357 posts • joined 20 Mar 2011
Not so ...
... Latin - a subject I never studied at all being just a poor plebian
The vast majority of the population of the Roman Empire was made up of foreigners, slaves, or freedmen. To be one of the plebes -- the lowest rank of actual citizens -- you would almost certainly have been Roman, so your native language would very likely have been Latin.
... or perhaps you were just being ironical?
Re: Poor Bug Fixing
The first law of thermodynamics says you can't win.
The second law says you can't break even.
And the third says you can't quit the game.
I've always heard that stated as:
1. You can't win, you can only break even.
2. You can only break even by quitting the game.
3. You can't quit the game.
(where quitting the game equates to reaching absolute zero)
Re: Poor Bug Fixing
... the one that says all complex programs evolve to the point where they can read mail?
So, the NSA is a really complex program? I suppose that figures ... they certainly seem to give complexes to a lot of other folk.
Where's that guy who likes testing phones with high-velocity rounds when there's a real challenge for him?
Re: Eglish mono-speakers ruining the world for the rest of us
In Montreal ... a Japanese restaurant ... The name of the restaurant ...: Fukyu.
There used to be an "Eastern Fusion" restaurant in Battersea named Ho Lee Fook. I don't recall any complaints ...
Re: Trevor, could we have that in PDF ?
But you know management types, if it's not in a PDF, it's not serious.
My! Management have come on a long way ... time was that it took a PowerPoint presentation to convince them that something was serious.
Re: Renewable is OK but...
Not when you go destroying some VERY nice parts of nature to do so.
I think perhaps we can do without "nice" if the alternative is inexpensive and emmission-free electricity for the foreseeable future. What we can possibly NOT do without is the loss of biodiversity in the areas that would be submerged, the loss of CO2-absorbing forest, and the human impact.
As some others have pointed out, though, the decision here seems to have been motivated more by political concerns than environmental ones.
Re: @frank ly (was: An interesting project)
You can find your world's largest LAN at 127.0.0.1
I think you'll find ::1 is larger ... if you can find it at all ...
Re: Ansible etc
When we figure how to make Ansibles the IPV6 space isn't big enough.
It's enough to give a /64 to every inhabitant of around 2,500 million planets with a population of similar size to our own ... if there turn out to be many more planets than that within range of an Ansible we may have to limit them to, say, a /32 each.
Probably enough to be going on with (he said, complacently).
There's a difference ...
... between teaching kids about programming and teaching kids to program.
It's clearly stupid to try to teach all kids to be programmers -- there isn't time within the school day, many won't be interested, and many will be rubbish at it -- but teaching them about programming is another matter. It'll give them some idea as to what goes on inside the beige box, it'll give them some idea of the sorts of skills one has to have to be good as a programmer, it'll give them some idea just how difficult programming is to do right. With luck it will inspire some of them to look further and take the subject up in more depth ... and it may instill just a little bit of respect in others for those geeks who can do this hard stuff.
I remember that when I was at school, some 40-odd years ago, there was just one chapter in the maths textbook that dealt with computing. I think we covered it in two lessons and had two pieces of homework from it: one was to write a flowchart for solving some simple problem and the other was to write a noddy program for some very simple problem in the pseudo-assembler code for a hypothertical and very simplistic computer. That was a big eye-opener -- I knew essentially nothing about computers before that -- and I'd have loved to study it in more depth, then, but in those days there was no opportunity to do so.
Computing is so much more a part of our lives now than it was then that it's more important than ever to give at least a basic inkling of what it's about to every child, and to provide the opportunity to study it in more depth for those who want to (though, today, the internet provides that to a large extent). I certainly think that a few introductory lessons to set the scene are an essential part of anybody's schooling.
Teaching every kid to be a programmer, though? Nah, there's more to education than that.
... the far more serious crime, of letting one of the geeks out in public, with a copy of Powerpoint.
The guy was lecturing about Maven ... a non-geek couldn't have done it ... and a non-geek wouldn't have attended.
(... but I see what you did there.)
