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* Posts by Dunstan Vavasour

370 posts • joined 14 May 2007

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Apple abruptly axes Aperture ... Adobe anxiously awaits arrivals

Dunstan Vavasour

Darktable

I don't use OSX, I'm on Linux but there is an OSX installable of Darktable for those who prefer using Free (Libre) software. I tried Lightroom on windows but Darktable has all I need.

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Gartner deploys new converged-systems quadragon rankings

Dunstan Vavasour

Re: "Completeness of Vision"

Do the products do all you'd want them to, and do they keep bringing out new stuff.

Most of these offerings are fulfilling the same needs (though in very different ways) which is why there is a vertical line on the right. Teradata is a niche product that's not going to tread on the toes of IBM's Pure, so probably shouldn't be among this lot.

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Artists install Monty Python silly walk signs in Norwegian town

Dunstan Vavasour

Fitness Craze

Silly walks could be a new fitness craze too. You'd burn far more calories in the morning schlep to StarNeroCosta doing a silly walk. Maybe not on the way back, though, or you'd spill the precious fluid.

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Labour calls for BIG OVERHAUL of UK super-snoop powers in 'new digital world'

Dunstan Vavasour

Sharks

Any discussion about surveillance powers should be conducted with the participants sitting above a shark pool, and anyone who uses the words "it is not our intention to..." should be tipped in. It was not the intention of RIPA that councils would snoop on domestic bin usage, but it granted them those powers.

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One year on: What exactly did the 2e2 collapse teach us?

Dunstan Vavasour

Sorry, didn't see you coming mate

Amen to that. Having your employers go bust on you is like crashing into a car that "came from nowhere".

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Red Hat teams up with community-based RHEL lookalike CentOS

Dunstan Vavasour

No more SRPMs

Looking down the referenced FAQ in the article, it seems Red Hat are going to stop distributing SRPMs, and meet their GPL obligations by offering git access to the CentOS codebase.

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Ten classic electronic calculators from the 1970s and 1980s

Dunstan Vavasour

HP 33E

I had a HP 33E at Uni. I dropped it crossing the road and, before I could retrieve it, it had been run over by a car. Apart from a crack in the bottom corner of the case, it was unscathed.

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Oh My GOD! Have the TORIES ERASED THE INTERNET?*

Dunstan Vavasour

Re: *Headlines to which the answer is no.

Next thing is the tabloids will pick up on this trick. Imagine a world in which the newstands have endless made up stories about Diana/Madeleine/Shergar/Lord Lucan with lurid headlines ending in question marks.

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Look at how many ways we ruin your life, Redmond boasts

Dunstan Vavasour

Pretending to work

You can't be effective in any of the situations listed. So people aren't working, they're pretending to work. I'm blessed to be in a job where I work effectively when it's needed and don't have to pretend to work when it's not needed.

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Revealed: EMC's SECRET XtremIO briefing doc that tries to snap Violin Memory’s strings

Dunstan Vavasour

First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you...

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Amazon wrapping FireTube tellybox for Christmas – reports

Dunstan Vavasour

Re: Patent?

A bit depressing el Reg getting this wrong. Still, at least the USPTO haven't renamed themselves "Intellectual Property Office" like our own.

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Compact Cassette supremo Lou Ottens talks to El Reg

Dunstan Vavasour

1970s Horizon

Going slightly off topic... This weekend thebox.bz went offline. One of the projects they'd undertaken was to assemble a library of classic Horizon programmes, some from quite old VHS tapes, content that was available nowhere else. That endeavour has, alas, just been snuffed out.

El-Reg proves that less is more. A well researched interviewed talking to the right person, I suspect this interview has had very little editing, if any. Thank you.

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'Symbolic' Grauniad drive-smash was not just a storage fail

Dunstan Vavasour
Meh

Ticking Boxes

Both sides knew it was a pointless act, with copies in other places held by other organisations.

But some manager somewhere will have been able to put a tick in a box.

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Ad man: Mozilla 'radicals' and 'extremists' want to wreck internet economy

Dunstan Vavasour

"Cocoon spun by techno-libertarians...

'Mozilla, Rothenberg wrote, exists "inside a cocoon spun by techno-libertarians and academic elites who believe in liberty and freedom for all, as long as they get to decide the definitions of liberty and freedom."'

