429 posts • joined Tuesday 19th June 2007 08:57 GMT
Re: Don't be so quick to mock
On the other hand, Bing Translate was probably designed by a load of geeks.. I think it's a fair bet that at least one would be able to get hold of an English to Klingon dictionary (or some Klingon text and the associated English translation) relatively easily. That isn't necessarily so with more culturally important languages.
Sad to see them go.
I used to be a customer with Be*.
I can honestly say that from my first day until my last, the service from Be was never less than excellent. Right from the start, when BT refused to add ADSL to my line, and while Be themselves could not sort it out, they told me exactly what to say to BT to get it sorted.
In fact, the only reason I left was that Virgin were threatening to double the speed of all their customers, and Be could not match the 100meg VM were offering.
Would I be leaving Be if I were still a member? Not sure. Probably. I am not a massive fan of the Murdochs.
Re: I'm pretty sure it's not "telemetrics"
So, it would be telemetrics then, as Microsoft are probably quite far away from the PCs of 99.9% of Windows users. It's just whatever sensors and monitoring systems they used are near the user.
Re: Internet connection required
"It's extremely likely that MS will insist on "Always On". Given that they pressed ahead with (un)Metro UI despite howls of anguish, it's also likely they will not back down here either."
Be careful counting those chickens. There have been rumblings from within MS that the Always On "Requirement" is not a requirement at all. Merely that software publishers can require that the connection is always on. Much like they can do with the current xbox and playstation.
"MS is making a bomb from its "gold" XBox subscription, or whatever it is called, where the peons pay it a monthly tithe, so MS would rather enhance that business model, even it it means a few rebels leave the Xbox platform. MS doesn't care about those weirdos anyway..."
And? MS is a business. You don't want Xbox Gold, not having it will not stop you using the xbox (unless you like multiplayer games).
"On a related note, I hear that there are ads plastered everywhere in the XBox "experience" even for customers that paid in full for the console and for the subscription. That would really p*ss me off, why do people tolerate this abuse of their custom?
In the same way that people tolerate those non-skippable anti-piracy ads on DVDs that they PAID for also, I guess. Fools!"
Get off your high horse and actually *try* an xbox, will you? You get ads for services and products available using the xbox (such as lovefilm and netflix). It's nothing like the Ubuntu Unity style sell out you appear to be implying it is.
"The challenge isn't about experiencing poverty but surely highlighting poverty whilst earning money through sponsorship."
I agree. If Lester had merely wanted to experience poverty, surely he needn't have gone to the bother of writing about it. Writing about it, however, does highlight it.
Also, can you ever truly experience poverty if you know that at the end of the week, you are going to have enough money to cover your bills, other expenses, and, I dare say, a few "luxuries"?
Re: Be careful for what you ask for, you might get it!
The NRA may not be a branch of the US Government, but they seem to be able to wield a staggering amount of power over the senate.
"We're pleased to see that while saintcroix's diet is indeed a pretty lamentable state of affairs, he/she hasn't been deprived of that most basic human need: an internet connection. "
If saintcroix is on benefits (and if they are that poor, they probably are), it's worth pointing out that the government requires that you have internet access for an increasing number of benefits. Anyway, who's to say they didn't just pop into their local library (assuming they still have one) and use the internet for free?
I just wish
Adobe had a sane updater system that used updates that are easily distributed with the various enterprise software distribution systems. I know they have Adobe Software Update Server, but last time I tried that, it offered no obvious way to control which updates are installed (where I work, we test installs and updates thoroughly before we deploy them).
Re: Whilst I can see the value.....
"Hang on... but your logic seems incomplete.
You claim that something that costs the utility company (such as a smart meter) is really costing me."
"But surely this means that something that saves a utility company money (such as not needing to employ meter readers) saves me money too?
You can't claim one without accepting the other... unless you are simply looking for a Daily Mail friendly way to bash the utility companies!"
Yes, you can. What will happen is that any savings they make will be paid to the shareholders as dividends..
Expectations seem to have dropped considerably, the only plus side seems to be that less people are now satisfied with truly awful bargain basement headphones.
No, seemingly they are happy to pay a small fortune for truly awful bargain basement headphones that have been blinged up a bit.
BTW, although I have always been sceptical about Beats headphones and other Monster products, when I last bought a proper home pair of headphones, I did test a selection of headphones (including various beats models) with various kinds of music. The Beats headphones ranged from £90 to over £200, and did well on hip hop, but awfully on everything else.