Kiss of death
Blackberry is dying. Gartner already advised everyone to exit.
If Blackberry is dying then it is largely because asshats like Gartner have been telling everyone to get out.
People really should learn to judge the value of a product on its technical merits, not soundbytes from idiots.
The tank used for the illustration ...
Looks to me like an ISU-122. Not technically a tank, but a self-propelled gun ... but certainly Russian.
(This is not the first time that I've lamented that El Reg doesn't provide larger versions of the thumbnail images used in its lists of articles.)
However, like the statistical analysis in the article, it did play a part in reducing German tank numbers, so it isn't entirely irrelevant to the subject at hand.
Re: Of course you can remove, but why?
The question is why you'd do it. ... files you may have been able to view with the EME [would] suddenly become unviewable.
Isn't that exactly the point? Some people want to take a stand against DRM by not accessing any DRM-protected content -- not even by mistake.
If Firefox has an optional DRM module then users will be able to make the decision to disable it and be comfortable that they are not implicitly blessing the user of DRM by unknowingly accessing protected content ... and if at some later date they determine that they are missing out on something they need to see they can re-enable the DRM. This sounds like a reasonable compromise.
Re: Free software in "trying to make money" shocker
Mozilla is a company who wants to make money, not some charitable foundation trying to make the world a better place.
Mozilla is a confusing beast, though. The Mozilla Foundation is a not-for-profit body (which just may be trying to make the world a better place) but its subsidiary the Mozilla Corporation is a company that wants to make money. The two are different parts of the strange Jekyll-and-Hyde creature that has emerged from the ashes of Netscape -- their aims and ideals may not be the same
What "just who we are at Mozilla" doesn't tell us is whether Mr. Nightingale works for the Foundation or the Corporation.
Maybe it's the locking?
I rather suspect that the lukewarm reception of the S5 is due in part to customers avoiding the Samsung brand because of their region-locking policy for SIM-free phones, as previously reported in El Reg.
It's not just that potential customers rebel against a manufacturer that seeks to control the use of its products after the moment of sale, but also that Samsung seem incapable of implementing the feature in a way that works the way they claim it does -- which doesn't bode well for any other aspect of its software.
Waterproofing is a good feature -- who hasn't had to take a call in the rain, at some point -- but other manufacturers offer that, too.
Re: Anyone remember...
Says the person that doesn't know it's Blu-Ray, not Blue Ray...
Well, nearly right ... it's actually Blu-ray (with a small 'r') if you really want to be a pedant.
(Previously posted with the wrong URL (Ooops!) and I didn't notice in time to use the very splendid and worthwhile "Edit" facility.)
Re: Rather like the recent dishwasher tablet adverts
So if there's less chemicals, and seeing as all substances* are elementary chemicals or chemical compounds of one name or another, then they must be selling smaller dishwasher tablets.
I must admit that I do hate the phrase "less chemicals", though it is not wrong; and I agree that the use of the word "less" (rather than fewer) does imply that the same number of substances are present, but in smaller quantities overall.
Even the more grammatically correct "fewer chemicals" just means "we've removed some ingredients so there's higher amounts of others".
"fewer chemicals" is not "more grammatically correct" ... it just means something different. In this case it would mean that fewer chemical substances were used (as you suggest) and would say nothing at all about the quantities of any of them.
You seem to understand the meanings, so I can't think why you consider that one usage is less correct and the other more so.
Re: Guineapigs can't be wrong
A friend of mine notices that her guinea pigs refuse standard supermarket vegetables but eat locally produced and organic vegetables (locally is not necessarily organic) heartily.
Her supposition is that the long storage of supermarket fruit and veg is reducing the actual nutritional content.
It seems to me more likely that the guinea pigs simply prefer their food to be fresh, than that they have any innate understanding of nutritional values. Supermarket food tends to have been sitting around (sometimes sealed in a bag of nitrogen to discourage it from going bad) for some time, regardless of its original organic credentials.
Re: @James 51
I can't see the point of keeping the other buttons.
Every phone should have one hardware button that's always available and that immediately disconnects any call that's in progress or about to be made.
