aren't being responsible for their kids" nonsense. Parents can let their kids do anything or restrict stuff with or without a classification. It doesn't change anything, and anyone saying it does is just arguing by excluding the jaw-droppingly obvious middle (you can use classifications and be responsible for everything your child does).

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Robert Grant

Re: Won't somebody think of the parents???

This is stupid - parents have their own jobs and areas of expertise. Just because this site has lots of tech-savvy people on it, it's not automatically okay to foist lots of extra requirements on parents. You and I grew up in an age where the advice needed was basically "Don't talk to strangers when you're out, or let them in the house", "If the phone call isn't from someone you know, then get us and we'll talk to them." and "Don't watch stuff that's rated $whatever, or after 9 o'clock without us knowing."

And we were enough of a handfull even with that. Saying that parents now need to be all over internet, phone and tablets, and you think they shouldn't have any content guidelines, is plain absurd. This may not be 100% perfect, but it's needed by anyone who thinks that parents shouldn't have to work in IT to get the right to parent their kids the way they think is best.

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Mozilla testing very private browsing mode

Robert Grant

Remember the storm of criticism about MS enable DoNotTrack by default?

Glad to see much more extreme unilateral measures being given the same treatment.

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Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+: 4K-positive fun for ... vloggers?!

Robert Grant

Re: No sd card. No swapable battery

"no battery swap" luddites

The prize for least able to use "luddites" correctly finally gets awarded! I was beginning to think that, with such a simple word, we'd never get less than 100% accurate usage. This plucky 0% contender has swept the awards!

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Would YOU make 400 people homeless for an extra $16m? Decision time in Silicon Valley

Robert Grant

I'd sell to the local authority at the lower rate

But also lend the authority the difference as a loan (with no interest on that amount) to be repaid over say 20 years. Good bit of income and allows the land to stay as it is in a way that won't break the bank.

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Clueless do-gooders make Africa's conflict mineral mines even more dangerous

Robert Grant

Re: Bandit theory

such services were nationalised.

Unless you're saying that the private sector was providing equal education and healthcare regardless of income, you've missed the point that educating and providing healthcare for everyone provides a more inventive, productive workforce, that is wealthy enough to spend money and drive the aforementioned kickstarted economy.

(Moral arguments about whether is better to let poor people suffer and die from illnesses they couldn't afford treatment for are left as a simple exercise for the reader.)

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Robert Grant

Re: Bandit theory

The richest countries became rich first, then the public sector became large. Countries are not rich because of a large public sector.

That may be, but it sounds simplistic to me. It could well be that healthcare and education allow many more people to work at a more valuable level, so I think the (ill-gotten and Imperial, technological or resource-based) riches of a country's past kickstart a sustainable way to stay rich.

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Windows 10 growth flattens out to 30 per cent per week

Robert Grant

Re: Only 30% a week?

when was the last fawning article on Apple in these parts?

Gratifyingly, it's been a while.

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Jail incompetent council folk who leak our data, thunders furious BBW

Robert Grant

Re: Its surely cheaper to hang'em?

So who here hasn't left stuff on a train or lost an unencrypted laptop?

Also me. Is this a joke?

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Big, ugly, heavy laptops are surprise PC sales sweet spot

Robert Grant

Re: Quelle surprise.

Some of us need to get some work done.

I'll prove you wrong, just as soon as I work out which Macbook Pro case colour would best help me invent the next Facebook.

*sips Starbucks coffee*

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AIDS? Ebola? Nah – ELECTRO SMOG is our 'biggest problem', says Noel Edmonds

Robert Grant

Re: He's possibly right about Ebola

Classic tactic - put a fact next to a claim and if people aren't really listening (or aren't very analytical) then the veracity of the former appears to transfer to the latter.

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Apple chief Cook cooks up rumours after BMW car talks, factory tour

Robert Grant

HERE Maps?

Given Apple's farcical attempt at writing their own software, maybe they'll nab a licensing agreement from BMW to use HERE Maps instead.

