* Posts by gerryg

498 posts • joined 19 Aug 2009

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Acer enters Windows Phone fray with cheap Liquid M220 mobe

gerryg
Facepalm

Just as well...

...no-one at Google reads El Reg, then

"Razali said that Windows Phone runs better on the same hardware than Android. “It’s not something I can say in front of Google. The truth is that the system is less demanding in terms of hardware,” he told the Reg."

Is this really the best anyone can do?

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Bloody TECH GIANTS... all they do is WASTE investors' MONEY

gerryg

Their margins are different to most others

As in "at the margin"

What else are they going to do with their money, put in a post office savings account and borrow it back? Invest in each others' shares and profit from each others' growth. If anyone can see how this works they've probably got a patent on a perpetual motion machine too.

Speculative R&D is an essential part of a portfolio investment strategy. They've got to stop it all becoming a zero sum game by finding new areas of economic activity from which they find new sources of return on capital.

It's not difficult.

Yes, no doubt they could give it all to developing countries and no doubt all of it would be usefully and efficiently deployed on schools hospitals, clean water and sewage systems (and none of it would end up Swiss bank accounts and other syphoning activties)

However in the real world, villages in Africa are getting all this stuff through earlier examples of speculative R&D, e.g., mobile phones, solar power and, earlier, bicycles

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

gerryg

Remember 2011...

...and the LSE TCO of OSS study for Cabinet Office

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gerryg

Don't forget 2012

[Microsoft] confirmed last week [...] is raising the cost of its software to UK channel partners by 29 per cent on average.

Is the definition of a monopoly someone that can raise prices 29% during a recession?

2015: "Government departments will pay up to 47 per cent more for the pleasure of using Microsoft desktop software"

Well at least the recession must be over.

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Google strongly opposes plans to let ANY US COURT authorise digi-snoops

gerryg

Re: I don't understand...

It's not new, here's an analysis of the extra-territorial effects of the PATRIOT Act.

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

gerryg

Something the government got right, a history lesson

gov.uk is yet another example of wishful thinking leading to vanity publishing disguised as transformation and thought leadership.

Branding remains firmly in the mind of the beholder, whatever lipstick you put on a pig.

However government did get something spectacularly right, but they couldn't cope with the branding they saw so they scrapped it.

Back in the days of Inland Revenue, (a brand so strong that even today, some 12 years after it disappeared, you can still hear HMRC being called that) they developed (in-house for about 50p, according to someone) Hector the Tax Inspector - homage to everyone's image of a civil servant, complete with little briefcase.

The "brand" was scrapped for internal vanity reasons despite it being an effective communication tool. (example)

Although Hector "died" in 2001 he survived in articles about taxation long after - last seen by me in about 2012. (example)

And therein lies the counterfactual with all this online glitz and glam - it you want to produce fluff bathed in incense while listening to whalesong - the El Reg Consulting Boutique might have vacancies but that's not what effective delivery of public services is all about.

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Boffins now one step closer to male birth control pill

gerryg

Re: And the IT angle

Agreed, it's all about the quantum of entanglement.

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Hacker catches Apple's Lightning in a jailbroken bottle

gerryg

Through the looking glass

If I recall correctly, the lightning connector was designed to lock out third party otherwise honest, gadgets.

As with all these measures, it turns out that it only punishes the honest.

Including the honest purchaser of Apple products.

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Violin-fiddling boffins learn that 'F-HOLES' are secret to Stradivarius' SUPERIOR sound

gerryg

Original research?

The Strad Magazine April 2001, Page 408, to 415 "The hole Story" by James Beament and Dennis Unwin discussed this, explored by New South Wales U (pdf).

Then from 2004 The Cremonese System for Positioning the F-Holes (pdf)

Then there's this from 2013.

What happened to literature searches?

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It's not easy being Green. But WHY insist we knit our own ties?

gerryg

Toaster Project tells it best

In which Thomas Thwaites attempts to build from scratch a toaster he could buy in Argos for £3.99 (economics of scale, durr)

However, it is not so simple to discuss whether a 40p home made loaf is only worth it if you value your time at zero.

The first issue is whether you have an alternative, more valuable to you, use for your surplus time. If not then making a loaf for 40p is equivalent to paying yourself the difference between its cost and a commercial price. Value has been created.

It might be below the minimum wage, but you get your loaf of bread, in circumstances in which you otherwise might not be able to afford to eat. (in extremis or "at the margin" if you prefer).

