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* Posts by andy 103

47 posts • joined 18 Aug 2009

Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function

andy 103

I'll express myself....by not using it.

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Congrats on MP3ing your music... but WHY bother? Time for my ripping yarn

andy 103

Reminds me of 10 years ago when I started uni. I remember 2 people I lived with - one had brought a couple of hundred CD's with him. Another had ripped an equivalent amount of CD's to his laptop hard drive. The one who had ripped the music always claimed it was easier for him in terms of storage and moving things about, since everything was on his laptop. The other said he preferred to be able to take the CD's to parties without needing to risk having his laptop damaged.

The end result though, was that at some stage, they both "lost" some of their music. The guy who'd ripped everything ended up needing to delete some, because back then a 20 Gb laptop hard drive was fairly big. The other one had CD's go missing that he lent people or left them lying around.

In the end they both wished they'd ended up doing the opposite thing. Pros and cons, as with everything else.

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Comet brand yanked from its grave: Tycoon vows to open EIGHTY new stores

andy 103

Customer service

There are basically 2 reasons why Comet, Currys and Dixons got a bad name. The first - and much more unimportant - was that they didn't compete on price compared to online stores. But the second and far more significant is that their customer service and sales staff were literally some of the worst people to deal with ever.

The whole point of having a brick and mortar store is that people go in to try out products AND GET ADVICE FROM A REAL PERSON. That's where the value of a physical store is. Before online shopping, many people would go to a more expensive store, IF the customer service / advice provided there was better than a cheaper store. This is a point that was missed so massively by these stores and as a result they are now tarnished brand names.

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WAR ON PORN: UK flicks switch on 'I am a pervert' web filters

andy 103
Mushroom

Level of ignorance

What frightens me most about this, is that this level of government ignorance about "how stuff (doesn't) work" is probably being applied by David & Co to most other aspects of what they're supposed to be making decisions on.

Most people here are clever enough to realise that:

1. There is no Magic Button(TM) which will just make all the bad stuff go away.

2. It will have no effect on the people it's supposed to target, whilst having an adverse effect on people it doesn't really need to apply to.

3. It's considered a good idea only by people who don't understand the reality of how stuff works and/or can't be arsed to talk to their children.

Are decisions based on this poor level of understanding/lack of information being applied to other areas in our society? No wonder our country is fucked.

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Paypal makes man 1000x as rich as the ENTIRE HUMAN RACE

andy 103
WTF?

Re: Interest

Here we go, someone trying to come up with a "serious" point about something that's clearly happened in error.

Along the same lines - if he'd received a bill (rather than credit) in error for this amount, then technically should he have to pay some of it or the interest for the time over which the error wasn't spotted?

The answer - in both cases - is obviously no.

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GitHub to devs: pick a license, we dare you

andy 103

Two sides to the argument

"The code is so useful, a third party uses it in a product that mints cash. The cunning coder could then, thanks to Copyright, have a legal lash at the product's owners."

I agree that if someone does that deliberately then it doesn't seem right. But equally if I put time/work/effort into building something and someone else just takes that for their own financial gain (without giving me anything), then is that right either? Some people expect to make money from their work and just because they use a particular solution to host and store the code doesn't mean that shouldn't matter anymore.

I think this point also goes hand-in-hand with "developers [...] can't confront the chore of picking a license". What would be the correct licence if you wanted to host your code on Github and expect to be paid if others made financial gain from it? I don't know, and I bet some others wouldn't either. So what happens then? I don't bother to pick a licence at all - and now back to square 1.

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MacBook Air now uses PCIe flash... but who'd Apple buy it from?

andy 103

Cost

Anyone got any idea on the cost of these as I've heard conflicting reports?

I presume some new displays will be brought out at the same time as these. So the cost for this and a single display - going to be a lot isn't it?!

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Think you're ready to make a big career bet? Read this first...

andy 103

Re: keeping your skills nearer the edge

>I hope that you still find it equally whimsical when, god forbid, it happens to you.

That's exactly my point - it won't happen to me because I'm someone who's prepared to focus on learning and keep my skills up to date as I go along. You sound like the sort of person the original comment applies to. Someone who is bitter at the idea that your years of experience are not as relevant as what you actually can (or cannot) achieve in real life.

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andy 103
Pint

keeping your skills nearer the edge

The bit about "keeping your skills nearer the edge" is something that so many people fail to understand or bother with.

It always amuses me when you get people in their 40's/50's who get made redundant and are then shocked to find they can't get another job on the same salary, because after all their "years of experience" is all that should matter. Yes you have years of experience - of knowing very little.

