* Posts by Ken Hagan

4497 posts • joined 14 Jun 2007

Why Feed.Me.Pizza will never exist: Inside the world of government vetoes and the internet

Ken Hagan
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Sshhhhh

Don't anyone tell Columbia (CO) about this, or else all those countries that already have a *.co.ccTLD second level domain for commercial sites will have to scrap their registries. And I suppose all those *.com.ccTLD nations will have to get Verisign's permission to exist.

More seriously, it's a hierarchial namespace so there shouldn't be any restrictions on someone else's second level domains. This is a point of technical correctness, so the various governments concerned can take a running jump or set up their own internet.

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Microsoft update mayhem delays German basketball game, costs team dear

Ken Hagan
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Re: Why did I suddenly remember

I can't imagine. I haven't seen such a thing for over 20 years.

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Dot-sucks sucks, say lawyers: ICANN urged to kill 'shakedown' now

Ken Hagan
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So if ICANN have reserved all rights over their real name, it'll have to be ICONN.sucks instead.

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No, really, the $17,000 Apple Watch IS all about getting your leg over

Ken Hagan
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Re: Its just the mating ritual

"As she told it to me, she told him that he didn't need the bright yellow mating display any more, he'd got his female."

I think that's called pulling the ladder up behind her and if he objects then she knows where she stands.

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Metro app meets Windows 10. A Microsoft win? Maybe after a little improvement

Ken Hagan
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Re: Only techies care about phone OS

"And forget about Android apps. Google won't even supply a WP version of Youtube, let alone allow MS to use their app store."

Why should that matter? Microsoft could allow third-party developers to put their Android apps on Microsoft's app store. It would then be up to Google to decide whether to risk an anti-trust suit by kicking those devs out of the Google store in revenge. Oh, and Google have spent quite a lot of time in the courts establishing that it is perfectly legal to write your own implementation of someone else's platform, so MS would be in the clear there as well.

Since apps of all flavours are several layers of abstraction/emulation above the bare metal, it is really quite surprising that MS are trying to break into the market *without* going down this route.

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Ford: Our latest car gizmo will CHOKE OFF your FUEL if you're speeding

Ken Hagan
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Re: hold up a 30 sign

On most UK motorways there will be no need to do this because there are already maliciously posted "70" signs every so often.

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Half of Android devices open to silent hijack

Ken Hagan
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Re: Users should upgrade to at least Android 4.4 to avoid being exposed.

This, especially at the bottom end of the market.

I bought a Samsung Galaxy Fame earlier this month, new, running 4.1.x and it tells me that there is no update, which I dare say is true for a Clintonesque interpretation of "is".

One could argue that a phone, designed to be connected to the public network, isn't fit under the Sale of Goods Act if no-one patches the known bugs.

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Windows 10 apps to rule them all – phones, slabs and PCs: Microsoft pulls out 'universal' tool

Ken Hagan
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Re: Visual Basic isn't totally out of the equation, long term

This is very puzzling. The link you mentioned strongly suggests that the .NET Native compiler goes to work on the MSIL. Since that is the common intermediate representation shared by all .NET languages, it really shouldn't be limited to C# code.

In short, how the hell have MS managed *not* to be able to handle all the .NET languages?

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Review: McAfee Endpoint Protection for SMB

Ken Hagan
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Re: "I have four criteria by which I judge endpoint security products"

As well as mentioning the corrections link at the foot of the article, I'd like to say that if this product causes Trevor to lose the ability to count up to five then that's probably the most damning review I've ever read of a software product.

Count me out!

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IS 'hackers' urge US-based jihadis: 'Wipe yourselves out trying to kill 0.00005 of US forces'

Ken Hagan
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Re: Hmmm....

@Bleu: I suggest you google El Reg forum archives for "platinum membership". It may never have existed but that never seemed to matter.

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Firefox, Chrome, IE, Safari EXPLOITED to OWN Mac, PCs at Pwn2Own 2015

Ken Hagan
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"Seriously, when is a project going to be formed to write a new browser and rendering engine from the ground up with security in mind?"

Microsoft are working on Spartan even as we speak. Naturally, they claim that it is completely fresh, just like Vista, 7, 8, etc... were completely re-written, and therefore have none of the security problems of their predecessors. We'll see.