If you don't see the point you've obviously never accidentally dialled your boss's home number at 3am.
Re: I've no preference
... the tech community is predominantly pro open. This is good, but it doesn't mean it's a fair representation of "citizens" of which I presume most, like me, couldn't particularly give a damn.
Most "citizens" want easy access government data. They couldn't give a damn how that is achieved, but they will scream blue murder if they don't get it.
Different users, using a different devices, will be using a variety of different software packages from different suppliers -- some open and some not. The use of an open data format ensures that all the suppliers are free and able to provide access within their software to the government data.
Shout that from the rooftops!
Battery life matters more than manufacturers are willing to admit, while style and "thickness" don't matter nearly so much as they think.
I think most phone users would agree, but the twits that write about phones in shiny print-magazines are always banging on about style and thickness, so that's what catches the attention of the marketing people at the phone manufacturers.
I personally think we'd have a richer marketplace and more choice were it not for the fact that every new technology -- such as the Palm Pre range (before HP gobbled it up) and the new Blackberries -- has been dissed into oblivion by hasty and ill-informed comments dwelling more on style than substance from the shiny-comic writers before being given a fair chance in the marketplace.
Re: Good thing she didn't get it back to Brussels
They'd have analysed it ...
... and then banned it for not being made of bricks and covered with genuine thatch (cheese optional).
Not the only ones ...
Won't be long before Intel leans on Dell to drop it.
I can't see that this would piss Intel off very much more than the fact that all HP's baby servers (which are actually branded "Microserver") use AMD CPUs. OK, the Athlon and Turion Neo chips used by HP are still x86 chips ... but they're not Intel, any more than an ARM chip is.
Competition is generally a good thing. Intel may lean, but will Dell waver?
Re: Sound reliable advice. Oh wait...
"If your mates want an upgrade, get 'em to buy a new PC says Microsoft..."
... which definitely doesn't get a cut of the price of every new PC sold. So entirely disinterested then.
Microsoft are just admitting that their newest OSes won't run very nicely on old hardware from the beginning of the XP era.
Microsoft licenses Windows relatively cheaply to mass-market OEMs, and so makes less money on each of these licences than on an end-user upgrade licence -- and if someone buys a new PC rather than upgrading they might buy a Mac or a Chromebook instead of a Windows box -- so Microsoft are certainly not giving this advice to maximize their chances of profit.
Well ... they may think they are, but if so they haven't thought it through very well.
Re: But a big trusted partner like Microsoft....
Windows XP is now 13 years old and has seen at least three generations of successors (Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1) ...
I think most people would rate two of those as "failureors" rather than "successors".
... it does not have long term future ...
Oh, I do so hope you are right!
Re: Sometimes, a telephone is just a telephone.
Ericsson GH198 ... pulled GSM signal from 30 miles distance with ease.
That's quite a neat trick as the range of GSM transmissions is generally limited to 35km (~21miles) by timing considerations. It's possible to double that, but it requires special equipment.
Re: Go to jail
The rootkit is not over. Maybe you missed later news that Sony helped pass laws in Japan to throw people in jail for downloading their music.
That does seem somewhat draconian -- copyright infringement is a civil and not a criminal offence, so imprisonment should not be used as a penalty -- but at least it only punishes the guilty; unlike the rootkit, which compromised the privacy and security of everyone on whose PC it was installed.
I'm surprised that Sony weren't prosecuted unde the Computer Misuse Act, in the UK, for the rootkit thing. Installing malicious software on someone else's computer without their permission is a criminal offence.
Re: Are you crazy ?
Every 8 GB memory costs about $100 from Apple ...
From Apple, yes. The cost to Apple is much less. They charge the customer much more than it costs them in order to make what they call a "profit".
It would cost them very little extra (compared with the total price of an iPhone) to make 64GB rather than 16GB the standard capacity of the entry-level phone, but doing so would make it impossible for them to make massive profits on the top-end phones while keeping the low-end phones cheap enough for normal mortals.
It would also cost them very little in manufacturing terms to provide a micro-SDXC card slot, as many -- though sadly not all -- other manufacturers do, though this woud also make it hard for them to sell large-capacity phones at inflated prices.
Personally, I'll happily pay the licence fee to fund Radio 3 and BBC4 (not Radio 4) ...
Replying to myself (not that that's a novelty) because it's too late to edit.
Sorry, that makes it look as though I'm dissing Radio 4, which wasn't my intention. I'm very happy for Radio 4 -- as well as other BBC endeavours -- to be funded from the licence fee even though I personally hardly ever listen to it ... but it's Radio 3 and BBC4 television that I'd be happy to pay for if I had to subscribe to each channel separately (which, I hope, nobody is suggesting).
Re: Here comes the TV & Internet Licence fee..
.... one of my biggest annoyances with the BBC is the technology exists to encrypt the channel and deliver it to just those who pay for it. The big digital switch over was the perfect time to incorporate this technology.
You're advocating DRM on broadcast TV.
DRM is the name given to the application of technlogy to the task of making things difficult for people who have paid for them, in the vain hope of making things even more difficult for those who have not.
It doesn't work. Those who really want to will always get around the protection and make unprotected copies. Those who do pay for the content will find that their viewing experience is less convenient and more restrictive that the system provided under a licence fee (you can't watch that upstairs, because it's encrypted and only the downstairs TV has a card slot; you can't record this channel because the video recorder doesn't understand encrypted channels; yes, I did record that for you on my special, expensive, DRM-enabled video recorder, but it was only available for a week and the recorder erased automatically on Tuesday).
The licence fee is BY FAR the fairest and most convenient means of collecting revenue for the broadcast media, and I'd happily pay it ten times over if I could have all forms of DRM banished from the planet forever.
I'm not suggesting that piracy is acceptable -- far from it -- just that there are other ways of preventing it, some of which might actually work.
Instead they would rather make out people who choose not to watch broadcast TV are criminals.
Now, I agree that the tactics used against those who genuinely do not watch broadcast television are somewhat tactless and heavy-handed, at times. You have to understand, though, that the BBC believes that the work it does is fantastic and that nobody in their right mind would eschew it. I'm not saying that I agree with them, but I do see how it must be difficult for them to believe that some people just don't want to watch TV.
Personally, I'll happily pay the licence fee to fund Radio 3 and BBC4 (not Radio 4) ... and if that means I'm allowed to watch repeats of Star Trak on Pick as well ... that's a bonus!
Icon: Man who watches too much television.
Re: How about...
...who decides how much Starbucks UK pays to use the Starbucks name?
I would have thought that Starbucks UK should be demanding compensation from the parent company for having to trade under a name that is synonymous around the world with watery, bitter, unpleasant beveages bearing little or no resemblance to coffee!
Jus de chaussette as the Belgians call it.
The guy in the icon probably enjoys his drink more!
Re: Samsung Board Room
... if I were to use Android, the Google Nexus handsets and the new Moto G stand out as the best option.
Sure. They're great handsets.
However, one of the reasons that Samsung are doing so well selling Android handsets is that they haven't gone down the route of building their top-end devices without expandable memory or a user-replaceable battery. Neither the Moto G nor any of the Nexus devices offers those.
HTC used to be a contender, they make some great handsets -- HTC were the Android handset of choice for most people before Samsung acquired that crown -- but HTC stopped supporting expandable storage and replaceable batteries. That's as clear an indication as any that these things are important to a significant number of users.
Re: Peak Samsung anyone?
It is a phenomena with Apple ...
[sigh] It's all Greek to you, isn't it SuccessCase?
One phenomenon, two or more phenomena.
Technically white spaces are significant in any and all programming language I've met.
Perhaps you've never met Algol68? I think I'm right in saying that no whitespace (not spaces, not tabs, not newlines) is significant in Algol68 sourcecode unless it is within a quoted string or character literal or a format literal.
Mine's the one with the Revised Report in the pocket ... I'll learn to read it some day!
