331 posts • joined 22 Jul 2009
The figures speak, but....
I had a Range Rover 3.5 V8 auto for some years, which I loved dearly. It returned 18.6mpg over the years I had it, dropping to a worst of 12mpg in deep winter snow, along with frequent stopping to pull lesser cars from snowdrifts. The best was just over 25 mpg. This was achieved on a run from Winchester to Birmingham (the old Networks shows) with four hefty techies on board, on a hot summer's day, air con on full blast, and a fastish motorway run all the way. I concluded that the engine was being run inefficiently when you tried lighter loads, etc, and that it actually preferred to be dong some hard work, but otherwise have never been able to understand that result.
(PS - This Rangie was the cause of the most delightful bit of English I've heard. I was planning to fit a stainless "sports" exhaust system, which apparently improved fuel consumption, but was concerned that the V8 would roar, when I preferred understatement. I phone Rimmer Bros, and asked about any change of exhaust tone. The bloke thought for a moment and said, "No, it's not louder, just a little more..... urgent." I thought that was a delightful way of describing it, meaningless and poetically meaningful at the same time. He was right too.)
> That earned Almunia a telling-off from MEPs.
Really, this is amateur league; the EU should look to the UK for what unelected politicos are able to do. Their lordships would never stand for a ticking off by the other house, even for the most banal soundbites..
Re: He's a good leader
Must agree. In fact, how many CEOs or CIOs do you know who would be happy to talk about their perceived weaknesses, or the things they would prefer to put right in hindsight? These are the remarks of someone with human foibles but with the humility to admit them. His style has proven effective.
The cultural aspects of moral stances, as has been pointed out, should also not be underestimated. In one transnational for which I worked, there were two countries (I'll not say which) with whom the British contingent really disliked working, largely because their cultural norm appears confrontational to us. I do not believe it was - it was just a style, along with language barriers, but meant making allowances for others for behaviour at which we've become accustomed rather to take offence.
In a begrudging way, you have to admire this attempt. MS typically engages in catch-ups like this by adding yet more layers to their products, and sometimes somehow gets them to work after a fashion. This contrasts with Linux's ability to strip down for purposes such as running containers, which really is a far easier achievement. I know which I'd prefer if I could think of a use case for containers, which I suspect is more limited than the hype would suggest, but from a application vendor's point of view, I suppose it sounds attractive.
"...tech community already reeling..."
For military applications, please see the Dashing White Sergeant..
Is the tech community reeling because when the vulnerability was announced they all said "Oh, fox-trot."?
For full cover, make sure you strip the Window(s)
Strictly not IT, but it's that kind of day - a tweet this morning from RPi said "I'd tell you a joke about UDP but you may not get it" so blame them.
Tin foil? That'll be the third aisle
I wonder how much personal data Tesco collects via these devices, or is my modern-era derived cynicism getting the better of me?
> at the beginning of the ballistic phase
I would have thought the ballistic phase started when the satellites ended up in the wrong orbit...
Oddly enough, before the grindstone of IT appeared against which to rasp my nose, I actually trained in PR and practised for a while, before getting better. We were taught always to provide information your target journo wanted, always to make life easier for the journo and so on. This worked so well, I once walked through the foyer of an hotel in which a journo I knew was interviewing David Essex. When he saw me, the journo actually interrupted the interview to ask me something. Can't recall what it was, as the occasion got the better of me, but the style must have been about right.
Re: Keep Drinking The Kool-Aid
>If I was looking for people to blame for the current state of affairs in Syria and Iraq, I'd start with
> the US and UK governments.
Indeed. A repeat on Radoi4Extra today was priceless. A comment from Linda Smith, during Blair and Bush's war, saying something like "It's all the fault of the Iraqi leadership being so sneaky they put all their civilians into residential areas."
Nobel Committee may have wider views in mind...
This was the Physics Prize, not the economics one, so the narrow understanding suggested by the article may not be the entire picture.
Also, take the context. In the 80s and 90s, companies like BP were producing vast amounts of simple 70w solar panels, which along with a lead acid battery, and a fluorescent light tube with built in inverter, were installed throughout Southern Africa in rural areas. Areas like these previously either did without light, or use paraffin lamps. Paraffin for cooking and lighting often spelt disaster. Flourescent lamps were better than nothing, but they buzz, are prone to failure, and the cost of the entire shebang is quite high, even discounting the PR for which undoubtedly the exercise was done.
