Perhaps this story is really telling us that the telcos have learned from the pikeys - and the real motivation for switching to fibre is the profit to be made on all the copper they'll be ripping out?
106 posts • joined 12 Aug 2009
Re: “Goto statement considred harmful”
The cheerleaders of GOTOs are missing the point of Dijkstra's criticism. He was basically just saying that readability and comprehensibility of the programming language is the important thing, and that GOTOs complicate the programmer's task by obscuring the logical structure of a program.
No-one's suggesting that the execution path of a program can't have GOTOs in it - a compiler for a structured, GOTO-less programming language will of course emit machine code that's full of branch instructions, and in all probability (if the compiler is any good) that code will be more efficient than hand-written, GOTO-ridden code.
would anyone want to buy a new Apple computer to run an old version of Windows?
Digital tax accounts - can't wait for that!
Can I have your bets gentlemen, please, on when we can expect the project to go tits up like virtually every other major government IT initiative?
Seriously, I've not seen or heard any talk of this being in development - does anyone know who is putting the necessary systems in place to support this announcement?
Re: Didn't PCs used to require switching a jumper to flash the BIOS?
Yes but... as I understand it, physical access to the machine is needed in order to install the hacked BIOS - so a simple hardware switch isn't going to help a lot.
I reckon the real reason they make these ridiculously thin screens bent is so they're able to stand without wobbling too much. Same trick I used to use when making playing card towers.
Also, the S3 was the last Samsung flagship phone with an FM radio. Mock if you like, but for me that's a feature I use every day.
...has anyone hacked it to run Android yet?
Re: Makes Sense
Mate of mine on Windows 8.1, trying to be helpful, created a document for me using Powerpoint, and saved it in "native" ODP format. LibreOffice (on my Ubuntu 14.04) would not even open it. He then saved it again as ppt, and LibreOffice rendered it perfectly. If that's the best interoperability that MS can achieve, fsck 'em is what I say.
Three has been great for me
I am still totally happy with my PAYG SIM from Three in my Galaxy S3 (3G only), which costs me a £10 topup every 45 days, and I generally spend £5 of that credit on a 2GB data add-on every 30 days. Each topup gets me 5000 free texts, 150MB data and unlimited calls to other Three users, which includes almost everyone I ever call on a regular basis. Apart from that I don't make many voice calls (because of Zoiper VOIP client on the S3). And recently they started giving me "free" roaming in France, USA and a bunch of other places.
I joined the network originally because they had the best coverage where I live by some margin; I've rarely been out of luck elsewhere either.
So hell yes, it's a low cost network as far as I can see.
Objections to landlines are irrational
My summary of the article:
Don't like paying 15 quid a month for a landline you think you don't use (despite the fact that your broadband service comes over it)?
Then why not pay upwards of £30 a month for a wireless broadband service that probably caps the volume of data you can send and receive, and suffers just as much if not more from multi-user contention, and can only really be expected to work properly if you're unfortunate enough to live in a major population centre?
If you like, you can also spend hundreds of pounds extra on additional kit to filter out those few spam calls, and why not replace that free router you got from your ISP with a complicated and expensive one that also does VOIP, and then you can subscribe to a VOIP service from someone - oh, did we forget to mention the VOIP subscription charges?
Some problems are just hard
Where I live there is a once-per hour bus service between 9am and 5pm that typically arrives anything up to 50 minutes adrift from its published timetable. The large 55-seater single-decker buses that run the route typically carry no more than five passengers and I'd guess that on average four of them will be travelling on senior-citizen bus passes and the other is of student age. The remaining non-car options for getting to town are walk (five miles), cycle (on a *very* busy main road, no thanks), or call a taxi, typically £10-15 one way (the bus costs £3 ffs). This is why the average household round here has 2+ cars and part of the reason why the main road is so busy. I really wish there was a better solution, but I can't think what it would be.
I'd not long passed my driving test - mid 1970's I'd guess - when my father acquired an Alfetta, and I was allowed to drive it. To this day, I've never driven a car that was so engaging, so communicative, and so lively. It was also ridiculously unreliable, and he'd have got rid of it far sooner if it hadn't been such fun, and more importantly, if his employer hadn't been footing the repair bills.
