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* Posts by PJI

263 posts • joined 25 Jun 2009

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Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS

PJI
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Re: wet Summer .... Aberdeen

No, no, no: Manchester, hands down and umbrellas up. Second place: Brussels.

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Apple is IMMUNE from Heartbleed, it says. But don't check if it's true

PJI
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Re: Apple's a fucking liar

Relevance? The most security-hardened computer product in the world is not immune to the silly owner, with full access to the device, breaking it by modifying or replacing the software with their own idiot versions.

I suggest you see the source of your rogue software or examine your own conscience if you realise that jail-breaking has made the device insecure.

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PJI
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Re: Remind me ...

>>How long ago did Apple stop making servers?

Depends upon what you mean, They may no longer sell hardware labelled, "server". But OSX is a BSD derivative and, just like any other UNIX or Linux, can be used to provide services (a server) with the addition of commonly available software, much of which is already installed anyway.

Apple even sell "OS X Server" software in their app store, see https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/os-x-server/id714547929?mt=12 or any of the many reviews of it.

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Torvalds rails at Linux developer: 'I'm f*cking tired of your code'

PJI
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Re: So...

No, "professional" does not mean that one is tied to every employer one ever had. One's current employer may object to one spending time on, possibly a rival's, software regardless of the authorship.

Most firms have a legal contract with the employee, that any software, invention etc. done for that employer belongs exclusively to that employer. Often, the contract forbids outside work without approval or even at all. Conversely, that means the employer takes full responsibility for work done for them and if, for whatever reason, the worker moves away, it is the employer's responsibility to ensure he covered this possibility. It is the professional's responsibility to do his work to a proper standard for his current employer, to keep to his contract and to protect the interests of the employer.

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PJI
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Unhappy

@Daniel Palmer

"Dismissing someone who is leading the biggest and most important software project in existence based on "he used naughty words mummy". Grow the fuck up."

Hmm. There are rather a lot of software projects in existence, far more than either of us know; so this is an extravagant and unfounded statement. I suspect that the code used to programme the firmware (which is just software at a level nearer "the metal", real time software code in automated power plants, military, nuclear and other systems could be considered important. After all, there are lots of UNIX variants and look-alikes and many of them would, do and did function perfectly well in the role played by Linux variants. One could argue even that GNU is more important as it provides software providing critical user interfaces for developers, designers and other users across many systems from Linux to OSX to Solaris to BSD to whatever you like.

But then, your hackneyed coarseness at the end may be intended as a hint that you are not serious or that you are very unsure of yourself and so think that the equivalent of drunken bellowing will prove your point.

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Hey, Michael Lewis: Stop DEMONISING Wall Street’s SUPERHUMAN high-speed trading

PJI
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Bonuses, gambling, ignorance

Most of these "traders" are, in fact, gamblers in a manipulated market that costs each and every one of us and society as a whole an awful lot.

These traders found it hard to understand and manage the pre-HFT systems, with examples going back centuries showing this. With computerised systems, restricting the advantages to a few, very well monied firms, it is clear that the users, the traders, are completely out of their depths, as are the most senior financial "experts", the sheer speed of the systems being unmanageable in terms of human monitoring. Additionally, how good and honest are the algorithms implementing the process? What are the specifications, implementations and tests?

Our clever politicos, such as Cameron, believe these people must continue to get extraordinary salaries and even more extraordinary bonuses so that we get the best people. The success of this strategy is shown, clearly, by the complete absence of any financial problems or misbehaviour in recent years, this probity being rewarded by those responsible still being in place.

The article's author needs to think rather more widely and dig a little deeper before playing Devil's Advocate, or perhaps he is just trying to provoke, naughty boy. Actually, perhaps he needs some real experience, at the sharp end, of supporting software, complete with night duty so he can savour the pleasures of being woken at 4 in the morning because the wonderful application has found yet another bug or the system configuration has failed to meet requirements yet again.

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Steelie Neelie secures MEPs' support for 'net neutrality' – in principle

PJI
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What's this "Brussels' unelected digital czar " dig about?

Totally irrelevant. Just how many such officials are "elected" in, oh, just at random, Great Britain? They are put there by "elected" people or others chosen by "elected" people, just as in almost every other democratic institution. Is it actually relevant to the point, considering that elected MEPs and representatives of elected governments (commissioners et alia) make the final decision? Personally, I prefer some professional there to the jobsworths who seem to become elected representatives of the hoi polloi and specialise in being even more ignorant than the rest of us, except when it comes to lining their pockets through judicious or injudicious support of business interests (that have got no vote per se).

I do hope you are exercising your vote in the forthcoming EU elections.

Or perhaps you would prefer the current USA version: a plutocracy uses its money to tie up the candidates and manipulate voting qualification rules.

In fact, at this level, the EU tends to be rather more progressive and useful than the average government.

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Middle England's allotments become metric battlefield

PJI
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Re: Enter the metric pole?