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Ancient website from 1999: By Mark Zuckerberg aged 15¾

andy 103
Joke

Good to see...

...his CSS skills didn't change much over the next 4 years.

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300 UK domains pilfered, MASSIVE security lapse blamed

andy 103
Stop

Re: 123-Reg admin panel sucks hard

You're not kidding. In web development circles the 123-reg control panel is regarded as the best example of how NOT to develop a web application. Usability isn't a word they've heard of and it seems that also applies to security.

Avoid.

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LinkedIn password hack sueball kicked to the kerb by judge

andy 103
WTF?

SSL encryption

People seem to mis-understand what level of security SSL encryption offers. You can make a web form that collects user data and have this sitting behind SSL. Let's say one of the fields on the form is your password. The SSL cert will help protect that as it's posted from the form to the server. However what happens to it once it reaches the server (e.g. in terms of storing it to a database) is a completely different matter. Just because the site uses SSL does not mean anything in relation to the encryption used when storing/processing that data beyond the initial post.

Their privacy policy said "all information that you provide will be protected with industry-standard protocols and technology". To not use a salt is arguably poor practice, but I even reckon it's not considered industry standard to do this by some devs anyway, so it's not clear cut.

As for "admitted that they had not read LinkedIn's privacy policy prior to the hack"...well that just tells you they were trying to make money from this retrospectively.

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Microsoft’s so.cl network now open to all

andy 103

Presenting (uninteresting) content

The problem with this - and many other sites like it - is that they just aggregate and then present boring content uploaded by boring people.

These sites don't particularly "do" anything. What would be novel is if someone could come up with some smart algorithms for filtering out rubbish automatically - without manual moderation - and then give the best search results to users based on their search. I'm yet to see a site which does this properly.

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Rackspace sales and profits pop in Q3

andy 103
Thumb Up

Unsurprising

I've dealt with Rackspace many times and without wishing to sound like an advert for them they are one of the best companies I've ever done business with, particularly in terms of technical support. They seem to be one of the few companies that have grasped the idea that if you plan things well, get the right staff, treat staff properly and be open-minded you might just be on to a winner!

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HTML5 still floundering in 'chicken and egg' era, says Intel

andy 103

HTML5 development

I work in the web development industry and the irony of this is that a growing number of web developers (myself not included) are writing HTML5 applications, specifically targeted at mobile devices where, a the article points out, support is worse than on desktop browsers.

There is a lot of bandwagon jumping going on at the moment in this area (see also CSS3) with people deciding to use it even before the standards are truly finished, nevermind peoples devices and software being able to support what they're making.

Whilst I think it's a good thing that people are trying to move things forward and push boundaries, in a few years time we could end up with a load of systems/code which need updating because some developers couldn't wait.

Just an observation of mine. Any other devs that agree/disagree?

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Dennis Ritchie: The C man who booted Unix

andy 103

His own achievements

"at least [Ritchie] actually built stuff with his own hands and therefore deserves that much more acknowledgement for his achievements."

Well if you're using that analogy then Mark Zuckerberg also deserves a lot of credit.

The difference between Ritchie and people like Jobs (or Zuckerberg) is how much they care about making the sound of their own voices heard. Some people like to just create great stuff and don't do it for glory or credit.

It's quite sad that many people don't even know who this guy was but also it's a compliment to how little he gave a shit about "marketing" himself!

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Facebook's complexity will be its doom

andy 103
Happy

Simplicity was FB's selling point at one time

I've said this many times before but when it was originally launched, Facebook had the combined benefits of doing what no other site did, in a very simple way that it was almost impossible for the end-users to not understand.

Nothing truly innovative or groundbreaking has come from them since it was launched. It's been a case of them adding medicore, semi-useless add-on's to it.

There is also a growing realisation - not just by the IT savvy - that Facebook are extremely concerned with tracking users and trying to maintain some kind of hold over them.

The trouble for competitor sites is not just that there are 800 million people using Facebook, but that there are now so many online services that are - to some extent - integrated with the platform meaning if you do close your account you may lose out elsewhere. However unless they keep it simple and stop trying to retain so much control over their users, I hope people do abandon it in the near future.

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andy 103
FAIL

The irony

Facebook was built after Zuckerberg created a site (Facemash) where he stole a load of student photos from servers at Harvard... and then when he was in trouble for this, accused the IT department of not protecting people's personal data.

Funny how when the shoe is on the other foot he's quite eager to mis-use other people's data for his own purposes.

