* Posts by Peter2

741 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

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Official: AMD now stands for Avoiding Miserable Death

Peter2
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No, we really, really need competition for Intel.

If we hadn't of hand the sort of technological arms race in chippery we have had between AMD & Intel then we wouldn't have chips at anywhere near the price and performance we have today.

No AMD = a good day for shareholders at Intel as R&D basically gets axed and prices go up through the roof.

Personally I quite like the trend of getting more powerful chips that use the same or less energy for the same or less money each generation, and I don't think it would continue to even remotely the same extent if AMD suffered A Miserable Death. May this be long Avoided.

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You can buy Windows 10 Enterprise E3 access for the price of a coffee

Peter2
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Re: And so it begins

$84, or £63 per year for one user. Or £79 for a grade B (scratched) refurbished computer with a years warrenty and a perpetual Win7 Pro MAR license.

Now I can see the attraction of a subscription model for office, that makes sense if you have been reusing a really old office VLK and want to move up from Office 2003/2007 but can't afford to buy several dozen/hundred office licenses. There, a subscription model genuinely makes sense.

. . . but Windows is not something that people actually want. We just need it, because you have to have something to run other software on. Are they actually mad in thinking that we are going to pay £189 for three years of using software so bad that you then have to spend about that again on security software for it?

If they expect to sell any at that price then I expect to see something useful that i'd want bundled with it.

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Falling PC tide strands Seagate's disk drive boats. Will WDC follow?

Peter2
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Re: OT but you started it

The water goes in and out. Something about time and tide, apparently.

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Blighty will have a whopping 24 F-35B jets by 2023 – MoD minister

Peter2
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https://www.f35.com/global/participation/united-kingdom-ip

Due to our participation in the F35 program we get to build 15% of each jet. There are going to be quite a few built (>3000). As a country we literially make more money by buying these than not. We'd make money even if we immediately put the jets through a car crusher after taking delivery.

Except that would put people off from buying them, and the more they produce the more money UK PLC makes so we have to say...

It's a wonderful, reveloutionary aircraft that your military couldn't live without!

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Peter2
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Re: sub-launched nuclear armed cruise missiles

"Build some sub-launched nuclear armed cruise missiles"

Except that the existing cruise missiles aren't designed to carry nuclear warheads, and the warheads that we have built for Trident which are designed to get tossed into low orbit and fall back from orbit like a thunderbolt from hell aren't going to fit on a cruise missile.

So we would need to:-

1) Design and build new cruise missiles.

2) Design and build new nuclear warheads for the cruise missiles.

This is somehow going to be a quick and cheap option...?

Also:-

3) We would have to accept that everybody is going to freak out anytime that anybody fires cruise missiles near them because nobody knows who's firing and suddenly and cruise missile might be nuclear armed, massively increasing the probability of somebody panicking and starting a nuclear war as an accident.

4) Accept that cruise missiles are only marginally faster and more difficult to shoot down than a V1 missile in WW2. They aren't going to get through any air defence network, and everybody is going to know that which is going to massively reduce the deterence effect.

5) Accept that pretty much all British vessels aren't going to be able to dock anywhere ever, because we won't want to say that they aren't carrying nuclear weapons even if they aren't as by exception it would show which ships had nuclear weapons deployed onboard.

6) Accept that due to the above nuclear weapons are only going to be deployed when there is a crisis...

7) Leading to news stories such as "amongst deteriorating relations with %country% nuclear weapons were equipped on %warship%. This is of course going to either cause relations to go further downhill or encourage somebody to nuke our ports first to prevent our weapons being sent to sea. :/

I'd like to note that The Guardian produces good material on many subjects, but when it comes to military matters the standard of their reporting falls far below the standard you'd expect in either the Daily Mail or The Sun.

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Sociology student gets a First for dissertation on Kardashians

Peter2
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Re: it is spelt

El Reg drawing our attention to these alien things that have no obvious connection to intelligent life was the first many of us knew about these creatures, and personally I would not be unhappy if it had also been the last thing I had heard about them.

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Australia's ABC suspends presenter over 'Wi-Fi is dangerous' claims

Peter2
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Re: At what watt does wifi become harmful?