Sadly, at least part of the problem is probably that a browser has to implement existing web standards and few of them were designed with security in mind. As far as I know, they don't explicitly require insecurity, but neither are they explicitly designed to be provably secure. I think the last time someone tried to design such a thing was back in the 90s, but client-side Java never caught on.

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Dear departed Internet Explorer, how I will miss you ... NOT

Ken Hagan
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"If it's going to be standards compliant as they claim presumably it'll render pages just like Chrome and Firefox"

The point is that if you have only one rendering engine in widespread use, the W3C have to make the standard match the engine, rather than the other way around.

If only Opera had released Presto as open source... (It's probably too late now. The world, and HTML5, has moved on.)

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Ken Hagan
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Re: IE 4. Oh gods, no...

"... the implementation was terrible. The IE rendering engine was a bit RAM hungry, and was famously buggy ..."

On the other hand, there were bugs in Windows (specifically COM categories) that could officially only be fixed by installing Active Desktop (because it brought a load of replacement DLLs with it). It was a required feature of our product (which had no internet- or desktop-related features at the time) for several years for this reason.

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Zombie SCO shuffles back into court seeking IBM Linux cash

Ken Hagan
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"Unfortunately it's impossible to kill lawyers this way. There's no heart to drive your stake through."

There's a wallet, isn't there? IBM's legal team presumably reckon it is free money for them. I have to say I don't see the problem in "SCO" volunteering to pay IBM a fresh round of legal costs every year.

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Apple's portable power podule patent promises paroxysms of fanboi joy

Ken Hagan
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Re: Patent madness

In the US, you can patent anything (for a fee) and then someone else has to hire a lawyer (for a fee) before any commonsense examination will take place.

It's almost as though the system was invented by lawyers.

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Microsoft open sources MSBuild, aims for cross-platform dev tools

Ken Hagan
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Now might a good moment to point out that parser generators have been available for longer than I have, so there's really no excuse for using XML for anything intended to be written or maintained by a human being.

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Windows 10 build 10041: 99 bugs on the wall, fix a bug, add a feature, 114 bugs on the wall

Ken Hagan
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Re: Desktops????

NT has had multiple desktops since the early 90s. SysInternals did a tool to let you use them. For whatever reason, Explorer (and Program Manager before it) never made use of them. For what it's worth (which is 1 vote in a survey that no-one is conducting) it is the feature that I turn off first when I install a Linux system. I have windows and I know how to minimise them, so I don't need another kind of virtual screen space.

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Honey, I shrunk the Windows footprint

Ken Hagan
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Re: Old update files

Worth compressing? Probably not.

On DOS and Win16, when you loaded a program, the executables were opened, read, unpacked, patched, yawn, have I forgotten anything, and then used. It was likely that most of the file was read and so compression reduced the amount of raw file I/O.

On Win32 and pretty much any OS from the last quarter century, the executables would simply be memory mapped and paged in as necessary, so if you only refer to a handful of functions in a large DLL, most of the file is never touched. If you compress your program files, however, the whole file needs to be read and decompressed before the handful of pages you were interested in can actually be used.

Given Windows' propensity for having (unused) references to DLLs that in turn have unused references to other DLLs, compression is probably a substantial net loss.

But I haven't made any measurements, so I'm talking out of my behind.

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Ken Hagan
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Re: Apple Internet Recovery

Quaint, but probably cheaper for the vendor than shipping the same data on a USB stick or SD card.

But I don't much care and I don't suppose the OP does either. The point is that storing it on the platter is a daft idea unless you are into "fate sharing". (Whether that fate involves a virus attack or a disc head crash is neither here nor there.)

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Timeout, Time Lords: ICANN says there is only one kind of doctor

Ken Hagan
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Re: Does nobody use Engish anymore

At the risk of making an equally sweeping statement: No-one on the Eastern side of the pond uses the word "physician", at all, for anything. It's not a word.

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Angry Austrian could turn Europe against the US - thanks to data

Ken Hagan
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"He says the infringement came about thanks to Facebook transferring its users' data to the US National Security Agency (NSA)."

