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* Posts by ScottME

74 posts • joined 12 Aug 2009

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Ian Williamson: The engineer who gave Sinclair his first micro

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Even 'Your computer has a virus' cold-call gits are migrating off XP

ScottME

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.

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Why UK.gov's £1.2bn fibre broadband rollout is a bumbling FLOP

ScottME
FAIL

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"

Yeah right.

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Kobo Arc 10HD: The bookworm's fondleslab?

ScottME

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?

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Have you reinstalled Windows yet? No, I just want to PRINT THIS DAMN PAGE

ScottME

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?

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Cameron pledges public access to list of who REALLY owns firms

ScottME

Rank hypocrisy

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.

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Blighty's great digital radio switchover targets missed AGAIN

ScottME

Re: If...

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?

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In defence of defenestration: Microsoft MUST hurl Gates from the Windows

ScottME

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.

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Shopping list for Tesco: Eggs, milk, bread, tablets (the £60 7in Android kind)

ScottME

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.

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Do not adjust your eyes: This Kobo ten-incher has a 2560 x 1600 resolution

ScottME
WTF?

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.

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We hardly ordered any stock! Yet here we are again with ANOTHER PC MOUNTAIN

ScottME

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.

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Android device? Ooohhhh, you mean a Samsung phone

ScottME

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.

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New Lumia 925: This, loyalists, is the BIG ONE you've waited for

ScottME
FAIL

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.

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Identity cards: How Labour lost power in a case of mistaken ID

ScottME
FAIL

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.

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Huge erections - or lots of small ones. Checkmate, mast NIMBYs

ScottME

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.

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Coke? Windows 8 is Microsoft's 'Vista moment'. Again

ScottME

Can I just say...

...HA HA!

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Ofcom to UK: Really - you're using the same password for everything?

ScottME

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.

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ScottME

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."

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4G in the UK? Why the smart money still says 'Meh'

ScottME
Devil

Coverage is still piss-poor across much of UK. It's many years since I noted getting substantially better service in the essentially unpopulated Moroccan Atlas Mountains than I get in prosperous rural Hampshire, and yet nothing much has changed in the interim. Improving coverage and eliminating "not-spots" should be the mobile providers' priority, not continually pandering to and competing for the revenue from those who already have an embarrassment of choice as to where they get their high-speed Internet access.

Aint gonna happen though, not this side of the revolution.

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200 million office workers gagging for a... Microsoft Surface?

ScottME

Simple - "want" does not imply "are willing to pay for". These people wouldn't object to their emplyers buying them a Microsoft tablet, but they sure as hell aren't about to spend their own money on one.

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Microsoft can't even shift Windows 8 slabs in the middle of a tablet frenzy

ScottME
Devil

MS can't win

MS did actually make quite a number of early attempts at tablets - stylus based, keyboardless PCs & the like. They were of course too heavy, too restricted in what they could do, and the keyboard/mouse oriented user interface didn't really work too well without either.

Now in the Surface they have made a device that's light and portable, has a decent touch-screen user interface, and people won't buy it because it's largely incompatible with the non-tablet Microsoft systems that they have become habituated to.

They are essentially victims of their own earlier successes, having themselves sown and nurtured the seeds of their eventual destruction. I don't say any of this out of sympathy - I have none for them, and I hope the company continues to decline.

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Helium: Can it prevent the onset of Shingles?

ScottME
WTF?

Why not just evacuate the drive

Rather than faffing around with helium, surely they could just pump out all the air and leave a vacuum in drive housing - there would be no resistance at all then. Must be possible. I have one of those radiometer things (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crookes_radiometer) on my windowsill and the lack of gas in the globe certainly lets the vanes spin pretty damn fast.

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IBM continues to squeeze blue blood from IT stones

ScottME

Re: Chicken or the egg?

The logic is supply and demand. You can run Unix on just about any hardware vendor's kit, so there's no way anyone would choose to run it on a mainframe unless doing so was price-competitive. However the only readily available hardware that will run z/OS is an IBM mainframe CPU, so IBM can charge what it likes for that.

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This photo slide scanner costs €60... The bundled malware? That's free

ScottME
Devil

Who still runs Windows?

Oh, you do? Well, can't say I'm surprised that you get infected with malware.

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The Sinofsky Letters: Defenestrated Windows overlord corresponds

ScottME
WTF?

Vote with your feet, people!

