Re: The one advantage...
Yes, IIRC GPRS did allow calls through. It was before that, when it basically acted like a modem (can't even remember what it was called now) which would tie up the line when you were internetting.
1275 posts • joined 22 May 2007
Yes, IIRC GPRS did allow calls through. It was before that, when it basically acted like a modem (can't even remember what it was called now) which would tie up the line when you were internetting.
Thank you, dear Vultures, for restoring BOFH to his rightful place on a Friday. Just what I needed after this week...
To the story, great stuff again, Simon! Remote management through a convoluted chain of remote desktops, SSH connections and port forwarding into the LOMs, why does that sound so familiar? And figuring which server by trying them at random until the one your want disappears. All with people calling you (with me, normally to tell me there's a problem, which I already know, but nobody has botherred to pass the damn message on).
And Gina is still on the scene... Hope the enjoy the trip to Amsterdam :)
use the roads but pretend there are no rules and no etiquette.
To be fair, this phenomenon is not limited to cyclists. Car drivers often cut down the wrong lane and dangerously push in front of me, motorcyclists filter at high speeds on motorways, lorry drivers pull out to overtake but then realise they can't, but stay there anyway as they are now alongside, bus drivers consistently fail to travel faster than 20mph, holding everyone up. There are inconsiderate road users in every type of vehicle.
I do get very wound up by cyclists breaking red lights. Unfortunately, this is often "forced" by car drivers using the advance stop lines, so technically breaking the red lights themselves. More should be done to crack down on both of these.
>The big things we need for comfort
The crux of the problem lies within the above phrase.
He said the BIG things. So this is not about consumer products etc. This is about having heating, light, hot water, cookers etc. All things that a civilisation the size of ours needs.
As also pointed out in the article, just to make the renewable generation equipment, we need vast amounts of energy. So we need more energy to produce more energy generating equipment... You see the vicious circle?
I agree with the article: What we need is a large investment in modern nuclear fission power (as well as continued research into fusion), as well as some small reductions in red tape. We also need to continue developing renewables, but stop the hidden subsidies (if the govt want them subsidised, do it, don't make US subsidise through our bills).
For sites like El Reg where ad revenue is important I'd happily not block the ads if they were not so intrusive as to either obscure the article or distract my attention with flashing animations.
I have recently re-enabled ABP on el Reg due to the invasiveness of the ads.
Instead of this Google initiative, I'd like to see sites do something like another of my regular reads: f1fanatic.co.uk. Here, they allow you to pay a small fee (£1/month) to remove all the ads. As I use it so often, and want to support the site, I pay this fee. I would do so for el Reg, if they had the option. Other sites I wouldn't bother with, but would allow (small, unintrusive) adverts. I will always block intrusive adverts.
One of the most annoying types of advert on here is the "change the colour and put stuff in the margins" advert. If I select text, I have always clicked in the margins to deselect. On el Reg, without ABP: BAM! You are on some other site, who are trying to sell you some **** that you don't want!
Sounds like I'm the only one here who hasn't had issues with these multi-function printers. Then again, we haven't had a new one here since I started. It took ages to get this one to print our certificates (on large, thick, plasticy pre-printed paper) without jamming. Now it's set up, we point-blank refuse the "upgrades" they keep offering.
I will come back to one point, and I will continue to make it until el Reg listen:
BOFH belongs on a FRIDAY!
Please move it back! As I've pointed out before, reading BOFH on a Monday morning makes it less amusing, and on a weekend even less. Friday lunchtime is the correct time for BOFH, please move it back!
Prisoner of Mother
Would that not be a foetus?
I've actually had a lot of that from my father. He's a civil engineer, and has banged heads with many architects over his time. There have been several instances where the "design" (i.e. pretty picture) is either impossible to build with current technology, or so eye-wateringly expensive it may as well be. This never deterred the architect, and my father's "diplomatic skills" (or lack thereof) often ended up with him quitting, being fired, or being pushed sideways into another project. He would often later find out that the architect backed down, and the alternative design he had proposed was accepted when someone who didn't just p*** everyone off proposed it in a more diplomatic way.
BTW I know that this speaks volumes about my dad's likeability and employability. I don't like him much myself at times, and certainly wouldn't want to work with him!
Thanks Khaptain, at least someone got it :)
IT is just a tool.
You're just a tool!
I have spoken to many "software engineers" (male and female) who match the Barbie of this book more closely than anything else. They come up with an idea, draw some pretty pictures, then hand it to a team of programmers who do the real work. Then they claim all the credit.
