1399 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009
Re: Other issues
You can do anything you want in the Land of the Free, provided you've got the appropriate permit.
I can understand some of the restrictions, it is an earthquake zone after all, but there are a lot of petty little things thrown in as well.
Re: @Queasy Rider - To not sound stupid, read article before posting
Try living over here in the UK where "gas" (ie petrol) currently costs around £1.20 (=$1.88) per litre and tell us again how "expensive" it is!
Put it in context. In the UK you've got a reasonably efficient car, possibly doing 40-50mpg. Not many of those in the Bay Area, not helped by the California emissions regs that make them even less efficient. Juggling to achieve the same units (US gallons being smaller than Imperial, so headline mpg looks even worse) and allowing for some of the stupid big trucks, 20-30mpg is more typical. That's $7500 a year, and given that fuel has varied from $3/gal to $4/gal in the past year, it's a lot to handle. It's quite possible for commute costs to be 20% of someone's gross income.
Also, *where the hell* are these people living that they can't get there and back in 6 hours? It must be a real bitch to spend 3 hours getting to work and 3 hours getting home
You have clearly not experienced Silicon Valley traffic.
For starters, in most of the Valley, you're looking at half a million dollars minimum to buy a house, and if you're in the nice bits like Palo Alto or Menlo Park or Mountain View, then you're either looking at a rabbit hutch or the wrong side of a million dollars (or both, in some cases). Rental for a family-sized house or apartment is probably a couple of thousand dollars a month minimum, and there's quite a bit of competition for what's available. I know a few people who live out towards Modesto, which is 80-90 miles away and therefore 90 minutes drive even with no traffic (apart from cops with speed guns encouraging you to take 90 minutes and not 60). Various highways, 85, 101, 880, 237 etc, all put the M25 to shame when it comes to imitating a car park, so that last 20-30 miles can easily take over an hour.
So, if you can't afford to live in the Valley itself, you're stuck living some distance away and yes, of that six hour gap you could be driving for at least four of the hours. There are probably dire consequences for failing to be there on time for the evening pick-up, so you've got to allow for contingencies. The morning/evening trips to home may be relatively OK, but if you've got to get to the bus garage to get your bus, then drive it to your pickup area, all as traffic is increasing for the rush-hour, the necessary start time gets earlier and the final end time get later.
Re: The "where does he work" question is interesting
I remember pointing out to Canadian immigration that I was basically there to train one of their people to do a particular job so that he could do it and I didn't have to. They let me in. A colleague on another visit told them he was there to interview locals for jobs with a view to employing a few of them.
Re: One trick I heard of..
Businesses, particularly those with only one admin person, should have a policy of root passwords being written down and kept in a safe and regularly tested to ensure they still allow access, and that password changes are recorded and done for good reason.
The one I've seen for small companies is for the critical passwords to be written down, sealed in an envelope with a couple of signatures (sysadmin and manager) across the seal. If any sort of access is needed in the absence of the sysadmin then it can be done, but then the passwords need to be changed and a new envelope created. It's more a way of ensuring access if the sysadmin wants to check out the underside of a bus, or similar, but doesn't protect against a malicious sysadmin.
Re: One trick I heard of..
It wouldn't work now unless you made sure to pick a flight without on-board wifi...
Well clearly they were correct. Your registry was unreadable.
I hope they're insisting on real cash up-front for these sales and aren't offering credit terms.
Re: About the flash drives
A good quartz crystal gets more stable with age and they're surprisingly robust. If I can still find them, I have some in B7G glass holders that probably date back to the 1960s or even earlier. I've got a 1MHz HC6/U crystal from about 1968 (it's datestamped) and that still works.
Now, if you were talking about dilithium crystals, that's entirely another matter.
If you're sad enough to put 'Cuntville' into Google Maps, it takes you to a place in Australia.
My excuse is that it was more interesting than de-greasing the cooker, which is what else I've been doing today.
Re: Further shopping tips
Lots of places don't take Amex in Europe. I've been told that it's because compared to MC and Visa, they really screw the retailers on charges. I've heard 5% instead of the 2-3% from others. It may have changed, but I remember (to my amusement) that even Schipol railway station didn't take Amex, to the irritation of my work colleague who tried to buy a couple of tickets for us with his corporate card.
I left the country, gave a month's notice and then cancelled the direct debit. It was quite amusing to watch what happened next, although they did resolve it without the need for a dead body. I even got a bit of a refund.
I have no problem with automatic systems provided I have control of the off switch.
Apart from the fact that I'd have to go into Walmart (not done that since I arrived in the US last year), it would almost be tempting to see if it will run Linux. One of those with a bit of plastic welded to the back and a couple of cheap speakers might make a nice Squeezeplayer platform, a bit like the O2 Joggler (which I still have and use).
Re: Just getting these trains running at normal network speeds is a *big* step forward
That's probably the peak time for needing such trains - overnight maintenance needs to be checked, so they run the train over the bit that's been worked on overnight. In theory it's the last bit of the job, assuming no problems were detected.