Eventually, I settled on a £70 pair of Sennheiser DJ headphones that did a good job on all the music (and, IMO, beat the Beats on hip hop as well). Yes, I did include classical music in the test, and all the music was from Audio CDs.
The problem with the cloud
The collapse of 2e2 shows what for me is the major problem with storing things in the cloud. Cloud providers going titsup. The industry can argue all it wants that 2e2 was a very specific case, and they can come up with all the accreditations they want but the fact is that from time to time companies go bankrupt.
If that company is hosting data for all sorts of other companies (who may be relying on it), then what is going to happen to those other companies? Yes, they can claim their data, but how long will this take? How many companies can afford to be without potentially major parts of their IT systems for that long?
Even once they have access to their data and any software running on the cloud, how long would it take to migrate it to another provider (or in house)? Can they be without data that long?
Yes, keeping the data and software running on your own computers costs more, but at least you won't lose access to it due to bankruptcy. Well, you might, but if you are bankrupt, you won't need access to it anyway.
Re: Time to die
Flash isn't from Microsoft.. You can bet if this artlicle was about Silverlight, he'd be in here criticising it like a shot.
Having said that, Silverlight never really took off anyway so I doubt anyone would bother writing articles about other companies dropping support for it.
Re: The wisdom of the crowd!
I cite Twitter (or at least most of the bits I have seen) as evidence it is true.
Re: I'd completely missed their pricing
I seem to remember when I went from 2g to 3g, initially, I didn't really notice the difference (apart from the fact I was now able to download podcasts on the phone at a reasonable speed). I had one of the early "smart" phones (a T Mobile branded HTC Tytn II running Windows Mobile). I downloaded the odd app, but nothing really heavy on data, but I did download the odd podcast. One thing that I did make a fair amount of use of though was a full web browser (both IE and Opera Mobile). Same on the N95 that replaced it.
Then I got an iPhone. Suddenly I had access to lots of apps that needed data. This is where I feel I really got the full advantage of 3G, but the tariffs were always limited (which limits the use of 3G). Then, T Mobile introduced the Full Monty package, with Unlimited data and now I find I can do things that I'd have never dreamed of before, like listening to higher quality on line radio streams for hours, and thanks to iTunes Match, I can carry my entire record collection (several hundred albums) and just stream the music I want, rather than be limited to whatever happens to be stored on the phone at the time.
Now, I have received all the advertising bumpf from EE telling me how great 4G is and how "little" it costs, although seeing as it would cost me nearly twice what I am paying to get a package anywhere near what I am on now, and I wouldn't actually get that much of an advantage from LTE over 3G, I won't be upgrading for a while.
Maybe when EE has some competition, they'll bring the prices down a little, or up the data allowances, I'll reconsider. However, I've done a little looking into US pricing and based on that, I doubt they'll be improving their offer even when there is competition in the market.
Re: 4KB RAM ?
Actually one of the lecturer's on my degree thought the same.. Even though this was the mid nineties and the average PC had at least a couple of meg of Ram, he set us one of our first programming tests on a "Flight" board. Can't find a link ATM, but these were basic 68000 powered motherboards that had a grand total of 32K of usable RAM. We had to write a few programs in 68K Assembler. These programs were designed for specific tasks.
His reason for teaching us this? That the 68K processor had a nice assembler syntax that was similar enough to Intel x86 to make x86 assembler easier to learn, but different enough that we would have to work to learn it. Also, the 32k of RAM required us to code efficiently. Code efficiently in Assembler and you'll be surprised at what you can achieve with very few resources, even in the bloated world of modern GUIs.
One point every who defends this woman (and presumably Amazon, Apple, Google, Starbucks et al who are all doing the same on a larger scale) appears to be missing is that no one has suggested that what is being done is illegal. Immoral and wrong, maybe, but not illegal. But what is legal and what is right aren't always the same things.
Re: Show us the code
"It's about money, period.".
Odd thing to say. Of course it's about Money. Why do you think Microsoft, Samsung, Apple, Foxconn etc are in business? They are in business to make money. Even Google is in business to make money, although they don't make money directly from the users or by selling Android, they do it by selling advertising.
Well, for one thing, I doubt Foxconn manufacture these phones and then give them to the company that ordered them for free, so I suspect the money will come from Samsung, LG, HTC etc..
Re: No biggie
For one thing, we don't know for sure if MS are doing this (although with the amount of rumours around, TBH, it seems likely).
However, I think requiring an always on connection is a staggeringly bad idea. Not everyone has a reliable connection, and some have a connection that will be too slow, or has data limits.
