* Posts by Tom 38

2912 posts • joined 21 Jul 2009

The voters hate Google. Heeeeyyyy... how about a 'Google Tax'?

Tom 38
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Re: The voters hate Google

But I wonder how many of them use it (for free)

"Without financial detriment". It's not free.

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Linux kernel devs adopt Bill and Ted's excellent code of conduct

Tom 38
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Joke

Re: Is this the end of the rants?

Shit guys, just think where we might be now if davtom had been onboard.

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Tom 38
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Headmaster

Any OS which was built around the most robust operating system kernel ever.

What's QNX got to do with it?

Joking aside, Linux isn't the most robust operating system kernel ever, chiefly because it provides so many features. Others can be more robust, but they provide less features.

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Chewier than a slice of Pi: MIPS Creator CI20 development board

Tom 38
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Re: Media Center

Well for consumer devices, it's normally commonly listed in the tech specs, eg an Apple TV:

H.264 video up to 1080p, 30 frames per second, High or Main Profile level 4.0 or lower, Baseline Profile level 3.0 or lower with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4 and .mov file formats

For the Google chromecast:

H.264 High Profile Level 4.1 (the processor can decode up to 720/60 or 1080/30)

VP8

10bit Hi422p is rarely supported by commercial devices. You'll often find it in cartoon rips, because it produces much more efficient encodes.

On my (BSD) media centre, I use a (fanless) Zotac Nvidia GT 520 GPU, which supports all of these things (MBAFF deinterlacing (thanks for MBAFF, BBC :/ ), Hi422p, 2160p, better deinterlacing than bob/weave, Hi1080p30@L5.1), and cost £20. mplayer can offload all video decoding to the GPU via VDPAU, so 0% CPU usage. Bit bulkier than a SoC though!

(I'll never understand why people choose such high levels to encode at, there is little difference in quality/bitrate between Hi1080p30@L5.1 and Main 1080p30L4.1, and usually is constrained to a bitrate within Main/4.1. Still, it is nice to get a file, and play it without having to say "oh thats the wrong codec options, give me 4 hours, I'll transcode it")

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Tom 38
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Re: Friendlier than C

wtf do you think the low level python interfaces are written in?

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Tom 38
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Re: Media Center

I use the Pi as a media centre and it plays HD (MKV/MP4) fine.

Is there a more qualified statement than this? Does it decode H264 in Hi422P profile? What are the supported profiles/levels (will my "advanced" profile, level 5.1 content play? Level 4.1?)? Does it support H264 MBAFF? What is the maximum supported bitrate? Will it decode 60p content? Will it decode 2160p content?

I don't mean to be an arsehole, but if the CPU isn't enough to decode the video, the hardware offload has to be sufficient to support all media types that you might want to throw at it. Being able to decode "scene" rips is good, but if you're going to need a different device to play back DVB-S2 content..

I did a bit of googling, no word on specific profiles, it can handle up to 40Mb/s, so sufficient for bluray, can't do 60fps. Reading between the lines, it can't* do higher than level 4.0 at baseline, extended, main or high profile, and no higher than 3.1 at Hi422p, because of the stated max bitrate of 40Mb/s.

* For given meanings of the word "can't". Some devices will just flat out refuse files that they think they can't play, some just play them and there is "corruption" at the point where it can't decode the frame, possibly (depending on error settings, frame drop and so on) leading to AV de-sync, audio glitches or garbled content until the next I-frame or beyond (AV de-sync will rarely fix itself).

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Would YOU touch-type on this chunk-tastic keyboard?

Tom 38
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eight to 10 hours to achieve unconscious competence at 90 to 100 per cent of their flat keyboard typing speed.

Is this people who can type or people who can't type? Achieving 90 to 100 per cent of my mum's typing speed, not impressive, the real question is can a trained typist get up to 100 wpm out of the beasty?

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Apple Watch: Wait a minute! This puny wrist-puter costs 17 GRAND?!

Tom 38
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Re: Bye bye upgradable laptops

It's a choice between expandability/upgradability and packing all those components in to the smallest form factor possible. They didn't solder in anything that looks like an SSD, they took the chips that would normally go in to a separate component and attached them to the motherboard. It needs no cabling, is less boxy, and so it fits in a smaller form factor. The fella who changed every component in his laptop*; let's face it, its not going to be svelte is it?

You pays your money, you takes your choice. Other laptop manufacturers are available.

