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* Posts by Tom 38

2440 posts • joined 21 Jul 2009

Gartner: RIP PCs - tablets will CRUSH you this year

Tom 38
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Re: makes sense

A tablet that runs windows - real windows - isn't a tablet, it's a laptop that has no keyboard. It will behave like a laptop, get slower like a laptop, have shit software installed like a laptop.

I've had to fix various family members issues with shitty ancient laptops for the last ten years. I've never had anyone ever ask me to do anything to fix an ipad.

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Gates and Allen reshoot historic 1981 Microsoft photo

Tom 38
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Love that film, although I thought it portrayed Gates as someone who would fuck anyone over to get the result he wanted, Steve Jobs as the crazy maniacal business genius - all sharp suits and smooth talk - who shouts at people until he gets what he wants - the scene where he reams out a developer at 3 in the morning is class - and Woz as a out of his depth techy slowly going mad under Job's thumb.

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Gov report: Actually, evil City traders DIDN'T cause the banking crash

Tom 38
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Stop

RBS went bust because it bought ABN Amro for too much money.

It was only too much money because ABN Amro was lying about the value of it's mortgage assets, with the connivance of the rating agencies. It's like saying someone who drowns has died of suffocation, technically it is accurate, but it's missing the bloody point.

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Prime Ministerial exploding cheese expert to become 'entrepreneur'

Tom 38
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WTF?

en·tre·pre·neur

/ˌäntrəprəˈno͝or/

Noun

A person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on financial risk to do so.

I don't know the chap that well, but it doesn't seem to me that he has ever done either of those two things.

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If Google got a haircut, a tie and a suit, would it be Microsoft?

Tom 38
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Browsium said […] no one it has spoken to has made Chrome the primary office web browser

They can't have talked to that many people. Which makes their 'insight' into the browser market somewhat dubious.

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Production-ready ZFS offers cosmic-scale storage for Linux

Tom 38
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Re: zpool scrub == fsck

Also, zfs scrub is exactly the same purpose and design as a data scrub/patrol read on a RAID array. It's the one thing people with RAID arrays often forget about until they have a single disk failure, do a rebuild and find out they have double disk failure.

zfs or RAID, if you aren't scrubbing your data each week, you don't know it's actually there.

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Tom 38
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WTF?

Re: Tom 38 Open source purity

"Slowaris" - what are you, 12?

There is more going on here that meets the eye, I'm sure. Show me on the doll where Jonathan Schwartz touched you.

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Tom 38
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Re: zpool scrub == fsck

If you use ZFS on Solaris, there are excellent monitoring tools built in to the OS. The other OS's aren't quite as integrated, although there are plenty of zfs monitoring scripts for things like munin.

The "ZFS needs no fsck" is mainly of interest to users of FS where an unexpected reboot will require a full fsck before coming back online again. A full fsck on a 3TB UFS RAID 5 can take many, many hours. ZFS never requires this, and you never need to run fsck ever - data is always consistent on disk.

You do have to periodically scrub a ZFS array. This ensures that your data is always readable, and helps discover disk flaws earlier than usual usage, and is a positive thing.

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Tom 38
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Re: Open source purity

CDDL code cannot be included with GPL code because of GPL's insistence to relicense the CDDL under GPL.

It can be included with BSD code, since it is open, free and un-encumbered, and BSD has no clause forcing re-licensing under BSD.

Explain again how that is a problem with CDDL and not GPL?

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Tom 38
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It does indeed. A modest home NAS running ZFS demands a minimum of 8GB and 16GB is preferable if you're running any kind RAID-Z.

Run many yourself have you? I ran a 8TB home ZFS server no problems on 4GB of RAM, reserving 2 GB for OS and applications, so effectively a NAS with 2GB RAM.

The more RAM you give to ZFS, the more it can cache, and the faster everything goes. You do not need 1 GB for 1 TB as is often mentioned.

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Tom 38
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Re: > scrawl "except for ZFS which is ok so far as we're concerned" somewhere in the middle of GPL2

Afaik there is no bsd licensed assembler or linker. clang isn't enough if it is still using binutils.

