Feeds

* Posts by PassiveSmoking

245 posts • joined 29 Aug 2010

Page:

PARC Alto source code released by computer history museum

PassiveSmoking

Not the first GUI

NLS beat it to the punch by a good few years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NLS_%28computer_system%29

1
0

Really... an iKeyfob? Apple continues war on fanbois' pockets

PassiveSmoking

Wasn't KARR the "less good version" of KITT?

1
0

Doctor Who and the Dalek: 10-year-old tests BBC programming game

PassiveSmoking

Re: Never quite sure of the value of all this...

It's not about forcing kids to code, it's about exposing them to it so they can see if they have a taste and/or aptitude for it.

Not everyone wants or needs to know the allegorical elements of Animal Farm either, they still teach that in schools anyway.

5
1
PassiveSmoking

Re: hold on...

Uh guys?

We're talking about 8-11 year olds here! This is pretty much perfect for that. All it's doing is trying to get across the idea that a program is a list of instructions, some of which can repeat, and some of which you might or might not do depending on whether certain conditions are met or not. If you throw the complexities of a full-blooded modern programming language into the mix you're only going to make it incomprehensible for everyone but the wunderkinds and scare kids off instead of getting them interested, which is the ultimate goal of this project after all.

Lets teach the little darlings to walk before they can catch exceptions and write recursive methods, hmm?

7
0
PassiveSmoking

Turtle + Death Ray = Dalek!

1
0

US government fines Intel's Wind River over crypto exports

PassiveSmoking

War on Crypto!

Trying to shove the genie back in the bottle? Yeah, good luck with that.

7
0

iPad AIR 2 and iPad MINI 3, 5K iMac: World feels different today – and it IS

PassiveSmoking

Re: So where are the "new" Products?

Actually the 5K iMac is a big deal. Monitor resolutions have been stagnating for years, maybe this will give the rest of the industry the kick up the backside it so badly needed.

6
0
PassiveSmoking

Re: BBC

If the BBC's coverage is pissing you off, why don't you, um, I dunno, complain to the BBC about it?

3
0

Martha Lane Fox: YEUCH! The Internet is MADE by MEN?!?

PassiveSmoking

Who cares?

Seriously, who gives a shit? Why are you wasting packets on this rubbish?

0
0

Rupert Murdoch outs self as iPhone 6 fanboi

PassiveSmoking

Wow, there's a trendiness killer if ever there was one.

Could you imagine how much money Murdoch could make by getting companies to pay him not to endorse their products?

0
0

Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express

PassiveSmoking

This episode felt like almost the exact opposite of the previous Kill The Moon. That was a horrible episode where the only good bit was Clara breaking up with the doctor. This was a decent episode where the only crap bit was Clara failing to break up with the doctor.

I'm getting a little bored with horror stories in Who, though. There's been far too many this season, can we have a bit of a change of pace now please guys?

0
0

'Bill Gates swallowing bike on a beach' is ideal password say boffins

PassiveSmoking

Re: Not compatible

Adobe had an especially hilarious one which I discovered after their massive password leak. I used LastPass to reset my leaked password to a random 16 character string, and the website accepted this. Later, I had to reinstall CS4, the installer for which requires you to log onto your Adobe account. Only I couldn't, because the installer's password field would only accept a 12 character string.

Another quality Adobe product!

5
0

Universal Credit CRISIS: Howard Shiplee SHIPS OUT of top job

PassiveSmoking

Re: Basic concept fine...

They're tories. Of course they think being poor is a crime.

Also I think your comparison with extreme left-wing police states are unfair. It's more like an extreme right-wing police state.

3
0

ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee

PassiveSmoking

So basically, the internet isn't a big truck, it's a series of tubes. Is that what you're saying?

1
0

Apple's iPhone 6 first-day sales are MEANINGLESS, mutters analyst

PassiveSmoking

"Analyst" == "I'm paid an obscene amount of money to just make shit up"

It must be a great job. You get paid a bundle for your opinion, you don't have to provide one shred of evidence to back it up, and people treat anything you say like the Word Of God Almighty Himself.

He's right about one thing though, sales over one day are pretty much meaningless.

1
0

Moon landing was real and WE CAN PROVE IT, says Nvidia

PassiveSmoking

Nothing on Earth (or the moon) is going to convince a True Believer because to them it's a religion. They worship their pet theories like house gods and woe betide anybody that attacks the theory. A former 9/11 conspiracy theorist has recieved death threats for the heinous crime of changing his mind about the conspiracy.