And here, in Switzerland, one sees, sometimes, a Pfund (pound) of bread. But it is 500 grammes today, so a generous pound.

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Windows hits the skids, Mac OS X on the rise

PJI
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Cost of upgrade to Mavericks

quote from Apple:

"While you have the About This Mac window open, check what version of OS X your Mac is running. You’ll see it listed beneath your serial number.

You can upgrade to OS X Mavericks from Snow Leopard (10.6.8), Lion (10.7), or Mountain Lion (10.8). Click the link below if you have an older version of OS X."

https://www.apple.com/osx/how-to-upgrade/at

And that is free of cost.

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PJI
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@csumpi: Re: But do all Macs run OSX?

I think you need to learn how to use OSX. If you use different screens for different applications (I do, excellent), you have got several ways. The quickest is easy (default I think, configurable to your taste): use the shortcut, <ctrl>-<left or right arrow key>.

If you learn how to use the powerful tool in front of you, you will realise just why OSX in GUI mode or terminal mode (i.e. BSD UNIX, pick your own shell) is increasingly popular.

I should be ashamed to display my ignorance so publicly.

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PJI
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Re: stating the bleedin obvious

Never mind S*ks. At least among real coffee drinkers, it is hardly relevant (overpriced and even a GB survey found it was the weakest coffee in the whole of GB; why would one buy coffee of a nation that beats all others to the worst coffee?).

Walk along any commuter train, wander through any airport and see: business style (Dell for the cheap, Lenovo for the serious firms) or Apple. Even in many companies now, the number of employees armed with Apple is ever more noticeable, not just iPads and iPhones. Among contractors, every other one seems to take an iPad or Macbook Air (or even a 15" pro) to work to test stuff, hold documentation etc..

No, it is not significant as a serious survey. But it is glaringly clear to see. I suspect most home Windows systems go to the average person who just needs a computer for the internet and email plus a bit of word processing and filling in official forms, or to those whose priority is games. More and more of the others want something easier, more reliable, prettier and better supported. Apple, like it or not, provides all that.

An aside: I had occasion to play in some depth with W8. It won me over as being responsive and still providing all the usual command line stuff/registry fiddling etc.. Better than my work W7 and aeons ahead of the ghastly XP.

Another aside: I have supported Linux at work, from Slackware to RHEL and lots in between. I have used several at home and worked too with BSD (my work stuff seems, now to be Solaris and RHEL). Then I found OSX. Linux sort of died, dropped dead really. I do install versions in VMs just to check. But, no, why bother, it's not even proper UNIX.

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But... you work in IT... Why aren't we RICH?

PJI
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Re: So easy for WhatsApp to lose a all its value in a single stroke

>> nd has also the advantage that all people with a Gmail account are signed in already, even if they don't know.

Or, to put it another way, the DISadvantage ….

I and many I know are avoiding things Google+ and its like as we do not see this all-embracing, uninvited, automatic entry in the Google sales DB as an Advantage.

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Apple to maintain phone profit lead through years of 'enormous transition' – report

PJI
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Re: History says otherwise

>>Back when Apple was being unsuccessful, anyone wanting a modern desktop OS, at a reasonable cost, had a choice of NT, OS2 or Linux.

Earlier in the comment you mentioned the '90s' as the low point for Apple. My memory is a bit vague about dates and the 90s was a decade of rapid, technological change; but I think Linux was barely in the picture for most of the decade for "normal" users seeking a Windows alternative. Some specialists were trying versions of BSD at home.

For most users, even now, at home or at work, Linux is not a "winner". They still use windows for desk tops or laptops. On tablets, they use IOS or, increasingly, some version of Android Linux, though out and about IOS still seems to be the single most popular (I do not include dedicated book readers) and the users are more or less unaware.

Just to conclude with the usual, anecdotal observations (not to be dignified with the word, evidence): having had some time on my hands lately, I seem to have spent some of it helping friends and friends of friends with their systems, either cleansing or upgrading or just discussing. They seem to be running OSX, Windows 8 and, in two cases, both computer professionals, a mixture of Linux, Windows XP, Windows 7 and OSX (in both cases). The "civilians" seem to be split equally between Windows and OSX, no Linux nor BSD. The Windows help has been to improve performance, update and clean ransomware and other unpleasantness; the OSX help is to upgrade the OS and implement the built-in back-up system (TimeMachine) to external disc; despite years of benign neglect, the OSX users' only "problems' were just ancient OS and no back-up.

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Apple investors fall for CEO Cook's product-presentation prank

PJI
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What gets to me about these "ROI" nitwits is their narrow interpretation of "return". They seem to think that, provided it is lots of money, the fate of themselves, their families, friends, unfortunate descendants, their environment, those workers who make them the money and the rest of mankind is not a consideration.

They are also sufficiently ignorant to misunderstand science, probability, risk, long or even medium term and personal or collective responsibility. One does wonder how, with their ignorance, they managed to get enough money and clout to be where they are; but then, under many circumstances, it is the ignorant bully with a good dose of selfishness and inadequate imagination and forethought who seems to be rewarded, à la financial experts.