This article reminds me of a discussion here in 2013 in which it was attempted to argue that giving stuff away was bad for the economy. My extended reply to that FWIW

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Vint Cerf: Everything we do will be ERASED! You can't even find last 2 times I said this

gerryg

Re: Not really much of a problem

If YouTube were replaced then I agree with you, however loss without replacement would negatively me, albeit a bit niche, old videos of Jimi Hendrix concerts, interviews with him, Mitch Mitchell etc., on the one hand, Go turorials on the other, then there are all those "how to replace that widget on your gadget".

Boring to most I'm sure, but they might have their own examples,

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Gullible Apple users targeted by bogus order cancellation scam

gerryg

Re: The Oracle of technology

A thought provoking read. Thank you.

While it's difficult to imagine a scammer using this level of analysis to craft an email, I found that the body of the mesaage is crafted to filter out those with more than half a brain so enticing only the stupid and therefore more vulnerable to be compelling.

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Now not even muggers want your iPhone

gerryg

agreed

I understand it is a DWP commonplace that if you want to know how the benefits system really works don't ask a civil servant, ask a scrote.

(Thoough, is there anyone who doesn't know how to "operate" when it's relevant to them? tax, TV licence, expenses claims, etc?

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Bitcoin trade biz MyCoin goes dark, investors fear $387 MEEELLION lost

gerryg
Coat

read like a haiku

but three syllables short, inspired me

virtual currency

how on earth does that work then?

ah, virtually

I'll get my kimino

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$10,000 Ethernet cable promises BONKERS MP3 audio experience

gerryg

obligatory

xkcd reference

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gerryg

Casting the first stone n'all

Yeah, yeah, we can all do the science and engineering because we're all so clever. And some of us might just be a little bit jealous that others have got so much spare wonga.

I think it was a chap called Douglas Self writing in Wireless World, goodness knows how many years ago, that the only occasion he managed to detect a difference in sound quality was when he inserted a rusty nail into the signal path

But is there anyone here who hasn't used a gold plated connector "just in case"?

Or not engaged in cargo culture "just in case" Or not bought a more expensive product (paint? after-shave? a car?) "just in case"?

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Robot vacuum cleaner EATS WOMAN

gerryg

If only...

...this had been translated into Korean.

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Linux 3.19 released for your computing pleasure

gerryg

Re: device drivers

Good to get some retro trolling every now and again, reminds me of the old days. Is your analogue Wintel modem still giving you problems?

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OH HAPPY DAY! Lawyers replaced by AI

gerryg

history repeating itself

Most lawyering is conventional analyis honed by probabilities based on experience.

All professionals think they have some secret sauce that makes them different and for some professionals, some of the time, that's true but mostly not.

So MYCIN gave medical doctors a shock; and

ELIZA (try it) is cheaper than your average psychotherapist.

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The firm that swallowed the Sun: Is Oracle happy as Larry with hardware and systems?

gerryg

acquisition drives 1000x growth or merely poor sub-editing?

"The acquisition bumped Oracle’s annual revenues up from the $22-23m area to $27bn and then $37bn. Its challenge now is to grow that past $40bn"

Just wondering

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'Success'? Verify FAILED for 40% in self-assess tax trial

gerryg

verify? I don't think so

I have lived where I live for 16 years. For many years I got my electoral roll thingy and used the two part no-change on line process to update the register.

With the new process involving gov.uk my local authority* couldn't match my address details to those held by DWP, despite my having contacted DWP a few years earlier from the same address by post because I couldn't use their on line service for my NI record as my address details didn't match their records**.

*despite having contacted them about various matters over years specifically related to my address details (I know that they can't match Council Tax records)

** I can't work out if my exasperation about the incompetence in practical matters is greater or less than my delight in the failure of big brother and the data holding company (yes it is..., btw)

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'It's NOT FAIR!' yell RICH KIDS ... and that's a GOOD THING

gerryg

Re: Question:

There's probably a clue to the answer in the article.

If you are poor $1 is $1 and a free one is free, etc. If you are better off you are further up Maslow's hierarchy of needs, so you can afford to tell people to stuff their $1. On the other hand you might not be able to afford a Porsche and $100,000 is $100,000

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Hipsters ahoy! Top Ten BOARD games for festive family fun

gerryg

a board game isn't just for Christmas

The best Go but if you insist Chess

You can buy a real set for each for about £10-15 (nicer ones are available) if you are old school or get a free app for your tablet (but boards are nicer)

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European Commish asks for rivals' moans about Booking.com

gerryg

Re: except, of course: WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!?!?one?!

While we're busy loving god, "market dominance"? What happened to Kodak?, buggy whip manufacturers etc?

Then there's James Dyson and vacuum cleaners.

