* Posts by Alien8n

304 posts • joined 15 May 2007

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Nexus 6 would have had a fingerprint reader, but Apple RUINED IT ALL

Alien8n
Alien

Re: What's the big deal?

They also have different fingerprints. If I recall correctly even if someone was to clone you their fingerprints would still be different.

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Alien8n
Alien

It's a bought in feature, it's been around for a while for laptops. The problem for Motorola was that there is currently only one manufacturer of fingerprint sensors that will fit in a phone or tablet. Apple bought that supplier, and I don't see them selling the technology to their competitors.

In the UK there may have been a case for government intervention to block them buying the company, but in the US pretty much anything goes, especially it seems if it can stifle competition and innovation.

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Netadmin wanted for 'terrible, terrible, awful job nobody wants'

Alien8n

Re: Microwave

Funny you should say that, tomorrow involves making swivel chairs and removing a door from an office because they can't open the door once the tables go into the new office. I managed to get away without actually having to move any of the tables or filing cabinets, but do appear to be expected to make archive boxes (probably as well under the dubious assumption that the paper being archived may have been near a printer at some point)

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Alien8n

Re: Essential skill

Reminds me of 2001. We need this essential machine adding to the network. It's the only way we can remotely manage it.

Was a windows 3.1 machine using software that ONLY ran on windows 3.1

Company before that in 1999 was using a mix of Windows 3.1, 95, 98, BeOS and an AS400. Was rather worrying that as a trainee engineer I discovered that the person with the most AS400 knowledge in the company turned out to be me (after a conversation with the IT guy in charge of the data admitted he didn't know anything about the data structure)

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Alien8n

Microwave

Nope, I'm still asked questions regarding the microwave oven. Strangely it doesn't even need a plug to be considered an IT job here, small enough that if it needs a screwdriver it's considered an IT thing...

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Alien8n

Re: Thank fuck for jake!

lol, been there myself before. Made redundant from one company for them to then have to hire me back in on twice the rate to fix everything that the guy they kept then screwed up. For the sake of saving 3k a year on salaries (yeah, they just shuffled the job description in order to push me out and hire someone cheaper. Doesn't work when a required skill is Crystal Reports).

The cluster**k at another company that the contractor they replaced me with caused? I wouldn't go back to fix that even if they gave me a million.

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Alien8n

IT managers

Usually if you gain enough experience in the various roles that you become a "jack of all trades" the next step up is management. Which is pretty much where I am now except without someone to manage (apart from myself). Doesn't matter what they call my job title, IT Manager is what I'm actually doing. Maybe in a couple of years I'll be able to pitch for a PFY if they keep growing at this rate :)

Must admit though, the evening job has better perks. Off to an all expenses paid night out in London next week for a record label showcase :)

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MYSTERY RADIO SIGNAL picked up from BEYOND our GALAXY

Alien8n

It's almost like the entire Universe has taken one look at Earth and gone "nope!"

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Alien8n

In seriousness though

The main thing to note about this is that we do not know of anything that could produce this burst, or of anything strong enough magnetically to affect it in such a way. Wonderful thing physics, we're still learning new stuff daily :)

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Alien8n
Alien

Battlestar Galactica

"Cylon base station to Cylon attack fleet, commence attack now..."

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TERROR in SPACE: ISS 'Nauts end panic by switching computer off and on again

Alien8n

Re: Can you believe it?

"Well, percussive maintenance usually helps too."

I believe that only works in the Russian sections of the space station...

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Alien Earths are out there: Our home is not 'unique'

Alien8n
Alien

Re: What alien race would want to communicate with us?

Not round here, BT was being extremely stingy and used copper plated aluminium...

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Huawei? Apple and Samsung's worst nightmare, pal

Alien8n
Alien

Re: Consequences - just like the US

In the semiconductor industry IP theft by Chinese companies is rife. It actually got to the point where if your product was truly innovative the last place you wanted to sell it was China. You'd have sales of 10's of thousands for months and then suddenly dry up. The Chinese companies would quite blatantly admit they stopped buying them because they'd figured out how to make them themselves.

