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* Posts by Dr. Mouse

1223 posts • joined 22 May 2007

Google tired of endless AGONY over alleged EU search biz abuse

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Yawn.....

I am not sure where I stand on all of this yet, but I do know that Google makes information easily accessible.

When I use a search engine, I am looking for information. I don't really care where that information comes from, as long as it is the information I need.

If I search for a postcode, I expect a map. If I search for a product, it is likely that I will want price comparisons. And, to be frank, I don't want to wait for another site to load up to give me that information: I want it there, now, at my "fingertips".

Google do this well. If I search for a postcode, it returns a map showing me where it is. If I search for a product, I will have a list of sellers right there on the page. This makes it more convenient for me.

If they didn't do that, instead showing links to other price comparison or mapping sites, it would not be as convenient a service for me. Yet another click to get to my information is not what I (or the majority of users) want.

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In a meeting with a woman? For pity's sake DON'T READ THIS

Dr. Mouse
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I do think it depends both on the particular meeting involved and the types of communication.

If you are in a business meeting, but get a call/alert saying your (business critical) server has died, you need to receive and immediately deal with that. If you are in an interview, you should not be checking your phone full stop.

The problem is that phones are innately rude devices. They ring and ring until you deal with them. They also encourage rude behaviour. If you consider a situation where you are speaking to someone at their desk and the phone rings, 9 times out of 10 the person will take the call. The better-mannered will say "excuse me" first. Either way, it is quite rude, but it is considered acceptable because it is a phone call.

This whole debate goes into personal lives, too. My fiancée often asks me why I leave the room to take a call. She views it with suspicion. The truth of the matter is that I consider it rude to interupt whatever she's doing (even if it is just watching the TV) by taking a call, and would rather leave the room so she can continue uninterrupted.

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Billionaire vows to turn 007's Lotus Esprit into actual SUBMARINE CAR

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Really?

Exactly what I thought. This is like someone wishing the Mona Lisa was 3D so modifying the original to jump out at you with 3D glasses on.

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Ubuntu 13.10 lands on desktops, servers and (er, some) phones

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Editorial mistake

As you say, it takes a long time for each release to become something that's approaching reliable - even the LTS ones.

That's why I tend to stick with Debian (stable) for servers. Although it tends to be quite a way behind the curve, at least it's stable (and incredibly so, IMHO).

I couldn't tollerate the missing features for a desktop, but on a server give me stability and reliability any time.

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Beat this, cloud giants! Musk rocket flings 1TB hard drive into SPAAACE

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Target market.

@AC 09:26 - Although I like the story, please learn the difference between there/their/they're and when to use apostrophes. Instead of "there idea's", you should be using "their ideas".

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Britney-obsessed Ubuntu 13.10 DUMPS X Windows-killer Mir in desktop U-turn

Dr. Mouse
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Re: "Fork! I said Fork"

http://xkcd.com/927/

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All rivers flow into the sea: Apple holds TEN PER CENT of corporate America's dosh

Dr. Mouse
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Re: What am I missing?

"it's just pretend, made-up, la-la land currency"

A.K.A. money.

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DEAD STEVE JOBS kills Apple bounce patent from BEYOND THE GRAVE

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Regardless of the merits of the Apple patent

Nope. If you have a good idea, you have to very careful about who you tell and under what circumstances until you have applied for a patent. Any publication of what you wish to patent, by you or anyone else, before you start the application process can be cited as prior art.

IIRC, this includes patent applications. A patent application is publishing the idea. If you have made an error in your application and you try to re-apply, technically it would be invalid due to the prior art of your initial application.

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Nokia demonstrates: White Space ploy can get more 4G handsets into same spectrum

Dr. Mouse
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Sounds good

This sounds like it would be a great asset, especially for femto-cells and the like. It would free such tiny cells from the control of the big networks. It would be a huge win for consumers.

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Apple to uncloak new iPads, iMacs at October 15 event?

Dr. Mouse
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Re: @Steven Raith 2013-09-16 22:03 Can't Cook.. Stupid Cook..

But there is no one standard for ARM based machines, it's fragmented as there are different configurations of the ARM cores with added hardware, i.e. System-on-a-chip, SOC. Moreover, some of these SOCs have proprietary technologies. So it would be naive to expect that software that runs on one ARM-based platform will run on all the others. Most phones contain ARMs but is it straight forward to run the same software on all of them, e.g. run apps for the iPhone on Androids and vice versa? Answer: no (except for the hobbyist who wants to hack, but most of us dont have time for that). There is hardware lock-down and appstore eco systems and different software stacks to contend with too.

