* Posts by David Austin

244 posts • joined 11 May 2007

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Ebuyer MD Carlisle exits following board level bust up

David Austin

Re: never use eBuyer again

To be fair, most other companies customer service policies pale in comparison to Amazon. Yes, I know all the unscrupulous ways they treat suppliers and employees, but with their "Customer is King" Mentality, and keen pricing double punch it's sometimes very hard not to ignore it - call it convenient evil, I guess....

As for eBuyer: Apart from possibly one flagship "store" winch is more showroom/demo/customer smoozing, why on earth would they want to step into the still warm shoes of Comet on the high street? eBuyer, Scan, and Amazon are a big reason why physical electrical good stores are having such a tough time...

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Twenty years since Windows 95, and we still love our Start buttons

David Austin

Re: The old ones are the good ones!

For a less Official and Jokey answer, Look to the build numbers:

Windows Vista: 6000

Windows 7: 7601

Windows 8.0: 9200

Windows 8.1: 9600

Windows 10: 10240

The real question is where did Windows 8 go, which is interesting on both a technical and philosophical level.

Supposedly the real reason there was no Windows 9 was for compatibility: lots of older/badly designed programs would assume Windows 9 = Windows 9x, and set themselves up for DOS instead of NT Windows - head that a lot, but don't know how true it is.

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Does Linux need a new file system? Ex-Google engineer thinks so

David Austin

Obligatory XKCD Link

https://xkcd.com/927/

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High-heeled hacker builds pen-test kit into her skyscraper shoes

David Austin

Re: What Next?

I did some contract work at a chicken farm: To get in there required a "Poop Stick" test to check for salmonella, stripping off for a chemical shower, then putting company issued (And pool) Underwear on, then donning a disposable boiler suit.

Needless to say, after the first time, I always sent the office junior up for that job.

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Windows Server 2016 Preview 3 brings containers at last

David Austin

The Right Tool for The Right Job

They'll be times when Linux is the right tool, other times where WinServer is the more obvious choice, and probably a few where it'll be a mix of the two, and having a unified way to manage them will make your life easier.

And whichever you pick, you'll have more tools in the arsenal to achieve what you want. Sounds like a Win-Win to me.

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Adulterers antsy as 'entire' Ashley Madison databases leak online

David Austin

Security Flack

I Feel that Ashley Madison have/are getting off way to lightly for their frankly terrible security practices - everyone's focusing on the scandal of the data, or the ethics of the hackers.

While both of those are interesting points, few are calling Ashley Madison's lax security, which we can do now even without more tech details; not deleting/archiving records, storing credit card details in non-reversable form, and definitely not PCI Compliance.

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Sony PC owners to get Windows 10 upgrade as early Christmas present

David Austin

Oh Vaio...

It's always been their achilles heel: They make nicely designed, solidly built (If a tad expensive) kit, then use so many custom Sony Apps, OS customisations, and weird drivers that it's almost not Windows any more.

Any other brand, you'd nuke windows and put a vanilla copy on, but with VAIO's, you'd just end up with a dozen unknown drivers for Sony buttons, memory sticks, phone/PS connectors, and lord knows what else.

Had a fun one a few years ago where you could not unset Google Chrome as the default browser, even if you uninstalled it.

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Has Microsoft saved the Apple Watch with Outlook improvement?

David Austin

Better than native?

Not a big iOS user, but some clients are;

From the people that have tried it out, what's the Pro/Cons using the Outlook app over using the native apple client hooked up via activesync when talking to an Exchange (Online) mailbox?

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Silicon-happy ARM engorges its profits by a third – so its shares dip

David Austin

*Rubs temples*

When did Moore's law start applying to profits?

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Adobe names ex Microsoft and Oracle bod as cloudy pipe CTO

David Austin

Dear Adobe

Just Stop. Please.

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Windows 10 Edge: Standards kinda suck yet better than Chrome?

David Austin

Re: still riddled with Flash badness though

Including Flash with Internet Explorer 11 was Windows 8's biggest of many sins in my eyes.

We're just at the point where binning it is a viable option, and Microsoft make it the flash and PDF Support the only "plugin" available in Edge.

Too late to do much about it now, But I'd really urge Microsoft to ship Windows 10 with the plugin off by default, rather than on by default...

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Marshall wants to turn your phone UP TO ELEVEN

David Austin

The most Important Question:

Does it go up to 11?

5
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Google makes new hires ONE pay offer. 'Negotiation'? What's that?

David Austin

A very Google solution

Sounds like their search engine has been retuned to handle this: All calculations and algorithm based, with minimal human intervention.

In and of itself, it's not really a good or bad thing, but many tech companies seem to be going down the "No Negotiation" route - Reddit does the same.