The really odd thing is that, most of the measures that may be necessary if anthropogenic climate change is a fact, would save spending on energy, land loss, waste disposal etc. to the benefit of ROI after the initial investment.

With the attitudes of these people, children would still be working in coal mines and cleaning chimneys in the Western world and these people would either be beggars or be picking their way along the streets past beggars and watching their nearest and dearest dying of TB and cholera. Of course, it would be all right because they would be even more filthy rich if they had survived childhood.

One of the great advantages resulting from the British National Health Service, for instance, was the much improved health of the population for work and the armed forces. In the first world war, a great problem was the number of men physically not fit enough for military service through poor health and general condition caused by being born into and growing up in poverty or near poverty.

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Github brews text editor for developers

PJI
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Meh

Re: I'll stick with sh & vi, thank you.

vi is rather good. Actually, I like it more and more as the years pass and I try others, usually trying to show me they know what I want to do better than I do.

To the "writer" who is so rude about old and ugly editors, I would point out that vi and emacs (not that I much like the latter) were used to produce the source code and documentation of UNIX, X11 and so much more. They still are remarkably popular and vi (with its links to ed and ex) are still part of the basic distribution of UNIX and Linux, being useable even when the point and click interfaces are not yet running.

Sed, ed and ex are brilliant for automating editing in shell script or on the command line. I suspect almost none of the latest generation of editors can do that.

An editor should be light weight, useable without my fingers having to dance around the keyboard and my eyes away from the screen (being one who can touch type and hate having to leave the basic position to find some odd combination of keys/arrows/page-up ….). It should be fast and not require a different configuration for every language or document and definitely not require network connectivity to use it.

Most users, even frequent vi users, miss some of the neatest and simplest facilities, such as map, abbrev, macros. Most wysiwyg editors seem to provide very limited ability to do interesting changes in one hit across a whole file and certainly not without needing a full, windowing environment.

But then, I remember when Teco was thought to be rather fine (which it was - claimed by some to be a philosophy rather than an editor).

It's curious that, as editors change, even being dressed up in Eclipse and the like, the quality of the code or documents produced seems no better, perhaps even worse. And that's another thing: having to use different tools to produce even simple documents or a simple text file (same gripe there against Git and its ilk, that seem to assume that no project includes documentation, imported, compiled libraries, release kits etc. that should be under the same version control as the raw source.)

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Update your Mac NOW: Apple fixes OS X 'goto fail' SSL spying vuln

PJI
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re And that other browser on iPads & iPhones would be?

Well, I've got Opera on my iPhone, always have at least two browsers on all devices. I am certain there are other possibilities.

I suggest you learn how to run a search in the App service.

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PJI
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code merging

I know that Subversion and Git seem to think that code merging is the be all and end all of version control systems and even discourage file locking on check out for editing, in the naive belief that all workers talk to each other and sit at adjacent desks, so it is right and proper for two people to work on the same file simultaneously (makes me think too much work by different authors is in a single file).

But really, I recall that systems that provided code merging (that I did try a couple of times) used to come with the caveat that automatic code merging is a bad idea, at least of merging versions from two different people - all these wonderful methodologies and tools for designing and writing code buggered by the most basic fallacies: that working in parallel on the same file and automated merging are good ideas.

I've seen it tried with Perforce and Subversion (only once by me, what a waste of time) and seen it cause near disaster every time. Anything beyond the most trivial and carefully read and reread by another engineer is just horrible.

Just use discipline, reinforced by file locking and a proper code review systems. Same goes for documentation by the way.

In this case, the indentation would have made it easy to miss in a quick and nasty review and makes one of the few, good cases for curly brackets everywhere possible, then use vi (1) or similar to check the matching pairs.

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Battle of Bletchley Park: TNMOC chief calls for review of museums' Mexican standoff

PJI
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Who, what, why?

Why on earth was such a stupid arrangement for the running of this site made?

It seems tailor made to create problems and increase costs while causing worse management.

Just what qualifications did a rather tarnished security services civil servant have that were thought to suit him to his current role?

Sadly, this is the way the whole country is run; thank heavens I have got options to escape.

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PJI
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Headmaster

Are these people English speakers?

". ..would charge an admission fee, which would be UPLIFTED to include the Colossus gallery charge (£2 for adults and £1 for concessions and groups). This UPLIFT would …."

Is this newspeak for "increased" or "raised"? Is this an indication of the honesty of the rest of this letter?

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Samsung flings sueball at Dyson for 'intolerable' IP copycat claim

PJI
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Re: Something else I won't be buying from Samsung

Nothing sucks like a VAX.

Ah, the VAX 750, running BSD UNIX please.

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Microsoft may pick iPad for first release of Fondleslab Office™

PJI
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Re: One more sign that microsoft ...