Give us a chance, we're getting there! Lots of the standard tools have recently been ported from their GPL equivalent, iconv, sort, grep are all on their way to being fully replaced, clang introduction has been very good, the toolchain will land by FreeBSD 12 I'd guess.

IIRC, the 'problem' with CDDL and GPL is not that the CDDL prohibits the GPL, it is that GPL prohibits itself from CDDL, since it cannot re-license it as GPL. CDDL isn't a problem for a BSD licensed OS, since we just want to use the code, not re-license it.

The zfsonlinux guys are very active in the ZFS community, and have fixed lots of bugs in the upstream (which is Illumos, open source ZFS has little to do with Oracle/Sun anymore). The only feature missing from ZFS, Block Pointer Rewrite¹, will probably come from zfsonlinux if anywhere.

¹ Block Pointer Rewrite is the ability to dynamically resize a pool by adding or removing vdevs, eg by adding a single disk vdev to a 4 disk raidz pool to make a 5 disk raidz pool.

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Judge: Facebook must see Timelines Inc in court over trademark

Tom 38
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Re: Saint Zuck?

Any market where you are the dominant player is one that you want to continue dominating. Most executives would say the same sort of thing, but without being as overly crude and arrogant as Zuck.

The only way FB can lose is if they allow a competitor to overtake them in terms of features and users start to leave them. Therefore, make sure your competitors aren't standing.

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Living in the middle of a big city? Your broadband may still be crap

Tom 38
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Re: 5.3Mb

Canary Wharf is also really bad because it is the docklands. The cables wind around the docks, so you can have extreme cable length for a relatively short "crows distance" to the exchange.

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IT Pro confession: How I helped in the BIGGEST DDoS OF ALL TIME

Tom 38
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Re: You're lucky...

Yep, top fail. You should never run an authoritative DNS server as a cache, you should run separate instances of them on different interfaces if you require both DNS caching/recursive lookup services internally and authoritative DNS externally.

If DNS isn't your main job, you might look at easier to use alternatives to BIND. BIND is really powerful, but some of that power is the ability to shoot yourself in the foot. Something like djbdns is much more thought out and less error prone for the novice than BIND.

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Orange is the new TalkTalk of the broadband complaints league

Tom 38
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Re: Is there a GOOD broadband provider?

LLU ISPs often prefer you to use the supplied modem, as it should match up perfectly with the equipment they install in the DSLAM. With my soon-to-be-Sky ISP BeThere, they are perfectly happy for you to use a different modem, but if you have line problems, they will want you to plug in the box they supplied to diagnose faults.

It's also possible for most supplied modems to be put in to bridge mode, so you can use whatever device you want as your gateway, bridged to the ISPs modem.

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US bill prohibits state use of tech linked to Chinese government

Tom 38
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Re: All of it?

the network drivers for a certain OEM was shadowing all traffic to an IP address in China several years ago. And that's just the one I heard about. I'm sure that it's been found with other OEMs

Citation or GTFO. Yellow peril is so 19th century.

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MI5 undercover spies: People are falsely claiming to be us

Tom 38
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MI5 have a logo?

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Torygraph and Currant Bun stand by to repel freeloaders

Tom 38
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Tried papers on tablets

They are universally rubbish. The Times app is OK - ish - but the Sunday Times app is atrocious, it's a series of stitched together images mainly, meaning each section is massive to download.

The whole point of sunday papers is to completely cover every flat surface in your house with newsprint, so cramming it all into a small tablet doesn't actually work that well.

The only time it is really useful is when you cannot get the real thing - probably abroad. In that case, the huge downloads really make it suffer. Who wants to wait 3 hours to download the Style supplement?

Finally, the price of most newspapers is outrageous. In London, we get served with free newspapers - not the Metro, but the Evening Standard is actually decent quality. The BBC has impartial (well, BBC impartial) reporting of all main events.

The only paper I actually regularly pay for is Private Eye, which is a magazine anyway. Private Eye, Evening Standard, BBC, The Register. Sunday Times on a sunday if I have 4 hours to kill.

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GCHQ attempts to downplay amazing plaintext password blunder

Tom 38
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Farrall only got round to blogging about the issue this week, two months after the offending email.

Presumably after not getting the gig.

