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* Posts by PJI

292 posts • joined 25 Jun 2009

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Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix

PJI

creative as we want?

Um. Seems to me that you take creativity too lightly. We can be so, as much as we want. But few of us are really, originally or even cleverly creative in a way makes our work desirable or useful to others. That skill, just like the ability to design and make a fine piece of furniture or even just to improve a washing machine to make it better value, longer lasting, more efficient and easier should be encouraged and rewarded. If it goes on being desirable or useful over the years, the rewards should keep coming. I suspect that the original length of a copyright was to approximate to the expected life of the creator.

Up until Victorian times, copyright was unenforceable internationally. The young USA was among the worst offenders - the China of its time. Charles Dickens was rather bitter about it as it was his living and cost him dear. Why should anyone expect to sponge off the ability of others?

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PJI

@Ledswinger

We did not have to join. We did, so we stick with the rules, just as we expect the other members to do so when to our advantage.

Do you take that bully-boy attitude to anything with which you disagree - break the law, agreements, promises as long as you think you can get away with it? Or do you live in a civilised society where we follow some rules and conventions for conduct to make it a pleasanter world for all of us in the long run?

Personally, I see this copying as a big problem for authors, musicians, artists and photographers, just as for software writers or computer designers who need to pay to live, support families etc.. A moderate number of copies for the buyer's personal use seems reasonable. But does that include giving your friend or your wife or your child a copy? How many can you distribute this way? If you write an app and put it on an app store for, say, a quid and then find that it seems to be on everyone's mobile but you have not seen more than a thousand pounds covering not even your time and computer to develop it, how do you feel?

The other extreme: e-books limiting your copy to just the machine you bought; Monsanto preventing farmers from using seed, from crops grown form genetically "improved" Monsanto seed, to grow next year's crop as traditionally done (or just engineering the seed genetics to make it sterile).

I found both extremes problematic. But I do know, I want artists and engineers to be able to make a decent living from their creativity and ability and not just have the "international conglomerates" cream off all the profit.

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Apple’s $700 BEEELLION market cap makes it more valuable than Switzerland

PJI

Re: You are a coward and you are wrong!

You know, it is certainly true that Swiss "business men" did not behave all that honourably, and worse. However, Switzerland as a country did not so badly, considering that it was totally surrounded by Germany and its allies or conquered territory. I do not know if you have ever left you island. Had you done so, you may have been surprised that international borders, even between enemy countries, are rarely completely sealed and impossible just to wander over away from roads and habitation.

You may be unaware that London banks too have had a bit of a problem with Nazi Gold in the last couple of decades, as did some American banks. Plucky little Britain hosted (still does some might say), some lovely little Nazi types who openly indulged their taste for mob action and exploited friends and contacts in the not always very fussy establishment. Just look at old copies of the Mail, Express. America was busy turning a blind eye except to the market for oil and materiel right up to and even, some say, after they finally decided, half way through, which side their best interests were lay.

You may have noticed that such genial pursuits as anti-semitism are doing quite nicely in good old Blighty even now, or even especially now, since Moslem immigrants are so much more admired than EU ones.

At least Switzerland is paying compensation and, if you think you have got relatives affected, there is some vast website (no, not got the link - G-gl- it) where you can seek their names and start your claim.

The Bern museum is doing the right thing and has made clear its reservations, what it will accept and what it will do if accepted works are claimed in the future. Your cheap shot is ignorant and your historical memory of a belligerent teenager is what is keeping half the world in an unhappy, murderous state today.

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Apple OSX Yosemite infested by nasty 'Rootpipe' vuln

PJI

Re: sudo without a password?

While, admittedly, UNIX is my expertise and living, I do not recall the user's individual login, sole on the machine or not, being the super user login. I at least do not login in as root.

sudo is there by default. sudo, in its basic manifestation, expects the user to enter his password to use it. If the user declines the Apple urging to set a password, just as on any other UNIX or Linux system, the best he gets is the need to type "sudo" or just tick the installation confirmation box. One could complain that this is a useability bug - should users be required, by the user set-up process, to specify a password of some minimum complexity if they want to enable sudo ("admin" account?). Does any other UNIX or UNIX-like system do so?

Further, perhaps the default should restrict the commands allowed to sudo. Those who know what they are doing can change the configuration file or su(1) to root. A separate, administrator login will provide a thinking delay. But it may still be password-less and, being a nuisance, result in the average user being more lackadaisical about installing security updates when prompted.