If you don't like our cocoon, stay out of it and advertise elsewhere.

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How City IT is under attack from politicians, diesel bugs, HR

Dunstan Vavasour

He's just grandstanding for effect, these places are designed to get warm. The building being warm to the touch probably shows that the heat is being removed effectively from the transformer.

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Paul Allen buys lovingly restored vintage V-2 Nazi ballistic missile

Dunstan Vavasour
Boffin

Re: A question for rocket scientists on El Reg...

Because making rockets is hard to do in any age, We understand the physics, but making the many components all work together properly so the rocket flies is hard.

The same goes for making atom bombs. That's why I'm not unduly worried about Iran's programme.

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Mosaic turns 20: Let's fire up the old girl, show her the web today

Dunstan Vavasour
Thumb Up

Heady Days

Mosaic *was* the killer app for the WWW. Running on SunOS with X and a colour monitor, all the ingredients for the modern browser were there:

- Text and Images displayed together for a page

- Coloured highlighting of hyperlinks

- Forward and backward buttons, for a good sesh browsing the web

- Rendered presentation of other protocols (ftp, gopher and IIRC news)

Lynx allowed you to read from the web, but Mosaic allowed you to browse.

Its accompanying page "What's new with NCSA Mosaic" was the de facto chronicle of the expansion of the WWW over its first few years. Heady times, and the importance of NCSA in building on Cern's work was pivotal: Mosaic on the client side, NCSA server, and "What's New" in disseminating information.

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British car parks start reading number plates

Dunstan Vavasour
Devil

Enslavement

We will not be enslaved through coercion, but by the lure of convenience.

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Don't panic, but UK faces BLACKOUTS BY 2015

Dunstan Vavasour
Boffin

Re: Who mentioned solar? A knob, that's who.

Wind turbines are pretty good at reducing chronic CO2 emissions, they're just rubbish at providing reliable power exactly when needed: they should be built and operated, but kept outside the "generating capacity" figures, as they can't be relied on.

Still, if the problem is with peak demands then surely there is scope for demand management? For decades the very biggest energy users (such as the steel and aluminium industries) have had load-shedding arrangements. Surely this could be run back into medium sized users, even if it won't work for domestic users? But even in a domestic setting, if you could incentivise people to put their washing and tumble driers on overnight instead of at 6pm, you'd be a lot of the way there.

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Raspberry Pi patch adds warranty-safe overclocking

Dunstan Vavasour

Re: Why?

Because you can. That is all.

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Windows 8? Nah: Win Phone 8 should give Apple the fear

Dunstan Vavasour
Unhappy

Saddening

That's one of the most saddening articles I've read in a long time, because I think the analysis may well be right.

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Markets to remain glutted with rapidly-depreciating Facebook shares

Dunstan Vavasour
Meh

Beer can shares

In some states there is a 5c deposit on beer sold in aluminium cans. In the dotcom bubble there were beer can shares: if you'd "invested" in canned beer with 5c deposit per can instead of shares, the returned deposit would have been worth more than the shares 12 months later.

I predict that over 12-24 months, Facebook will be a beer can investment.

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The Oatmeal hits $850,000 goal for Tesla museum

Dunstan Vavasour
Thumb Up

Land Grab

Running a museum is a long term project which needs a lot of planning and fund raising and all that. The focus of very specific campaign was to prevent the historic site coming to market and being flogged off to the highest bidder for redevelopment. For this limited objective, it is very much Mission Accomplished.

It is, in the very truest sense, a Land Grab.

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War On Standby: Do the figures actually stack up?

Dunstan Vavasour
Flame

The tyranny of "Every little helps"

I wholly agree with Lewis. Trying to modify human behaviour to make an insignificant difference in overall consumption is counter-productive. Basing that on shoddy fieldwork is inexcusable.

It's the same with plastic carrier bags: they get all over the place and cause harm to wildlife, but in terms of the mass of stuff in a family dustbin they are negligible - it probably takes as much material and energy to produce 100 carrier bags as one free MacDonalds toy with a happy meal.

And as for mercury filled energy saving lightbulbs, the whole case for them is based on the heat being wasted: whereas for much of the year in Northern Europe the energy will be consumed in your central heating boiler rather than the lightbulb.

