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* Posts by Jonathon Desmond

38 posts • joined 15 Oct 2006

Boffins fire up old dish to send interstellar SMS

Jonathon Desmond

It'd be a missed opportunity...

... to not send:

"Our records show that we have 5824 Galactic Credits waiting in our account for you. Reply CLAIM to get your money today"

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So, who ought to be the next Doctor Who? It's up to YOU...

Jonathon Desmond
Happy

Re: It'd be nice

Forget AV, let's go full preferential for this one & do it properly! :-)

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Soylent Corporation prepares to DEFEAT FOOD

Jonathon Desmond

Re: Case closed.

He's right. It's not elaborate at all.....

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... time machine. Iranian Dr Who claims he invented a ...

Jonathon Desmond
Mushroom

Iranians == Persians != Arabs

"Dazed and Confused" is correct. The Iranians are Persians, not Arabs (although some Arabs do, of course, live there), and they speak Persian (Farsi), not Arabic.

Ever call a Kiwi an Aussie? Well, multiply that reaction by about 10 megatons. For example, the Iranian Government refuses overfly rights to airlines who refer to "The Persian Gulf" as "The Arabian Gulf" in their on-board systems.

However, 'Wired' refers to Iran claiming to set up it's own *Islamist* version of Google Earth, which sounds more accurate.

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Clash of the Titans: Which of you has the GREATEST HOME LAB?

Jonathon Desmond
Happy

I think there needs to be multiple categories....

... for the awards. Then it can be as prestigious as Oscars or the Razzies:

eg:

Best home lab drawing under 50W continuous

Best home lab based in *occupied* primary entertainment area of the house (Lounge and Bedroom subcategories)

Best home lab that the partner has destroyed because they are sick of the noise

etc.

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BT's 'six-month free broadband' offer is a big fat FIB - ads watchdog

Jonathon Desmond
Thumb Up

Re: why is line-rental mandatory?

Well said. Screw flying cars, where's my naked ADSL? Other countries have no issues implementing it......

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Amazon-bashed HMV calls in administrators, seeks buyer

Jonathon Desmond
Stop

Re: Wonder how much tax HMV paid

>Wrong! I for one run a business that in no way seeks minimise it's tax liabilities - although it could.

So:

1) You don't claim operating costs as an expense?

2) When you make a cross border sale within the EU, you write to the Tax Office in the other state offering to pay any differential tax that they would have collected had you been based in their jurisdiction?

3) You pay your employees out of your after-tax profits rather than claiming their wages as a deduction against your profit?

No?

I didn't think so......

That's all minimisation of your tax liability.

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Jonathon Desmond
Stop

Re: Wonder how much tax HMV paid

>"...Only Kerry Packer didn't make any big donations to charity..."

Wrong. Kerry Packer made lots of donations. The NSW Ambulance Service defibs are the one example that everyone knows about - but that aside, he gave regularly to hospitals in and around Sydney for years.

(Note that you may be confused here; the Kerry Packer quote is enclosed in - funnily enough - quotation marks. The bit about donating any extra cash to charity rather than funding the Government was my own suggestion, although I am sure KP had similar sentiments)

If you are going to invoke serial self-promoter Dick Smith why don't you mention his stunt from 2008 when he wrote to the ATO ( in an open letter, which seems to be the only way Dick can say anything ) saying that he intended to "do a Packer" on his tax from then on as he was sick of government waste? Even he seems to agree that it is better to control his excess funds and channel them where they will do some good rather than blindly hand them to the taxman.....

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Jonathon Desmond
WTF?

Re: Wonder how much tax HMV paid

You should look into that. It's well worth getting an accountant to run over your affairs because, on PAYE, if you do that once you get your Tax Code changed permanently (at least, until your situation significantly changes). One set of accountants fees, years of paying lower (read "correct") levels of tax.

Of course if you think it is more moral to give extra money to the Government to spend on bankers, wars, duck houses and moats rather than enriching your own family or (if you don't need it yourself) a deserving charity then good for you.

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Jonathon Desmond

Re: Wonder how much tax HMV paid

As RYE says above, you can always request to increase your tax code if you feel strongly enough about tax minimization being wrong..... In fact, why doesn't everyone do that......

What's that you say? Because they are not morons?

Wait a second......

Oh my god!! We live in a nation of 40 million tax minimizers. Bastards!

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Jonathon Desmond
Flame

Re: Wonder how much tax HMV paid

So... tell us how much extra tax you have voluntarily overpaid for the benefit of the rest of us then?

To paraphrase the late Kerry Packer: "If someone is paying more tax than they are legally required then they need to have their heads read. It's not as if the Government is spending it so wisely we should donate extra".

If you have extra money to give away then give it to a Charity if you want to make a real difference (at least it's more likely to benefit the needy than giving it to Parliament....)

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Register SPB hacks mull chopping off feet

Jonathon Desmond

Use the standard units as internationally agreed....

I think I'm with those who say use the units that are internationally agreed for measurement in that field.

That is:

NM and Knots for nautical measures (two of the few non-SI units of measurement that make perfect sense)

Flight Levels for Civil Aircraft altitudes

SI for everything else.. Even rocketry.... after all space begins at 100km. Anyone else notice that SpaceX announce in SI? No NASA cock-ups for them!

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Microsoft releases JavaScript alternative

Jonathon Desmond
Devil

Re: people with their own definition of language wierd language

Architected. Architected. Architected.

There I said it three times now, try not to choke. And I don't really care what baby Jesus does.

"Designed" doesn't cut it for software. "Design" relates to look and feel these days, hence "Graphic Designer" or "UI Design" and "build" means another thing entirely (besides, I'm sure Anders didn't build this himself).

If you were to show someone a piece of software (I'm assuming from your Nick that you know a bit about this) and say that you designed it they would say "That's very pretty. Who was the architect?". Hence, bad suggestion.

Besides, as others have pointed out - it's a perfectly valid verb. OED. Maybe you need to organize* your bookshelf, move the dictionary to the front....

(* - also valid, deal with that too!)

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Jonathon Desmond
Thumb Up

If Anders has architected this.......

.... then despite what everyone's knee-jerk reaction to MS is, this will probably be brilliant. I will be having a look.

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Apple seeks whopping $2.525bn Samsung patent payout

Jonathon Desmond

Any Trekkies here?

Surely this place abounds with them. Well.... look at any Star Trek episode (especially NextGen or DS9) for examples of rounded corner, rectangular, portable data pads. There are even examples of some in (approximately) a 10" form factor that, from a distance, are tough to distinguish from an iPad or Galaxy 10.1

So does this mean that the prop designers of Star Trek were there first? Surely it doesn't matter if the devices were real or props, as we are talking about design elements here.

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'Maybe we'll just call them 'Surface-like devices'

Jonathon Desmond
FAIL

Re: Hangon - if you're a sysadmin who...

Plainly rubbish! If you are managing a controlled environment then you need to review and approve all the updates - event to your test clients. Fact is, this one was obviously installed without being approved.

What's the point of having tests and test clients if your testing is undocumented, unmanaged and uncontrolled?

What's the point of having test clients if you can't survive without them for couple of hours? They're not test clients if that is the case - just normal clients that you are picking on!

For each batch of updates, you should be raising documentation listing them, linking or detailing the update details, the OS components affected, the expected time of deployment, the tests required to pass in order to approve the updates, the testing window and the (tested!) rollback plan. You should be using software that supports you in this, and your test group should consist of a set of clients built to your current SOE but that you can afford to take offline without affecting day-to-day operations of the organisation.

Once the testing is complete, your SOE documentation should be updated to include the new updates, and your SOE then updated using your preferred methodology once the change has been approved by your CAB.

Even if you don't have all of these controls - and you should if you want to keep your PCI compliance status - I fail to understand why in this case the complainer couldn't just use his desktop management tools to effect a complete and immediate uninstall of Skype. It's not hard!

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Jonathon Desmond
FAIL

Hangon - if you're a sysadmin who...

... "administer(s) several banks that belong to a holding company." and "..had to dispatch techs immediately to remove the software from appx 25 machines first thing this morning"

Then why the hell aren't you in the jobless queue? Anyone responsible for a secure environment should be staging, reviewing and testing their OS updates, not ticking the "automatically download and deploy" option in the GPO.

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iPhone spontaneously combusts on CCTV

Jonathon Desmond
Stop

More oddities:

1) The amazing co-incidence that he was in virtually the exact middle of the frame, in full view of the camera when he does the dancing and throwing routine. If you've ever reviewed CCTV footage, how often does the really interesting stuff happen exactly in the middle of the shot?

2) Where is he going? The door appears to be below the camera?