No-one forces you to "upgrade" to the latest version of Windows (well, not for a few years anyway), and if it's all really so bad, there are flavours of Linux that will feel far more like home than the latest brainfarts from Redmond. I just don't comprehend why folks bother to take issue with what Windows has become.

I haven't used it for anything productive in over three years, and I absolutely don't miss it. No way would I go back.

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20 years of GSM digital mobile phones

ScottME

Re: Ahhh...

The E51 was a pretty good successor; same size, 3G connectivity, decent software, titchy screen though.

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4G: Bad coverage, crap battery life - but at least it's really expensive

ScottME
WTF?

Re: What's the point of 4G...

I saw a segment on TV that said at full rated 4G speed, you'd burn through your basic 500MB data allowance in less than 5 minutes. Even 8GB would only last an hour. And that's your monthly allowance? GMAFB.

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IBM slices UK GTS contractor rates

ScottME
Trollface

I'm sure the whole point of this is to allow IBM to reduce the rate it charges its customers for services, thus making it more competitive and allowing it to sign some new contracts for a change.

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I just LOVE Server 2012, but count me out on Windows 8 for now

ScottME

Re: Now here's an idea

Hmmm, let me think... are there any operating systems that work that way already?

Well yes, I believe there is an OS called UNIX (though it's little-known among devotees of Windows) which I am told has lots of derivatives, some of them even completely free, such as GNU/Linux. I understand that the UNIX GUI is generally an easily substituted layer atop a network-enabled display server ("X") which, so I have heard, lets you "run the GUI on one machine and the actual application on another."

Who'd have thought it?

Still, let's wait for those clever Microsoft engineers to invent something not quite so mature or versatile, so we can spend our money on that instead.

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ScottME

Re: Already looking

Have you considered Eclipse as a VS alternative?

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Ay caramba, Ubuntu 12.10: Get it right on Amazon!

ScottME
Coat

Back to Debian, I suspect

I've been using Ubuntu for about four or five years now, and to begin with it was great. I have always been quick to install the latest release, and have lived with 12.04 since it came out. I've been feeling increasingly disappointed with recent releases, and I realise I'm just not all that happy with Ubuntu any more. I really don't like Unity, and I sure as hell don't like the sound of the Amazon Lens, so I will most likely pass on 12.10. 12.04 is a long term support release so I'll be OK to stick with it for a while but I reckon in due course I'll probably just head on back to Debian, which is where I came to Ubuntu from. It's always been a safe, if boring, choice but I now appreciate that boring is good for something like an OS.

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British car parks start reading number plates

ScottME

Re: Just as towns are discovering that free parking

Don't mention Reading. Not only are the car park charges extortionate, but the town's traffic planners seem to really have it in for motorists in general, if the design of the town's junctions, one-way systems and traffic light phasing are anything to go by. Avoid the place at all costs!

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Big Blue beats off rivals to push out first LTO-6 tape drive

ScottME
WTF?

Did I work it out right? It would take about a day and a half (32.5 hours) to completely fill one of these cartridges, writing raw data at full speed. Is that practical?

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Nokia tears wraps off new Windows Phone Lumias on steroids

ScottME
Facepalm

Why announce it now?

I really don't understand the timing of this. 'Nokia wouldn't reveal prices or launch dates, except that "selected markets" would get it in Q4.' So with potentially months to go before anyone can buy one, there's still something the vapourware about it. And we don't get full details of its capabilities because MIcrosoft want to have their own hullabaloo at some later date.

Thus by announcing it this week, Nokia ensure that that this pretty nice bit of kit gets cast into the vast shadow of next week's iPhone 5 announcement. I guess the clueful marketers in Nokia must have jumped ship already.

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Kobo revamps e-reader line, intros mini model

ScottME

Re: Prices

Errm, people who want to read books rather than play games, who want a daylight-readable screen, and vastly better battery life? There's definitely a market there, and the price of these devices is getting down to the "what the hell, let's just buy one" level. The biggest threat would be if they leave the numbers on the price stickers the same and just change the currency symbol. £1=$1 has always been the curse of gadgetry in the UK,

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Dixons bigwig dispatched to salvage gadget souk PIXmania

ScottME
Devil

Once was enough

I was stupid enough to buy a mobile phone from Pixmania maybe five or six years ago. I received a "grey import" without even a UK adapter for the charger, instruction manual in Mongolian or something, and it was a total nightmare to get them to take it back. I didn't realise they were part of DSG, and perhaps they weren't at that time, but I will never buy anything from them ever again.

