* Posts by Jim Hague

49 posts • joined 15 Jun 2007

The Shock of the New: The Register redesign update 4

Jim Hague
Thumb Up

2.5 cheers!

Thank you, thank you. These changes - especially the grey sidebars - much appreciated.

Remaining on my list for Santa - shrink the front page image so I can see more story headlines.

17
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El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

Jim Hague

I now realise where the design works

I really, really don't like it on my desktop - far, far too much wasted space, and bright white light. A serious backward step.

But it's not too bad on my aged iPad 1, where I can see loads more stories on the front page than the 3 I can see on the desktop.

Umm. Guys. Did you test this on a desktop? Or have the Bong/turtlenecks really taken over?

Please, El Reg, make sure the devs have at least a 1920x1080 monitor, and insist they make the information density on that match an iPad.

4
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Jim Hague

Re: A measureable improvement

Bollocks on stilts. And a noted piece of snide about us stupid unfortunates who, er, comprise the Reg's readership.

My monitor is NOT a page of print. You're making me read while shining a bright white torch into my eyes either side of and behind the text. You think that's a good idea? That's making text easier to read? Really?

And that making me scroll the main page to see what's there? That's a good thing? I think you may have noticed that on Planet Geek we beg to differ. Please, please, esteemed El Reg - on my Apple Cinema 30" I can now see precisely three stories on the front page below the main image. That's incredibly wasteful of both my screen space and my time.

Frankly, I'd like the site to go back to the design before last and stop trying to dictate to me how wide I should have my browser window and refusing to make use of space that is available. Or, effectively, that I should resize the window each time I switch tabs.

6
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UK flights CRIPPLED by system outage that shut ALL London airspace

Jim Hague

'The Dish'.

Great film.

1
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UK national mobile roaming: A stupid idea that'll never work

Jim Hague

The weekly 'national roaming is a terrible idea' piece

I can't help thinking that if the mobile networks are so keen that this is a bad idea, it's got more than something going for it.

The status quo seems to be that UK networks have reached a rather cosy place, where competing on network quality or coverage doesn't happen, not outside the M25 anyway. Well, it's not like anywhere else matters. I'm sensing that national roaming might disturb this cosyness...

2
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Why Comrade Cameron went all Russell Brand on the UK’s mobile networks

Jim Hague

Not following you

All the local customers in the area are already on O2 anyway, because that's the only signal they can get. Visitors to the area, not on O2, get the option of roaming to O2 and giving O2 a chunk of *extra* revenue as a reward for providing service to an otherwise unserved area.

People going overseas already happily pay a roaming charge. Why should the same not apply within a national border in lesser served areas? That way there's still a serious incentive for customers to switch based on service coverage; it's just less than the current all or nothing setup. Currently Three's business model of only providing coverage in high-density areas is in some measure protected by users being unable to use other networks when outside coverage. The only option for customers is to switch to another network, and they all have coverage blind spots (ironically, my work phone is O2, and I find their coverage invariably absent whenever travelling in the non-urban UK - and their 3G in central Oxford is dodgy at best), so unless you *personally* return a lot to the affected area, it's not worth switching and you go without. Rather than forcing Three to watch money flowing to O2.

1
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Hackers' Paradise: The rise of soft options and the demise of hard choices

Jim Hague

Re: "with a competent operating system, these machines were essentially bomb proof."

Basic tutorial, ill-informed and rose-tinted nostalgia, and ignorance. Anyone who thinks a 11/780 with VMS was hackproof obviously wasn't there in the day. And do I read this right, but the author thinks that modern CPUs don't have MMUs? Is this the level of expertise displayed by all Chartered Information Systems Practitioners? God help us.

Poor article, El Reg.

14
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Surprise! Government mega-infrastructure project cocked up

Jim Hague

Re: UK still leads the way in ripping off the taxpayer

I've ridden the Ghan from Alice to Darwin. It doesn't go across any rainforest. It's single track most of the way, and you bimble along at speeds that would shame a Reliant Robin. Most of all, it doesn't go anywhere near London - check out how much of the HS2 cost is just the final few miles into London.