* surely buddy, at some point it was cheaper to get a new laptop than a new keyboard, gpu, ram, odd, hdd...

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OK, they're not ROBOT BUTLERS, but Internet of Home 'Things' are getting smarter

Tom 38
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The big worry

We're one step closer to....

Howdy doodly do. How's it going? I'm Talkie, Talkie Toaster, your chirpy breakfast companion. Talkie's the name, toasting's the game. Anyone like any toast?

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Tom 38
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Re: The big problem (and risk) is connectivity

In my opinion, there needs to be two classes of IoT devices, master devices and slave devices. The slave devices provide information and RPC to the master device, which then weaves the information and RPC in to user interfaces and controllable actions.

The user would own both types of devices, the slave devices are cryptographically paired to the master device, and data only passes from slave devices to the master device. The master device can then provide that data to third party internet services based upon the single set of security permissions granted on the master device.

The current form of "smart home" devices are anything but. They are all "slave devices", which pump your data to a central server on the internet, which then makes the "smart" choices. This hides that your personal data (eg, heating information) is then available for the providing entity to mine or analyze how they see fit. Do Not Want.

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Top Euro court ends mega ebook VAT slash in France, Luxembourg

Tom 38
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Re: VAT Fraud!

Downvoted for stating facts?

He said more than the 5 words you are quoting.

I down voted him for his pedantic stating that there is no such thing as an exempt rate of VAT, when there is.

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Tom 38
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Re: VAT Fraud!

The rich make the tax rules and they certainly don't make them for the poor.

The tax rules (we call them laws) are made by parliament. Whether that is "rich" or "poor" depends on who you voted in. If we had had a Tory government for the last 36 years, that argument might have some merit, but at the moment the tax laws are largely those put in place by Labour.

If those were written in mind for the rich, some people got some splainin to do? Has Hodge been "shocked" yet that she had 11 years to change the tax laws in order to nail multinationals minimising taxes (like her family firm does), but failed each and every year?

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BACK OFF, spooks: UK legal hacking code should be 'resisted at all costs' says lawyer

Tom 38
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Unhappy

Re: Hacking....

Alas, the jargon file is full of our words, but the world does not use our words how we would use them.

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Grab your pitchforks: Ubuntu to switch to systemd on Monday

Tom 38
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Re: It's a question of complexity vs democracy

phil dude: Feel free to take all those "non open source" BSD licensed components of your Linux OS out then. Not so much fun without a GUI, ssl, ssh, png, jpeg..... is it?

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Tom 38
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Re: @DainB ZFS vs BTRFS...

zfs-on-linux is not prime time, because the guys who run the zfs-on-linux project mainly care about storing vast amounts of archive data, they don't care much about performance, so caches aren't unified and other performance issues.

If you want to do interesting things with ZFS, you're using Indiana or BSD.

btrfs is a joke. It's been "the next thing" for many years, but it still doesn't match even what ZFS had 5 years ago.

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Tom 38
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Re: read around...

i've not got a problem with binary logs, if a file is corrupted, its unreadable no matter what format its in. The journal viewing program is brilliant.

Jesus wept. What the fuck is wrong with grep and tail that they need to be re-invented in to specific single use programs?

GNUs Not Unix, and getting more not unix as time goes on. Where are the small sharp tools, the programs that do trivial things in isolation?

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BOFH in mugnificent return to Cash'n'Carrion

Tom 38
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Re: 10 Quid!

I thought all aussies were all super rich miners now, or at least ripping off the super rich bogans who do go mining.

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Mummy, what's the point of Evgeny Morozov's tedious columns?

Tom 38
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Re: Tim, if there's a weakness in the argument you've presented here

A load of bunk. Goods and services are frequently more expensive in rural areas due to lack of competition and cost (monetary and time) of travelling to alternate providers that are cheaper.

In London, with in 5 minutes of my house I can walk to 8 different shops that will sell me a litre of milk. All of them are around the same price, because if they weren't, they wouldn't get trade. The convenience stores that are open 24x7x365 charge a little more, but I can pop in to them at 3 AM on Christmas Eve and still get milk and bread.

Where I grew up in rural Suffolk, within 5 minutes walk I can get to a cow. 10 minutes in a car gets you to the nearest store - the only store for 8 miles in any direction - where you can buy milk for about 50% more than it costs than in Tesco. If you want a supermarket, its a 25 minute drive in the opposite direction, costing you a fiver in petrol.