3) The microphone click of the sort you get when someone physically knocks the camera

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Nokia on 'brink of failure', warns analyst

Jonathon Desmond
Stop

Why not revive the N9?

And its MeeGo OS. It is a great phone, with an OS that had just as much potential as Windows Phone.

If it's that important to hate Android that is.

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Square kilometre array decision delayed again

Jonathon Desmond

Re: So, there's really only one important question isn't there?

No body really actually knows what the Site Advisory Committee said, it's not public. All we have is rumour and speculation - most of which points to the decision being "meh".

I was going on the information in the article to hand. My point was that I have no beef if the SKA is seen as a social development project, but let's be clear and up front about it.

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Jonathon Desmond
WTF?

So, there's really only one important question isn't there?

If one site is scientifically superior, and the other has great development potential:

Is this a scientific project, or a social development project?

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IT urine bandit fired and charged

Jonathon Desmond
Happy

Re: Which is the bigger crime really?

Decent chairs cost upwards of £700 each. Although if this guy pissed on an Aeron it's not really a big deal, just wipe it down with disinfectant!

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Potent proton pulse to BOMBARD EARTH Tuesday morn

Jonathon Desmond
FAIL

yeah, thanks for that. Very useful.....

... Because even your own reference says that "EST" can be one of three different time zones, and doesn't even list "Eastern time". So which EST are you referring to? Why even mention EST, it's not mentioned in the article?

As for the article, what is "Eastern time" anyway? The time in China?

The standard use of GMT/UTC/Zulu removes all ambiguity.

When I was back in Oz I pointed out to the ANZ bank their use of "EST" in their online banking service. Thing was, they kept using "EST" even when the times they were quoting were blatantly daylight (EDT) times. They changed to saying "Melbourne time" which at least removed the ambiguity.

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GiffGaff blames O2 gaffe for mobile outage

Jonathon Desmond
Thumb Up

I have to add my vote of support....

... to GiffGaff here. I think one "problem" is that they seem to be far more transparent than the big networks when it comes to issues like this.

I am fairly certain that another network would have, in this situation, not issued a statement at all, or (if forced to comment) issued a "minor issues, virtually no one is affected at all" type of statement.

Giffgaff seem to put their hand up to every problem - possibly because the community forums are so active and the community can quickly identify patterns to issues, but whatever the reason it is still refreshing as a customer to deal with a (comparatively) honest network.

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Gates: Novell are sore losers, Word trounced WordPerfect

Jonathon Desmond
WTF?

What I don't understand about this is....

... that I was using Wordperfect 5.2 for Windows back in 1992/93 on Windows 3.1/3.11. Well, when I say using I mean cursing and swearing a lot at the endless stream of GPF's. In short, it sucked well before Windows 95 was on the scene.

So, I switched to Word 2.0 then upgraded to 6.0.

By the time of Windows 95 general release nearly everyone had been through 3 years of Wordperfect sucking so badly that they all did the same thing and switched. I was working in the channel at the time and the number of Word crossgrade licenses we sold was staggering.

Odd thing is, other large companies like Lotus and Borland had no issues writing reliable software for 16 bit and (later) 32 bit Windows. Only WordPerfect sticks in my memory as having this issue.

This is like Corel trying to blame Microsoft for Corel Draw 4 being a big stinking pile of shite; I believe the reality is that either the programmers just weren't good enough, testing not through enough or the marketing teams were too dominant. I suspect all three.

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8m health records go walkabout

Jonathon Desmond
FAIL

TrueCrypt? Why go to that much heartache....

Why don't they just use the McAfee end point software that the NHS centrally licensed some years ago? ( I know the agreement has ended, but the organisations still own the licenses! )

TrueCrypt is fine if you want everyone to be an administrator. Oh wait..... that's bad too.

Absolutely NO excuse for an unencrypted laptop though. Someone should be fired.

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Dam Busters dog dubbed 'Digger'

Jonathon Desmond
Happy

I love the...

...irony in the following line from the article:

"N*gger is the name of the dog and that shouldn't be interfered with"

??

Why didn't Lord Fry choose "Negra" instead.... same meaning, no connotations (I know... it's the feminine form....)

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O2 struggles for breath in widespread outages

Jonathon Desmond
Thumb Down

"Intelligent Click"???

And exactly what Psi level do you have to be to devine that address from the ether?

It's not on the home page, nor the support page.

On the support page there is a "Service Status" link - for broadband!

