* Posts by Simon 15

20 posts • joined 3 May 2011

'Bitcoin creator' Craig Yeah Wright in meltdown

Simon 15

Re: Of course

He's not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy.... Clearly has psychological issues too.

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Wasps force two passenger jets into emergency landings

Simon 15

Re: I'm torn...

Either that or they prove that if god (assuming christian) does exist he really just isn't *that* nice.... The genocide of the flood seems to support this supposition. I'm not sure how an all knowing being can keep making so many serious mistakes but then again he does work in mysterious ways!

Our fear of spiders seems to be irrational, they catch insects that we usually consider pests. I think people are really just jealous that they have so many legs.

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Simon 15

Re: I'm torn...

Either that or they prove that if god (assuming christian) does exist he really just isn't *that* nice.... The genocide of the flood seems to support this supposition. I'm not sure how an all knowing being can keep making so many serious mistakes but then again he does work in mysterious ways!

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Raspberry Pi 3 to sport Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE – first photos emerge

Simon 15

Good luck trying to get one!

If it's anything like the Pi Zero then you'll not be able to get hold of one for at least six months after it's released.. Don't believe me? Have a look, bet you can't find a single zero for sale from an authorised partner. Since the original Raspberry Pi the foundation have repeatedly failed to predict the level of demand for their product and then to adjust manufacturing output accordingly. I predict they'll make exactly the same blunder here.

I'm not criticising the extremely noble aims of the foundation but they really do need to get someone on board who understands business. I'm not sure why they are so hung up about getting the boards produced in the UK when the key thing to ensure is that demand can be met and customers (including schools) can actually purchase your product! This isn't just good business sense, it's good common sense...

So here's my prediction: They release the product, it sells out very quickly and they claim they were "surprised" by the level of demand. Then rather than increasing production capability they insist on producing the product at the same single plant in the UK who clearly can't keep up. Six months later it'll still be impossible to get hold of one without paying twice the official price from an ebay scalper. Any fair criticism posted on their forums will be deleted.

Haters going to hate, but let's see what happens....

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Reminder: iPhones commit suicide if you repair them on the cheap

Simon 15

Re: Hardly a surprise

But the thing is that you are free to do all of these things if you so wish as your property should be yours to do with as you please.

For example when I change the oil filter on my car I'll use the cheapest 'decent' brand I can find. It might not be the same brand as the one I'm replacing but it does the job as they are all built to a minimum specification. The car is my property and it's my decision to do what I like with it, heck I could even use cheap crappy filters from China if I wanted to. It would be a poor decision but it would be *my* decision and I'd be responsible for the consequences when the engine inevitably overheats. What would be unacceptable to me is if the car would completely refuse to start unless I used a specific filter dictated by the manufacturer or, even worse the very act of changing the filter myself caused the car to initiate a self-destruct routine and exploded on the driveway this depriving me of its use.

To me it seems that Apple are once again screwing their customers over. It's bad enough that the product is sold at such a markup to begin with (I'll ignore the child labour) but if you dare to use non-authorised parts then they'll destroy your device under the guise of security. I'm quite certain this constitutes a deliberate act of depriving the owner from both the utility and value of their property which could therefore be argued in court. A warning message such as "your device may have been compromised by performing unauthorised repairs" would be perfectly reasonable however.

The underlying problem with Apple is that they are brilliant at business and this is usually bad news for their customers. They certainly have the money to fight off any legal action in court and make bringing a case against them prohibitively expensive for even a Korean multinational let alone a regular individual. They do sell (admittedly) good quality products but way above their natural market value by creating desire, restricting supply and so on. Sadly half the population are below median average intelligence and lap this up in exactly the same way they do for SUVs, 4x4s, red wine, gym membership, curved TVs, audiophile equipment, gold plated HDMI cables etc. And of course once you've shelled out for a 24 month contract at £50 a month for an iPhone you'll then naturally feel the need to defend your poor decision making when challenged by someone who's purchased a comparable Android device directly from China for a fifth of the price. I think most people are also inherently insecure and want to be popular; follow the latest trends; look cool/hip; demonstrate their perceived wealth/status to others and so on. There also seems to be a sense of security/reassurance in buying something that is expensive just because you can, Stella Artois (aka wife-beating juice) for example...

Sadly the proportion of the population who can grasp these concepts is somewhat limited and diminishing on a daily basis. The majority are happy being to be told what to do and will accept this in the same way they always do - "War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength."

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Bijou Linux autopilot takes to the skies

Simon 15

Re: Pi Zero availability

18th Jan 2016 - Still out of stock from all major suppliers..

Have just ordered a batch of 20 ESP8266 development boards instead. I would have purchased at least 10 Pi Zeros in preference here but they're not available. I know the Raspberry Pi foundation has more altruistic aims than most other 'businesses' but what a crazy situation to be in where there is such massive demand for a product that you can effectively afford to turn down custom.... I wish I was in a similar situation.

They are sitting on a gold mine here, swallow the pride and shift production to China. Heck, even sell it for a higher price and give it another name (Raspberry Chi Zero?) and I'd still buy loads of them. I'm actually hoping it wont be long until we see unofficial Chinese clones on sale, Banana Pi Zero anyone?