In any case, I come across even professional computer users who, having bought an Apple system, are unaware that it is BSD UNIX and has got a full, UNIX shell command line interface and so, also, never type "sudo". I am sure that 99% of users hardly ever start the terminal emulator. But of course, the bug, if such there is, is still there for the malicious and able withe access.

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OFFICIAL: Fondling of Apple's slab declines – iPad sales DOWN in Q3

PJI

Umm

Would this not have been getting close to the release date of the latest ipad? With fingerprint authorisation, performance boost and relative price drop? So who would spend on the soon to be released version for the sake of a few weeks? Particularly when iPads are boasted to last for years satisfactorily and one need not buy a replacement just to get an easy OS update.

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Apple's OS X Yosemite slurps UNSAVED docs into iCloud

PJI

Re: "and others are critical of Apple's changes."

>>but resting control a<<

That's a much more peaceful image than "wresting" control, so much less effort and possible pain.

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‘For the love of Pete, America, learn about decent chocolate’

PJI

@Khaptain

I have spent most of my working life outside GB, with a couple of short returns (never again). I've worked in the Far East, Australasia, very short stint in USA, bit longer in Middle East and now happily in central/Southern Europe (depending upon how you look at it). I speak or spoke the language in all except the Middle East.

The fact is, in most countries, to get to know established locals properly, on a personal basis is difficult. They've got their lives, friends, families established. They take for granted what to you is new and unknown, to the extent that it never occurs to them that you can not or do not know. Fellow foreigners who have overcome the initial hurdles, found out how and where to find accommodation at the normal price and where to shop for the sorts of things that expats. need but locals grew up with; what tax advisers, lawyers, banks understand and can, for a reasonable charge, help one to manage assets or liabilities, or writing a will and so on for two different legal and tax regimes, registering with local authorities (even if it is necessary or not) and so on; these people are invaluable. Things like getting medical help at 2 in the morning - where is the hospital? Should I call the GP? Have I got a GP who speaks enough English or whatever language I know? Just had a minor accident in the car - do I have to report it? (In some places, no one will do repairs without a police report).

Having young children helps, if they are at the local schools. Otherwise, one can live for years without making close friendships with a local, not through anyone's fault.

Going into the average bank for advice about how to transfer foreign creditworthiness may work in the centre of Zurich or Brussels. In most banks, the staff will hardly be better informed than you.

It's all very well to be snooty about other expats., no doubt they are at least as snooty about you. But if in a new land, where the language (including American) is not yours, where customs and laws differ from yours, all help should be seized with gratitude. Americans are classic examples: they seem to speak almost the same language - except it has, apart from grammatical and vocabulary differences - different idioms, references, background and semantics - full of false friends (linguistically). Their culture is to be overwhelmingly smiley, "you're my soulmate", "you must come to dinner/come for picnic/borrow my spare car"..... Sadly, see them a couple of days later they've probably almost forgotten who you are - not rudeness, just the culture - easy in - easy out.

No, if you want to know how to insure your 15 year old sports car (in a place where insurers will not touch a car over 10 years old) or a tax adviser who speaks some of your language and can handle your assets spread across two or three countries or a bank that will handle regular transfers abroad at a lower charge than the amount being transferred, or how to get tickets to that event or which beaches to avoid - fellow foreigners are your friends. If you need to find a kindergarten that will have patience with your child who has not yet learnt the local language (I know of children who, in reaction to unsympathetic handling, started to actively refuse to speak the local language), you need someone who understands the problem and has overcome it.

Over time, you should become localised, though you will always be a foreigner; if you marry a local, it may happen a bit quicker, a bit more thoroughly, your language skills should become much better. But you will always be a foreigner and even if you no longer need help, at least until the funeral arrangements come, you can help others.

I have come across expatriates who never learn the language. In Asian countries this can be very, very difficult and the disparities between the foreigner¨s way of life and that of even a prosperous local are radically different. Even in Europe, if you work for a large, international firm, if the working language is English and your spouse is English speaking and you work long hours, you will find it very hard to learn much more than how to ask for a glass of beer, even if you take lessons. Francophone areas should be easier, as most Britons, for example, do some French at school and, in my experience, it is rare to meet a foreigner in Geneva who can not cope fairly well and often much better than that, in French. German seems to be less common. Arabic, Chinese languages - rare (I can speak a Chinese language; but my job required it).

