Feeds

* Posts by Richard 12

1556 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009

In MASSIVE surprise, world+dog discovers Nokia checked out Android

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Who "finessed" who?

That only works if you care exclusively about the continued existence of the Nokia parent company, and don't care about the public brand, the staff or the shareholders.

Sounds pathological to me.

3
3

Windows 8.1: Microsoft's reluctant upgrade has a split-screen personality

Richard 12
Silver badge

That's rubbish and you know it.

Most users already know which mode they want as default.

And if the option wasn't buried away in an near-impossible to find, illogical place, they could easily change their mind as they begin to use the device in their real world.

Even better, the convertibles *know* their hardware configuration so auto-selecting "users tablet/users laptop" mode at boot would be trivial MS they cared about user preferences.

It's this way because Microsoft know damn well that TIFKAM is despised by the majority, and their current strategy requires that it be rammed down all our throats.

4
1
Richard 12
Silver badge

@mmeier

Given that quite a few programs (i.e Firefox) stack the "start new instance" and "running instances" icons

That's done by the Windows Taskbar from Vista/7 onwards, it's nothing to do with the application.

It is possible to force Windows not to stack, but it's difficult and Microsoft strongly discourage it, going so far as to bury the API. I don't get why, as many non-trivial programs have items of different "types" which probably should not stack.

Also, some older windowing toolkits (eg Delphi 6) avoid it because of the way they work, introducing different and highly annoying oddities.

Of course, in TIFKAM it's simply impossible to have more than one instance of an App running so you don't actually care about this at all.

1
0

Bin half-baked Raspberry Pi hubs, says Pimoroni: Try our upper-crust kit

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: You can get the AC adaptor with either UK or European power pins

Ring mains solve quite a few problems compared to radials or spurs in a domestic environment.

Much higher current available at a double (or triple) socket (kettle plus microwave at the same double socket), and no marshalling or junction boxes needed to join any number of sockets to a single fuse/RCBO/MCB at the fuse box/DB, as there will only ever be two cables at each join.

Construction is the same really, just pull the cable along the route and back, with a loop of spare at each socket, and if a run is hard, just cut at a socket and pull that run direct, same as for radials and spurs.

Not sure what you mean by "shrouded", but sleeved L&N pins have been a requirement on both BS1363 and BS546 since 1984, making it safe to slide child fingers behind the plug while it's being inserted and removed.

I've also not seen a BS1363 socket damaged by overload except when a fake (or wrong/no) fuse had been fitted.

That said, the "stackabilty" of the NZ/AUS plugs is rather nice and avoids a problem faced elsewhere.

Many UK multi-way adapters are actually rated at 6A or 10A total, making them annoying and sometimes dangerous as people may refit the wrong fuse after overloading them.

0
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: You can get the AC adaptor with either UK or European power pins

But standing on a UK plug won't break it. You have to drop them quite a long way onto a hard surface to damage them.

Standing on any of the myriad of EU plugs may break it, standing on a NZ/AUS plug will probably break it, and looking vaguely in the direction of a US Edison plug will shatter it into a myriad of pieces.

And no, there's no such thing as a standard EU mainland plug anyway. The only thing that's common across most of the EU is the approximate location and rough size of the two Live/Neutral pins.

Spain and France (CEE 7/5) are round and have a female PE off-centre, Germany (CEE 7/4) are round and use clips at the top/bottom, Denmark has a half-round PE, Switzerland (not EU but close) are roughly diamon-shaped with a round PE off-center, while Italian plugs (CEI 23-16) put the PE exactly in the middle and come in two nearly-identical but incompatible sizes, neither of which quite match anything else. Multi-standard sockets that meet CEE 7/4 as well as CEI 23-16 are getting common the Italy.

It's only physically possible to get a CEE 7/7 plug that correctly fits German and French (CEE 7/4 and 7/5) sockets. All the others are incompatible due to the impossibility of getting the Protective Earth.

The closest thing to an "EU mainland plug" is the un-earthed CEE 7/16 - which isn't a safe way of powering anything other than Class II equipment, and doesn't work in Italy.

In summary - everybody should use either B1363 or BS546 plugs and sockets, because those are by far the best ever invented.