Nevertheless, it cost $1.2bn to build.

On a sample of 1 each, travelling prole class on the Ghan is crap compared to the Canadian.

2
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Global Warming IS REAL, argues sceptic mathematician - it just isn't THERMAGEDDON

Jim Hague

As opposed to true unbelievers in the thermapocalypse who don't pay any attention to a paper, no matter how scientifically sound and well argued, because it is written by scientists receiving GUBMINT GRANTS - which it appears are of such lavish magnificence that they dwarf anything a mere oil multinational could stump up.

Few of us are competent to judge the details of the science. I'm certainly not. All I can say is a quick shuftee at the GWPF website leaves me with the feeling that their stance of being 'open-minded on the contested science of global warming' comes from the same stable as Fox News' 'fair and balanced'.

9
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'Daddy, can I use the BLACK iPAD?': Life with the Surface Pro 2

Jim Hague

Most Productive Tablet Ever!

(Funny how the author of a review which explicitly states he does not own an iPad can be dismissed as an iFan.)

I have a gen-1 iPad inherited from the boss. I am puzzled by the notion of being productive on a tablet. Odd email, yes. YouTube gawking, certainly. Bit of web browsing, of course. If I twatted, I sure I would use if for that too.

But productive? It's the laptop or the desktop when I actually want to get anything done. Tablets are consumption devices, not generation devices. Man Of Spreadsheets is on the money.

8
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Brit inventor Dyson challenges EU ruling on his hoover's energy efficiency ratings

Jim Hague

Re: "...help customers to consider environmental concerns..."

I bet there's no such EU regulation - can you point to it? - but this is the washing machine manufacturers saving a few quid on components. Slow cycle times to save water, now that's definitely the energy rating.

http://www.whitegoodshelp.co.uk/cold-fill-washing-machines/, for example, doesn't mention regulation and points out that very little hot water from the average heating system will ever make it into the machine anyway, as by the time the tap runs hot you're full.

7
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UK plant bakes its millionth Raspberry Pi

Jim Hague

My youngest is one of the last year forced to do the horrible, pointless, enthusiasm-destroying ICT GCSE. She's had ICT from primary school. All attempting to teach her, not principles, but by rote how to use a desktop Windows machine from 10 years ago.

The prediction I made when she started school, that the stuff they were teaching here would be utterly obsolete and useless by the time she left school is looking a good 'un.

2
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Paul Allen buys lovingly restored vintage V-2 Nazi ballistic missile

Jim Hague
Pint

Redirecting V1s

You didn't want to tap the V1 wing. The shock would probably damage your wing and might well trigger the warhead, which wouldn't be nice with you that close. Instead, you got the wing of your kite close enough under the V1 wing to have the air flowing over yours give a little additional uplift to the V1 wing, thus redirecting the V1.

A few years ago I accompanied one of my kids on a primary school 'evacuation' outing. One of the grandparents on the trip related how, as a young boy, he'd watched from the top deck of a double decker bus going down Fleet Street as a Spitfire did exactly this.

Gonads of steel ain't in it.

Raise a glass tonight.

7
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Microsoft 'poised' to SPAFF A BEELLION on e-book also-ran Nook

Jim Hague
Pint

Re: Nook

I ordered one via the Blackwell's website on 1/5. Got the following today. Looks like I have time for a few refreshers before it arrives. I'm buying because the price is a good 'un. Considered a Kobo but never plunged. Rootable Android is a bonus :-)

****

We understand you are still waiting for your NOOK® Simple Touch. Due to an unprecedented number of orders, NOOK® have been delayed in delivering the stock needed to fulfil your order.

