* Posts by J.G.Harston

807 posts • joined 4 Mar 2009

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A year with Canada's Volvo-esque smartphone – The BlackBerry Z30

J.G.Harston
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I'm waiting for the Z80 so I can run CP/M and Jet Set Willy on it...

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Google Translate MEAT GRINDER turns gay into 'faggot', 'poof', 'queen'

J.G.Harston
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I thought Google Translate worked by comparing online texts in different languages, as a sort of Rosetta Stone process, so if The People Out There uses those words to mean those meanings, then Google Translate will as well.

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Boffin finds formula for four-year-five-nines disk arrays

J.G.Harston
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All well and good....

until some PHB says "we're running out of space, just use some of those spare drives"

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Landlines: The tech that just won't die

J.G.Harston
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Re: Easier?

"I pay £31 a month to Virgin for the 152MB (allegedly!) broadband connection. .... No TV, no Virgin phone line."

How do you manage that? I investigated getting rid of my Virgin landline, but getting rid of the landline would get rid of my broadband internet connection as well.

(I'm on FreeCable + Telephone £16pm + Internet £20pm. Last month I made £1.26 of telephone calls.)

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J.G.Harston
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Hurray! I'm glad this is getting some airing, I'm fed up having to pay £20 a minute for the rare telephone call I make just so I can have an internet connection.

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Uber isn't limited by the taxi market: It's limited by the Electronic Thumb market

J.G.Harston
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Taxi regulation is there to protect the customer, not to limit the market. Unfortunately, UK taxi licensing legislation allows a licensing authority to have a numbers limit, so capping the number of market operators. When I was a taxi licenser every time limits came up I voted against it, but the votes went for the cap. The regulators aren't (shouldn't be) in the business of guaranteeing taxi drivers a job, they are there to protect the travelling public. If the market can only bear 1000 drivers and there's 2000 drives, well, then, 1000 of them will go bust and (should) realise they're in the wrong job and move into something else.

Uber is just the latest method of hiring, all the way from waving in the street, to sending your servant, to using the telephone, to using email, to using a website, to using SMS. Uber is just another taxi control office.

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Scary code of the week: Valve Steam CLEANS Linux PCs (if you're not careful)

J.G.Harston
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Re: "I've never heard of this sort of nonsense before"

Back in Win3 days... I installed something on a friend's DOS/Win system. It ended by wiping %TEMP%. But... his system had %TEMP%=C:\DOS

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Bacon-smoking locals provoke noxious Chinese smog

J.G.Harston
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Food preparation causes smog - solution: stop people preparing food. There, that's done. What's next?

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Spavined RadioShack to file for bankruptcy next month – report

J.G.Harston
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Wow, are they still a thing? I remember their (Tandy's) pricing strategy in the 80s: plush cardboard package of five resistors for 50p.... or go to Bardwells and get them for 2p each.

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Windows 7 MARKED for DEATH by Microsoft as of NOW

J.G.Harston
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Have they fixed it so if an error occurs you can just skip to the next file instead of aborting the entire b****y job?

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J.G.Harston
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Re: What's with the numbering, guys?

Missing out Windows 9 is deliberate as there's a lot of software out there that parses the Windows version string instead of asking for the binary version number and would see "Windows 9" as being Windows 95.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: Year of Linux on the laptop

"have not had a desktop in the house for 8 years"

You must be lucky, with me - like a large majority of humans - my arms are a different length to the focus of my vision and require my keyboard to be movable independently of my display.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: WTF?

Year before last: local council, JobCentrePlus; last year: GPs surgeries, Menzies Depots, thecompanyformerlyknownas MottMcDonald; this year: Balfour Beatty.

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J.G.Harston
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WTF?

I'm still in the middle of multiple multi-year Win7 rollout contracts.

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2015 will be the Year of Linux on the, no wait, of the dot-word domain EXPLOSION

J.G.Harston
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Re: Cry me a river

Most users think all URLs end in .com, never mind all the others. Too many times I've walked somebody through "blah blah dot gov dot uk... no, dot GOV dot UK... NO!!! not gov uk com, JUST B****Y GOV UK."

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Dot-word domains 'a shakedown, designed to get money out of people'

J.G.Harston
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A neat and tidy hierarchial naming system? How dare they! We must destroy this as much as possible. After all, I just dump all my files in My Documents, subdirectories? Sparn of the devil, look, if you jumble the letters up it spells "evolution"!

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Google v Oracle: US Supreme Court turns to Obama in Java copyright war

J.G.Harston
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Wah Wah! You can't control your cars with a "steering wheel" because we control our cars with a "steering wheel", ***k off and invent some other method of controlling your cars.

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Tax Systems: The good, the bad and the completely toot toot ding-dong loopy

J.G.Harston
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Re: Loved this article (especially placing Land Value Taxation first)

"Strongly agree, in general, except I'd put VAT lower on the list than you."