I am under the impression that Microsoft is, mainly, a software firm. Yes, the software extends from operating systems to utilities; but it is still software that can be adapted to run on any platform MS chooses. They make money either way.

So, if they decide that Apple kit provides a good market for their software, it is just good sense to cover it. They did not reach their current size and profits through stupidity.

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Apple pushes back release date for 'dustbin chic' Mac Pro

PJI
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Re: Dell same-day onsite fixit-tards

>>I'm pretty sure Apple would not have replaced the motherboard

Did on mine when I managed to destroy USB (too embarrassed to reveal how, though I did explain to Apple), right at the end of, actually a few days over the guarantee period, gratis. I was amazed and very grateful.

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PJI
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@big_D

>>with Lion, no security updates for nearly a year

That's odd. I run Lion and get security updates. My system is very old and runs at a respectable speed (even faster since I changed the disc to solid state).

Check your configuration vis-a-vis updates.

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PJI
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Dell, professional?

Perhaps they have improved since I had to support Dell kit. But at that time, just seven or so years ago, we ordered six laptops: within half a year six laptops had problems ranging from display to power supply, a couple twice. The servers were better, when they finally delivered the ordered components (as opposed to wrong, incompatible ones). Gold Service was required to get realistic, business service. I also notice that, the bigger the firm, the better the quality of Dell kit we seemed to get (in terms of reliability). Anyway, Dell is not doing so well today, so many customers must have made an adverse judgement. HP makes most of its money from printer ink.

I suspect that, while most Apple users have experienced Windows, may still do at work, at home or as a virtual machine, relatively few Windows or Linux users have worked with OSX and, if so, got far enough to find the BSD-style UNIX underneath the GUI. So I tend to be cynical about the negative opinions in these columns and, frankly, sceptical of the "I tried a mac and it was awful - broke in three hours - Apple laughed at me …" comments.

It may well be that Apple, as a firm, have not put much emphasis on businesses running servers. But I think the large number of people using Apple hardware for graphical, intensive work includes many small firms and sole traders who are keenly aware of costs and the need for reliability. If not, they must be outstandingly successful financially, showing that they know what they are doing, as opposed to merely writing about how others imagine they are doing.

It's horses for courses. If, for instance, you are a keen games player, get a well-specified Windows desk top that supports the majority of games you play. If all you do is read the web and send the occasional email, stick to your mobile 'phone or a tablet, as cheap as you can find while still being reliable as a 'phone. If you want to work generally and travel a lot, needing light weight and top battery life, get a macbook air.

Analyse your requirements, that may reasonably include something you enjoy looking at and using as hardware (customers may judge you more successful with attractive hardware than cheap-as-chips clunk that merely "does the job" - appearances count not just for you personally).

Regarding Windows (as opposed to the hardware): I had the opportunity or need to work with W8 a week ago (some poisonous software found its way onto someone's system, on rather attractive HP kit), after a short time I rather liked it. Not as much as OSX; but it is an enormous step up from the XP days, as was W7. Shame it is so big that my ancient Lenovo can not host it. Still, it should run well enough as a virtual machine under OSX :).

There is no need to slag off those whose needs or taste or judgement differ from yours. That just says more about you and your insecurity/self doubt.

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Apple cash stash dash results in Icahn v CalPERS bitchfight

PJI
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Re: One is a reputable pension fund fronting for thousands of pensioners

"another socialist front"

Don't you just love the assumption that socialism in all forms is bad and capitalism is good? The former is to do with "people", like proper democracy. The latter is more akin to robber barons: the most rapacious and advantaged get richer while persuading the rest that this is God's way.

Actually, shareholding could, if exercised properly, be a non state form of socialism, excepting its abusive and corrupting distortion by institutional buyers and manipulators.

Anyway, I doubt any institution in California would qualify as socialist in the rest of the world and a pension fund is required to think long term as pensioners are now, soon and beyond the scope of your imagination or knowledge.

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Sinclair's ZX Spectrum to LIVE AGAIN!

PJI
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Re: ZX Spectrum Mugs

They seemed rather popular at the time - price, performance, availability, form.

I remember a colleague at the lab., where I worked in NZ, doubled the memory of his Spectrum - perfectly happy despite the large block sticking out of one side to accommodate it. He even did some professional work using it.

So easy to scoff now, in an age where people moan that 100 GB is too small when, at that time, 300 MB was thought sufficient to provide a working environment for 100 people. But then, point-and-click was just a twinkle in somebody's imagination and being technical meant more than snide comments entered through a GUI interface.

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Elderly Bletchley Park volunteer sacked for showing Colossus exhibit to visitors

PJI
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total agreement with all the upset above

What is more: we keep being told that we are all ageing and must stay involved, active, working. Then some numbskull careerist, as shown in the film, believes he is being progressive by "moving forward" into denigrating and sacking older volunteers who know more, have done more and are worth infinitely more than his ilk.