With a x86 PC at least you could say that a program can run on many other various variations of this platform.

This is an OS issue, not a CPU/SOC issue.

The whole idea of an OS is that it abstracts the hardware. All the different variations of hardware components become, largely, irrelevant.

An x86 desktop is a collection of different pieces of hardware. There are different motherboards, graphics cards, network cards etc. For the vast majority of applications, it doesn't matter. They just work, because all this complexity is handled by the OS (and drivers).

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OK, so we paid a bill late, but did BT have to do this?

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Good Experience with BT

"BT has become almost a swear word in our office."

I must agree.

As a "consumer" I have had so many problems with them that I won't have anything to do with them as far as possible.

However I have recently started working for a company who uses them for a backup DSL line at head office and their main connectivity for a warehouse. The head bean counter will not speak to BT any more, pushing it down to her assistant. The same goes for anyone with underlings: They will not speak to BT themselves.

We also recently moved our warehouse. An order was placed for the same business infinity line as was in the old premises to be set up at our new place. After several (progressively more worried and irate) phone calls trying to get hold of the router, 3 days before we were moving, we were told that our order had been cancelled because we could not get infinity there! No phone call, no email, no contact whatsoever. To allow the move to go ahead we had to purchase 3G dongles to see us through till we arranged alternative connectivity.

We will not use BT again. That was the final straw. I had always assumed that their terrible customer service was reserved for consumers, but to treat a business customer in this manner... It was absolutely unbelievable!

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Google's Project Glass headman answers most pressing question: 'Why?'

Dr. Mouse
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Re: The computer that 'lives on your head' will change mankind

It has uses, but ultimately it isn't a mass market device. It will appeal to Youtubers who want to make videos showing themselves fixing something or performing.

But wearing something on your head is not comfortable and it's not like you can leave it there all the time. Battery life isn't going to be good.

Let's just roll back the clock:

It has uses, but ultimately it isn't a mass market device. It will appeal to Yuppies who want the office to be able to call them at any time of the day or night.

But carrying something that big and bulky around is not comfortable and it's not like you can keep it with you all the time. Battery life isn't going to be good.

By the way, I'm not a huge fan of Google or it's Glass. I'm just pointing out that certain nay-sayers are missing some pretty big parallels with other technology.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: The computer that 'lives on your head' will change mankind

I disagree, the mobile phone and car both offered more convenient (and better?) ways of doing things they were already doing.

Glass offers something that people aren't doing and it's by no means clear that people want to do it.

When the car was first produced, it certainly wasn't more convenient. It was loud, clunky and slow.

When the mobile phone was first invented, I partially agree that it presented a more convenient way of working for a select few. These were business people, the types who needed to be contactable and to be able to contact others at all times. Before mobiles, it was pagers, and the person would have to find a nearby phone (e.g. payphone) to contact the other person. But you certainly would not have had mass adoption, and many would have called it "nearly useless" even if they were given one for free.

As for Glass, I agree that the forward-looking camera is not a feature I would find useful. However, the concept of having a voice-controlled unit able to feed back info to me both visually and audibly, hands-free, and always available without having to dig it out of your pocket sounds useful. It could offer a more convenient way to do many things people already do, like receive emails/texts, look up information, navigate from A to B...

So, in summary I would suggest that Glass is at the same point as the earliest cars or mobiles, and it is far too early to call them a success or failure. In a few years or a few decades we could all be using the descendants of this infant technology every day.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: The computer that 'lives on your head' will change mankind

So far, I'd rate it "almost but not quite entirely useless" (don't ask why I have one).

I have to say that many would have said the same about the first mobile phones: They were big, clunky, only worked in certain areas etc. Same with cars: They didn't go very fast, were very limited, heck a horse or horse-and-cart/carriage (or even walking) was a much more convenient way to travel.

I'm not saying that Glass will become as big as the mobile phone, but remember it is a very early example of technology. I don't doubt it is pretty crap as things stand, and most people shouldn't be interested in owning/using it, but that doesn't mean it will never succeed.

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Women in IT: ‘If you want to be taken seriously, dress like a man’

Dr. Mouse
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I would say that your bosses advice was perfectly sound, and not something which should have been reported to HR. I do not believe it was sexist (although the wording may have been construed as such), he was just advising you to fit in.

