* Posts by Ru

1827 posts • joined 20 Jun 2007

Quitting your job? Here's how not to do it

Ru
Thumb Up

I like the way these articles are getting less accusatory,

which combined with a decent amount of information makes them a worthwhile read. Nice to know that recruiters can learn, too ;-)

"if firms managed their staff rationally I would have to get a proper job."

I don't believe there's any danger of that happening any time soon. I believe it is scheduled shortly after the average IT user learns about the basic priciples of security.

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Lucy in 3.4 million-year-old cross-species cave tryst

Ru
Trollface

"where are the useful mutations happening in the human race today?"

I think you rather underestimate the scales involved in changing a complex species... either time, and quite a lot of it, or environmental pressure, preferably brutal. In our not so distant past we have nice examples of serious pressure on immune systems; those who didn't do so well when faced with smallpox or the black death haven't passed down many genes to us today.

That aside, as a species we are adept at dealing with all sorts of problems that would have killed us off in the past. This may be a backwards step in the eyes of folk like you (OMG, we're encouraging the spread of genes contributing to bad diseases instead of letting sufferers die childless!) but we have social and technological evolution instead which is many ways is vastly more powerful.

Example: back in the day, an ignorant troll might find themselves burned at the stake by a rampaging mob of anthropologists who'd finally snapped. Thanks to the internet, those trolls can now prosper and reproduce in safety, passing their genes and ideas on to the next generation.

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Amazon boss finds Apollo 11 engines on seabed

Ru
Flame

Re: the Russians..

RD-170, apparently. Energia uses em.

Though they manage about 10% more thrust than an F-1, I do note that their thrust-to-weight ratio is somewhat lower (~94 for the F-1, ~82 for the RD-170).

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Dotcom hike will net MEEELLIONS of bucks for Verisign, ICANN

Ru
Meh

Ahh, capitalism.

The free market; we've heard of it!

Monopolies are what everyone really wants though... or at least, everyone who actually matters. Why is it that farming this sort of thing out to the evil Communists in China would give everyone a better deal, and leaving it in the hands of the democratic freedom-loving USA leaves us with what is effectively a state-sponsored monopoly granting magic money making powers to another state-sponsored monopoly?

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Microsoft to upgrade Windows Kinect kit

Ru
Facepalm

Re: But why?

Its an SDK, chief. If all you can imagine making with it is jump and wave games, that's your problem.

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Size DOES matter: Nokia snubs Apple's royalty-free nano-SIM

Ru
IT Angle

Is it just me,

Who sees ETSI and reads 'Etsy'? At least I get my daily dose of surreal tech news.

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Climate change linked to EXTREME weather surge

Ru
Meh

Re: still going?

We're not.

This article is about climate change being linked to recent weather extremes. The debate is about whether the changes are natural, or due to human activity.

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James Cameron back from dive to world's deepest point

Ru

Re: "I had this idea that life would adapt to the deep"

Huh, in fact sources elsewhere mention that Cameron's trip saw lots of Xenophyophores (which are bloody big for unicellular organisms... 10cm+ across) and the Trieste trip back in the 60s apparently saw a shrimp and a bottom-dwelling fish of some kind.

No idea if anyone has substantiated the latter, but clearly Cameron did find living things. Maybe they just weren't cool enough for him to mention.

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Ru

Re: "I had this idea that life would adapt to the deep"

Indeed, I have just been reading about "xenophyophores", which are entirely new to me.

Also been learning about interesting things, like the fact that extreme pressure affects cell membrane chemistry so more conventional organisms simply cannot get nutrients into their cells.

Still, doesn't sound like anything actually multicellular lives down here.

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Ru
Boffin

"I had this idea that life would adapt to the deep"

Life does adapt to exist in really deep ocean regions, but only where there is a source of food and energy. The Cayman Trough is a mere 5000m deep... less than half that of the Challenger Deep, admittedly, but the deep sea hydrothermal vents in it support a thriving ecosystem.

No light, no heat, no food (any falling nutrients would have been gobbled up by things living in more hospitable regions several kilometres up) so why would there be anything alive down there?

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CD: The indestructible music format that REFUSES TO DIE

Ru
Pirate

Re: Fidelity issues?

Also cost issues. If you're not impatient, MP3s are not necessarily price competetive with a new CD. And if you're buying second hand, they're definitely not competetive at all.

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Tripleton touts telephone for double-ohs

Ru
Black Helicopters

At the risk of doing a 'Lewis'

The Yanks have a perfectly reasonable device in the form of the Sectera Edge. Proven, certified, similar budget. Why not just buy some of those instead? I'll bet they have a better battery life too.