Problem is, volunteers of whatever standing have less protection and respect than the worst jobsworth who is employed, even those jobsworths employed with public money.

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HP Chromebook 11 quietly slips back on Google Play shelves... but where's the FIRE?

PJI
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Re: Interestingly

>> You could go to a library, and look them up in a copy of PC Pro? Or ask a knowledgeable friend to look it up on the internet for you?

I assume you are taking the piss, out of the sales web site of course as you would never mock a buyer for expecting the seller to provide some information.

Or perhaps you are just displaying the common, smug ignorance of so many of we commenters.

On the other hand, perhaps you are a chromebook fan ….

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Apple now spends more on chips than top three PC makers combined

PJI
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Re: Apologies in advance

and the mushy peas interface. Oops, too much vinegar.

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Apple’s Mac turns 30: How Steve Jobs’ baby took its first steps

PJI
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Re: Where is Woz?

And without Jobs, Woz would have been just a hobbyist with an incomplete, if neat, idea.

One needs both sorts, working together. Each drives the other. Jobs was the one who spotted the possibilities, realised how to sell them and had the fanatical detail and balls to demand perfection. Woz had the technical ability and imagination to do the practical side and technical design.

Jobs would have got nowhere without a fun product to build on and Woz would have got nowhere without Jobs's foresight and wider imagination.

How lucky that they found each other.

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Margaret Hodge, PAC are scaring off new biz: Treasury source

PJI
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Re: How about...

No profit? But still expanding and not closing this loss making market? Are they a charity?

How gullible are you?

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PJI
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Re: Hodge told Google that it was "immoral"

We, including you I presume, choose and elect them. We have full access via their MP surgeries, letters, email and the next election. I suggest you stop voting for them because of their party membership and start voting for the individual.

Be grateful for those who have the nous to question and push, even for UKIP (much as I abhor their isolationism and ignorance).

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PJI
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Re: "without contributing to its upkeep"

>>That is unfair. I think you'll find they do contribute by providing jobs, which contributes not only to tax revenue but also to the economy.

Interesting justification: so all companies should pay no tax provided they employ at least one tax-paying person. Hmm. So, can I avoid tax if I employ a cleaner or a plumber who does pay tax? How many employees are needed to pay enough tax to pay for the stable, rule-of-law society, its education, health, transport system and so on that the "multi-national" finds so attractive?

Do you really, honestly believe that some parasite like Starbucks makes no profit and still runs a business in GB? So they are a lovely charity? Wonderful how Amazon takes all those pounds for goods without earning any money in GB. Wonder if I can try that on the Inland Revenue - yes, I know some pounds get into my bank account from a British bank account; but really, I make no money from GB, so why are you asking me for tax?

Next you will tell us that the overpaid "leaders" of these firms are underpaid and can barely afford the polish on the chauffeur's shoes, working purely for love.

Sorry, I do not find the unbridled free market, apparently available only to "multi-national", mainly USA firms is good for the host countries whose population and environment are fleeced by them, just so the government, elected and paid by the population, can enjoy sponsored freebies and retirement consultancies.

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Snowden speaks: NSA spies create 'databases of ruin' on innocent folks

PJI
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Re: @Trevor_Pot

So, you think this intrusion into "ordinary" lives can prevent tube attacks by extremists. So why did it not work?

Do you really think the loss of freedom is worth the price of being under control all the time? How did Britain survive the IRA for so many years? The dangers then were far greater and real; but we managed to live and have our being, relaxed and peaceful, even though most of us had heard bombs explode (three in my part of London) or knew people who had been affected in, say, the Harrods bomb or the destruction of Manchester city centre. Fortunately, mass hysteria against Irish accents did not occur and fear of visiting the Tower of London was not apparent.

Grow up and accept that nasty things do happen but we must not let them beat us by extreme measures that change our own lives more effectively than the terrorism itself. You are more likely to fall under a bus or a car or slip on an icy street and bang your head lethally. Are you going to forbid all traffic and confine people indoors when the Winter comes? Oh, most accidents happen at home. Forget that. Lots of burglaries and assaults too. Hmm.

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PJI
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Re: Don't oversimplify. It tends to weaken the argument.

As an ex-plod: asking a judge? Perhaps this is a reference to some USA system or to the Scottish Procurator Fiscal. In England and Wales I never had to ask a judge to be allowed to investigate. One of my jobs was to investigate the causes of any complaint, crime or accident without having to seek permission to do so. Perhaps you are thinking of warrants for property searches.

However, the real point is that, at least in England and Wales, a policeman can not just do random investigations. There is the concept of "reasonable" suspicion. Of course initial inquiries may involve asking people if they know anything; but it still has to be related. For a burglary in a village in Buckinghamshire, one does not do house to house enquiries in Inverness, asking if anyone saw a strange car outside the house last night.

To search a suspect's house, the policeman must, then, apply for a warrant with evidence to justify it.