We sincerely apologise for this delay and would like to assure you that we are doing everything we can to expedite this delivery. We have been informed by our supplier that the shipment is on its way, so we expect to be able to start despatching orders by Wednesday next week. We shall of course confirm by email once your order has been shipped.

We would like to thank you for your continued patience and apologise once again for any inconvenience caused in this matter.

With very best wishes,

The Blackwell's Team

0
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Maggie Thatcher: The Iron Lady who saved us from drab Post Office mobes

Jim Hague
Thumb Down

Re: Sadly, the under 40s

Liberalisation of phones happended before the privatisation of BT.

I asked BT to reactivate the existing phone line in my new flat on 29/11/12. It took them until 15/1/13 to do it, and then a further 8 days to activate ADSL.

0
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Paying a TV tax makes you happy - BBC

Jim Hague

Re: NZ Has No TV Tax

Australia also funds the ABC out of general taxation. When I lived there some years ago, ABC TV was (is?) ad-free. The ABC's commitment to regional radio is impressive, plus there a couple of decent-ish national stations. Nothing quite up to the standard of Radio 4, though some of Radio National (plug for Robin Williams and the Science Show, better than anything on the Beeb). 2BL, the main ABC radio channel for Sydney, is rather reminiscent of BBC Radio Oxford in terms of content.

So, perhaps Blighty should make a similar move? Personally, I think not. The naked threats to the ABC from politicians at election time - give me coverage I want and like, or I'll slash your budget if re-elected - are unedifying in the extreme, and the fact that they feel able to make those threats openly is Not Good.

And oh God, the commercial channels. Ads every 10 seconds, imported series slashed to ribbons to fit the ads in.

The licence fee is not a great system. But to me it looks an easy winner in the least-worse stakes.

16
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Six things a text editor must do - or it's a one-way trip to the trash

Jim Hague
Stop

Re: Programmer's File Editor

PFE was nice in the day. I used to use it myself. But single platform (look, some of us don't live in MSland 100% of the time), no syntax highlighting, no development for 14 years and no source.

I mean, why would you?(*)

OK, so syntax highlighting is really only useful when spotting missing multi-line comment closures or as a buggered-up syntax early warning, but the first of those is well worth having and is the first reason I went elsewhere.

(*) Says a man who still prefers trn4 to read newsgroups. Mind you, trn4 has source.

1
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Oracle wants another go at Google over Android Java copyrights

Jim Hague
Headmaster

Re: MS java versus Sun

Sun never intended Java to be a single-vendor system. They recognised, correctly, that developers are reluctant to commit to a new environment that is someone's exclusive property. So from the word go there was a process to allow others to develop complete Java implementations. These had to be compatible at the bytecode level at runtime, so that Java could interoperate at the binary level, and pass an extensive compatibility test suite. Once complete, you'd get a licence from Sun to call your product Java(TM). 10 years ago, I was working on a JVM at a company that did exactly that.

MS also took a licence, and then released MS Java. MS Java included additional methods in the standard classes, methods that the documentation did not even identify as not being part of standard Java. The clear intention was that developers would be suckered into writing Java that was not portable beyond the Microsoft system. This was a naked breach of the terms of the Sun licence, and it was on that basis that Sun sued.

Android uses Java the language, and provides compatible versions of some of the standard Java classes. But it does not use the Java runtime bytecode; instead, it uses a completely different bytecode and VM, Dalvik. You can't plonk a standard Java binary onto an Android device and expect it to work. The important point here is that Google do not claim to be shipping Java(TM), believe that using Java-the-language is perfectly permissible, and have no Sun licence.

So the legal matters at issue are completely different.

IANAL. But if the original vendor of a language has the power to stop others doing compatible implementations, or demand royalties, as long as no trademarks or patents are violated, it's news to me. And as others have pointed out, if this were to turn out to be the case, m'learned friends at IBM, where SQL originated, will doubtless want a very, very expensive word with Oracle.

