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* Posts by Jim 59

1155 posts • joined 24 Jun 2009

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Misco Shared Services Centre drone brands customer 'insane'

Jim 59
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Offshoring

This is what happens when you offshore. You get what you pay for. Bit harsh to highlight Misco's cockup in a national magazine though.

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Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS

Jim 59
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Twitter

A bit of silent running on Twitter might not come to badly for El Reg, considering some of the headbanging tweets published in their name.

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Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray

Jim 59
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Re: Not Engineering

"...that subset of people, who know a particular recording well on their own system, will likely be able to discern a difference between a properly mastered 24 bit recording (not just taking a 16bit recording and resampling it at 24bit, that would be pointless) and a properly mastered 16 bit recording, all other things being equal, of a recording they already know well. They do sound different and the ear is surprisingly capable of discerning even tiny differences in the right circumstances. I"

Hi AC the myth of people with "golden ears" has log been used to sell preposterous "hifi" equipment. (I am not talking about those with good pitch or equalization / mixing talent). Some have claimed to hear the effect of tying a knot in the speaker cable. The well known effect of "experimenter expectancy" surely operates. The difference is there, but in perception only, it is a psychological effect. Which is why the claims never survive a blind test.

I don't object to that really, I just don't like seeing people being expensively duped, particularly people who are artistic, sensitive, knowledgeable and committed to music, high culture and black jumpers and (dare i say it) not too technical. And I like it even less when the chicanery tries to pass itself off as Engineering. It isn't.

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Jim 59
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Re: Not Engineering

Hi Betacam you might "hear" a difference when you know which source is making the sound. Double blind you would not.

http://douglas-self.com/ampins/pseudo/subjectv.htm

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Jim 59
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Not Engineering

16 bit CD is virtually faultless within the ability of the human ear. Certainly 24 will not correct anything audible. It is not engineering but a gimmick to snare the wealthy and gullible, as if they haven't been milked enough already by 35 years of nonsense in the high end domestic "audiophile" market.

Just buying bigger speakers would improve most people's experience. However that isn't something people want to do, especially as house sizes have decreased over the years.

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Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend dies at 68

Jim 59
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Adrian Mole

Being a couple of years older than Moley, I enjoyed the original diary, as well as finding it slightly embarrassing. Adrian's problems are pretty ageless and have been encountered by 14 year old boys probably since the stone age. Very funny. Vaguely remember him raging against somebody called the "stick insect", think it was his dad's girlfriend.

Townsend was not a trained writer. Born in Leicester in 1946, Townsend had lived what most of us would consider a “conventional life” before she had hit 25: she left school at 15, was married aged 18 and had divorced and was living as a single parent with three children at the age of 23

Getting married at 18 and being a single parent by 23 were certainly not conventional events in the 1964/69, although they are fairly common in 2014.

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Spy-happy Condoleezza Rice joins Dropbox board as privacy adviser

Jim 59
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Dropbox Privacy Advisor ?

It's the Dropbox users who need the advice, not Dropbox.

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Anatomy of OpenSSL's Heartbleed: Just four bytes trigger horror bug

Jim 59
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Re: I didn't ask for no heartbeat...

Conservatism is right. A Debian server of mine is safe from Hearbleed, purely because it is still on Debian 6. I haven't upgrades to 7 yet, even though support runs out in a month or so.

For secure systems, a balance is needed so that the system does not become too out-of-date, but not too up-to-date either. These low level libraries contain some of the most important code in the world, it seems, and they have perhaps got the balance a bit wrong this time.

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Jim 59
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Re: OpenSSL is open source, most financial institutions don't use open source encryption.

GaryDMN is not totaly wrong. A bank who was a client of mine used SSH products from a well known software company. Those products are not affected by the current vulnerability because they rely on a combination of Openssl 0.9 and the company's own authored TLS libraries.

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Jim 59
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Re: I don't get it..

Hi Tombo software will never be totally secure, any more than code will ever be perfect. I think open and closed source are both good, but your citing of 2 bugs in 25 years is hardly an impressive argument against FOSS.

