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* Posts by AndrueC

2351 posts • joined 6 Aug 2009

'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux

AndrueC
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WTF?

Re: Says more about Reg readers

I'm not really following what you're saying there. What do you mean by 'work session'? Are you talking about something like the xIX virtual terminal where you can log into your computer multiple times (what Windows calls user switching)? I'm not sure that's what's suggested here. It's more like they've increased the desktop size then subdivided into screen sized pages. That's just a bit of fairly trivial GDI trickery.

And if you're trying to suggest that Windows struggles with multiple versions of VS running at the same time then I can only assume you've been doing it on machines with too little RAM. I've done it lots of times. I currently have VS and Eclipse open (and MySQL WorkBench) and everything is responsive without any disk or CPU thrashing. I have 8GB of RAM of which just under 2GB is currently available. I just did a quick user switch and fired up VS as a different domain user and it's fine. Flip back to my normal user and that's fine as well.

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AndrueC
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There have been third party add-ons to do that since Win3.x at least. Even OS/2 had one written by StarDock I think. I never really liked the idea, couldn't get on with it for some reason.

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General Motors issues STOP DELIVERY for 2,800 corvettes over defects in 2015 model

AndrueC
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Meh

Re: GM are slowly dying

They are slowly getting rid of the interesting parts of the business, the big European cars are dead. Now Holdens is going, not much interesting left.

I don't want an 'interesting' car. I want a car that gets me from A to B safely in reasonable comfort while consuming as little fuel as possible.

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AndrueC
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Facepalm

Maybe they shouldn't have released the 2015 range so early?

Honda did the same thing- they released the 2012 Jazz in 2011. At least they seemed to get it right though.

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Boffins: Behold the SILICON CHEAPNESS of our tiny, radio-signal-munching IoT sensor

AndrueC
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And while you're at it don't forget the 'sequel' A Fire Upon the Deep. Possibly his best novel (IMO). Both novels do a great job of conveying the sheer size of the galaxy. The final 'chapter' of A Fire.. is haunting.

I'll also recommend the novel Outcasts of Heaven Belt written by his ex-wife. That's a lot shorter and less weighty tome but it does a good job of conveying what life is like in a fallen (or falling at least) advanced civilisation.

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AndrueC
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Big Brother

Sounds like the localizers proposed in A Deepness in the Sky - one of Vernor Vinge's best novels.

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Go home Google, you're drunk! Desktop Maps says The Shard's TWO MILES from actual loc

AndrueC
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I've got two corrections through them. For a while the A422 showed a kink west of Brackley which had it trying to follow the old railway line. Also at Brackley it looked like someone had autocorrected 'Pavillons Way' to 'Pavillions Way'.

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Even better than the iThing: Apple's Cook is strictly pro Bono

AndrueC
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Joke

Re: They'll be watching you?

Maybe they should have got The Police to reform for the event instead?

Just so long as they don't start going on about Sue Lawley again :)

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Heavy VPN users are probably pirates, says BBC

AndrueC
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Re: Time to put a bullet to Auntie's head

I use a VPN all bloody day - my company requires it so we can get into our corporate network.

By Auntie's definition I must be a Pirate.

No, because 'Auntie' is talking about people transferring a lot of data over a VPN link. It's unlikely that you do as I pointed out in my first message.

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AndrueC
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Meh

I refuse to believe I'm that unusual.

I don't think that many people know how to set up a VPN for that kind of activity even if that particular use case is common. If it was common VM wouldn't be bothering with traffic management. I suspect the truth is that most people don't even know what a VPN is. Most teleworkers don't really - they probably just think they are logging onto their employer's network. Also VM is unusual in having traffic management - most UK ISPs don't need it and either have enough capacity in place or else let the network slow down a bit when things get busy.

I also assume that some of the downvotes are from people who ignored my second paragraph:

But that's not really the point. I object to the presumption of guilt and I don't think people should be hounded just because they use their network connection in a slightly unusual way.