Re: We all paid for Brown's auction
"Mobile voice does not have the same competition."
Sure it does - install a VOIP client on your mobile, and use cheap mobile data or WiFi rather than paying extortionate voice call rates. You can also appear to be at home wherever you are in the world.
Expensive for a lock-in
I don't really care how whazzy the technology inside it is, because all I would seem to get for the rather high purchase price is the opportunity to send an ongoing stream of yet more money into Amazon's coffers. I'd only consider something like this if it was readily rootable to allow stock Android as a replacement for the proprietary Amazon OS. On second thoughts, perhaps I'll get a Nexus 9.
Properly engineered systems!
IBM mainframes are boring and predictable. Exactly what you want for safety-critical infrastructure. Who cares how "old" it is - it gets the job done, with uptimes in years. Rather surprised a bad flight plan can cause problems though.
Better/easier ways to tackle the problem
Why don't they put rules in place to close the loopholes and accounting tricks that companies use to avoid tax? For example, they could refuse to give tax relief on "loans" that companies make to themselves via overseas subsidiaries/parent/child companies. If the company to which the "loan repayments" are made has the same ultimate ownership, then you can't offset the repayments against your profits to avoid paying tax.
Re: Good hardware... but
The trick to differentiating yourself is to offer something different - not like Samsung's "me too" apps which have absolutely no compelling advantage over de-facto standard Android apps most of which are popular, well-established, trusted, and free. Samsung Push Service - WTF?
Re: Another Auth System
"They just don't seem to know what they want to do."
Oh but they do, They know exactly what they want, and in case you didn't realise: It's your money they are after, now and in future, as they lock you into their "ecosystem", which they keep "enhancing", to keep you running after them and paying them for all the changes you never asked for.
Choice is good
I've been loyally installing each successive Ubuntu release since 2007 but for the first time, I'll be giving this release a miss. I've only just installed 14.04 on a second-user ThinkPad X220 (£300 for a grade A refurb from Tier 1 online, better than any new laptop), and it works a treat on this older hardware for which the 14.04 software is properly sorted. 14.10 has nothing I need or want.
Re: The Future might be laptop + phone
The watch is not going to be the engine of personal computing without a small revolution in battery technology. It's bad enough having to recharge my smartphone's 2500+mAh battery at least daily and sometimes more often; how much of a drag will it be to have to unstrap a wristwatch every few hours to juice it up?
That's just tickety-boo. But "people who have invested time and money into integrated workbooks and documents with dozens of macros & templates" have no right to expect that their complex documents will survive being exchanged outside of their organization.
Professionals will see this differently
I've been a fan of Neelie Kroes and what she's managed to achieve so far, but despite that, I really can't get too exercised about this issue.
As an amateur (the word derives from Latin meaning "done for the love of it"), if I was to make something that went viral on YouTube, I really don't think I would mind too much about not getting paid for it.
It's unlikely that my objective in making it was to get rich - more likely I was just showing off, or having a laugh. The retrospective realisation that I might have earned money from it might make me wish I hadn't given it away, but what the hell, f**k it. If getting rich had been my objective, I would not have uploaded it to YouTube. I'd have gone about the whole thing in a much more calculated manner.
Amateurs who enjoy some success with "UGC" and realise they have a talent they could exploit, might subsequently decide to turn professional, and good luck to them if they can sustain it.
Professionals like Andrew who already make their living from their creativity will obviously see this all from a different perspective, but not every creative person needs or wants to be paid for what they do.
"Royal Mail keeps a database of where every item was posted from and the recipient. Handy for traffic analysis."
Really? Can we have a source for that assertion?
What worries me about this
is the thought that in order to identify these individuals, they were presumably sifting through all sorts of Internet traffic, looking for tell-tale signs. And who knows what they spotted along the way, and may have filed away ("hello, hello, what's going on here then?") in case it may be relevant to some future investigation. The message that Big Brother is watching you certainly needs to be well understood by all Internet users.
I'll get my tin-foil hat.
Re: Not the best value dash cam out there.