The physics people reakon that >4w might, maybe start to have some effect, but anything under this is definately fine.

20w somewhere in the UHF band is enough to cause burns if held in skin contact, as per British squaddies complaining about RF burns from early versions of the BOWMAN radios. All of this is non ionising radiation so has no long term effect.

I can't immediately remember any cases of people being fried while doing stupid things like painting an antenna tower while it's turned on etc, so one assumes that either the frequency is wrong to cause heating despite hundreds of kilowatts of power, or their proceedures are very good. Given how stupid people can manage to be, I am going to assume that it's the frequencies. :/

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Michael Gove says Britain needs to create its own DARPA

Peter2
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I thought that Labour was in power in 2001?

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Hey cloud lawyer: Can I take my client list with me?

Peter2
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Not very well.

Even people without photographic memories remember the name of their most important contacts, and which company they work at well enough to google the company and get the reception phone number.

I know, because I have had a few suppliers call me having moved jobs who have done this and even got through our receptionist who knows full well my enthusiasm for sales calls is zero and has my explicit blessing to stonewall and or just hang up on salesdroids. While they couldn't remember the price lists they didn't need to. They just offered a price with a generous discount to give me a reason to change suppliers.

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Three non-obvious reasons to Vote Leave on the 23rd

Peter2
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Re: I've got a horrible feeling about this

"The referendum seems to have given the masses a socially acceptable way to demonstrate their wish to not be part of a multi-cultural Britain. Call it job protection or racism the result is the same - a sudden open door to not have to vote UKIP or BNP, but get what they want."

I would call it "Democracy".

If you have ~50% of the population telling you that they don't want something then at a minimum you need to stop and listen to them.

The very fact that parties such as the BNP & UKIP exist is a warning sign that a section of the population feel that their views are not being listened to. Not addressing the concerns and greivences of a large section (~50%?!) of the population is a sign of a deeply unhealthy democracy.

If the concerns of this portion of the population are addressed and dealt with by mainstream parties then any political parties around these issues will collapse as their support base is eroded. If the discussion of the problems these people raise is continually suppressed, dismisssed and misrepresented then this will only cause radicalisation, and the dminishment or elimination of existing power structures such as Labour/Conservatives and election of representitives these people trust will represent their interests.

The working classes protesting that a middle class agenda for the country is badly hurting them does not mean that the working class is evil. You will not resolve such issues by telling literially half the population that they don't understand enough to vote the way that you want them to, and therefore they shouldn't have the right to vote. The problems won't go away if ignored, they will multiply.

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UK's education system blamed for IT jobs going to non-Brits

Peter2
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"Those staffing UK IT departments talk about immigrants as essential in filling positions"

We do? I haven't ever heard anybody say anything like that. Or did they mean that HR says that immigrants are essential to fill IT positions at the salary that they wish to offer?

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Crims set up fake companies to hoard and sell IPv4 addresses

Peter2
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Re: Scarce IPv4 addresses.

Yeah, but if I want a connection on a static IP then the ISP does not *need* to assign me an entire subnet. My home ISP just sets the DHCP lease for the IP to an infinite duration which means that it doesn't change. I'm quite happy with this.

I have one site where the ISP set things up in a similar way. Again, since I can just present this IP directly to the firewall it's not an issue. I have explained this to people at the other ISP's and yet they still insist upon selling me (very cheaply!) a small block of IPv4 addresses that I neither need nor want, contributing to the exaustion of available IPv4 address space.

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Peter2
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IPv4 addresses can't be scarce.

When I set up a remote office my ISP and want a static IP my ISP insists that I have a block of 4 IP's for EACH OFFICE if I want a static IP. Can I use the existing IP's that I already have? No. I have an office which has two lines in from seperate suppliers since it absolutely can't be down. The office has more assigned IPv4 addresses than it has staff.

Shortage, what shortage? I have literially dozens of IPv4 addresses that I neither need nor want but am forced to have if I want a static IP for an office firewall for VPN's etc. I can't help but think that if IPv4 scarcity was being taken a bit more seriously when I want one singlular IP address then the suppliers wouldn't obsessively insist on giving me four.