Can't wait for 2020, when all the Apple users are delighted with their local maps that don't require streaming, or whatever other thing we've had for ages turns out to be just the feature they always wanted, even though they didn't want it when it was only on other phones.

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Axis of evil: Facebook uses Google code to slash page load times

Robert Grant

Sounds like ProtocolBuffers

Any particular difference? Or is this an enhancement, with the direct memory allocation?

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Nokia sells HERE maps to Audi, Daimler and BMW for €2.8 billion

Robert Grant

Re: Hmm.

Yeah it's been so amazing to have free worldwide maps and satnav on WP. Hopefully MS will retain a licence agreement for a good long time.

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Facebook is raking in so much filthy lucre, it can't spend it fast enough

Robert Grant

Ireland office

Apparently has a lot of wasted time - lots of playing table tennis and other stuff. Anywhere that's funded by too much VC is going to struggle to not get like this, and FB goes further than most with all the PC stuff going on that's great for the recipients of that, but isn't exactly going to contribute to the bottom line. Hopefully they'll find a way to do both.

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NSPCC: Two nonces nailed by cops every day

Robert Grant

An ironic outcome is not always the most likely.

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Windows 10 on Mobile under the scope: Flaws, confusion, and going nowhere fast

Robert Grant

I'm depressed now

Hopefully they'll spit and polish the thing into something cohesive, after feedback like this. I'd hate to have to change platform just because MS can't be bother to pay for a product owner for WP.

P.s. MS: I will do this job for you.

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Microsoft: Hey, you. Done patching Windows this month? WRONG

Robert Grant

Dude, don't be an idiot about it. Yes, running it in userland is bad now. You're saying modern Macs (some of the most expensive consumer computers on the planet) can render fonts in userland very fast, when Windows on a 386 couldn't? What an amazing point to make.

Hate these forums when illogical, rubbish reasoning gets posted, and upvoted just because it (nonsensically) ridicules what other people disagree with.

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Driverless cars deal DEATH to Detroit, says Barclays

Robert Grant

Re: Driverless Cars ... Death to Detroit

I agree that Americans (incorrectly) link car ownership to independence, but that could easily change if the thing works better and doesn't take away any conveniences, and adds others (e.g. you'll be independent from having to repair or insure the thing).

E.g. what if there was a self-driving car lane, like a car pool lane? All the cars drive along 10cm from each other at full tilt, getting you home much faster. Adolescent fantasies about independence might vanish then.

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2015 Fiat 500 fashionista, complete with facelift

Robert Grant

Mani beam is still halogen or optionally Xenon

Someone played too much Far Cry 4.

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Facebook's React Native is exciting devs. Or is it, really?

Robert Grant

React Native and Angular not comparable

As already mentioned, this article is weird. ReactJS doesn't compare directly to Angular (for obvious reasons, if you know a little about each of them) and ReactNative is even less comparable, as it's for building native apps with. Why is Angular even being mentioned here?

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Microsoft to Windows 10 consumers: You'll get updates LIKE IT or NOT

Robert Grant

Same old

We all kick up a fuss; MS reverses the stupid decision some anonymous MBA made and promotes a techie instead; we simmer down.

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We're not sure what it is, but we like it: Lexus NX300h hybrid SUV

Robert Grant

Re: @Ivan Not sure what it is

Don't forget that if you hit a person in an SUV you hit an adult in the chest instead of the legs, and a child in the head instead of the chest. Worth considering.

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Mozilla's ‘Great or Dead’ philosophy may save bloated blimp Firefox

Robert Grant

It's standard stuff - a group that's oppressed (or even one that merely views itself as oppressed, although that's not relevant here) learns how to fight, and that fight becomes part of its identity, making it more like a tribe, and then the tribe keeps fighting long after its won (or about to win) the stuff it's been fighting for, because the fight is all it knows.