I never had any of those, I went from a Nokia 6210 to a SE K800i, then back to Nokia for an E71, an HTC Wildfire S and now a Galaxy 4. Phone companies must hate me, only my fifth phone in thirteen years (and the G4 is only a month old).
Can I run VS on Linux yet? Until I can, I don't care whether it's cross-platform, it's no use to me.
It sounds as though they're trying to stop people migrating away from Windows by providing them with relevant toolchains on the Windows platform rather than try to support those who don't run Windows with useful services and products.
Do they post figures of how many people only use the mobile platform and how many users never use it? I looked at the permissions they wanted for their apps and so they're not installed on my phone.
Re: Try looking at the real world ...
I used to average two years between breakages. Then I got a cheap Casio plastic watch and that's still working thirty year later, at least if I remember to replace the battery. I'm currently wearing a Pebble watch (a gift) after not bothering with a watch at all (having failed to replace the battery in the Casio).
I seem to have a reasonable inbuilt time sense, usually good to within fifteen minutes, so I never needed to consult the phone unless I really needed to be sure of the time.
“it's almost impossible for a fire-fighting pilot to see a drone in the air”.
That spoils my idea, which would be to give authorised choppers the right to shoot down the drones. Although it still has merits as a secondary solution - fly your drone in the declared exclusion zone and you may never see it in one piece again.
I already use that, it's probably what has kept me on FB because I don't think I'd still be there if I had to put up with the unfiltered feed.
What I want is all of the friends I have selected, filtered by content I have selected (i.e. no apps/games), ordered by recent activity and without anything that FB thinks I might like, because invariably they're wrong.
The natural firewall in the system should be to have the barcode scanner and associated computer kit attached to the network - the worst that happens here is that customers get charged the wrong price. The checkout operator should then read the total off the screen and enter it into the card-reading system, which is entirely separate from the other network and the customer can verify the amount.
Of course, they still need a proper security protocol and decent network for the card readers, but there's no reason for all their suppliers to be talking to that network - it's a machine in a locked room with secure access to the card companies for verification and links to all the card readers in the store. The network switch should enforce MAC address validation to raise the bar a bit higher, and I'd even go as far as putting in a mechanism that noted when a terminal goes off-line and requires manual intervention to put it back with a security code. This gives some line of defence against a terminal being unplugged and the MAC cloned - the attacker it still won't get to talk to everything else until another step has been completed.
Security could be a lot better than it has been to date, and hopefully the big retailers with centrally-managed systems are starting to realise that it's cheaper than dealing with a security breach.
Re: There's an essential contradiction here
My device, my rules. I don't use my phone for company business (I haven't even given them the phone number so they can't call me on it) and when at work, it connects to the guest wifi. I don't always like the IT security policy but I understand why they see fit to implement one (and I've and anything from complete freedom to do what I want to having to ask for approval for any changes to my desktop PC).
Re: Be nice to shop workers
Be nice to people, full stop.
That's always a good starting point. It is highly unlikely that the person you are talking to is personally to blame for your problem, and being polite is the best chance you've got of getting things fixed quickly and painlessly. If there's been a big corporate screw-up then chances are the person has been dealing with irate customers all day, so being polite will be a refreshing change for them and you'll get good service.
However, if you start by being polite and the support person is a jerk despite that, I don't mind a bit of escalation but it's important that the other person started it. If we all did that, we'd all get along really well because we'd all be waiting for the other person to start the jerk circle.
Re: Availability of dual-stack consumer equipment
I managed to flash a DG834 to provide dual stack, it worked quite well, considering. Can't remember how I did it now though, it wasn't trivial.
I'm disappointed that the BBC is still only IPv4. I guess they can't reliably determine where an IPv6 address is located, so they can't filter reliably based on it. (Someone has already covered the deficiency with El Reg.)
I've had IPv6 for some time, internal network uses it without me realising it, and when in the UK I used A&A as an ISP - they offer true IPv6 connectivity. At the moment I'm stuck with a Hurricane Electric tunnel, given that I still can't get Comcast to work with it. I think it's a failing of the cable modem, plus I'd be stuck with their less-than-satisfactory IPv6 scheme.
Read the small print
I got a new Android phone and went to set up work email on it. All well and good, got the Office365 details and start the process. No problem until I got to the list of things I had to allow the app to do in order to access the system, including but not limited to a factory wipe, preventing use of other IMAP or POP3 services and many more. So I don't have access to work email on my personal phone because I chose not to agree to all of that. I can fully understand why they want to be able to do it, and at least the system is set up so I get asked, rather than have it as a nasty surprise sometime in the future.
At the moment my 'social' stuff at work is done using a virtual machine with a VPN to an external endpoint, so it doesn't interact more than the minimum necessary with the corporate network and I assume that IT are OK with the VPN because they let it through the firewall (nothing in the IT policy says I can't do it). The side benefit is that I bypass any proxy or monitoring they might have in place.
Re: Writing in Code
It was slightly less fun than reading the man page for EMACS
Spoken like a true vi user...
Re: we need free unlocking in the UK too
When he sold it to me, he had to pay £20 to the crooks and charlatans at Vodafone to get his personal phone unlocked from Vodafone.