Now take the potential of LEDs for enabling sight during the hours of darkness You can go to a tat store in the west and buy half a dozen "garden lights" for a fiver. These are mere trinkets to us, but in the rural third world are transformative, providing safety in flammable dwellings and general night-time safety too. A few offcuts of solar panel material, a few NiMH AA batteries, a few LEDs with diffusers are now all that's required, at hugely reduced cost, no high voltages to cause danger, no buzzing or flickering to cause headaches, no lead acid to cause more danger and much longer lasting.
Yes,I would say the prize is very well deserved, but maybe not so much from a narrow, western economic viewpoint.
Re: Minutes of meetings
> 'acting minutes secretary'
Mmm, serious AI required for this. An example of valid minuting may be simply "Vigorous discussion ensued, the outcome being an agreement to declare Pimlico independent." A transcript of an hour of various people talking, often over each other, do not minutes make.
I have recently used Android speech recognition to fairly good effect when a group of elderly people in our community were supposed to bring in some reminiscences to a meeting. Three brought word processor files which we uploaded to an Xwiki. The fourth brought a hand written note, which I simply read into my Cyanogenmod Samsung. It had trouble with local Scottish place and people names but was generally good enough for a one-pass proof read.
Keystroke loggers on steroids?
The fear must exist that the traditional online data slurpers (MiApGle) get juicy amounts of info about you when using their speech recognition systems. I know that Android's system is tied to downloading the Google Search app. Not sure about this, mind you. but that's the style of these companies.
> Kinda weird seeing such a naive comment emerge from Bruce. He must have been asleep in the 80s, 90s and 00s.
Quite. I wonder what exact audience he had in mind, as he's usually more thoughtful than this. As long ago as 15 years we regarded recovery as more important than discovery, but you do still get views that the militaristic adversarial approach of "keep 'em out" is still prevalent, as indicated in comments below. But that means that any intrusion means strategic failure, and almost certain subsequent paralysis.
The big problems with Bruce's statement, though, are the decisions regarding the severity of attack. Rather like disaster recovery being used in instances short of full scale disasters, at what point to you kick in recovery processes.
OTA (Obligatory Titanic Analogy)
Not so much re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic as sawing the Titanic in half in mid-ocean and hoping the engine room powers both halves
Re: That's about 100 times the size of Earth
At least give it to us in mega-campbells - some measurement we can imagine anyway. I make that about 420 million elephants stacked end-to-end. African elephants, mind, not including trunk/tail contact points.
Just one more step required...
If all these companies are involved in this, why not just add one more step which is to free the use of the codec. That way, everyone wins. That 20c will only just pay admin and lawyer fees, so the companies are almost certainly not gaining financially from the arrangement. Go on, corps, let the codec go.
Smoke, yes, but is there a fire?
I don't want to belittle this issue, but a lot of reports from security firms have spoken about "actively exploiting" but what does that mean? Is it that they have seen network traffic or honeypot attacks, or that the attacks have succeeded? It still seems to me that while the potential for shellshock to be severe is great, the actual typical implementations of how bash is used reduces that potential significantly.
Definitely not belittling the issue, but it would be interesting to see info on successful attacks rather than traffic attempts, and interesting to see data from relatively dispassionate security researchers rather than companies with magic bullets to flog.
Re: Back in a time where...
> I lived the day,
Yeah, I'm also feeling my age... In its heyday, Lotus123 WAS personal computing. I eventually ceased to be amazed to find beancounters writing their letters in 123, using rows as lines, all done because 123 was their universe. You messed with this at your peril, and 2.1 was the absolute pinnacle, with reasonable memory demands and a wealth of add-ins. I recall the wonder of seeing for the first time the rows and columns populated from an Oracle database running on a Sequent, a miracle of integration at that time.
Then came the dog that was version 3. A half hearted attempt to be graphical, a memory hog and oh, so slow.
It was also a time when others were trying to get in on the act. There was a brilliant shareware clone of 123 called "As East As" which was equally fast, used less memory at a time when every byte of the 640 in the machines was important. But it didn't say "Lotus 123" so was unacceptable. Borland tried with Quattro, again, technically superior, in my opinion, but Lotus could do little wrong, so the users rejected these.