Re: Re. bitcoin
They brute-force SHA256. That's all they do. That's all they can do. It's how they are wired. Useless for anything else. With some software hackery you might be able to make them brute-force SHA256 in a slightly different manner and use them for password cracking [snip] but that's the most you an possibly hope for.
How about brute-forcing digital signatures based on SHA-256 hashes?
That is: trial-and-error discovery of subtly different messages that have the same hash -- and so signature -- as legitimately signed messges. If you could (say) change the recipient of a payment instruction and find different values for (say) the amount and date that resulted in the modified instruction having the same hash as the original the world would be your mollusc.
Re: It's part of a bigger picture
Perhaps the rest of the world could start (accurately) calling them British imperial units, to help the USA readjust?
They're not, though, are they? Many of the US "Imperial" units are different from the units used in The Empire.
They have the 2000lb US Ton (aka "Short Ton") which is different from the 2240 lb British Imperial Ton (aka "Long Ton").
They have the 16 fl oz US pint which is different from the 20 fl oz Imperial Pint. I've actually heard an American say "Oh, wait, you Brits use a five-quart gallon"!
The real irony here is that the US has officially been adopting the metric system for about the last 40 years ... i just hasn't got very far in practice.
You're right about the screen!
... and why does it have to be 16x9? A fine shape for TVs and DVD players (says the man with the 16x10 TV) but not tall enough for most PC uses (apart from watching TV and DVDs, and some spreadsheets I suppose).
Can't we have 1680x1050 as a minimum, 1900x1200 for mid-range (think of it as Full HD with some extra space at the bottom for subtitles), and 2560x1600 for serious work?
I mean, some 10" tablets have 2560x1600. It's surely not too much to ask to have the same on a larger panel? The MacBookPro does it, and this Tosh costs almost as much. Maybe the crapy intel GPU can't cope?
Make up your mind!
So, we read that “This research did not identify a flaw or bug in Samsung KNOX or Android" and that "... it demonstrated a classic Man in the Middle (MitM) attack ... ", and yet below that we read that "Samsung claims that it collaborated with Google to confirm that the issue is an Android vulnerability."
So, it's not a bug in Android, but it is an Android vulnerability? You're saying Android is designed to work that way, or what?
If what you're trying to say is that it is possible to install a proxy on Android that passes a bogus certificate to KNOX so that KNOX sets up what it thinks is a secure environment but the proxy can actually act as MitM and access the encrypted data then you should say so ... and that would seem to be a fault in KNOX, which ought to have its own private trusted key store with which to validate the VPN certificate(s) it uses ... but perhaps I'm reading too much between the lines?
Re: My personal gripe
Yes! What he said:
... I find it really frustrating that the thing I want to click on is rendered first (rightly) but then I waste another 2 seconds of my life chasing the sodding thing round the screen with the mouse trying to click on it ...
I find it SO frustrating -- especially on my phone -- that I tap the bookmark for the home page of some site I want to visit and while the page is still loading I see a link I want to tap ... I poke at it with my finger and IT MOVES AWAY and I end up inadvertently clicking the wrong link entirely, so I have to hit 'Back' and start all over again.
Head beating wall icon required.
Dell have always done this.
When they want to increase profits they cut down on sales and support staff, which lets them get rid of their worst employees and works fine until they start to get bad reviews for support (probably because all the support engineers are spending all their time helping out in sales).
When the bad reviews start to get embarrassing they recruit (being careful whom they take back).
It goes in cycles, and always has. Nothing new here.
The dongle ...
I met Tony Tebby sometime early in 1985, and he led me to believe then that the reason for the dongle was a cock-up at Sinclair. He told me that he'd ben asked whether QDOS was ready for manufacturing and had said that it was, but later discovered that someone had sent a set of EPROMs that contained an old, incomplete, version as masters for ROM production.
Having a new set of ROMs made would have delayed the release, so the "dongle" mechanism was used to replace the ROM code with sufficiently working code to get the thing to market.
My QL is languishing in the attic somewhere (with a dead keyboard) but by chance I have the dongle here (I was supposed to return it when I returned the QL to have its ROMs upgraded, but I "forgot") ... it contains a single 27128 (128kbit) EPROM so it can't have replaced the whole ROM image.