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Jim 59
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Re: I don't get it..

Modern kernels tend to leave memory unzerod even when after it is "freed", often for virtual memory / performance reasons. Even though the memory is free and available for re-use, pointers are maintained to it in case the same data is needed again soon afterwards. Eg. Solaris 10. Upon being malloced/added to a different process, it is then zerod, obviously.

This instance seems to be a case of a process requesting data from a legitimate partner process, where the two already have a legitimate, authenticated relationship. So I am not sure how the kernel/system could prevent that. It doesn't know about the application's (openssl) data design.

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Internet is a TOOL OF SATAN that destroys belief, study claims

Jim 59
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Pint

Douglas Adams

Now there's a guy who really knew where his towel was.

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Jim 59
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Re: Build schools not temples!

But off course...

Pretty neat lol if that was deliberate, bb.

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Jim 59
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Can't see any direct connection between t'internet itself and religious faith. You can surf to your local church site just as easily as any other.

"The early Catholic church frowned upon translating the Bible into languages other than Latin... because it's easier to control a flock of parishioners when only the priest can translate life's instruction manual."

The "peasantry" could not read Latin because they could not read any language. Previously, information had been passed down generations using the "oral tradition". By the time of the early Christians, there was a standard "world" language available: Latin, spoken and written throughout the Roman empire. It was therefore a no-brainer to write your early books in Latin, especially if you were Roman or a Roman subject, as the early Christians were, and especially if you were taking your books to distant Roman colonies, as they were, and particularly if you were trying to convert Romans, as they were.

Latin of course later became the, er, de-facto international language for science, mathematics and art in Europe, used in every serious writing from the Lindisfarne Gospels to Newtons laws of motion.

The first English translation was made in the 10th century by Aldred, a scribe and priest. It made the gospels more accessible to but widespread bibles could not happen until after the invention of printing 400 years later.

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Bendy or barmy: Why your next TV will be curved

Jim 59
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Pincushion effect

Was pincushion distortion, if it exists outside curved TV sales meetings, reduced by the old fashioned curved (outwards) CRT screens ?

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I QUIT: Mozilla's anti-gay-marriage Brendan Eich leaps out of door

Jim 59
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Re: Animals

@bolccg your basic view is reasonable, but you promote it using the tools of extremism - labeling Eich an "overt homophobe", denouncing as "raging homophobes" anyone who might be thinking of contradicting you. And comparing Eich to an active antisemite, thus smearing him with all the horrifying historical connotations. So he is labelled, smeared, and condemned, as well as sacked. Debate is shut down because those who might have spoken out do not want similar treatment. You are immutable. You have won.

Extremism begets extremism and fear. Say no to it, and say "yes" to open debate, reasonableness and common sense. Applies to both sides.

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Jim 59
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Re: It's a shame

Wow. We do indeed live in politically correct times. Chap sees gay marriage as damaging to traditional marriage, makes donation, sacked. Extreme, extreme, extreme. Though there may be valid arguments on both sides, or you may think just one side, always say no to mindless ideological extremism, and a big fat yes to common sense and moderation, every time. Applies to both sides.

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Lego is the TOOL OF SATAN, thunders Polish priest

Jim 59
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Seems like goodies vs baddies to me. May actually improve child's sense of right and wrong.

Won't do much for their English literature though. That dark character is a mash up of Dracula, Batfiink and darth Vader.

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That's it, we're all really OLD: Google's Gmail is 10 ALREADY

Jim 59
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Great but not for business

Webmail is possible the best ever web invention, and Gmail is gr8. But this article reads like it was written by Google. Google docs/collaborative tools are spoken of at length, without even a mention of the many ineluctable arguments against their adoption by business, which circulate around loss of control, ownership, security and secrecy.

How would Google inc. like to put its critical business documentation on somebody else's server, in another country, under alien laws? Eg. Tax returns ? Redundancy plans ?