One Wonders if this is their way through the litigation that went on a few years ago about salary collusion/No Poaching rules that was suppressing pay...

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China's STILL holding up the full WD-HGST integration. Why?

David Austin

All depends on the drive family.

I've stayed away from the entry level consumer drives (WD Blue, Barracuda) since both Seagete and Western digital would only warranty them for a year, which should tell you all you need to know about the quality and expected failure rate.

While the Seagate Constellation drives are just as good, but WD Black's are that little bit cheaper and easier to find.

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'I'm COMING for you, DIRTBAG!': Ex-Sony chief Smedley to Kid Lizard hacker

David Austin

Re: Am I a bad person?

On a first quick thought, yeah, maybe you can see the funny side.

But when you stop and think of the dozen and one ways something could have gone horribly, horribly wrong, the laughter soon dies: SWAT member with a twitchy trigger finger, US Air Marshall not let in on the plan, a passenger with a guilty conscious thinking they're after them, critical medical package held on the ground...

Jerks like this are one step on the rung above swatters, who are mindless idiots who will eventually get someone killed "For The Lullz"

http://www.networkworld.com/article/2350703/security/fbi-warns-emergency-911-swatters-are-a-growing-menace.html

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David Austin

To be fair...

This guy phoned a bomb threat in on a plane he was in which got grounded, and could have easially spiralled out of control if the SWAT teams didn't keep such cool heads, especially as he specifically said the bomb was in Smedley's bag.

He also went after the personal details of and threatened his family, an area where we are all a little over-protective.

I think his anger, while perhaps misjudged, is understandable - it's a human reaction, rather than canned corporate speak. Kinda refreshing to see.

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3

We tried using Windows 10 for real work and ... oh, the horror

David Austin

Apart from the traditional issues with nVidia Drivers on RC versions of Windows being buggy as heck, yes.

Steam runs fine, and not had any 2D or 3D games I've tried fail yet.

If you do have any metro games, some of them are upset at the moment, as they can't handle resizable windows, and glitch out (Hello, Sonic Dash) - Sure they'll get fixed soon after RTM.

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7/7 memories: I was on a helpdesk that day and one of my users died

David Austin

I was finishing a Training course at Sophos HQ that day (They call their HQ "The Pentagon", Which was strangely appropriate on that day)

Had to drive home from Oxford to Chelmsford. The journey took six hours (Via the A414 instead of the M25); I don't remember much of the details of the drive, but I was listening to Radio 5 live all the way home, and lots of that commentary still sticks in my mind.

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Hackers exploit fresh PC hijack bug in Adobe Flash Player, the internet's screen door

David Austin

Meh

No issue here - our shop went Adobe free, after the security holes in Flash and reader, and the rental Bollocks in Adobe CS.

Designers did moan a bit, mind.

Ah well; fuck 'em,

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Linus Torvalds asks kernel devs to take a break so he can too

David Austin

I've never really looked into the Linux "organisational structure", as much as a project like this can have one, but as an outsider, I'm surprised Linus has that much to do with the day to day running that it can't/won't release when he's away.

It's not a bad thing, but it seems that he's a human Single Point of Failure: If something happens to him, is there the structure in place to seamlessly keep things going?

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Jurassic World: All the meaty ingredients for a summer blockbuster

David Austin

Not Bad

Annoying Kid didn't get eaten. 8/10.

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Capita wins four out of five stars for 'good', 'inexpensive' service

David Austin

Hmmm...

Maybe we can help them put in a hostile takeover bid for the other Capita. Can't be any worse than the current regime, and these chaps seem Pretty customer focused and good value...

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ATTACK of the DINKY DRONES! US military creates ROBOTIC CARRIER PIGEON

David Austin

Tesla would be happy

Turns out he was ahead of the curve with his laser pigeon.

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Word to your mother: Office 2016 preview flung at world + dog

David Austin

The only new feature I actually like in Office 2013 is Outlook's Attachment Reminder.

Still, the number of times it's saved my bacon, it's been well worth the upgrade price.

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MONSTROUS iPhone sales are CANNIBALIZING iPads, gabbles Apple CEO

David Austin

Tablets in general

Aren't tablet sales dipping across the board? Which when you think it, isn't too much of a surprise: We've gone past the stage of "Ooh, that's a new thing I want" to "I've got one, I'll upgrade it in 2 or 3 years"

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Fed-up Colorado man takes 9mm PISTOL to vexing Dell PC

David Austin

Re: Can't help thinking...

Their home kit (Inspiron, studio) isn't anything to write home about, but their business kit (OptiPlex, latitude) is pretty good: Reasonably priced, good reliability, and backed up by good servicing and parts options, especially if you spring for the NBD ProSupport.