By downvoting me you therefore seem to be agreeing with the BBC's stance.

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AndrueC
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Stop

I think that 'are probably pirates' is a bit strong but I would agree that it should be unusual for a residential user to have large amounts of traffic travelling over a VPN. Home workers don't normally send a lot of data back and forth. Controlling a remote computer using RDP for instance is unlikely to amount to more than 1GB of data a day. Even VNC wont't be that much worse. Someone downloading/uploading documents is unlikely to be using much bandwidth either.

But that's not really the point. I object to the presumption of guilt and I don't think people should be hounded just because they use their network connection in a slightly unusual way. It's the same principal that says people shouldn't be persecuted just because they don't conform to society's standards. Being unusual should never be an excuse for accusations.

If someone has committed a crime then prove it. And 'because he uses a VPN a lot' is no more valid proof than 'because he smells' or 'because he lives alone'.

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Scared of brute force password attacks? Just 'GIVE UP' says Microsoft

AndrueC
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Meh

Re: One password to rule them all - tesco

have you read this ?

I hadn't but that pre-dates their change to more-strict passwords (they invalidated existing accounts so you had to create a new password) and it pre-dates their recent facelift (I still prefer the old look). On a practical level I've had an account with them almost since they started home deliveries and they are one of the few etailers that has never sent spam nor leaked my (Tesco specific) email address.

I'm not saying that security doesn't matter nor that they are doing it right but my experience is that Tesco is more secure than most of the etailers I've dealt with over the years. So strictly from my personal POV they are very secure.

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AndrueC
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Facepalm

Re: One password to rule them all

Of course by adding weak/strong password dialogs, the website owners look like they are being secure. Not a lot of uise however if they store them in some text file on a server.

I find it ironic that after being chastised for sending passwords in the clear and/or not encrypting them my Tesco groceries password is now one of the strongest I've got. At least I can rest assured that no-one is going to be ordering groceries for me I suppose :-/

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Don't buy that phone! It ATTRACTS CRIMINALS, UK.gov will tell people

AndrueC
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Joke

Theresa May announced this morning that the government plans to publish a mobile phone theft index

What, like those efficiency tables?

A <===== Least likely to be stolen.

B <==== Probably won't be stolen.

C <=== Careful now.

D <== It'll be nicked within a few days.

E <= It'll be nicked before you leave the shop.

F < And they'll have yer arm off as well.

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The IT kit revolution's OVER, say beancounters - but how do they know?

AndrueC
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Tim, you mention "there was a vast amount of money wasted in dealing with Y2K".

Why are you perpetuating this myth? It gets trotted out a lot as being an example of a non-event, by journalists in general but even by IT insiders who should know better.

It's very similar to the arguments used by people when they claim you've wasted your time on something because things are no better. 'We pumped the water out of the ship for three hours but it still sank so it was a waste of time' or 'All the effort spent on road safety and still people are being killed and injured'.

In both cases people are failing to understand that sometimes maintaining the status quo is an achievement in itself. I'm sure there's a name for this kind of argument fallacy. this, perhaps.

Of course the Y2k argument is slightly different. It looked like nothing needed to be done precisely because we did such a good job of fixing things.

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Hot Celebrity? Stash of SELFIES where you're wearing sweet FA? Get 2FA. Now

AndrueC
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Re: guessed password-recovery questions

Q: What's your best friend's name:

A: The purple horse is on the moon.

I suppose if it was a common scenario I might have a standard stock answer but it's not that common. That means I must have made something up and there's zero chance of me remembering it.

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AndrueC
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Facepalm

Re: guessed password-recovery questions

Stupid "what is your pets name" questions

I had to sign up to an Apple account for something a couple of years ago. I forget what (possibly iTunes) and it offered me four questions I could provide an answer to as a security measure. I don't think I could answer any of them because they were inane crap like 'What's the name of your favourite teacher' (I'm 47 years old, I wouldn't remember even if I ever had a favourite). 'What's your favourite colour' (I don't have one) 'What's your best friend's name' (don't have one. I have a few mates I chat to that's all).