4
0

Corel re-animates zombie brand for patent case

Richard 12
Silver badge

Dear Google

Fight this. Fight it and kill it stone dead.

For the love of software, you need to do it to prevent the next piece of patent hostage taking.

Don't settle. Paying ransom money just funds the next patent attack or hostage taking and encourages other firms to try it on.

7
0

'Beat the lie detectors' trainer sentenced to 8 months in jail

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Took a test once, never again

You're making the fundamental error of assuming they actually work, when they don't.

The only way they do work is when the testee thinks they work - much like Napier's soot-stained cock.

0
0

Microsoft's VDI deals make Windows Server cheapest desktop OS

Richard 12
Silver badge

Buying in Virtual Windows Desktops is dangerous then

So, right now you can do it with Windows Server, how long before MS notice and change the licensing rules?

Then what happens?

The hosting costs suddenly multiply by however many customers were sharing the Windows hardware. So the customer gets a x3 - x10 monthly bill increase, and/or the host goes bankrupt and the customers are screwed because all their computers stop working.

So quite simply, it's too dangerous to contemplate outsourcing a virtual Windows desktop.

And that's what MS wants, they don't want people being able to buy-in virtual desktop machines, they want thick clients running full-fat desktop Windows.

If a company wants to outsource their virtual desktop and actually save money rather than paying more, they must use Linux desktops - that's the only way to be sure that your contract costs won't suddenly multiply in the future.

18
0

Virgin Galactic spaceship goes supersonic in second test flight

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Virgin penetrates void

Yes, but out at the moon doing a urine dump or two can put you into a stable orbit from sub-orbital.

The point is that it doesn't have the delta-v for an orbit, which makes it considerably simpler.

For starters, no need to decelerate or aerobrake to get home safe. Just stay oriented and there you go...

2
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

Just make sure there's a dog on board

Don't want the pilot touching the controls...

3
0

Sysadmins hail Windows Server 2012 R2's killer ... clipboard?

Richard 12
Silver badge

"No-one's asked"

Translation - the ones who want it already know that it doesn't do it and bought something else that does.

4
2

Windows 8.1 to freeze out small business apps

Richard 12
Silver badge

Developers developers? Screw the developers!

This is probably the biggest reason Win8's TIFKAM is already dead.

It's hard to develop for, the rules mean no non-trivial applications, it's impossible to test...

Is it any wonder end users don't like it? All it ever manages is to get in the way of their "normal" Windows experience, which is where all their software actually lives.

24
0

Xbox One launch date REVEALED - and it's on the 360's birthday

Richard 12
Silver badge

Or Option 3:

Make the smallest number you can get away with, in case an important hardware design issue is found - or it's a flop.

Then you have far fewer that have to be repaired/replaced, and even more importantly, aren't left with a massive stock you can't sell because they're either flawed and need parts replacing, or nobody wants them.

Both of these scenarios have hit MS in the past - RRoD, Surface RT...

6
0

Happy 50th birthday, Compact Cassette: How it struck a chord for millions

Richard 12
Silver badge

*Ahem*

Windows and Linux recording software can use the live audio output of the PC as the recording source, no cables required. Still digital all the way as it's a function of the audio CODEC chipset.

Macs probably do the same but I don't have one.

(Yes, I am saying that all DRM ever applied to music is completely and utterly incapable of doing what it's designed to. When Bob, Eve and Mallory are the same entity, what does one expect?)

0
0

Microsoft cans three 'pinnacle' certifications, sparking user fury

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Certification devalued

I'd agree if it was the bottom end they were scrapping.

However, that bottom end of "You turned up, have a cert." is staying.

It's the top end that's being killed - the ones who are few in number and peer-reviewed, so they have to be convincing (if not actually good) enough for their competitors to acknowledge that they should be in the club.

1
0

Hey, Bill Gates! We've found 14 IT HOTSHOTS to be the next Steve Ballmer

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Money men

If they get one of those financial-manipulators, MS will have ceased to be within a decade.

They have a pretty big cash pile, but without compelling product they'll burn it very quickly.