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Martha Lane Fox: YEUCH! The Internet is MADE by MEN?!?

PJI

I believe many so-called democracies do require their citizens to vote e.g. Australia and some in Europe. Given the apathy of so many I understand it. There is nothing to stop one giving in a spoilt vote.

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CURSE YOU, 'streaming' music services! I want a bloody CD

PJI

Re: have an upvote

and Tavener, Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Orff, Bruch, Faure, Smyth, Glass, Shostakovich, ….

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Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished

PJI

Re: How decisions bite you on the ass

Be careful. Asses kick and bite back.

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PJI

You're mistaken

Running Windows is no protection if you run a bash shell under it, either directly or via Cygwin, for example, I assume.

It's not the operating system. It's the shell programme and the web server software.

Has anyone proved bash is the only shell that has this behaviour (older implementations)?

Regarding the chap asserting that sh is a link to bash: only on Linux unless your friendly SA has copied this on your OS X or Solaris or AIX or BSD.

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Man buys iPHONE 6 and DROPS IT to SMASH on PURPOSE

PJI

Re: Only a decade or so ago...

yes, I had Nokias like that. Great, simple 'phones. The bits seemed to stay together ever less well over time. But the most annoying thing was that dust and fluff soon got behind the screen and could not be removed.

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Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media

PJI

Re: Privacy

It seems to me that he is clearly right. He uses "I" as an example and I can only agree. The very examples here of how people misread or misrepresent the article to have a spiteful go at a judge show the danger.

Journalists are not special. They are not under special obligation and have no extra rights to blab your affairs willy nilly. We should all.

We have all got a right to private opinions. How far would you take the denial of privacy? Or is your prurient interest of overriding g importance even when it does not concern illegality?

To publish it should be shown to be true and relevant to the public interest or with the agreement of the subject.

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Best shot: Coffee - how do you brew?

PJI

Re: US Coffee

it was just last year, or perhaps early this, that a survey discovered that, in the whole of Great Britain, Starbucks made the worst and weakest coffee (at the highest price too, I dare say). Why on earth would anyone with taste buds go there, or to any European branch of an American chain? Even the British are capable of making proper coffee with a bit of effort.

Now, how: if time, bring water to a simmer, just below boiling, in a saucepan, then sprinkle one tablespoon of coffee (fresh ground) per person on top. Simmer, not boil, for a couple of minutes, sink the grounds with a spoon and then pour, drink - no milk, blend or sugar to taste, tap water to wash it down, ambulance on standby. I did read somewhere that Norwegians prefer coffee this way and suffer accordingly, is that true?

If not, a Bialetti coffee pot is good.

Where: N. Africa, France (be choosy) or Italy. Switzerland can be good. Avoid Germany as it seems to be the place that taught Americans, except the Americans forgot to add coffee to the water.

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iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms

PJI

Re: Not much to go wrong with a tablet

Going by MacBooks, I should say more like at least seven years. Mine is still going strong so it may be longer. iPads with mo moving disc cylinders and no hey air should last even longer. People do seem to be content with them without feeling the need to replace them. I have not got one, yet.

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PJI
Meh

Re: the App Store paid out $20bn in revenues to app developers

Indeed. I loaded, embarrassingly easily, all my apps onto my iPhone 5s when I replaced the old 4s, music from three years earlier too.

For Lion, at least, one could buy it on a USB stick. Personally I just downloaded it and burnt my own, that has been used a couple of times.

Why do non osx users or incompetent ones persist in displaying ignorance and prejudice?

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Oh SNAP! Old-school '80s Unix hack to smack OSX, iOS, Red Hat?

PJI

Re: which is why...

script owned by root? Who cares who is the owner. Most utilities are owned by root. It's who is running them unless they are set UID. I think that has not been possible on shell scripts for a very long time and even Perl has some defences against this.

Of course if the user, working as root manages to do something silly, well, he or she can do that anyway without this possible problem.

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PJI

"The" shell?

AlthoughKK those brought up only on Linux seem very unaware, actually there are dozens of different shells, perhaps scores. Bash, is to my mind, one of the more broken ones but widespread because of Linux (viz. ghastly array syntax and downright odd handling of variables in while loops as well as no supplied alias for repeating commands quickly …). Most common for system and other formal scripts is Bourne shell or Posix shell with Korn shell not far behind (yes, I like ksh). csh and tcsh are still much loved and zsh and others are far from dead.