Presumably Facebook will argue that the data was entered onto a US server by the user. Therefore, the transfer from the EU to the US was performed by the data owner, not them, and any subsequent transfer from Facebook to the NSA comes purely under US law.

It's a little different from (say) European airlines transferring customer data to the US. In that situation, the initial transfer was from a European resident to a European company.

Certainly if I went onto a North Korean web-site and entered a load of stuff I wouldn't expect that data to enjoy the protection of EU law. Whenever you have transactions between two entities in different legal jurisdictions there is bound to be some dispute over whose legal system takes precedence.

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Microsoft hints at faster release cadence for Windows 10 previews

Ken Hagan
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Re: Better ??

"all the signs are the features are mostly set in stone"

That would be nice. For about two decades I've been wanting Microsoft to actually fix the bugs in the feature set they've got before they start re-imagineering the universe. If Win10 really is an attempt to get everyone from Win7 onwards onto a level playing field then it will have some value even if isn't the playing field I'd have chosen.

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The voters hate Google. Heeeeyyyy... how about a 'Google Tax'?

Ken Hagan
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Re: Hmmm

"I avoid minerals extraction duty by not being a oil company."

And by not farting, I presume.

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Linux kernel devs adopt Bill and Ted's excellent code of conduct

Ken Hagan
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Coat

"This development process has been proven to create the most robust operating system kernel ever"

Which OS is that, then?

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Hated smart meters likely to be 'a costly failure' – MPs

Ken Hagan
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Re: Smart? Smarter than those designing them, anyway!

"the ability to turn off our supply during periods of energy shortage"

The last time a government tried that, the public turned round and switched off the government's oxygen (vote) supply. With our increased reliance (and addiction) to electrically powered toys, I'd be amazed if any government could introduce rolling blackouts and win the following election.

If these blackouts are expected to start before 2020, perhaps no-one actually *wants* to win this year's election.

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Quantum computers have failed. So now for the science

Ken Hagan
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Those Bell inequalities...

Implied by, but not explicitly stated in, the article is the caveat that Bell's theorem actually assumes the usual rules of special relativity, so only local actions are allowed. I'm therefore not at all surprised to hear the claim that you can reproduce quantum wierdness if you allow non-local interactions.

The curious thing, for the social scientists to look at perhaps, is that when physicists are presented with the experimental facts, they are more willing to accept the fundamental unknowableness of mainstream QM rather than the idea that action might happen at a distance. They are happier to postulate a universe that has no underlying reality rather than one that is merely spooky.

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Scotland to get National ID system 'by the backdoor', campaigners mull challenge

Ken Hagan
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"The UK's HMRC also wants access to the NHS database to check that individuals are not avoiding tax."

I'm curious to know how that works. If HMRC are so bereft of information that they don't even know who is alive, then giving them the NHS database probably isn't the simplest solution to the problem. Beyond that (ie, existence), I can't see that medical records and tax liability are sufficiently closely correlated to make the exercise worthwhile.

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Google creeps up on another sector: Adds car insurance to Compare

Ken Hagan
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Re: What about a Comparethecomparisonsite.com?

Appears to have been taken last year.

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Ken Hagan
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That sub-heading...

Is it some kind of record to invoke Godwin's law before the first word of the actual article?

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Boffins say Mars had ocean covering 20 per cent of planet

Ken Hagan
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Re: Where did it go?

"...building a humoungous superconducting coil around the equator..."

You should go and find some particle physicists and get them interested. As an added bonus, if they accidentally create a strangelet, it would only be Mars that gets trashed.

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Ken Hagan
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Re: Sudden Capitalisation

You're thinking of Yoda. Germans prefer to put the verb second, if I remember correctly. (Apologies to Mr Buxton if I haven't.)

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Ken Hagan
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Re: NASA

It's not beyond any realms, but it looks like we are several orders of magnitude down on what you'd need for an HD camera, even with compression.

e.g.: http://www.astrosurf.com/luxorion/qsl-mars-communication3.htm

There's a table at the end of that article suggesting that we currently manage 5.7KB/s at a cost of 15W in power, but if you had 100W to play with then you might manage 4.8MB/s, which would support a video signal.