We were heavily invested in 123, but then we thought that Windows was looking like the future. My boss and I set up meetings with Lotus development and Microsoft to develop our own strategic approaches - this in the days when mere users really could set up meetings with software companies. We came away from those meetings with the understanding that Lotus was going to wait to see how things panned out, and had no real Windows strategy, while Microsoft said "Yes, we know we need to catch up, but here's what our plans are." To a large extent, they did what they said they would do. Lotus simply thought they'd be able to control the future and dropped the ball. After those meetings, we went to Excel and Word in spite of a very shaky start, and really never bothered with Lotus after that.
The one exception was Lotus Agenda. It's still available for download. It was a hard-to-describe piece of brilliant personal management software which Lotus thought they'd put into Notes, but never did.
I miss my youth....
Should have been given a disk, not a grid, to search....
Is it true that they modelled the water drop algorithms by studying the accuracy of FourEcksian dropbears?
If there's been an outbreak of truthiness, and as the last one was such a dog, how about
> Mostly women from my informal survey.
Did the judge believe you?
Re: Excellent job!!!!
As it happens I was re-watching Michael Wood's excellent programmes on Indian history last night. This seems to be the latest in a very long line of amazing ideas coming from that area. Much respect.
Failed Business/IT model
Given all this and the other cases we know about, the obvious way to route around it is to give "the cloud" a miss. We all know it's mere marketing-speak for rented services anyway, and nothing that cannot be pulled in-house. Unfortunately, it's not until a non-US company gets bitten on the bum and it's a demonstrable risk that the average corporate suit will take any heed to this.
Meanwhile, I pity the many universities where students are forced to use US managed services like outlook. This ruling stifles any research where sources need protection, and I'm sure other use cases with similar jeopardy will occur.
One factor left out - The System
> it doesn’t matter who wins the next election
The reason why it doesn't matter who wins the next election, and why economic issues are not going to be any different, is that we are now cottoning on to the fact that it doesn't matter what colour is in charge, because their ideologies are exactly the same. The king is dead, long live the king. What's worse. the article left out one significant positive feedback loop - that the gap between rich and poor is growing and that more of us are on the poor side of that gap.
Over the past 30 years, those in government have shown they have a scant understanding of international law, let alone the complexities of the economy, and every hue of government has simply delivered more of the same. Douglas Adams was right - those who want to govern are the least capable of doing so. Maybe it's time we stopped playing their game, take our ball away (it is our ball after all) and played a game to our rules.
Anyone know of a political party with differing ideologies these days?
> If they advertise it right,
The current range of ads really is appalling, unless their target audience is the class of male, jaded, exhausted one-dimensional corporate bods, in which case, good work.
I do have a vote tomorrow, and I do not believe I am alone in taking much of what the politicians on all sides are saying with a large pinch of salt. The most recent proof of that is the outrageous "vows" (their word) to do this, that or the other, which have already been the subject of "oh really?" comments by back-benchers.
But in the IT and business world, if you were, say, looking at outsourcing your entire IT or moving it to the cloud, you'd look at the nature of the business, the outcomes you believe you and the business wish to achieve, the short term risk factors and the longer term likely outcomes, amongst other things. Unless you're very inexperienced, you would not go to two vendors, and believe their salesdroids when they tell you why your business is the very thing that's tailor-made for their offering, how they're losing on the deal, but it's worth the prestige to them, and all the other marketing-speak that lasts right up to the moment you sign on the dotted line. You have your own standards and your own views about how best to deliver IT, and you choose the model to fit.
I would suggest that many people are using such an approach to the referendum. We really have been discussing this in day-to-day situations, amongst each other for 2 years or more. There's clear understanding here that the referendum is a fork in the road, not a short-term political choice, and all this with a backdrop of party political promises which have a long and nasty record of being empty, especially in the Scottish context such as the 1979 referendum on devolution.
The issue is one of aspiration, not one that's amenable to totting up the pro's and cons. There's nothing unique in two countries that once were together re-establishing themselves, the Czech Republic and Slovakia being the most obvious that spring to mind. There's also no way anyone can claim that Scotland is not a productive enough country, even a rich one. And I think there are few who would claim that on Friday, in the event of a Yes vote, things will suddenly be different. In other words, if this comes about, it's not a unique change, but will be an expression of the will of the people regarding how they wish to be governed, Simple democracy, that's all.