So, which shells quote some characters automatically (and sometimes annoyingly and wrongly)?

As for the -string names, surely this is the old trick to test friends and colleagues - just create a file called, e.g. "-" and tell someone to try to copy or delete it. Such a simple thing catches most people. But is this not the difference between an experienced UNIX user and the self-taught Linux or other home enthusiast?

I fear that no system is utterly bullet proof and if this were such an awful bug, one imagines that it would have caused problems rather before now in the forty odd years that UNIX has been around in some form or other.

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Google: Glass goggles are a 'fairly lousy surveillance device'

PJI

Re: What does Andrew Paterson think Glass does?

>>Am I going to start having to worry about the Data Protection Act when I'm using my Android phone too?

Depends on under what circumstances you are using it. Recording conversations without consent is already dodgy under some circumstances. Even photographs can be troublesome, e.g. over someone's garden gate, other peoples' children, women sunbathing. You may have noticed that many employers are very funny about recordings and photography, even of the pot plants at work with your mobile telephone camera.

Anyway, sheer respect for other people should tell you that randomly collecting anything about them without their agreement and knowledge is at least impolite and at worst prurient voyeurism and inflicting your valuation of their privacy and discretion on others.

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Labour vows: We'll pause one-dole-to-rule-them-all for drastic fix-up if elected in 2015

PJI

Re: lifestyle choice. really? always?

plus, I assume that anyone thinking that withdrawing support enables everyone to find work that pays enough to live, if any at all, has been living in the happy daydreams of a ten year old, whose parents are both employed and never lost their jobs through their own firm, their employers going bankrupt, or sacking them because the firm wants to save money or even must to cut real costs or ….

Please, grow up a little.

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PJI

Re: Black hole?

And what's worse, they seem to think they have some kind of entitlement to a decent pension just because they paid into it for forty years.

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Greenpeace rejoices after getting huge renewable powerplant CANCELLED

PJI

Hydro is not perfect

1. As several comments have pointed out, despite the headline, this was political and opposed by the affected people and would have done permanent, large scale damage to the land and biology of the country.

2. It's not free. Apart from the large areas of land, canalising rivers, building canals, dams, roads, power lines over very long distances and, long term, enormous maintenance costs.

3. It seems to me, that those advocating untrammelled developement and damn the Greens are the primitives. That, like slash-and-burn, was all resell and good when there were very few humans and, relatively, seemingly endless resources. But you ought to have noticed that that is no longer true and the Stone Age attitude of grab and profit now has to be modernised and take account of excess population, over built land, packed roads, lost flood plains and so on. Right wing or left wing dogma do not solve or justify anything. Switzerland has got extensive hydro and flood control, to the extent that even in the Alps there is barely a natural water course and the great rivers flowing through the lowlands are canalised with new schemes to "re-naturalise" them.

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We're ALL Winston Smith now - and our common enemy is the Big Brother State

PJI

Re: There's a fundamental flaw in this article and it's a big one.

Non-state firms/business are very dangerous collectors. They treat it as their property to trade or provide as suits or required. They charge or make it difficult to know or correct what they have.

Worse, as governments at all levels pass off more and more functions to the private sector, that sector has got your data about health, police matters whether guilty or prosecuted or not, about your travel, your work and school records, the tiff with your neighbour, the acrimonious divorce and civil action, the tittle tattle on the internet about your family, how much wine you order and your odd interest in weapons or war history or militant feminism. Or that time you were warned about noise from a late party. Or you missed a payment when on holiday and forgot or you wrote a snotty complaint.

One day you or your child or wife go for a job or a charity activity and some jobsworth pays a checking company for a view of you. They put two and two together and come up with five.

Oh dear, whatever went wrong? Why do police make so many enquiries at my door? Why are my children being asked at school if I drink much?

No. Information is power and a weapon. Private companies are further beyond control even than governments, especially multiple nationals. Do you really trust SERCO or their rivals. Why would you trust an USA Google who has been forced to bow to USA and China governments and has shown a cavalier disregard for data about you all ready?

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Google to let Chromebookers take video content OFFLINE

PJI

Re: But no network shares

The whole point of this operating system is that the computer is just an interface to data and programmes stored on the network, in the Cloud if you like.