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If BT gets EE, it will trigger EU treasure hunt for fixed lines

Alien8n
Alien

Re: Quad play

If it's not Virgin it uses BT's infrastructure (1). Regardless of whose name is at the top of the bill, it's BT that you're using. Which is not a good thing, as there's no incentive to improve. Our local network is either Virgin Media or BT. And since BT decided to install the infrastructure for the entire village using copper plated aluminium that pretty much just leaves Virgin Media if you want anything faster than the slowest ADSL connection in the country.

(1) Except in extremely rare cases, such as Hull which for some reason has its own local telephone and broadband provider.

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Yes, Obama has got some things wrong on the internet. But so has the GOP

Alien8n
Alien

Re: VATMOSS

I know a few authors that sell e-books. They've pretty much unanimously decided they will no longer sell anything online in the EU due to the almighty mess of this. Doesn't help that like most laws of this type the advice given is completely different each time you ask.

"No, e-books aren't covered by VATMOSS"

"Yes, e-books are covered by VATMOSS"

And that's asking the same person at HMRC on 2 different days. It's the biggest mess ever, designed to ensure large businesses cough up their taxes and in reality putting thousands of small businesses out of business as it's actually too much hassle for them to ensure compliance.

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Robox: How good could a sub-£1k 3D printer be?

Alien8n
Alien

I was thinking almost along the same lines, as a DM I'd love the ability to churn out an army of orcs on demand (well a few days before the game). Then there's the customisable main characters "what do you mean his main weapon is a frying pan?"

Amazing how many times the elf rogue's character was actually the halfling's model

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Doctor Who's tangerine dream and Clara's death wish in Last Christmas

Alien8n

Re: A female doctor possible?

Never mind that. Whatever happened to the Doctor's "daughter"?

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Alien8n

Re: Old Clara

It's not that you can't change history, you can't change the Doctor's history. It's for this reason that River Song couldn't tell him what was in her book, in case he tried to change his own timeline.

Did anyone else think "old Clara" was supposed to be the original ending and "young Clara" was written back in after a new contract was signed sometime in Autumn?

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Reg man confesses: I took my wife out to choose a laptop for Xmas. NOOOO

Alien8n
Alien

Re: Not so hard

Semi-jokingly I offered to get my other half a top spec macbook pro for her birthday next year. Her only criteria is "will it play the games I want?"

Which is fine by me as the games she plays are the really cheap rubbish that come with an online subscription and will run on 10 year old tech, so no need to buy her a laptop again until she breaks the one she has. My daughter however is looking at wanting a 2k gaming laptop (she's really into her gaming and it'll mean she won't be nicking my pc once I get the Occulus Rift and flight joystick for it, not to mention the new MB, graphics, RAM... who am I kidding, I'll be building a whole new PC :) )

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Alien8n
Alien

Re: Even when people ask your opinion they make their own decisions

Depends on the mods. No way the other half's laptop could handle Minecraft (vanilla or otherwise) and the PC only just copes now it's got 8Gb of RAM in it.

When looking at modding check the spec required for Resonant Rise 3 and Sphax. Ideally you're looking at 16Gb of RAM if you want to run the server on the same machine as the game (at least 4Gb for each, possible on 8Gb but not recommended, my server regularly errors out due to lack of RAM now they've ditched Cauldron)

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Space Commanders lock missiles on Elite's Frontier Devs

Alien8n

Re: Still waiting for a free trial

The computer is clean, it's a hardware issue. Installed a new graphics card not that long ago and now any game that is heavy on the CPU/Graphics trips the PSU. I'm just biding my time until my birthday in March when a new PC will magically appear among the birthday presents ("No dear, it wasn't expensive, honest")

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Alien8n

Re: Still waiting for a free trial

I know the problem. My pc seems to like anything that's either over 3 years old or from a small indie publisher (Banished works fine). Anything else (Skyrim, Civ V, etc) and the PC reboots itself as soon as it tries to do anything past the loading screen.