7
1
PassiveSmoking

Re: Nvidea, did you also manage to explain

Clue: Tie a tea towel to a broom handle and wiggle the broom handle back and forth. Observe what happens.

I don't know why conspiracy theorists still think they're being really clever by pointing this one out. They're actually being really really dense.

34
3

First Irish boy band U2. Now Apple pushes ANOTHER thing into iPhones, iPods, iPads

PassiveSmoking

Doesn't matter if the features have been available for years...

... if nobody ever used them.

Seriously, who ever used NFC payments other than Oyster Card holders, let alone NFC payments via phone? The NFC payment support in Android phones was poorly thought out and didn't work very well from the accounts of the few people who actually tried to use it. I'm sure Apple have learned from those mistakes and done it right. Apple are rarely the first people to do something but they're usually the first to do it in a way that makes people actually want to use it.

If you build it they might come but only if you don't do a shit job of building it in the first place.

11
4

Warrantless phone snooping HAPPENS ALL THE TIME in Blighty

PassiveSmoking

Do you know who else kept pushing for more "emergency powers" and entangling us in wars with people who don't want to be part of the dominant culture? EMPEROR PALPATINE!

You may laugh, but the Census data contains a complete record of all the Jedi in the country...

2
0

Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws

PassiveSmoking

Good, Cheap, Fast

The standard maxim in software engineering and development is "Good, Cheap, Fast: pick two".

Sadly, the choice made is almost always "Cheap and fast". Finding the answer as to why this is and what to do about it is what will solve about 80% of failures in code quality.

0
0

Beancounters tell NASA it's too poor to fly planned mega-rocket

PassiveSmoking

I thought the business case was obvious?

If you don't have your own man-rated rocket then you're committing to being dependant on buying rides on the rockets of a government you're not exactly on good terms with. If you can't get to space on your own then the Russians effectively become the gatekeepers to the ISS, and do you really think Putn would not stoop to using that fact to his own advantage?

1
0

Australia floats website blocks and ISP liability to stop copyright thieves

PassiveSmoking

Sounds right up Orlowski's alley

I'm sure everyone else who doesn't work for Big Content or their legal attack dogs will be appalled though.

16
0

ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US

PassiveSmoking
Happy

Good to know

So patents only apply in the country where they're taken out.

Good to know, means I can ignore all US patents with impunity. I'm off to build a One Click implementation!

5
2

Spinning SPACE DUCK is comet-chasing Rosetta probe's PREY

PassiveSmoking
Coat

Just listenin' to the Space Duck

Such a majestic creature.

Mine's the one with the Team Fourstar logo on the back.

0
0

Dead letter office: ancient smallpox sample turns up in old US lab

PassiveSmoking

Re: Anyone...

So rummaging through a science lab junk drawer is probably a really bad idea.

Allen key, different allen key, weird flange-thing with a screw in one end that nobody knows it's for, some crusty old AA batteries, vial of disease that could end all life on Earth, tube of superglue welded to the side of the draw, ... used tea bag? Eww, what'd that doing in here?

18
0

Judge says there's no such thing as a 'Patent Troll'

PassiveSmoking

What about Big Fat Doodoo Head? Is that still okay?

1
0

Austrian Tor exit relay operator guilty of ferrying child porn

PassiveSmoking

Re: Great

Soon? Fairly sure that's already happening.

9
1

USB charger is prime suspect in death of Australian woman

PassiveSmoking

Re: More official advice completely divorced from reality

@ac If by "Better" you mean "Less likely to kill me" then guilty as charged, I will spend more for the better one.

I find it very hard to believe that a mains powered charger that sells for 3 quid and is of a form factor compatible to the miniaturised USB chargers that the likes of Apple, Samsung, et al pack in with their products is going to be remotely safe. Maybe they really actually are that safe, but I also feel that my life is worth more than the hypothetical £27 difference between them. I'd rather be a sucker than a corpse.

Oh, and for the record, the actual cost of an Apple iPhone charger is £15, not 30 so you might even be able to afford two! http://store.apple.com/uk/product/MD812B/C/apple-usb-power-adapter?fnode=3c

If you really dislike apple so much there are plenty of other reputable companies that will sell you a charger for a bit more than three quid that probably won't kill you either.

1
0
PassiveSmoking

Re: More official advice completely divorced from reality

That's just that though, they haven't.

