1804 posts • joined Thursday 18th June 2009 09:56 GMT
Re: Assange feeling icky?
He can have nice, free, treatment at the nearest NHS hospital with no problem at all. Admittedly he'll then be transferred to a comfy prison hospital soon afterwards...
I'm surprised being in there's made him ill though. It's not that small a flat, and it's not hard to have a decent diet. He's got exercise machines and a sun lamp. I wonder if the pressure and stress is getting to him. Alternatively it could simply be a ploy, to pressurise the UK government into granting him permission to bugger off to Ecuador. Or at least try to make us look like the bad guys for 'persecuting' him. I don't see that working though. I don't think there's any legal mechanism that would allow the government to do that, short of Sweden dropping their European Arrest Warrant.
Re: Move the badges
I'm glad you're moving this, I've clicked it by mistake a couple of times.
I also agree with the suggestions that other have made, to move the badge before the username, so it doesn't end up floating way out in the middle of the page for those with really long user names.
Re: Jumpers for Goalposts
I've though of a use for the purple badge suggested earlier in the thread. It should be a badge dedicated to those who post big, long, enormous, fucking huge posts. The Purple Prose Badge. As a warning to other users to watch out for eyeball bleed.
Admittedly I plead very guilty of this offence. But when it comes to walls of text, I bow towards your superior waffling skills...
It's not like you can vote more than once without sockpuppetry involved.
I believe the votes aren't linked to your login, but a cookie. So you can vote on as many machines as you have access to. Perhaps someone should hire a botnet and see if they can give some unsuspecting commentard 100,000 upvotes. Or downvotes...
According to an article, link to PC Pro, Win Phone is up to nearly 5% of UK smartphone sales and 10% in Italy. Still nothing special, but it is growing - and percentage market share gains in a growing market are even nicer of course. Looks like poor RIM are taking the hammering from everyone.
Whether it's enough to be a significant player is another matter, and how many of those sales are at zero (or wore) margin is also not shown. But it's way too early to declare MS dead in this market. Things can easily change, I don't think the market has stabilised yet, we've had at least 5 market leading OSes in the last decade - most of which are now dead.
I really like Windows Phone 7, I assume 8 will be better. But it's no less locked down than iPhone (with fewer available apps), and it tracks you at least as much as iOS (assuming Android is the worst which may not be fair). The disconcerting thing is that it ask permission for its tracking, so you have to agree to it quite a few times, whereas Google only sometimes do, and iOS almost not at all.
I rather like it, because the people hub makes it a great phone for work, and I tend to use apps on my iPad rather than my phone anyway.
Ah yes Bob, your old favourite article of the trick where Google gamed the system to wrongly associate some terms on someone else's search engine. I presume, if Google have a feature in Chrome where it can report back your search results 'to improve your experience' then the same trick could be done the other way. Unless Chrome won't allow other search engines.
Personally I prefer Firefox, due to inertia really. Chrome, FF and IE all seem to be about equally good nowadays. Anyway, I can't be bothered to check.
Anyway, yawn. There are plenty of things MS have done to be genuinely annoyed about. Surely you must be able to think of some that are actually relevant...
How come you haven't got a badge by the way? You must have put in 100 posts in the last year, surely?
Re: Microsoft with knife in hand
Once they became nothing but low margin manufacturers who weren't allowed to innovate it isn't much surprise they lost the will to do so. Why innovate a product that will make Microsoft a lot more money than you.
Dell innovated, back in the day. Not on the software side, but on the ordering, supply chain, manufacturing and service side. There was a time when a Dell PC cost £50-£100 more, but you got rock-solid service and support. Dell made nicer margins, and with that and their easy customisation/ordering they got to be top dog for a while. Then they cut back on support, but kept the margins, then they lost sales and their reputation.
None of that is MS fault. Admittedly the anti-competitive stuff is. But I'm not sure that makes MS a bad partner. They may have made you dance to their tune, but like Intel, they paid 'marketing support' for it. I'm not making MS out to be a saint, they're not. But I don't think they've screwed Nokia yet (they may do in future, who knows?), and I don't think they're particularly screwing over the OEMs. There's margin to be made by offering extra stuff, if you have the imagination to try it. And since the anti-trust settlement vendors can ship with Linux, without Windows tax, and don't make massive cash from doing so. It's made little difference. The OEMs are probably worse off without the kickbacks from MS and Intel, with no greater margins, and no slush-money to keep the shareholders happy.
Re: No sign of an "ignore" option here.
It's a sort of grey, angry, face between their name and their badge. I guess they're going to test it slowly. As you say, I can just skip any post/user I don't want to read. I'm surprised they didn't give it to all badge-holders though. More testers that way.