Normally it's a straight fight between them and HP for our shop.

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FCC hit with SEVENTH net neutrality lawsuit

David Austin

Hmm

Remind me to cut UK ISP's some slack, sometime. They're far from perfect, but for most exchanges there's reasonable competition, and competitive pricing.

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Watch out Wizard, Bezos wants the Emerald City for himself

David Austin

Re: Nice picture accompanying the story!

Agreed. Very cool. Do El Reg give sources for all these header images they use? Just noticed on this one it doesn't appear to be attributed...

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Bloke hits armadillo AND mother-in-law with single 9mm round

David Austin

Re: Armadillo!

Yes, but I can't: They'll always be Dime and Marathon.

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Pro-tip: Steal a TARDIS to survive Windows Server preview death

David Austin

Client first

I'm guessing it's just a case of all hand on deck to get Windows 10 up to speed and ready.

From the outside as a tester since October, I don't think Windows 10 is in crisis: It looks and feels pretty stable - And more importantly, coherent - at this stage, but after the mess of Windows 8, can you blame MS to throwing every coder they have at it to get it ready?

Besides, since Windows XP/Windows server 2003, the server has trailed the client by 6 months to a year, so that about holds the pattern if Windows 10 hits in the summer as planned.

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Dell denies 'insecure autoupdate app' flings open PC backdoor

David Austin

Don't need a service tag detector

From a command line:

wmic csproduct get vendor,name,identifyingnumber

No downloads or plug-ins needed, no info sent to or from servers, and gives sensible information for most other brands, too.

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BlackHat talk hibernated over 0-day in SAP's Afaria mobile manager

David Austin

Hmm.

Those are some long fix times. Good of them to hold the talk off, but that also takes the pressure off SAP to fix. One hopes they're not taking it easy as the fix isn't public, especially as it's not just Black Hats, but government agencies now that you have to worry about using unreported vulnerabilities...

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One's speedy, one's a fat boy: WD and Toshiba spin out new HDDs

David Austin

6TB WD Black

When Is this coming? The Blacks have topped out at 4TB for over 2 years, now...

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IBM sued for talking up semiconductor business it couldn't give away

David Austin

Re: Worthless chip manufacturing plant??

Absolutely right, Otto. was aimed at naive. Apologies to Jimmy2Cows.

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David Austin

Re: Worthless chip manufacturing plant??

If you care to remember, Jimmy2Cows, Meg Whitman replaced Léo Apotheker over at HP after he attempted corporate suicide by discontinuing Several promising products, threatening to split the business, and making a bad bet on Autonomy

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/27/business/for-seamless-transitions-at-the-top-dont-consult-hewlett-packard.html

Meg, on the other hand, grew eBay from 30 employees and $4 million revenues to 15,000 employees and $8 billion revenues

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meg_Whitman#eBay

Be it business or technical credentials, I know which one of the two I'd pick every time.

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C’mon Lenovo. Superfish hooked, but Pokki Start Menu still roaming free

David Austin

Re: Why are you even diagnosing this lappy?

Depends on the size of the shop.

Enterprise will obviously do this (Or should do)

SMB don't always have competent IT staff on the payroll, so doing a clean build costs them Time and Money.

Assuming that Pokki, like Superfish, was only shipped on Home use Lenovo's (IE: Not the business ThinkPads), then that adds weight to this being a smaller, ad-hoc shop - I Wouldn't be surprised if El Reg's source was a jack-of-all-trades office manager, who happens to know enough about IT to handle the client side, with contractors doing the server side.

And again, if they are a big shop, why are they buying Yoga/Inspiron/Pavillion laptops instead of ThinkPad/Latitude/Probook systems?

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$533 MEEELLION – the cost of Apple’s iTunes patent infringement

David Austin

Why Texas?

Why does most Patent Casework happen in Texas? Is there some quirk in their state law, or did the Ecosystem just snowball from a few favourable judgements? Never seen it explained why Texas became patent capital of the US.

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Microsoft: You want on-prem wares, UK.gov? We'll make you pay

David Austin

Office365

I am not renting a Word Processor

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Valve set for OpenGL BIG REVEAL at upcoming conference

David Austin

Re: I'm hopeful

The software stack will end up being great with so many eyeballs working on it, but there's only so much you can do without having the hardware geared towards it.

Granted, with OpenCL support and programmable graphic cards, you can send through custom shaders and microcode to do things in hardware, but without AMD, nVidia, and Intel tuning the hardware to openGI as much as they do to DirectX, it will have to work so much harder to get the same results.

Having them onboard from the get go will really help accelerate deployment, rather than them waiting for it to reach such a critical mass, they can't ignore it.

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David Austin

Are AMD and nVidia on board?

