* Posts by Slx

233 posts • joined 5 Jun 2010

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Who would code a self-destruct feature into their own web browser? Oh, hello, Apple

Slx

Just curious:

Could you check the Console app for GPU resets?

Also just post what exact machine this was happening with and if it had a particular GPU.

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Irish government websites hit by widening DDoS attacks

Slx

It's also a very unsophisticated attack. DDoS is effectively just crude flooding, so they're not exactly testing or proving anything other than server capacity and ability to filter stupid nonsense requests.

All this is doing is costing *me* money via my taxes and impacting services I use every day.

It's about as clever as making prank phone calls to a reception desk over and over.

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Boards.ie floored by DDoS assault

Slx

It's a massive and very historic site.

Dates back to 1998, beginning life as a Quake forum.

It's now got well over 600,000 users and something like 2.5 million threads and thousands of thematically organised individual forums.

It's actually a great living archive of online history too - it's very much a slice of (mostly Irish) online life.

It's the go to place for discussion on *any*topic and even hosts forums for most of the Irish telcos, utilities, banks, etc so you can get live tech support in a public, open venue from verified reps.

Boards.ie is a vast site and could even be one of the largest general purpose forums in the world.

It's a real pain that it's been hit by this as it's genuinely one of the most active discussion forums out there and has a real community spirit about it. One of the longest running hangouts on the web, and it's still commercially successful nearly 2 decades later.

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Apple evacuates European HQ after bomb threat

Slx

Re: "Up to 4,000 workers"

Apple's been in Cork since 1980 and currently employs over 4000 people there. It's a pretty seriously significant site.

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Slx

Upping security against what though? A muppet with an email account?

There was obviously nothing there. Just some idiot causing major stress and inconvenience for a whole load of staff this morning.

Also, Cork is 260km away from Dublin, on the South Coast of Ireland.

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Slx

Re: Just like their software...

Possibly because they'd figured out that it was a hoax and there was nothing to 'dispose' of.

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Death Stars are a waste of time – here's the best way to take over the galaxy

Slx

The Borg would probably take out the empire in a few weeks by just assimilating their technology and people, keeping all the planets intact and turning everyone into a drone.

Ruthlessly efficient and far less wasteful of planets and energy!

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Apple on the attack against British snooping bill. Silicon Valley expected to follow

Slx

Simple solution would be to withdraw iCloud services and Gmail, Twitter etc etc from the UK.

The government would get a dose of political reality in a few days.

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EU mobile roaming rules to save customers billions in bills

Slx

Re: The rest of the world

As much as the EU and US would like their laws don't extend to the rest of the world. So, all they can do is regulate roaming charges within the EU.

What always surprised me is that very few of the operators ever attempted to seriously provide competition by using sister networks to eliminate roaming charges entirely. Vodafone Passport was a kind of half attempt at it.

There was the only operator I ever saw take that very seriously.

The likes of Orange, T-Mobile, Telefonica, Telia-Sonera and so on all owned networks in multiple EU countries and smaller operators could easily have formed a roaming alliance to facilitate their customers.

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Lettuce-nibbling veggies menace Mother Earth

Slx

Meh!

I don't really believe any of these studies anymore. Just eat a moderate amount of everything and you'll be fine!

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Hacktivist pranksters stick it to the European Space Agency

Slx

What's ESA ever done on them?

Silly target and one that's trying to do some very cool stuff on a relatively tiny budget.

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Kids' TV show Rainbow in homosexual agenda shocker

Slx

While we can all laugh at the absurdity of this, I would hate to be the gay son or lesbian daughter of one of these guys or stuck in a household filled with this poison hatred.

There are still a lot of people getting a really horrible time over their sexuality. Things have moved on but knuckle dragging, right wing, religious nutters of various flavours seem determined to keep up the homophobia.

Also what's wrong with having a camp hippo character!? We're not all some grey, macho, emotionless stereotype of 1950s maleness. It's one thing that I think gets forgotten about; how many guys get bullied for being not into sports, being a little less than macho or whatever. Homophobia and passive gay bashing actually impacts a lot of straight victims too because being gay is still being seen as a negative or shameful thing by some. Nobody should be going around "checking themselves" to ensure they're not a bit too gay.