Thus the old liberals become the new conservatives, because they were never genuinely liberally minded in the first place. They just happened to want certain changes that liberals wanted. But once that change appears, they defend it using classic conservative tactics.

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Mozilla loses patience with Flash over Hacking Team, BLOCKS it

Robert Grant

Re: How do they know?

Now on Vivaldi - beta but pretty stable.

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HP won't ship PCs with Windows 10 preinstalled until mid-August

Robert Grant

Re: Fragmented

Don't forget the gamers.

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Dodgy mobe dealer jumps on VAT carousel, gets 13-year ban

Robert Grant

Huge strain on the public purse?

Why not fix it by selling shares in a bank? That totally makes up for it!

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Drop-stitch: Microsoft's 3D Photosynth app sinks into oblivion

Robert Grant

Re: It's one of two MS apps I still use

Yeah it's awesome - I captured a hilariously bad work environment with it once. No photo could've done that room justice.

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I cannae dae it, cap'n! Why I had to quit the madness of frontline IT

Robert Grant

The thing about this being impossible is

You easily solve this problem by resigning if you aren't allowed enough budget to do what you think is best, instead of getting a well-paid job and hoping it'll all be okay.

You can't do that, however, if you aren't ethical or expert enough in your field to understand the situation.

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The END of WINDOWS EVERYWHERE! Is that really what Nadella wants?

Robert Grant

Re: Universal Apps

Websites have different views for phone browsing vs PC browsing because people tend to use the platforms differently.

This is a perfect analogy for what MS are trying to do - responsive views/layouts based on screen size.

An analogy that would help your point would need to argue in favour of going back to totally separate mobile and desktop websites.

I remember those days. Don't miss 'em.

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Security gurus deliver coup de grace to US govt's encryption backdoor demands

Robert Grant

Re: Is this a good analogy?

No idea what the stuff about some US Constitution amendments is about, as it seems to imply that warrant-based searching is unconstitutional in the US.

Anyway, to the non-crazy response: thanks - that makes sense. Except, as far as I understand things, that's not 100% correct, because you can forcibly open someone's house while they aren't there with a warrant. It doesn't require their cooperation. Basically the equivalent of a skeleton key.

Does it just boil down to the process not being in place to restrict law enforcement access, or is there some other genuine issue?

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Robert Grant

Is this a good analogy?

Currently, law enforcement can get a warrant and search our house. With unbreakable encryption, we're saying the equivalent of that our house should be impossible to get into, regardless of the legality of the attempted search.

Is that right?

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TfL to splash £400m on networking deal, despite GDS opposition

Robert Grant

Gartner calls it multisourcing

I have some experience of it, as I work for an IT service provider. It's not a terrible plan, but it takes a lot of time* to shake out all the communication and blame-game problems between suppliers who need to regularly interact to provide a service.

* How much time? I'll let you know when we've done it.

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Robo-taxis, what are they good for? Er, the environment and traffic

Robert Grant

Re: Petrol taxi?

It still seems to be a lot. That the US consumes it in a day doesn't change that.

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Facebook unveils SECRET logo furtle – in a TWEET

Robert Grant

Re: When a Company has run out of Ideas

Good idea!

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Apple's Swift creeps up dev language survey – but it's bad news for VB

Robert Grant
Joke

If Swift is a programming language

Then so is Powerpoint.

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Revive the Nathan Barley Quango – former Downing Street wonk

Robert Grant

Hulu and Netflix didn't get big on content

They got big on delivering content. Overcoming the technical challenge is what paid, not buying a camera and filming people in costume.

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Secure web? That'll cost you, thanks to Mozilla's HTTPS plan

Robert Grant

Re: How is Let's Encrypt vapourware?

Can you get a certificate from LE? Today?

If you can't, then it's still currently vapourware

This really isn't the case. Do you think all announced games coming out are vapourware? Is Windows 10 vapourware? LE is scheduled to come out in September. It hasn't been dragging on for years of announcements and postponements. It's not vapourware.

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