375 posts • joined 20 Mar 2011
All or nothing
"Also of the binary blob that Google wants people to implement? Why not have that in open source format?"
Security for one, exposing the authentication systems contained within might put customers at risk perhaps.
Not a valid reason. "Security through Obscurity" is no security at all.
Also (and this is more likely) the DRM systems for apps and music/video content, compromising that would negatively affect their relationship with rights holders thus making it harder to licence content for streaming/download.
Yes, that is a bit more likely. Any DRM in a software-only system is itself no better than security by obscurity -- DRM just doesn't work -- but the copyright holders are grasping at straws.
I suspect that the real reason why Google wouldn't want to Open Source their blob is that it would make it easier for OEMs to pick and choose which bits they bundled. The blob is indivisible (and terms won't allow reverse engineering it)
Re: I don't get Britain these days
I reckon if Teresa May ...
It's quite instructive to look at
and then (but not while at work) at
I wonder whether you can spot the difference?
Kies? Does anyone actually use that?
... as for that unblievably kludged mess of garbage they call "Kies", the less said the better ...
The only thing to be said for Kies, as far as I can see, is that it's very slightly less unpleasant to use than iTunes on a PC. Fortunately you can use a Samsung phone without ever having to touch Kies, and once I discovered that I got rid of it (Kies, not the phone) as quickly as possible!
These things need to be run by banks, not by mobile operators, and not by equipment manufacturers.
It's not that we trust banks any more than we trust the others, just that the banks already have our identities and our money and we're not going to be losing any more privacy or suffering any more risk by using a payment system they operate.
I do think a single bonk should not be regarded as sufficient authorisation to make a payment, though, even for trivial amounts. I'd like to see a PIN or a biometric required as a secon factor in all cases. Anything less will only encourage misuse.
Logic dictates ...
"It is a physical impossibility to do it without us knowing . . ."
Fair enough - no argument there, but that hardly proves it didn't happen, only that you weren't ignorant of it if it did.
No, no ... if it's a physical impossibility to do it without their knowing then either it wasn't done, or it was done and they know about it but aren't telling ... but they could be wrong about the physical impossibility bit.
So, actually, all this tells us precisely nothing.
Re: And I say there screwed by Symbian
... the full C++ extension semantics ...
... C++ exception semantics ...
(that's what I get for posting late at night).
Re: And I say there screwed by Symbian
A bit harsh. At the time EPOC32 was conceived, they had no choice but to use some kind of Embedded C++.
They had choices ...
Psion's previous OS attempt was SIBO, the OS of the Series 3 series, in which they had had great success interfacing to their ROM code using the TopSpeed C compiler, which supported pragmas that allowed them to specify the passing of function arguments in particular registers, ready for the ROM call. This led to very efficient calls into the ROM from C.
When they came to write EPOC they tried the same game, but this time they specified that the ROM entry points should have the same ABI as the g++ of the day, to make it easy and efficient to call into the ROM from C++. That would have worked well if the g++ ABI had not changed, but the 9.1 binary break -- when the ABI was changed to enable stack cleanup after an exception -- destroyed that easy compatibility between the compiler ABI and the ROM..
Psion must have seen that coming -- they must have realized that the g++ they were working with could not be updated to support the full C++ extension semantics without an ABI change. It appears that it was more important to them to get something working, albeit with a bodged error-handling mechanism, than to get support for development on their platform using a standard language. As C++ moved forward they were left behind with a ROM that could only be interfaced with by an obsolete toolchain, and they lost the support and sympathy of developers. That was their tragedy.
Re: Short warranty for Archive drive?
Sounds odd giving a 3 year warranty for a drive aimed at archiving. If they sold an archive drive with a 10+ year warranty, that'd be more like it.
You can get optical media with a 100-year warranty ... for all the good that does. If you find the disk isn't readable after 99 years they're hardly going to hop into the Tardis and go back and make another copy!