Based on lots of online reviews, I bought a 1080p dashcam including 16GB microSD card from eBay for less than £45 (this one: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/310957027254). I can't fault the quality of the video - wide angle, pin-sharp, and it gets the exposure right all the way from bright sunshine to headlights only on a dark country lane at night. It uses a mini-USB power supply, and I plan to sort out a hard-wired connector cable coming out of the headlining when I have the time, but for now I leave it connected to an adapter in the cigarette lighter socket and it automatically switches on with the ignition and starts recording, and switches off a minute after you turn the engine off. 16GB gives you enough space for about 12 hours of recordings, and it automatically overwrites the oldest ones. Very pleased with it, can't think why anyone would pay over £100 for something that's no better apart from having a brand name on it.
Re: What's to look forward to?
"I'm still paying the same price if not less than I was a few months ago."
Mate, everyone on Windows is paying the price, and will continue to do so for as long as they stick with it.
Me, I prefer the price of Linux, and its bastard child, Android.
Too slow - needs editing
There's not nearly enough pace to this presentation, plus there are far too many silent gaps while the presenter ums and ers his way between his presentation slides and code samples etc. It's all terribly interesting, but it could and should be delivered in half the 90 minutes it takes, or preferably less.
Come Reg, when you publish something like this please don't lose sight of the fact it's a recording: the audience can pause, rewind, repeat sections if they need to. But making them wait while the presenter faffs around is discourteous and unnecessary.
Has anyone commenting here actually read the Piketty book?
I'm about half way through it and I have to say that so far it's pretty convincing. If Piketty is correct, all of Mr Worstall's arguments would seem to centre on how the crumbs from the table are divided up. It was ever thus.
Re: About http://xkcd.com/936
It's less good advice today than it might have been when it was first published in 2011. Last year, 2013, Bruce Schneier, who is consistently pretty damn good on security, posted this article, pointing to a "Really Good Article on How Easy it Is to Crack Passwords" which casts serious doubt on the continued usefulness of the XKCD approach, and he (BS) recommends instead using an approach he first described in 2008. I suspect he's right.
Odd - I've *always* pasted my Paypal password, which lives in KeePass; it's far too obscure to remember or type correctly.
That may have been reasonable advice at the time, but it's unlikely to be much good now.
My current approach is to use a phrase or sentence then pick out individual letters to create a password. Not always the exact letter, not always the first letter.
For example "Natxl,nat1l". As a bonus, I find such passwords relatively easy to remember.
Re: They seem to have stopped calling me
I've managed to perplex them several times, when they ask me to press Ctrl-R (which on Windows brings up the Run dialog), by insisting, truthfully, that it does nothing on my computer. I don't tell them I'm running Linux. Well, they didn't ask.
Commercial model is all wrong
It's high time DCMS realised that fast broadband is as necessary a basic utility as the postal service, electricity, water, etc. *Every* citizen should be able to access it, not just those whom BT regard as "commercially viable". Government should grow a pair and legislate for a universal service obligation. It's not beyond the wit of suppliers to use a proportion of the obscene profits they can make from servicing densely populated urban areas in order to subsidise the investment necessary to getting the service out to the boonies.
"We're all in this together"
The criticism that the device has poor PDF support puzzles me. The review says users of this device have free run of the Google Play store. So does something prevent them from installing Adobe Reader? Or for that matter, any of several alternative PDF reader apps?
Linux printing support has improved enomously. I installed Ubuntu 13.10 recently and to set up my networked HP printers (a Laserjet 6MP and an OfficeJet 6300) all I had to do was open the Printers control panel, and tell it to install first one then another networked printer. It automatically sniffed them out on the network, determined what make and model they were, automatically configured itself for them, it even worked out that because I'm in the UK I will want them set for A4 paper (something that Windows could never seem to get right for me), then offered to print a test page. Now that's what I call simple. I don't understand why people put up with that ridiculous "installing drivers" dance that Windows does. What's the point of it? Is it trying to appear clever?
Arrbee's post is spot on: I refer readers to the "In the back" section of Private Eye which has been cataloguing the DoubleThink/DoubleSpeak of successive UK governments (they're all as bad as each other) for as long as I can remember.