5
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Virgin Media STILL working on fix for SuperHub corrupt downloads glitch

Jim Hague
Go

Re: glad I still have the old cable modem

Me too. I am terrified of being lumbered with one of these disasters, and so am avoiding upgrading to a higher speed than my old Surfboard can handle. Even modem mode connecting straight through to my OpenWRT WRT54GL sounds a risk.

1
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Hands on with the Intel-powered Orange San Diego

Jim Hague

Re: ARM emulator

If you're targetting an app at, say, both iOS and Android, it may make sense to write the main engine in C++ and do the platform-specific GUI stuff in that platform approved manner. AIUI, this is not uncommon these days. Ergo, a chunk of native code.

Which you get to run in emulation. Hmm.

1
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Ofcom: The Office of Screwing Over Murdoch?

Jim Hague

Re: Orlowski gets it wrong

Are you saying you believe that everyone is quite happy that NoTW accessed the voicemails, and if only the (inadvertant) deletion on the mails hadn't happened nobody would have any problems with NI at all?

8
1

MPs: Border Agency's own staff don't trust airport-scanner tech

Jim Hague
Meh

Anyone ever seen the e-gates at Luton working?

Theve've always been switched on, and arrivals at Luton is plastered with signs telling you to use them. But after a couple of years passing through Luton monthly, I've never seen them open for business.

Bristol now seems to post a list of restricted times the gates are open for business. I just missed this last time, and access was barred. So, I get to wait for some time in a queue for a bored official to insert my passport into the reader and see if the computer says no. Presumably the machinery needs a little lie down.

2
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Heathrow facial recognition tech stalled by borders fiasco

Jim Hague

Luton too

Luton too is festooned with signs urging you to use the ePassports system. It's been installed for years.

I've never seen it open for use.

1
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Oz skeptic offers prize if Rossi’s E-cat works

Jim Hague
Thumb Down

Par for the SMH course

Back around '97 the dear old SMH reported breathlessly on a homegrown talent who had apparently produced a codec capable of sending full screen full motion video and audio over a dialup modem link.

Of course no technical details could be disclosed or anything seen other than a staged demo with no opportunity to kick the tyres offered, because of pending patent applications and confidential talks with potential investors etc. etc.

15 years later I'm still waiting for this technology to arrive. Funny, that.

3
1

New account of Flight 447 disaster published

Jim Hague
Happy

Re: Airbus Crazy

Based on a play last night on an official A320 sim (full motion an' all, owned by Czech Airlines), I can tell you that yes, you can move both input controls at the same time.

And if you do, the warning voice bawls 'dual input' at you. Repeatedly. Which I submit is a respectful request to the overlord meatsacks to bloody sort themselves out.

We'll have to wait for a real Airbus jockey to come by and tell us if the mode is apparent. Based on the response to an engine fire on approach, I suspect that yes, it does let you know. And probably advises on what to do about it.

As an aside, the instructor took us for a most entertaining low-level pass by the Eiffel Tower. Said warning voice was fully occupied yelling 'Terrain', 'Terrain, 'Pull up', 'Terrain'. The sim was colossal fun. I want one.

7
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The BBC Micro turns 30

Jim Hague
FAIL

Someone is confused about the Model A and Teletext mode

The Model A *did* have video Mode 7 (Teletext mode), which was indispensable because it only consumed 1k. It was only the Electron which didn't, which promptly made the Electron unable to run vast swathes of BBC Micro software and killed its major selling point.

There's an upgraded Model A in the loft somewhere. I got it at the launch price. The memory got upgraded pretty swiftly. It later acquire a floppy drive at horrid expense - Acorn had used an Intel FDD controller chip that went out of production soon after launch, and the price climbed horribly. ISTR having to pay about £50 for mine. They keyboard was great, the only keyboard on a home machine in which you really could type. The other major upgrade was a Sideways RAM board, built from a design in one of the mags. I spent countless hours honing my 6502 assembler skills on that machine....