The point of a warranty in these cases is to give you some feeling for the manufacturer's confidence (or their insurers' confidence) in the longevity of the product. The fact that hard drives are available with 5-year warranties doesn't encourage me to choose a drive with only a 3-year warranty for long-term storage.
I'd also love to know why people are downvoting me ...
I didn't downvote you, but had I done so it would have been because you're going on about NFC as though it was something to get excited about.
If I want to buy a coffee I'll dig into my pocket for some small change rather than waving several hundred pounds-worth of phone around for all to see, thanks all the same.
Re: um... no
Then they clone your card ...
While it's easy enough to clone a magstripe card, a chip card is another matter.
Re: Personally ...
If you are an author you don't need to care about layout - that's what you have publishers, editors and cover designers for.
It's like saying a composer should use a mixing desk because they need to know what level of compression will be used when they music is played on Radio3.
No, it's more like saying that a composer should not compose at the piano because he's there to write the music not to play it.
It overlooks the fact that while some composers may be happy to write straight to manuscript paper without playing or hearing the work as they go, others will want to play passages through, listen to them, and maybe solicit the opinions of their friends and families; and that some composers go on to perform their works in public themselves.
Just as some writers write only text that is later edited, laid out, and published in house style by a publisher while others want to see and review their text laid out (not necessarily in its final form) and ohers again may be publishing their own work and have to perform the tasks of writer, editor, and typesetter themselves.
There's more than one way skin a cat!
No animals were harmed in the production of this comment.
Are you sure?
Three falls back to "Tmobile" on 2G ...
Three certainly used to use 2G fallback on another network -- I believe it was Orange, not T-Mob -- but I'm led to understand that Three are now sufficiently confident of their own network coverage that there is no longer significant (if any) use made of this facility.
I have a Chromebook -- an Acer C720 -- and it is a very nice little browsing machine. I bought it knowing that I could turn it into a sub-£200 linux machine if I didn't like ChromeOS, but I haven't felt the need to do that yet (I have another laptop running Linux when I need it).
It'd be my lightweight PC for taking on holiday if it had some serious storage. I use my laptop to back up the photos from my digital camera and RAW images take a lot of space. It's a pity the Chromebook didn't come with (say) 128GB for that ...
... Debian stopped carrying it in favor of their spinoff called IceApe.
Iceape isn't a "spinoff" ... it's Seamonkey with Mozilla's (trademarked) branding removed.
Re: Another reason
The browser choice option should have meant when selecting to use a browser that's not IE, that all the working components of IE are permanently removed from the system.
Yes, absolutely. I'm sure what the EU really wanted to demand was that it should be possible to remove IE completely from Windows and that all Windows's internal web communications (for things like Windows Update) should be made to work using third-party browsers; not simply that Microsoft should make it easy for users to install a third-party browser in addition to IE on a freshly-installed Windows system.
I'm equally sure that the reason they stopped short of that was that Microsoft (once again) argued that their own browser's code was so intimately embedded in the core of Windows itself that it could not be extracted without surgery from which the patient might not recover. (MS may also have felt that third-party browsers might be insufficiently bug-compatible with their own browser's HTML and JS implementations or their own websites' reliance on ActiveX.)
I can't help feeling that the answer to that should have been that if Windows was so poorly coded that the internal browser logic couldn't be removed without breaking it then perhaps it didn't deserve to live.
Or as Arthur Ransome put it:
BETTER DROWNED THAN DUFFERS IF NOT DUFFERS WONT DROWN.
This is silly.
If the virus code is capable of writing registry entries with non-ASCII keys -- and of getting Windows to access these keys -- to effect an infection then it must also be possible for anti-virus code to look for these keys (or any suspicious keys in critical places) and disable them.
If regedit can't access these keys then that's probably just a limitation of regedit's GUI.
As with any new virus, the anti-virus products will have to play catch-up until a working remedy can be made available, but the fact that the infection here uses the registry rather than normal files changes nothing.
Many current malware scanners already scan the registry for entries that identify spyware and andware, so this is nothing new.
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).
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