Methinks the whole appliance-on-standby conceit was constructed as a straw man by the energy companies---by focussing attention there, people's energy consumption in other areas continues unabated, ensuring their profits.

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Want to meddle with IP rights? Use the law, not amended regulations

Dunstan Vavasour
Megaphone

The intention of legislation

The purpose, or the intention of legislation, or the assurances of the lawmakers count for naught. The *only* thing that matters is what the legislation itself says. If it permits something undesirable, it should be changed before it reaches the statute book.

It was not the intention of RIPA to allow councils to tag individuals applying for school places. Jack Straw said "it is not our intention to ..." lots of times during its passage.

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HP cuts 27,000 workers

Dunstan Vavasour

Re: This is what happens when you focus on being big instead of good

I had a brilliant HP calculator when I was at university in the 1980s. I once dropped it while crossing the road and it was run over by a car - the only sign was a small crack in one corner of the case. And although they were presumably completely separate businesses, having the Hewlett Packard name on top quality laboratory and medical instruments was fantastic for the brand: there would be a rush to bags the HP oscilloscope for practical sessions.

A very different HP to today's.

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Microsoft and Facebook in $1bn pass the IP parcel play

Dunstan Vavasour
Boffin

Can we please shun the term "IP"?

Call me a Stallmanite grouch, but I still find the term "IP" unhelpful, preferring the more specific terms: patents; trademarks; copyrights; trade secrets.

This story is about patents and patent applications.

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Teens break up with Facebook

Dunstan Vavasour

Re: Not really thinking, are they?

A good explanation of the phenomenon you describe is shown in this slideshow

http://www.slideshare.net/padday/the-real-life-social-network-v2

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Bacteria isolated for four million years beat newest antibiotic

Dunstan Vavasour
Boffin

So is it like this?

So does it work like this?

a) There are loads of naturally occurring bacteria, some of which are susceptible to antibiotics, others are resistant

b) These bacteria have reproduced for millennia, using humans and other species as breeding grounds

c) The antibiotic susceptible ones have been by far the more widespread, outcompeting the resistant ones

d) 70 years ago we waded in with antibiotics, and started hitting out at the susceptible ones in their key breeding grounds (firstly humans, then other species)

e) The anti-biotic resistant ones have found their competitors' population falling, and have started to spread out into the extra space.

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Apple to Google Maps: ‘Get lost’

Dunstan Vavasour
Coat

Re: "Can you smell the anti-trust lawyers starting to circle?"

Now.

I don't like Google's lawyers

But I also don't like Apple's lawyers

But which is worse? There's only one way to find out...

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World's Raspberry Pi supply jammed in factory blunder

Dunstan Vavasour

PoE

They've stated that PoE is on the wish list for later models, if it can be provided at the right price.

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G-Cloud bigwig says soz for Cloud Store outage

Dunstan Vavasour

Contrariwise

So is every outage for a locally hosted solution an indictment of the locally hosted approach?

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Southampton hampton vice shocker: Exclusive snap

Dunstan Vavasour
IT Angle

That's all very well, doctor^H^H^H^H^H^Hfireman, but shouldn't you be at work?

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Drama as Thai frogmen struggle to save world PC market

Dunstan Vavasour

Crocodiles

Let's hope the frogmen don't run into any escaped crocodiles.

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Bishop to bless road salt supplies for added winter safety

Dunstan Vavasour

Thou shalt not put the Lord to the test

Of course, it was the Lord who created double blind testing, so He can present whatever results He chooseth. Experience shows that He's not going to give short cuts which remove the need for faith. http://goo.gl/Sxb0G

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'Devastating' protocol flaw could paralyze Bitcoin system

Dunstan Vavasour

Gartner Adoption Curves

If you think about it, the dollar value of Bitcoins has almost exactly followed the Gartner Hype cycle, and it's now in the "trough of disillusionment". ( http://goo.gl/4Bxvp ).

What will be interesting is whether, as with many technologies, it disappears at this part of the cycle, or whether it finds its way to a plateau of productivity as a niche form of tokens for exchange.

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Mail Online is broken

Dunstan Vavasour
Megaphone

And also

You forgot:

Everything causing cancer will cause house prices to rise/fall

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El Reg in SHOCK email address BLUNDER

Dunstan Vavasour

D'oh

D'oh

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Google unfurls Dead Sea Scrolls

Dunstan Vavasour
Thumb Up

Awesome

This is an awesome public service, making one of history's most significant finds publicly available together with authentic interpretation. Long may Google perform this sort of service.