These are just like the architects who draw pretty pictures, then hand them to a team of civil engineers to actually make it work. But the architect, obviously, gets the credit, not the people who turned a drawing not too dissimilar to those produced in crayon by a 5 year old into a real design.
I don't have the Samsung Note, but on my Tegra Note 7 it is in between the nice-to-have and indispensable. I would certainly miss it if it weren't there, and I wouldn't be playing Sudoku on it any more (Sudoku is just too slow if you aren't writing the numbers, I find).
And there is no real customer 'choice' available: Either watch the BBC's excellent but 50%-of-races-as-highlight-shows-only OR pay for Sky channels that I wouldn't watch in order to then watch 6 hours of TV every three weeks.
Actually, there is a much cheaper choice with Sky.
You can watch the 9 BBC races live, then watch the others using Now TV. It's £10 for a day pass, so it would work out at £100/yr to watch all races live.
I'm not sure whether qualifying & practice are shown on BBC, so if you want to watch them too you may be better off with a Sky subscription.
"Competition" does not help the consumer in this case. It hinders them.
Real competition would be to force the Premiership to sell all the rights to at least 2 broadcasters, then let consumers decide which to watch it on. Exclusive deals mean that broadcaster has a monopoly on that game.
This is where it has gone wrong. Europe has tried to help, but actually made things worse. If both Sky and BT (for example) had the rights to all games, we could choose between the two based on our preferences. THAT would be competition, and it's the only real solution.
It's if you want to watch a specific match, particularly in the premier league that things become restricted.
Just to clarify, I am not a football fan. The only sport I follow is F1, and even that has come close to being dropped. Luckily for us, we already had a basic Sky package, and could just pay a fiver a month extra for HD to get the channel. If it moves to the sports package, I'll be dropping it.
Back to the point in question: Most football fans are fans of a particular club. They want to watch the games that club plays. They will watch other games, but it is their club that they want to see.
I am no expert, not being a fan, but if they are a fan of a Premier league club, they will need Sky Sports at least. However, due to "competition", they will now need BT Sports to watch some. They will need BT Sports for some of the FA cup. This isn't competition, as if you want to watch the game, you have no choice but to pay for that one, specific channel.
In order to have competition for the consumer (what most people view as competition), you need to have the game available on at least 2 channels. Then you can choose which channel to watch it on (and pay for).
To be honest, this is something I find odd about sports broadcasting in the UK.
The rights holders go on about competition. What they actually mean is that TV companies compete for the rights. However, the consumer has no option, if he wants to watch a particular tournament, than to subscribe to the one, exclusive channel.
This is then compounded by the fact that several tournaments are spread over several TV channels. If you are a football fan (luckily I am not) then, to see all games, you need to subscribe to several channels to see all the games your club plays in.
Real competition in this market will only come in if exclusive arrangements are dropped. Then the consumer would actually have a choice as to which channel(s) he subscribed to, rather than having to make a choice as to whether or not to see tournament X. You could make a choice based on price, quality of programming, or whatever you wanted.
As things stand, you have 2 (legal) choices: Pay for the channel, or don't watch. That's certainly not competition.
The Z launcher certainly seems interesting. I'm sure after a few weeks of use it will be pretty good.
I won't be making the switch yet, though. If nothing else, I can't change the docked apps at the bottom*. I'll try it out at some point and give it some time.
* They say you have to go to your default home app and change them there. Not only is this cumbersome, but it didn't work for me. Until I can put my own stuff on there, I will not be giving it a proper go.
were you five?
If you are talking to me, no. I was late teens. I took the mock test "for a laugh", never expecting to pass.
I wonder how many of the people criticising the MCP exams have actually taken an exam?
By father studied for an MSCE (or whatever it is). He was between jobs, and was thinking about a shift in careers to IT, and the job centre suggested it.
Without reading the literature, and having never worked in enterprise IT (my only experience had come from helping the school IT tech in an NT4 environment) I passed the mock exam.
Admittedly, I am not great with MS admin (my career took me down the *nix route), but if I could do that they can't be that hard.
Drat, just missed the edit window when I realised I forgot this bit:
* I will continue to use the plural, as they are glasses, and using the singular just sounds/looks wrong.
That's the only reason I haven't bought them*.
I'd love a pair*, but £1000 for a toy just isn't justifiable. If I had them, I would have developed several apps already, as I can see a fair number of use cases. I am not put off by how "geeky" they look, just in how useful they can be. Let's face it, I had a smartphone before they were considered cool (Had Symbian S60 and UIQ phones, they were awesome at the time). People laughed at me for having such a big, bulky phone when everyone else was going for the smallest they could get.