Oxford ACCU will toast this significant day tonight. I'll make them :-)

3
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El Reg follows World Solar Challenge

Jim Hague

Stopping at 5pm sounds sensible

The bloody roos gather by the roadside in the twilight, and when approached by a car with lights on manage to make pheasants looks like keen students of the Green Cross Code.

And it is bitumen all the way, and you definitely don't need a 4WD.

If you can, take a diversion into the town centre of Woomera as you go past. The park is festooned with bits of tasty old range hardware - a Gloster Meteor, bits of Black Knight, all kinds of old missiles and rocketry. And if you ask the right person at the hotel, the local astronomy club may give you a run on their telescope.

0
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UK could have flooded world with iPods - Sir Humphrey

Jim Hague
Stop

No chilling effect? Really?

It may be true that no consumer has ever been prosecuted for format shifting. But nevertheless it remains illegal. Are you seriously suggesting that doesn't act as some kind of brake on manufacturers? Like, oh, http://www.brennan.co.uk/itemcontent.php/content/Copyright2 for example?

8
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London's Olympic clock claps out

Jim Hague
Thumb Down

Re: web site wont go down...

The Olympic Visa-only rort is not a UK invention, and is nothing new. You could definitely only pay with Visa at the Sydney Olympics. Blame the IOC, not Coe's lot.

2
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Airport face-scanning robots switched off

Jim Hague
Thumb Down

Rare to find any of them in operation

I've used then once each at Bristol, Brum and Gatwick without a problem in the last couple of years, and jolly nice it was too escaping the long queue for the wetware-scan. But the bloody things are almost never in operation. There's a nice set of them at Luton which must have been there for a year now and which I've never seen working, despite the tons of signage instructing you to use them.

The signage, and the ads in the inflight magazines, serve as an annoying reminder to me how much of the nation's hard-earned has been pissed up the wall on this one. One would think the whole point of the evaluation was not to splash everywhere before you knew the gadgetry was working.

Part of me, though, wonders whether the reason they are always off has more to do with border union relations than the tech. Mind you, they are Windows-based, so I'll give the unions the benefit of the doubt for now.

2
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EC parades common phone charger

Jim Hague
Coat

Re: Car chargers

There are actually two different sizes of fag lighter sockets in cars worldwide. Better than phone chargers, true. Just don't expect your Euro lighter plug to fit into a car on the other pond side.

Coat. Exit.

0
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Stephen Fry security whoopsie leads to prank fart book order

Jim Hague
Coat

Nitpick: Bodleian is not just for Oxford Uni

I got a readers card off them once, and I'm not a University member. I do live in Oxford, and I did have a semi-plausible reason for wanting access to the library for research purposes.

Coat. Acquire. Door.

1
1

Google Nexus Two 'lands November 8'

Jim Hague
Headmaster

So, Google figures Samsung need a hand with their Android firmware

Not surprised. I've suffered with the original i7500 Galaxy for a year. Apart from not fixing the bugs, a year of 'Donut will be released next month'. 'Next month' meaning never. Galaxy S sounds the same story; not bad hardware, let down by firmware. GPS not working, forsooth.

I wonder if Google figured Samsung were slowly tarnishing the Android brand.

3
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IBM backs Oracle against Apache and Google's Android

Jim Hague
WTF?

Google switch Android to OpenJDK? Why?

Android is not Java-the-System. It uses Java-the-Language plus parts of Harmony to provide the standard basic Java types, collections, networking etc. libraries. Most everything else is Android specific, including the JVM.

IBM may have been Harmony members, but AFAIK they never shipped anything based on Harmony. Certainly the AIX JDK is completely Sun based. I would guess IBM regarded Harmony as insurance against Sun somehow taking their ball away.

So the Harmony project's goal of a complete Apache-licenced open source Java SE may be a little further away, but that's irrelevant to Google. They don't want or need Java SE. Or ME.

