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* Posts by Stuart 22

271 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009

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Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS

Stuart 22

Re: @asdf The desktop deadend.

I've had little problem upgrading Kubuntu since about 10.04 - which included the KDE 3.5 to KDE4 transition.

AFAIK Ubuntu is great - unless you actually choose the Ubuntu desktop of the day.

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Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker

Stuart 22

Selfies can be good.

The pain of getting, renewing and now revoking certificates is a complete and unwelcome pain. Actually most of our https stuff is between our servers and close clients. They trust us, they would trust our servers except for those big red screens Chrome et al throw up when they see a self signed certificate.

So we dutifully used proper ones. Whereas the old self-signed could be replaced instantly. Hence paradoxically our users were more secure with selfies.

And millions/billions of Wordpress users will have been exposing their usernames/passwords in plain text since Z80 Assembler ruled the world - mostly without incident. Its security with a hole that's really dangerous at attracting the hacking flies.

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NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS

Stuart 22

Re: Protect?

Protect themselves.

The Twitter claim of knowing nothing until public disclosure is breathtaking. I mean by April 7th a patch had been written and committed for 1.0.1e, heartbleed.com had been registered for 3 days, there had been considerable correspondence between the Finnish company and the authors. Google had allegedly already patched it servers.

And the NSA had not known this?

Which leads to the conclusion they are incredibly incompetent or barefaced liars. Your choice.

And if they lied about 2 days or 2 weeks how can one believe it wasn't two years?

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OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts

Stuart 22

False Positives

Just a warning. There appears to be a proliferation of websites 'testing' for the flaw and getting it wrong. Do be careful.

I think this is because they are only testing for the creation date (of the flawed software) and not the modified date when it was fixed. Good checkers should actually send a string and show you the return if its worried about it.

This is the command line return I'm typically getting from our Centos servers which confirms the fix:

# rpm -q --changelog openssl-1.0.1e | grep -B 1 CVE-2014-0160

* Mon Apr 07 2014 Tomáš Mráz <tmraz@redhat.com> 1.0.1e-16.7

- fix CVE-2014-0160 - information disclosure in TLS heartbeat extension

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Biz PC market's looking healthy – but is it just an XPocalypse bounce?

Stuart 22

Landfill Tax

PCs are not as bad as mobiles. I've a whole drawerful of good mature working phones that are really superfluous to need.

But this week's event has had us looking hard. Kubuntu is the weapon of choice. We even took out our last Vista and did it fly under the big K. Trouble is we still have working PCs without PAE support. Do we revert to 12.04 or one of the specialist non-pae distributions (the first two I tried just didn't cut it).

Which goes to show that hardware just goes on and on. And that's what we want with the software. i mean most business computing hasn't really changed in ten years. That's why XP is just what we need. Shame to create landfill. Its the companies that pay the tax - which really ought to be MS as they are the folks causing much of the problem.

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Scandal-hit Co-op Bank's CIO hits eject button after one year

Stuart 22

Re: Um, Co-op Bank now 70% owned by US Hedge Funds and VC investors.

"Yout might also note their CEO turned out to be a Ketamine popping (among other things) Methodist minister with a liking for hookers of both sexes."

Flowers was the chair not CEO. His expertise was supposed to be liaising and cajoling the myriad of independent co-ops and labyrinth processes. For all his failings he was more successful at it than the banker's banker!

Horses for courses.

But it is an awful shame they have screwed up so badly and the management lacks the guts to sort themselves out. As ever its the employees and members who will suffer most. That's why i'm keeping my money in the Bank at the moment. The staff have been great, they don't deserve this.

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Partner firms: Microsoft kept Surface from you for YOUR OWN GOOD

Stuart 22

Go grab market, kill competition ....

Why not dump the written down stock on the market? HP proved £99 is a very sweet spot. It would have given them some more base and damaged Android and Apple. It's not as though they would lose that many sales at full price ...

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Google confirms Turkish ISPs 'intercepted' its DNS service

Stuart 22

Talking sense ain't going to get you anywhere when the most popular papers are The Sun & Daily Mail. They are the real villains.