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Alien8n
Alien

Re: No offline? Screw you guys, I’ll play with myself instead.

So when playing "solo mode" which of the below is true? Because for people with a dodgy network there's a big difference between them.

Is it a) the game is "always online"?

Or b) the game connects when it needs to for universe and transaction information?

If it's b then while it's not truly offline, it's as offline as it needs to be short of pulling the ethernet cable out of the wall socket. The danger would be that you may have a wait while it tries to download the new system Information when you jump from one system to the next, but it's not going to suddenly disconnect you mid fragging of pesky vipers chasing you.

(Disclaimer, I have a pretty good network connection. I'm just waiting for a decent pc as the current build needs an upgrade so I'm not currently playing this game, or anything else that's less than about 3 years old)

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Microsoft tries to defend Irish servers from US g-men invasion, again

Alien8n
Alien

MS has it's data between a rock and ...

The problem for MS is that they could end up stuck between a rock and a very hard place.

If the US declare all data held by a US company abroad to be fair game MS will find that no matter what they do they're breaking the law, either in the US or in the EU. Note they never state in the article that the emails they wanted to see were from a US company, just that the data was being held BY a US company. Further from the wording of MS's brief it would suggest that it's NOT a US company that's being investigated. It's bigger than just MS though. I almost ended up working for a company called LexisNexis a few years ago. The company that decides how much credit you as an individual or as a company gets is US owned. If the US Govt gets access to that data they basically get free reign over every person's financial history in the UK. Add to that the increasing privatisation of things like the NHS and you could soon see pretty much every piece of data about every person in the UK being held by US owned companies.

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So this Saudi Prince calls and asks why he can't watch movies ...

Alien8n
Alien

Re: I have a mate that used to do IT on superyachts.

Having known a few of the well to do I don't think I'll be doing that as a retirement job. Not unless the owner of the yacht doesn't mind going the way of Maxwell...

"Yes, you need to get this phone working now."

"I don't recognise it, where's the asset tag?"

"It doesn't have one, it's my daughter's phone"

"What's the problem?"

"I don't know, just get it working"

Turns out the bill hadn't been paid. Which obviously was someone else's fault...

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Whitehall at war: Govt’s webocrats trash vital digital VAT site

Alien8n

Re: Should we really encourage 17 year olds to drop out of College?

Don't know about you, but if this kid's CV passed in front of me and I saw GDS in the previous employers bit I'd be dropping it straight into the shredder. He might want to rethink going back to college if he wants a job in the future

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Brit smut slingers shafted by UK censors' stiff new stance

Alien8n

Re: AI in routers

Sounds like Virgin Media already have this, they seem to believe everything must be filtered after 6pm. That or some git's just set fire to the switch box down the road again...

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Sinclair is back with the Spectrum Vega ... just as rubbish as the ZX

Alien8n

Re: now I know

We had a kid at our school who could play that with his eyes closed (iirc it blanked the screen on the 3rd or 4th go round the levels, and he would still continue playing it).

One of the other kids even got a game he wrote reviewed in Crash magazine. I still remember the maps for Sabre Wulf and Atic Atac in there.

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UK.gov biz dept: Yoof APPRENTICE? Get a degree while YOU'RE HIRED

Alien8n
Alien

Re: Not good for the other students

It depends on the nature of the course. If you have 20 people doing a course with a module on asp.net development and 2 apprentices doing a course which includes an asp.net module it makes more sense to dump the apprentices in with the regular students. Happens all the time at the college I work at with the English, maths and IT courses, you'll get a real mix of students from across the college, from arts students through to engineers, all in the same room because they all need to improve their English or maths.

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Alien8n
Alien

Not good for the other students

Does anyone else spot the elephant in the room here? So you do your apprenticeship degree and the govt will now pay 3/4 of the fees. While I'm all for getting more people into STEM courses it does mean that if you're unfortunate enough to be a full time student on any of the courses that the apprentices are on you are left with the undeniable fact that the person studying right next to you effectively has a full grant for the course while you're left with a 9k (probably more as the fees will most likely have to rise to pay for the apprentices) debt each year. The only way this can be fair is to go back to the old grant system and scrap tuition fees.