Then again, this might be another one of those "is it me, or is it everybody else" things.

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Admins in outcry as Microsoft fix borks Group Policy

Peter2
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Re: Thanks for the heads up

If your running a business updates, don't you use WSUS and have a smallish "canary" group of users who won't cripple the business if they encounter problems?

My sacrificial canary group has snuffed it a couple of times over the years which has caused me not to roll out to everybody, preventing serious problems.

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Fresh hell for TalkTalk customers: TeamView trap unleashed

Peter2
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Re: Fighting back

DEL C:\*.* wouldn't work, even if the user had admin privilages it'd only wipe out files on the root directory of C and not subdirectories. Five stars for effort though and a very good effort off the cuff.

"DEL C:\*.* /S /Q" might work, though it'd take ages and be prone to being stopped. My first thought when it comes to quickly causing total disaster is getting them to go into regedit and delete HKLM/Software.

Does anybody have a easily restored Win7 VM they don't mind nuking a few times to find the best way of killing a scammers computer quickly?

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Euro Patent Office prez's brake line cut – aka how to tell you're not popular

Peter2
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If you were going to deliberately sabotage with the intention to cause injury then a few seconds thought suggests to me that you'd be trying to do it in a way that wouldn't be easily detected before he started off on a journey.

Like adjusting the brakes so the pads don't grip the wheel or by greasing the brake pads. Either would probably lead to an accident. That or by doing something like removing the bolts holding the seat or pedals on and then supergluing them in place so that at some point while moving the superglue will fail and the component would detach. Or cutting most of the spokes of the wheel with a hacksaw and filling them in with painted pollyfiller or similar to obtain the same result.

What was actually done just sounds like petty vandalism.

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Galileo satnav fleet waxes orbital

Peter2
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Re: So we will have the satellites...

You assume wrong. Your directly benefiting right now.

Galileo is almost perfectly compatible with the American GPS system and everybody benefits from greater accuracy on the GPS system (the more satilites the better the precision of the location).

The only compatibility exception is that the "kill" switch to turn it off is under EU rather than USA control so if the americans decide to turn off GPS while fighting a war (or just as economic blackmail on somebody) then we still have usable GPS unless they shoot our satilites down.

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Your next server will be a box full of connected stuff, not a server

Peter2
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Re: Modular

I think they mean that in the future you'll be able to hotplug HDD's and PSU's without opening the server case and have them dynamically added to the servers configuration so you can use them without rebooting!

Oh, wait. We've been doing that for ages. :/

Maybe Gartner will be right with a prediction for once. Even if it is predicting that "in the future, we'll have functionality that we already have had for decades".

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Would we want to regenerate brains of patients who are clinically dead?

Peter2
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Re: Braiiinssss

It's unlikely to be a hoax. This is entirely within the realms of medical possibility as so far as I understand.

When a person stops breathing then parts of the brain start to die from lack of oxygen. This is very well known and reasonably well understood, and most people even know the "3 minutes without oxygen until the brain starts dying off" thing.

What people tend to forget is that when somebody goes down with a heart attack then even if you have a First Aider nearby it tends to take longer than 3 minutes to get them there. Consider this as a sequence of events:-

1) Person collapses and stays lying on the floor

2) People waste 30 seconds to a minute asking the unconcious body if they are ok.

3) People start thinking about calling 999.

4) Somebody discovers that the ambulance is going to take 15-30 minutes and the ambulance helldesk asks if you have a First Aider in the area and if somebody has gone to find one.

5) Somebody goes off to find a first aider

6) The first aider has a worse experiance than a first line helldesk trying to get "WHAT" (somebody collapsed) and "WHERE" (where I need to go) out of an incoherent if not outright hysterical messanger.

7) The First Aider takes a detour to the accident via a First Aid kit (because resusication marks are sort of mandatory when doing mouth to mouth, unless you are totally unconcerned with the possibility of picking up nasty infectious diseases that you could then also pass to your partner etc)

8) The First Aider arrives and applies CPR/AV and stabilises the casualty.

. . . How long did that take?