Judging by the Turkish election results I guess they must be replicated over there.

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Sticky Tahr-fy pudding: Ubuntu 14.04 slickest Linux desktop ever

Stuart 22

A small part of a bigger story ...

Worth a reminder that the same day we also get 14.04 *ubuntu (where *=letter of choice).

Which, by definition, is more attractive to users who have issues with Unity.

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Microsoft issues less-than-helpful tips to XP holdouts

Stuart 22

Life Story

Long ago I had two XP computers on my desk. Then I excitedly updated one to Vista on launch. One week later it was running Kubuntu (which kinda networks better with Windows then Windows).

My XP computer still got most use especially for real work. Kubuntu was fine for browsing, email and the odd thing like SSH for which Windows needs apps. It wasn't until last year that I found myself using Kubuntu more than XP. It took that long to adjust and gradually replace Windows apps with platform independent apps. Yep it would have been a lot faster if I had no choice. Well on April 17th (yes I'm going to risk 9 days) the XP computer will be replaced with a Kubuntu 14.04 LTS system so it will be two Kubuntus on my desk. I'll keep a XP laptop under the desk 'just in case'.

So that's my life story on how Microsoft lost me without trying. But its also how heavy users just can't switch from one to the other happily even if, like me, they have been Linux Sysadmins for a decade. So junk XP get Linux next month may perversely be an option for people only requiring browsing and email - its going to take a lot longer to do a sensible transition on a larger scale.

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Ad-funded mobile carrier goes titsup

Stuart 22

Re: A worrying precedent

On the assumption that either administrators or the upstream provider is in control then this preserves some small incoming payment whilst removing new costs. It may also be an OFCOM requirement (and if not, should be).

Indeed the role of OFCOM regulating what appears to be a blatant Ponzi scheme by MVNO is a question that should be answered. Mobiles are pretty important in many people's lives these days and there should be some better way of handling the customers of failed operators.

An obvious one would be for operators to lodge a bond covering, say, a forward month's worth of revenue to the network supplier giving time for people to rearrange their mobile supplier without too much disruption.

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Stuart 22

What a surprise!

Why would anybody not think this was a Ponzi scheme?

The early investors' minutes being financed by new users' £20.

The actual crash was well telegraphed. Going for more funding in early March. No intelligent outsider is going to put £4m into this venture. Then suddenly, without funding, the minutes, texts and Gb are INCREASED - that is any forward obligation by 50% making funding even more difficult. That can only be last desperate attempt to lure the stupidly greedy into buying a SIM.

Oh the ad funded bit? Well we remember everybody else who tried that don't we (Blyk?) and there was no sign from Ovivo that this was real.

If it looks too good to be true ...

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MH370 airliner MYSTERY: The El Reg Pub/Dinner-party Guide

Stuart 22

Re: What if it was ditched and sunk intact?

The danger in landing on anything other than on the undercarriage on a flat hard surface is one of the wings or engines touching down before the other. The sudden enormous asymmetrical drag will spin the plane into oblivion. The trick is to pancake it perfectly flat. Not easy to do on a flat surface (and the Hudson was effectively flat) but in any swell next to impossible if you think about it. The middle of the Indian Ocean is likely to have quite a swell whether the surface is rough or smooth.

There is no way a pilot could plan to ditch with any confidence of success. It would make "Miracle on the Hudson" look like landing a Tiger Moth on a deserted JFK.

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Sandisk breaks 128GB barrier with new $199 MICROSD card

Stuart 22

Is it just me?

I just have a problem when a card of twice the capacity has more than twice the cost. Sort that and I buy. Otherwise why?

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London calling: Date set for launch of capital's very own domain name

Stuart 22

Re: We of the Rest Of England Liberation Front salute this

".. outside TFL Zone 6 seen?"

Frankly I think it an outrage that anyone beyond zone 3 gets better than .sticks

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Stuart 22

Re: .me.uk domain

Officially you are supposed to be a US entity. However, we have found as long as you give them a US address (real or imagined) and the fee they really don't care or check.