Manufacturer A built their device to at least meet (and probably slightly exceed) international electrical safety standards designed to keep people from being killed by the device. They then paid to have samples tested to destruction to earn the right to put the safety certification logo on the case. They'll also pull random samples out of batches during manufacture and test those too to mitigate the risk of a bad batch of parts rendering the certification moot.

Manufacturer B is just concerned with making a profit and isn't concerned about the odd corpse here or there. They'll buy the absolute cheapest components they can get, have them assembled in the cheapest way possible, put them in the cheapest case possible and just slap a load of fake safety logos on them. The charger from manufacturer B is probably at best 10 times more likely to kill you and/or burn your house down because it was manufactured by people who just don't give a shit and just want your money.

All that risk for a saving of £27? Is your life really worth so little? If you can afford a couple hundred quid for a phone/laptop/whatever then you can afford 30 for a new charger. Or just try not to break the charger that came with it in the first place, there's an idea. I actually have a surplus of Apple chargers because the ones I've owned still work fine after years of proper use so I never need to unpack the one that come with the new phone.

5
3

Adobe Creative Cloud 2014: Progress and pain in the usual places

PassiveSmoking

Re: I need to get this to my client right away.

It's probably a bit of an exageration (but given my own experience of Adobe software not a big one).

What's not FUD is that if Adobe's cloud dies, so does EVERYBODY'S copy of the software. http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/05/outage-of-adobe-creative-cloud-more-than-a-day-old-locks-out-app-users/

0
0

HP starts a memristor-based space program to launch ... THE MACHINE

PassiveSmoking

Photonics?

Please state the nature of the medical emergency.

2
0

SLOW DOWN: Insecure-by-design software on road

PassiveSmoking

Things to put on a highway sign

* "I know what you did"

* "If you're going on holiday here, I'd turn around now. It's shit"

* "If you're driving an Audi I hope you die in a fireball of twisted metal (and you probably will, learn to sodding drive!)"

And my personal favourite:

* "Did you leave the gas on?"

1
1

GAME ON: Top 10 tellies for a World Cup kicking

PassiveSmoking

Re: Expensive & pointless

That title applies just as well to football as it does to the tellies.

1
0

FSF slams Mozilla for 'shocking' Firefox DRM ankle-grab

PassiveSmoking

If there's a hook in the software to get a decrypted stream from a DRM module, then how hard would it be to write a plugin that proxys the hook in order to save the encrypted stream to a file as it's being played back?

Unless the entire browser is closed-source and digitally signed there's no way of really stopping people circumventing any DRM scheme you put in place. As an earlier commenter suggested, Mozilla's plan is probably to just implement what Big Content want and act surprised when it doesn't work.

Also, Stallman needs to learn the meaning of the word pragmatism.

6
6

'Bladdered' Utah couple cuffed in church lawn sex outrage

PassiveSmoking

Was it the first of May?

Because according to that Jonathan Coulton song it's fine.

0
0

Super-heavy element 117 DOES exist – albeit briefly. Got any berkelium handy?

PassiveSmoking

What to call element 117?

Spartianium? Halonium?

0
0

Apple sued in Texas troll territory for iMovie patent infringement

PassiveSmoking

Re: When

That's not going to happen, somebody's bound to have a patent on "method for suspending a legal professional from a supporting structure at the intersection of two or more transit conduits".

4
0

Scam emails tell people they have cancer to trick them into installing a money-stealing Trojan

PassiveSmoking

(AOL voice): You've got cancer!

2
0

Barclays warns freelance techies of DOUBLE DIGIT rate cut

PassiveSmoking

But I thought that if you wanted the best workers you had to pay the best rates, plus extravagant bonuses, and that you won't attract the best talant, who will just take their experience elsewhere otherwise? That's what they said about senior executive pay, after all.

3
0

Got a Netgear router from Virgin Media? Change your admin password NOW

PassiveSmoking

When I first got my SuperHub I had a default password for the device admin webapp. First thing I did was change it. When I needed tech support a couple of hours later (turned out the wiring was dodgy and had been marginable but acceptable to the old modem, but not for the superhub) the first thing they did was ask me to change the password back to default.

After that I just used the superhub in passive move with the wifi turned off and the device hooked up to an external router. If they require you to have the default password for tech support then they obviously can't be depended on for decent security.

0
0

Pine trees' scent 'could prevent climate change really being a problem'

PassiveSmoking

Re: Limit climate change?