Bear in mind also that (as noted at the start of that article) Mars is sometimes quite a long way away and when it is you are also trying to transmit the signal past a nearby Sun.

On the other hand, for the inner solar system it might be practical to build some relays. Each relay's reception dish would have to be a similar diameter to the dishes used on Earth because the inverse square law doesn't grant exceptions to spacecraft, but (freed from gravitational constraints) that would not require as much metalwork as an Earth-based dish. Power would be another issue but again not insurmountable because we have solar power in the inner solar system and a relay could actually be quite close to the Sun and still be usefully half-way between (say) Earth and Mars in the worst-case scenario.

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East Timor was officially removed from the internet yesterday

Ken Hagan
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Re: Thank you

"Having a country domain like .de under a country domain .tl seems ripe for confusion "

Perhaps less so than you might think -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.co

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Ken Hagan
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"if you dropped the country codes, some countries might have to work harder to censor the internet (i.e. China)"

I doubt it. Such censorship depends rather more on controlling the physical wires leading in and out of the country. As a thought experiment, bear in mind that you can already surf by numeric IP address if you choose and *that* doesn't stop the censors, despite the horrendous balkanisation of the IPv4 address space.

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In Barcelona, no one can hear you scream ... HTC, Valve unleash Giger-inspired VR headgear

Ken Hagan
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Re: API standards

Hardware vendors can't agree on the cables used to plug their kit into a PC, or the power supplies used to recharge their toys, or the standards used to encode videos, DVDs or HD variants thereof.

Hardware vendors also insist on shipping their own "enhanced" (and after six months, unsupported) versions of free software, rather than simply pushing the necessary mods upstream.

Stick to a common API? I'm not holding my breath. More likely is that they try to sue the shirt off anyone who tries to implement such an API.

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Windows XP's market share grows AGAIN!

Ken Hagan
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Re: We just

"Oh and if win10 is anything like win 8, we're going Linux throughout."

Win8.1 is a free upgrade from Win8.0 and well worth trying if the 8.0 interface drives you nuts. (It isn't massively better, but at least you get a sort-of Start menu (perversely via right-click) and you can stay on the desktop and pretend that Metro never happened.)

Win10 Tech Preview is *a lot* like Win8.1. The Start menu (left-click this time) is quite astonishingly ugly and uses a scrolling alphabetical list rather than a cascading menu, but is just about functional. My impression so far is that the free upgrade is a no-brainer for anyone on 8.x.

I installed a clean Win7 the other day. There were over two hundred patches (over and above the "latest" service pack). It's now out of mainstream support and vanishingly unlikely that MS will ever issue a service pack to roll-up that lot. Increasingly you will find that hardware vendors won't have a Win7 driver. MS aren't going to retro-fit SHA-256 support for kernel-mode drivers and so after 2016 it will actually get quite hard to properly sign a Win7 driver.

Win7 users ought to be considering their options at this stage and Win10 is a free upgrade that will probably run all their existing code.

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Ken Hagan
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@AC: I think "the government" would tell you that MS most certainly can "end of life" a product. In the UK, at least, certain parts of the government were amongst the big losers from that decision and there was nothing they could do about it. (Well, unless you count pulling their fingers out and implementing sane IT policies, but that's obviously ridiculous.)

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Ken Hagan
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Re: Walking through airports

It is to be hoped that airport IT systems have the USB sockets physically secured and that they are not connected to the internet.

Fingers crossed...

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Ken Hagan
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Re: All this shows me....

"Care to explain why?"

I can't speak for the OP, but from the article: "Windows 8.1 is up from 10.04 per cent in January to 10.49 per cent in February on Netmarketshare's numbers, and from 14.27 per cent to 14.78 per cent according to Statcounter."

So two groups try to measure the same thing and they come up with figures that differ by about a third. Back when I was in science classes, if I had two measurements that differed by that much then I'd expect to have my knuckles rapped if I quoted either to 2 decimal places. The correct way to interpret these figure is to call them "experimental proof that at least one of them hasn't got the precision they are quoting".

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Don't pay for the BBC? Then no Doctor Who for you, I'm afraid

Ken Hagan
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Re: We should pay for TV we dont want

It's also a news reporting service that, lacking any private financial backing, has to maintain enough balance that it doesn't upset any major UK political group. Many other countries would benefit from a similar arrangement, but the politicians running the show in those countries don't like the idea of balanced reporting so it doesn't happen.