The other problem with ignore lists is that you can reply to someone that can't see what you're saying. I guess that stops things getting nasty. Except the kind of people without the self-control to avoid slagging-matches won't be able to leave the users that wind them up on ignore. When I was a forum Mod on a biggish site some users you were banning would ask to have an ignore button used for them. They tended to be the after pub posters. Drunken arguers and ranters...
Sometimes the downvotes are interesting. Particularly when someone takes the trouble to waste 15 minutes of their life downvoting your posts one after the other. That's downright fascinating. One hopes, this being an IT site, that they've written a script to do it...
On the other hand votes can counteract the echo-chamber that many internet forums become. For example: It's still kool to hate Micro$oft, apparently. However even if 90% of the comments on a thread are on that theme, a comment that's a bit more balanced will often find more upvotes than downvotes - even thought the composition of the thread would indicate to the contrary. I guess that means there really is a silent majority. Many people just don't enjoy an argument, which is fair enough.
Plus, I'm always willing to upvote a good pun. Or even a bad one.
I remember talking to a manager, turned to say hello to one of her staff walking past, and carried on the conversation. A look of disgust and shock came over her face, and I thought, 'I'm not that drunk, I've not said anything stupid - I hope'. Turns out, our mutual friend had said hello to me, but that had been too much for him, opening his mouth had lost his control, he stepped behind her (out of my sight), stooped down and was sick all down the back of her legs. Soggy, sick-y tights. Yummy!
I found him about an hour later sitting on the toilet with the stall door open, being sick all over the floor.
On that day I made a vow to myself that I'd always be more sober than the least drunk manager at the party. A promise that was severely tested when I went to our best client's wedding, a seriously knotty problem of etiquette. But I think I got away with...
Hmmm. Interesting. Now my post shows the badge. But just after I hit post, and it went back to the forum, I could see your badge, but not mine. However when I linked back here from the list of my posts, it was there. So I guess it just doesn't update when you first hit post.
I can see badges on all posts, including my own. Except when I hit reply, at which point I've just got your post and the comment box. Now your badge has disappeared, and only the 'ignore user' button is still visible.
Re: Microsoft with knife in hand
@"I ain't Spartacus" you know nothing if you think Microsoft have not used their trojan horse, Elop, to destroy Nokia in order to pick the corpse of its patents, whilst removing a competitor.
I don't buy into conspiracy theories without some actual evidence. Nokia have a board of directors, who appointed Elop. Presumably they asked him what his plans were going to be? If not, he presumably asked them if they were happy before going public? HP's board sacked Apotheker for saying that he was going to destroy their PC business. That option was open to Nokia's board. They didn't take it, they aren't Microsoft appointees - so at this point your conspiracy theory falls apart. Unless you believe Microsoft have invented the mind control ray. In which case how come they've failed to use it on the people who hate Windows 8...
Symbian was thriving and growing until Elop killed it with his suicidal "Burning Platform" memo. It's a myth that Nokia were doing badly, they were doing pretty well, far better than Microsoft ever did in mobile.
Microsoft did pretty bloody well in mobile back in the day. They did the same as Apple, going from nothing to around half of smartphone sales in just a few years. If they hadn't sat on their laurels and stopped improving Windows Mobile they might have still been a main contender. Rather like Nokia with Symbian.
It's too much to go into here, but I saw a piece by an analyst who was a fan of Symbian (and not of Elop) and even his figures made Symbian look bad. Sure it was growing in sales terms, as its share of the fast growing smartphone market dropped - admittedly very slowly. But, whilst Symbian sales were growing, profits per handset were dropping. And they weren't that good to start with. They were only making a few euros profit per handset. Samsung and Apple make huge margins on their high-end phones. If you sell 50 million handsets at €10 profit each your business is much riskier than someone selling 5 million at €100 profit.
It may be that Nokia were actually selling a few, high margin, top-end phones, and then a ton of Symbian 'feature phones' at break-even.
Nokia's other problem has been that Chinese dumbphone manufacturers have finally managed to to beat Nokia on price - something Nokia had managed to avoid for years by brilliant manufacturing and supply chain management - even though their labour costs were much higher. Given this, it was sensible to assume that the €100-€200 feature-phone/cheap smartphone market might be about to go the same way. At which point manufacturing 50 million loss-making handsets becomes a horrible liability.
they [Nokia] are a humiliated hardware arm of Microsoft's Win 8 division. If you do not think Microsoft did that, you are weird in what you think, like most Microsoft apologists here.
No, not weird in what I think. I've just thought about it with as little prejudice as I can manage. If new evidence turns up to show MS have executed a brilliant 'Manchurian Candidate' strategy, I'll change my mind. Given how un-brilliant their current management appear to be, I'll stick to the cock-up (rather than conspiracy) theory. Particularly given how piss-poor Nokia's management have shown themselves to be over the last decade. Yes, they've had some great technology. But they've failed to even bring most of it to market, let alone make profits from it.