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West Virginia seeks Google Glass driving ban

Tom 38
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Headmaster

Re: Walking down a public street

When walking down a public street one has privacy rights in most countries and the recorder can show his street filming without individual permissions only in very limited scenario e.g. nobody is singled out and crowd is the subject, it has high news value for the public.

Completely incorrect. If you are in public, you can take a photo of whatever you want for whatever reason you desire.

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Tom 38
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WTF?

Re: OMG

How is this sensible? There are two ways of producing legislation, you can proscribe actions - "You can't drive whilst juggling", or you can proscribe behaviour "You can't drive without due care and attention".

Driving whilst watching cat videos is already proscribed - it's driving without due care and attention. So why would you want to amend it to specifically proscribe it - apart from the obvious "I'm a politician from West Virginia and want to be heard".

What if next week the craze is for juggling alligators whilst driving - do we need a specific amendment for that, or do you think we are already covered?

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Inside Adastral: BT's Belgium-sized broadband boffinry base

Tom 38
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Re: research my arse

This, plus the fact that the research stopped in the late 90s when BT made redundant/retired almost all the research staff (and almost all the Greybeards).

The whole reason it is 'Adastral Park' and not 'BT Research Laboratories' is that after this mass culling they found they had masses of empty office space, along with the only decent internet connection in Suffolk, so they became landlords instead.

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Tom 38
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Headmaster

Re: Low tech badging

Kevin Warwick, and no, it wasn't.

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Review: Renault Zoe electric car

Tom 38
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Headmaster

Re: Lies...damn lies...and statistics.

And the inability to power your vehicle from ANY system other than fossilised plants.

Most diesel ICEs can run quite happily off vegetable oil, and most petrol ICEs can run quite happily off ethanol, neither of which come from fossilised plants.

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Osborne slashes growth forecast by half in bleak economy statement

Tom 38
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Re: Good budget I thought

Something is only worth what someone will pay for it. People are paying for houses currently - the market still exists - ergo houses are worth that currently.

I understand your argument, that house prices are artificially high due to constraint on supply. However, a constraint on supply is still a constraint on supply. If someone cut down 90% the lemon trees in the world, that would be an artificial constraint on supply, but the value of a lemon would still rise.

Your plan to destroy planning constraints would move people out of your supposed 'pretend negative equity' and into real negative equity, and that would not stimulate the housing market, it would destroy it. 90% of home-owners would never be able to move house.

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Tom 38
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Re: Good budget I thought

What he could have done (and should have years ago) is rip planning regulation to shreds providing lots of cheap land for large and efficient builds (instead of having to build shitty expensive hovels 2 or 3 at a time in tiny brown field sites). That would have bottomed out the property market quickly

I agree with a lot of what you said about the "too late and too wrong". Every budget has something to try and assist the first time buyer, rarely do they work. I'm hopeful this time, because I want to be a first time buyer some time soon - drives me crazy paying more in rent than I would on a mortgage, just because I can't get the mortgage in the first place.

'Solving' the housing crisis is extremely hard. If you make building new houses much cheaper, by ripping up planning as you suggest, then the value of houses would drop massively. This would push a huge section of homeowners into negative equity, and would probably worsen the recession.

The other aspect is that building houses needs to be profitable for the house builders in order for more houses to be built. If you suddenly slash the value of land, any property developer sitting on land takes a huge haircut, and now can't afford to build houses.

What I would like to see is more house building ordered by councils, in conjunction with house builders. They should be allowed to acquire land and bypass some planning regs in order to build more affordable housing that is available to rent for social tenants. They should use the housing as an incentive for the social tenants to keep in work, being good citizens etc, by offsetting rent paid against purchasing the house, eventually leading to home ownership.

This would hopefully not overly affect house prices, but then I'm neither an economist nor a politician, so wtf do I know :)

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Tom 38
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Good budget I thought

Lots and lots of job promoting tax cuts, raise in personal tax allowance to £10k is impressive - a rise of almost a third since the coalition came to power - and I very much like the mortgage assistance and new home building changes, which should encourage more buyers, and contribute to growth.

Things like how the Employers NI contributions changed are also very clever - they disproportionally favour smaller firms, so it is less likely that it just gets pocketed by big companies.