The only way I found to get to the status site was to click "Coverage checker" (but I already know the coverage maps!) and then "Our live network". I'm interested in how that's supposed to be intuitive.

What's wrong with having a "Service Status" link for the mobile network? Ideally on the home page, but at the very least directly on the support page.

I only found out about this because of the GiffGaff posting. Just FB'ed a friend who (as it turns out) had been on the landline to O2 this morning and been told "Must be your phone. Try turning it off and back on"....

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Nominet forgets what the first .uk domain name was

Jonathon Desmond
Unhappy

What about .oz?

Reading these comments has reminded me about the death of ".oz"

And I thought I'd let that pain pass years ago......

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End of Microsoft NHS deal means mass deletions

Jonathon Desmond
Stop

No Refund Entitlement....

.... doesn't anyone read anymore? The T&C's were clear when everyone clicked the "Order" button that you were paying £8.95 (or £17.95 in the earlier days) for media and admin costs only. There could be no doubt that there was no license being granted, and the HUP was mearly an extension of the desktop license agreement CFH signed with Microsoft.

We used to say (in our HUP FAQ) that, because of this, the users had to delete the software and destroy the media when they left our employ or should the agreement ever expire.

Do I expect many of them to comply? No. But the rules were very clear and HUP users are now unlicensed. This is the same conditions for any organisation with a HUP entitlement, it's not unique to the NHS.

Other comments:

1) National Programme applications are now certified for IE 7 and have been since 22 Jan 2010. Granted that was way way overdue, but that is the end of *that* excuse for not upgrading.

2) Terminating the EwA is amazingly short-sighted. Now hundreds of Trusts across the country need to go back to the days of full time license tracking and dedicated license administrators; with the EwA the relatively small number of licenses we had to track were easily managed. Now we have thousands of desktops that may (or may not) require licenses depending on when they were purchased and what for

3) With the end of the EwA we all lose SA. Given the emphasis on encryption and security, Windows 7 with Bitlocker is a shoe-in, and now we all have to buy SA just to keep that capability.

4) I don't know any organisation where the users "managed to install Office 2007" by themselves. There has to be administrative involvement one way or the other - and if your users are administrators you're completely screwed anyway and should be fixing that, not wasting time posting to The Register.

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Queen's Speech slammed by small biz

Jonathon Desmond
WTF?

Standards of Measurement?

"a minimum 2mbps"

Two millibits per second? Sounds about right.

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HDS drive array failure suspected in bank giant's ATM outage

Jonathon Desmond
Thumb Down

Is this the same Barclays that....

.... are cutting IT Staff like crazy and planning on outsourcing the rest? This incident shows that IT is core to their modern business, yet they still want to trim, outsource and lose control over it. Brilliant!

Bet they don't sack whoever was responsible for this bit of well-thought out non-redundancy though.

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Expenses row MPs warned to change cash card PINs

Jonathon Desmond
Stop

DPA Liability?

If the records contain personal details and were digitized (or stored in some kind of retrieval system covered by the DPA) then - under the DPA - don't commons authorities have civil liability to the persons whose personal details were leaked for costs incurred in re-protecting that data?

Unless, of course, they took all reasonable steps to secure the data - in which case a quick trawl of the access logs should reveal which one of the undoubtably very few authorised users exported zillions of records a few months ago.

No, far better to try to involve the Police than draw attention to the insecurity of yet another Government database. After all it's not like they had four years notice that people would want to see this data and therefore it would be well worth securing it.

Oh, hangon......

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Isolated Aussies left really isolated

Jonathon Desmond
Happy

Cause of failure....

... Thames Water???

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HP confesses love for Citrix with mobile thin client

Jonathon Desmond

Re: Here's an idea

Citrix does work on the EEE PC. Used it for the whole of Feb & March with the web-based ICA client and a Three 3G USB modem. Works a treat!

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'PlayStation-deprived' teen admits part in plot to pop parents

Jonathon Desmond
Happy

Re: Where

@Carl:

Glad you know that DC is a state in the USA. I always was taught it was a District....

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Can stun guns and tasers cause death?

Jonathon Desmond

It doesn't claim one electrode!

The article does not claim that a taser has one electrode. It says clearly "...AN electrode..." (my emphasis). This is perfectly correct grammer regardless of how many electrodes there may be, in fact the very next paragraph says "...taser dartS..." (again, my emphasis).

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