Betcha it's over 3 minutes so brain damage will have been taken to some extent, which may or may not be reversible. I have been the First Aider in this situation twice, and I do my best not to consider both how much brain damage the person has taken and the survival rates for people who have been resusicated.

My knowledge suggests to me that this sort of treatment is not likely to work a matter of days or weeks after brain deaths, but minutes or hours at the outside. It seem to be more probable to me that this is a treatment for people who were just over the brink after a slightly late resusication than doing a frankenstien.

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Must listen: We've found the real Bastard Operator From Hell

Peter2
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I thought the article was funny, but playing the track had me in tears laughing. Well played guys.

I don't get many sales calls because I am registered with the corporate telephone preference service, and then religiously take calls from market research companies and tell them that we have no IT budget, no outstanding requirements, and everything is outsourced on multi year agreements, which then goes on the experian (etc.) data which means I am not on the lists that most people buy. But that still means that I get salesdroids working at places too tight to use experian and too unprofessional to screen against blacklists calling me anyway.

I'm now considering how I can program this up on my ancient telephone system. I'm thinking manually editing in a 20 minute long message to the file the voicemail greeting plays for an individual extension might be the way forwards. Hmm.

It clearly needs an edit to sound worse though, the sound quality is tood good at the moment. It also needs to fade in and out of sounding like your using VOIP over an unmanaged and overtaxed line to be more convincing. I'm also thinking I could play an interesting shell game with an infinately self referencing automated attendant. That and it should start down from like 3 minutes at quarter speed with longer gaps in the music (which shifts perspective of how long your on hold) and when you get to 15 seconds it should start counting back up with an apology for priority calls going through first. That, and not repeating the same voice message with the same distortion would improve effectiveness dramatically.

Resolving this problem is clearly a priority one issue. (after the bank holiday is over!)

God I almost pity salesdroids for the next few months. If everybody reading this article is thinking something along the lines of "dammit, why didn't I think of that" and implements things like this then life is going to get near unbearable for them.

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Switch survives three hours of beer spray, fails after twelve

Peter2
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Re: RE: I prefer "Rugby for big girls' blouses in armour.".

"Need to be careful, the yanks may not be happy when they get up for their bagels and over easy sunny side up eggs and read this.

This may help.

A brief understanding of a part of English Humour"

---

Americans are famous for not having a sense of humour. They have a sense of humor instead.

*hides*

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BT hauled into Old Bailey after engineer's 7-metre fall broke both his ankles

Peter2
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Re: The three-week trial

It'd be interesting to know a bit more about the individual case, maybe el reg will cover this when it's all finished and more information is available.

Presumably the engineer didn't know he was about to step on a ceiling tile, because nobody in their right mind would deliberately put their weight onto a ceiling tile. Even if the tile didn't break you'd almost certainly be going downwards anyway because the supports are certainly not rated for person sized weights.

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Britain is sending a huge nuclear waste shipment to America. Why?

Peter2
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No discussion about nuclear waste would be complete without mentioning the natural uranium reactor at Oklo that ran for over quarter or a million years, and then neatly did geological disposal of the waste in stable geography where it has remained since safely.

http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/181620-2-billion-year-old-african-nuclear-reactor-proves-that-mother-nature-still-has-a-few-tricks-up-her-sleeve

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Tesla books over $8bn in overnight sales claims Elon Musk

Peter2
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Re: Great looking but...

"we can wait for a point when there is little demand but a big gust happens to be passing the wind farm."

Ok, let's have a look at the National Grid generation history and see how often we have low demand and an excess of wind power then.

http://gridwatch.templar.co.uk/

So, we use 30GW worth of power overnight. We nominally have 8GW worth of installed wind capacity. This installed capacity has generated peaks of over 2GW but under 5.5GW for generously 20% of the year and has never, ever generated the nominally installed capacity. The remaining 80% of the year has been delivering under 2GW.

So, it looks roughly like the times that the times that your wind farms are going to be generating sufficant power to charge car batteries overnight from an excess of power generated from wind farms is going to be approximately "never".