I think I'd have filed an official complaint - they're holding your property to ransom. At the very least a small claims court attempt is going to cost them much more than £20 to defend.
Re: Same here
Even T-Mobile isn't stupid. If you cancel one of their un-plans, they bill you for the balance of the phone you were paying in installments.
T-Mobile separate out the monthly service payments from the phone payments. You're free to cancel service but that is, as you say, grounds to demand the balance on the phone. Not sure if they'd just let you give the phone back instead or not.
A phone tied to a contract is not unreasonable if there's a subsidy to recoup, but when the two years (or whatever) is up, the lock should be removed automatically and for no charge. At that point the phone is paid for and the owner should be free to move it to any network.
Re: They fear pirates, so what about...
That breaks if you get people from overseas paying for a BBC licence (as quite a few would be willing to do to get access, no worse than any other subscription channel) because the BBC are often only permitted to broadcast bought-in stuff in the UK.
Filling a Market Hole
Of course, if they'd taken the trouble to cater for Linux when they launched the original Windows and Mac versions of the iPlayer then most Linux users would have used the official app and there wouldn't have been the need for a workaround. They might be a minority, but they're the clued-up minority who are prepared to get their hands dirty in order to get what they want.
The BBC ought to learn from it, even to the point of talking to a few Linux developers, giving them a full API and spec and even paying them to produce a full-featured official iPlayer for Linux.
I have to admit that a few years back I was getting irritated by the results from a compact camera and bought a low-end DSLR. I often go for action shots and the article misses one of the other differentiators in the market, namely the response time. The really cheap cameras have a slow processor and may take hundreds of milliseconds of faffing around before they take the picture, whereas with the DSLR it's much faster, to the point where I can see something happening, grab the camera hanging round my neck, turn it on as I'm lifting it, point and shoot and get an instant response. Some results are still crap, but there's a reasonable number of good ones in there, given that I'm usually out walking and wildlife doesn't stick around and pose for photos. Most compact cameras don't let you turn off bits of the automation either, which the DSLRs usually do, so the limits of what you can do are more restricted.
My Linux VM at work uses VirtualBox, so it's currently safe from from the attentions of IT :-) Although given that when I asked for an extra machine on which I could install Linux as the base for a project, I was given one, I don't think we're yet at the "must regulate Linux" stage.
I appreciate their concern, and that others are worried about the implications, but they have at least pointed out how easy it is to monitor something like Twitter for key words and phrases and target people. It may not help those with mental health issues to discover that their safe place isn't actually safe, but that just highlights the fact that they need somewhere they can feel safe discussing their issues with the people of their choice, not the array of 'professionals' who want to help.
Re: I've been on the inside at Cape Canaveral AF Station
That only extends out to the territorial waters limit, which is as far as they can legally go under international law. How far out do they actually want people to keep clear?
Re: Hey stupid.
Except that hundreds of years of natural selection tends to help weed out the idiots because they drown, whereas idiots with guns tend to weed others out of the gene pool.
Eight days early for the big firework display, at least in the UK.
Re: A daily charge is fine IF...
I take my watch off overnight, but then I have a bedside clock-radio to tell me the time in the dark.
When this tech will also be able to show me incoming mails and IM/SMS, I'll upgrade...
I have a Pebble watch (it was a gift, not sure I'd have bothered to pay for one) and it does show me incoming stuff. Short stuff it displays, but email just tells me I've got an email. It does show the CLI of incoming calls and I can tell the phone to reject the call using one of the watch buttons.
It only needs charging once a week, too.
(contrast my 30yr-old Casio LCD watch which lasts several years on a battery and is still working)
Owners of similar domains will have to hope it's catching...
My desktop webcam is currently on its side behind the monitor, pointing at the base of the speaker. It was deposited there by one of my cats, who decided that behind the monitor was a good place to sleep (in principle I agree with this, she's not on the keyboard or between me and the monitor if she's there). My laptop camera is secured with that reliable hardware solution known as a piece of tape.
Re: I just use Linux...
How do you know? Perhaps they're just not telling you.
I'll add my vote for the dislike of video tutorials. If I'm in an environment where I can't, or don't want to, use audio, or the bandwidth is suspect, a video is useless. It must be a generational thing, my son much prefers the video approach to a couple of pages of instructions. If it involves use of a Bash shell then the text approach has one other advantage - cut-and-paste of the relevant commands :-)
The incoherent and very amateurish commentary on a lot of the videos doesn't help either.
Re: The problem with blocking international and number-withheld calls
Part of this would be solved if BT would provide international CLI. It is provided by most countries, as is demonstrated when an incoming call is routed in over something other than a BT line (other telcos are not as stubborn as BT in this respect). The system is smart enough that it could display country of origin even if it didn't give a full number, which would improve things for a lot of people.
Feeling blue yet?
That's a good one, worthy of an entry in the Fuck-Up Hall of Fame.
Look at the bullet we dodged when the current government scrapped the biometric ID cards. An on-line database, accessible from a lot of places with poor control over the access terminals. What could possibly go wrong?
Roll on the fall out when it happens to the US SSN database...