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BT Tower to be replaced by 3D printed BT Tower

Jim 59
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LOL. The photo background shows how the London skyline would look if a small number of architecture consultancies were just allowed throw up a collection of cheap, brutalist, mindless buildings in a random variety of styles and positions, with zero sympathy for the surroundings, historical setting or the human inhabitants. Imagine if that really happened.

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Can you tell a man's intelligence simply by looking at him? Yes

Jim 59
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"...based on still photos of 40 male and 40 female"

Just 80 subjects and the males were a different age range to the females. Not scientific.

Also in the example photos, the male is simply frowning in the first photo and smiling in the last.

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Tesla firms hot bottoms: TITANIUM armor now bolted to Model S e-cars

Jim 59
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Joke

Twitter

@gowmana (Twitter) "The comments section in the Register are a marvel of geeky oneupmanship: http://t.co/3dCctXbIfa"

No no no gowmana I know of several internet forums that are much more geeky and oneupmanshippy, for example http://www--

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Spin that disk drive forecast, Gartner: Watch those desktop units dive

Jim 59
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Disks

You can have my Winchesters when you take them from my cold, dead hands.

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Microsoft: Let's be clear, WE won't read your email – but the cops will

Jim 59
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Re: Will you read the goddam article?!

Thanks for explaining "so I can understand". Just to clarify: the blogger was not just a passivie recipient. Sender and receiver used MSN Messanger to arrange the drop, before using Skydrive to transport the data.

Even if the blogger was not in prior collusion with the rogue, it wouldn't make any difference. That T&C clause about passing your data to "law enforcement officials... to aid the investigation of a crime" does not say the crime has to be yours.

I fail to be outraged or surprised by Microsofts actions. Clear text handed off to a third party for delivery has never been secure, not since the invention of writing, not now and never will be. And nor should it.

The puzzle is why so many serious commentators believe that should be somebody else's unpaid job to keep their secrets. Even when they are not paying the messenger to keep quiet, even when the messanger has said the data will be divulged if the occasion demands, and even - get this - when the message is used to wound the unpaid messanger.

However I am less happy about the new/future MS policy of just allowing the police direct access. That is a different story.

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Jim 59
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Good Grief

Surely a deal of naivety on display in this article and the comments. Most jobs I have taken, and internet services I have signed up for, always contain a clause about "all bets are off if you break the law", ie. your data is private but not if you use it to steal, plan a bank job, or whatever, in which case it goes straight to the local police. Would you honestly expect otherwise ?

On the employee side, would it be reasonable, for example, for a guy to work for Siliconchips.inc, and secretly ship the company's designs to a confederate in Somalia, and then start blubbering when the company gets suspicious, reads their coorporate email and finds out ? WTF ? Employee used company time and property (mail system) to break law (steal designs), threatening the company's future and the livlihoods of everyone who works there. In my view it is fine to snoop the mail in this case and in the Microsoft case, and probably entirely legal but I'm no expert.

"By going into Hotmail without a warrant and turning over some of the contents to the police they really challenged their users' expectations about what level of privacy they were going to get out of Microsoft," ...Kurt Opsahl told The Register"

Oh stop it Kurt. Stop it. If anyone has expectations of serious privacy in this area, the expectations are unwarrented and bizarre, the the individuals are in need of some education. In fact they are probably still at school. If you want privacy, do what everybody does: use PGP, TLS and a host of other apps designed for the purpose. A whole industry is waiting to server your privacy needs.

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GNOME 3.12: Pixel perfect ... but homeless

Jim 59
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"I said nothing about the importance of a spreadsheet..."

Oh yeah ?

"Not everyone tits about with spreadsheets for a living"

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Jim 59
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Big desktops

The basic problem big desktops (big in lines of code) is that every 5 minutes they want to get right in your face and scream "I'M HERE!!!".