I'm just hoping that the broad acceptance of gay people and the end of nonsense taboos actually breaks a whole straight jacket of crapology that a lot of people have put up with over the years. Nobody should be going around living in fear of just being themselves.

Religious bullies need to be ignored or told where to go!

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France says 'non' to Wi-Fi and Tor restrictions after terror attack

Slx

Glad to see a bit of balance.

If we do some of these things we might as well just stick up a big "we are terrorised" sign.

Two fingers to terrorism!

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Sysadmin's former boss claims five years FREE support or off to court

Slx

I just borrow from the mobile phone industry model.

I provide 4 hours of free* after contract support, but like many a mobile phone provider my out of bundle prices are roughly €14,895 per minute or part there of and subject to a €159.95 per kb data charge.

If called while abroad, international roaming rates may apply.

If called out of hours a peak rate charge may apply.

Texts are charged at 2 cent per text (for up to 10 texts) out of bundle texts are €995.27

*free does not mean free and has been redefined.

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VW's Audi suspends two engineers in air pollution cheatware probe

Slx

I think in a way of its the death of diesel and a move back to development of very efficient petrol engines in Europe it won't be a bad thing.

What worries me about diesel is the particulate emission if the filtration systems aren't perfectly maintained. In big cities with dry weather this is a major problem for human (and other animal) health.

Petrol has none of those issues and burns cleanly.

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Russian nuke plant operator to build on-site data centre

Slx

Yup because no other data centre anywhere in the world uses nuclear power... Riiiight!

Many (most) of us are using nuclear power right now. You could well be charging your phone with it.

Nuclear carries risks that need to be mitigated but it's relatively clean when done right. However of all the handful of accidents it's Fukushima that has left me with doubts about the sector. It's in Japan, one of the highest tech countries on earth l, yet it's location and it's design were clearly very poor given the quake and tsunami risks it was exposed to.

That wasn't something inherently wrong with the technology, but where it was located and how it was implemented.

Chernobyl was simply a flawed design. The soviets wanted dual purpose reactors that could run to generate plutonium and came up with a very cumbersome water cooled, graphite moderated setup that had an ability to go horribly wrong in those specific circumstances. It's far from fail safe as a design. There's a second soviet era design which is purely a power generation and it's pretty solid and safe in comparison.

You can't design out absolutely every risk, but should certainly be aiming to.

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Brits learning from the Continent? Authority, digi gov wheezes and the Autumn Statement

Slx

I have to say I find the Irish Revenue Commissioners online services "ROS" and "PAYE Anytime" extremely easy. It works quite similar to online banking. You've also got the ability to send/receive all of your correspondence, track requests and so on.

I filled in a tax return online and it was a hell of a lot easier than paper and calculated everything for me. They also incentivise you to file online.

I recently applied for a passport card here too, which was done using an iOS or Android app. This is like an extension to your passport which gives you an ID card that looks rather like any other EU countries' national equivalents. It's non compulsory but means you can travel without a paper passport in the EEA and EU.

The application process was entirely done through to app, including taking a selfie for the pic.

A single, secure email service for every state service mightn't be that useful. I would prefer an SMS notifications to log into a specific service to check correspondence.

A single email account for everything is a single point of failure and potentially a treasure trove for hackers too.

Also, I would have concerns about cross over. There are different state agencies many of us want to deal with sepertately. For example do you really want your medical history, parking fines, tax information, welfare information, passport details, and tons of other highly sensitive information all sitting on one electronic location ? It's a hack risk and a data mining risk by Big Brothers of various sorts.

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So. Farewell then Betamax. We always liked you better than VHS anyway

Slx

Re: Wow

BetaCam is the professional and very successful cousin of BetaMax. It was/is a very robust system and it also hung on in there for much longer than you expect. It only disappeared from edit suites when HD became widespread and when laptops became powerful enough to easily handle edits cheaply. FinalCut Pro (as maligned as it is now by some) was revolutionary in the mid 00s because it was cheap, easy and highly portable. It made big inroads into news in particular in a lot of stations.

There are still probably a few linear edit suites using Sony BetaCam systems in use in libraries and archives and even analogue systems!

It was certainly still in widespread use in the late mid 2000s and it's absolutely still in use for library / archive purposes as many wouldn't have been converted to anything else.

You have to remember that massive disk storage capacity was expensive not all that long ago and digital tapes are still better for long term archiving purposes in many cases as they're reliable, cheap and you don't need fast access from a server.