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Medieval warming WAS global – new science contradicts IPCC

Ru

"questions (3) and (4) are more important than (2)"

Well... sorta. It depends whether (2) is "what can we do to stop climate change" or whether it is "what can we do to protect ourselves from the results of climate change".

Man-made problems can conceivably be solved by stopping whatever it is that we are doing. Natural climate fluctuation could perhaps be solved by planetary scale engineering projects (terraforming Earth!) but that's clearly far beyond our abilities.

Protecting ourselves from the results is a sensible issue to focus on regardless of the cause.

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GIANT KANGAROOS wiped out by humans, not climate change

Ru

Re: Cool story

Nah, they don't provide very good eating.

I'm sure there'll be no problem associated with eradicating other stupid species that actually taste okay... rabbits, for example.

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Space probe in orbit above Mercury sees signs of polar ice

Ru
Coat

Well, its a tradition now.

You may as well ask why porn film names tend to be parodies of blockbuster film names.

Me, I'm holding out for the "Contrived Ridiculous Acronym Producer: Now Another Mangled Eponym", but maybe that's not tortuous enough for the establishment to accept.

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Osborne names UK cities to land £100m broadband bonanza

Ru

Re: I thought the communications network was privatised already

Our hard earned cash, old chap. Government subsidises private business all the time, and good thing too. Capitalism is for the benefit of capitalists after all, and if you're grumbling about your hard earned cash then you're not one of them. If there's insufficient evidence than making the investment themselves will give them a decent payback, why would they bother?

BT doesn't benefit a whole lot from giving you fibre broadband. BT isn't a charity.

Maybe if they have to start providing pole and duct access to third parties there will be a little more commercial pressure on them to invest a little more. Til then? Better hope the government thinks you deserve FTTC in your neighbourhood.

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You're crap and paid too much for the little work you actually do

Ru

"No one really cares"

The problem with the notion of *Visible* Progress is that the invisible progress is still pretty damn important. No-one cares you made the backup process 50% faster... until something goes horribly wrong and all that backup stuff is suddenly a priority and Questions are being Pointedly Asked about why more time was not spent streamlining this crucial task. So you're unrewarded if you do deal with these things before they become and issue, and you're in trouble if you don't. Yay!

I suffer a lot less from this sort of issue now I'm a codemonkey and not a sysadmin, largely because the people I'm working for actually understand the issues involved (sorting out a good test framework early on fails the CVP requirement, but it can prevent months of suffering later) and this is actually the most important thing.

If No One Really Cares, it is time to polish up your CV and look for new employment, or you will forever be an inconvenient business expense and your work will always suffer as a result.

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Nokia invents teeny throbbing tattoos to make your skin crawl

Ru
Terminator

Re: You could...

Oh joy, the chance to experience the terrible security so beloved of the sort of people who designed the bluetooth protocol, in a means that is surgically implanted and self powered!

I am totally certain that nothing bad could ever come of such a decision.

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Man FLIES with Android-powered homemade bird wings

Ru
Facepalm

Suspicious Physics sense... tingling!

One might consider if it were that easy to get airborne with something you could build cheaply and carry on your back, light aircraft travel would be a wee bit cheaper.

Ever see all the stuff you need to get a microlight in the air? Not to mention the amount of support required to keep the wing shape. Guess I'll still have to wait a year or two for my Blue Mars style wingsuit.

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'Now we understand what's required to explode a supernova' - NASA

Ru
Angel

Re: Numbers game?

God did it to test your faith.

Next you'll be telling me that some of these supernovae occurred more than 10000 years ago, before the creation of space and time.

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LightSquared hits FCC right where it hurts

Ru
Facepalm

As anticipated

This is just going to run and run, and in the end no-one will benefit but the lawyers.

It was bloody stupid of the FCC to say they'd let Lightsquared use their spectrum in this way, and it was only ever going to end in tears. Shame that both sides of this particular dispute can't both lose.

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Braben sticks knife into secondhand games market

Ru
Boffin

"First rule of being a parasite - you don't kill the host."

I can think of plenty that either kill or neuter their host. The trick is not to kill *all* the hosts.

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Kim Dotcom seizures 'null and void'

Ru
Black Helicopters

"This American concept... should end at the US border."

The US border is a nebulous thing, these days, especially when it comes to activities on the internet.

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Mega squid use HUMONGOUS eyes to spot ravenous sperm whales

Ru
Devil

Re: Well if it is intelligent design, then God is a bastard.

Quite. Respiratory and digestive tracts crossing over, anyone?

Malicious design seems like a much more apt term.