It is no different, in my view, to advice given about how to dress for an interview. You dress smart, and in a way which will not cause anyone to see you in a negative light. This is easy for blokes: You go in a suit and tie, whether you are applying for a management post or a warehouse job. For women, there are more choices, but you go in work-smart clothing, not exposing yourself, not tarted up to the nines...

When it comes to work, as others have said, try to fit in. If everyone else is wearing suits, you wear suits. If everyone else is wearing shabby jeans, ditto. You don't want to stand out until you have established yourself, at which point you need to be sure you stand out in a positive way.

So, although I will not deny that things are more difficult for women in a technical profession, the advice about dress is something everyone needs to take on board.

As for the "acting like a bloke" bit, well, that'll cause me some issues at some point. I'm a quiet bloke, and I hate to sing my own praises or push my way forward. Luckily I have never had to, and my bosses have always been able to see my good work without me shouting it.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Women are discriminated against

In case you haven't noticed, women are not a minority group.

They are in IT.

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Web showered in golden iPhone 5S vid glory - but is it all a DISTRACTION?

Dr. Mouse
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Re: but Apple will probably wait ..

Apple aren't particularly innovative and usually aren't first to market.

However what they did do that turned the entire phone industry on its head was to produced a polished product that brought together various innovations from elsewhere all in one package and create a well supported ecosystem for it all to work in.

This.

Apple do not "innovate" in terms of producing something entirely new. What they do is take something which already exists and make it "nicer".

MP3 players existed before the iPod, but the iPod was more consumer-friendly, easier to use, nicer looking...

Touch screen smart phones existed before the iPhone. Most of them sucked, some were OK, but the iPhone (in general) improved the usability for the general consumer.

Tablets existed before the iPad, but they hadn't been done for quite a while when the iPad came out. It brought up to date technology into the arena, along with what they had learned from the iPhone, and produced, again, and easier to use product.

That is what Apple do well. I hope they continue to do so.

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Apple's Siri 'hurls insults' at Google Glass

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Are you talking to me??

"What about German engineers then?"

They have the best sense of humour of all!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Funnybot

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Google cripples Chromecast third party replay

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Removal of features

"Was this using the official 3rd party sdk? I thought that hadn't been released yet."

There is an SDK, but it is clearly marked as being in beta:

"Warning: The current Google Cast SDK is a preview SDK intended for development and testing purposes only, not for production apps. Google may change this SDK significantly prior to the official release of the Google Cast SDK. We strongly recommend that you do not publicly distribute any application using this preview SDK, as this preview SDK will no longer be supported after the official SDK is released (which will cause applications based only on the preview SDK to break)."

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NSA coughs to 1000s of unlawful acts of snooping on US soil since 2008

Dr. Mouse
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One rule for one...

'“We’re a human-run agency operating in a complex environment with a number of different regulatory regimes, so at times we find ourselves on the wrong side of the line,” a senior NSA official told the Post in an interview.'

I wonder how the courts would view it if a multinational company said, "We are a human-run company operating under several legal systems in different countries, so at times we find ourselves on the wrong side of the line".

Or a car driver said "I'm a human driver, driving on a lot of different roads with a lot of different speed limits, so at times I find myself driving too fast".

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Make or break: Microsoft sets date for CRUCIAL Win 8.1 launch

Dr. Mouse
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Re: @ AC 1519h GMT - Question

'Saying Microsoft "did what people wanted" is like saying that a company selling whit shirts to a crowd demanding black is "Meeting demand" by selling blue.'

Actually, in this case I would say it's more like them continuing to make white shirts, but adding a tiny black square to them.

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Foxconn mulls solar panels, sticking Apple where sun doesn't shine

Dr. Mouse
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"The country hopes to ship enough panels worldwide to produce 22 to 23GW of solar energy this year"

I can just about accept it from most publications (although it still makes me shudder), but this is a techie site, so please could you stop mixing units!

Watts (and therefore GW etc.) are a unit of power, not energy!

(Yes, I know I've gone a bit Yahoo! there, but it really irks me!!)

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NORKS prepping glorious People's Smartmobe

Dr. Mouse
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Re: "while strictly guaranteeing security"

Just like the NSA then?

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No distro diva drama here: Penguinista favourite Debian turns 20

Dr. Mouse
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Happy Birthday Debian! Thanks for keeping my servers running rock solid for so many years. You have made me look good!

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: It's a slippery slope down that rabbithole

It's when you start compiling your own kernels because the ones in the distro are too bloated that you know you are hooked, and you will be spending long evenings ignoring your family while you find that perfect combination of options which will give you exactly what you need and no more...