That's been Ballmers problem - he's burnt a few billion in the last few years, and you simply can't keep doing that.

2
0

Happy birthday MIDI 1.0: Getting pop stars wired for 30 years

Richard 12
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: One really cool feature...

The ANSI E1.11 - DMX512A standard requires the receiving circuit to be electrically isolated, and has done since 1990. IIRC, only the original 1986 version of the standard didn't require it, but did recommend it.

See sections 4.6, 5.7 and Figure 3. (There may be an RF bypass capacitor to Chassis, but nothing else.)

There is some very old (pre-1990) reputable kit without it, but nothing reputable designed since 1990.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of cheapskate pieces of **** which use an explicitly disallowed receiver circuit which breaks that isolation, either to save ~5p on 5V-ISO and opto or because they have never actually read any of the standard. I'm guessing the latter, as there's been a lot of inaccurate or outright wrong info on the Internet over the years. (Including some app notes with firmware (PIC) that get it wrong.)

This kind of equipment can usually be identified by the 3-pin XLR connector labelled "DMX", which is also specifically prohibited by the standard.

The standard is currently available for free from PLASA Technical Standards Program.

The reason MIDI uses current loop and DMX512A doesn't is that MIDI is a point-to-point (daisychaining is not recommended, but works for very short runs), while DMX512A is 31-receiver multidrop over very long (500m) runs where the devices could be a long distance from each other.

Current loop doesn't work for a long multidrop run as the resistance of the cable means the current vanishes into the first couple of receivers.

0
0

Top 10 Steve Ballmer quotes: '%#&@!!' and so much more

Richard 12
Silver badge

Developers Developers...

That was and is true.

Making Windows easy to develop for is what made Windows in the first place. Without that it'd be a mere footnote in history.

Failing to do that is part of what killed Windows Mobile (the other being it was awful) and what's killing Windows 8, damaging 8.1 before launch and is the main reason Windows Phone 7 tanked utterly and why Windows Phone 8 is not doing well.

A lack of applications will always damage a consumer computing platform, a lack of support for developers kills it stone dead.

In the last few years MS has been pissing off developers by doing practically everything wrong.

The new guy had better dance!

13
2

Delta Air Lines makes mass Windows Phone 8, Lumia 820 buy

Richard 12
Silver badge

No, it'll be about 2000 devices at most.

If they were even considering providing them to a significant number of aircrew as a company phone, that would have been the headline, not "in-flight purchases".

The phones will be provided per-aircraft, there will be at least two per aircraft but likely no more than four even on the biggest jets.

One main and one spare on the small aircraft, and two per aisle at most on the big ones.

Plus a few spares on the ground at hub airports.

They'll want the spares because if none of the device on a given flight are working they can't sell anything.

How many tills does a plane need?

3
0

Marissa Mayer causes controversy after KEEPING HER KIT ON

Richard 12
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: Awkward

The legs don't match with either the torso or the lounger.

That's why it's firmly in Uncanny Valley.

0
0

Guardian lets UK spooks trash 'Snowden files' PCs to make them feel better

Richard 12
Silver badge
FAIL

Your grandfather would definitely have been against it, don't you worry.

If nothing else, it's a bloody stupid thing to do.

Radio interception worked because neither end knew whether GCHQ was listening in - they might suspect, but they did not know.

Marching in at all defeats the point.

0
0
Richard 12
Silver badge
Angel

Re: DeMockRacy

Vote Monster Raving Loony!

It's the only way to get a sane Government.

2
0
Richard 12
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Tantrum

It sounds absolutely ridiculous - and that's why I believe it's true.

You wouldn't try making this up, you'd invent something much less preposterous.

3
0

Green German gov battles to keep fossil powerplants running

Richard 12
Silver badge
FAIL

Enough empty myths already

Long term disposal was solved decades ago.

The problem is the "green" activists who refuse point blank to allow the disposal sites to be built, even though the local population want them.

- ref. Sellafield/Windscale.

Nuclear has little to no subsidy - though it is hard to calculate, it's pretty much zero for new plant. (Old plant was subsidised by the military for obvious reasons).