Those outside the UK might take issue with the suggestion that the BBC is balanced, but that's probably because the BBC doesn't have to keep foreign politicians happy, so it probably *is* less balanced in its foreign reporting.

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Ken Hagan
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Re: Telly Tax exit stage right!!

@MyBackDoor: Yes. I know BBC stick commercials into their world-wide broadcasts, but the domestic channels show the programs without interruption and without ads in between either.

How else could you televise cricket?

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Amazon tries to patent 3D printers on trucks

Ken Hagan
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Re: Too early and too obvious

The fact that they have had this idea long before it is commercially feasible is, for me, strong evidence that it is obvious. And yes, I'd re-iterate all the examples of prior-related-art mentioned by commenters so far.

But I'd also re-iterate the observation that this is how the system works. It's utterly broken. Get used to it, or else direct your anger at the politicians who have fouled the system rather than at the companies who are simply playing by the current rules.

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German music moguls slammed for 'wurst ever DMCA takedown spam'

Ken Hagan
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That's the key difference between "giving it away" and using the GPL. If Kevin and Scott had used the latter, they'd have a legal basis on which to take the idiots to court. As it is, they no longer even have the right to enjoy their own work. That's obviously wrong, but the remedy is simple -- use the GPL (or similar) so that the stupid laws work in your favour.

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Now with Grunt and Gulp: Cross-platform ASP.NET in new Visual Studio 2015 preview

Ken Hagan
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Re: Dragged, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century

"Still, I suppose we should be grateful..they (finally) claim full C++11 compliance only four years after the fact."

Well I followed the link but I saw no such claim. In fact, there is at least one admission that C++11 support is "partial".

Still, having spoken out on these forums in support of multiple HTML implementations, I suppose I should welcome the fact that MS still try to produce their own compiler rather than borrowing gcc or clang.

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Get yourself connected: GrovePi+ Starter Kit

Ken Hagan
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Re: argh!

"Every child should be taught to solder. And type."

Coz when they are grown up, PCBs will be 3D-printed and text entry will be done by voice recognition.

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The millionaire former playboy, Hugh Hefner, and a crucial fight over playboy.london

Ken Hagan
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Joke

Re: This is why extra TLDs were stupid

"It'll be even worse if companies actually USE these domains"

Ah, no, because if merely registering the name is evidence of malicious intent, then making it possible to register the domain must be even worse. Expect to see ICANN in court soon for conspiracy to bring down all intellectual property rights everywhere.

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IT knowledge is as important as Maths, says UK.gov

Ken Hagan
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Re: 35%

Those 7 million will be doing something more productive, as Tim Worstal has been trying to explain on and off in his columns for a while. We have (as he pointed out most recently) gone in just a couple of centuries from employing 99% of the population in agriculture to employing 1%. Nobody now wants all those "peasant" jobs back. Nearly all of us have found something else to do and even the unemployed are better off for it.

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Ken Hagan
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Re: RE: offered a programming club

"Scratch introduces the basics of programming in a fun and accessible way. It cannot replace coding, though."

Scratch lets you learn about variables and conditional logic, without having to worry about syntax errors or organising multiple files. If you are teaching at primary level, that's a simplification well worth making. Funnily enough, Scratch was created by researchers who wanted to target that age group.

At secondary level, syntax and files aren't going to give you the same level of grief, so you might as well use a more powerful language. On the other hand, that language needs to have an easy way of delivering visually appealing output, because most of your class aren't going to be interested in writing a program that prints a set of log tables.

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Lightbulb moment for visible light networking: 200 Gbps without a fibre

Ken Hagan
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Re: What's the use case for 100 Gbps wireless?

@Paul129: Two small points: firstly you concede that the network already isn't the bottleneck for your case, and secondly have you tried sneakernet? "Transferring disc images" is quite possibly the one thing that sneakernet is best at.

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Show me the money, America! It's time to learn how to pronounce 'Xiaomi'

Ken Hagan
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Headmaster

Umm, China's in the Northern Hemisphere...

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