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GT sapphire glaziers: You signed WHAT deal with Apple?

Alien8n

Re: Been there, done that.

Works the same with software. I've just been poached back by an old boss as I know more about how the software they use actually works than the developers. Not that hard though given that over the last 6 years most of the new features in the software were specced and designed by myself for the specific use of the company I was working for.

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Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode

Alien8n
Alien

Jumpgate

Hopefully this won't go the way of Jumpgate. Jumpgate was a very nice Elite style space game, but the single biggest issue with it was the sheer volume of idiots who decided that the only way they could enjoy the game was to spawn camp and kill everyone regardless of affiliations. This then had the result of driving a lot of the core gamers away from the servers.

Personally I've stayed away from Elite: Dangerous for the time being as I found the cost of participating in the Alpha and Beta releases to be eye wateringly exhorbitant.

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Why can't a mobile be more like a cordless kettle?

Alien8n
Joke

Re: Qi (pronounced chee)

So the next version will be Obi Wan?

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What kind of generation doesn't stick it to the Man, but to Taylor Swift instead?

Alien8n
Alien

Re: Moan bitch ... starve?

In the words of Noddy Holder. "To you it's a Xmas song. To me it's my pension". If you wrote a best selling song and someone did a cover of it I'd bet you'd want your bit of the profits regardless of how long ago you wrote it.

Copyright is about right in the UK. It enables an artist to benefit for their lifetime and then their dependants to benefit for a while afterwards. What isn't right is the American way of "oh, it's coming up to Walt Disney's anniversary of his death again, quick, let's lobby for another 10 year extension to copyright to stop China making Mickey Mouse knock-offs".

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Alien8n
Alien

Re: This is the future

Have you actually looked at how much profit record labels and streaming services actually make?

There's a hell of a lot of money to be made in music, the problem is that the big companies aren't interested in providing a living wage to musicians. It's not helped by the fact that the amortisation groups that are supposed to distribute royalties are actually working on behalf of the record labels. In some cases musicians aren't seeing a single cent of the royalties paid by radio stations and streaming services. Famously 30 Seconds To Mars were actually sued for $30M by Sony for "losses" from their biggest selling album. These losses were incurred via inflated "costs" for the use of Sony's recording equipment and marketing. It's a classic example of how big companies can stitch up the content creators. Oh, they're due a $1M royalty cheque? Quick, re-release the album and charge them $1.5M in "marketing" costs.

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GOD particle MAY NOT BE GOD particle: Scientists in shock claim

Alien8n
Alien

Re: LHC Reboot

All bow down to our giant marshmallow overlords

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Alien8n
Alien

It started out as green, but after so much exposure to cosmic rays and ultraviolet light from the sun it turned grey over time (see the article about what colour the flags on the moon are :) )

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Got a STRAP-ON? Remember to TAKE IT OFF at WORK

Alien8n
Alien

After many years as an engineer and having to take off pretty much everything every time I went into the clean room I stopped wearing any jewellery. Nowadays it's smart phone and a pocket watch (tells the correct time 3 days out of 7 when I remember to wind it up). It's the polar opposite of when I was younger and into the rocker look (hair half way down my back, denim and more bangles than you can shake an Egyptian at on a Manic Monday).

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Alien8n
Alien

Re: Batteries in a watch??

Self wining? Merlot or Chardonnay?

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Banksy denies Banksy impostor's claim to Banksy.com – which isn't owned by Banksy

Alien8n
Alien

Re: Impressed

Please don't confuse real artists with the Sunday Broadsheet supplement darlings. It's sad to see that in almost every case real artists that can actually create stay overlooked and poor while Turner Prize winning idiots make millions from rubbish (often literally). There is more real art on the CD covers in a music store than there will ever be within a modern art museum. The great artists of the Louvre must be spinning in their graves when looking at the rubbish created by the likes of Hirst et al.