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It's official: Journos are dumb as a bag of IE users

Dunstan Vavasour
Flame

Beating up on them

Yes we absolutely *should* beat up on them for believing it was real. It's not the job of journalists to tell us what might fit with our pre-conceptions, it's their job to evaluate material, check and verify on it, and then create a story from it. ANY study from a non-mainstream research organisation should be scrutinised before publication, not just slapped into an article and pushed out willy nilly.

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Dunstan Vavasour
Flame

Churnalism

"News stories" come primarily from two sources: news wire services (PA, AP, Reuters) and PR. Very few organisations can afford to do original reporting, or even bother to check the stuff they are fed. They are either rushing to be the first to carry the story, or saying "it's been put out by X so that's my independent verification".

It's simpler to always assume that a research organisation you haven't heard of before is a PR outfit, and their "studies" are worthless. Makes reading newspapers much quicker too, as you read a couple of lines of each article and think "newswire, newswire, PR, newswire, PR...".

The days of true investigative reporting are, alas, over.

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Google+ disk space cockup creates notification spam-storm

Dunstan Vavasour
WTF?

Nothing to see here

A service in the very early stages of field trials had a fault, the fault was fixed. The end.

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Is Facebook worth more than Google?

Dunstan Vavasour
FAIL

+1

I was going to +1 this article, but there isn't a button, only a legacy "like" button

Come on Reg, get with the programme. This isn't 2010 you know.

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Oracle wants seal busted on HP's Itanium suit

Dunstan Vavasour
Thumb Up

29th June Oracle Reply

I would encourage you to read the submission Oracle sent on June 29th, references in TPM's article. It is the first time I've read a legal submission which is laugh out loud funny - got some strange looks from my colleagues in the office, mind, when I told them what I was reading.

In particular, their use of "partnership" in inverted commas brings to mind Dr Evil and the "Laser". I have no idea of the legal merits of their submission, but as knockabout stuff it is top notch.

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PM promises change as police interview ex-spokesman

Dunstan Vavasour
Devil

Plausible deniability

I would imagine that there were unwritten "don't ask, don't tell" codes of practice whose purpose was to allow plausible deniability when asked "did you know". I expect the honest answer to that question will be "I made sure that I didn't know, so I could answer that question in the negative".

If Coulson and Brooks deliberately established or continued practices which knowingly kept them uninformed of wrongdoing then, well, they are implicitly complicit. Once this all starts being examined in detail under oath, I would expect the other papers will be in much the same position.

My hope for the outcome from this affair is that in future the GBPublic, as they read stories in the rags, will ask themselves "how did the reporters find this out?"

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Deep inside AMD's master plan to topple Intel

Dunstan Vavasour
Pint

Hashing

And that, boys and girls, is why you should use a long password. Modern GPUs can calculate hashes at an extraordinary rate, making brute force attacks on 6, 7 and even 8 character passwords eminently doable.

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NotW accused of hacking Milly Dowler's voicemail

Dunstan Vavasour

Milgram

Given the right social context people will become complicit with activities which, to an external observer, are clearly immoral. Milgram showed this in the 1960s, and it has ever been true.

This is why the editorial team are responsible: they set the context in which the perpetrators of this despicable deed acted, and copy writers didn't shun the material.

As for exhorting people to stop buying NoTW, save your breath. We have the press we deserve. Depressing, isn't it?

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Akira Blu-ray remastered disc set

Dunstan Vavasour
Happy

In the cinema

And for those who live in the Midlands and want the full cinema experience, it is showing at Warwick Arts Centre on the 18th and 19th of August - I expect the remastered version will pop up in arts house cinema across the country.

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Bitcoin collapses on malicious trade

Dunstan Vavasour

Bitcoin != MtGox

When you trade on Mt Gox they are acting as your stakeholder. Transactions in the Bitcoin block chain are irreversible, trades on Mt Gox don't enter the block chain until the Bitcoins are withdrawn - until then they are just entries in Mt Gox's ledger.

If someone bough a bunch of coins while the price was through the floor and then withdrew them before Mt Gox was suspended, then presumably Mt Gox will be left holding the loss.

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