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BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV

AndrueC
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They’ve certainly got the assets...

[snip]

Look at how the dull, badly paid and yucky job of police forensics has become more popular than being a fighter pilot as a result of hot TV shows like CSI.

Which is broadcast by Channel 5 on terrestrial and Sky Living.

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iCloud fiasco: 100 FAMOUS WOMEN exposed NUDE online

AndrueC
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Stop

it would be done with a standard digital camera and then the photos downloaded to a PC and removed from the camera.

This problem isn't specific to The Cloud(TM). The difference between deleting and erasing was causing people problems (and even saving their bacon on occasions) long before we started connecting computers together.

Files can be recovered after deleting from SD cards just as readily as they can be from hard disks. In fact with flash memory using cell sparing and wear levelling your ability to actually erase data from them may be even less than you think. One way to extend the lifetime of flash memory would be to have a flag to indicate that a cell is 'empty' rather than wasting a write cycle filling it with zeroes ;)

Come to that hard disks use block sparing as well so you might find that a copy of your naughty bits has been archived for posterity that way and 'had difficulty reading that block' is not the same thing as 'that block can't be read'. The rule I've followed in the 30+ years that I've been using computers is to assume that data you want can always be lost and data you don't want can always be found :)

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AndrueC
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Joke

Re: Trust your data to the cloud they said

Full of fluffy kittens and unicorns and chocolate fountains.

Are those euphemisms?

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Cave scrawls prove Neanderthals were AT LEAST as talented as modern artists

AndrueC
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Joke

Re: Crude scrawl?

It's evidently a spreadsheet to keep track of hunting kills.

I thought it was a map of Milton Keynes.

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Pimp my lounge and pierce my ceiling: Home theatre goes OTT

AndrueC
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Re: Processors and HDMI

I would love to have bunch of switchable HDMI inputs.

My Onkyo receiver has 6 HDMI inputs and with my Harmony One remote to select the right one based on chosen activity I'm happy. Everything I own goes through the receiver which distributes the audio to my speakers and (if required) video to the TV.

The only slight complication is that originally my Sky HD didn't support 5.1 over HDMI so it sends audio to the receiver via TOSLINK. I think Sky HD boxes do now support that so I could probably unplug that..but as it means ferreting around in the cable pile behind the equipment I can't be bothered.

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Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?

AndrueC
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Unhappy

The real problem is too many people

..in one corner of the island. As another poster wittily pointed out "The problem is London". Successive governments have steadfastly refused to do anything serious about encouraging businesses to take root 'oop north'. With today's internet connectivity making location less important it's surely gone beyond a joke.

I suppose some might argue that HS2 is an attempt to address this but it can't carry anywhere near enough people and anyway my point still stands: Why the *bleep* do so many people have to gather within such a small area in one part of the country just to sit at a desk with a keyboard and monitor. We do have such things in other parts of the country you know.

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AndrueC
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Headmaster

Re: Solution

Solution

Less people?

What - so we can build smaller houses?

Actually you do have a point. the UK has an obesity crisis at the moment so 'less' people would be a good thing ;)

Anyway - sorry but less v. fewer is becoming a pet hate of mine.

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Virgin Media blocks 'wankers' from permissible passwords

AndrueC
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I used to play a game called Earth and Beyond that had a rather daft filter. It would filter things regardless of white space. As a result the most innocuous of sentences in chat channels would get censored eg - 'It watched me' became 'I* ***ched me' resulting in minutes of fun while everyone in the channel discussed what the censored word might be. Even better it included foreign swear words so for a while I knew a few Dutch, French and German swear words.

Very educational :)

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EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday

AndrueC
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Re: Pathetic

Last things to mention. Until this post on El Reg I have seen no reports of this anywhere else except the Daily Fail of all places.

I think I did.

And the parent page has links to a lot of companies including 'T-Mobile' although you need to select the UK specific link there. The Virgin Mobile link appears to be taking complaints from the UK - at least most of the comments yesterday were from UK users.