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Stuart 22

Re: domain name explosion

Domain Registration is part of our business (and we are a Nominet Registrar). It was standard practice to register the com/net/org/org.uk/co.uk derivatives of the domain name for our clients. When the next raft came along the rich ones continued.

But now its become ridiculous. The last straw for some was Nominet .uk fiasco. OK we will register them to go alongside and superseded co.uk but at the cost of org.uk and all the other second rank names which will be let go.

Hence we are going to see a contraction in the business. I wouldn't be surprised if Nominet don't see the increased revenue they are banking on.

OK .london is useful to companies who didn't get a decent .com or .uk domain provided the domain brokers don't get there first. But in the grander scheme of things, who cares? I'm surprised at the increasing number of people who never use a domain name. This is now beginning to include me. They just type the company name into Google and expect that to sort the wheat from the chaff.

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Friends don't do tech support for friends running Windows XP

Stuart 22

Re: This time Microsoft has gone too far

"Because they're stopping providing free support for an 12 year old product?"

No - a 4 year old product - when m$ were very anxious to displace Linux as the OS of non-choice on netbooks and take your money.

Throw away a perfectly good modern netbook? Maybe m$ values landfill more than their green credentials. Downgrade to Win 8.x as they don't fully support the screen size and pay more than the original netbook cost?

Well no. M$ have forced me to leave their tender embrace. Which reminds me I must get to grips with Python ...

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Dead Kim Jong-il's OS makeover takes a page from Dead Steve Jobs

Stuart 22

Please select firezone ...

Where are you? If not in North Korea, remain where you are and wait for destruction

FTFY

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Eurocops want to build remote car-stopper, shared sensor network

Stuart 22

Foot Shot

Every green nerd is already salivating at this proposal.

Yes it is a possible threat to civil liberties, it might kill a few innocent motorists. But look at the bigger picture. Hack the technology and no longer will Critical Mass and their like have to hang around on wet, cold nights playing cat & mouse with the plod in reclaiming the streets. Just being able to disable one vehicle in ten will bring London motor traffic to a halt. The place will be gridlocked for days.

Its too big a prize for environmental nerds to resist. Crowd-hacking makes it quite possible. That is if the Russian blackmailing mafia don't get there first. Unhackable? Yes expect a euro-bureaucrat with the mindset that they need for that job might accept that.

I have greater faith in people's ability to think around the (black) box.

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Virgin Galactic's supersonic space ship in 71,000-ft record smash

Stuart 22

Re: Not Even Close to NASA

AFAIR only one. But they paid the passenger rather than the other way round. Virgin take note ...

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IT MELTDOWN ruins Cyber Monday for RBS, Natwest customers

Stuart 22

STOP complaining and be thankful

Just think how much worse it would have been if the management had not been so extremely incentivised to reward their brilliant work in serving their customers ... or even their stockholders!

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London businesses to signal UNSWERVING LOYALTY to capital with .london domain

Stuart 22

Re: More likely...

Nope.

OK so in a millennium not to far distant we always registered the com/net/org.uk/co.uk variants for safety for ourselves and our clients.

Then came biz/ws/mobi ... and we all decided to call it a day. Now we only bother with com/co.uk. The more there are the greater incentive not to defensibly register. So great, a London business that missed out on a co.uk can get its name in lights. but that's it. The domain party is over.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 region-locking saga CLEAR AS MUD

Stuart 22

Re: Yeah...

I'll pass on the foreign SIMs as long as it will play my Region 3 DVDs.

The Chinese (& LG) must be laughing (again).

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Voyager 1 'close' to breaking through to DEEP SPACE - boffins

Stuart 22
Unhappy

Re: This tiny vessel

No problem in the 1960s and 1970s. Makes this millennium a tad introspective in comparison.

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UK sitting on top of at least 50 years of shale gas – report

Stuart 22
FAIL

Pass the pack ice mother ...

And how many tons of CO2 is that equivalent too?

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'Do the right thing and tell on a pirate' - software bods

Stuart 22
Pirate

Yep - bring it on!