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Red Hat engineer renews attack on Windows 8-certified secure boot

andy 103

ability to install extra signing keys

Surely the compromise with all of this is to give the end user the ability to either switch it on/off, or install additional keys? This is no different to the way some operating systems come with a firewall installed, which the end user can either disable or customise - e.g. set up their own port rules - based on their needs. It's just a layer of security that can be customised.

We have to remember that for the vast majority of people (not Reg readers, but everyone else!) whether this can be switched on or off will probably never be an issue.

Or would people still have a problem for this if it was switched on by default with the ability to turn it off or amend it somehow?

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I saw Facebook's music service 3 years ago. Done properly

andy 103
Pint

Facebook starting to fail?

When Facebook started out it was a great example of a service that nobody rivalled. There were no other sites that did what it did, as well as it did. And that was the whole point of why people flocked to it, because it had effectively solved a problem.

But looking forward that's beginning to shift. Facebook are not coming up with anything new or truly innovative. They're just starting to add more crap into it that is of diminishing interest to the user's. And it's all about people commenting on other people's stuff (how exciting, not).

It still amazes me that 2 of the most popular sites in 2011 - Twitter and Facebook - are essentially just tools for people to make the sound of their "angelic" voices heard. Neither of them have any groundbreakingly complex functionality groundbreaking or services which are of any other value other than seeing what other people are saying!

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Facebook 'personal' news feed gets algorithm rejig

andy 103
WTF?

My algorithm to keep up with friends...

Speak to them offline. You know, face to face*.

That's it.

Also the algorithm probably wouldn't be needed if Facebook users didn't insist on creating "friends" lists with hundreds of people they met one time 10 years ago. Do I want to look at photos of someones wedding I wasn't invited to because I didn't really know them? Probably not, but that's just me!

* Yes, I understand that for people separated by large distances it's not practical but there are communication methods other than social networking sites.

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Yes, there's a Tech Bubble. But that's OK

andy 103

People with (decent) ideas will be winners

The people who will do well out of this "bubble" will be ones who continue to develop services that aren't offered elsewhere, or implemented in a much better way than any competitor.

The case in point here is Facebook, which although people bitch about, has been a huge success. The reason for this is simple - it serves a need that people have in a better way than any other site. Now there will always be people (particularly some Reg readers) who don't like it, but there are of course a large number of people who do, and so that creates a high demand. And so it continues to thrive.

There are startup companies putting new stuff online almost every day. Many of these fail simply because they're not actually offering anything that (a) people want or (b) implementing it in a way that's no better than anyone else.

Value lies in services that people want and use and no matter how much people don't like that, it's always going to remain the case.

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Winklevoss twins: Zuck on our salty nuts

andy 103

I disagree with you. I don't think Zuckerberg stole anything - the twins hired him to produce a site that had a resembelence to what became the first version of Facebook but he had loads of his own ideas that he incorporated into his own version.

The only reason the twins were annoyed was because Zuckerberg's site was hugely successful and they understood he could go on to make a lot of money. If he had come up with something that was rubbish and nobody used, they would have just laughed at him for investing money in a failed venture.

It all comes down to jealousy that he was succesful and they weren't, in my opinion. Also they should have done a damn lot more with protecting their "idea" if they were worried someone may copy it. But of course, nobody did.

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andy 103

Absolute muppets

These 2 really annoy me, and I'm not just basing this judgement off the Social Network film.

Nobody stole any ideas from them - they didn't have anything even close to the idea behind Facebook. The fact they got anywhere close to 65 million by trying to argue this is an absolute joke.

At the end of the day the person who goes and implements something and makes a success of it deserves to be rewarded. Whenever I hear people whining (and suing others) for "stealing" their ideas I just think, well maybe you should have got off your arse and implemented it before someone else did.

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Apple Mac Mini 2011

andy 103
FAIL

Presumably then

Apple will be removing optical drives from their entire range of computers if "you don't need one"?

All the more amusing when they're quite happy to sell an external optical drive, indicating that, perhaps some people do actually need them. And since when has lowering the cost of anything been something they actively cared about?

It may as well read "WE couldn't be arsed to put an optical drive in here, but thats ok, because YOU don't need one!".

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The IBM PC is 30

andy 103
Thumb Up

keyboards

things may have moved on but nobody makes keyboards as good as the ones that came with the original '81 IBM PC!

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Google's Eric Schmidt 'screwed up' over social network FAIL

andy 103
Stop

no desire to get into the search business - really?

I'm not sure that's entirley true.