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AndrueC
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Meh

Not only creates that total independence of any network connectivity (unless I want to enable traffic updates)

That was why I have Co-pilot. Normally it doesn't need a network connection and after one unfortunate return trip from the New Forest I appreciate the need for that. The first time I fired it up for the outward leg it quickly gave up trying to update and ran on the older maps. But I think on the return leg it actually started to download at Milton Keynes and then stalled. After that it didn't want to know until I got back home to wifi.

My guess is that it started to overwrite the maps and was then stuck. If true that's just shitty programming. Programming 101 - download stuff to scratch and only copy over the working stuff when you know it's good.

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AndrueC
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Unhappy

I wonder if that was affecting my mobile this morning? Something was and if I hadn't been able to read road signs and use basic navigation sense it'd have left me stranded at Milton Keynes around 9am. Co-pilot vanished up its arse trying to download a map update and of course Google maps won't do anything without data even if it knows the destination (home) and patently has the maps already cached locally.

Meh. It gave me an excuse to swear at my phone so it wasn't all bad :)

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Galileo! Galileo. Galileo! Galileo frigged-LEO: Easy come, easy go. Little high, little low

AndrueC
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Joke

pointing in the right direction at the Sun, at least

Upwards?

Okay, I'll get me coat :)

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Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'

AndrueC
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Mushroom

The DDos page from the tweet is interesting but this one is more fun :)

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TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button

AndrueC
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Leading UK cable network operator Virgin Media

Yup. Of all the cable operators in the UK Virgin Media is without doubt the leader ;)

Good article though, would be interesting to have others looking at the transmission chain for satellite broadcasting and that of IPTV.

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Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors

AndrueC
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Joke

Re: Password fields need to be bigger.

Password restrictions.

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AndrueC
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Re: @J.G.Harston

because I can spell.

But one of the cornerstones of avoiding a dictionary attack is to not spell things correctly My passwords aren't in any dictionary precisely because they aren't spelt correctly ;)

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AndrueC
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Meh

Re: Sad but true

Not the most secure set up I have ever seen.

On the plus side one assumes no-one can get to the admin interface from outside your LAN and that anyone actually on your LAN is trusted. Sorta ;)

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AndrueC
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Facepalm

Re: @J.G.Harston

It's intended to make life more difficult for key loggers, shoulder surfers etc.

And it fails miserably where I'm concerned. It seems I rely on finger memory for passwords and being asked for characters in random positions just doesn't work. I get round it by firing up Notepad and typing the password with the digits underneath.

Oh and my VbV password is 14 characters long. I know because after 0 to 9 I have to repeat 1 to 4 :D

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No Apple fanbois here: Man United BANS iPads from Old Trafford

AndrueC
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Re: Terrorism

Hell yeah. What short story is this from? Where the spectators* were given mirrored match day programs.

A Slight Case of Sunstroke by Arthur C Clarke.

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What's the nature of your emergency, Vodafone?

AndrueC
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Meh

I haven't watched adverts on TV for years. I time-shift with my PVR and the FF button is always available.

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The final score: Gramophones 1 – Glassholes 0

AndrueC
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Facepalm

Re: Hmmm

and use the pub to flog drugs in private

God it's time I went home. I mis-read that as 'use the pub to foul dogs in private'.

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Is the tech jobs market really on the up-and-up? Tell us about it

AndrueC
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Meh

I wasn't aware that IT had been going through a lean phase. I was made redundant last October and had a new position within a month. As for the survey, you missed a reason for wanting a new job 'Reducing commuting time' ;)

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America's hot and cold spots for broadband revealed in new map

AndrueC
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an average speed of 10.9 Mbps. That means the state that houses Apple, Intel, Oracle, Facebook and Google has lower broadband speeds than

Most of the UK.

But not a huge difference especially if you consider the difference in land area and population density. Sometimes being small and living shoulder to shoulder is a good thing :)

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Stalwart hatchback gets a plug-in: Volkswagen e-Golf

AndrueC
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Meh

Re: No spare wheel?