Of course we should snitch on pirates - oh how I wish the media would highlight those bandits who stole 25 years retrospective extra copyright fees from us. Naturally no compensation to the originator of the work (who were mostly dead anyway).

Another victory for the lobby thieves ... if only Shakespeare had signed up with Sony we would be paying them for every sonnet ever recited!

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Huawei's new 7-inch MediaPad Vogue feeds Wi-Fi+3G phablet frenzy

Stuart 22
Thumb Up

Re: The 'next' ultimate poser phone

Right on.

Modern smartphones are pretty dumb at making phone calls anyway. Times have changed. Email, FB, Twitter, SMS has moved communication from real time (when two people have to prioritise each other at the same time) to the old office spike mode. You send messages when you want and are read (usually last first) by recipients when they choose. And it can be one to many.

Which means when I'm on the train its the small screen size of my Nexus 4 that is the limiting factor. I could take our Nexus 7 but that would die out of WiFi range and even if it was 3G/4G enable that means taking two mobile contracts.

So for those of us who use mobile devices mostly for data with some urgent calls (via bluetooth?) this factor is close to ideal. Obviously the SIM size needs to be compatible with the smartphone you use when you need to pack discretely or conveniently in an inside pocket.

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Three's mobile data goes titsup in mysterious spreading outage

Stuart 22
Devil

A message from Murdochia ...

ITS THE SUN THAT DUNNIT!

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Opera debuts Chromium-luvvin' desktop browser Next 15

Stuart 22
Happy

Re: Windows only for now?

Its been test marketed on Linux under the alias 'Chromium' so you would never know. Posting from it right now. Will Opera XP be catching up RSN ...

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Are the PCs all getting a bit old at your office? You're not alone

Stuart 22
FAIL

Re: Fallacy

Absolutely. We are an IT outfit. Updating websites and running SSH doesn't take a lot of grunt. We are 50/50 XP/Kubuntu. When XP is retired next year then why should we be forced to buy new kit to win Win 8 and have to relearn/relicense stuff that is of no discernible benefit?

Going 100% Kubuntu looks easier. Only takes 30 mins to re-load and no more re-activation issues. Wow, MS seems to pushing us that way ...

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Ubuntu support periods slashed

Stuart 22
Unhappy

Re: Where is the problem here?

First we must distinguish between servers and desktops. Most server admins value stability over everything else. At the OS level the changes over 5 years are not great. Stepping from one LTS to the next is usually the most logical policy. I agree only idiots would do leading edge on a production server.

BUT .... five years on a desktop is a very long time. Remind me what version of LibreOffice/OpenOffice(?)/Firefox/Thunderbird was running. The xUbuntu policy of a release every six months over Debian was why most of us chose xUbuntu in the first place. Most stuff out of the box was reasonably up to date and adding extra stuff from the repository straightforward.

However there are glitches. KDE4 first time round was challenging. The same could be said of Unity. There are times when it is sensible to skip a release until a major component has had time to mature. That s why I rolled my eyes at 9 months. Why that only gives a 3 month gap to do a supported upgrade. Skipping a release is now a no-no for some of us. I can understand the financial imperatives in reducing the 18 month figure. But taking it the short side of 12 months is decidedly uncomfortable. A botched new release (we've had 'em and we will have 'em again no matter what they say) will cause more mayhem at the user and support level if it has to be diagnosed, fixed, proven fixed and implemented company wide inside a 3 month window.

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NASA chief: Earth is DOOMED if we spot a big asteroid at short notice

Stuart 22
FAIL

Re: Nothing new under the sun

The chance of a city being wiped out by a medium sized rock are probably quite remote. Most of the earth is ocean and most of the rest is relatively sparsely populated. Even at worst it is a little local difficulty. Most of the globe will only suffer from the news coverage. In other words thinking globally these are hits we can take and recover.

Whereas its the biggies that we really have to worry about. Those that it doesn't matter where they impact - the effect is global. Looks like we have a good fix on spotting them. Just the problem of stopping them.

That's where we need to focus and not be distracted by recoverable catastrophes when the real problem is the end of life as we know it.