Robust, high capacity storage in cameras has really only relatively recently moved from tape to solid state. Miniaturised versions of digiBeta were commonly used in professional cameras. Spinning HDDs were always too fragile and also noisy. If you shook or banged a camera (very possible in the field) you could wreck a HDD.

So it's really only since high capacity solid state stuff arrived that's changed. It used to be fairly normal to have someone "ingesting" material from cameras and other sources into a newsroom / studio server so it could be made available for editing. There were even analogue formats in use in the mid and even late 00s in some cases, especially before channels made the switch to HD. You'd never get away with analogue now as it would look horrible jarring.

As storage gets cheaper and cheaper a lot of this stuff is moving into data centre type setups.

Amazing how dramatically storage media has changed though.

I recently spoke to someone in a radio station who had never seen a minidisc and looked at me like I was talking about wax cylinders. They were still in widespread use by radio journalists the 2000s!!!

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Working with Asperger's in tech: We're in this together

Slx

Re: Different NOT broken

My concern is I think that some people are getting to the stage that they're describing personality types as pathologies.

I had a huge argument with a parent who was actively discouraging their daughter from building Lego models because she was "fixated on one thing". The kid is probably going to be an architect or something. She's super creative and can build complex spaces in 3D at age 6.

Likewise I've seen a parent "concerned" that their kid is spending too much time mastering the guitar!

If you push things too far, you'd be describing every academic, every researcher, every PhD candidate, artist, journalist with a special interest, engineer - basically anyone with a passion for a narrow range of subjects as somehow "broken".

Without people who can pick apart a single issue, humans wouldn't have progressed and technology, art, music, science, investigation, social change etc etc wouldn't happen.

We can't all be super-socially aware all-rounders all the time. Some people are highly specialised and interested in a narrow range of things. That's just life.

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Slx

You've got to understand culture though.

I've encountered a situation where someone called a very key member of staff "an idiot" or something similar because they came from an "in your face" culture.

The person handed in minimal notice and went on sick leave for the majority of it and provided bare minimal handover notes, nearly killing an entire project. Then actually changed their mobile number when people called them afterwards looking for info.

Arrogantly not adapting to a particular culture or understanding that culture is not universally understood is a recipe for serious conflict.

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Ericsson and Cisco ink deal for networks of the future

Slx

Ericsson has a very, very long relationship with a lot of (most of) the older telcos. Their equipment has basically been at the core of their networks for most of the past century.

They've a *huge* reputation in the industry, but so did Bell Labs/Western Electric and Nortel, neither of which exist other than as merged bits of other companies.

Alcatel-Lucent is also about to become a part of Nokia which already gobbled up Siemens' telecommunications divisions.

A lot of these venerable old titans of telecommunications are up against very heavy competition on price from Huawei, Samsung and others and also as networking equipment becomes more and more generic, a lot of their expensive highly specialist hardware that ran our 1st and 2ns generation telco systems is becoming as relevant as the 50s and 60s era crossbars they originally supplied.

Many of the things that were their core business are now just applications running on servers on IP networks - voice telephony etc etc

It'll be interesting to see how they progress over the coming years.

I'd say most of the money to be made is going to be around cutting edge radio technologies, advanced R&D for high end systems. A lot of their original bread and butter stuff is disappearing fast.

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BlackBerry Priv: Enterprise Android in a snazzy but functional package

Slx

The product name "Priv" just sounds too much like the old British slang for toilet "Privy"

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Now VW air-pollution cheatware 'found in Audis and Porsches'

Slx

Who the hell drives a diesel Porsche ?!?!

Isn't that some kind of automotive sacrilege?

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Slx

Re: Maybe gasoline too?

That sounds more like the turbo compressor kicking in. Most high performance diesels do that.

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Slx

Re: Discovered by the EPA

They already addressed this. It's been in the news for weeks.

I already have a recall notice for my Audi in Ireland.

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Next year's Windows 10 auto-upgrade is MSFT's worst idea since Vista

Slx

Re: See no evil... give no toss

I'm getting worried that an unnamed car maker might do just that with their non-cheating software update ! Will My high performance low emissions diesel now be a low emissions diesel

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Slx

It's weird how Microsoft has become so dogmatic avoid pushing that damn tiles interface.