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HUGE SHARK as big as a WWII SUBMARINE died out, allowing whales to exist

Alien8n
Alien

Re: Correlation does not prove causation.

I have the perfect binary star system for you with one of each. There's a slight problem of the infestation of sentient lifeforms but I'm sure you can come to an arrangement with them (probably from space with the aid of mass drivers)...

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Alien8n
Alien

Re: Perhaps whales killed them off?

I can see them now...

Megashark vs Giant Orca

Followed shortly by Giant Orca vs Megasharknado

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Planning to fly? Pour out your shampoo, toss your scissors, RENAME TERRORIST WI-FI!

Alien8n
Alien

Re: So when

Fairly standard for a few people I know.

My uncle regularly gets the full cavity search treatment due to having lots of middle eastern stamps in his passport. He's a H&S manager in petrochemicals so is often in places like Iraq, Saudi Arabia etc.

I once worked with one guy who was looking at the timber industry in Peru. His flight back was via Venezuela with a change in Miami. As soon as he landed he was whisked off the plane, strip searched and marched onto his next plane under armed escort and the passengers in the seats next to him replaced with armed air marshalls all the way back to London. To make matters even more perverse the client who had arranged his trip to Peru? The US State Dept.

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US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'

Alien8n
Alien

Hello?

We just had a load of these calls at work today.

Twice in a row I just replied "No, you're not from Microsoft, you're a scammer, goodbye" and hung up on them. That's the problem with calling at work, I don't get to play with them until lunch time...

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Scientists skeptical of Lockheed Martin's truck-sized FUSION reactor breakthrough boast

Alien8n
Alien

Re: Daft article

You can if you believe in conspiracy theories.

"Well they didn't get a man on the moon in the 50's so it can't be done, so that proves the moon landings were faked"

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Re-light my diode: Trio of boffins scoop physics Nobel for BLUE LEDs

Alien8n
Alien

Re: Curious

The physics behind it has been around for decades, they were invented in the 80's remember. However the innovation, and hence why they win an award, is that they made it a commercially viable product. Silicon manufacture isn't simply a case of saying "here's a wafer of silicon, now make me an LED". There's a lot more to it than that. I used to work in optoelectronics as a production engineer and there were so many factors that affected whether the silicon was actually any good for optics, one being the age of the caesium cyanide they were using in the waferfab, but also how well the silicon had actually been grown. Just 1% rotation in the crystal alignment and when you tried etching it they left grooves in the etched channels causing the optical fibre to sit above the silicon (so any light being emitted from the silicon was hitting air instead of the end of the fibre.

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Hiss-hiss! GIGANTIC SOLAR FILAMENT snakes around Sun

Alien8n
Alien

Re: Are we doomed?

Judging from what most people seem to believe according to my Facebook news feed, we don't need the sun to explode to doom the human race. We're quite capable of doing it ourselves...

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Alien8n
Alien

Re: First...

It's elephants all the way down...

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Windows 10: One for the suits, right Microsoft? Or so one THOUGHT

Alien8n
Alien

I can see the benefits in both scenarios, but once you're running any application the benefits of a "tiled" desktop disappears straight away. More useful would be the ability to attach fixed size "tiles" to the task bar (there's more than enough room now with the bigger taskbar real estate) for various applications. Such as email notifications or even status alerts (I'd love a status alert for the servers to see how they're running).

Also at home I run some gaming servers, so some sort of application displaying network lag, users logged in etc would be useful there. But as you say, for the majority of people this would be fairly useless. How many people actually missed them when MS removed widgets?

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Gaming gasm UK: Rubbing shoulders with LEGENDS and newbies

Alien8n
Alien

Re: Really!!!

Games are like any other media. There's nothing genuinely new anymore, all we get is remakes of classics and variations on a theme, often more of the same but gorier, harder to play or just downright not on this planet anymore. Not that there's anything really wrong with that, it's possible to tell the same story multiple times, it's all down to the skill of the developers (how else can you explain game franchises like Fifa and COD).

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