They need to bring the costs down to an affordable level before they even see a large developer base, IMHO. £500 would seem reasonable (although still outside of my toy-buying budget, I'd be tempted to save up).
While this is undoubtedly the best BOFH I have ever read, it is still wrong to the nth degree to be reading it on a Monday morning!!
BOFH needs to be released on Friday lunchtime!
El Reg: I don't care that you are trying to promote your weekend edition. On a weekend I barely touch the internet, and by Monday morning my stress levels have dropped to the point where BOFH is not as funny.
On a Friday lunchtime, my loathing of the users peaks, knowing that I have to put up with them for several hours more until I can go home and chill for the weekend. This is the perfect time for BOFH, and used to look forward to checking whether you had released a new one, reading it as soon as I saw a new one. I noticed this had come out on Saturday, but couldn't be bothered to read it until this morning.
Please stop this madness!
One of my friends had her gas fire in the living room condemned. She started looking at options. One was a nice, pretty "digital" fire. It had a screen, showing images of flames. When asked about heating, the guy avoided the question, until he admitted it put out 200W.
We then specced up an alternative: 32in TV hooked up to an overclocked PC with high end graphics cards, running something like SETI@Home, plus the ability to be hijacked to do video transcoding or other intensive jobs. It cost less than half the "pretty fake fire", but put out (IIRC) 800W of heat and did something "useful" with the power.
We never built it, but it was a nice little project to spec out.
I applaud this project. The only thing wrong with it, IMHO, is the installation costs. Sounds way over the top.
but that was several moons ago
You now have a device in your pocket which is more powerful than those laptops, a tiny fraction of the size, and lasts longer on a charge than they did. There are solutions to your problem, whether with external batteries, extra batteries, or the extended-life batteries for phones with removable back covers and batteries.
As for durability, there are niche phones which cater to that market, just as there were with laptops. They are more expensive and lower spec, just as the durable laptops were.
Things may not be advancing in exactly the direction you want, but they are certainly advancing quickly.
I wouldn't carry a laptop and 4 extra batteries either.
Go back a few years, and that would have stopped you from being a mobile worker. I remember members of staff whose laptops had an extra battery in place of the optical drive, plus they carried 2-3 extra batteries when they went on business trips. It was the only way to get the thing to last more than a couple of hours.
And I obviously don't mean a smartphone that will remain unused, doesn't surf the web and doesn't receive email from either 2G/3G or Wifi.
I think you are asking the impossible. I have a Oneplus One and it has the best battery life of any smartphone I have had for several years. It has a large battery, but even it can only last about 2 days of moderate use.
To get what you are asking, they would need to triple the battery size. This would increase the handset's size and weight. When most people are OK with charging every night, why would mfrs ruin their handset by making them bigger and bulkier than they need?
And if you are happy with extra weight, you can buy a USB battery pack. Mine cost about £20, will charge 2 devices at once, and has enough juice to charge my phone 3-4 times, which would put my away-from-charger time up in the region of a week.
Or you can buy a phone with a removable battery, and a few spare batteries. I used to do this with my phones, and it worked a treat.
UKIP is against the EU controlling the UK
I sure wish someone would control our government.
Where's the value in the nexus line gone?
That's my disappointment, too.
I bought a Nexus 4 as soon as I was able. It was the first brand new phone I had bought in years, and the reason was that it was just about a top end phone for mid-range price. The step up in price from the 4 to the 5 was reasonable, although it still pushed the handset past my price point.
In the end, part of me is glad. I bought a Oneplus One, and I'm really happy with it. It's exactly what the Nexus 4 was when it was released. At £500, the 6 is far too rich for me. If it had come out at a similar price point to the 5, I would have regretted my choice. As it stands, I made the right decision.
Yep. I never saw Mr Miyagi catch the fly, Daniel had "beginner ruck".
Actually if you have a large Tesco/Asda/etc nearby they can be very convenient, and even cheaper than online at times. I often nip to the nearest big Tesco for a cable, or a USB stick, or a TV bracket. It's cheap enough and I have it in my hands instantly.
Bring in the bulldozers and put up some houses.
Why the bulldozers? They shell of the building is similar whether it's for a house or a shop.
Remodel the inside and a little on the outside and you've got a house. Knocking them down is a huge waste of resources.
ISIS is easy to trust, because they do exactly what they say. They do not lie (to us) about what they are going to do. They basically want to kill all non-Muslims. I trust that. I would prefer they were taken down, however, as I am a non-Muslim who they want to kill.