I feel like it's a bit of an emperor's new clothes scenario, nobody is telling them it is ugly and very jarring to use.

I hate using Windows 8 as I just find the whole look and feel horrible. I liked Windows 7 as it was nice and refined.

Sorry Microsoft but every iteration of your new UI is driving me to OS X and Linux

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European Commission prepares antitrust probe for O2/Hutchison deal

Slx

They allowed the 3 to buy O2 in Ireland, despite concerns at national level by ComReg, the Irish version of Ofcom.

The only proviso was that certain numbers of MVNOs would be guaranteed and spectrum reserved for them - virgin, tesco and ID mobile along with 48 and Lyca all live on Three now.

It has taken us from a highly competitive 4 MNOs where 3 was the agreessive innovator on price to just 3 MNOs

Three also are supposed to be spending several hundred million on a "the big upgrade" but so far I'm seeing no benefit. They offer me 2TB per month of 4G that regularly gets about 3mbit/s, so something is being oversold.

Meanwhile Vodsfone has a 5GB cap but connects at about 57mbits on my iPhone

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The only GOOD DRONE is a DEAD DRONE. Y'hear me, scumbags?!

Slx

We're all going to have to get anti drone drones now!

You can get one that fires a net over the target drone recovering it safely.

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China, Germany moving closer to no-hack pact

Slx

So does this mean everyone else is fair game for economic hacking?!?

These agreements almost seem like an acknowledgment of everything that has long been suspected.

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Microsoft scares the bejesus out of Skype users with x12 price hike

Slx

Skype is still a thing!!?

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Get 'em out for the... readers: The Sun scraps its online paywall

Slx

People paid to read it ?!!!?!

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'Profoundly stupid' Dubliner's hoax call lost Intel 6,000 hours of production

Slx

I don't agree. I think it's very proportionate and the court considered the circumstances.

The guy has been given a public bollocking by a court and a minor sentence and now has a criminal record as a result.

Branding someone who pulls a dumb stunt to get off work a terrorist and giving him a totally insane sentence, as would be the case in the US is just indicative of a paranoid society that blows minor offences out of all proportion.

This is school boy stuff and the Irish court has been intelligent and sophisticated enough to recognise that and hand down a very civilised sentence rather than some kind of disproportionate, medieval, revenge punishment.

Also it costs a fortune to hold people in prison. It's a gross misuse of state finances to throw crazy custodial sentences at non-violent offenders who are basically just acting the muppet.

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LG uses sucky logic to force Dyson admission its vacuums suck badly

Slx

Re: There's a limit to vacuum power

Miele's keyboard cleaning attachment works perfectly...

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UK ministers, not judges, to sign off on Brit spies' surveillance

Slx

This is an excellent illustration of why countries need separation of powers and written constitutions.

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Cops use terror powers to lift BBC man's laptop after ISIS interview

Slx

Re: So what?

They are, and many will go to prison rather than undermine that position!

If journalists don't stand up to this kind of thing, they effectively would become unable to work on any controversial subject without a risk of being seen as an arm of the state. This would not only undermine their ability to report, but it could even get people killed.

How would you report on a conflict for example, imagine say Northern Ireland in the 1980s if anytime anyone spoke to you those tapes / records could be seized by police and the journalist forced to reveal names?

Journalism is about investigating and understanding situations, not about gathering evidence for prosecutions.

Protection of confidentiality of journalistic sources in European Law was also established by a ECHR judgement Goodwin v the United Kingdom in 1996.

If you want a functioning press and an ability to investigate, you need that kind of protection. It's one of the fundamental cornerstones of a democracy, and one which is sadly lacking in many (most) European countries national legal frameworks, including the UK.

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We suck? No, James Dyson. It is you who suck – Bosch and Siemens

Slx

Just get a Miele or a Henry.

No nonsense machines that last for about 100 years.

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Slx

There's only one way to resolve this: dual between their respective CEOs using nothing by vacuum cleaners!

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Google lifts app price ceiling to US$400

Slx

Just as long as they make sure there's an "are you sure you want to pay €9580.95 for this fart app double check.

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FCC under fire over TV, mobile broadband signal interference fears

Slx

Ironically, the spectrum could be being choked up by people actually watching broadcast services via IP over mobile broadband.

