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* Posts by dajames

339 posts • joined 20 Mar 2011

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Organic food: Pricey, not particularly healthy, won't save you from cancer

dajames
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Headmaster

Re: Rather like the recent dishwasher tablet adverts

"LESS CHEMICALS!!!!!"

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.

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dajames
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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.

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BlackBerry brings back call, end keys, touchpad to Q20 keyboard cutie

dajames
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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.

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UK citizens to Microsoft: Oi. We WANT ODF as our doc standard

dajames
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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.

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Yes! New company smartphones! ... But I don't WANT one

dajames
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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.

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Someone's snatched my yummy Brit COTTAGE PIE – Viv Reding

dajames
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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).

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Dell reveals 'proof-of-concept' ARM microserver

dajames
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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?

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Friends don't do tech support for friends running Windows XP

dajames
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Windows

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.

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dajames
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Windows

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".

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JavaScript is everywhere. So are we all OK with that?

dajames
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Unhappy

Re: Javascript is the VB6 of the 2010's

... it does not have long term future ...

Oh, I do so hope you are right!

Unfortunately history teaches us to expect that languages that gain the sort of market penetration that Javascript now has will be around for a long time to come -- however good or bad they may be.

Programming languages should, above all else, be easy to read and easy to maintain. This suggests that the language should have a small syntax and a large supporting library. Java and Python (among others) get this about right -- Javascript doesn't.

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Is modern life possible without a smartphone?

dajames
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Boffin

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.

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Sony on the ropes after Moody's downgrade to junk

dajames
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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.

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Apple plans to waggle iNormous 4½-incher in fanbois' faces

dajames
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Holmes

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.

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A BBC-by-subscription 'would be richer', MPs told

dajames
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Facepalm

Oops!

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).

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dajames
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Boffin

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.

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Margaret Hodge, PAC are scaring off new biz: Treasury source

dajames
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Windows

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!

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Samsung profits deflate after mobile division runs out of puff

dajames
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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.

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dajames
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Headmaster

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.

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Developers: Behold the bug NOBODY can fix

dajames
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Coat

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!

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MANIC MINERS: Ten Bitcoin generating machines

dajames
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Boffin

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.

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Microsoft to RIP THE SHEETS off Windows 9 aka 'Threshold' in April

dajames
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Facepalm

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.

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Light, fast ... and pricey: Toshiba's Portégé Z30 – now THIS is an Ultrabook

dajames
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Meh

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?

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Knox vuln is Android not us, says Samsung

dajames
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Boffin

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?

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Faster, more private, easier to read: My 2014 browser wishlist

dajames
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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.

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Dell will AXE up to ONE IN THREE workers in its US & EMEA sales teams

dajames
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Holmes

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.

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Sinclair’s 1984 big shot at business: The QL is 30 years old

dajames
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Pint

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).

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Why 2014 might just be the year of the Google Chromebook

dajames
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Windows

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.

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Anatomy of a 22-year-old X Window bug: Get root with newly uncovered flaw

dajames
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Facepalm

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!

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Dell confirms Chromebook for Blighty

dajames
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Alert

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.

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Acer C720 Chromebook with Haswell battery boosting goodness

dajames
Bronze badge

That keyboard

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 ...

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dajames
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Meh

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).

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IT bods: Windows XP, we WON'T leave you. Migrate? Chuh! As if...

dajames
Bronze badge
Windows

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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Bitcoin cred boosted by $25m cash infusion into Coinbase

dajames
Bronze badge
Boffin

Why it it even allowed?

At best, the process of "mining" bitcoins is a computationally expensive calculation that offers no benefit to man nor beast (apart from possibly gaining a bitcoin for the person doing the mining). This essentially wastes energy. People are buying dedicated hardware that can only be used to perform the sorts of calculations that are used in mining bitcoins, this is a waste of energy and raw materials.

It could be worse, though. Bitcoin mining involves "reverse hash" computations, that is, essentially, using brute-force to find a message that has a particular cryptographic hash. The dedicated ASIC devices designed to accelerate bitcoin mining compute cryptographic hashes very quickly and could be used to find collisions in the hashes of digital signatures. That is: they could be used to find a way to alter the content of a signed message in such a way that the signature remains valid - making the falsification of signatures merely very difficult, rather than computationally infeasible. Criminal uses of such a device are obvious.

If I were a conspiracy theorist I'd suspect that the inventor of Bitcoin was a criminal mastermind who had found a way to persuade others to develop and build custom hardware that he could use to commit digital signature fraud, and I'd wonder how many of those who think they're actively mining bitcoins are actually part of a massive botnet with a particular talent for cracking digital signatures - that'd potentially pay far better than mining bitcoins.

Evil mastermind icon required ...

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Hey Linux newbie: If you've never had a taste, try perfect Petra ... mmm, smells like Mint 16

dajames
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Pint

Re: Been experimenting for years with Linux

With Fedora I can (with much fiddling in display settings) get the video displaying on the TV but I can't for the life of me get sound over HDMI to work!

The usual problem is that you have two sound cards. One driving sound through the audio line out and headphone sockets, and a second one built into the HDMI adaptor. Linux is probaby directing sound to the "normal" audio output rather than the HDMI. If that's the case, you just need to switch ... using something like alsamixer (which may or may not be included in your distro, but should be downloadable from the standard repos).

Then sit down and have a nice beer whlle you listen!

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Beijing leans on Microsoft to maintain Windows XP support

dajames
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Windows

Re: You forgot one thing...

You forgot to justify XP as a "good thing". Familiar, yes. I'm not sure it is "good" any more.

Since it's EOL was announced support for new hardware isn't guaranteed ...

When people talk about XP as "good" they mean one of two things.

a) I want my Windows to look and work like XP, regardless of what's under the covers.

b) XP works for me, and I don't want to have to pay for an upgrade.

If Microsoft were smart, their answer to (a) would simply be to repackage Windows 8 so that it looked and worked exactly like XP, while having all the new goodness (and the nasty DRM) of the new system, without any change in appearance or requirement for the user to learn anything new.

The answer to (b) is probably Linux ... Microsoft's problem is that the answer to (a) will look like Linux as well, if they don't learn that in order to succeed they have to provide what users actually want.

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The only way is Office: UK Parliament to migrate to Microsoft cloud

dajames
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Windows

Re: idiots... what better time to develop a self hosted open source solution...

You seriously expect them to be able to operate an alternative office suite?

I doubt that more than a handful of them are actually competent at using the tools they're allegedly already familiar with, so I can't see them being any less able with any alternative.

It's not as though LibreOffice was staggeringly dissimilar from Microsoft Office, especially Microsoft Office 2003 which is what they've all been using until very recently. I should think the ribbon has proved more of a challenge than switching to LibreOffice would have been.

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dajames
Bronze badge
Holmes

Re: Have we learned nothing....

Why do humans keep ignorant/incompetent people on the government, is something they will never understand...

It keeps them off the streets ... and it's easier than educating them.

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What lies beneath Microsoft's Cloud OS?

dajames
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Paris Hilton

Re: Cloud OS

ChromeOS's sole purpose is to break the requirement for Windows on the endpoint.

No, I'd say ChromeOS's primary purpose was to encourage the user to store all his data in Google's cloud, to be sucked clean and spat back as adverts. Google won't mind at all if it hurts Microsoft too, but as I understand Google's plans for world domination they'll quite happy to use a Microsoft-owned endpoint as something to stand on, on the way.

Paris, because I hear she's not fussy who gives her a leg-up, either.

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dajames
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Windows

Re: Private cloud?

Windows NT went out of support years ago.

Don't be disingenuous. Windows 8 is just as much an NT version as every Microsoft OS on x86 that didn't sit on top of MS-DOS has ever been ... apart from Xenix, that is!

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Bring Your Own Disks: The Synology DS214 network storage box

dajames
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WTF?

Drive sizes?

The review suggests that the maximum drive size these units can take is 2TB, but falls short of actually saying so. I imagine the truth is that the 2TB limit is real because the firmware can only handle drives formatted with an old-style partition table, rather than the newer GPT format.

Now that it's relatively easy to buy drives as large as 4TB (and the cost per byte is lower than with 2TB drives from the same maker) there is a need for NAS hardware that can use them. It's a shame that Synology haven't provided that in this new device.

... and before you say "Why would you need 4TB in a home NAS?" it's because home users are likely to fill their NASes with music and video files, and so probably fill them up faster than most businesses.

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REVEALED: How YOU PAY extra for iPHONES - even if you DON'T HAVE ONE

dajames
Bronze badge
Holmes

Yes, but ...

All the operators should talk and agree NOT to buy any. This way NONE of them will get shafted into making losses ...

The problem is that -- as it says in the article:

The contracts that operators sign with Apple are confidential.

They're actually not allowed to talk to each other, so Apple protects itself from any reasonable market forces. This sort of non-openness is pretty widespread throughout the industry, and never works out in the consumer's favour.

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DEATH-PROOF your old XP netbook: 5 OSes to bring it back to life

dajames
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Alert

Re: MSI Wind U100 here

*and Compiz's Wobbly Windows. I'm a sucker for wobbly windows.

You, sir, are clearly insane ... but I upvoted you anyway!

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dajames
Bronze badge
Facepalm

Maybe so, but ...

I recently re-invigorated our netbook with win8.1, It was running slower and slower on xp so I formatted and but 8.1 on. It now starts and runs much quicker.

Had you chosen to reinstall XP I'm sure you would have seen the same increase in speed. Old Windows installations slow down because they accumulate cruft (and malware) not because the system itself ages.

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New NSA leak reveals invasion of the management consultants

dajames
Bronze badge

Re: How very Dilbertesque!

Communication, to be effective, has to be tailored to the audience and the purpose. In this case, the audience seems to be policy makers and the purpose is to make themselves seem at the same time effective and also in need of more funding. It is rhetoric for the purpose of self- promotion. Big words and dense sentences justify big spends ...