Beer for the whole QL team because, for the money, it was a fantastic piece of kit at the time (even the microdrives weren't the total disaster I expected).
Re: It was Intel wot did it
The main cause was Intel because they limited memory and screen size which could be used with their low margin Atom chip ...
It was Microsoft. In order to encourage OEMs to supply Windows rather than Linux on their netbooks they first offered cheap licences for XP for netbooks only (because Vista wouldn't fit) and later introduced a special cut-price edition of Windows 7 called "Starter" for netbooks only. In order to stop OEMs using the cheap "Starter" edition on bigger laptops they tied the licence to certain hardware restrictions, including a maximum of 2GB of RAM and a maximim display resolution of 1024x600.
OEMs made boards that were limited to qualify for the cheap "Starter" licence. The actual chips could all do more.
That's why netbooks in the XP era often had 1366x768 screens and some could take 4GB of RAM. Lots of manufacturers -- including Acer, Asus, Dell, HP and Lenovo -- seemed happy enough selling those so were presumably able to do so profitably. When Windows 7 Starter models appeared they were no cheaper but had downgraded specs to meet the licensing requirement.
Microsoft killed the netbook, not Intel.
The irony is that I don't think they meant to; they just didn't understand the market well enough. They would have liked everyone to have a Windows netbook AND a Windows laptop, but they made netbooks too unappealing and suddenly found that what everyone really wanted was a Windows laptop and an iPad.
Re: smiles for the 'goto'
There are occasions where it produces more readable, and sometimes more efficient, code than trying to do a bunch of conditionals to achieve the same thing.
More readable I doubt. More efficient I grant you, but the difference is seldom significant. The big trouble with GOTOs is that they reduce robustness and maintainability -- it's all too easy to accidentally skip past some vital clean-up code and introduce BUGS.
Give me stuctured exception-handling, any day!
Re: a token offering meant to be ugly?
"like their hidden overpriced Linux laptops,"
There aren't any for the UK market from Dell.
That's right, they're not hidden any more. There are two models of the XPS 13 (differing only in the speed of the installed Haswell Core i7 CPU) quite easily findable from the home page (somewhat to my astonishment).
They're expensive because they're ultrabook-type devices with 1080pscreens and 256GB SSD drives. You pay a little less for an XPS 13 with Windows 8, but it has only a Core i5, and 128GB SSD.
For once Dell seem to be doing this almost right.
Apart from the search/CAPS thing, I mean.
The picture on the second page shows the left-shift key apparently sharing real-estate with the backslash/pipe key ... which looks really odd when all the other keys seem to be nicely spaced out. What's that all about? How is it to type on (particlarly when using left-shift and/or backslash)?
It would have been nice to see a picture of the whole keyboard showing the layout. Are any of the other keys squeezed together like that?
Question mark icon needed ...
Re: Chromebooks do the job....
4) 720p res screen would be nice
Eh? 1366x768 is 720p (plus a bit) ... or did you mean 1080p?
Yes, 1080p would be nice, but there is a trade-off ... the more pixels you dsplay the more GPU grunt you need to update them all at an acceptable rate, and so the more battery life you consume just driving the screen.
On a device like this -- given the screen size, the price, and the intended uses -- it doesn't seem unreasonable to sacrifice a spot of resolution to gain battery life.
Also, Chromebooks owe a good part of their success to the fact that thay're a lot cheaper than (say) a Retina iPad, and that price point is achieved in part by limiting the resolution. The Chromebook Pixel has the resolution, If you have £1k+ to spend, but for that sort of money you might prefer a 13" Retina MacBook Pro (which is only 300g heavier).
Re: Any movement so far in migration has been to Windows 7 rather than 8 or 8.1
... and because I actually prefer the straight edged windows rather than the curvy XP, Vista and Win 7 type.
That's no reason! XP, Vista, and Win7 all have a "Classic" theme that makes them look almost as nice as Win2k.
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