And for Pete's sake KDE stop calling it "your computer". And stop asking me if I want to "Leave ?" when I instruct you to shut down the system. And then don't give me a slippery moving icon ribbon where hitting the shutdown key is like a duck shoot so then I am back on the desktop and try again and now eh? "Leave ?" ? What no I am not leaving, you are, and what now ? Please will you just f-- okay okay okay I am holding down the power button, holding down the power button, holding down the power button, holding down -"

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Jim 59
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@ cmannett85 - The criticality of data is not a function of its format (spreadsheet, programme code, whatever), but of what it represents. Your C++ code might the latest patches for air traffic control software, or just your own recipe for a decent curry. A boring spreadsheet could be nothing, or a document you are legally obliged to keep updated and accurate, eg. tax records or the company books or the recipe for Coca-cola.

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Jim 59
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Desktops

It is a bit shocking that the minimalist desktops seem to have overtaken the big lads. Linux users generally gravitate towards MATE, XFCE, LXDE and so on. I have gone from KDE to XFCE. Gnome and the other behemoths go on releasing self-indulgent albums but nobody is listening.

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Hot, young under-25s: Lonely slab strokers who shun TV

Jim 59
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TV

15 year olds are watching slabs in their bedroom

65 years olds are watching big telly downstairs

Could this be because 15 year olds are too poor to afford their own house and massive TV.

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BT finally admits its Home Hub router scuppers some VPN connections

Jim 59
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Re: There's only really two kinds of people doing VPN...

When sourcing their routers, I think ISPs generally go for the cheapest equipment on the market. As a business model that might be a bit out of date now. My HH3 is reasonable, and importantly, seems to be secure. However, like all ISP stuff, it has a collection of small drawbacks,

- the wifi is slightly poor

- DNS is unreliable and locked to BT servers, and has problems with CNAMEs

- the HH often needs a reboot

- the NICs are 100 Mb/s (in 2014 for flips sake)

- BT keep certain ports open that you can't shut, probably for maintenance but they won't explain why.

- the UI is clunky.

- forget any advanced features

The HH is obviously < £50. I would prefer something >£100, like a Billion router with 8 Gige ports. Many BT users do a swap out. Others, like me, buy extraneous switches and APs to work around the HH.

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WTF: Twitter bug temporarily kills THAT Oscar selfie

Jim 59
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Oscar Selfie

Ah the Oscar Selfie. Great picture to be sure. But isn't a "selfie" taken by a camera being held by someone on the picture ?

I think the word they were looking for was "photograph"

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Improbable: YOU gave model Lily Cole £200k for her Impossible.com whimsy-site

Jim 59
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Re: so much rubbish

@Vakeyard - couldn't agree more about management speak, and every adult who indulges in it needs a bucket of water over the head.

Lily Cole deserves slightly more understanding though. She is only 26 and does not write for a living. She is never going to sound like Walt Whitman. Ditto other youngsters who have been accused of vacuous writings eg Peaches Geldof. She was 19, brought up in a millionaire celebrity bubble and some fools lacerated her for not being Earnest Hemmingway

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Jim 59
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Re: 'If you're a millionaire, you literally can't fail'

They probably gave her the dosh because the "Impossible" enterprise was not intended to enrich her personally. By associating her name and brand with the project (for free), she hoped to promote the cause. I am not going to pee on her charitable enterprise, though the cabinet should obviously check for similar existing serviced first (they did Freecycle no favours).

The main thing highlighted by this article is that the Cabinet Office itself is worthy of several special investigations.

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MPs blast HMRC for using anti-terrorism laws against whistleblower

Jim 59
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Re: Lawmakers and the law

G-S was excused 10 million tax under Dave Hartnett's rule. According to the Telegraph, Dave was the most wined and dined civil servant in Britain. Dave has eaten a lot of chocolate cake belonging to big accountancy companies, and last year, a big accountancy company gave Dave a job, where he will reportedly "work", er, 1 day a week.

Part II The scouring of the whistleblower, has happened while Lin Homer is in charge. Well you can't blame them. He may not be a terrorist, but Mba's honesty and courage will indeed be terrifying to some senior officials in HMRC.