It is all about trust, and always has been.
I would suggest it's all about soul, but this is a matter of trust.
We have ended up with a similar issue. Development of one of our applications was done on Windows, using VS/C#/.Net/MSSQL etc. While this worked, and scales reasonably well for our use, we are tied into it now.
Had we developed using cross-platform alternatives, we could (for example) be using Raspberry Pis for out clients, which could have been integrated into the other hardware involved and produced a much nicer (and cheaper) system.
Once you have reached the point this system has in development, moving is a nightmare.
I have no idea at all, but is it really easier to find people with Windows skills than people with Linux skills?
This is a hard one, but I think it comes down to cost.
You can find a cheap Windows admin/developer relatively easily. If someone wants to "get into IT", many will just go out and do a course like an MCSE. Most of these readily available courses are for Windows. In addition to these, these are the kids who grew up with Windows, figured stuff out as they went along, and started calling themselves Windows admins/devs.
These cheap devs/admins are probably where a startup will, erm, start. They realise they need an IT bod, but want them as cheap as possible. They pay peanuts, and get monkeys, but this is acceptable for them in the financial constraints of a startup.
At this level, there are (I believe, in my limitted experience) less Unix/Linux bods. Those who go into *nix tend to learn how to do things properly, and have more interest in computers, which generally leads to better staff. It also leads to higher wages, of the same sort of scale as the better Windows guys. To the average startup, however, this is just "more money", and negates the cost advantage of using Linux in the first place.
BOFH on Saturday is WRONG! Please stop it!
BOFH is a Friday lunchtime thing.
Notspots are a problem.
As a very simple example, I used to be on a network whose quality in my house degraded over the last 5 years to the point where voice calls were frequently dropped or broken. I switched network a year ago, and my wide switched last month. This solves that one problem.
However, if a customer of that network comes to my house, they have no usable service. Similarly, there are areas I have been with my new network where I get no coverage. And all of this is in a densely populated area. It could possibly be solved by national roaming, at least in part.
When it comes to rural settings, things get even worse, to the point that there are many areas where you would get no signal on any network. This would be unaffected by national roaming.
I would suggest that the best way to solve this problem would be a separate network provider to cover these not-spots, as a nationalised infrastructure company, or a company which all 4 networks were required to pay a subscription to. Their purpose is to build out at least a 2G network into those areas which would be so unprofitable that the existing providers would not do it. The costs are shared between all the networks, and the service is provided to all of them.
To be honest, I wasn't talking about the money being taken from your account. That can, and will, happen.
The point is that most would be picked up by the account holder before the criminals could draw the money from their merchant account (which would be weeks later). The bank would quite quickly, with so many reports, realise the criminal is committing fraud, and put the account on hold.
So if they set it to £20, and just bonk everyone on the tube, they'll get quite a bit fairly fast and probably get away with it.
I doubt it.
Credit card processors do not immediately release the money. I would say it would be pretty difficult to get the money out before the banks caught on.
I am going to allow myself to be sidetracked, here, although much of what I said can apply to this article as well.
All laws need to be analysed to ensure that any bad aspects are balanced against the good, and the good outweighs the bad. In the case of the right to bear arms, I believe the bad far outweighs the bad.
In the US, there are approx 6 homicides/yr per 100,000 population, and approx 60% of those are by firearms. So that would put approx. 2.4/yr/100k for non-firearm homicides.
In the UK, with much stricter gun controls, we have a rate of 1.6/yr/100k, which is on the same scale as the US non-firearm figures.
In the end, a gun makes it much easier for one person to kill another. Many cite reasons such as protection of self from criminals, but all these pale into insignificance compared to the misery caused, many of which would not have happened if the perpetrator did not have a gun.
As for protecting yourself from the govt, this is ridiculous. The govt will always have more firepower than any civilian, or even civilian group. How many people come out on top when in a stand off with armed police, let alone the armed forces? If you try to use firearms to protect yourself from the government, the government will bring in more firearms, and you will loose.
If you bind them too closely with legislation and oversight they will never keep up.
While I see the logic behind what you are saying, the problem is that they need to walk a fine line.
Yes, the security services need to watch people to determine who needs to be monitored further. This can still be targeted at people they have suspicions of, and does not require dragnet surveillance.
The dragnet they have been operating makes their jobs easier. It is a gross violation of our privacy, though. We need to find the line for them to walk, instead of allowing them to erase the line completely.
yet GCHQ have become both criminals and terrorists
I would agree that the security services are terrorists. All their statements are worded to cause maximum fear in the general population, and to use that fear to progress their own agenda. This definitely counts as terrorism in my eyes. I would say that they have done more to promote terror than any terrorist group, in this country.