After all, one of the reasons DirectX does so well is that the gaming grade graphics cards Team Red and Team Green make have it baked in at the silicone level, and in many cases are built from the ground up for it.

If they're ready and willing to put the same hardware love in for OpenGL Next, and stop treating it as a second class citizen like they do now, this could really be a game changer, no pun intended.

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Another day, yet another emergency Adobe Flash patch. Because that's how we live now

David Austin

Why Won't it Die?

Seriously, please - can we just put the fucker out of it's misery?

Thanks to Jobs putting his foot down on iOS, most sites proved they can work without flash.

I think the worst Sin Microsoft did with Windows 8 was baking flash into Internet Explorer: Just when we were at the point of beginning to get rid of it.

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Judge to Dish Network: your Hopper's hip, it ain't no Aereo

David Austin

I fancied watching some Simpsons the other day, then spent the next 40 minute trying to find a legal paid or free way to stream it in the UK.

If there is a way, they've hidden it very very well: Not on iPlayer, Amazon, netflix, FindAnyFilm. The only place that may have had it was Sky Player, if you were a satellite subscriber.

Likewise with American Dad and Family Guy.

It's like they don't even want my money. I'm taking an equivalent amount of viewing pleasure watch this judge dick fox over.

1
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Get coding or you'll bounce email from new dot-thing domains

David Austin

Obligatory XKCD Lind

Colour corrected, of course.

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Windows 7 MARKED for DEATH by Microsoft as of NOW

David Austin

Re: Microsoft Hates Stable Software Like Windows 7

Microsoft's product support Lifecycles means Business & Developer products (IE: Windows pro or Enterprise) are supported for a minimum of 10 years: for example, Windows 7 runs from 2009 - 2020

http://support.microsoft.com/gp/lifepolicy

The longest Linux support I know of is 5 years for the Ubantu LTS editions:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long-term_support#Software_with_separate_LTS_versions

for most non enterprise customers, those are the practical end dates of secure software, with vendor patches. Sure, if you're big, rich, and clever enough, you can shell out for a dev team to write custom patches for Linux, or pay Microsoft for custom support beyond those dates, but for most normal users, both options are out of reach.

If you want long term stability, for most non-enterprise or non-technical customers, Microsoft are a little bit better because of their longer lifecycles.

In fact the only elephant in the room here is Apple, who don't provide any public roadmaps or end of support statements:

http://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/61380/how-long-does-apple-provide-support-for-mac-os-x

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David Austin

Yes.

Know the bug you mean: That was one of the major reasons Vista RTM Was so crappy.

http://blogs.technet.com/b/markrussinovich/archive/2008/02/04/2826167.aspx

Been fixed since Vista SP1 (And a hotfix for RTM), and GUI file copying (Especially dealing with conflicts and duplicates) has gotten better in each subsequent release.

... Still, not a patch on good ol' Robocopy.

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Kim Dotcom vows to KILL SKYPE with encrypted MegaChat

David Austin

Good

I don't trust Skype (Because of NSA/Snowden leaks), and I don't like Skype (2014 interface is very hard to work with, and it's still missing features from MSN Messenger that is supposedly replaced)

more chat options is a good thing, and Kim is very, very good ad drumming up support for ideas, even if his execution is hit and miss

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Internet Explorer 12 to shed legacy cruft in bid to BEAT Chrome

David Austin

It's a nice idea, splitting the legacy code off into it's own IE (Can see it working similar to how Standard/Metro IE Did in Windows 8), but for the love of Xenu, don't follow Chrome and Firefox in the UI Department.

Yes, they're great for full screen web browsing, but I like the fact IE has a functioning menu bar by default, and doesn't attempt to hide every option and menu somewhere off the beaten track.

When did developers begin this pathological hatred of menu bars?

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Stop Xiaomi, oh stop Xiaomi: Samsung to debut Tizen mobe in India in January

David Austin

Bada 2.0

What makes them think this will go any better than Bada did?

If I was going to back a new phone platform - and between Windows Mobile, iOS, Android, and BBOS, I'm not sure there is room or need - I'd put my money on Firefox OS.

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Toshiba joins the exclusive, three-member 6TB disk drive club

David Austin

Schweet

Nice to get some more 6TB Drives out - Great for the people that want them, and just as good for people wanting smaller drives, as they all drop down a pricing level.

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Pitch Black: New BlackBerry Classic is aimed at the old-school

David Austin

Bold 9900

The Blackberry Bold is possibly my favourite handset ever: It just felt right - solid, great keyboard, nice touchscreen. Know it wasn't the fastest, smallest, or "Best" at anything, but it was one of those pieces of kit everyone who touched wanted.

For most of 2012, my "Ideal Phone" would have been a Blackberry Bold 9900 running Android OS.

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