Wind has a massive subsidy and solar has an IMMENSE subsidy - yet both of those added together made up only 14.5% of German electricity during the first half of 2012.*

In 2011, nuclear was 23%. Even after the eight plants were shut down it was still more than wind & solar put together.

* Electricity - Renewable Energies in the first half of 2012

2
0
Richard 12
Silver badge
WTF?

Re: The answer is obvious...

Nope, this should be a solved problem, but the Greenies refuse point blank to allow anything other than their current mania. Right now they only want Wind and Solar - everything else is the work of the Devil and Cannot Be Permitted.

The problem is the idiot greenies and BANANAs* who simply aren't interested in solutions, and are intent on shouting down every single attempt at actual solutions because they don't precisely match their fatally flawed preconceptions - flawed because none of them have any idea what "national scale" actually means.

They simply aren't interested in a reasoned discussion of "Here is the problem, what solutions can we afford, how can we move towards the final goal without bankruptcy and death?", they are simply Against. Against what? Well, everything.

The problem of Low-Emissions electricity supply in Europe is relatively easy to solve, if we actually wished to do so. It looks very much like our current mix, just replacing the coal with nuclear. Simples.

Or at least it would be if we'd started building them a few years ago. Now, we're simply utterly screwed.

* Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything

Oh yes, Solar-Electric has no place at all in northern Europe. The Sun doth not shine enough here.

7
0

Google goes dark for 2 minutes, kills 40% of world's net traffic

Richard 12
Silver badge

Nah, Outlooks down most days

Falls over more often than a drunkard in high heels on a Saturday night.

1
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

Isn't this only the second time Google has gone down?

I mean ever.

But I can well believe the 40% of traffic - Youtube alone is probably most of that.

On top of that, a lot of applications poke Google.com to determine if they've got Internet access or not - because they are quite simply the world-wide server farm that's least likely to have gone offline.

Along with every other commentard, I would really, really like to know what happened - and how they fixed it so fast. Most of the other "cloudy" services don't appear to have even realised they're down in the time it took Google to bring it back up.

1
0

Fear the JOBZILLA! 150ft STATUE of Steve planned 'lest fanbois forget'

Richard 12
Silver badge

What's so special about him?

While Gates might deserve a statue for his charity work, should he for his computing work?

Does Ballmer?

Jobs was just a marketing CEO. A good one, but that's it.

This is the product of a crazy fandom, frankly I find it creepy.

Also, $50k doesn't get you a public statue. It gets you a custom mannequin, only suitable for protected indoor display.

A public statue has to survive the weather - and the traffic cone on its head!

14
0

NSA coughs to 1000s of unlawful acts of snooping on US soil since 2008

Richard 12
Silver badge
Coat

Re: mea culpa

We have the Monster Raving Loony Party!

Sanest guys in politics.

3
0

OWN GOAL! 100s of websites blocked after UK Premier League drops ball

Richard 12
Silver badge
Boffin

The judge can only decide based upon the evidence laid before the Court and the relevant law. They're not allowed to use other information.

An entity placing evidence before the Court that it knows or could be reasonably expected to know to be false or is deliberately misleading is committing an offence.

So they should certainly be tried for it, because they specifically said that there wouldn't be collateral damage. Thus they either lied or are simply idiots.

It would be interesting to see a case where the only defence is "We're complete and total idiots and you should never listen to anything we say ever again."

1
0

'Database failure ate my data' – Salesforce customer

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: You certainly don't mean an "uptime of *30* years"

Not necessarily.

A good design allows bits of the server(s) to be removed for inspection, repair and upgrade while the service is running, without ever taking the service as a whole down.

Eg dual-or-more PSUs, pull one, check it over, replace, pull other etc. Same with critical software components.

Mainframes are designed so you can do that, and you can do it with commodity-hardware as well.

Costs a lot though.

- And why would you even have a clock battery anyway? That's for keeping the clock going when the machine is off, and it never turns off!

3
0

Peak Apple? HOGWASH! Apple is 'extremely undervalued,' says Icahn

Richard 12
Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Reality distortion fields take a while to collapse

To be more specific, Cook didn't make any real decisions in the first few months after Jobs died because the forward planning was already there, he just needed to carry it out.