Over the last week wind has produced less power than coal plants converted to burn trees (sorry, biomass) for the "green" renewable handouts this results in precisely twice. Burning biomass generates less than half what coal plants burning coal produce, which is turn is less than half what nuclear provides 24/7, which is less than half of what is produced by burning gas since gas and gas plants are cheap to build and everybody accepts them to "back up varying outputs from wind farms".

Usually backups are understood to be secondary fallbacks, rather than generating over fifteen times(!) the output of the supposedly primary wind plants.

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Brexit: Time to make your plans, UK IT biz

Peter2
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Re: ...an addendum to the above...

The main problem with the ECHR is that it is drafted from a completely different tradition of law at odds with our own.

We start off with the assumption that you a free to do anything, but those things that are restricted by law.

The ECHR was written for restrictive contentinal systems of law largely written by an emperor who conquered the majority of europe, and it starts from with the assumption that you have no rights other than those granted by his laws.

The two cannot reasonably co-exist which is why so much of the ECHR is a problem when things that create rights such as "you have the right to a private life" is dropped into UK law where it is assumed that you had those rights.

Frankly, if the politicans were sensible then they'd draft two sets of every law for the differing legal systems. But they don't, and then gaze at the horrific mess it creates in surprise.

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Bloke coughs to leaking US military aircraft blueprints to China

Peter2
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Re: After only three years?

Given that Lockheed Martin make the F35, and Boeing are one of their competitors without involvement on the project i'd say it's somewhat unlikely that the Chinese have plans for the F35 from Boeing. They could be assumed to have anything on this list though:-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_Defense,_Space_%26_Security

The interesting ones seem to be the F15 & F18, neither of which are stealth aircraft and frankly given how much things have moved on in the 44 years since the F15 was released i'm not entirely convinced that it would be where I would start from if developing a modern fighter.

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Water treatment plant hacked, chemical mix changed for tap supplies

Peter2
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Re: no prizes for good guess

Frankly, I think it would be nice to have a grown up debate as to what should, and should not be able to be accessed remotely at all.

My view is that the answer to that is something similar to Asimov's first law. "A <system> may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm."

The ability to remotely access a car's control systems via a sodding radio's bluetooth/wifi and disable control inputs from the driver (like steering or brakes) should be burned with fire along with the people who allowed the basic system design. Industrial processes and in general anything that can cause harm should be air gapped in the same way the control systems in nuclear power plans are.

Yes, it's going to raise costs. But doing otherwise is critically dangerous with things like flouride going in drinking water:-

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199401133300203

From that it seems quite clear that if a hacker had of dumped the entire flouride store into the water supply then nobody would have noticed until either they had to refill it or people started turning up in hospital. Utterly ludicrious.

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Computers shouldn't smoke. Cigarettes aren't healthy for anyone

Peter2
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Re: Keyboard hell (@Binky)

If you are British then you buy the IBM Model M, UK Layout which has the pound sign on it.

I know, because i'm typing this on one.

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Labour will create FUD and then abstain on UK Snoopers' Charter vote

Peter2
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Re: Opposition?

1) Labour are in favour of warrentless snooping (just look at what they did while in power!)

2) Labour hold enough votes to block this if they voted against this along with all of the other MP's against it.

Therefore, it appears obvious that they are abstaining because they want it to go through, but also want to be able to protest that "we didn't vote for this" in the future, because nothing in the universe has a half life shorter than a politicians memory for inconvenient facts.

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GCHQ: Crypto's great, we're your mate, don't be like that and hate

Peter2
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Re: These people just don't seem to understand encryption.

As a thought exercise, if GCHQ/NSA actually had the ability to break encryption at will what would they be saying and doing publicly at the moment?

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We're doing SETI the wrong and long way around, say boffins

Peter2
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The obligatary XKCD on the subject.

https://xkcd.com/603/

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Intravenous hangover clinics don't work, could land you in hospital

Peter2
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Re: "amps up the immune system and detoxifies the liver”,

IIRC the only way of overdosing on vitamins is to exceed the level at which if becomes toxic in the blood which is something over 150000% of the Recommended Daily Allowance.

Yes, that is (over) one hundred and fifty thousand times the RDA. This frankly is somewhat difficult to do accidentely.