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Another MYSTERY evacuation: Google UK empties swanky offices

Stuart 22
Unhappy

Bang On!

Reminds me when I worked for a (then famous) computer company at the top of TCR in the 70s at a time when our Irish chums were a bit fractious. A mysterious bomb threat was received most Fridays around 3pm. Those that had returned from the pub returned to the pub and hence unable to hear the all-clear call, or anything else.

In those non-digital days it took sometime to trace the calls to an extension inside the building ...

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Freeview suddenly UNWATCHABLE dross? It may just be a 4G test

Stuart 22
Happy

Re: re. ".. left of Birmingham and south of Dudley ..."

They are if they mean Brierley Hill

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Watch out, office bods: A backdoor daemon lurks in HP LaserJets

Stuart 22
Happy

Re: Well you could hack it for passwords ... or upgrade to LaserJet 4L

My 4L has successfully resisted all hackers since 1995 with no patches (eat your heart out Microsoft). It does now have a USB plug so it can serve as the office CUPS network printer hung off a RaspberryPi.

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Drunk driving: No more dangerous than talking on handsfree mobe

Stuart 22

Re: Tested a drivers skill...

Why did not the first line read drink driving IS AS DANGEROUS as using a phone?

Those of us who have had several life threatening moments due to the inattention of someone driving using a phone can actually see that and consider the penalties, or rather lack of enforcement, for these offences are insufficient. Drink drivers are invisible unless tested hence enforcement is even more hit and miss.

Driving is inherently dangerous to other vulnerable road users. Whilst it is economically and socially unacceptable to restrict responsible driving that does not mean that unnecessary indulgences such as illegal drinking and mobile use in making it even more dangerous should not be treated extremely harshly and not mollified on the basis of one is not particularly 'more' dangerous than the other.

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Reader slain? 'Even the Google apologists on G+ are p****d off'

Stuart 22
Unhappy

An idiotic sheep baaaaas ...

I'm complaining and i have used it for years across all my devices. Change is an unhelpful burden.

Which is the point - Google have lost me as a client before by changing/updating products without a thought of how their current users might be screwed up. Here is an instance when NO CHANGE is good. It is a RSS aggregator full stop. Nothing is going to change in RSS or users reading habits that requires change. Google don't have to spend a bean on development. The cost is the servers and with such a lightweight app this is minimal especially as the updating is probably scheduled to use the dips in demand of its server farms.

I suspect turning them off and suffering the aftermath is more effort than keeping them on till the last Reader user has twittered away. Let's hope the head honchos clock this and beat a welcome retreat.

Trusting Google is a USP that is worth more than Reader's cost.

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1 in 7 WinXP-using biz bods DON'T KNOW Microsoft is pulling the plug

Stuart 22
FAIL

Re: Supprised companies on XP

Microsoft were selling XP on netbooks up to 3 years ago (when I bought my last one). Windows 8 don't do netbooks so where do they expect me to go? Or do they expect me to throw away perfectly good 4 year old kit?

A great Redmond plan to get Linux on the desktop? Sigh.

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The Death of Voice: Mobile phone calls now 50 per cent shorter

Stuart 22
Happy

Re: Not only shorter...

Well Vodafone should have made 0845 part of their inclusive minutes!

They would have picked up the Infernal Revenue and other call centre 'on hold' business. The reason why many of us still maintain landlines ... apart from broadband. The good news is even they will be switching to 03 numbers this summer. Maybe in a decade or so non-business landlines will have gone the way of the telegram and the fax.

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‘Anonymous’ hacks Oz Uni’s email to protest bulk iPad buy

Stuart 22
FAIL

Re: What's the alternative?

I am a fondleslab lover. I probably spend more time on a fondleslab then any other device when I'm not working.

I never use a fondleslab (or its mini smartphone equivelent) for work except in emergency when a conventional desktop/laptop or even netbook is not available. You really can't be seriously creative without a keyboard and (if you are artistic) at least a mouse. One wonders if this particular University thinks education is the consumption of information rather than the production (or at least value added reprodoction) of information.

If I was an Ozy this would move this University way down my wish list.