Re: This announcement worries me
> Now I am *really* worried - does Micro Focus actually have any commitment to Linux
You have a point, and I suspect only time will tell. Poor SuSE does seem to have had a rough time with buyers not really getting what a Linux distro is and does, but on the whole it's not gone too badly. Novell started badly and ended not too badly, Attachmate realised quite early that SuSE should remain separate. MicroFocus should understand the mainframe/mini world and its specialisms, but may commit a marketing foul.
The mine canary will probably be MF's relationship with OpenSuSE. If it continues to allow autonomy for that project, but still support it, all should be well. Meanwhile, test your systems on Debian... Just a pennyworth of opinion.
Re: There was a Programme on this
Is that the programme where they revealed that x-ray spectroscopy found the Greek letters "ZX-81" etched into the corroded metal?
Re: It will be business as usual.
Exactly so - the tl;dr of the article is "Political change is happening. Business doesn't like change not of its own choosing."
To my mind all the "issues" like the currency, oil, defence* and all the rest are current unknown in the UK let alone in an independent Scotland. So the issue comes down simply to governance, and I've not heard a single argument for why Scots should want to be governed by Westminster. To put it differently, if the referendum was for an independent Scotland /joining/ the UK, what would the aspirational reasons, not short-term political promises, be?
* - Remember when the Royal Navy wasn't able to get any surface crafts into the Moray Firth when a Russian Fleet sheltered there a few years back? It took more than 48 hours to get a ship into the area.
Suomi NPP and exploitable flaws?
Brings a whole new meaning to Finnfisher....
> Biometrics are usernames, not passwords.
No, usernames are usernames. Biometrics are a set of intrusions too far. Just last week there was an article in El Reg about how fingerprints are so yesterday. All that was said of fingerprints suddenly becomes less so when some new biometric device becomes available. I honestly can't see biometrics becoming the norm this "growth" firm seems to wish.
Re: Was everyone born yesterday?
> Or the original criminals for potentially having their email accounts read?
What criminals? If this is to do with a crime, then there are plenty of internationally acceptable ways of law enforcement agencies in the US to obtain these data from Ireland, many of which could be completed very quickly if time was of the essence. We do not know if criminals were involved in this or if crimes have even be committed, let alone who may have done them.
It's not unreasonable to wonder what is being staged here, as the snippets of information do appear to be about some larger issue than a criminal investigation. It's also not unreasonable for readers of a tech rag to wonder about a large tech company's motives
Re: Genuine question
Is it possible to use a winphone without an accompanying windows desktop? I mean fully use it, not just ignore some features.
The comment above re having to create playlists on a PC prompts the question, along with an expectation of constantly attempted lock-in from microsoft, but it is a genuine question, as I've not run a windows desktop for years. Judging by the tv ads, the assumption is that the phone is part of your windows "ecosystem" but maybe they're learning life's not like that any more.
Server to server
Yes, this is an interesting development, especially as Owncloud runs rather sweetly on a Pi. I find that running php-pfm with lighttpd and postgresql as the database, the response is not much worse than running Owncloud on a more powerful machine. It's surely a matter of time until an SD card of Raspian with owncloud pre-installed is available, at which point the technical side of owncloud will be reduced. An ad arrived this morning for a 64G USB stick for £15 - a one-off cost of £50 for a Pi, SD card and 64G of storage seems a good deal.
But I wish they'd called in "woncloud" as that's what my fingers type more frequently than "owncloud".
Re: That's confusing....
> African elephants or Indian elephants?
Dunno - can't see the coconuts from her.
"2.25 billion cups of the stuff are said to be consumed daily "
Can we have that in elephants per second, the correct standard in this case?
"Harviestoun or Caledonian"
My Christmas homebrew has just been double-dropped, an IPA. My beer is no good for space exploration though. The highest it will travel (I've measured) is 74.3cms, the distance between the table and my mouth.
First, fingerprint readers were the ideal of biometric verification, then iris scans, the voice prints, and now this. At hat point does some bright spark realise that biometrics are just as mcuh of an arms race as any other form of verification, but with the added advantage of an inability to withdraw or alter the factor?
Re: Morals, ethics, principles...
"The Ukrainian conflict is rather complicated"
Quite. A friend in a neighbouring state was telling me last year that the protesters were paid $50 a day - dollars, not euro or roubles - to keep the protests going. The start of this was by no means spontaneous. And in the UK, great justification for more military spending. Would be good to hear one voice looking to de-escalate this complex issue.