2
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Android rebellion: How to tame your stupid smartphone

Jim Hague
Unhappy

So, the author's Samsung Galaxy S has problems

If the quality of the firmware is anything like that on my original Samsung Galaxy i7500 (Cupcake-only abandonware only a few months after purchase), I'm not surprised.

I've been playing with a G1 of late, with HTC issue 1.6 and various Cyanogen versions. Android doesn't have to be flakey.

0
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Brits not buying into Freeview HD

Jim Hague
WTF?

Have you tried to buy a Freeview HD telly recently?

I did. There's a lot of weasling about being 'HD Ready' but models with DVB-T2 HD built-in are pretty thin on the ground, and as near as non-existant as makes no difference at the cheaper end if you're looking in the bricks and mortar world(*).

I'd have bought a Freeview HD ready TV if I could, but it wasn't an option.

(*) I was unloading DSG vouchers so was restricted to their stores.

0
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Android apps: Shifty little bleeders

Jim Hague

Re: Excessive Permissions

Apps looking for 'net access, location data and other surprising items can just be because the dev has included one of the ad presenters.

Got alerted to this when the torch app I'd been using suddenly demanded net and location. Checked with dev, who explained about ad package. Didn't downgrade to the new version, though I understand the wish to make some change. I did ask for a payware adless version, but nothing came of it.

1
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Vote Lib Dem, doom humanity to extinction

Jim Hague
Thumb Down

@Good call

So, every country in the world which has hung parliaments has nightmares getting things done, and it would be a disaster?

Remind me - it's obviously Greece, with it's record of strong majority government, that is currently bailing out the Federal Republic of Germany, which has enjoyed a mere two years of non-coalition government in its history. Or did I get that wrong?

Oh, and it's a crap piece too. The question, Lewis, is whether you want a Trident replacement to deter the Soviet Union, or a carrier that might actually be useful in the modern world. We aren't going to afford both, thanks to a financial disaster produced by organisation that boast both NuLab and the Tories as their cheerleaders.

8
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Lib Dem candidate admits to unnatural vice

Jim Hague
WTF?

LibDems never opposed the invasion of Iraq

Oh dear. I've been duped by a biased media into believing the LibDems whole-heartedly supported the Iraq war. I was mislead by their cunning tactic of indicating wholehearted support by voting 'no' on the relevant parliamentary division.

http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2003-03-18&number=118&display=allvotes

Of course, I'm a complete political simpleton, lacking the sophisticated understanding of such matters in Parliamentary circles. Now I see that when my local Labour MP voted consistently in favour of Post Office closures, he was actually doing what his publicity plastered over the local rags and junk mail claimed, and opposing them.

It's scary that I'm allowed to vote, really.

1
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Samsung to offer open Android alternative

Jim Hague
Thumb Down

Samsung code quality

Judging by the competence of the Samsung bits of code on my Galaxy, this developer will be in no hurry to cross swords with an all-Samsung software environment.

0
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Dell refunds PC user for rejecting Windows

Jim Hague
Linux

Ask Dell before you buy

I ordered a Latitude E5400 from Dell earlier this week. It's shown on the website as available with Windows or Windows.

I did the 'chat with a sales rep' thing, and after explaining clearly that the machine was to be Linux, I got a quote with FreeDOS instead of Windows, and a price reduced by approx 50 quid.

Not received it yet, but living in hope.

0
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Shuttleworth on Ubuntu: It ain't about the money

Jim Hague
Go

Shuttleworth, Gent.

Shuttleworth in person comes across as a fully paid up member of the Good Guys. His rationale is simple; he says it would have been impossible for him to get Thawte off the ground and then grow it without all that Linux/Free Software goodness to run it on. Since he has substantially benefitted financially, he feels that he owes that community.

So Ubuntu is a way of repaying that debt, though one wih the possibility that it might in the long term be profitable. He also sees it as a potential vehicle for Africa as a whole to take control of its IT destiny.