As Dr Dan Holdsworth mentions above through, poking holes in people to put in IV's when not required however...

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Nearly a million retail jobs will be destroyed by the march of tech, warns trade body

Peter2
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Re: Hmmmm

Well.

Councils have more involvement that just parking, they also screw real shops in the high street with additional taxes. Unless your a charity shop or estate agents which are encouraged to take high street locations by virtue of being tax exempt. No idea why on either, but it explains why we have 6 charity shops, 8 estate agents and only 5? actual shops.

The main issue though is simply that frankly a lot of high street shops don't actually deserve to survive. In order to survive, bricks and mortar shops really need to be able to win on at least one of the following:-

1) Price

2) Quality

3) Speed of Delivery

4) Service

Our local butchers (for instance) richly deserved to die, because they failed in every area. Their quality was worse than the local supermarkets, they charged more and the staff weren't helpful. The butchers van that turns up on the market is surviving and will continue to survive because you can get either better prices or better quality than the supermarkets, depending on what you pick.

The local electronics shop that sells white goods survives because they stock a smallish range of good quality equipment, but keep them all in stock so if somebody walks in and wants one then they can offer to stick it in their car then and there, or deliver within the hour in their van for a small additional charge. This business survived despite being ten minutes away from a Comet superstore. Comets failed most of these, and have now died out.

The high street clothes shop has been around for 150+ years, and continues to survive despite being within a 2 minute walk of major chain stores, and an ASDA with a clothing section. They manage this and are doing pretty well because they recognise that quite a lot of men despise clothes shopping and offer better quality than average clothes at a not unreasonable price. That, and they have genuinely helpful staff who can quickly take your measurements, show you which clothes actually suit you and where they are in the store, so you can be in and out in mere minutes.

Competing against internet shops is not radically more difficult than competing against another brick and mortar store. All it does is kill off stores that can't adapt to offer what customers want and are willing to pay for, and that has been happening for much longer than the internet has been around. Lack of adaption and a total absense of business planning is the problem, not internet shops.

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Brits unveil 'revolutionary' hydrogen-powered car

Peter2
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Re: zero emissions?

Crack water to hydrogen and oxygen and kill two birds with one stone. We can reduce the effect of rising ocean levels and get fuel out of it! :/

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Boffins' 5D laser-based storage tech could keep terabytes forever

Peter2
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Re: Seriously long-term storage

It's only been 70,000 years since we climed out of trees. Arabic numerals have existed for only 1500 years. English is virtually unrecognisable beyond 500 years ago, and Roman type characters have existed for maybe 3000 years.

In 13.8 billion (13,800,000,000) years, it's a pretty certain bet that the entities reading data from such long term storage will not only not understand the file formats, but won't understand our language and it is perhaps unlikely that they will recognise even the concepts our language is based on. (Just look at how different English is from Latin after a couple of thousand years!)

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Ordnance Survey unfolds handy Mars map

Peter2
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Re: #wtf: Royal ORDNANCE survey of Mars ???!!!!

The Ordnance survey is famously "the survey by the Board of Ordnance" so we know where to site artillery in case of invasion. Which is why the Ordnance survey still proudly and prominately shows the War Department logo (the famous English broadhead arrow) in the Ordnance survey logo which is displayed on the front of every map they print.

Having invaded virtually every country on earth at some point new frontiers obviously await her Majesties armed forces!

Ok, more seriously this is good practice for the map makers, though it's probably going to be some time before they can check the measurements with a theodolite to make sure the map is passably accurate. It's quite amusing to reflect that it's likely that mission planners may well end up using these maps of Mars in mission planning in the future because they are going to be readily available and easily comprehensible!

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Women devs – want your pull requests accepted? Just don't tell anyone you're a girl

Peter2
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Re: I expect votedowns

As a man, might I be permitted to comment that most men also dislike the crowd of amoral and manipulative sociopaths usually recruited for sales roles and some areas of management?

I can assure you that working with sexist, sleazy oversexed idiots is severely unpleasant for men who do not share the same attitudes towards woman.

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This is why copy'n'paste should be banned from developers' IDEs

Peter2
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Re: That quip about hard things in CS...

