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* Posts by Robert E A Harvey

2851 posts • joined 8 Oct 2006

T-Mobile USA: Our new unlimited data plan is actually unlimited

Robert E A Harvey
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"no data caps, speed limits or bill shock"

... For a month or two.

Once users start to use it, the game is up.

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Work for the military? Don't be evil, says ethicist

Robert E A Harvey
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Re: value alignment

I would say that it is perfectly possible to design machines to automate the traditional cheese making methods, or pasturise cream, without producing cheese triangles from dairy waste.

The production of flour has been mechanised for millenia, it doesn't have to be assosciated with pop tarts.

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Robert E A Harvey
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Re: Actually

Not always fortunate - there were dead periods where I was reduced to doing red&blue tape PCB artworks on the kitchen table. Or plugging new cash register printers in at Tesco after midnight.

I'm just saying that people should make their own choices. Maybe if I had been different I'd still be in charge of an R&D department instead of using a screwdriver and a torque wrench on a daily basis. Maybe I'd have earned more. But I earned enough, and can live with having designed control systems in the food and printing industry.

I'm not sure that people do work on weapons systems without a certain amount of introspection: I know a few who did exactly that. I rather think this chap's advice is null. I think that most designers and developers know very well what they are doing. it would all get smelly very quickly if they didn't.

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Robert E A Harvey
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Actually

I've walked out of 3 jobs because I didn't want to work on military hardware, and skipped a thousand or so job adverts.

I still managed to pay off the mortgage, bring up 2 wonderful girls and design 3 things that are in the science museum.

And now $MEGACORP pays me to travel the world and commission things the size of a house that do good stuff.

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Best Buy, Target, Walmart, others to take on Google Wallet

Robert E A Harvey
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Yep

I've paid at the pump with chip-and-pin in the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Russia, Pakistan, UAE, Philippines, and even France. Same card, same PIN.

Oh, and Peterborough.

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Robert E A Harvey
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Re: Not another one!

Even before the EMV connector was widely used on cards (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EMV) the banks issued and maintained a PIN system used all over at least europe and south america. Terminals had to be complient and approved, and were often issued by the banks: but there was a standard that they all more or less agreed to.

I have been using swipe-and-pin terminals since the late 1980s, and chip-and-pin since the early years of this century. I don';t think I have had a card mag-swiped outside the USA since around 2003. Even in Malawi, China, and The Andaman islands shops, cash machines, and banks all work with the chip-and-pin method. Damnm, I designed a swipe-and-pin terminal back in 1976, when the banks wanted to maintain separate PIN algorithms.

The world has had a generic PIN system since some time in the 1980s.

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Robert E A Harvey
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Not another one!

Sick and tired of US retailers home-made alternatives to a proper system. Like the petrol pumps that demand the billing zip code for credit cards instead of a pin code, and the sudden appearance of mag swipe on iphones, years after the civilised world has chip-and-pin. Starbucks qr-code-on-yer-phone-scanned-by-the-till instead of a proper system. On and on and on, contrapting ramshackle systems instead of co-operating on standards

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GPS trigger will light LOHAN's fire

Robert E A Harvey
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Dog

I like Patterdales, very much a one-man dog. Can be grumpy when cold and wet.

What's not to like?

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Microsoft reveals Windows RT OEMs

Robert E A Harvey
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Re: "Yawn" You are clearly horribly dissapointed that Acer is not on the list.

grin.

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Robert E A Harvey
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Yawn

The usual suspects then...

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Windows 8: Microsoft's tablet-desktop still painful to swallow

Robert E A Harvey
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Re: 438 per cent better, but that is for drawing rectangles

"up to 438 " - does that mean anything at all?

'at least...' might have some value, but 'up to...' ?

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First, Google goggles - now the world gets self-censoring specs

Robert E A Harvey
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or are they lacking

I'm beginning to think so

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El Reg probes pregnant Playmobil lass

Robert E A Harvey
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Go

Rumours are true

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/aug/07/london-2012-condoms-olympic-village

"The Australian BMX cyclist Caroline Buchanan tweeted a photograph of the bucket, which featured a sign reading "Kangaroos condoms, for the gland downunder", and a picture of a boxing kangaroo.

She joked that bucket seemed to back up rumours that the village becomes a hot bed of activity as thousands of competitors complete their events and celebrate after years of working to get to the Olympics – tweeting: "Haha, the rumours are true. Olympic village."

Barcelona started the trend of supplying free condoms to athletes when the Spanish city held the Olympics in 1992, with the International Olympic Committee endorsing the move.

The London Olympic organisers provided 150,000 free condoms in dispensers for the 10,800 athletes at the Games, supplied by Durex which paid for the supply rights.

A Locog spokeswoman said they were trying to find out who distributed the Kangaroo condoms, with the container shown to hold condoms from Durex's rivals Ansell Ltd, an Australian company, and Pasante, a private British firm.