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Simon 15

Re: Pi Zero availability

Same problem here... Have been looking to buy one (or a dozen) since they were released but everywhere is perpetually out of stock. I know with the original Pi financing the production was an issue but I'd have thought this wouldn't have been the case any more. Perhaps the £5 computer really is too good to be true?

Do we know if they are still manufacturing them in the UK now? If so, my suggestion would be to shift production back to China where they can produce the volume required to satisfy demand. It really irks me to see a business loosing money from such a basic oversight, especially when they must have known from experience that the product was going to be in very high demand. Perhaps selling them for a slightly higher price of £6 (+20% pure profit!) would have allowed for a greater speculative investment in production.

Queue a thousand replies below telling us who's got one already... Good for you and yes, I know I can get one on eBay for £20. That's not the point.

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Want your kids to learn coding? Train the darn teachers first

Simon 15

I'd love some training!

Training in schools and especially colleges (where I've worked for the last ten years) is quite 'sparse' to say the least. I've recently returned to working in school teaching again after seeing so much tax-payer's money being haemorrhaged on shiny shiny technology (think iPads for staff and 72" touch-screens used only to display). I'd also suggest that there's a considerable deal of corruption and thereby misuse of any allocated funding in most FE institutions, very little ever seems to filter down to the drones working on the chalk-face.

I'd consider myself reasonably competent at programming what with having a Software Engineering degree (1st class of course - anything less is a certificate of attendance) and spending much of my own time working on hardware/software projects and thereby using a range of different programming languages. However I am quite unique and most of my ICT/Computing colleagues across the country are more geared towards the ICT (Using Computers) side of things and simply don't want to spend their weekends learning exception handling in Python.

Another major problem in education is that we are absolutely abysmal when it comes to educating/training each other. In my previous job the college paid a significant amount to have a trainer deliver some rudimentary CISCO network training to a small group of staff when they had an experienced CCAI (me) in the same room already working for them but for some reason hadn't realised this.... Ho Hum. This is just one of many examples. Schools are even worse, there are many teachers who are still terrified to turn on a computer let alone use one. I'm not sure what the answer is, but just throwing more money at the problem wont solve anything.

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Five lightweight Linux desktop worlds for extreme open-sourcers

Simon 15

Re: Painless?

Are you perhaps living in a warmer climate than the original poster? :) If so lucky bugger..

In the UK the temperatures average at around 26C (78.8F) in summer with the maximum currently recorded as 37.4C (99.3F).. I too keep a cheap server (Fujitsu Primergy TX310) in the loft (attic) and it runs 24/7 without problem. All the temperatures are always well within tolerance and considerably lower than my high-performance desktop system with the fancy graphic cards etc.

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Gwyneth Paltrow flubs $29 food stamp dare, swallows pride instead

Simon 15

Re: Soup (is good food...)

It's not difficult at all! The problem is that everyone is just too greedy and eats far more food than they actually require.... I sit at a desk most of the day and therefore don't need the thousands of calories that my ancestors doing much more labor intensive jobs did. There is a massive variety of soup commonly available from your local supermarket and I certainly don't ever feel 'bored' or limited for choice.

The benefits of a low calorie diet are very well documented as much research has already been conducted. Searching for 'Newcastle Diet' is a good starting point and there's a huge wealth of evidence showing how chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes can be reversed by an ultra low calorie diet. It's all just common sense really so I'm surprised that it seems to upset so many people! Eat a well-balanced, nutritional diet that provides just enough calories for your daily needs and you'll do well. Eat too much, too little or too much of any one single type of food and it's going to be bad for you... What's so difficult? Fruit and veg = healthy, chips and pies = not healthy..

If you want to find out more about how you can eat less, save money and live longer then the BBC Horizon episode 'Eat, Fast and Live Longer' is an excellent starting point.

At the end of the day we are all too greedy and eat not because we are hungry but to replace something that is missing in our lives or for the sake of enjoyment. It seems a bit sad and shallow to me and I suppose it perhaps explains why we have such an obesity problem in the UK.

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Simon 15
Happy

Soup (is good food...)

I spend less than £20 a week on my food out of choice not because I need to.. I eat/drink soup five days a week as part of a highly restrictive calorie controlled diet. Just one 600ml pot of fresh wholesome soup a day and as much water as I want free of charge from the tap at work. That's a total cost of £5 for the week leaving me to splash out with the other £15 at the weekend! Woo Hoo!

I'll spend £6 for a decent meal on Sunday including some meat for protein, chicken fajitas, spaghetti bolognaise, lasagne, chicken curry & rice and that sort of thing. The Morrison's meal-deal (£6) is a winner here.. With the remaining £9 I'll stock up on bread, frozen peppers, onions, pasta, rice, butter and perhaps even some bacon if I'm feeling extravagant! Once again the delicious water from the tap in my kitchen is (almost) free.

Is it really that difficult? The evidence suggests that I'll probably live longer too :)

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HP Stream x360: Flippable and stylish Chromebook killer

Simon 15

Bring back netbooks!

We threw them under the bus but netbooks were great so it's good to see that they're coming back in a slightly different form!