Look how the world is (slowly, admitly) moving away from Microsoft, previously IBM

People dominate markets because they are good, people abuse market dominance because they are bad in all senses of the word

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gerryg

Interflora

If that is what Booking.com are doing, without the permission of the hotel then this legal case concerning keywords is timely and relevant.

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gerryg

except, of course

These hotels are not compelled to work with Booking.com Similarly they are not compelled to accept American Express with their higher charges. Many still do for other reasons.

How much advertising does a hotel not have to do as a result of these services?

If someone can do it better for less don't use Booking.com

If a hotel wants an alternative, use kick starter to help fund it. Find all the other hotels that want to work with you. Find out how much money and effort that will take.

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gerryg

Invaluable

Without Booking.com quite a few hotels and B&Bs would not have got my business. 85% of nothing is nothing.

I choose location within city, level of quality of room and then price. Booking.com helps me find "the one". Of course all this information empowers the consumer. Competition is thwarted by information asymmetry and the consumer is usually on the wrong side of the information asymmetry problem.

And let's look at who is complaining.

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Plusnet could face DATA BREACH probe over SPAM HELL gripes

gerryg

How big a problem and why?

Not happening with me or the few people I know that use Plusnet. I even use their squirrel mail as my client. I'd shout at them about various but not this.

I'd be curious to identify common factors among those affected.

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Denmark BANNED from viewing UK furniture website in copyright spat

gerryg

Let's not forget the Portsmouth Landlady

On the matter of the single market

As the ECJ ruled: Local bans can't "be justified either in light of the objective of protecting intellectual property rights or by the objective of encouraging the public to attend football stadiums"

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Did rock-hard aliens turn young Earth MOIST? New probe data emerges

gerryg
Angel

musical reference in strapline

The Hollies

But this one has got more atmosphere

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What a pity: Rollout of hated UK smart meters delayed again

gerryg

Re: S.M.A.R.T.

no, I came back... see below

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gerryg

Re: S.M.A.R.T.

You're right - have an upvote

Sensible, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-Bound (Drucker)

not SMART - Smart meters

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MEPs want 'unbiased search', whatever that is – they're not sure either

gerryg

deja vu all over again

Feels a bit like thinly disguised protectionism to me. Let's throw public funds at European non-alternatives rather than notice what we're good at. Over here we failed to understand Turing, LEO was largely ignored and so we created ICL. Tried with Inmos and the Transputer. (Didn't really think Acorn Research Machines was up to much until it became ARM). In France it was Groupe Bull. Holland probably Philips, Germany Siemens.

Hurrah for MEPs

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Eat FATTY FOODS to stay THIN. They might even help your heart

gerryg

colour me cynical

Add back in: don't eat too much red meat and don't drink too much, "there's no such thing as superfoods"

All that expensive research and it turns out the answer is "eat sensibly" who knew?

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DNA survives fiery heat of re-entry on test rocket

gerryg

evidence of not being impossible <> evidence of being possible

Regardless of the durability of DNA - experts seem to have already covered that off - this doesn't even begin to prove that life arrived on asteroids.

It just leaves open the possibility that some DNA could have arrived by asteroid and that possibly the DNA could have developed into an organism that might have had "survival of the fittest" characteristics and has not have gone extinct.

We have no evidence that this has happened or that if it did it's the unique reason for life on earth.

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Sharing Economy sharks need love, cuddles and SUBSIDIES – UK.gov

gerryg

You might be right, however...

"Uber is distinguished really only by its use of what seems to amount to zero-hours contracts and by-demand pricing"

Never used them, because I can choose not to. If they drive (no pun intended) others out of the market then it's because their customers have spoken. Not Uber's problem.

Without Uber we might find ourselves saying

Taxis are a complex monopoly abusing their customers because they can charge what they as there is no alternative

They've got form on resisting competition

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Blade Runner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it

gerryg

"Always leave them wanting more"

Atrributed to P T Barnum

"Bladerunner - the director's cut" is one of the few times where more is more. Leave it alone.

Nerd point: Although I haven't put it in the DVD player to check, I'm fairly sure it opened the question at the end of whether he was a replicant (in which case the sequel suffers from an obvious flaw)

Anyway, as someone has already posted it will be shite. I won't be going.

However, as also attributed to P T Barnum: "There's a sucker born every minute"

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Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix

gerryg

laches or whatever it's called in the UK.

From a cached page on the Brennan website (URL now returns a 404)

In 2006 the British Phonographic Institute or BPI said to a parliamentary select committee that they wanted to “make it unequivocally clear to the consumer that if they copy their CDs for their own private use in order to move the music from format to format we will not pursue them"

So the effect of the passage of time on enforcement of rights will be of interest.