Slight cut to corp tax to promote job growth in larger companies too. Just need to spend slightly less and have the economy grow a bit and we're golden.

We have to recognise that our growth will rely a lot on the EU. Whilst they are stagnating, it is a lot trickier to grow.

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Joyent tools up for Amazon battle

Tom 38
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This is interesting, but scaling NoSQL is not exactly hard. Wake me up when someone has a DBaaS that offers an RDBMS with insta-scaling.

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Tom 38
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The point is that their DB has specific DTrace hooks to instrument various things. You can of course use DTrace to examine almost anything, but examining something that has been designed for DTrace gives you massively more useful data for much less work.

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Review: HTC One

Tom 38
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WTF?

Re: Of course it doesn't need charging.

It's amazing how people who are vehemently opposed to iphones know everything about them.

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Twitter patents sending messages, promises not to sue everyone

Tom 38
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WTF?

I dont speak lawyer

7. The method of claim 1, wherein translating the update message into an appropriate format comprises translating from a Latin based language to a double byte type based language.

£100 says that in the code that implements this claim, the word "iconv" is used somewhere.

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Apple fixes iOS passcode-bypass hack with 6.1.3 update

Tom 38
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Re: Jailbreaking

Each 'jailbreak' is not just a convenient hook to unlock your phone, it is a security hole allowing unmanaged code to run.

Generally speaking, when software maintainers discover such holes, they tend to want to plug them.

You don't have to jailbreak your phone to use it - even how you want. If you want to install apps from outside of the app store, perhaps you don't want an iPhone.

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Is UK web speech regulated? No.10: Er. We’ll get back to you

Tom 38
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WTF?

…an English court decides who is a publisher and what is news

Are you surprised, politicians pass laws and judges interpret them, this is the basis of English law.

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Beijing IT biz taunts Microsoft: Show us your licence for Office 365

Tom 38
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Re: Foreign multinationals would be affected?

You need a license for everything - license to have internet, license to have VPN, license to have servers connected to the internet... that last one is so hard to get, we use a local partner (which I suspect is entirely the point).

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Tom 38
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Foreign multinationals would be affected?

Are you sure? In our office in Shanghai, the internet gets tunnelled through a VPN out of the country, completely bypassing the Great Firewall. I'd assume everyone else operates in the same way.

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Microsoft issues manual on Brits to Cambridge exports

Tom 38
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I hope you said "Yes", and went on to send them a detailed 4 page PDF instructing them how the cucumber sandwiches should be made, how much of the crust should be cut off, how to arrange the sandwiches on the doily, and so forth.

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Tom 38
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Re: Agree totally on the Take-Aways

Actually, most "chinese" takeaways in the UK tend to offer mainly Cantonese food, with a distinct Hong Kong twist, regardless of where they actually come from in China. This is because this is what most British people expect from a "chinese" takeaway, since initially most Chinese immigrants to the UK were from NT/Guangdong.

You usually have to go to a Chinatown to get decent specialist food, eg real Sichuan or Fujian dishes. Just compare and contrast a "Kung Pow Chicken" from your average takeaway with a real "Gong Bao Chicken".

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Samsung's new Galaxy S 4: iPhone assassin or Android also-ran?

Tom 38
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Re: Sure it has a lot of sensors

I'm still waiting for a phone with a cigarette lighter in.

Wait no longer

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Drunk driving: No more dangerous than talking on handsfree mobe

Tom 38
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Re: Tested a drivers skill...

I am surprised no one has mentioned children.

I'm not just talking about the ones who let them roam around the backseat instead of strapped in (seen a few in my time).

Think what happens when an child starts kicking the back of your headrest. A dropped mobile can be ignored if you have to give full attention to the road, but not a small child playing whack-a-mole with your noggin.

[In case it's not clear, I'm saying there are a plethora of daily things that we do in cars that can be distracting. We do not need a separate law covering each and every one of them, there is 'Driving without due care and attention' for issues that do not cause major injuries or fatalities, 'Dangerous driving' for those that do, and 'An accident, no action necessary', for Plod/CPS to use his discretion on]

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Don't buy a Google car: They might stop it while you're driving

Tom 38
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Re: Google are tightening the screws

Google have always cleaned house. They regularly take stock of their projects and websites and when they find one they can say "Wait, virtually no-one uses this shit, it makes us nothing in adverts and we have 100 developers working on it", they shutter it.