There are only 10 kinds of people when it comes to understanding binary...

I have always thought it's more accurately actually 11 kinds of people.

1) Those who understand binary.

2) Those who don't.

3) Those who understand the theory and can explain the concept to others, but then proceed to put the numbers in the columns back to front because last time they had to do anything in binary was (equivalent to) two lifetimes of the new entrants to the workplace ago.

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TalkTalk confesses: Scammers have data about our engineers' visits to your home

Peter2
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Re: This does raise a point though...

Talk Talk are offering 38Mbps VDSL on their front page for £17.50 p/m, with a free modem, and free telephone calls for another couple of quid a month. With free service for the first year(!)

It's simply impossible to actually deliver a high quality service, with a well maintained network, decent security covering your customer details, professional support by UK based IT professionals and stashing some money away for future upgrades to the network for that price.

You want a better service? Then i'd suggest that you need to pay enough for the supplier to be able to do the job properly. Cut price services have to cut something to offer lower prices.

I have been with the same ISP since they were delivering me a 512Kbps service. It's now a 80Mbps service, and I haven't ever been tempted to change. Yes, they have always been more expensive than the competition. However, they have never ever suffered a data breach, and are unlikely to because they can afford to have a stable, secure network with redunadancy, backups and still afford to retain highly trained and experianced staff.

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Health Secretary promises NHS £4.2bn to go 'digital'

Peter2
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The NHS is not an single entity, it's a billing structure. This is how it started off post WW2 and it's basically how it remains with little in the way of changes. Nobody would design a system this way, but even proposing to change it will face masses of misinformed hystria such as "SAVE OUR NHS!!11!!11" and opposition to having any part of the the NHS in private ownership, despite the fact that GP's practices (which virtually everybody agrees is the best part of the NHS) are, have always been and will always be for profit businesses owned by the doctors.

When in a single county you might have half a dozen or more NHS trusts, plus several hundred individual GP practices all doing their own things IT wise then trying to standardise anything nationwide is really something of a pipe dream.

Even if starting a massive IT project to "save money" would be a sane idea when it is managed by government, which it isin't. The government made IT solutions for the NHS suck, frankly. That's why EMIS is so popular amongst anybody with any choice in using it!

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SCO slapped in latest round of eternal 'Who owns UNIX?' lawsuit

Peter2
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Re: Clearly The Law is a ass...

An American company once tried to pull these sort of stunts in the UK. I can't quickly find the link of the Law Society Gazette, but my recollection is that the last Judge to deal with one of the cases got slightly fed up with it. They received a systematic kicking in the court judgement, the Judge stating that he considered that the cases brought were entirely without merit and only intended to waste the target companies time and resources defending their actions in the Criminal Justice system to allow the American company to gain a commercial advantage. He went on to say that the only criminal conduct involved was the abuse of process committed systematically by the people bringing the case.

The American company ended up paying not only the defendants costs, but exceedingly punitive damages. The Barrister who represented the company was repeatedly raked over the coals by the Judge, facing an interrogation as to why he had failed to inform the Americans that abuse of the British criminal justice system to gain commercial advantage would not be tolerated. He was pretty badly humiliated by the court over it, then referred to his governing body for disciplinary proceedings (which IIRC fined him more than he'd gained from the cases, and gave him a nasty ticking off about bringing the profession into disrepute.

The legal media dryly observed that American style court actions were neither welcome nor worthwhile in British courts. US courts could do use their powers in the same way if they wanted to. The question is why they don't.

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Leak – UN says Assange detention 'unlawful'

Peter2
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But given that the UK-USA treaty basically guarantees that the UK will hand over anybody on request, if the USA wanted him then surely they would put the request in to the UK, not to Sweeden?

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For sale: One 236-bed nuclear bunker

Peter2
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Re: "Security could be racked up if needed"

I was looking at that ending sentence and wondering what exactly you could do to make a bunker designed to literally survive a nuclear apocalypse more secure.

Presumably the original owners considered that in case of a nuclear apocalypse the locals might want to hang the leaders inside off the nearest standing lamp post and installed a door that would laugh at attempts to smash it in. It's not got windows, and it's largely buried underground. The nuclear bunker in Essex appeared to have a door with more armour than the main belt of an old fashioned battleship, and I suspect this one would be at least as secure!