Part III the committee. Not criticizing Hodge, but these committees are so ineffective we might as well not have them. The questioners don't seem to act in concert, or to get their plan together beforehand, or to question in any logical order. Rather then seeking the truth, these committees seem happy to accept whatever information is pleases the witnesses to provide.

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Bletchley boffins go to battle again: You said WHAT about Colossus?

Jim 59
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Re: So why not

It was about 10 years ago any my reason for visiting was to see 16 spitfires fly in formation, the last time it will ever happen IIRC. Google says it was actually much later.

Yes, I was in the big modern building. Don't recall it being signed "American..." at the time. But why would you not just have one big museum showing artifacts from all Allies, and enemy stuff too for that matter. WWII being a joint experience, it strikes me as odd. I know there is a USAF cemetery nearby but that is a different story.

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Jim 59
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Re: So why not

Psyx said "The USAF poured a small fortune into facilities to house their aircraft there..."

Visiting Duxford some years ago, I was shocked to find inside almost nothing British, indeed hardly any acknowledgement that Britain was actually involved in WW2 at all. Maybe this explains why. i was so disappointed I have never been back.

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TV sales PLUMMET. But no one's prepared to say what we all know

Jim 59
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Joke

Re: "Lightbulbs, nylon tights, razor blades, can all be made to last years or decades"

How to make your razor last longer. Push it backwards for a couple of strokes against you leg.

Okay but there is no need to get STROPPY about it.

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Jim 59
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Re: They're living in the 90's

Streaming may be the future but in 2014 there is no comparison between the experience of streaming on a mobile device and watching a big modern TV. With TV I have instant switch on, EPG guide, surf through 10 channels in a few seconds, stop/rewind (PVR), store it all for later, browse hundreds of recorded programs (PVR) record 2 (yes 2!) channels while watching a third, play Blu ray/DVD and through the hifi/surround.. And of course a modern TV can also stream.

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Middle England's allotments become metric battlefield

Jim 59
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Measurements

The issue is that the council made an arbitrary change for no real reason, as bureaucracies are wont to do. If we define this mistake as 1 deciBasinstoke, then a single Basingstoke would be quite a big snafu, and--

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Bono bests Bezos in Fortune's 'World's 50 Greatest Leaders' list

Jim 59
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Re: WTF...............

@HKmk23 eh? read the list again. No pinkos there. The Independant would have most of these people in prison.

Pope - seems like a good egg.

Aung San Suu Kyi - elected leader, virtually imprisoned, has spent much of her waiting to / trying to help her people. A whiff of Nelson Mandela there.

Bono - yeah I like his music. People ridicule the guy but I would rather have him speaking up for good causes than holed up on a private island smoking whatever.

Warren Buffet - Billionaire who lives like a millionaire. Like him for that. Clever and independent.

Clinton/Slick Willy - Genuinely charming bloke with actual leadership qualities. Another guy who could retire into quiet personal luxury but instead does what he can to help others.

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Oxfam, you're full of FAIL. Leave economics to sensible bods

Jim 59
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Re: Erm... really?

It is a problem when charities become overly political, and when they start to pay their executives like bankers. I my view, charity is a good activity, it implies self-sacrifice, not something you do for money. Sure, they could argue that the poor can be helped via politics, but that is somebody else's job, not the charitiy's. And to pay the CEO megabucks is not compatible with acts of charity. Just my view.

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Jim 59
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Comment magnet

Obviously a comment troll but if you can't beat 'em, join 'em...

In my view this article is a flow of shock-jock verbage covering a threadbare line of reasoning which would promptly melt in the crucible of any serious analysis. I have seen more nuanced argument in a rap video.

The author says that the "bottom 10 or 20%" of Britons are in "negative wealth", meaning insolvent, or with liabilities exceeding assets. He supports this with several daft statements:

"You can be running along in a well paid job, be renting, carry a bit of credit card debt and have no net wealth."