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Google sinks millions into plush new £1bn London HQ

Stuart 22

Not Neasden

It would have been more accurate to say digital computing began in Dollis Hill. Just sayin' UK might give supporters of the Neasden Football Club ideas above their noses ...

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Intel: Everything is absolutely fab-u-lous, particularly in servers

Stuart 22
FAIL

Ostrich Corp

Did anyone here the Intel guy on the Today programme this morning?

Interviewer: Isn't the market swinging to Smartphones & Tablets?

Intel: Yep, we are addressing that with Ultrabooks and Windows 8

Interviewer: But Windows 8 is not a great success?

Go to PCWorld and 70% of the computers are running Windows 8

Interviewer: But isn't the market swinging to Smartphones & Tablets?

Intel: Yep, we are addressing that with Ultrabooks and Windows 8 ...

... et infinitum ...

I paraphrased but that was the essence. The company they grew great "by eating its own grandchildren" needs now to be eating somebody else's (hello Qualcomm & ARM).

Are they in complete denial?

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BT's shock new wheeze: Make phone calls from smartphones

Stuart 22
Thumb Up

Re: HELL YES!!!!

AFAIR Sipgate 0800 VOIP calls have always been free. But nice to add 0845/0870.

As a sidenote we broke down a week ago and had to call the AA. It as nice to see they had added a 0121 number to their regular 0800. So it was a bundled minute call to get us home. Nice!

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Behold ATLAS, the fastest computer of 50 years ago

Stuart 22

Re: Altas 2

Yep I remember the CADC Atlas. It was still there in the late seventies. It looked just like the computer used in A for Andromeda or is my memory fading? Of course it was a bit nouveau for those of us who started life on an English Electric Deuce ...

1
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Autonomy founder attacks HP fraud charges with new website

Stuart 22

Re: With the mighty sword of truth and trusty shield of British fair play...

A wrong move methinks. Be very careful of appearing to protest too much.

How can anyone judge who is in the right from two partial accounts? That's why we have a judicial or quazi-judicial process to get to the bottom. More likely (but still not certain) of getting the right answer. And the one I'm probably going to run with.

I doubt any judge is going to take a blind bit of notice of any website statements by HP or the old guard. On oath and cross examined is bound to be more fruitful. So why the website?

If truth is on their side then using as a blade in court rather than a sledgehammer online is what they should be concentrating on. And if they win then a tidy defamation case should very well compensate for any diminution of their reputation by HP's allegations.

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Comet train set for SMASH, staff can only hope to be in right carriage

Stuart 22
Unhappy

I will shed a tear for Comet

If only because they were a true innovator in selling great HiFi equipment at bargain prices from small back street warehouses 40 years ago.

Sadly they chased the Currys/PC World model but were less ruthless about it. Hence they fail and DSG profits on ... for a while. British retail is a cruel game.

0
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Apple 'less innovative' at laptops than Lenovo

Stuart 22
Devil

Re: In the end

Or is it Asus & Lenovo are finessing Apple?

This must be a good thing for joe public (well those more interested in functionality rather than branding). It would help if Apple responded by finessing Asus & Lenovo rather than look for any excuse to sue them.

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Toyota motors ahead with radar crash avoidance tech

Stuart 22
Devil

Re: Mixed feelings..

One has to be careful that safety systems which may protect the driver do not put other people at risk. Whllst air-bags, ABS etc which can made driving safer are mitigated risk compensation. Hence the rise in pedestrian and two wheel casualties.

More effective might be an all electronic system that automatically deducts £100 from the driver's bank account when they drives too close or too fast. I predict a rapid change of behaviour and drop in crashes Toyota could only dream of ...

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Sinclair BASIC comes to Raspberry Pi

Stuart 22
Thumb Up

The point is getting a result

Only a couple of years ago I needed to generate a load of very similar HTML pages. I could have used a proper language but the project was so simple that it was much faster to do in the ultimate procedural language where syntactic errors were flagged up 'in flight'.

Object orientated coding is not optimal for quick & dirty one-offs. IT 'professionals' sometimes forget that.

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