But it wasn't a subjective list, it was an objective maths-driven list. Unless you use different maths to Tim VAT will be at the same place on your list as Tim's list.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: Uniformity of land use

The simplest solution is to charge LVT (or any property tax) on the purchase price, whenever that was. So, the LVT gets automatically reviewed every time the property's ownership changes, and little great-aunt-nellie who bought her house for 3 and six back in 1930 will pay LVT on her 1930 purchase price. Yes, it adds a drag onto the system, but which two legs do you want?

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It's 2015 and ATMs don't know when a daughterboard is breaking them

J.G.Harston
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Errr.... surely this depends on the crims being able to jemmy open the ATM case without anybody noticing.

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Right, who feels like going to an Ofcom meeting? Anyone? Bueller?

J.G.Harston
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I used to chair our local POTAC. It was actually quite interesting, but we ended up being abolished as we got less and less response from the TelCos.

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Ford recalls SUVs … to fix the UI

J.G.Harston
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*re*learn interface design? That presumes they learned it at least once before.

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I'm sooooo green: The Beginner's Guide to Krautrock

J.G.Harston
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I've concluded that "mulled" means "destroyed beyond palatability".

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Freedom of Info at 10: Tony Blair's WORST NIGHTMARE

J.G.Harston
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Re: Burden

Attendance allowance was abolished sometime in the 1990s. Councillors get a (no adjective at all) allowance, which is to all intents and purposes, and is considered by HMRC as, a salary. A whopping £12k-£14k a year on the biggest authorities, but it is not tied to attendance - which means that for many councillors it works out at about £4 an hour.

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Buses? PAH. Begone with your filthy peasant-wagons

J.G.Harston
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"While a bus is massively subsidised..."

Well, if you're going to come out with blatant lies lies that, I'm going to stop reading.

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BT takes broadband to NEW PLACES. That's right: CITIES

J.G.Harston
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You you sure they were engineers? Surely they'd have been technicians, no engineering needed.

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Bring back big gov, right? If only the economics, STUPID, could tell us more

J.G.Harston
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"During the 1960s it was nothing to see factories still lovingly working with machines that were built before the turn of the century, items that proudly bore their build dates of 189X or perhaps there was a modern one showing 190X. Anything new was greeted with suspicion."

It wasn't that anything new was treated with suspicion, but more that the capital cost of replacing still-working equipment with newer (but more efficient) equipment was too much for most industries to afford. The Far East were able to overtake us due to not having the dilemma of throwing away millions of pounds of pre-existing capital investment.

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Why the chemistry between Hollywood, physics and maths is so hot right now

J.G.Harston
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Re: B.C.

Martin Crieff?

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J.G.Harston
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prognosis not diagnosis. A two-year prognosis is "you've got two years to live". A two-year diagnosis is "after doing tests for two years we've worked out what's wrong with you".

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Deprivation Britain: 1930s all over again? Codswallop!

J.G.Harston
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Re: The reality

"Excluding the debts they have been refered to me for a typical single client presents with the following: Income: Job seekers allowance £72.40pw"

Surely as a typical single person on JSA they'd also get housing benefit and council tax benefit? A typical single-person on-the-dole income is around £130-£140 a week (it was when I was on the dole in the 1990s).

And I notice he doesn't appear to have any housing costs. How does he manage to wrangle that?

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J.G.Harston
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I agree with a lot of this. Even though my income over the last 15 years or so has rarely topped the £11,000 you quote. to be poor 1930s style I'd have to rip out my central heating, my double glazing, my insulated roof, my carpets, my fridge, my cooker, my bath, my indoor toilet, most of my furniture, most of my books, have another three people move in with me, have no free-at-provision healthcare, certainly not have any computer equipment. Because of the infrastructure built up over the last 60 years due to society pooling together I can afford to live frugrally in a level of comfort that that frugrality would not have given in the 1930s.

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This week it rained in San Francisco and the power immediately blew out. Your tech utopia

J.G.Harston
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Re: German food

20 Kelvin per hour? Is that super-slow cooking?

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J.G.Harston
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busses is the plural of buss. What's a buss?

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El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

J.G.Harston
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Ok, it's more than four hours since I saw the old layout, so I can't remember what the hell it looked like, so I can't make any comparisons, but let's go into tester mode. here are some positive critisisms:

* get rid of the huge popup menu. whenever I move towards my browser's menu bar and have to traverse your menu bar half the screen disappears. did nobody ever teach you about unneccessary movements? a line of exactly the same height as the menu bar popping up would be ok, but not that huge thing.