Yeah, I think you might just have failed to spot my sarcasm.

Lewis is constantly posting articles about how climate change isn't happening, so it seems odd that he's start posting articles about ways to limit the impact of something he says isn't happening.

1
3
PassiveSmoking
WTF?

Limit climate change?

But climate change isn't happening. You've posted about a thousand articles saying so.

12
5

Collective SSL FAIL a symptom of software's cultural malaise

PassiveSmoking

Good, fast, cheap

Most of us of an engineering bent know the old addage "Good, fast, cheap: pick two", yet we still always cave when our managers almost invariable select "fast and cheap".

0
0

Retiring greybeards force firms to retrain Java, .NET bods as mainframe sysadmins

PassiveSmoking

Software rot is a business expense

Nobody seems to take the fact that software isn't like traditional machinery, it needs to be constantly evolved and updated. Of course machinery needs maintainence (and eventual replacement) too, but typically of the "oil this, replace that worn out part" sort.

Businesses usually take the limited life of machinery into account, but not the limited life of software. That's an attitude that needs to change, there needs to be plans in place to keep software up to date and if necessary ported to new platforms, otherwise this is the exact situation you'll end up with.

4
1

Almost everyone read the Verizon v FCC net neutrality verdict WRONG

PassiveSmoking

Re: Remarkably?

And if those two both decide to act in the same manner and refuse to provide the service the consumer wants?

2 choices doesn't qualify as healthy competition.

2
0

Amazon patents caches for physical goods

PassiveSmoking

Re: How is this an invention?

In America, everything is an invention. Shitting yourself is probably patentable.

0
0

Take off, nuke 'em from orbit: Kill patent trolls NOW, says FTC bigwig

PassiveSmoking

The most obvious thing they could do right now is make it an offence to threaten the customers of an alleged patent infringer with lawsuits. That kind of behaviour is simply unacceptable. You should not need to factor in the risk of potentially getting sued for patent infringement into your decision whether or not to buy a god damned photocopier.

0
0

Blame Silicon Valley for the NSA's data slurp... and what to do about it

PassiveSmoking

Re: The law is not the answer

How can somebody who writes such cynical claptrap be so naive? Even if you technically have legal recourse against the DM for publishing your photos and/or making scurrilous accusations against you, by the time the legal system has ground into action the damage has already been done.

Suppose the DM publishes your photograph in an article about suspected paedophiles, naturally you're outraged and take them to court. As they have no proof to back up their claims and because they violated your privacy unfairly you prevail in court and possibly win a juicy payout that more or less covers your court costs.

However, the damage done to your reputation is permanent. The news article will still exist somewhere, and it will still insinuate in writing that you're a paedophile with your photo attached. While the paper will probably also be forced to publish a retraction and an apology, they never exactly go out of their way to call much attention to them. You'll get some tiny correction printed in tiny print in the hopes nobody notices it, and nobody probably will.

Meanwhile, the thought implanted in the public mind will linger in some corners and you'll probably never escape it. There's no legal way (or indeed physical way that I'm aware of) to erase the population's memory.

0
0

Drug dealer demands jail to escape 'unbearable' missus after NYE row

PassiveSmoking

Re: A Clash of Personalities

Team Rocket blast off at the speed of light.

Surrender now or prepare to fight.

6
0

British Second World War codebreaker Alan Turing receives Royal pardon

PassiveSmoking

Pardon

I think the conviction should stand.

Hear me out here! It's not because I think gay people should be punished for being gay. I have two reasons for thinking it should stand.

1) As others have pointed out, once you start pardoning people who were punished by an unjust lawwhere do you stop? Thousands of people were persicuted under the same laws, do they all get pardons now? Or are you only entitled to one if your supporters kick up a fuss? It's got to be everyone or no-one, anything else is just empty gestures.

2) It smacks of revisionist history. Turing was a great man who we owe our relative freedom to, and for those of us who work in IT our livlihoods. He wa also treated unbelieveably shoddily and punished unfairly by an unjust law. Both those facts should be remembered, but pardoning him now feels awfully like an attempt to sweep the abuse he suffered at the hands of the law under the carpet. Instead of saying "It's okay, we overturned his conviction so we can pretend it didn't happen" we should be saying "Here's an example of how even the most remarkable people to whom we owe so much can be destroyed by blinkered bigoted arbitary hatred".

I can understand why people would campaign for this, but I can't help but feel they're misguided.

13
1

Page: