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* Posts by Ken Hagan

4322 posts • joined 14 Jun 2007

Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes

Ken Hagan
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Re: Allegedly

"More likely, "nein" is no in German, and ..."

Hang on a mo. Who dreamt up that load of effing cobblers?

If you show the string "Windows 9" to a German they'll read it as "Windows neun". The same presumably goes for the Japanese. No-one reads numerals in a foreign language and then takes offence at the bad pun that results.

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It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future

Ken Hagan
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"A few years ago, I saw an article that said there would only be a dozen fabs worldwide in a few years time... split between 2-3 manufacturers."

So (with due respect to the suggestion that he probably never made the original quote) Thomas Watson *should* have said, "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers factories.".

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Ken Hagan
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"to hell [...] in 10 years"

There are two problems with planning 10 years ahead. Firstly, your company has to get through the next 9 before it can reap the rewards of your cleverness. Secondly, you might guess wrong about what the world looks like in 2024.

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Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch

Ken Hagan
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Re: I couldn't help it but...

What about "Backtrack Wednesday Eve"?

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Doctor Who and the Dalek: 10-year-old tests BBC programming game

Ken Hagan
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Re: Same story for an 8 year old girl.

"Though obviously the results would be more efficient, better designed and with less random bits hanging off because waiting for the glue to dry was BOR-ing!"

That would be sixist if you tried to argue that *all* boys and girls fitted the stereotype, but if you just arguing four or fives nines-worth then I think it would be a doddle to find the supporting evidence. (Disclaimer: I've just come home from helping at my local school's code club. My sample size is only a few dozen.)

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GP records soon wide open again: Just walk into a ‘safe haven’

Ken Hagan
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Insurance companies

This is easily dealt with. You pass a law making it illegal to vary premiums according to your medical condition unless it is self-inflicted. (Heavy smokers and alcoholics might be liable unless they could prove that their addiction had a genetic basis.) This would bring "your health" into line with "your sex", insofar as you can't (reasonably) change either and therefore it is only fair that insurance companies have to ignore them.

In the long term, the insurance industry wouldn't actually care. (I think they already word the policies so that they won't pay out for a pre-existing condition. The "no bias" rule merely stops them using your genetic pre-dispositions against you.) They aren't interested in protecting your future. To them, the whole thing is just gambling. The rules determine what they are allowed to gamble on, but don't significantly change the amount of money you can win if the gambles pay off.

In the short term, lazy or crap insurers who couldn't be arsed to learn the new game might make a lot of noise. Fuck 'em.

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Scientists skeptical of Lockheed Martin's truck-sized FUSION reactor breakthrough boast

Ken Hagan
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Re: Clean ?????

"AFAIK He-6 has a 1/2 life of <1 sec and decays by both beta and alpha emission."

In fairness, for both decay modes the products are nbon-radioactive and because the half-life is so short you could safely spew Helium-6 into the atmosphere and it would be safe by the time it left your chimney. On the other hand, I'm not sure you could fairly (as in, completely) describe any process as "producing" Helium-6. It *produces* Deuterium, Helium-4 and Lithium-6.

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Ken Hagan
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Re: I Want To Believe

"Hasn't Watson, in a limited sense passed the Turing Test?"

Limiting the scope of the test rather defeats the intent of the test. A wasp could pass a *sufficiently* limited form of the Turing test.

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Microsoft, Docker bid to bring Linux-y containers to Windows: What YOU need to know

Ken Hagan
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Re: Hmmmm....

"And I hate to think of how Windows is going to manage the address spaces for containers in the same way it's struggled for years with JVMs. The architecture will have to be a bolt-on methinks."

The Windows kernel already supports multiple sessions. These are "fairly" isolated from one another. (They have independent object namespaces, for example.) I wouldn't be at all surprised if containers couldn't just be implemented as multiple sessions.

I feel obliged to add that the containers concept would have been baffling to an OS designer from the 1960s, because complete isolation of one app from another was what OSes were invented for. It is the plethora of inter-process communications methods that have been bolted on since then that has necessitated the re-implementation of the original concept.

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Ken Hagan
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Re: I wonder how the "allowed licensed usage" of this will go. Probably not well.

You may be surprised. The thing you license is the OS and *that* is the thing that isn't duplicated when you are using containers rather than VMs. Logically, you should be able to run multiple containers in the same way that you run multiple apps.

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It's 2014 and you can still own a Windows box using a Word file or font

Ken Hagan
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WSUS (Was: Windows 10, for those interested)

WSUS is only useful if most of your machines fall into a few groups that can be treated identically. If you have multiple machines precisely because you need a variety of different environments for testing, then WSUS is a useless pain in the butt. It downloads far more than you will ever need and you still have to configure each machine separately.

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Take CTRL! Shallow minds ponder the DEEP spectre of DARK CACHE

Ken Hagan
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Re: CTRL-C in Healthcare computing

"Leave it to Microsoft to design an operating system so dense and uncontrollable that one has to issue a non-maskable interrupt to get its attention."

That's a little unfair. I think IBM were responsible for the original PC hardware and its BIOS, and if you know how to shoehorn a proper OS into 16K RAM (or whatever IBM's minimum spec for the original PC was), then you are almost certainly also old enough to know that IBM under-spec'ed the PC intentionally, so it really *was* IBM's fault.

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Ken Hagan
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Re: CTRL-C

"come on MS, it's 2014, why doesn't Windows have a decent shell by default?"

Come on Kiwi, you know the answer to this. A decent shell would barf if you fed it a BAT or CMD script. Therefore, the only way you can get a decent shell onto Windows is if you leave CMD.EXE as the default and only use the decent alternative when the user specifically asks you to.

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Ken Hagan
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Windows

As I recall (and it was I while ago, so forgive me if I get the versions wrong) the early versions of Windows (up to and including 3.0) used the proper keyboard combinations for the clipboard because they followed IBM's CUA guidelines and IBM PCs of course had an IBM keyboard with Insert and Delete keys. Meanwhile, over on the Mac, no such keys existed and so the alternatives of Ctrl+C/X/V were devised.

Then, starting around the time of Windows 3.1, Microsoft decided to use the Mac keystrokes in Windows. Fortunately, they continued to allow (and in most places still do) the CUA keystrokes. Unfortunately, since they haven't documented them for 20 years, it is increasingly common to find third-party apps written by clueless youngsters who don't know about them. (This latter point is particularly sad when said youngsters have probably never used a keyboard which doesn't have the proper keys.)

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Ken Hagan
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Re: [ed: shurely shome mishtake, Dabbs?]

"And while we're at it, move the capital to Carlisle, York, or Newcastle on Tyne instead of being stuck in the bottom-right corner bloody miles from anywhere."

Why stop there? Move the capital every 15 years to the most impoverished urban area in the country. Let the gravy train succeed where inept "development policies" have failed. It won't cost the taxpayer much, since all the taxpayer needs to move are the MPs and immediate support staff. The lobbyists, political advisers and hangers-on can pay their own relocation expenses.

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Gates and Ballmer NOT ON SPEAKING TERMS – report

Ken Hagan
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Re: to buy a failing company

"No-one seems to have been able to make the huge convergence and cash that was expected from controlling the TV."

There's no convergence to be had. There's a generation growing up who think that TV just carries X-Factor, Bake Off and the Footy. All the interesting content is being produced by small players and distributed on the interwebs. There are typically half a dozen or more screens in a house and controlling the TV means nothing if everyone is watching the other five.

tldr; TV is *so* twentieth century.

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Windows 10 feedback: 'Microsoft, please do a deal with Google to use its browser'

Ken Hagan
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Re: My Fave Changes...

I believe that last time I set up a Win8 box I used "no@example.com" as my email address. It failed to validate, so I re-entered it and on the second or third attempt Windows said, "OK, you'll have to use a local accound instead". I don't recall seeing any small links at the foot of the screen, so perhaps in my case it really was in exactly the same colour as the background.

But yeah, deliberately causing an error seems to be the only way to use a local account.

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Ken Hagan
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"Actually, I don't care as long as it reduces the number of browsers and permutations we have to support in the ecosystem. Pick a damned standard and stick to it, not 95% of a standard and 5% of undocumented fluff!"

Well, make up your mind. Do you want a reduced number of players, which favours de facto standards of the "whatever the market leader does is the correct behaviour, so reverse engineer what that is and code to it", or do you want to pick a damned standard and stick to it, which is best policed by having at least three or four independent implementations (or interpretations, if the standard is not clear).

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Windows 10's 'built-in keylogger'? Ha ha, says Microsoft – no, it just monitors your typing

Ken Hagan
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Re: Microsoft simply cannot afford this to happen

"It's a PR disaster."

They did the same for the Win8 previews. If you can call this a PR disaster with a straight face, that pretty much proves that it wasn't a PR disaster last time. So why should this time be any different?

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Ken Hagan
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Re: Class action law suit

"So you are saying that you can't actually test whether this system is usable in any sort of real world situation?"

Well, duh, YES! We are at least a year away from release, according to Microsoft's own timetable, the kernel reports itself as version 6.4 (so eff all major internal changes, then) and you haven't paid Microsoft any real money for the privilege.

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Ken Hagan
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Re: Class action law suit

"What if I'm testing forward compatibility for our bespoke software products made for other people under which I am NDA'd and subject to the requrements of ISO27001?"

Then you can either not bother with the Technical Preview, or you can use it in a VM that has no network access, or you can hope that your NDA violation is anonymised by MS.

But whatever you choose, Microsoft were pretty clear in their announcements that the point of making the Tech Preview available to everyone for free is so that they can collect stats on your usage. The Windows 8 previews were all the same and Microsoft repeatedly defended the Win8 UI on the grounds that their "telemetry" contradicted the nay-sayers. There's no such thing as a free lunch and plenty of hints about how MS intend to benefit from your use of the preview. If you don't then read the EULA with some care, that's your problem.

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Marriott fined $600k for deliberate JAMMING of guests' Wi-Fi hotspots

Ken Hagan
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"I sure hope that the IT techs they ordered to set this up kept written memos"

I expect they did. I imagine the investigators' conversation with management went something like, "Our preliminary investigation, which we conducted in the 10 minutes whilst we were waiting in the lobby, suggests an unusually large number of de-auth packets being sent on WiFi. Would you like to sign this consent decree now, or shall we call in your technical staff and ask them what's going on?".

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Ken Hagan
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Re: curious how it works

" I'm surprised the FCC only slammed them with a $600k fine, I would hand them at least a $6 *million* fine to discourage not only them but any other establishment from doing this."

The discouragement is there for anyone with a brain. $600k was the price for "not pushing the investigation to its logical, legal conclusion". The next offender might reasonably suppose that they won't be offered that easy option, since the publicity surrounding this case means that "everyone has been warned".

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Ice probe peers at hidden BOTTOMS of oceans from SPAAACE

Ken Hagan
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Re: No need for that

Well if you're a boffin made of lead then you're going to be pretty hefty, aren't you?

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Ken Hagan
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Re: Stop and think.

At least, more people have come back from the moon than from the bottom of the Marianas Trench.

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Vanished blog posts? Enterprise gaps? Welcome to Windows 10

Ken Hagan
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Unhappy

"if (version.StartsWith("Windows 9")) {"

It has the ring of truth about it. Using GetVersion() would be more obvious, much faster and incomparably more reliable, so I'm not in the least surprised by the assertion that the unwashed hordes spent the time looking for a slow and flaky alternative.

So much software seems to have been written by people with this mindset...

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PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai

Ken Hagan
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@Martin-73

Exactly right, which is why it is so frustrating when people say

"One concern has been firewall penetration, as NAT provided an additional layer of security by separating the address spaces naturally."

That's just FUD. NAT *is* a firewall plus address re-writing rules. IPv6 does not increase your exposure to the wider internet. Your ISP (well, A&A, certainly) will offer you a pre-configured router that has all this sorted out for both protocols.

Probably worth adding that IPv6 also has a "link-local" address range (non-routed, exactly like 192.168.x.y). You can configure all your domestic services to listen only on link-local addresses if you want belt-and-braces security.

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That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN

Ken Hagan
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Re: Lorel: Genesis actually very confused on the matter

Genesis isn't confused, just badly punctuated. I think it has been accepted for quite a long time that the opening chapter contains two separate creation accounts, rather badly bolted together.

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Ken Hagan
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Re: "But we're still in the dark about how it rained down on us"

I'd be careful with the jokes you make there. You were part of northern France rather more recently than palaeozoic times.

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Ken Hagan
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Re: Panic!

"Can HO2 (can't do subscripts) even be made - no matter how much you blast the atoms in a collider?"

Out in interstellar space, the rules are different. We can see spectral lines from species that are energetically unstable but which continue to exist because they can't fall apart without a third party to carry off some of the excess momentum.

Whether HO₂ falls in that category I couldn't say. Sorry, but I'm really only posting this to point out that Unicode contains a full set of superscript and subscript characters. The bit about interstellar space was just a hook. (True, though.)