Speaking of petrol, you'd better fill up at that supermarket, because everywhere else is 5-10p a litre more expensive. If they are still open, that is.

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Tom 38
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Re: I do not think it means what you think it means...

Wealth inequality is a nonsense. I'm one of the poorest people on the planet according to my wealth, but in actuality I have extremely high levels of comfort to go along with my high net debt. This makes my wealth less than a subsistence farmer, who at least owns his land outright and has positive wealth.

It is a nonsense pushed out to make for interesting headlines. The fastest way to reduce wealth inequality would be to forbid people to take out mortgages. This doesn't make their lives better, is worse in the long run, it just moves people from negative wealth and good long term prospects to positive wealth and no long term prospects.

That is clearly nonsense, it just demonstrates what an intrinsically bad metric "wealth" is to measure the inequalities that exist in society.

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End in sight for Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe wage-fixing lawsuit

Tom 38
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Some justice

The defendants offer bribes to plaintiffs counsel, the judge accepts it and that is justice? Why on earth should the plaintiffs settle, when the facts are clear and evidence is totally in their favour?

Oh that's right, there are no actual plaintiffs, this is a class action, so 1/3rd to the lawyers, 1/3rd to a distribution fund managed by the lawyers, 1/3rd donated to "charities" run by the lawyers/defendants.

Why let the boring things like a trial, allocation of guilt and assessment of damages gets in the way of the gravy.

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First peek at the next Ubuntu 15.04 nester line-up

Tom 38
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He's not complaining about the numbering system, he's complaining about the number of different versions of the same release - the difference between "Ubuntu MATE" and "Xubuntu" ought to be one (meta) package, does that really require a separate distribution?

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Bad movie: Hackers can raid networks with burnt Blu-Rays

Tom 38
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Re: Java - again

There is no reason to have Java installed on any computer, for any reason.

How do you reconcile that position with the fact that blu ray are players mandated to support BD-J in order to get one of those lovely blu ray icons?

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P0wned plug-in puts a million WordPress sites at risk of attack

Tom 38
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Re: Fundamental problems

Similar issues here - we won't let Marketing maintain and run their own Wordpress server, and they refuse to allow us to maintain and run it, as they then can't just whack any plugin they fancy on it.

The impasse was solved by them buying (at outrageous prices) hosted wordpress that we have nothing to do with. It's going to blow up at some point, guaranteed, but it won't be on our servers, in our network and with our data.

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Boffin: Use my bionic breakthrough for good, and not super cyborgs

Tom 38
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Re: Once

they've perfected this technique.... theres no reason why the arm needs to remain attatched to the controller.

I think you are overlooking the role the mind plays in working out new routes for nerves to travel. You don't put on the prosthetic and away you go, you have to discover the right signals to send to achieve an effect, and train your mind to send that signal.

Part of that works because the arm is, well, an arm. This is also why the phantom pain goes away - they don't miss an arm, because they've got one. A disembodied arm is not an arm. You would need to train your mind to ignore the impossibility of it.

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Google offers 'INFINITY MILLION DOLLARS' for bugs in Chrome

Tom 38
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That's not a bug, that's a missing feature. Big difference.

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'Utterly unusable' MS Word dumped by SciFi author Charles Stross

Tom 38
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Re: vi + ms + troff (+ tbl + eqn + pic + scripts + sccs + etc. as required)

WYSIWYG was just something that happened to other people, wasn't it?

You missed that he said "scripts". scripts encompasses everything, so how do you know he has no WYSIWYG?

It is trivial to have vim autosave. It is trivial to monitor files for modifiction. It is trivial to generate and display the content if it generates. It's especially trivial to automate the lot.

Open source isn't really about sandals, beards and zealots, its about having simple single use tools that you combine to do the things that you want. It's like the guy 10 posts above, "I love linux, but most of my windows applications wont run under wine" - buddy, you're holding it wrong.

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Didn't the Left once want the WORKERS to get all the dosh?

Tom 38
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Joke

Re: @Sarah Balfour - However

How much would a President Tony or a President Maggie cost the country?

"President Tony", I can put good bounds on the cost of that.

"President Maggie", I'll need to do some digging and some research...