I personally don't need a touchscreen or a fold-back display and would prefer more memory a replaceable battery, bigger hard-drive (~500GB) and 8 hours from a single charge so the Acer E3-116 Netbook from Argos (£220) was the perfect solution for me :) I'd certainly recommend it and it's surprisingly well built for an Acer product. However if you really want the touchscreen then the HP is a great deal as it's got the same processor which does seem to run Windows 8.1, Windows 7 and Ubuntu 14.04 rather well. I think the biggest limitation is probably going to be storage space but I suppose a 32GB SD-Card is cheap enough these days.

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SanDisk launches 200GB microSD card

Simon 15

Re: Too Small?

Ah you see that's just too organised for me! It's a pain in the backside switching microSD cards between phones, taking them out, storing them in the full sized SD 'caddy' putting that somewhere safe, finding the correct MicroSD from the draw, taking it out the caddy inserting it in the phone etc. I just want to be able to eject one card (preferably without having to take the phone apart) and slot the new one in without having to feel like I'm playing Russian dolls with my storage. As I get older I'm also finding it increasingly harder to manipulate such tiny and fiddly components and usually end up dropping them at least once.

Why not just make the card a reasonable size in the first place? If we continue our obsession with this sort of miniaturisation then before long you'll be able to fit 1TB on a card the size of a pinhead but not be able to find it amongst the lint in your shirt pocket!

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Simon 15
Gimp

Too Small?

Now that we're reaching the point where such large amounts of data can be saved on something smaller than the size of my thumbnail I have to question if MicroSD is actually too small in terms of physical dimensions.

I know that smaller is usually better in technology but the diminutive size of MicroSD means that they are just *too* easy to lose. Normal SD cards are better but still a bit too small in my opinion whereas the old smart media cards were just about right. I've lost so many MicroSD cards over the years and suspect that they've ended up in the hoover.

It is just me or would a physically larger memory card actually be a good idea? Keep it thin and light but make it big enough so that it doesn't get lost in all the sharp & painful drawing pins and other assorted cr*p at the back of my draw. I really don't want archaeologists 200 years from now finding part my pr0n stash.

Gimp mask just because...

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BOFH: Don't be afraid - we won't hurt your delicate, flimsy inkjet printer

Simon 15

I have a HP LaserJet 4M+ also purchased for £10 from a local business who didn't needed it any more. I've had it 8 years and it's still going strong... Best of all it still works without having to replace the ink/toner every time I use it even if print jobs are *days* apart!!

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Sex offender wins case against Facebook vigilantism

Simon 15
Devil

Brass Eye

Genetically, paedophiles have more genes in common with crabs than they do with you and me....

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'Inexperienced' RBS tech operative's blunder led to banking meltdown

Simon 15
Linux

Re: Major error?

Not quite, it seems to have been: sudo nohup rm -rf / > /dev/null &

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Student's Linux daemon 0-day triggers InfoSec Institute outcry

Simon 15
Facepalm

Re: If you have local access ...

And *IF* you have physical access. For those people who might be running wicd on a server with multiple non-root users then this is a significant issues, the fact that it was found when using BackTrack is irrelevant, misleading and poor journalism. The vulnerability exists within the widely used wicd daemon itself and therefore affects Linux in general not just BackTrack!

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Tesla X e-SUV to sport monster touchscreen on the dash

Simon 15

It looks like they must have driven it into the garage with the doors up/open in that fist picture....

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Archos 32 Android media player

Simon 15
Heart

Re: San Fran?

I have the Orange San Francisco and it is incredibly easy to unlock, flash and root which is good as the Orange branded default ROM is quite lethargic.... I'm currently running Android 2.2 but there are also stable 2.3 ROMS out there that I might upgrade to at some point.

For the price I'd say that the SF going to be incredibly hard to beat unless you *really* want a dedicated music/video player. The main advantage of the Archos seems to be the CPU which is considerably faster than the 600MHz one in the SF (although this can be over-clocked to some degree and seems perfectly fast enough to me anyway). Another downside could be the battery life which isn't brilliant especially when using a WiFi connection, although if I was just playing music I'd turn any data connections off.

I think you can get the SF for around £95 from Orange now (+10% extra discount for NHS workers and other selected groups) so it's pretty good value although the screen is now TFT-LCD rather than the original AMOLED (although it's still capacitive rather than resistive of course) and provides 480x800 resolution which is twice that of the Archos as is the memory (512mb Vs, 256mb). It can also take 32gb Micro SD cards so considerable room for expansion if you have a reasonably large music collection...

I personally think the Archos is pretty good value but doesn't really come close to the SF as a general purpose device (perhaps because it's not) especially when you consider the screen resolution and expandability. There's also a pretty well established development community for the SF which is always a good thing. Not sure if the Archos has GPS either... I'm guessing it doesn't.

Of course, you can also make phone calls on the SF which can be rather useful if you only want to carry one device around with you :) I spend £10 a month on giffgaff goody-bags which is roughly a quarter of what many of my friends are paying for their 18-month iPhone/HTC Desire contracts....

Yep, I love my San Fransisco :)

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