You say that there are people who live always online lives, They can do so without any requirement for the rest of us to do so.
Now, IF microsoft do enforce this requirment, and IF it offers REAL benefits for the consumer (and I do not mean online play or the ability to communicate with friends as these are already being offered without the requirement for always online), it could be good.
The thing is, remote monitoring like this can be handy as a developer. You can design the best testing procedures and systems on earth, but you can't entirely accurately simulate the impact of 100s of users.
As such, these systems can be a godsend for diagnosing the fault.
It's not quite the same, but I maintain a PHP based website at work that uses a java based webservice to do a lot of it's donkey work. It has a simple fault monitoring system that fires off emails including various bits of diagnostic information (things like user ID, parameters passed in and stack traces etc) if a variety of things occur, such as exceptions being thrown. The result of the system doing this is I can often have the problem at least diagnosed (if not fixed) by the time the user reports it. It's not a full fault reporting system as such (it does not store details of the faults, so the only why I can analyse them is by keeping the emails) but it does the job it was intended for..
I'd be a little wary of these services offering to store this kind of info for free.I've never really looked into how much the paid services charge, but given an app with a reasonably large user base, this app sounds like it could potentially generate a lot of data. Data that would need to be stored. Storage costs, so I'd be wondering where the company that so generously offers to store this data for free is deriving it's income.
On the other hand.
When I was at college, I went to a part with a couple of my classmates. One of whom found a particularly attractive girl, and tried an unusual chat up technique. He got talking to her, then started talking about databases and database servers.
I saw the rather bored look on her face he apparently missed, and went up to her, introduced myself and started talking about more normal subjects (films, music, her, me etc) and we struck up quite an interesting conversation. Then she asked me what I did for a living. When I told her that I was a student, and looking to get in to Application Programming, she screamed and ran off.
Never heard from her again.
Re: My excuse...
My employer allows me to do outside work, but they do charge for it (which is a good thing as it means I am apparently covered by their liability insurance in the event something should go wrong and I am sued). They charge enough per hour that most people think twice when asking for my help.
It's funny really. People in most careers are not expected to take their work home. People don't ask a surgeon to perform surgery. They don't ask taxi drivers for a lift. They don't ask an undertaker to bury a relative for free. They don't expect shop workers to go and sell them something, yet as soon as you tell people you do anything to do with computers, regardless of what it is, they either come up with problems they are having and ask you about it, or fix their PC.
I'm regularly asked questions like "Which Laptop is better, the Dell XPS-1500 or the Lenovo Thinkpad 7x5" (I know they aren't actual model numbers, just example), when I don't tend to keep up with computer model numbers unless I am actually looking to buy one myself, so wouldn't have a clue.
Re: This just in
Indeed. While I am no expert on hacking (although I did do a CCNA a few years back, so have a fair idea of how networks work at the packet level, if you know what sort of response a given system will give, it's possible to use a script to try a few ports looking for that response.
Going on to the main topic of the article, I think the root of the problem is twofold. First, technology is moving faster than most people can cope with. SCADA systems will stay in place for years. It can cost a lot of money to replace a mid to large size one, and they need as near to 100% uptime as they can get. Even the likes of Npower and other similarly sized companies aren't going to spend potentially millions upgrading their control systems every couple of years. This is a problem because the length of time the control systems are in place gives hackers plenty of time to find vulnerabilities, and it also means the hackers will have had time to develop quicker or more advanced techniques for finding and exploiting those vulnerabilities. It also means that even assuming the SCADA system manufacturer admits there is a problem (and it's not a given that they will), the system owners are less likely to actually patch it.
The second problem is cost cutting. It's far easier (and cheaper) to stick a SCADA system on a publicly accessible IP, then have one or two staff monitoring (and adjusting or repairing, if necessary) several SCADA systems from a central control centre (which can be in a different country). This can be a secure way of doing things, but the connection needs to be on a dedicated line (even a phone line will sometimes do), or you need a VPN connecting the two buildings.
OK, while VPNs are technically still hackable, a well configured one can be a hell of an obstacle to most hackers.
I think the other part of the second problem is that SCADA systems are increasingly being run by what are essentially standard PCs with special hardware so they can interface with whatever machinery they control. This means that not only can the system be attacked using flaws in the SCADA hardware/software, but it can also be attacked using flaws in the PC Architecture and PC OS (usually Windows). Both of which are considerably better known to hackers than specialist SCADA hardware/software.
"Microsoft's history is one of remarkable consistency when it comes to backwards-compatibility. It's very hard to imagine it would step away from that policy on mobile phones"
True up until Windows phone 7 and 8. 7 wasn't compatible with previous versions of Windows CE/Windows Mobile and Windows Phone 8 is not compatible with 7 either.
Re: Its a scam
Pretty much sums it up for me..
If there are any scientologists here, please answer me this. If Scientology is so good, why are they not as open as other religions about what they do and what they believe? Most Churches will happily allow public discussion of their beliefs and actions. They even go so far as to allow documentaries on TV. Scientology doesn't. On the contrary, people who try and broadcast what they believe end up getting threatened.
Let me make one thing clear. I have no problem with what Scientologists believe per se. What I do have a problem with is that they are not open about it at all.
You aren't seeing the whole picture..
You appear a little naive. You also appear to be assuming that the corporations willing to pay big bucks for the medical histories of entire sections of the population have those people's best interests at heart.
Now, while I do genuinely believe corporations actually do a lot of good, I don't believe for one second that all of them exist only to do good.
A couple of reasons spring to mind why this is a terrifying idea.
1) Insurance. I don't know how much time you have spent dealing with them, but Insurance companies will use any excuse not to pay, or not to insure you. How easy do you think it be for you to get any kind of insurance if the insurance companies knew your family had (say) a history of heart attacks, cancer or strokes that were somehow genetically caused? What about if the genetic records they obtained about you showed some sort of genetic disposition to suffering those conditions that you were not aware of?
2) Employment. Employers seem to be asking for increasing amount of data about potential employees. For instance, several employers are now insisting on access to employees' social media accounts and in some cases credit checks. How would you feel if you found a well paid job that you were perfect for and were not offered it purely because your parents had bad health?
3) Personalised advertising. While I find this offensive enough anyway, imagine the kind of explaining you'd have to do if you let a mate borrow your laptop for a few days and he (or she) saw a lot of adverts for remedies for sexual diseases just because you'd recently gone to the local GUM clinic with a dose of the clap.
Re: American Broadcasting Corporation?
I thought Paris was wherever she wanted to be..
Re: Its thread likes theses which is why pc pro, moderates all posters now...
When did El Reg ever have proper discussions?
I've been reading it pretty much since it started (certainly since they start accepting comments) and I can't recall any thread that was what I would consider a proper discussion.
Re: They need to either fix all the holes or get rid of MSIE
Bearing in mind that a few years ago, IBM did a study and found that on average, for every 1,000 lines of source code, there was at least 1 bug in every piece of software, what would you rather have?
a) A browser whose maintainer freely admits to bugs and fixes them regularly?
b) A browser whose maintainer rarely, if ever, fixes bugs?
The fact is that NO SOFTWARE IS BUG FREE. Whether that software happens to be a Browser, an OS, a complier, a Word processor, a Database or whatever software you care to name.
What matters is the severity of those bugs, how proactive the company behind the software is at finding them, and how quickly they can release tested fixes for those bugs.
I am no fan of any particular OS (although I do like Opera as a browser, followed by Safari), but I do believe that MS have been particularly good recently for both finding bugs in their software, and fixing them quickly.
Re: Microsoft screw up YET AGAIN
So, only Windows is vulnerable to the kinds of remote attacks that lead to viruses? http://www.cvedetails.com/vulnerability-list/vendor_id-33/product_id-47/cvssscoremin-7/cvssscoremax-7.99/Linux-Linux-Kernel.html. That's just the vulns in the Kernel. I didn't bother checking all the thousand of packages the average Linux distro comes with.
Also has it occured to you that the reason we are seeing increased attacks on things like Java and Flash is that MS have done a lot of work to improve the security in all it's products?
I am no MS fanboy. I think Windows 8 and recent versions of Office are terrible. But, I don't think MS products are all bad.
Re: Physical security of server room ?
You'd think they do that. Most companies don't..
Where I work, I manage several servers (as part of my job). I can get physical access to the servers, but only if I ask very nicely, and only if accompanied by a senior system admin.
The trouble is, a lot of small to medium sized companies don't bother with this. They might have a few servers, for various aspects of the business, but these servers would probably be stuck in a corner (probably not even in a rack) of someone's office, and that someone would be partially responsible for their maintenance as well as another, totally unrelated, job.
Re: In criticising the BBC and their alleged agenda
I suggest you read more of the coverage. In general, El Reg seems to support the BBC.
A well reasoned argument.. I could counter by stating that all those who state the climate is changing are accepting huge amounts of money when they do so.