That's why so many new CEOs start with a massive restructuring - it's to stamp their predecessor into the mud and get people to think any success is purely down to them and not the predecessor. And any failure must be their predecessor's fault, of course!

Now that most of Jobs' plans have already been done or deemed irrelevant in the current market, Cook is on his own.

Apple have a huge cash pile but not really much else - rather like Microsoft under Ballmer. That much cash goes a long way, down the drain or otherwise.

They're also very behind on technology and are fighting several ridiculous legal battles.

0
0

Philips' smart lights left in the dark by dumb security

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Frankly I'm surprised it had any security at all

In this case it's that gateway that was cracked.

0
0

Chrome, Firefox blab your passwords in a just few clicks: Shrug, wary or kill?

Richard 12
Silver badge

RTFP

"As secure as the OS"

No more, no less.

If you are an admin or get root over a computer then you can do whatever you like and nothing whatsoever is going to stop you.

That's what the word "Administrator" means.

0
0
Richard 12
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: Firefox already does what he asked

If they've got to my desktop then they can copy the browser's keystore and upload it somewhere to crack at leisure - how do you propose stopping that?

I lock my desktop when I leave it. Very simple solution, and as secure as the OS.

That said, how big is the set of people who may attempt or gain physical access to steal data?

A corporate machine may be worth an attacker trying for physical access due to the nature of the sensitive data, a personal one probably isn't.

I don't use my corporate machine for personal stuff, and I trust that our IT dept have put in place reasonable protections given the value the company places on the data I have.

At home, the only miscreant who might want my PC is going to smash it or sell it. He's not going to go after the data quick enough for any saved passwords to be worth anything.

1
1
Richard 12
Silver badge

Firefox already does what he asked

Optionally, anyway. I don't use the master password though, because if someone has got to my desktop it's too late anyway.

To be honest, I think this is a good feature.

Lots of people have more than one device now, and damn near every website wants a username and password just to look at the weather or other stupid things that shouldn't even have a login, let alone credentials.

A simple way to find out what you used so you can type it into A N Other device is necessary.

All the major browsers ask before saving login credentials as well, with the warning "don't do this on a shared computer"

So I'm with Google here.

18
9

Despite Microsoft Surface RT debacle, second-gen model in the works

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Outlook filters? Hah!

So where are these "search folders"?

I haven't found any indication of them in the years I've been using Outlook, so they must be very well hidden.

If they really are like Gmail labels (an item can be un/assigned to one or many both manually and automatically) and show up like that on my mobile device, then I'd love to use them.

If they're anything like Outlook's abysmal search function, I don't think I will!

Outlook's real killer feature is the shared and status-only-shared calendars. Unfortunately for Microsoft, those are also the thing most easily copied into cloud services.

These days a lot of my friends organise their private lives using Google's online calendar.

0
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

Outlook filters? Hah!

Outlook's mail filters and rules are hideous, though did get slightly better with recent versions because "and stop" is finally turned on by default when making new rules.

- I still can't figure out why my rules behave differently from what the order and content seems to say, and there is no way to test a rule other than to run it, then you can't revert it to try again...

Gmail does it much better - if only because it shows you example emails that will get picked up by the filter.

Editing rules is horrible on them both because their interfaces are really poor once you have more than 10 or so, but at least gmail helps you more when making them.

Plus the whole concept of email "folders" is flawed. Many emails fit in many folders - which one do I put it in? Labels make far more sense because it can go in all appropriate labels.

7
3

End of an era as Firefox bins 'blink' tag

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: "Enable JavaScript" preference checkbox has been removed

Blimey!

Alex Limi is a frightening UX designer. His entire approach seems to be "This setting might confuse, therefore it must be removed and set to the value Alex Limi wants. All our users are idiots and cannot ever learn anything."

He's not even considering the approach of "Let's explain it better, and if it does break something, immediately show the user where to go to fix it. Maybe even give them a button right there".

Teach the user. Explain things. The approach "Don't worry your pretty little head about it" is what Apple are good at. Nobody else should try because one of the reasons for not going Apple is to avoid that approach.