The UK's legendary libel laws, coupled with the astonishing ease with which the UK financial sector and assorted consultants and advisors can make any and all profits simply disappear, gives the true measure of this country's "leadership" in the tax avoidance game.
In North-east Hampshire I struggled for years to get any kind of usable FM reception except via a large roof-mounted four-element antenna. Then I tried DAB, and it just works, everywhere in the house, so I have several receivers. I now have it in the car too. I mostly only ever listen to Radio 4 though. Does anyone actually listen to any of those identi-clone commercial music stations on DAB?
Re: To paraphrase The Matrix
What seems not to occur to most people is that there's no good reason why Microsoft (or any company for that matter) should to continue to dominate. We've kind of done the "PC with Windows" thing, and of course it will linger on for a long time, but it's not where the really exciting things are happening any more. The talented people who worked there should go find jobs at other companies who are doing more interesting things.
Re: Nook HD+
I've had a Nook HD+ for a few months and while it's generally excellent value, it has started to get annoyingly slow. This seems to be a well-documented phenomenon, only fixable by doing a factory reset. It may have to come to that.
Re: if it works as just a tablet....
Oh puhleeze! Come out from under your Microsoft-sponsored rock.
If your employer requires you to use Outlook, then he should supply you with the means to do so.
For your own personal "hobby" purposes, although you may not have noticed, this century, it's perfectly possible to burn CDs using "other" operating systems and software other than that sold by Roxio. For example, OSX seems to manage it, and so does Linux, and neither requires you to pay extra for the capability. So I don't see why it can't be possible from an ARM CPU running Android (or whatever) to burn CDs. It's just a matter of the hardware supporting the relevant interface - USB is pretty ubiquitous.
2. You don't *need* silly games. Grow up.
Is this kit any use?
I'd buy a new laptop, but I'm not sure whether all this new touch screen bollocks will play nicely with Linux. Because the first thing I do with any Windows box is format the hard drive and install Linux.
Re: Two years baby
I don't see that happening. I have a Samsung phone, but that's because it's currently the best hardware to run Android on - definitely not because of the Samsung software, which I hardly use at all given the superior free alternatives.
Of course it could happen, but if it did, I'd be surprised if anything like a majority of their customer follow them into their walled garden.
It's very sad what's become of Nokia
Nokia clearly still have some first-rate engineering skills, it's just such a shame that they have hamstrung themselves by allowing their business to become locked to MIcrosoft.
Re: I wonder how much of the opposition matches mine?
"If you want to leave the country, ok, you need a passport." -- Oh no you don't.
I think you will find that you can get out of the UK any time you like with no identity documents whatsoever, so long as you choose your means of transport appropriately. For example you can get into France without a passport, 99 times out of 100, from a ferry or a Eurotunnel shuttle and from there you can travel to almost any country in mainland Europe (within the Schengen area) entirely unimpeded: you just sail through the borders without needing to present any identity documents.
The one time you will certainly need your passport is when you want to get *back* into the UK.
This reveals the fundamental broken-ness of the UK Border Agency, or whatever they are calling it today. They count everyone in, but they count no-one out.
I've always wondered why we in the UK have such pissy little cellphone masts compared to the huge great f**k-off towers you see all over the USA.
Can I just say...
Re: Password management
Your mistake was to use "ThinkVantage Password Manager". You've entrusted your vital secrets to a piece of proprietary, Windows-only code whose quality and fitness for purpose you can never know, and which runs only on your ThinkPad, i.e. one of the systems you should have a password to access. A bit like storing your house key in a locked box inside your locked house.
You'd do much better to use an open-source, free, cross-platform password manager such as KeePass. Even better if you use cloud storage such as Dropbox to keep the strongly-encrypted KeePass database in sync across all your machines.
Just a bit of friendly advice.
Re: 55 percent?
There was a spoof corporate directive circulating in IBM about 20 years ago on the subject of password standards. It started out OK, then degenerated into a series of ever more ridiculous requirements and restrictions. The punchline was something like this: "Compliance with these rules means that there is only one possible password. Employees should see their manager to be issued with it."