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Attention, CIOs: Stop outsourcing or YOU will never retire

Tom 38
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FAIL

Re: This isn't just an IT problem

You can't make someone redundant and then hire someone to do their job - otherwise the job is evidently not redundant.

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Every SECOND there are EIGHT more Seagate drives in the world

Tom 38
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Devil

So much bitchiness

If you read enough 'feedback' from the internet, you'll know by now that Seagate, Toshiba, Samsung¹, Fujitsu², HGST³ and WD (er, is that all of them?) are all rubbish and produce utter rubbish that falls to pieces and they'll never buy another one again.

It's all bollocks. Sometimes, certain skus have below average reliability - it doesn't mean that all skus from that manufacturer also do. It may be time-related - drives from one batch may fail significantly sooner than from another. Disks with consecutive serial numbers often fail in close time periods to each other.

I've had every hard drive manufacturer under the sun, and yes, sometimes disks fail (OMG!). They fail from all manufacturers, they fail at the start of their service run, they fail halfway through, and sometimes they don't fail at all.

However, I have yet to meet a disk that fails silently, or doesn't record the fact that things are getting a bit ropey. Using smartctl to watch and monitor SMART statistics normally tells you very quickly when a drive should be pre-emptively replaced. I buy my disks based solely upon capacity, price and warranty period - brand doesn't enter into it.

tl;dr - disks from all manufacturers fail, if you store important data on disk, you need recovery and contingency plans to preserve your data and keep you working. No-one gives a fuck about a disk failing if everything has been planned out in advance.

¹ Yes, I know it's now owned by Seagate

² Ditto, but Toshiba

³ Ditto, but WD

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eBay: Our paid Google advertising was a total waste of money

Tom 38
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FAIL

Re: Loyal Customer

If you're a loyal customer, clicking the ad links is probably costing them money - they probably get charged per click, and you were going to go to the website anyway.

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Devs tease early screenshots of Ubuntu Touch Core Apps

Tom 38
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Devil

Re: This sounds like quite good progress.

It's Ubuntu, so it would always be a new SDK. Why improve someone else's work when you can write it from scratch and own it outright?

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Ten serious sci-fi films for the sentient fan

Tom 38
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Thumb Up

Saw 'Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel' last night. Really quite funny, Chris O'Dowd on form, lots of time travel fun for all, watch till the end of the credits :)

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Tom 38
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Re: Good choice..

Event Horizon scared me shitless.

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Tom 38
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Re: SF is not just about "big ideas", it only looks that way...

Yep, I went skitzo when the ending of BSG (The Remake) revealed everything that I thought would be Sci Fi with Sky Fairy. Fucking numpties, I'm still raging about it - 50k humans spend 4 years hurtling through space, hunted by killer robots, they get somewhere nice - extremely low tech, one guy says "We'll destroy all our technology", and the rest of them just nod and go "mmm, yes". There's not one guy going "Wait, you want to do WHAT with my mining ship?"

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How UK gov's 'growth' measures are ALREADY killing the web

Tom 38
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Re: Just one problem

Whoever took the photo. I guess you are saying all photos of a bus crossing Westminster Bridge in front of Parliament are equivalent - which they are not.

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Tom 38
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Stop

Re: Bloody tired of freetards

I agree with 90% of what you say, but then you ruin it by saying that

Cropping a picture, removing the metadata is theft, simple as that

No. No it isn't. It's not even remotely theft. It's copyright infringement, which (really really) is not theft.

Theft deprives the owner of the use of their property; cropping an image may deprive you of potential income, but you still have use of your property. Demonstrably, this is not theft.

I think the solution is to have a registrar of works. If you create a work, you can submit it to a registrar, who stores that you are the creator. A search function should be provided to allow a user to determine the owner of a picture, or fragment of a picture. If a newspaper/anyone subsequently re-uses an image that is in the registrar, and they did not submit it, they should be liable for punitive fines, based upon the number of views/impressions.

The search function would be tricky, but not impossible. Google is pretty good at matching similar images..

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