He's ignoring where Firefox got its users. Most are semi-technical, the majority chose it because of the customisability. Why should I download and run an add-on simply to turn something on or off when there used to be a perfectly good UX tickybox that did it? Maybe I got the browser entirely because of the tickybox you want to take away?

Every single example he gave has very good reasons for existing, and burying them in about:config simply turns the setting from "easily visible but perhaps not explained well" to "invisible, and completely unexplained"

2
0

Brit Skylon spaceplane moves closer to lift-off

Richard 12
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: I forsee a teensy problemette...

So it does, I'd got that confused with the Mach 5.5 bit.

That makes the re-use of the transfer tug considerably easier as it could be retrieved in the same mission, assuming the Skylon can stay on-orbit for long enough.

They intend to use the aeroshell itself as the heatshield, coupled with refrigeration using the last bit of cryogenic hydrogen.

1
0
Richard 12
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Frisbee time

I disagree.

The engines become the heaviest part of the craft very quickly after launch, and by the time it's coming in for landing the fuselage is an empty tube.

Unless the engines are in the middle it's going to be ungodly unstable, likely impossible to control once back in atmosphere.

I'll take "screwed if engine flames out" over "screwed on every approach"

Also, if an engine flames out it may still be possible to safely abort and rescue the craft and payload, if it's going fast enough.

2
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: I forsee a teensy problemette...

Not necessarily.

The Skylon would be suborbital, dropping off the transfer craft and then descending back to Earth of its own accord.

The transfer craft then burns to put the sat into the proper orbit.

To recover the transfer craft, wait until the next Skylon launch and play swopsies - transfer B is launched, and transfer A is recovered around apogee.

The delta-v needed for that isn't too bad - though the timing is well beyond my meagre Kerbal Space Program abilities!

1
1

Curiosity sings 'Happy Birthday' to itself on Martian anniversary

Richard 12
Silver badge

Nobody has played them yet though.

I wonder if anybody ever will?

0
0

Ye Bug List

Richard 12
Silver badge

Addendum: I cannot log in either.

The new squared-off "one-line text entry" box doesn't work at all under the Safari on iPhone 4S.

Please fix ASAP, or just put normal boxes back and stop messing with it?

0
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

The m.forums (mobile) version recently broke for iOS 6.1.3 on iPhone. (It's a work phone so I get what I'm given.)

I can no longer type anything into the post title text at all.

I still see the box itself, but can't get a cursor in there. Which is odd.

Also the "Enter your comment" bit is in a huge box, which looks really silly next to the tiny text box for post title.

The normal site works ok on iOS.

- I've also found the Office 365 advert to be evil, it pops open extremely easily and once open, it covers part of the text entry field, including the Preview button and won't go away without changing page. Can you get them to fix the "close" button on the ad?

0
0

They don't recognise us as HUMAN: Disability groups want CAPTCHAs killed

Richard 12
Silver badge
Joke

What colour?

Is it Mauve? Puce?

Which puce? French, English, American or Pantone?

I reckon it's Surprise Peach! (The surprise is that it's not a peach)

1
1

Barbie paints Red Planet pink with NASA-approved Mars Explorer doll

Richard 12
Silver badge

She can't look down, either.

There's a reason for bubble helmets, and there's a reason they bubble at shoulder height...

- It also really emphasises her misproportioned neck.

0
0

Upstart's 'FLASH KILLER' chips pack a terabyte per tiny layer

Richard 12
Silver badge
Boffin

Yes, how much does it cost?

That's what I want to know!

There are already several NVRAM technologies on the market that I could buy off-the-shelf right now, but the prices of everything other than MLC-NAND Flash are just way too high for anything other than specialist, high-value products. Military and aerospace, basically.

1
0

Beam me up? Not in the life of this universe

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Heisenburg

You can't know, but entanglement implies you can copy without actually knowing.

3
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Compression

Loss-less compression would do well on the data set, as almost all the molecules are identical copies of a small number of individual types but in different positions.

This work gives you some idea of the compression ratio you'd actually need to do it in a "reasonable" time. 1:10^15 would do the transfer in 4.85 years.

Or:

1 : 1,000,000,000,000,000

That's a rather high compression ratio. You can go first.

18
0