So, as opposed to this approach involving reasonableness and evidence, the NSA is simply doing the equivalent of detaining and questioning (and recording full details and diary/mobile phone contents) of everyone it meets on the off chance of one of them having done something naughty. This can be summarised as a surveillance society. It is not targetted, nor justified espionage that any country at war or risk of war should do. It is totalitarian-style assumption of rights over all our daily lives.

If you live in such fear, that you think the loss of freedom is worth the claimed increase in safety, I feel very sad for you. Freedom in a personal sense involves some risk. This 1984 style intrusion has got nothing to do with freedom or safety and, contrary to the thoughts of more extreme USA citizens, is a totally different thing from a state welfare system providing freedom from the worst effects of illness and wont.

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Good news: 'password' is no longer the #1 sesame opener, now it's '123456'

PJI
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Re: It's not just about websites though is it?

Just to add a wrinkle: I work in a country where my keyboard in a workplace can be US, UK, German, Swiss German, French or even something else. So, using even letters of the alphabet can cause problems as these move around the keyboard (I touch type and am reasonably multi-lingual in this respect).

So, one learns, the hard way, to not use those characters that may be absent on some keyboards or move about (e.g. Z and Y). Combine this with the above mentioned idiocy of enforced, frequent password changes with differing validity periods, numbers of retries, rules (sometimes clashing, such as minimum and maximum lengths): fine way to keep more and more low level admins. employed.

In the end, security is degraded severely as unhappy and alienated users find it almost impossible to remember which password for which system is current and so stay logged in for as long as possible to avoid having to reenter the string, or avoid using the system as long as possible or write down the numbers, with any luck in their mobile telephones or in a file under a login they really do use and know well.

I tend to put important ones in my mobile (according to the manufacturer, encrypted - I have the most complex password for that) and, because a mobile can get lost, forgotten or run out of battery, in a simple, text file, encrypted using gpg (using another odd password). It does not protect me against mistypes because I forgot I had changed it or which keyboard I am on or just was not fully awake. But it is the best that I could do so far.

Then, some systems seem to be so complex or perhaps the network is so bad, that the change does not actually go through or causes a lock at once. Some even warn you that the relevant server is so far away across some international firm's network that it will not be active for 24 hours (really) and the LDAP server is down and .... Or you must restart your PC to flush all caches ….

Then, the reminder email tells you that you must change the password within ten days. Oh dear, it arrived the day after you left for a fortnight's holiday, following the firm's rules that you must take at least a fortnight's holiday in one lump every year. What fun trying to log back in when you return (you know where the helpline number is or you must use email, it's listed in the internal website - oh you can not log in and you came in early and nobody else is here for two hours yet).

Moral: over-prescription and micro-control are not better than simplicity, education and adjustment to real human - computer interaction.

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Crippling server 'leccy bill risks sinking OpenBSD Foundation

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Re: Van or De?

The Normans were a small minority, albeit as the source of power, more influential on the language than most.

Of the top 100 English words today, I believe something like 70% are from the Angles and Saxons and the rest mainly Norse (though recent research suggests Norse is more significant, particularly grammatically).

American is rather different as it is highly coloured by East European languages, more modern German and Yiddish as well as big dollops of Spanish and some archaic, pseudo-religious forms of English that were somewhat concocted or archaic in England even in the 1700s.

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Re: No...

"man afterboot"? I've worked on various UNIXes since the 1980s and never heard of "afterboot". How is even an experienced UNIX bod supposed to know there is an "afterboot" man page or what it would cover?

I suppose one could strike lucky with "man -k boot" or "apropos boot" or something. Even then, would I chance upon the right keyword or recognise that "afterboot" is the wanted item?

This silly reply highlights exactly the poor user interface (at all levels of user) design skills of most software designers, whether Linux, *BSD or Windows.

I do agree that, once found, the BSD documentation is without equal, as was the original BSD hard copy documentation in those enormous A4 binders. But have mercy on users who will not know your special quirks and may even, Heaven forfend, have ventured into your territory from a non-UNIX or Linux background.

It's no good pleading for support from those you clearly do not understand or worse. Without users, your work is pointless and, though some frustration can be understood, if you just read through some Linux or OS X user websites, it quickly becomes apparent that a very large number do not know the man command nor a shell interface nor even a terminal session. One may lament this; but if you want your system to succeed and flourish, then you must face it and work out a constructive and helpful way to live with it.

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FreeBSD 10.0 lands, targets VMs and laptops

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Re: Legacy?

I love this crowing over Linux installed base size: reminds me of IBM (no one ever got fired for buying IBM), then VAX VMS in the academic, scientific and other worlds; oh, how about Windows systems on every desk top and most email and various other servers (hmm, still true).

What makes linuxphiles so cocky and boastful? Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Something cleverer, better, easier, better marketed will rise and replace it, probably fairly soon.

Why do some people get emotionally involved in and committed to something like an operating system, not even an original one but a derivative, copied one? Face it, a well written and ported application makes the underlying system irrelevant to the vast majority of users, including technical ones, whether something like Eclipse or an email interface. Nowadays, even bad operating systems are remarkably stable and reliable.