Facebook may not be interested in creating another Google clone or traditional search engine, but clearly search is something they've worked on. If you look at how responsive their site is when searching for anything it's clear they've spent a while refining things. It seems to me almost natural that they'd want to create their own search system directly within Facebook and then use information from logged in users to share that data.

I might be wrong on this and it's just my opinion, but I think it's quite narrow minded of Google to assume Facebook (or another social network) has no interest in search.

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Ryanair disses booking system security fears

andy 103

you're missing the point

The point is that to stop it happening at all is so simple that whether or not it will/has happened is irrelevant.

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andy 103

ryanair.com?

Just been to their website - never visited it before - hello 1999! If that's any sign of how competent their web developer(s) are then this really doesn't come as a surprise.

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Hotmail still not working? Use Chrome to fix it, says MS

andy 103

atdmt redirect

I had a strange problem with Hotmail when they rolled out the new version. In Firefox 3.6, immediately after logging in the browser tried to redirect me to atdmt.com (or a subdomain of it).

I Googled this and found it's to do with a tracking cookie and there are some settings you can make in your hosts file to block it. What's strange though is that when you use IE 7 or IE 8 you don't get that problem. It has since started to all work properly in Firefox again, so I've no idea what happened with it - was it a deliberate attempt to switch people to IE? Confusing if they're recommeding Chrome.

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The Linux Chronicles, Part 1

andy 103

Still got a long way to go

My first experience of Linux was in 2002. I was studying for a degree in computer science and it was on the lab PC's. I remember downloading Redhat (version 7.3 I think) and couldn't even get it installed on my laptop, so never bothered with it on my own machine!

Things have moved on a long way since then and the installation process is much easier. Being able to try a "live CD" is convenient too - all of that wasn't available 8 years ago. I think people like Mark Shuttleworth have done good in getting rid of stupid messages and asking people stuff they don't understand just to get it installed.

But there are still several key problems which existed with it in 2002 which haven't changed at all. Firstly, and to repeat some of the comments above, it's fine to use it if you're a developer or are dealing with other people using Linux. But if this isn't the case it's not practical for real life, every day use in an office/workplace environment. I know people have done loads of work to get file converters working so you can open files from a Windows machine on a Linux machine, but there's still a long way to go. Also this thing about there being equivalent apps for Linux and Windows or MacOS - is just not the case, otherwise of course more people would bother with it. The second point is that the attitude and mentality of hardcore Linux users is that their way is always right and they will often justify their arguments without thinking about the real-life, every day practicalities of using such an operating system.

Compared to using Linux 8 years ago, it's in a much better place. But there is still such a long way for it to go, in both technical terms and the attitude of its community (as will probably be noted by people modding down this comment!).

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The Reg guide to Linux, part 1: Picking a distro

andy 103
Stop

Stop using stupid names!

Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu .....

Yeah that's really helpful for people who are new to it to understand what they're supposed to be downloading!

One problem Ubuntu sorted out was by making the installation process easy and not asking people questions about things they would have never understood. Same thing goes on the names though - make it simple and definitive and more people might get on board!

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You think mobile voice is expensive?

andy 103
Stop

Hard to monitor usage

The problem where various people have faced huge bills has happened because until they actually received the bill, they were unaware of how much they had spent. On PAYG plans it's not such an issue because once you run out of credit, you can't rack up any more debt. But with contracts you can effectively get a bill for anything. Most operators offer online billing, but again, why would you want to access that online - especially using a mobile - if you're not sure how much it's costing?! It should be a rule that every operator has to provide free reporting on how much you owe them at any time.

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Cops raid Gizmodo editor in pursuit of iPhone 4G 'felony'

andy 103
WTF?

It wasn't his

Basically it wasn't his property, no matter how much some people on here wish it was.

That's all there is to it really. Nothing surprising here... to anyone with common sense.

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M-Audio Pro Tools Recording Studio

andy 103
Unhappy

What else is good at a similar price?

I was really interested in this as I'm looking to record some guitar and vocal tracks for a rough demo but don't have hundreds of pounds to spend. Really disappointing this is only 45% rated and others agree with this. What do you guys recommend getting at a similar price, say up to £100?

Soniccore Scope looks good but even 2nd hand is much more expensive.

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MSI tells 97,000 customers to 'Read The F***ing Manual'

andy 103

They're half right

Customer argument: I'm paying for a product/service, I should get exactly the support I want without having to make any effort myself. I can't be bothered reading a manual because there's support phone number or email address so I can ask directly.

Tech support argument: We'll respond to support requests that are reasonable, but when people keep asking the same simple questions over and over we'll tell them where to go.