Edit: Looks like I should have read some of the other replies before replying. At the bottom of the wikipedia page mentioned just above is a link to "List of interstellar and circumstellar molecules" which includes hydroperoxyl.

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BT claims almost-gigabit connections over COPPER WIRE

Ken Hagan
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Re: A polished turd

The context was quite obviously "What can you get down the existing phone line, by whatever means you like?" and it is indeed the case that the answer to that question 20 years ago was 56k and is now nearly three orders of magnitude higher. Obviously the means have changed, but equally obviously the original question deemed that irrelevant. (That's your "man in the street" perspective versus your "El Reg reader" perspective at work.)

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Ken Hagan
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Coat

Re: I really wish they'd hurry up and offer us this gigabit internet speed

At 80mbit, it will take 12 seconds to download each bit. Literally minutes might be enough to pull down a whole byte. The headers alone would take an hour or so for each packet.

If you're within walking distance of the exchange, might I suggest you stroll down there each morning with a memory stick?

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Ken Hagan
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Re: Oh please, not the tired old "640K" crap

"All the data we download and upload has to serve us meatbags in some way. Some of it acts as input to our brains."

This is a fair point, but I'll have a go anyway. How about a family of four, each watching a different HD video? Your mileage may vary but each of those channels /might/ be over 25Mbit/s after compression and your 100Mbit pipe will struggle to deliver all four without glitches.

On the other hand, a gigabit pipe will handle a set of 4K channels comfortably, so video probably won't be the reason that (eventually) gigabit isn't enough. Perhaps some kind of multi-player, immersive virtual reality? I don't know how much they use.

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What the 4K: High-def DisplayPort vid meets reversible USB Type C

Ken Hagan
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Re: Nirvana

Logo upwards, eh? So which direction is that for a socket that's mounted sideways.

And whilst I'm here I'll strongly second the comment about mounting ports upside down. My experience is that this happens roughly 50% of the time.

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JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!

Ken Hagan
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Re: IT angle?

" I've never heard of anyone promoting the idea of dividing Germany again though, have you?"

They aren't very loud, but they certainly exist.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_active_separatist_movements_in_Europe

Prior to the nuclear stalemate, re-arranging European boundaries every 50 years or so was pretty much de rigeur. At the present time, the excuses for centralisation (financial and defence) are pretty much covered by the ECB and NATO. (Obviously one of these insitutions is currently working rather better than the other, but the official line is that both are here to stay.) That leaves the way wide open for the larger nation states to fragment in line with regional preferences. We have Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia as examples so far. (Ukraine is a work in progress.)

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Microsoft splurges 2½ INSTAGRAMS buying Minecraft maker Mojang

Ken Hagan
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Re: WTF?

"If MS shift it to .NET and make a free plugin for VS Express, they have just captured pretty much the entire next generation of application developers."

That would imply that the next generation of developers are currently owned by Oracle, since Minecraft is all in Java. Oracle might like to think that, but I don't believe it is a fair statement.

It also implies that a plug-in API would be easy. It might, but all the existing mods are version-specific and Mojang have never published an API.

It also implies that forcing the entire Minecraft community onto Windows isn't going to fragment that community. It certainly will.

To cut a long story short, I find it hard to see how MS-Minecraft can be any more profitable than Mojang-Minecraft, and we know that the latter struggles. I think MS paid about $2.5 billion too much.

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spɹɐʍʞɔɐB writing is spammers' new mail filter avoidance trick

Ken Hagan
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Re: Odd...

I fail to see why rendering HTML in an email client is any more stupid than rendering HTML in a web browser. Given a sane rendering engine, both are safe. Given a reckless rendering engine, neither is safe.

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Scottish independence: Will it really TEAR the HEART from IT firms?

Ken Hagan
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Re: It will be business as usual.

"...all three main parties will have no choice but to make a manifesto commitment against..."

...which, after the election, would turn out to be no more binding than the commitments that all three parties have made at the last *few* elections to reform the House of Lords.

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Ken Hagan
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Re: What’s in a name?

"Liz isn't going to be happy if she is booted out as Scottish head of state and forced to sell Balmoral!"

I thought the SNP's current plan was to retain Liz as Queen of Scotland (which, historically, is correct because she's descended from James IV) and, I presume, to remain part of the Commonwealth. This may not be their long-term plan, but they were at pains to separate the monarchy from the sovereignty because Scots hate English Tories much more than they hate "English" monarchs.