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Tales from an expert witness: Prior art and patent trolls

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Re: Its a Catch-22

>>he infamous Dysons which are now worthless because of quality control issues and cheap manufacturing. (Sorry Dyson…)

Beg to disagree with this unsupported statement: I've had the full size versions and we use one of the handhelds frequently (or my wife does), have done for a couple of years, as have several others I know, because it is so useful. I note, when in UK, that lots of shops use Dysons because of their design and robustness. None of those that I have bought, nor those of people I know personally, have failed.

I suspect that those that fail are either the usual sample with absolutely any product and those in the hands of people who seem able, (back to computing), to break laptops made of metal while denying abusing them.

It's odd and perhaps supports some of the assertions in the article; but anything differing from what people are accustomed to seems to attract negative, false or ignorant responses. Then, once it gets widely copied it suddenly gets widely accepted or the copies do at least, just like certain mobile telephones from certain and Far Eastern sources.

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Why 2014 might just be the year of the Google Chromebook

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Re: I have a chromebook

>>Why do you have to be 'offline'? Your Dad …

So, your personal usage model and fear of being non-existent because you can not be contacted must be the right one for everyone else? Was it Pascal who put forward the idea that things only exist if you can see them? Better keep permanently connected and Lord help you if you go out of WAN range.

You top off this arrogant ignorance with gratuitous denigration of anyone old enough to be "your Dad", presumably including most of the greatest IT innovators. Actually, a standard piece of security advice for those educated enough to understand is: turn off your private router if not using it. So such old codgers may be cleverer than you.

I expect you leave all the services on your mobile on as well, so you can pull down the latest tweet or email and flatten your battery even when in no position or necessity to use the device. Do you leave the car engine running just in case you want to drive off quickly, because you can?

One day, you will be "an old codger", not too far off now judging by your attitude. Bear in mind that, according to the demographics scaremongers, the old codgers of both sexes are becoming the majority, including in IT.

I expect you leave all the services on your mobile on as well, so you can pull down the latest tweet or email and flatten your battery even when in no position or necessity to read it. Do you leave the car engine running just in case you want to drive off quickly, because you can?

I seem to be somewhere between old codger and Grumpy Old Man stage. Great.

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Re: Not quite ready yet

>>A lot of that you can't do on a 1000quid mac book air either

Oh yes you can and more. Stop trolling and try using a mac book or a mac mini. Of course, some minimal computer knowledge may be necessary for you first.

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Re: And if they are really getting 10% of the market...

>> but really other than photo editing and a somewhat longer battery life, the little Samsung isn't inferior to the Macbook Air.

Photo editing is quite a big thing for many people. The MBA is a fully fledged, reasonably powerful computer that can be used for photo editing, code development, games, word processing, without regard to overly restricted disc space and, critically, without any network connection. If your usage is just for simple documents, email and web browsing, you should be happy with a tablet or one of the better "smart phones". Comparing the MBA with a chromebook is like comparing chalk and cheese.

A Chromebook is a network device and a fairly tightly controlled one at that. Without a half decent network connection it is barely useful and its portability and useability outside urban areas (and outside buildings with free wifi) are compromised. I expect they have improved; but just last year I discovered one could not even install Skype. I see no practical advantage, except perhaps price, over a decent tablet or low end windows laptop or, considering the sheer prettiness, portability, performance and battery life, of something like the iPad Air or latest Nexus.

Then again, do you want to be dependent upon, say, Google+ to do anything? There seem to be a few screams about the new MS Office model where it is "cloud" hosted in return for the licence fee instead of having a local installation. Why is a Chromebook viewed any differently, where almost everything is "cloud" based?

Of course, my comments about the MBA are just as valid for any other full computer, whether windows or Linux or OS X.

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You... (Sigh). You store our financials in a 'Clowds4U' account?

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Re: Admin passwords...

The suits and hippies keep you employed. Without them, your work is unnecessary.

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Android, Chromebooks storm channel as Windows PC sales go flat

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Re: I don't get it - The supermarket principle?

Really. You do not understand there is more than one way to go. Not all ways mean racing to the bottom.

Apple prefer to be the Harrods, Fortnum and Mason or even, at the lower end, Marks and Spencer. These have all stayed hale and hearty for rather longer than almost any current supermarket (Sainsbury is rather venerable, but they were home counties only until recently and then not the cheapest).

Were I a retailer, I too would shy away from the Tesco, Lidl, Aldi model and stroke my ego with decent, long term profits that seem less vulnerable to passing recessions.

By the way, you should read and understand some of the hardware comparisons that try to compare Apple hardware with, e.g. Dell or self-build, for exactly the same parts and quality, not forgetting the complete OS, shells, programmes, drivers that come with it but ignoring the sheer amount of time and effort needed to build and maintain the self-build. Generally, the comparisons do no harm to Apple and, in the case of, for instance, the Macbook Air, reveal that it is comparable to or cheaper than its rivals.