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Apple plans extended iPad display through 'Smart Covers'

ScottME
WTF?

Just imagine the accessory potential

If this ever makes it to a product, I predict there will be a ready market for screen protector protectors.

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Lazy password reuse opens Brits to crooks' penetration

ScottME

Re: OpenID

I can indeed say "single point of failure", and I can also maintain two, three, four or more OpenIDs, with different providers, to mitigate any failure of my primary authentication provider. It's still a far cry from having a separate ID on every site I'm registered with (and sharing passwords because it's too hard to keep them separate).

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ScottME
FAIL

OpenID

How about letting punters maintain a single online identity with a chosen agency, and let other websites obtain authorisation via that agency? OpenID does that. See http://openid.net/

I honestly believe that online identity could be a solved problem, were it not for greed and ignorance. Most sites either don't realise they can do authentication via a third party such as OpenID, or else they have motives (usually financial/marketing/NIH) for insisting on maintaining their own user databases.

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Chinese boffins build nuclear-powered deep-sea station

ScottME
Thumb Up

Bloody good idea

About time the human race got serious about exploring and exploiting the mineral and other resources under the oceans.

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Shuttleworth: Why Windows 8 made us ditch GPL Linux loader

ScottME
WTF?

I'll definitely be looking to buy only hardware that has an option to disable secure boot. I require to be able to run whatever software I choose on hardware that I've bought. Perhaps they could put a flashing red light on during the boot process to warn me that I'm booting unsigned or self-signed code, so long as I can ignore it I'd be happy.

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New UK network touts FREE* mobile broadband

ScottME
FAIL

Not worth it

I definitely don't relish the thought of being forced to sit through an hour and quarter of mind-numbing, soul-destroying advertisements just to get a measly 500MB of wireless data, and I really wonder who would sign up for that.

There are far better deals. On my Three PAYG SIM I get a month's supply of data (up to 2GB) for a fiver. I'd far sooner cough that up than watch ads.

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IBM chiefs order pay freeze at US services tentacle

ScottME
Devil

Re: Surest way to watch people leave quickly...

But that is surely a large part of the reasoning behind the pay freeze. The more people who leaver voluntarily as a result of actions like this, the less redundancy payouts or unfair dismissal claims they company has to stump up for.

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BT to fibre up another 98 exchanges, puffs 'FTTP on demand' offer

ScottME
Thumb Up

Re: Link? List?

http://community.plus.net/blog/2012/06/26/openreach-announces-98-new-fibre-locations/

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Users still slack about passwords: Trustwave

ScottME
FAIL

Re: KeePass is your friend

...which doesn't matter because they can't break the encryption KeePass uses.

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ScottME

Re: KeePass is your friend

Keep your KeePass database on Dropbox or Goodgle Drive, then you can get to it wherever/whenever you need it.

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No one watches TV, Nielsen, and you know it

ScottME

What ads?

I do quite a lot of consumer surveys and they often show you some ads and say "have you seen this?" Invariably I haven't, and I tell them so. They ask how the ad changes my impression of the product or brand: it doesn't. I really don't see the point.

Compaines would do much better if they invested their marketing budgets into improving their products, or reducing their prices. Word would get around pretty fast, and the best products would sell on their merits.

Yes, I know most consumers are dumb. I still think it would work.

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Samsung to probe Galaxy S III blaze claim

ScottME

That is where the microphone sits. I never knew microphones could catch fire.

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Asus-made Google pad set for June debut

ScottME

but I don't want one measured in inches!

What is the basis for continuing to measure displays in inches anyway? I reckon I could manage with a tablet of around 200mm - yeah, that's be about right.

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Windows 8: We kick the tyres on Redmond's new tablet wheels

ScottME

Re: Just not interested

Well sure, if you're a gamer, and you're addicted to PC games (though actually I think you'll find they are Windows games, not specifically PC games), then you won't be a happy bunny running Linux. But game developers will likely to come up with Metro versions of their stuff, so Redmond's brainfart won't be such a pain in the ass for you.

The kind of everyday, Joe and Jane Public user who's going to get royally hacked off with Metro, on the other hand, might find that for most of their purposes there are "good enough" Linux alternatives which are open source, and free-as-in-beer as well as free-as-in-speech, so as well as getting a more familiar UI, they can stop bleeding cash on proprietary software.

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