Neither side is right. Tech support usually works on a "reasonable effort" basis, but unfortuantely it can be argued that it's un-reasonable to give time to people who can't be bothered reading a Quick Start guide, or whatever. I haven't had any MSI products for a few years, but I remember their documentation was usually better than many other manufacturers and I think that's part of the problem. The state of some manufacturers websites and documentation is shocking - if you make people think, they will hassle you for support!

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Zurich Insurance promises changes after data loss

andy 103
Coat

Don't worry....

...this kind of thing happenZ

I'll get my coat.

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Hidden Windows 7 costs worry upgraders

andy 103
Stop

Things move on

To use an analogy with hardware - remember when USB became standard and motherboard manufacturers stopped fitting parallel ports? There were loads of people who threw away perfectly good printers and REPLACED them with USB models.

The same thing applies here, at some point that system your company relies on will stop working purely because things move on. It's expensive, annoying and a fact of life - deal with it.

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Young people are lazy, think world owes them a living - prof

andy 103
Coat

im lazy...

... i cant even finish writing this comm

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Windows Phone 7 Series website collapses under weight of traffic

andy 103
Thumb Up

Really?

Looks like it's running fine to me.

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Boffin calculates pi to 2.7 trillion digits

andy 103
WTF?

Oh well that'll come in handy

I don't understand why people do stuff like this.

It's not interesting or useful at all. Who the frig is going to use that number for _anything_ in reality? Seriously if anyone can explain that then tell me, because I'd be really interested in understanding the mentality of people like this.

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Sony BDP-S760 Blu-ray disc player

andy 103
WTF?

PS3

So what makes this a better option than buying a PS3, which is also made by Sony? Seriously I can't think of any reason why anyone would buy this - even if it was half price it would be too much.

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LG GM750

andy 103
Happy

Looks like an updated KF-750

I have a KF-750 which I got over a year ago and this phone appears to be an updated version of that. So I'd be interested in this as my KF-750 has been brilliant for what I use it for (calls, texts, camera and very occasional internet use). I agree that LG's touchscreens take some getting used to, but they are responsive and the interface is slick. The cameras are also particularly impressive on the KF750 and other LG phones, far better than anything the iphone has offered, in my opinion.

The phone I got was free on an 18 month T-mobile contract, so hopefully someone will offer this kind of deal. £275 seems a tad pricey given there are other devices that offer more functionality.

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Dell crowned Bad Santa computer maker by angry customers

andy 103
WTF?

Well if you will order online...

... expect to wait.

There is an alternative - walk into a physical shop and buy a new computer. Of course you'll pay more for doing that, but then you (usually) can get it as soon as you've paid.

If you order anything online, you make an order and then you wait for the goods to be delivered. When they get delivered is really down to the person sending them and if you don't like that then don't buy stuff online.

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Apple to offer own-brand HDTV, claims analyst

andy 103
FAIL

Fix the AppleTV!!

Said it all before but theres a ton of things they could do to improve the appletv unit. Leave TV making to other people.

Specific improvements would be:

- Media support for most video formats, etc out of the box (never going to happen because it allows you to not use itunes, etc)

- Integrate a Freeview TV tuner and allow it to record to the HDD.

- Allow archiving of the freeview content back through the ethernet/wireless to a computer.

- Make use of that USB port for external hard disks.

- Smallest hard disk should be 200GB+

If they did that they'd be on to a winner, but it will never happen. In the UK that product has been a complete fail. Of course they've done well in other areas, but if their understanding of the UK TV market is really non-existent.

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WD TV part two on its way

andy 103
Unhappy

Still a gap in the market

I'm quite interested in this device, but it's still not what it should be. No manufacturer has made anything in my opinion that's worth having. The cheaper devices - like the version 1 of this - lack features and the more expensive media streamers can be too expensive or limited in playback support.

Any device like this must have a network connection - if it's wired Ethernet with no wireless then I'm fine with that - so long as that's reflected in the price. It should play most common formats out of the box without need for modification (sorry Appletv) and crucially it should offer SOME storage, even if a very limited amount. If this device had a small in-built hard disk (even say 80 Gb) then it would be great because you could download content over Ethernet then leave your PC switched off. The idea of having to have 2 devices powered on (e.g. PC/external HDD and the streamer) seems a bit silly to me.

Also - especially for the UK market - these devices should offer some support for older TV's, e.g. scart/component/composite output rather than just HDMI. If anyone makes a device like that at a very reasonable price (e.g. under £150) then they'll be on to a winner, in my opinion.

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