But the excellent thing is: you can ignore all that and buy or beg just what you want and use it how you want. Is n't that wonderful? So why be offensive or ignorant about things you do not like or understand?

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@Christian Berger - Re: I don't get it

Are you sure you used OS X? Did you ever open a terminal or X session, in the shell type "rsync" without options or "man rsync" and find the "-e" option? Or set the default configuration?

I've worked on almost every flavour of UNIX and many Linuxes and BSDs over the last thirty years (Lord, is it really that long?) and I assure you, OSX is a decent BSD at shell level and truer to UNIX than many Linux variants.

rsync is not part of the OS, it is a utility programme. Most of the OSX shell utilities are GNU (just like Linux) or BSD. If you want a newer or older version and want to play techie, just go to mac ports (cf. BSD ports) or one of the many free software sites to download binary or source.

A big difference from some Linuxes is that OS X uses LDAP for most user system configuration.

You know, whatever one thinks of Google and many visual software shops, there must be a good reason why they favour OS X for their engineering and development.

Contrary to the FUD, while all hardware is liable to failure at some point, Apple hardware seems, in my personal experience and that of others I know, to be rather good and the design is well above average. Design is important as I have to look at the kit and use it, for years, in private and in public.

Perhaps I am just lucky. I've got a 12 year old Thinkpad that still runs, having had just a couple of very minor bits of surgery, albeit like treacle and even older scanner and printer. My macbook is a mere seven years old - still runs like sh- off a shovel.

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Re: So if we award all desktops to Microsoft then I make it...

>>In this day and age, if I don't have an internet connection it's because I wanted it that way.

It seems you do not get out much, or your idea of the sticks is the next suburb or Hampstead Heath. I assure you, in most of Great Britain and the rest of Europe, public, free, available wi-fi is not available and there is not a tea or coffee shop or even pub on every corner. Even mobile telephone signal at 3g or better is not universal, often no signal at all.

If you believe otherwise, you are fantasising and never leave your comfort zone.

I believe even Chromebook suppliers are beginning to reconsider the total reliance on WLAN connectivity.

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TomTom GO 6000 satnav chews on smarties and tablets

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Re: Used to be a fan

I agree, a dedicated device can be better: it's not convenient when telephone calls come and you want your passenger to answer the important call or to ring your destination for you while trying to follow some tricky part of the route, or you stop to get a cup of tea and have to pause the thing, if you can work out how, so that it stops telling you to turn around as you enter the lavatory.

I use Tomtom on my mobile: have done for about three years, it is excellent especially as, with all the maps in the 'phone, when in Serbia or France or UK (live elsewhere), it still works without running up an unspeakable data bill. The programme is not cheap; but updates are free and it works very well. As with a chrome book, why would one want any device for travelling that relies upon a data connection or wi-fi? Even within one's home region, I should hate to find that one is driving through a mobile signal dead spot just as one hits a tangle of interesting roads and lanes in some unknown area. Also data roaming charges could soon exceed the cost of good software or a Tomtom device.

An especially nice feature is to tell it the road ahead is blocked and have it work out a useful, alternative route. This saved hours on several occasions.

I've used it for driving, walking and cycling; to my surprise, the cycling instructions found even a grass/gravel track that cut off a nasty, major road junction in some obscure part of France.

Having said that, the old, free Nokia maps in my ancient S60 OS Nokia was rather good too and both are much better than Google. None replace a touch of healthy scepticism and attention to the actual road. After all, the programmers and DBAs who prime the devices are almost human with all the fallibility that that implies.

I just wish it provided more silly voices, as on the Tomtom hardware :).

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Fanbois, prepare to lose your sh*t as BRUSSELS KILLS IPHONE dock

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Re: Updating Standards

30 years? 1983? "mobile" is relative perhaps. But the nearest to a mobile 'phone I came across in Europe, Asia or Australasia was a police radio. Perhaps citizen's band was around then too. I can not remember exactly. Of course, the armed forces had some interesting stuff. But I doubt the bloke wearing the rucksack and harness to carry it would think of it as "mobile" in today's sense. I am sure that there were prototype mobile telephones, probably the size of a house brick and weighing even more, useful for ringing the other three people who had one, provided you were quick enough before the battery died.

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Re: Give some credit where it is deue [sic]

I believe one of the reasons for the proposed standard is not to tell citizens how to charge their telephones; it is to reduce the growing mountain of electronic device waste that is difficult to dispose of and amounts to an expensive, pointless, ecological and economic cost. i.e. it is to help society as a whole, just as any other rules on safety, waste disposal and so on.

I think even the USA has certain standards, such as all driving on the same side of the road, vehicle exhaust standards, drinking age (and place - odd -not trusting its citizens to carry beer in full view, unlike guns), wearing seat belts, food and drug laws, paying taxes.

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