As for criminal, I believe that they (mostly) operate within the law, by however fine a margin. Those laws are unjust, and their actions would be illegal if anyone else did them, but not for them.
I don't know enough about it (and I doubt anyone outside the organisations themselves does) to be certain they haven't broken any laws, though.
internet users would welcome a little surveillance
I think they are probably right. But they can already do "a little" surveillance, and to do more they just need court orders.
We welcome them looking after us. We do not welcome them abusing their powers, scooping up all traffic regardless of who they are looking at, what the data is etc.
Targeted surveillance is fine. The dragnet they have been operating is not, and it is certainly not "a little" surveillance.
Would you also like to make phone companies liable for criminals who spoke to each other on the phone?
What about the gardening supply store who sold a bag of fertiliser to one of them?
The car manufacturer for selling a car to the man who ran someone over?
Amazon for despatching a clock to someone which was used as a timing device on a bomb?
But in the UK it's not possible to say "this law is only for .... " since once a power has been bestowed, it is generally used for whatever the authorities deem necessary or desirable, rather than within the strict boundaries it was originally intended.
Actually, it is possible for the government to say, in the wording of the law, that it is only for use in specific cases X Y and Z, put in sufficient judicial oversight to ensure this remains the case, and punish those who abuse the powers.
The problem is the laws are never written that way. We get spun the line of "we will only use this to catch terrorists/paedophiles", without any legal backing to control it's use. Then function creep comes in, and we are stomped into the ground, often with a "why are you complaining, we are catching criminals, if you have nothing to hide..." yada yada yada.
In addition to this, most people just don't care. I know here, on a tech site, we think about these things, but the man on the street will often just say "They are doing it for our own good". It is certainly not high on their "reason to vote" list. They would rather listen to knobs telling them that all the worlds ills are caused by Europe, or work-shy scroungers, or bankers, or whatever other group is being scapegoated today to distract us from what is really going on.
As pointed out in a famous poem, they will not speak out until the government come for them, and by then there will be noone left to speak out for them.
You know, I really wanted a browser with more dev hooks that I never use baked in to make it slower and clunkier.
Then don't use it. Nobody is going to force you.
They are not saying they will replace FF with this, they are releasing a new product, aimed specifically at web developers. It is not intended to be a daily driver web browser, just like Eclipse is not intended to be an office suite.
"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."
I would love to know if it is normal procedure to unlock the arms at that point. From a logical point of view, arming the mechanism would appear to be best done later, after the rocket burn.
Could it have been armed accidentally?
However, I am not even a pilot, let alone a rocket ship test pilot. Mainly, I am being Captain Hindsight.
My thoughts go out to the friends and family of both pilots.
If google isn't searching the way you want it too, may I suggest you pick a different search engine?
I have tried. Nothing else I have tried does what I want either.
The most irritating bit is that Google used to do what I wanted, most of the time. It was fast, efficient and accurate. Now it only does what I want some of the time, and often decides that I don't really want what I told it I wanted, and searches for something else instead.
I do think there is a market for a search engine which returns the results you requested, rather than assuming you are an idiot. Something which searches for what you want, not what it thinks your should want, or what it wants to sell to you.
I have to agree.
A search engine should be a database of web pages, along with a front end to query that database and display the results. Those results shouldn't be taken down: If you want rid of the content, take down the content. If the content exists, it should exist in the database.
I believe there would be a market for a new search engine which did exactly that, along with better filtering and sorting than e.g. Google. Google has become pretty pants in some situations.
On this note, Google, if I search for something, I don't want you to search for "similar" words (which are normally very different in the context I am using them). Return me the results I ask for, not what you think I should be searching for, and not what someone has paid you to show me!
I would think it's likely to be used as a legal tactic. They can take a search engine to court over displaying search results, and tell them, "Oh, you can use our method to do this". Pledge that anyone doing so won't be taken to court for that, they just have to pay a small amount of
protection money royalties and they are safe.
I'm happy to get an episode at all.
While I agree, it doesn't feel right reading it first thing on a Monday morning. Even if I had read it on Saturday, part of the appeal of BOFH is that you read it on a Friday, with that strange mix of loathing (of users, who have made your life hell all week), lethargy (because it's Friday afternoon, and there's nothing you are doing which couldn't really wait until Monday) and excitement (because you get to spend two whole days without coming into the
Friday lunch time is the correct time for a new BOFH. I suspected they'd move it when they released the "Weekend edition", but it is wrong.