No. Renters in good employment generally have savings >0, or larger, often with the eventual aim of buying a property. Credit card debt ? No. The possessions you bought on credit have value to balance against the debt, except in cases of gross fecklessness.

"Take a newly minted graduate carrying £30k odd of student debt. Unless they're from the lucky sperm club they've got negative wealth"

No. 30k of student loan is not like 30k of real debt. It is a a limited liability, legally enshrined with guaranteed favourable terms, means testing and slow repayment. Otherwise, students not from the "lucky sperm club" would have to declare bankruptcy on their first day of employment. Absurd.

"But then the state pension is also wealth"

No it is income.

"The right to live in a council house at a subsidised rent of the rest of your life is wealth"

It may be considered a moral benefit in the wider sense, but not wealth. Wealth is assets, your property, ie. that which you control. You have only marginal control of your council house. Because it isn't yours.

"...given the existence of possible negative wealth, then of course one person or another in the UK will have more wealth than the entire lowest swathe".

For Pete's sake. One rich person may have more wealth then the sum of people with genuine NW, but those people number far fewer than your "bottom 10 or 20%", which you have deliberately overstated simply in order to equate it with Oxfam's "20%". Furthermore, you have argued that insolvency is widespread and that the poor are therefore actually much poorer than Oxfam has claimed. Rebuttal FAIL.

Should have stopped at "rap video".

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Hidden 'Windigo' UNIX ZOMBIES are EVERYWHERE

Jim 59
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Re: This again?

Lost all faith... says

They don't have to secure them, UNIX is secure by design.

So when you go to a Unix job interview, and they ask "Hi Mr Faith! How would you help to secure our Solaris servers ?", you would reply...

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Jim 59
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Re: 777

@yossarianuk according to the story, cPanel (an application) was targeted, not the kernel or file system itself.

Victims of Operation Windigo included webserver control panel software cPanel and kernel.org.

In my view, admin shortcuts like cPanel and phpMyAdmin are a malware magnet best avoided. Better to learn Unix and do the work manually. Reason being, the logs on my Debian internet server often show thousands of repeated attempts to guess the phpMyAdmin password, all failing because the software isn't installed. You would think the bot would be smart enough to realize the page doesn't exist before trying 7000 more passwords, but no.

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Jim 59
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Windows Vs Unix

To be fair, the "virus" has not pwned Unix, it has vectored in where admins left the door open. This is opposed to Windows where the doors are welded open, and the OS itself has been pwned daily for 20 years.

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Star Wars movie to start shooting in UK this summer

Jim 59
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Re: Star Wars: Episode VII

Agree, Original Star Wars was something of a fairy tail. It also had many of the classical features of a good story, well told. The later 3 films had none of these, and were, at best, dull political thrillers, badly made and best not talked about. Just acknowledge they were terrible, forgive George and move on.

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GitHub probes worker's claims of hostile, sexist office culture

Jim 59
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Dunno

People don't just give up their jobs and livelihoods over nothing, so something happened. Unless other people are questioned, it is impossible to know which side is in the right. But Github's apology (above, Daniele Procida) seems to acknowledge some fault, indicating that there is some basis in Julie Horvath's accounts. I read her Twitter stream, it is not silly and the tone is pretty reasonable.

If I was the the investor who gave GitHub $100,000,000 to stand around hula-hooping, I would be picking up the phone to the make a few polite inquiries.

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PAF! MPs go postal over postal location data sell-off by Coalition.gov

Jim 59
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Bit political

Royal Mail should never have been privatised. And now it has been, tell me what is "royal" about it, exactly ? What gives this private company the right to parade the royal crest ?

Personally I was happier with a publicly owned RM, even if it was less efficient.

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

Jim 59
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Mystery

The most likely explanation speculation would seem to be a failed hijack attempt. Hijackers make pilot turn off comms, try to get him to fly somewhere, but something goes wrong/passengers resist and the plane sadly crashes into the sea. Or, electrical fire happens, smoke overcomes pilots.

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