What happens when you get a puncture then?

I suppose you use a canister of foam they provide. My Jazz has that although there at least a spare is an option. Still - in over 25 years of motoring I've never had a puncture and the only times I've had to inflate a tyre was when I (a lot younger) clipped a curb and let some air out and when a valve developed a fault. In the latter case it was a very slow leak so I just had to top it up once or twice a week until I had the time to get it replaced.

I'm not saying a spare tyre isn't nice to have - but I don't think it's essential equipment that some would claim.

But yeah, the range is the killer for me. I'm surprised it's that bad. I love the different regeneration options on lifting off though. I'd hate to drive a car without any 'engine' braking.

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Brit kids match 45-year-old fogies' tech skill level by the age of 6

AndrueC
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Re: I call bollocks.

I bet you don't claim your a car mechanic or say you fix your friends' cars for them (or they ask you to fix their car)?

Indeed not but what does that have to with the text that I quoted:

The problem is that we are increasingly cutting off people from accessing what's below the shiny surface. In fact on many mobile devices you don't even get to have root access by default.

I don't see any mention in there of people claiming to be anything and that was the point I was addressing.

Leading to vary degrees of disasters when people don't realise they have broken an important constraint in a lower building block.

Now that's true. And likely a lot of car drivers could lower their fuel and repair costs if they knew more about how motor vehicles worked. I'm not saying that it's wonderful that humans do this. I am however suggesting that we wouldn't be anywhere near as technologically advanced if everyone had to know everything about a tool before they used it. It's a compromise we continue to make and have very little choice in that. There isn't enough time for all of us to learn everything and very few of us are capable of keeping all that information in our heads if we did have the time.

So - today's sprogs are doing what we did and what our parents did and what our parent's parents did. Building on someone else' expertise without needing to understand it. James Burke did a couple of interesting TV series on this in the 80s. Available on YouTube last I looked.

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AndrueC
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Meh

Re: I call bollocks.

The problem is that we are increasingly cutting off people from accessing what's below the shiny surface. In fact on many mobile devices you don't even get to have root access by default.

But is it a problem? I can drive a car without needing to know what goes on under the bonnet. Does it matter if a SQL developer doesn't know assembly language for any CPU? Does it matter that the vast majority of The Register's readers probably don't know how to build logic gates let alone how a transistor works?

Human technological progress has always mostly been about combining things together then wrapping them up to hide the complexity.

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Cor blimey: Virgin Media pipes 152Mb fibre to 100,000 East Londoners

AndrueC
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it would be really great if the upload speed was even a quarter as fast as the download speed.

Sadly the architecture of cable networks imposes limitations. Because several properties are sharing a single cable something has to prevent collisions (put simply something has to stop you and your neighbour both trying to send a packet at the same time). DOCSIS3.0 helped quite a lot but it's still an uphill struggle. xDSL doesn't have this particular limitation because everyone has a dedicated cable - in theory(*) an xDSL modem can use any frequency it wants for whatever purpose it wants whenever it wants.

I think it's fair to say that xDSL is topologically more suited to bi-directional networking than cable (no surprise - given the original intent of cable). But later versions of DOCSIS have done a helluva lot to workaround the limitations of the basic architecture. There may be more to come and the guys doing the research are well aware that upload speed is important.

(*)In practice it can't. Frequency plans exist to minimise interference between cables in the same bundle and the DSLAM will almost certainly only support particular up or downstream rates.

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AndrueC
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Re: Q from the US

What do ISP's in Blighty charge for high-speed internet service? Capped, uncapped, Metered Usage? And at what speeds? THANKS.

It varies. One big difference here is that our national telco was forced to open up its local loop many years ago. It fully supports LLU and it also provides wholesale access for both telephony and internet. In theory it even supports SLU but no-one much likes the pricing on that so it's never really taken off.