Whether Elop was right is impossible to say. But the idea that he took a successful company and ruined it is ridiculous. Nokia had been under-performing for years, and the market was finally catching up on their lead in all areas. Something had to change. Given they had nothing 'market ready' to show for all their huge R&D spending, it was either Android or Win Pho. Neither very attractive choices, but that's all they had left.
As for Surface, who knows? MS OEM partners don't seem to be able to innovate their way out of a wet paper bag, so MS need to either prod them or replace them. You might even argue they've stabbed Microsoft in the back, by their continual failure. If they can't keep MS happy, they'll deserve it if MS can outcompete them. They can't say they've not been warned. If it does happen, they can't claim that MS stabbed them in the back. And a knife in the chest is perfectly fair play, this is business...
Just tested it. When I ignore someone, their posts disappear, so I don't even know there's a post there I'm not seeing. I'm not sure I'd do it that way, although to be honest it's not really a feature I'll use. For the purposes of following the conversation, it might be useful to see that there's a post hidden from you.
Also you have an ignore list, so I can manage it. But there's no link to it. Or at least I didn't spot it... The only way seems to be to ignore someone new, then get to the list from that page, without confirming to ignore the new person.
This is a feature that I know lots of people will be glad of. Even if there are commentards who annoy me, I'm too nosy to deny myself the ability to see what they're saying.
Since my badge appeared, someone seems to have downvoted the first half page of my posts. Heaven knows why they bothered...
Are they embittered because my badge is better than theirs? Or have El Reg turned me into a trolling monster, by giving me a golden vulture?
Yippee! Just got to edit a typo.
Re: Microsoft with knife in hand
Microsoft has been nasty to various competitors and 'allies' over the years. Although I find it hard to feel any sympathy at all for IBM - who managed to be a nasty monopolist for a lot longer than MS ever were...
But you're being unfair on the modern MS. I've not seen any evidence that they've done anything to knife Nokia. They may not be developing WinPhone as fast as Nokia would like, but they're not gaining from dragging their feet - and improving no slower than Android or iOS did. Nokia are in the shit because of consistent piss-poor management over the last 5-10 years. They've had some great innovation, and failed to bring most of it to market. They couldn't even organise themselves to improve the Symbian UX for years.
As for Surface, they've not really priced it to kill their OEMs. They've not gone into either phone or PC manufacturing yet, nor announced same. So it's not so much a stab-wound as a small pinprick.
They're a big corporation. They're not nice, or fluffy. Neither are Google, IBM, Apple or any of the others. It's not their job to be. The idea that you can be safer in a relationship with Google is laughable.
Re: Jumpers for Goalposts
If an infinite number of monkeys with an infinite number of typewriters can compose the works of Shakespeare - how many monkeys does it take to replace just one Register writer?
More worryingly, how many monkeys are required to replace your average commentard? This could be a new El Reg unit of measurement - for both writing and perhaps software writing quality. So we might say that Windows 7 would require several trillions of monkeys to achieve it by random chance, whereas Windows ME could have been written (probably better) by one monkey, in an afternoon. Probably when it wasn't feeling well, due to some dodgy bananas it had the night before...
Re: Great - a Bore's Charter
Isn't that what the upvote requirement is for? Admittedly you'll be able to farm more of those if you just keep on posting, assuming you can avoid being an arse and getting the opposite effect, but 2,000 upvotes is still an awful lot.
Re: Quite simple
It's not nepotism. I've just got the negatives of Lester, Drewc, Lewis, the ass, the whipped cream, the stepladder and the mashed potato. They claimed they were just cooking up a post pub deathmatch - but I'm still getting the regular monthly payments.
Re: Badges for Commentards
Thank you, my kind Overlord, for the lovely badge. Just one problem... Where is it?
I notice you've awarded yourself one. That's favouritism that is! [sulks]. Then again, it's just as well, as you've only got your Reg staffer Vulture badge on some of your posts.
I feel all warm and special now. Like some people I've never met on the internet weally wub me werry much.
Re: Where can I check my upvotes?
Should be at the top right of your screen, under Forums. You'll have a bit of blurb saying Welcome, John Smith. (Not you? Log in here)
Under that you've got a few links. Click on My Posts and you get a list of all your posts, sorted by topic, with your votes at the top. I have to confess I'm now tempted to find out whether downvotes cancel out upvotes by hitting that tempting thumbs down button, but that would be naughty...
Re: New vices and old habits
Well Mars has got lots of desert, and not much water freely available. I suggest they produce melange (spice).
What could possibly go wrong?
Re: I would laugh if
It's pretty much bound to happen. Just so long as they can be civilised about it, and not waste gargantuan quantities of delicious tea in the process, I don't mind.
"but its good to see a billionaire doing something interesting with his money rather than just get a yacht."