I'm constantly amazed at how many people I know here in Ireland who listen to stations that are easily available on FM and DAB who are streaming those stations over iPhones and android phones on 4G sucking up huge amounts of battery power on their commute.

Plenty of people watching broadcast TV on Internet streams too, even though it's broadcasting on multiple platforms.

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Top watchdog probes IBM over 'transactions in US, UK, Ireland'

Slx

All we can do really is wait for the investigation to conclude. However, it sounds like it's a technical accounting issue. These can and do happen, and can be significant if you're a large organisation with big cash flows. It may simply be a case of the company's treatment of some rule differing from the SEC's interpretation of it. It may be nothing to do with a tax efficiency strategy and just some difference of opinion.

Most of the analysis I've read online doesn't seem to think it's likely to be anything very exciting.

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Slx

Yeah, because that's totally based on facts!

Ireland has a Gini coefficient (after tax transfers, which is very important) of 29.3 vs UK 34.5 and US 37.8.

Lower numbers = better wealth distribution. So, it actually puts Ireland into line with Germany and the Netherlands when you factor in its welfare and tax system and how it distributes income.

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Slx

Re: hmm

Hang on a moment. This could well be a City of London issue too. It is after all the world's largest money laundry and light touch regulation centre.

I don't think many countries can call foul on tax and financial regulation, certainly not any of those 3!

One analyst seems to think it's a fairly mundane investigation into warranty reserves and something possibly being recognised at the wrong time.

It's quite possibly an accounting error / mix up.

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Web giants, Sir Tim slam Europe's net neutrality rules on eve of vote

Slx

Does this mean we'll have working class, middle class and upper class Internet in Britain?

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Slx

Well, there you go the amendments have been voted down.

Welcome to two-speed internet land, brought to you in association with .... and ....

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Slx

It just shows why we need to be paying a bit more attention to who we elect to the European Parliament.

Accountable, directly elected commissioners would be a lot better too. They've allowed too much power to go to the commission without modifying it to make it democratic. I don't really think it's fit for purpose anymore.

As an Irish resident, I'm really a lot more "Euro Critical" than I might have been a few years ago as various T&Cs were attached to our loans that basically compelled things like establishing a hugely expensive easy to privatise water utility and spending billions rolling out water meters. This obviously had absolutely everything to do with a property bubble and banking collapse. If there's one thing that definitely prevents banking crisis situations from developing, it's a high tech water meter!

I'm not in favour of just abolishing the EU but it needs serious reform to make it function more like a democracy and less like a board of governors.

That little dictat has really caused me to question just who exactly the European Commission is listening to. I suspect it's large utilities more than anything else. I'd assume someone wanted to buy a prepackaged state owned Irish utility and someone own wanted a huge water infrastructure project to rollout metering.

I'd say the parliament will vote against it but the commission will be listening to the large Euro telcos and ignoring everyone else.

Meanwhile they're negotiating TTIP in total secrecy, which is worrying and leaves me with almost no confidence in it at all.

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TalkTalk incident management: A timeline

Slx

It's almost inevitable that similar hacks will keep happening though.

We need to change the whole system of how payments operate or this is gradually going to turn into a new banking crisis.

There's only so much fraud that can be insured against before the system starts to become too expensive to operate. I don't think the banks have done nearly enough to move towards a totally secure payment system. We shouldn't be relying on 16 digit card numbers and basically trusting retailers like this.

This is a fiasco for Talk Talk but, it'll just keep on happening as the card numbers are just an attractive treasure trove that criminals want to get their hands on and they'll always find holes in the security or the weakest link.

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Intel sprinkles Saffron on its chips, to satisfy its Big Data appetite

Slx

Saffron mayonnaise is OK but just sprinkling saffron on directly will cause you to sneeze.

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Bacon can kill: Official

Slx

I seem to be suddenly dealing with loads of people who have cancer and I've had several relatives and a friend (in her 20s) die of it recently too, despite all the high tech medical marvels you could throw at it.

I don't really know what to eat anymore. I don't really like processed meat anyway so, I think I'll be giving it a skip, but it'll probably make no difference anyway.

You'd wonder sometimes, is this really all about lifestyle changes or is it just an after effect or the 520+ atmospheric nuclear weapons tests carried out back in the mid 20th century or thr cloud of household chemicals we all seem to use.

Anyway, probably no point worrying about it too much.

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