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Microsoft tells judge: Hold us in contempt of court, we're NOT giving user emails to US govt

Ken Hagan
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Re: If MS loses

"There will be this brand new country with no treaties"

IANAL but I suspect (*) that simply isn't true. A company can't walk away from a contract it doesn't like by transferring ownership to someone who didn't sign on the dotted line. Equally, I suspect that Scotland is under all the treaty obligations of the rUK and will enjoy all the benefits of those treaties as well until and unless all parties to the original treaties agree differently. Anything else would just be a get-out-of-jail-free card for a sovereign state that wanted to be shot of its own history. (There are several debt-ridden countries who'd like that, but as Argentina are demonstrating on a daily basis, the rest of the world isn't so keen.)

(*) Of course, if this were a sane referendum, voters would actually know the answers to these questions before they voted. But that's getting a little off-topic...

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Straight to video: Facebook to add 'view counts' to autoplay newsfeed vids

Ken Hagan
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"Now Mr Z, give us a settings to STOP the videos from autoplaying. I for one don't want it."

That is not a setting that you should trust Mr Z to provide. Your browser authors will have provided such a setting and they can probably be trusted to keep it working each time they update the code.

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Snowden shouldn't be extradited to US if he testifies about NSA spying, says Swiss gov

Ken Hagan
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Re: Would the US risk a diplomatic incident?

"It is realistic to assume a risk of US interference (unlike Assange)"

Not if he travels in a diplomatic bag. I feel fairly sure that he could be delivered to the Russian embassy in Berne if Mr Putin felt that it served his purposes.

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SHIP OF FAIL: How do we right capsized institutions we thought would NEVER go under?

Ken Hagan
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"was carried out personally by Richard Feynman"

Feynman's own essay on the subject is quite clear that he was tipped off by someone else and merely provided the media presence necessary to put the evidence into the public domain. I'll stick my neck out here and say he'd be a little upset at the way popular culture has deified him. He enjoyed the limelight, but he'd have hated the thought that personalities might be bigger than either evidence or a decent bit of research by a competent nobody.

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Chelyabinsk-sized SURPRISE asteroid to skim Earth, satnav birds

Ken Hagan
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Unless its orbital period is some convenient multiple of 1 year, we have nothing to worry about even if it precisely crosses our orbit next time around. We won't be there.

The real concern surely comes from the occurence of two near misses within 50 cross-sections within 18 months.

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Shitty what? Almost half of MPs have never heard of Tech City

Ken Hagan
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Ah but if you read the quote from the spokesdroid at the end of the article you'd know that it operates everywhere in the UK, so they were probably just "out" when you were there.

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Jimbo tells Wikipedians: You CAN'T vote to disable 'key software features'

Ken Hagan
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Re: @lurker

"He invented movable type which made things easier and cheaper. Someone else would have come up with the same idea sooner or later."

Probably. The Disc of Phaistos is generally reckoned to have used movable type. It predates Gutenberg by about 3 millenia.

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Twitter: La la la, we haven't heard of NUDE JLaw, Upton SELFIES

Ken Hagan
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Re: mass hack?

The victims are celebs with media reputations to protect, so it is likely that at least some of them are lying when they say the pictures are fake. The victims are also celebs rather than techies, so it is likely that at least some of them are making false statements (about deletion, for example) without even being aware of it.

With all due respect to the celebs concerned, I don't think we can believe a word they say.

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Windows 7 settles as Windows XP use finally starts to slip … a bit

Ken Hagan
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Re: Why is Win 8 and Win 8.1 seperated?

"because they are considered totally separate Operating Systems as far as patching goes"

and yet MS also consider them to be the same OS for lifecycle purposes. (Win8 dies in a year or so.)

It is odd, though, that all the growth in Win8.x is happenning for x=1. Win8.0 is basically flatlining, with a hard code who were happy to jump into Metroland but not willing to adopt the almost imperceptible changes that came in the latest service pack.

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BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV

Ken Hagan
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Re: "Coding" may not result...

"Oddly enough , teenagers can and do do more than just chase the opposite sex. "

Frequently using one activity as cover for another.

Just like adults.

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Ken Hagan
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Re: The kid I saw on the BBC News this morning...

HTML may not be programming but CSS certainly is and by the time you've added SVG and JavaScript I think you are well past what you could expect junior school kids to cope with.

Based on most of the web-sites that I encounter, you are well past what the average "web developer" can cope with. (Web-devs who actually have a clue must really hate the average member of their profession.)

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