Then there's Virgin Media which this article relates to. They own and operate a cable network that covers slightly more than half the country. They've never gained dominance (not even in the areas where they provide a service) so don't have to share the network with anyone.

There's also a small historical oddity KCOM which operates the telephone lines around a town in the North East.

What this all means is that roughly half the country has access to cable (up to 152Mb/s) and everywhere has xDSL of some variety(*). The choices there being:

* ADSL (up 8Mb/s depending on line length) - This is being phased out and now only exists on the smallest exchanges.

* ADSL2+ (up to 24Mb/s) - Available on nearly every exchange.

* VDSL (up to 80Mb/s depending on distance to cabinet. Most people seem to be getting at least 40Mb/s) - Currently being rolled out and available to approximately 80% of the population at the moment. Slated to hit 95% within a couple of years.

Almost no-one is completely without a broadband service of any kind these days but some remote properties might be limping by on 512Mb/s ADSL.

Service levels:

* VM seem to like running their network hot (capacity barely keeping pace with user demands) so suffers from jitter.

* xDSL rarely has local loop capacity issues but the wide choice of ISPs allows for quite a bit of market differentiation in pricing, throughput, allowances and customer service.

As for pricing:

http://www.uswitch.com/broadband/ (other comparison sites exist).

Note that for most of the UK population any ISP can be used. The only exceptions as noted above are that not everyone has VM Cable and there's one town in the North East (Kingston Upon Hull) who only have KCOM.

A few areas have true FTTP or FTTB but not many at the moment. However anyone with deep enough pockets can get fibre laid to their property.

(*)Yes they overlap. Pretty much every property in the country has a copper line feeding it so has access to xDSL if it wants it. Intriguingly a lot of properties that could have a cable service have preferred to stick with copper. One may well wonder why.

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AndrueC
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WTF?

Virgin Media has announced the largest single expansion of its fibre optic network yet

I didn't know it had been doing any expansion. Or is this just another speed upgrade?

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Surprise! Government mega-infrastructure project cocked up

AndrueC
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Facepalm

Re: assumption - better network = less commuting

unfortunately, a large percentage of businesses still think that unless you park your bum on your seat in an office with all your co-workers then you're not working.

My current employer (like my last one) allows us to work from home occasionally as long as there's a good reason. But 'because I want to' is not considered a good reason. The irony is that for both employers I worked in a satellite office, hundreds (thousands in the previous job) of miles away from anyone who could see whether I was working or not.

But there you go. My previous job I had to drive 12 miles to sit in a small office with a lousy internet connection instead of staying at home with a very good connection. My current job I commute 60 miles mostly by train in order to sit in a small office. At least this one has a reasonable internet connection though.

Come my annual review I might suggest he consider allowing me to work from home three days a week instead of giving me a pay rise. That should be an interesting discussion.

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AndrueC
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Re: UK still leads the way in ripping off the taxpayer

The UK is the 51st most densely populated country in the world, Australia is 235

And of course HS2 is running through England where most of the UK's population is. The first third being where most of the English population live. I can't easily find any figures for it but this page shows the the HS2 is basically following the line of greatest population density from SE to NW. Between 1000 and 250 people per Sq km it looks like.

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AndrueC
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Meh

Re: UK still leads the way in ripping off the taxpayer

but then HS2 doesn't have to cross deserts and croc-infested rain forest

It does, however, have to travel across some of the most densely populated land on the planet and fit between/into/over a lot of important infrastructure. No-one much cares how you smash a railway through desert in the back end of beyond but when you're linking London, Birmingham and Manchester you have to be more thoughtful.

Mind you my thinking on the subject of HS2 is that we don't need it and it'll be an expensive white elephant. We should have spent the money on national FTTP. Just so long as we did a better job on that than the Aussies. Which is unlikely. Most western governments are pretty shit at that kind of thing.

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BAD VIBES: High-speed video camera records your voice from trash

AndrueC
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Joke

Mary had a little lamb, it used to jump so high.

One day it jumped into a butcher's shop and now it's in a pie.

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