She said athletes and officials were allowed to bring products into the village for their personal use.

"We will look into this and ask that they are not handed out to other athletes because Durex are our supplier," said the spokeswoman."

My personal view? Young, fit, active people with something to celebrate? Why not?

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Robert E A Harvey
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OK Go and do a search for

"Noch 15958"

"Noch 15951"

"Noch 15955"

"Vollmer 2250" - how did they get in?

"Preiser 10439"

"Preiser 29004"

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Acer dishing out 16,400 cheap OLYMPIC laptops to schools

Robert E A Harvey
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flog? FLOG?

I thought there was supposed to be a legacy?

Cheeky buggers.

There are several charities in that part of the world who could do a lot of good with those - and have ways to stop them ending up on Ebay!

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Microsoft: It was never 'Metro,' it was always 'Modern UI'

Robert E A Harvey
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"The Manhattan project"

Good choice. It's going to blow up in their face.

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Robert E A Harvey
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@Phil

Problem with calling something 'modern' is progress. It more or less means that W9 will be 'post-modern', and no-one would want a post-modernist computer.

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Bucks muck chuck muck-up leaks 840 email addresses

Robert E A Harvey
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How about the councillors have a fine deducted from their pay?

Councillors are an elected fig leaf with no control over the officers, who are mandated by central government to do things regardless of what the chamber says. I know of councils where councillors may not even talk to the staff unless the chief exec is present. They certainly can't instruct them.

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Robert E A Harvey
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"We take the security of our data very seriously" - but not that of anyone else.

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Oooh-la-la! 'iPhone 5' bares all, strokes tiny nano-SIM in pics

Robert E A Harvey
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how you'd design a state-of-the-art smartphone

Use the camera.

Have a massively complex multicoloured QR code on a bit of paper that you take a picture of. The phone then connects to the service and says "let me be that number.

Point two phones at it, they both become that number like an old-fashioned plan 1A domestic extension. Both ring together - even in separate countries - and the first one that picks up is online.

Point the same phone at several certificates, and it will accept calls for all those numbers, and ring out on any one.

Buy a prepay at the garage, get a top-up you point the camera at. Pay for top-up at a cash machine, and photograph the rapiidly changing screen,

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HP writes down a whopping $8bn from EDS gobble

Robert E A Harvey
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8 Bn?

It's a good job they are doing so well with all the other parts of the business.

oh, hang on...

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T-Mobile puts 'Full Monty' tariff on diet

Robert E A Harvey
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Bait, switch, dump

What else does one expect. They are a telecom company.

Any company with such a large customer base will never see them as people, or have any interest in their individual complaints. They only respond to statistically observable movements, like large chunks of people dumping them.

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HP must throw its PC biz overboard to survive, says analyst

Robert E A Harvey
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Re: Wall Street in slash and Burn shocker.

>some bellend-brained analyst

That's probably all of them

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Microsoft Surface slate: Acer, resellers predict a riot

Robert E A Harvey
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Hyperbole Police

hey, I'll plead guilty to the "cool and interesting", but I'll take the 'blindingly obvious' defence over the Antichrist thing.

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Robert E A Harvey
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FAIL

I'm torn

I can't decide whether to buy a surface because it is cool and interesting and something new, or to shun it because it is made by the Antichrist.

Let's see, does Acer's opinion help me at all? No, because I would not value their opinion on whether their bum needed wiping, let alone anything remotely clever.

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Robert E A Harvey
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@HMB Re: Go MS! - Actually customers should come first

But from Microsoft's position the OEM is the customer. The rest of us are users.

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Office for ARM will lack features, report claims

Robert E A Harvey
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Oh come on

It is not so many years ago that they released a version of office for MACs that did not have macros, largely because they could not port the code.

I never expected the RT version to be identical, and if anyone did they were living in cloud cuckoo land. I've got a fairly advanced flaptop here with a 4-way core processor and loads of stuff. MS office can bring it to a screaming, shuddering halt. And does. I can type faster than it can render glyphs on this beast.

What chance has it got running on an alarm clock?

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Radio hams unite to fight off new powerline comms standard

Robert E A Harvey
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Re: What does Ofcom regulate, again?

IMO Ofcom are as useless a bunch of chairweights as you will find anywhere.

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Curiosity success 'paves way for Man on Mars by 2030s'

Robert E A Harvey
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Thumb Up

Oh and

Kudos to El Reg for the 'mars attacks' picture on the maun page!

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Microsoft dumps Metro from Windows 8

Robert E A Harvey
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@Allan George Dyer

Windows Allegro sounds about right. It had a square steering wheel, everyone talked about it, and no-one willingly bought one.

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Robert E A Harvey
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Coat

British Leyland Group

but no-one is going to sue over the Mini Metro, because it would mean popping yer head out of the trenches and admitting you had some connection with the wretched misbegotten rustbucket.

Mine's the one with old car keys lost in the lining.