Personally, I always thought, still think, this is a daft way to work unless you work only at home with a good internet connection or in restaurants, offices or schools with such (and free). As soon as you are not in that, usually, urban situation the whole model collapses, quite apart from questions of privacy, response time and supplier stability. So, as I saw when accompanying a friend away from home, rather quickly the machine becomes just a dead weight of no practical use, on which you can not even install software of your choice as it is supposed to be supplied, maintained and admired across the ether.

Even my mobile telephone (iphone in my case, whatever you like in yours) has got the ability to run locally installed programmes even with no internet or telecomms access e.g. camera, Solitaire, notes, Filemaker, music, books, locally installed maps, e.g. Tomtom, Peakfinder and more.

So now film buffs can store copies of films locally on Chromebooks, subject to the usual space constraints. Hmm. Next it will be full office programmes, then development suites …. MS will abandon its net version of Office. Google fans will prate about how wonderful is the new functionality and the rest of us will be surprised only that it ever happened at all.

What a wonderful world.

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'Failure is not an option... Never give up.' Not in Silicon Valley, mate

PJI

Re: 'Be Lucky'

Napoleon is said to have said something like:

"I have plenty of clever generals but just give me a lucky one" and "I would rather have a general who was lucky than one who was good. ".

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Apple vows to squash iMessage SMS-KILLER

PJI
Facepalm

Re: SMS Problems?

And someone who recommends WhatsApp expects us to take their suggestions seriously?

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Britain'll look like rural Albania without fracking – House of Lords report

PJI

If I could be bothered ...

it would be interesting to know who is on this committee and what each member's interests are.

I just do not believe this kind of hysteria. This wonderful, perspicacious Conservative-liberal government has been in office for a couple of years now: they are still blaming Labour, trying to dismantle anything to do with renewables, giving oil and gas revenues to private enterprise, otherwise known as American corporations and, guess what, have only just realised that in about a year GB will have an energy problem. Or is this perhaps because it was assumed that there would be b- all industry or business left to need energy and who cares for the population anyway? They do not give backhanders, directorships, speaking tours and all paid trips abroad.

As for all this claim about USA coining it in with fracking: that must explain why its monetary position is even worse than Britain's and it can not afford to weather-proof its buildings or persuade republicans that it can afford to provide medical treatment to the 40 million plus without adequate or any insurance.

Then, how about our near neighbours, like Holland, Germany, France, Scandinavia: is there some odd suggestion that they have a totally different geology and so much better economies and energy supplies that frackable energy sources are not needed so urgently or perhaps at all?

No. These are the same people who say we must help builders by carpeting every centimetre of Britain with houses and shopping centres or that we should be grateful to USA companies for buying and asset-stripping what research and manufacturing remains.

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Thanks for nothing, Apple, say forensic security chaps

PJI

Apple quietly removed the ability to just sync between laptop and iDevices

Yes, this was one of the sillier things to do, showing complete cultural and non-USA legal ignorance or just extraordinary naivety. I gather that even in USA the innocent sometimes do have something to fear.

However, I have seen that beta test versions of the new iTunes release have reinstated this. So fingers crossed and, if true in the customer release, glad that Apple does react to customers' remarks, eventually.

So, as far as the "cloud" network storage goes, just disable it. If you really need it, choose one of the new services from Germany or, less handy for most people, install one on your own laptop and continue to sync locally. But this was foolish of Apple, both in terms of security and reality (strangely, outside American coffee shop chains, large parts of the world, even in the most advanced "1st world" countries, are not on free wifi networks away from home, or even mobile telephone networks. Yet one may still want to back up the device to a mobile computer that is with you (or a tablet, is that possible? No idea, no tablet).

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Tim Cook: Apple's 'closer than it's ever been' to releasing new product range

PJI

Re: "And it’s an area where nobody has figured it out yet."

>>which can obviously be completely be re-invented by tying both hardware and payment platform to Apple, robbing customers of choice and interoperability.

Hmm. "robbing". Your grasp of English is even worse than your grasp of reality: "Robbing" means stealing with the use of force or realistic threat of force. Apple gear is damned clever. But I had not realised it could apply physical force to make you use iTunes.

Somehow, such linguistic dexterity makes me doubt, even further, the validity of any opinion you may have.

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

PJI

Re: wet Summer .... Aberdeen

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

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Apple says iOS, OS X is immune to Heartbleed SSL bug

PJI

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

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

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
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

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

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

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

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

@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

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

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

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

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
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

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

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

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
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

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

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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