There's a helpful discussion here

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Calls for probe of UK.gov's DOESN'T VERIFY ID service

gerryg

government gateway never did authentication

The government gateway never did authentication. Its history is well recorded on ElReg including here and here

Despite the marketing rhetoric it was only ever formally described as a registration service. For non users of digital certificates (which authenticated you elsewhere) authentication was an off-line traditional service based on sending you something to your home address.

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We have a winner! Fresh Linux Mint 17.1 – hands down the best

gerryg

Re: I can't agree with this

Have an up vote. While my prejudices are based on having been there since S.u.S.E 6.1 this sums it all up

"The article, to me, focused more on the touchy feely stuff, not actually how it behaved in a real world work environment."

openSUSE is now either the longest running distro (1993?) or second, Fedora has similar longevity and unless you are going to go all Gentoo on me, (or Linux from Scratch) these are relevant considerations.

I was also pleased to see in another comment that the good KDE 4.0 bashing is alive and well, personally I'm thinking of losing all GUIs cuz I'm 1337 and all over TTY

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All ABOARD! Furious Facebook bus drivers join Teamsters union

gerryg

Strawbs

For those that didn't get the musical reference in the sub-heading, here it is

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Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION

gerryg
Facepalm

Obligatory xkcd reference

The story on the BBC website repeats the usual tosh about what constitutes a strong password. I don't understand why these "experts" don't look at xkcd for real advice.

As it says there "Through 20 years of effort, we've successfully trained everyone to use passwords that are hard for humans to remember, but easy for computers to guess"

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Sailfish OS tablet is GO: Fans stuff cash into Jolla's cap in hand

gerryg

nice software, shame about the hardware

I really want to like Jolla and kickstarted the phone.

The interface is not handed, so for lefties such as me, that's good. The software is very pretty, but not sure it's as open as advertised (show me the source code and I'll recant)

The other half was an idea in search of a reason, ambience (a colour my mood on my phone feature) is probably best left to those who have "had their colours done".

The real problem is that you didn't get much hardware for your money. It sort of reminds me of the Meriden workers cooperative that tried to keep Triumph motorcycles alive. My heart wanted to buy one but my head said BMW for this reason or Kawasaki for that reason.

Obviously a lot of people disagree with me and I wish Jolla well (my much replaced Nokia 5800 only recently abandoned is still a great phone) but a Nexus 7 however mundane is still a safer bet.

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UK digi exclusion: Poor families without internet access could 'miss out' on child tax credit

gerryg

Just a thought

When everyone has finished working out the ways this won't work, the requirement to do stuff on line might provide a reason to keep libraries open.

And while we can talk about a "Tory-led" coalition, those Labour party supporters that want to use any stick to beat the drum should remember the stick (doing it all online) was fashioned by the previous Labour-led government.

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So You Think You Can Conduct Original Research?

gerryg

For the graduation ceremony...

She will need one of these

The comments are priceless.

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Pay-by-bonk 'glitch' means cards can go kaching-for-crims

gerryg

Who knew pay by bonk was insecure? It's bonkers, I tell you

No PIN, no need to prove the card is yours, etc.

So the crims are going to steal money from your credit card company (not you, obviously, what with the transaction being fraudulent n'all) but how are they going to hang on to it? Unidentified?

I understand cloning and buying a Porsche - the crims convert to goods and then sell them on. Good luck with that one. But this requires them to get the cash out of the system which takes time. For example, my credit card company, if not them all is fairly tuned up to weird transactions in which case I get an SMS inviting me to confirm.

While I think about it, the last time I tried to pay by bonk in a supermarket without removing the card from my opened wallet, the terminal got confused by the card in the other half of my wallet. When I pay by bonk on London Transport (tube or bus) the system is less sensitive but does require a firm hand, as it were.

So I'd like to know the physical circumstances in which this could work.

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Microsoft opens Office 365 to devs with APIs, SDKs

gerryg

Any WordPerfect developers...

...care to give us a history lesson?

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Amazon sells Fire Phone in UK ... on CONTRACT

gerryg

It's probably fatal to say this here but...

...for those of us that actually use Amazon, this is old news.

It's been on their website landing page for some time.

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Microsoft discovers long-lost phone division down back of sofa

gerryg

Don't own "Nokia" dropping "Lumia"

Not sure I understand this. So Microsoft have sufficient confidence in the brand value of "Microsoft" phones - what has changed?

If nothing has changed:

- why did they buy the phone division in the first place?

or

- why are they dropping the brand value of Lumia?

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