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How one bad algorithm cost traders $440m

Robert E A Harvey
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FAIL

Re: Run for a day?

Why run it live at all: surely it could be tested with live input data and dummy sales?

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Anonymous hunts down Voldemort for hacking hungry kids' charity

Robert E A Harvey
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Unpopular opinion

Is it just me, or is there something ramshackle about a charity that can't restore its own web site?

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Lenovo iPad-smiting Windows 8 slate slips out

Robert E A Harvey
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Linux

Re: The obvious advantage...

That's my question.

Can you install Linux?

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Apple iPad fondlers are about to enter a THIRD DIMENSION

Robert E A Harvey
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>The patent includes the proximity sensors needed to sense movement,

OK, fair enough I suppose

>and the processing power and temporary storage needed to

>generate and modify the virtual object on the screen.

But this? that makes no sense.

I can understand someone patenting - say - that idea for a walking insect-like tree felling machine. But "it needs a

400HP engine, so this patent covers having a big enough engine"?

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Judge: Oracle must remain on Itanic

Robert E A Harvey
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Oh?

And can the judge order them to ship the same version of code that everyone else gets? with all the latest whizzbangs?

Or ae we going to see a grandfather version that never advances, kept purposely behind to force customers to change hardware?

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Ten monster tellies to suit all budgets

Robert E A Harvey
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Gratuitous Limp Bics reference

Umm. Aren't you a bit late telling us this?

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BOFH: Shove your project managementry up your mailbox!

Robert E A Harvey
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Facepalm

One of my colleagues has just completed a 5 day journey to a camp in siberia - by the dodgiest of transport - only to be told to do no work because the scope of work is in dispute.

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Robert E A Harvey
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Pint

Hurrah!

It's friday, it's Beer-o-clock, it's BOFH. Life could not be better if there were some unexpected giant sporting event due to start.

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World's biggest distie Ingram admits it can't keep up growth in UK

Robert E A Harvey
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Re: Money is waiting

OK, I was assuming that retailers get the stock from somewhere.

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Robert E A Harvey
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Money is waiting

If they stock crap, I won't buy it.

I am waiting for a laptop with screen resolution >>1080p, and decent speakers. I want an SSD, not a hard disk. And is it too much to ask that I can just slip a SIM card in and be on line?

Oh, and I want it without Windows too. Even if I am going to put W7 on it, it will doubtless come with a playschool version, and I don't want to pay Gates twice.

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HP Envy 4-1010ea 14in Ultrabook review

Robert E A Harvey
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Thumb Down

That's right

I can live with a 2011 CPU, but I can't live with 1990s screen resolution. 1366 x 768 is a joke.

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Gabe Newell: Windows 8 is a 'catastrophe' for PC biz

Robert E A Harvey
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Too late, too easy

Why did this bloke and Gartner only come out of the woodwork when it is too late for M$ to change course?

The reviewers and bloggers have been doing the spadework on this for months. Now it is a done deal, and the problems are as obvious as a shark in a garden pond, now these two go public. Is it just for an easy dose of told-you-so?

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IT departments are BRATTY TEENAGERS

Robert E A Harvey
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I blame management

Back in the mainframe era we had Business Analysts, who were not the same thing as machine minders or coders.

Cutbacks and empire building by managers, especially the ones who became CTOs have tried to merge the 3 roles.

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Japanese govt sucked dry for TWO YEARS by Trojan

Robert E A Harvey
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Coat

I don't believe it. Bloated Plutocrats normally have a new PC at least twice a year.

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Devs can't be bothered with Nokia's Windows Phone – report

Robert E A Harvey
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Re: Here's a concrete example of Microsoft's problem

Or MS have tried and Unity know a dead duck when they see one.

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TMS puts the boot into flash

Robert E A Harvey
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Baffled now.

I'm sorry, but I have listened to Test Match Special for years and never heard them mention hardware that wasn't made of Leather and willow.

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Dell uncloaks trio of muscular mobile workstations

Robert E A Harvey
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screen screen screen

I can't believe they even have a x900 option. I would have thought, for that sort of money we would be getting x1440 or at least x1280

I am sick and tired of waiting for a 2003 screen on a 2012 laptop.

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Samsung flogs 10 million Galaxy S IIIs in 7 weeks

Robert E A Harvey
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"Not quite keeping up with the iPhone 4S"

No, but making the Lumia look really stupid!

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Is running IT for the Olympics the worst job in the world?

Robert E A Harvey
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Unhappy

@Danny 5 Re: Atos?

Well, I can't say - we have rules on social networking. But the client is worldwide, and the hell desks are in Manilla and Rajshahi

The thing that makes it doubly difficult, and reinforces the world-class stonewalling, is the refusal to use email. I have to telephone the idiots or put a message on a web page (that I can only get to via the company network)

The only thing that the staff there want to do is close the ticket. I've never had them make any attempt to fix a problem.

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