Interesting development, as this morning, the "History in Pictures" twitter feed had a pic of an electric car being charged - in 1905.
"there have been processes in place for getting this information legally for decades"
This is exactly what is particularly troubling about this case. It's almost as though the issue is US government control over technology providers and/or global data rather than a narcotics investigation. Makes you wish Groklaw was still active. I'm pretty sure PJ would have been able to find out whether MS had, in fact, pointed out in court that access to this info through the US wasn't part of the legal process that should have been followed.
Lack of ambition...
Forget this proper technical stuff - they should watch more telly - that would tell them all they had to do was whizz over to Spirit, use the sampling arm to remove it's SSDs and magically simply slot them into place, bearing in mind that ANY component fits ANY slot in the movies. Yes, I know it's possible this may not work because at the last minute an actual human needs to take a hair pin from tasty sidekick to "create a bridge" (and why is it always "create a bridge"?) but it's got to be worth a try
Six people with very little else on their minds... Mind you, on another topic, the Beeb reports that among the complaints regarding alleged (and hardly very likely) sabotage on a cooking show, there were demands to have the contestant arrested. There's a sparrow in the garden here with more brains and moral certitude than that.
Ref - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-28964737
Re: The B got a memory memory in a previous rev
"which is cheap enough to consider throwing into a later Pi."
What I find fascinating about the Pi, along with the attendant commentary in tech rags, is that it challenges the assumptions that bigger, more, whatever superlative you wish to use, is intrinsically better. Sure, sometimes, as in the above comment, it may just be a wish rather than a critique of what the Pi's founders and its foundation intended and have achieved. It's almost like the pushback that occurred at the height of the Enlightenment, when the starkness of method was balanced by the rise of Romanticism. And the creative outpouring that has accompanied the Pi bears out that assertion quite well. The Pi says it need not be all about the philosophy of Improvement, but can be about what's within your grasp and within your capability. So it's appealing to people for whom mainstream technology would hold little interest, but still really is technology.
Having said that, I'm still doing traditional tech with one of mine, safely tucked away in an Austrian data centre, thanks to the generosity of free Pi hosting companies.
Re: And about 2 years later ...
"I don't remember paying $99 for it though!"
No - Coherent cost £99 at that time. Linux was easiest to get via a book which came with a CD, then in the UK the Linux Emporium made access to cheap CDs simple. Dial-up downloads were pretty much unworkable in the days when per minute dial-up costs were high.
Re: And about 2 years later ...
Interesting. I first installed linux when my boss refused to let me spend £99 on Coherent, and said I would have to negotiate the use of a licence with the service guys to use the expensive Sequent. I thought a unixy future to PC-style computing was likely and wanted to examine what it would look like; I didn't necessarily want to learn Korn on an expensive mini-computer. So I slowly started wrapping me head around it all in my own at home. I still remember the feeling of helplessness when I duly got an "X" on a graphical screen but didn't know what to do next - unixy layered thinking took a while to get through to my monolithically trained brain.
Two years after that, a startup for which I worked had a linux infrastructure.
In the late 70s a mate had a little mini, and managed to get hold of an aircraft landing light, with a 100w bulb. He fitted this monstrosity to the centre of the bumper. and christened the car Cyclops. But when the car was idling, the draw on the generator (pre-alternator mini!) when he switched the light on actually stopped the engine. He used to terrorise oncoming drivers who had the temerity to wait too long before before dimming. Ah, youth....
"Word has always been poor for any form of Long Documents. "
A few years ago, a few people starting their third new company (serial entrepreneurs) wanted their IT set up from scratch. We agreed in the infrastructure services required, and I started talking to them about Windows 7, but saying they'd need to find someone to support them. One of them stopped me and said "What do you use?" I showed them my Linux laptop running LibreOffice and they said "Right, that's what we'll use." A few months later I got an email to say that they had finalised their business plans, running into hundreds of pages, including spreadsheets, graphs and all the trimmings. They said it was the first time they had had no trouble at all generating large complex documents. It was also the only time that I have ever had an unsolicited positive response to technology.
Re: @ Khaptain (was: Personally ...)
"There is nano these days."
Or joe, which uses Wordstar commands, just as nature intended....
Actually, it's now an automatic reaction on a new install to type "aptitude (or zypper) install mc joe"
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