As for your argument about profits. Who are the ones paying for all these green initiatives? Not the businesses you claim are afraid dealing the the problems will reduce their profits. No, they just pass the cost on to the customer. Us, ultimately.
They may, in some cases, profit. A lot of these companies have diversified into new markets (green energy, organic food etc), some of which will be extremely profitable. Certainly the Energy companies won't lose out. Not only do they get to charge higher energy prices, but they are (in some cases) being paid by the government to install greener meters that will also allow them to control energy flows more efficiently and accurately bill us for our usage. We are essentially paying them to upgrade their technology so it costs them less to operate, and brings in more money for them.. Kerching!
Now, I don't deny climate change is happening, and I don't deny that we (as a race) should be looking for more efficient means of energy generation (this has benefits regardless of the effect of the climate). What I don't like is a large public organisation telling me something is true giving little evidence and spending thousands of pounds (some of which might have come from my licence fee) protecting it's sources from any questions. That suggests to me that they feel they have something to hide.
OK, so, can Foxit Reader import, edit, then export PDFs? Can Libre Office? Can any of the free solutions you suggest integrate with existing enterprise infrastructure (such as Sharepoint and Exchange, both of which are used quite heavily in the commercial world) as well as Office?
I am not saying Free software cannot be good (in fact on OSX, I'll use NeoOffice in preference to Office anytime), but you need to compare like with like.
Re: Quite impressive in term of size but am I alone in wondering.
It's a little simplistic to say that this SIMD thing should just work. A friend of mine used to write code for multi-core systems. She said it's relatively simple to code for 2 or 4 cores. When that code has to scale to thousands (or even a million, in this case), then scheduling and managing communication between the threads running on each core becomes both a massive job and a nightmare.
Re: Surface Pro will also fail
And that is, in my opinion, a problem for Android. The fact that the one company who has taken it to the masses has shown that it is ready, willing and able to switch it's focus to a different platform with minimal notice. This is a problem (IMO) for Android as the general public seem to be going for Samsung phones rather than Android phones. If Samsung should abandon Android, and those users stay with Samsung, Android could be in trouble.
In fact, if Samsung go for Microsoft big time, it could help Microsoft.
Don't believe Samsung are willing and able to switch platforms with a speed that would make even Apple jealous? Look at their history. They've only been making smartphones for a few years, yet already they've used various custom OSes, various Symbian OSes, various versions of the Microsoft Phone OSes (Windows Mobile and Windows Phone) as well as various versions of Android. Even now, they offer both phones and tablets running Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8.
Re: How can this be viable@Mr Fuzzy
As such, instead of hitting the target once, then exploding, the missile would explode and potentially hit the airship in hundreds of places. It may even shred a large section of the craft.
Re: that's the point.
"What are the chances that anyone can develop a search engine (with backing data, of which they have decades) that will compete with Google?"
You do realise that people said pretty much the same about Lycos, Excite, Yahoo and Altavista? All of whome have been beaten by Google.
Remember, all it would need is for someone to build a better search engine and Google lose the basis for their business.
Re: It's ok .....
Sadly, even if he does, they have his approximate and / or work address if he has ever used Wifi at home or work,along with various other details, including, possibly any people he has called.
Users always have had an alternative to iOS. Whether it was any of the proprietary OSes, various flavours of Symbian (both Nokia and others) or Windows Mobile..
Ironically, Android (the OS you say users are reasonably happy having as an alternative to iOS) is at least part of the reason behind the deaths of these operating systems. iOS being another part.
Also, one thing I might be slightly concerned about if I was an Android fan.. The fact that the largest single supporter of Android (Samsung) seems perfectly happy to jump from OS to OS, even dropping OSes with little or no notice. I'd be wondering how long it is before they drop Android. Especially as their advertising seems geared to telling people that Samsung (and not Android) is the best alternative to Apple.
Re: @AC 12:27
Indeed. Where I work, there was classified technology on the premises. The whole building was protected (during that period) by the Military police (although we are not a military organisation) and a security system using lasers. The only visible sign of the security system were 8 foot tall smoked glass towers placed at regular intervals throughout the grounds, along with a *lot* of security cameras.
Re: Bring the price of a ticket down
Doesn't work like that. People will still pirate stuff even if it's free.
For an example, look at Windows Service Packs. These are free, but Microsoft do require that you download them from a recognised source (such as Microsoft,com or various download sites such as MajorGeeks). With half an hour of release, you will find the Service packs spread across the newsgroups and hundreds of torrents will be available.
I went to that site..
All I can say is "Arrggh, my eyes!".
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