* on the front page get rid of that huge picture and headline for the lead story. that ends up being the *entire* *visible* *content*. there was nothing wrong with the top three/four(*) stories across the top inch of the content panel. scroll down until "unwashed BBC 3" is just off the bottom of the screen. that's what the home page layout should look like, with "internet of sheep" being three picture+headline within a box enclosing the three of them

* get rid of the "unwashed BBC3" sub-box two-column thingy. it's just washing two "boxes" of space. make it just another one-box headline

* a few horizontal lines to break the stuff up, just before the next section that starts with three pictures - in fact, those three pictures+headlines is the layout of what should be in the "internet of sheep" box

* a vertical line between the lefthand content panel and the righthand related topics/etc panel. As each panel is often a different length it looks odd having the content with a random blank space next to it. look at how the forum is laid out, the content had a box outline so there's a visual break between it and the empty space under the righthand panel

* the picture leading an article is really too huge something like lefthand 2/3 headline, righthand 2/3 picture quarter the size of the current picture

* dammit, get rid of the popup menu! yes mentioned a second time because it's pissed me off so much mousing over it to attempt to get to my tab bar to refer to other pages while typing this.

so: ok as a beta test, don't release it into the wild, fix it up before making it live.

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J.G.Harston
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Arrgggh!!!

Almost as bad as the Guardian's new website where half the content is dangling off the side of the screen and there's no horizontal scroll bars.

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Boffins weigh in to perfect kilogram quest with LEGO kit

J.G.Harston
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Great for schools

I remember doing school physics experiments to measure /g/ and /c/. We also worked out the Plank wavelength of a cat....

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Uber? Worth $40 BEEELLION? Hey, actually, hold on ...

J.G.Harston
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Re: problem...

"If you interfere with government revenue streams ( which taxy licensing is...)"

I used to be a local government licensing board member. Taxi licensing isn't a revenue stream, the fees barely covers the costs of the licensing system. Uber is nothing new, it's just a version of telephone booking. As long as the vehicles pass their MOT-plus and are licensed, and the drivers pass their CRB-plus and are licensed, I don't care how a taxi is booked. In my area local taxi companies have had online and SMS booking facilities for yonks.

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A nation of CODERS? Yes, says UK.gov, and have some cash to do it

J.G.Harston
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Re: Just maybe.... (Ageism)

"With software/technology generally the general process is that people move over into management as they get older."

That's typical of all industries. Move people out of something they enjoy, have the skills and aptitude for, and move them into something they have absolutely no ability in or wish to do.

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Oi, UK.gov. WHERE'S THE DETAIL on your Google Tax?

J.G.Harston
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A couple of decades ago I bought a book from a Japanese publisher, based in Japan and reporting its profits to the Japanese government. So, because I am a UK resident, the profit from that purchase should be reported to gov.uk?

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UK.gov mulls three-point turn on three-point turn thanks to satnav. Weeeeeeee. THUD

J.G.Harston
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Being serious...

what would actual be useful for drivers is mandatory instruction on motorway driving. Just passed your test? Right, let's tear up the M1 on your tod.

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The gender imbalance in IT is real, ongoing and ridiculous

J.G.Harston
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Anecdote

I'm male and 45 and have been coding since I was about 10 or 12. My school had a one-year Computer Studies course as an option in 1985ish, and I remember that there were equal numbers of girls and boys. This course covered computing, not office it skills, programming, database structures, basic underlying concepts.

Digging out an old backup of the VAX password file for my university course in 1987-90 I notice 22 females and 38 males.

I had a software testing job a couple of years ago, and my boss the senior tester of a team of four was female with two other female testers - but the entire programming team of about 20 was male - almost all of them younger than me.

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MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'

J.G.Harston
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Re: Yeah

Oi! Quakers took no part in slaughtering native American populations, that was the Puritans who left England because they were prevented from enforcing their bigoted beliefs on other people, so went off to the colonies where they had the "freedom" to impose their beliefs on other people, even going as far as *KILLING* Quakers who stood up against them. Do a websearch for "Mary Dyer".

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J.G.Harston
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Cameron: "Internet companies must report these (terrorist) communications"

So, where the f**** are the hundreds of thousands of job vacancies for the people to do all this monitoring? Yet again, Cameron promising the world, but actually talking complete shit.

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New job in 2015? The Reg guide to getting out and moving on

J.G.Harston
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If somebody spells "CV" with an apostrophe or with six letters, their application goes straight into the bin.

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You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES

J.G.Harston
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All your data belong us now

"No hosting contract to last more than two years"

I hope that hosting contract includes migrating the data to the next hosting system.

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George.Best walks into a sex.bar, spots a bearded dwarf sysadmin and thinks: Warcraft.cool

J.G.Harston
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Pint

Distracted,,,,

several thousand *.beer entries.

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We're not, er, 'cut-throat' capitalists – VC formerly known as ISIS

J.G.Harston
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Phrasing!

Preying?

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Bang! You're dead. Who gets your email, iTunes and Facebook?

J.G.Harston
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Even more reason not to trust stuff to "the cloud" but keep it locally on a physical storage medium that you can physically hold in your hand.

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Google bags OBSCENELY LARGE Times Square ad space for New Year's

J.G.Harston
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Missing noun

For New Year's what?

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Are MPs smarter than 5-year-olds? We'll soon find out at coding school – Berners-Lee

J.G.Harston
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Re: Engineers in Parliament

I'm a "coder" to use TBL's phrase, and have stood for Parliament twice. Both times the electorate decided they didn't want my engineering background in Parliament.

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