So what you're saying is that It's about impressing politicians who have big budgets at their disposal by using meaningless words that will make them think they're too stupid to understand, and embarrassed to admit that they don't understand, but that will certainly impress them enough to elicit further funding?

So there's a reason that it makes no sense!

The alternative would be that the people writing this stuff think that it does actually mean something, but that would be inconceivable.

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Wintel must welcome Androitel and Chromtel into cosy menage – Intel

dajames
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Windows

Re: Cheap as Chips?

... Look at how much they nobbled the atom platform (Netbooks limited to 2GB RAM)

No, it was Microsoft who nobbled the netbook platform by not allowing Windows 7 Starter Edition (the cheap netbook version) to be licenced for machines capable of supporting more RAM (or having a larger display than 1024x600, etc). Manufacturers wanted the cheap licence for the cheap machines , so they nobbled the support hardware to qualify.

It's true that Atom chips, although they do support a full 4GB of address space, are limited by having rather rudementary memory controllers; Intel had to do that to keep the transistor count and so the power consumption low. I wouldn't call that "nobbling" because there's a technical reason for it (albeit one that could have been avoided in a better-designed chip).

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Ballmer: Microsoft stronger without Bing and Xbox tinkering

dajames
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Windows

Re: any bets on how long EOP will take to bin the good bits?

[Elop] along with the board of directors decided that their strategy at the time for the phone business only.... was a dead end and decided to go the windows route rather than be just another Android phone maker.

You say that like would have been a bad thing!

Nokia had several internal projects to develop their own new OS, and also had Symbian. What they didn't have was a clear idea of which of those OSes to promote above the others and use as the software platform for their phones for the next ten years. The reason for that seems to have been weak management and internal poiltics.

Picking any one of those OSes would have been acceptable, picking the best of them would have been good -- I don't know of anyone who has a Nokia N9 (running MeeGo) that doesn't love it. Elop didn't do either. He spouted a lot of nonsense about "burning" platforms, swept years of hard work into the bin, and sold the whole company out to his former employer.

That's not to say that Windows Phone is actually a bad system -- the phone is one the platform that the tiled GUI makes some kind of sense -- but Nokia, of all people, could have done so much better.

I don't see Nokia going Android as the inevitable alternative to Nokia going Windows, but even it they had gone to Android they'd have done well -- I'd much rather my current Android handset had been made by Nokia than by Samsung because Nokia know how to make hardware.

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Yet ANOTHER IE 0-day hole found: Malware-flingers already using it for drive-by badness

dajames
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Headmaster

Re: Sophisticated zero-day in-memory payload flaw ..

It is a reflexive verb, my program has a bug in it, your program has a flaw, their program is a car crash.

I think you mean "irregular verb", Minister.

We don't much use reflexive forms in English. In some other languages there are verbs that are only used that way; e.g. se coucher in French, which is a bit like having to say "I lie myself down" rather than "I lie down".

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Galaxy is CRAMMED with EARTH-LIKE WORLDS – also ALIENS (probably)

dajames
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Boffin

Re: BOFFINS: BILLIONS OF EARTH-LIKE LIFE-FRIENDLY ALIEN WORLDS IN GALAXY

Also, don't get me started on Itanium; it is NOT in the periodic table of elements.

No, it isn't ... and if it were our cousins across the water would be trying to spell it "Itanum".

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Locked into fixed-term mobile contract with variable prices? Not on our watch – Ofcom

dajames
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Re: Landfill?

At the moment, if you buy a subsidised handset on 1 year contract, at the end of the year, your monthly payment stays the same. So you have 2 options: Carry on paying the same with your 1 year old handset, or take out a new contract, for the same money and have a new handset.

3. Switch to a SIM-only contract for much less money and keep your old phone.

There's a bit more to it than that, though, as a contract will often include an element of warranty and insurance for the phone for the initial contract period -- guaranteed replacement within 24 hours can be useful -- and some users will upgrade their phones as soon as the old contract exipres to keep that.

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New iPad mini gobbles Retina display, 64-bit brain, puts on little weight

dajames
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Not RAM

Where do you buy RAM that is small enough to fit in an iPad for comparison?

The various "capacities" of iPad differ in the amount of flash storage they have. The RAM is apparently the same in each model (at least, Apple's own blurb doesn't make a distinction).

So, compare the prices of SD cards. The flash fitted in the iPads probably operates a little faster because it doesn't have to go through the SD card i/o interface but the costs should be comparable.

I see that from NewEgg a 16GB (Kingston Class 10 (fast)) SD card is only around US$ 15 and Apple charge six times as much by making the 32GB pad US$ 100 more than the 16GB. Here in the UK it's about £10 for a 16GB card and the difference in iPad prices is £10, so Apple are marking up by more over here.

A 128GB SD card card costs a little shy of $US 100 (or £70), so the Apple mark-up is less vicious on the higher capcity iPads.

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