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New blinged-up 'iPhone 5S' touted by Jobs FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE

Dr. Mouse
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Re: fingerprint scanner?

There are a couple of things a fingerprint scanner has over other forms of security.

The first one is that it's much much less likely that someone will remove your finger to get into your phone than look over your shoulder while you type your PIN.

The second one is it's easier.

I had a Motorola Atrix, and I found the fingerprint scanner the best part of it. That one was buile into the power button. Unlocking with a fingerprint was no more difficult than having no lock, once you got the hang of it. PIN or password, or pattern unlock, all take more effort and more time to get into your phone.

I'd love to have that feature again. I wont be buying an iPhone to get it, though.

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Dr. Mouse
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Trollface

Re: New iPhone?

It is. The new one will be improved perfection, but that won't make previous models any less perfect.

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Netflix dares UK freetards: Watch new Breaking Bad NOW or torrent it?

Dr. Mouse
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"At the time of writing the first instalment of series 5b has about 30,000 seeders on the Canadian torrent tracker Isohunt."

To the best of my knowledge, Isohunt is not a torrent tracker. It is a search engine. They do not provide trackers of their own, just allow people to search torrents and view aggregated information from all the trackers they are on.

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2 in 5 top Brit biz bosses expect IT dept to drive 'technical innovation'

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Coming from a different angle

"the top level is blocking innovation by making savings a priority"

Yep, I've seen that so many times. It's why I left my last job. Top brass blocked every proposal we put in front of them. One particular project (virtualising a load of under utilised servers which were costing a fortune in support contracts and were slowly dying) was on it's 5th iteration, each with lower costs, even though the first showed savings within 3 years. Didn't matter to the board.

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Dr. Mouse
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"Surely it's obvious that IT should be driving the innovation since they are the ones who understand technology."

Yes, but they are also the ones who often know the least about the actual business.

I think we moved in the right direction at my last job. We put together teams involving IT and a particular department. They helped enormously.

The main stumbling block before that was that we, in IT, didn't know what the depts needed, and the depts didn't know what we could do. By bringing us together, we could hear what was making life difficult for them, and suggest ways to improve things.

All too often, IT personnel keep themselves isolated from everyone else. This makes life easier, but unless you talk to those using the tech, you can't improve it for their benefit.

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Dr. Mouse
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"39 per cent place the responsibility for driving technological innovation with a company's IT team"

In other words "Hey! You! Go and innovate so we make more money!"

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Obama proposes four-point plan to investigate US data spooks

Dr. Mouse
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Re: That makes two

"What Obama said is a lot of smoke and mirrors."

Or, in other words, "He's a politician".

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NSA gets burned by a sysadmin, decides to burn 90% of its sysadmins

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Hmm..

Yep. He's going to have to hope there are no BOFHs or PFYs on that list.

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'Look, give us Snowden' - this Friday's top US-Russia talks revealed

Dr. Mouse
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Re: take him out

"Give it a little time. It takes a while to mount that sort of operation, especially in a police state."

But he left the United States!

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: take him out

No way, the American Government would never stoop to such...

Hey, guys, what's that red dot?

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Can't agree on a coding style? Maybe the NEW YORK TIMES can help

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Personally

"*begins writing his own style guide*"

http://xkcd.com/927/

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Or, Alternatively, the UPI Style Manual

"What goes into the file, however, should be plain old spaces -- however many you've agreed on with your editor."

So what happens when someone edits my code who wants 2 spaces instead of 4? Or 8? Or 5?

If they are left as tabs they can be adjusted by an individual's preference in their editor.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: 4 SPACES?!

I completely agree, if for no other reason than it saves me 3 keystrokes (and saves 3 bytes of storage, of course...)

And why does an if need a block after it? for a single statement it is a complete waste, and looks messy!

Merkins have butchered the English language, now they are trying to do the same to C-style languages too!

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Child porn hidden in legit hacked websites: 100s redirected to sick images

Dr. Mouse
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Re: So what?

We had a similar one.

We had a call from our ISP telling us we had breached our T&Cs so our connection would be cut (and that would include our website etc). A short conversation by my rather panicked boss later found they were referring to someone using our connection to download copyrighted material through Bittorrent. After we blocked it, they agreed not to cut us off.

It turned out it was an employee bringing in a personal laptop, connecting it to our visitors wifi and "forgetting" to disable their torrent client. The employee was sacked and our visitors wifi security policies tightened (or shall we say enforced).