Perhaps you give him too much credit. Maybe all he's doing is laying plans to build a giant space yacht...
With a name like his, he's clearly going to go mad at some point, and build an underground volcano base, or space station, and fill it with henchmen (and henchwomen). But fortunately they always build them with a convenient self-destruct system. Which makes thwarting them a lot easier.
So how do you get a moon shaped like a ghost?
Clearly NASA's next mission needs to drop some cherries into orbit.
Is this a terraforming attempt?
Elon is going to send only vegetarians, so he can get lots of methane to start global warming on Mars, and get it nicely terraformed. As a bonus, they can also help refuel his rocket.
I guess it's viable, so long as you can grow enough brussels sprouts, cabbage and beans in Martian conditions.
I disagree with you on the memory bit. Most users don't even get through 8GB. Therefore it's much better to have a cheaper phone with either an SD card slot (so you can upgrade if you need it), or reasonably priced models with more. Extra models cause extra production costs, so as long as the OS doesn't go wrong if you have many files on your card, then that's fine. I've not used Win Pho with an SD card, so I've no idea if this creates the problems it sometimes does with Android.
Did you hear that Apple? I said reasonably priced memory upgrades! I don't believe the extra flash chips in my iPad are made out of unicorns' toenail clippings - so stop taking the piss on price.
If I remember rightly IBM came up with Aptiva (and later Ambra) as sub brands that would sell to consumers, without cannibalising their much more expensive corporate PC market. So it's possibly that there was no OS/2 support due to it being a different division, accident, incompetence - or even deliberate decision, so you'd have to buy the most expensive IBM PCs to get it.
My first PC was an Ambra, because it was very cheap. That's the last time I bought a PC by simply going through the pages of PCW and ripping out all the adverts that looked to be a decent buy. Took ages, buy going online wasn't an option. That was in the days when PCW was a 600 page behemoth, with only about 100 of those being editorial. Many many adverts, some with things stuck to them, so the magazine would fall open on their page and others with fold out pages (for the same reason). Some cheapskates trying to stick whole catalogues in about 2 pages of 6 pt type, in black on blue. Ugh!
Re: Buy a decent PSU, and have a suitable (NOT WATER) fire extinguisher handy!
Powder extinguishers need regular maintenance, or they refuse the work. The powder gets compacted, and won't come out when you press the button. I'm not sure whether this maintenance is simply turning them upside down for a bit though. There's also a bit of a knack to making powder work, which you're probably not going to get with your first go, and only a small extinguisher.
CO2 has it's uses in the home, but there are plenty of places you wouldn't want to use it in the kitchen. Unless you fancy a face full of burning fat.
Apart from the obvious point mentioned above, that you're advocating buying cheap, crap safety equipment from discount stores - you're often more of a risk to yourself than to the fire when it comes to first-aid firefighting. I'd suggest that the best thing to have in the home is a fire blanket. Anything you can't easily put out with that, or just turning the power off, or sometimes a bucket of water, is probably dangerous enough that your best bet is to run away and call the fire brigade.
Re: No-brand power supply
Thanks for the tip. I shall upgrade my production line immediately, by the introduction of small water tanks to my PSUs to add weight and fool expert PC builders. What could possibly go wrong...
El Cheapo PSUs: Power To You (possibly directly if the guy doing earthing was hung over that day).
[small print: We absolutely guarantee that our PSUs won't kill you. We will pay £1million to any person who has been killed by any of our
shoddyfine products. The victim simply needs to apply in person to our head office, to receive their pay-out]
Re: Speaking of fun bags
"It's friday. Enjoy."
That's a funny name for a girl...
Re: Erroneous zones
Noses are red,
Violets are blue.
My nose is naked,
And proud of it too!
Re: "Autonomy was audited by Deloitte every quarter...
The accountants didn't do anything wrong on the Facebook IPO. Audit has a very limited purpose, and if you don't understand what that is, you can get yourself into a lot of trouble. All an audit is supposed to do is broadly confirm that the published balance sheet is accurate. The Facebook IPO problem wasn't due to the balance sheet, just that some people hoped for short-term trading profits and others dreamed that Facebook would grow its profits insanely, and now worry that it'll only grow them massively. If it turns out they can only manage some growth, the share price will probably drop a bit more...
Always a bit worrying when your 'food' requires barcodes to identify it. Presumably on the grounds that otherwise you'd be loading it onto the old Progress capsules for waste dumps.
It's even worse than what turns up in front of you when you order a meat curry.
NASA haven't forgotten it. They're going to bring the 2 together for an interplanetary episode of Robot Wars.
My money's on the one with the laser beams.
Re: Google T's and C's
As a brewery owning astronaut, with three 21 year-old wives, I find your son's lack of truthfulness appalling.
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn
Oh sorry, did you mean someone else...