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Porn on Blogger – Google takes stiff action

Tom 38
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Happy

Big deal

Not as if we're talking about tumblr

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ACLU: Here's a secret – cops are using the FBI's fake cell-tower tech to track crims' phones

Tom 38
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Re: How long can it work?

How would that stop your phone connecting to a base station and sending its IMEI (and location) to that base station?

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FCC Republicans slam brakes on net neutrality, but this wagon ain't slowing

Tom 38
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For whom is the internet?

giving consumers better broadband choices.

We're consumers now. Brainless sheep waiting to consume whatever is pushed to us. Make sure that we can consume or we might start thinking.

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'Lenovo, Superfish put smut on my system' – class-action lawsuit

Tom 38
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Lenovo are wrong

But has she suffered $10k worth of harm? For seeing some bikinis?

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AMD's new Carrizo: The x86 notebook processor that thinks it's a GPU

Tom 38
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Headmaster

The Carrizo APU conforms to HSA 1.0, .. The HSA 1.0 specification is due to be published in the next few weeks.

Unpublished specs are the easiest to conform to.

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Marconi: The West of England's very own Italian wireless pioneer

Tom 38
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Re: UKIP

I was thinking of Georg Ludwig, Elector of Hanover, but yeah, there is a long list.

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Tom 38
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Re: UKIP

It's impossible for foreigners to win noble prizes; to get gonged, you have to be born British (I think).

You are thinking of US presidents, we have no such limitations. Most of our nobility are French and we even let a funny little german guy come and be our King.

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Why IP telephony is about more than just saving money

Tom 38
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It's a shame that those VoIP-based call centers can't get their act together though.

There are no non VoIP call centres.

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Tom 38
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WTF?

if you have had a proper lightbulb moment you should be thinking: “Who needs a number?”

I had to re-read the sub line to check whether this was a Steve Bong article.

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BOFH: The Great HellDesk geek leave seek

Tom 38
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My employers moved from a hand rolled Lotus Notes DB for HR and someone handing out payslips for payroll, to an awful 3rd party software for HR and payroll is "in the cloud".

The HR software requires IE 7 or 8. The Payroll site requires IE 9+. Neither of them work in anything else, and I use FreeBSD...

Now that we don't have to maintain our own HR software.... we spend longer managing the updates that we pay the vendor for.

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Facebook security chap finds 10 Superfish sub-species

Tom 38
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Re: Level the playing field

You don't have to use linux, you can use BSD, FreeDOS, Plan 9, BeOS, CP/M - anything you like!

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So long, Lenovo, and no thanks for all the super-creepy Superfish

Tom 38
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Re: What is it with advertisers?

This is the problem: "Advertising *doesn't* work"

Some of the smarter advertisers know this. They know their jobs are less than worthless (in that a lot of advertising probably harms the brands being promoted), and built on a lie, and they're panicking

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. No!

They aren't panicking in the slightest. Although advertising is largely bollocks, the client doesn't know that and feels they have to compete with their competitor. It's nothing to do with the advertising company or the consumer, ad spend is driven by corporate fears of loss of business.

As companies go to the wall, they will often spend more and more on advertising in some mad attempt to bring in more revenue.

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Wi-Fi beam-steering tech could KILL OFF fixed home networks

Tom 38
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Re: 3 TV's

very few people have ethernet cabling throughout their house

Before broadcast TV was launched, very few people had coaxial distribution networks throughout their house. Now everyone does. Gee, I wonder how that happened.

Most (well thought out) new builds have ethernet plumbed in like they do telephone and aerials. Annoyingly, the people who put up my place thought I would want a phone socket in my master bedroom rather than a data socket, unlike every other room in the flat.

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Evil CSS injection bug warning: Don't let hackers cross paths with your website

Tom 38
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WTF?

see icon -->

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AT&T suddenly finds demand for 1Gbps fiber in Kansas City – just after Google arrived

Tom 38
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FAIL

Re: Nice bandwidth if you can get it

Hint:

Mbps - Megabits per second

MB/s - Megabytes per second

Meg - name of a cat

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Inside GOV.UK: 'CHAOS' and 'NIGHTMARE' as trendy Cabinet Office wrecked govt websites

Tom 38
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Sympathy for the devil

NB: I don't work for GDS!

These sorts of projects inevitably have these sorts of reactions. The project is a simplification project - take all the shit on 300 websites, condense it down to one standard and get rid of all the useless crap.