In short, unless you are the kind of cripple that reckons accumulation of money is the only aim of a human existance, his actions are 100% laudable and the outward manifestation of a Real Gentleman. Blessings be upon him.

0
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French won Waterloo, says Italian telecoms chief

Jim Hague
Paris Hilton

@The French

Yep, they have a sense of humour and a short memory. After all, Paris was successfully defended several times as recently 1914-18. They were largely on their own in 1914 - how big was the BEF? And then there's the defence of Verdun, a hugely bloody French-only operation.

Paris, even though the city is prettier.

0
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Nobel Prize winner demands more honesty from peers in green debate

Jim Hague

@MondoMan

According to the naturalists on a CBC Radio show I caught on holiday in Beautiful BC, the current explosion in the beetle infestation is because the population has historically been controlled by winter cold. Get the temp below -35C for a couple of weeks (something Canadian winters have historically amply provided) and most of the little buggers peg out. Recent winters have not been cold enough for long enough.

Sounds to me like 'warming' is a reasonable hypothesis as to the cause of the infestation.

0
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Brown quizzed on gov IT failures

Jim Hague

So, it's just rules not being followed, eh?

It's worth while doing what you can to stamp out this doublethink that tries to write the loss off as a procedural problem.

I tried a letter to my MP calmly explaining that given the junior had access to the whole DB and the monster amount EDS would doubtless have charged for doing anything trivial, the procedural failure was pre-destined by *policy*. Policy, the bit the politicians reckon they are responsible for.

First time I've got any kind of response indicating he might have taken something on board. I might go so far as vague signs that he (a long-standing Labour trusty) may be beginning to experience a faint inkling that the Home Office Biometric Gospel is a load of cobblers.

0
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The day Microsoft 'embraced and extended' Java

Jim Hague
Gates Horns

There was more than just Windows add-ons

>I never really thought it was such a big deal that M$ was

>making Java work nicely with their OS/Tools.

The COM integration was very nice and useful.

Adding new methods to core classes and not even documenting that these were MS extensions was pure evil. Simply, a MS Java coder could write a pure Java program eschewing all the Windows extensions, and still end up with something not portable beyond Windows.

0
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Save the BBC - by setting it free

Jim Hague

@Anthony

I'm someone with a >£500 HD telly, Freeview and not Sky or Virgin. So no HD signal. But I'm dammed if I'm going to pay the vast sums Murdoch and Virgin demand to ship ad-crammed garbage into my house by the container-load. Because I'm a cheapskate? No, because I can't see anything in their offerings that I want to watch, and while HD would be nice, it's the programming that's important, not the screen resolution. For the (not great) amount of TV that I watch, Freeview plus the licence fee is a compelling option.

By your argument, Sky would have penetrated the market from the wealthy down. I'd argue that history was significantly different.

As to the original piece, it's similar to loads produced a decade ago. 'In the upcoming multi-channel world, no-one will want the Beeb'. Turns out that the multi-channel world of choice is a choice of crap or drek, and a lot of people do still want the Beeb.

0
0

London man coughs to 172mph Porsche jaunt

Jim Hague

A420

The A420 Oxford-Swindon is for the most part winding single-carriageway (50 limit) with small sections of dual. Both types feature regular side road junctions. The road has a bad fatality record.

Autobahn it isn't. 172mph is so far off the sensible speed scale *for this road* that no defence is possible. If this nurk didn't kill someone, it wasn't because of his skill or judgement.

0
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UK mulls drink-drive limit cut

Jim Hague

Random tests, not the limit

50mg and random tests is the regime in New South Wales, and has been for years. Perhaps we could check comparative statistics?

It isn't the limit that's the problem, it's the chances of getting caught. Which are close to zero at present unless you wallop something. ISTR from somewhere that the average British driver will get breathalysed about once every 20 years. The figure in NSW is apparently more like once every 18 months I've been breathalysed twice, once in NSW and once in South Africa, both random tests. I have no problem with them happening here.

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