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Chinese Apple suppliers face toxic heavy metal water pollution charges

Dr. Mouse
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'"If you're severely exceeding emissions standards, then we will punish you," Chinese environmental regulator Ding Yudong told The Wall Street Journal'

But if you're just exceeding them a little, that's OK.

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World's FIRST TALKING SPACE ROBO-CHUM BLASTS OFF to the ISS

Dr. Mouse
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Noooo!

Do you know how many wires/shiney things there are on the ISS? Neither do I, but I suspect a lot, all of which would become toys/things to destroy for the cat.

Cats are evil. Sending one to the ISS would be the one of fastest ways to ensure the demise of all inhabitants.

(Can you tell I'm not a cat person?)

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Tor servers vanish as FBI swoops on kiddie-smut suspect

Dr. Mouse
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I REALLY hope that post was in jest. It looks like it, but you can never be sure...

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Win XP alive and kicking despite 2014 kill switch (Don't ask about Win 8)

Dr. Mouse
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Re: 37%

"Still see a hell of a lot of XP machines in for repair and I'd say 90% of them are at least a couple of months behind on updates, if not more."

If your customers are anything like the people I deal with (mostly relatives and friends, mostly non-tachies who don't change the auto update settings) that's because they broke a couple of months ago or more, and they had another working machine to be getting on with, making fixing it a low priority.

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Apple FINGERED our personal packages every day, claim shop staff

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Shame their first recourse was "the law"

Reminds me of a South Park episode (as does everything at the moment)

TOUR GUIDE: We have to accept people for who they are and what they like to do. Hey! What the hell are you doing?

SMOKER: Oh I was just uh-

TOUR GUIDE: There's no smoking in the museum!

SMOKER: But I'm not in the museum.

TOUR GUIDE: Get out of here, you filthy smoker!

KYLE'S FATHER: Yeah, dirty lungs!

....

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Shame their first recourse was "the law"

"I had an interview for a US owned company* that included tobacco testing in their contract. Positive and you are disciplined. They only hired non-smokers."

Surely that is discrimination....

.... Oh wait, I forgot. Smokers are one of the few minorities you are allowed, nay, encouraged to discriminate against.

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Dr. Mouse
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Now while I am dead against the (generally American, but increasingly the rest of the world's) problem of "sue first", I do agree with the principals involved here.

Many on here will be salaried. In most salaried positions, you will do some overtime without expecting payment. For extended periods, you may expect some time off in lieu. But then, you are likely in a reasonably well paid job, and this behaviour is expected.

For those who are hourly paid, especially on lower rates, there is an expectation that you are paid for all the time that you are doing something mandated by your employer. Others have already mentioned that this is a legal requirement in the US. As these searches were a requirement, I do believe they should be paid for that time.

In addition, there are no details, but it is possible that they tried to reach an agreement with their employers first. If so, the legal system exists for these cases. If not, I have to ask (as should the court): Why not?

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Microsoft haters: You gotta lop off a lot of legs to slay Ballmer's monster

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Android is no threat

"Windows is a lot more secure than Linux these days... And security is built in from the ground up"

Where to begin?

Only my opinion, but if you take a default Windows installation compared to a default Linux installation, I cannot see Windows (any version) being more secure (in any sense of the word). The same is true for well set-up instances of each. The only way I can see Windows being more secure than Linux is comparing a well set up, corporate Windows system with a default, run-of-the-mill consumer Linux system.

And don't get me started on "from the ground up". Security has always been an afterthought on MS systems. It has been central to the design philosophy of Linus (and Unix in general) since day one.

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Typical! Google's wonder-dongle is a solution looking for a problem

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Analogy overload

"You're not married, are you?"

No, not until February.

As to your point: Yes, she does watch a bucket load of manure. I, however, always have the option of leaving the room. I'll go read a book, do some work on my bike, or even use a TV in another room.

OK, I do put up with watching some TV I would rather not with her, but she does the same, so I can't really complain.

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Plods probe death threat tweets to MP - but WHO will rid us of terrible trolls?

Dr. Mouse
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Re: special privileges

"I'd say they are not - but public figures (such as MPs...) tend to attract most abuse, it seems simply because they're well known arseholes."

There, fixed it for you.

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Jurors start stretch in the cooler for Facebooking, Googling the accused

Dr. Mouse
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I must say I found it pretty clear. Although it was a few years ago, before Facebook, it was clearly stated that you must not discuss the case with anyone and must not research it outside the courtroom.

These two were idiots. Unfortunately, you don't have to show a minimum level of intelligence to be a juror.

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