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Euro-security group ENISA notices cars are insecure, plots fixfest

Peter2
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My 15 year old car has a perfectly sensible solution to this problem.

The Engine Control Unit (ECU) data is readable at any time, but only writable when the ignition is on, but the engine not started. Additionally, the ECU is not connected to any wireless access. It is also not interconnected to things that don't need access to it, such as the radio or other entertainment systems, which are separate standalone systems with even their in vehicle controls (on the steering wheel) hardwired to plugs just behind where the radio sits.

Even if there was wireless (as opposed to wired via OBD2 socket access) the average person turning their car on in the morning is going to have a vulnerability window of perhaps one second, which is insufficient to upload any changes to the ECU.

This leads me to think that the existing set of designers need firing, because the last generation obviously thought it through and prevented these sort of problems from ever happening.

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'International tax' needs reform. Google's chicken bill makes me chuckle – comms guy

Peter2
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Re: if you are a big multinational

"The big corporates are also under a legal obligation* to gain best value for shareholders - which means managing their tax affairs for the benefit of investors."

* Citation needed.

There is no legal obligation to gain best value for shareholders. Especially not doing it in a manner that is contrary to the long term interests of the business, such as causing PR disasters that drag on in international media for weeks.

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Islamic fundamentalists force Yorkshire IT shop to chop off brand

Peter2
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ISIS Conveyancing Insurance Specialists mailshotted everybody they worked with to say that they had the name "ISIS" first, and they thought their customers were intelligent enough to differentiate between them and another entity with a similar name.

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China has a chip to fry with y'all: Wants its own chip smarts and fabs

Peter2
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Re: Interesting times

China isin't just building throwing money at a single area though. They are investing in an entire set of industries that eliminates their dependence on the west. FFS- they are selling Britain nuclear reactors because the country that designed the first civil nuclear power plant no longer has the skills to build them!

When it comes to processors, whilst their in house processors probably aren't going to wipe intel and AMD out in terms of performance they don't really need to. Achieve 20% of the performance of an intel/AMD chip and you can do everything but gaming.

China can already produce things faster than that, and given their internal market is a about 20% of humanity then they clearly have a "good enough" product for people who can't afford wintel which is large enough to be economically viable even if they don't export. Externally, a cheap but effective PC would also appear to have markets in India, and probably also Africa. This ignoring the devices that China sells to us that has to contain processors even if they aren't PC's.

No, I would say that China is at no immediate risk of bankrupting themselves by state directed spending. Most of their spending has a economic return on investment. Compare this to US Government spending. The potential ROI on having the largest military on the planet (spending more than the next ten largest militaries- many of whom are allies) is quite low in comparison. Which is more likely to go bust?

It's not China.

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Peter2
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Well, if that's true then it effectively prevents people from buying AMD. Since buying AMD (or somebody investing a huge amount of money in it) is about the only way that anybody is ever going to seriously threaten Intel's on the desktop/server processor front again it's a nice cheap way of ensuring a dominant market position for Intel.

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Capita hiring temps to cover for call centre redundancies – staff sources

Peter2
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Re: I thought this was illegal?

"Correct. How on earth did you manage to make that sound like an insult?

Bitter, much?"

No insult intended. It was more an ironic observation since most people these days have either been made redundant, or seen large portions of the workforce made redundant. When that's happened and you have seen the employment laws twisted into a pretzel then you'll understand the number of gaping holes in employment laws mean they are effectively worthless.

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Peter2
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Re: I thought this was illegal?

I thought this was illegal?

You don't make a person redundant, you make the job they're doing redundant

I spy somebody who wasn't made redundant in the recession!

Technically, you are right in that if you forcibly make somebody redundant then your doing away with their position and not the person. In the real world, what tends to happen is that your offered an insultingly demeaning job in Timbuktu which your supposed to decline. When surprisingly you decide you'd rather not take the job then technically your taking voluntary redundancy and so your position is not made redundant and they can then hire somebody else.

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