There are two ways you can do this,

1) you can spend many many years enumerating what all the useless crap is, design a system that encapsulates all the needs of those 300 systems, work out a fully complete plan to move it all over, and execute those plans.

2) work out the rough basis of what is required, the "minimal marketable features", implement them, handle whatever fallout there is, improving the new system to the point where it works.

Clearly they went with option 2, its "agile", and its much quicker to initial delivery.

With option 1, you should get a lot less of these issues, but this is not what has happened historically in government IT. By trying to cover everything, requirements grow to the point where the project is a massive behemoth that can only be tackled by one of the usual outsourcing suspects, and often has requirements that differ wildly to the point that the project may not be possible to be delivered.

So, they went with option 2 - its the cheap option, we're a cheap country, we have to put up with the cheap implementation. If they are truly agile however, they should now be identifying all these new user stories that they need to implement, and continuously improve the site until it does do what is required.

With agile, the proof of the pudding is not in the eating; invariably with agile it will taste like shit first off, but it should mature in to something suitable for purpose.

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Boffins grasp Big Knob, get ready to go ALL THE WAY at the LHC proton-punisher

Tom 38
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Thumb Up

Re: Custard

If it could turn one half in to Apple and Blackberry Crumble and one half in to custard, that would approximate one of my happy places.

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Tom 38
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Re: Question

I hope you can catch the flavor of the question.

All hope is lost.

CERN controls very small particles using magnets, accelerates them to high speeds around a ring and then hits them in to other things very precisely to see what happens.

These very small particles fly around us at high speeds all the time, its just without isolating and controlling them precisely then you don't know what has hit what else where, when and at what speed, and if you don't know that you can't tell anything from it.

So back to your question...

If a big bang is re-created, will the creators be gods?

The big bang? The moment where all the matter that is, was and will ever be throughout existence was compressed in to the space the size of a pin prick? You're worried that a bunch of physics geeks firing two protons at each other in Switzerland will cause that to happen?

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£100 MILLION poured down drain on failed UK.gov IT projects - in just ONE YEAR

Tom 38
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Re: FOSS for all...

So start with a mandate that NO non-FOSS software can be used AT ALL, within a useful time frame, if no alternative exists.

That way we can start to fund the "add feature X" to "program Y" for the use of "project Z" to bridge the gap.

These are called deliverables/milestones. We have them on grants, if we don't meet them we don't get year 2.

Er, what do you think these losses are? You contract your developers to make the features you want, they develop them, they aren't suitable, "they dont get year 2", and a £1m write down is reported in the reg.

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Thecus N4310 4-bay: A NAS-ty beast for the budget-conscious

Tom 38
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Pass

It supports RAID 0, 1, 5, 6 and 10 and JBOD arrays.

Snore. Nothing fancier? ZFS? LVM? Bueller?

Multiple RAID volumes are also supported but because it uses the EXT4 file system the maximum for any volume is 16TB.

Ext4 supports volumes up to 1 exabyte, but only with a larger block size. So what is actually unsupported is using a non 4kb block size on ext4. 16TB sounds a lot, but its not - buy this, put 4TB disks in it, wait 3 years, upgrade the disks to 8TB disks and you are over that 16TB limit.

Price: £235 (unpopulated) RRP

Just shy of £60 per bay..

I am probably slightly beyond the target audience - too tight and too demanding. My current home storage server has enclosures with 32 bays (just 16 populated atm) for around 28TB of ZFS storage, for which I paid roughly the same as the Thecus..

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Proposed US law could deal knockout blow to FBI in overseas cloud privacy ding-dongs

Tom 38
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Re: For the clueless...

Yes, The House That J. Edgar Built would never think of investigating people's personal lives for no reason.

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Gov.UK tells Londoners: You too can cash in on the 'sharing economy'

Tom 38
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Re: Isn't it wonderful?

It would be more wonderful if:

1) An MP was only allowed to have one job (MP)

2) That job was paid the average UK wage.

3) They had to live where they're the MP.

4) They make up the rest with graft?

In one single blow, you'd make it so that the only people who were MPs were those who are solely interested in power and exploiting that power.

Besides which, who becomes an MP for the wealth? Most of those coming from outside of politics would have taken a pay cut when elected as an MP.

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NO BRAIN needed to use Samsung's next flagship mobe

Tom 38
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Re: Mobile users trailing behind web surfers?

If you actually hit the monkey though, you win a prize.

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