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Ru
Facepalm

Giant Squid are crap, anyway

What kind of a lousy design is 'throat goes through brain' anyway? Remember squidlings, chew your food properly or you might actually inflict traumatic brain injury on yourself. Awesome.

Feed em to a shoal of Humboldt squid, I say. They don't mess around with that sort of nonsense.

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Canon PowerShot S100 GPS compact camera

Ru

Hrm, a few compromises in there

The S90 was very clearly an excellent camera, but the S100 looks like an attempt to bodge a load of new and not entirely finished features on top of it. Stretching the zoom out but squeezing the aperture down even further is one, and a battery life that is a bit embarassing is another... and the price seems a wee bit steep, too.

Looks like a product of marketing rather than engineering this time round.

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Gamers pledge almost a million dollars for Wasteland sequel

Ru
Terminator

I feel you do realtime a disservice.

Hell, even first person isn't that bad (I give you Eye of the Beholder and Deus Ex as examples I enjoyed). The real problem is the utter dearth of creativity in the focus-group'n'committee big budget franchise game industry on one hand, and small, quick, simple, cheap mobile games on the other.

Not much call for interesting RPGs in either camp, these days. Exactly how novel and groundbreaking is Skyrim compared to, say, Beneath a Steel Sky?

I'd happily play a console-only, first person, real time RPG if it was interesting! Chances of that happening is pretty slim. Lets hope a new fan-funded wasteland will do the job instead.

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Waking Mars

Ru

Re: Exile,

I was just thinking the same thing. this one sounds a bit easier though. There were rumours of an iOS version of the Amiga Exile, but that development effort seems to have petered out, sadly.

Wikipedia informs me that Exile came out in 1988. Now I feel old.

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Ex-Google man laments Larry Page's 'single corporate-mandated focus'

Ru

"why did he choose _Microsoft_?"

Because he already has a good idea of what life is like in MS, and decided it compared favourably with Google, I imagine. Don't assume that your impression of a company's public, commercial activities has much similarity with what it is like to work for that same company.

I think this was linked from the Reg (or a comment thread here) recently... it seems relevant still. http://www.fakesteve.net/2008/04/google-putting-up-fence-and-gate-to.html

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Walking through MIME fields: Snubbing Steve Jobs to Star Trek tech

Ru
Unhappy

Re: "Open Standards is not the Microsoft way"

"Embrace and Extend" is a bit nineties-to-mid-noughties, really. Nowadays we prefer "Embrace and Partially Implement", which is clearly the industry accepted way of dealing with open standards.

Of late, you may notice that MS is indeed embracing open standards in this way, because it was unable to entice enough people to use its proprietary ones. This is fairly standard in Big Corporation land, and is a pattern you can see going back decades.

NIH, though... that's a tricky one. Big software patent wielding companies like MS often cannot risk using open software and standards because they simply cannot guarantee they are patent and copyright unencumbered. Live by the sword, die by the sword, and all that... it is safer for them to reimplement similar technologies themselves. Its a slightly more subtle effect of the current (US) IP situation than the usual legal warfare, but still a very wasteful one given the amount of time and resources expended on such a pointless endeavour instead of making new stuff, or old things better.

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BBC iPlayer boss: smart TVs not sufficiently simple

Ru
Meh

The hypocrisy is irrelevant

His comments still have merit, regardly of how awful his own employer's offerings are.

Seriously, life is too short to hunt down a paragon of UI engineering to act as a mouthpiece every time someone sees a bit of UI design that is frankful atrocious.

iPlayer is fugly, blah blah blah. Why is that relevant to smart TV interfaces?

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Canon focuses on 25th birthday EOS DSLR

Ru

Re: How Much?!?!?

It isn't wholly surprising... it has virtually the same specs as previous models of 1Ds had. It doesn't make much sense to take it out of the semi-pro price bracket though; seems like they'd have been better served by creating a 3D at the 3k price point, and putting a 5d3 back at 1.8k. Still, I Am Not A Marketer, so what do I know?

Price comparable with its Nikon equivalent though, the D800. It is a nasty thought that we're left with Sony of all people to provide a decent value full frame dSLR.

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Bromine bomb drops toxic mercury fallout

Ru

Re: Er, where is all the *mercury* coming from?

Ta.

Oh those wacky coal fired power plants. Shame nuclear has such a bad rep; I wonder if the environmental damage and death toll of nuke plants will ever get to the same level as the coal industry?

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Ru
Pirate

Er, where is all the *mercury* coming from?

Bromine compounds aren't exactly commonplace, but they're not unusual either. Where is all this atmospheric mercury coming from though? And how much of it is there?

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Online advertising isn't creepy enough

Ru

On targeting and Rossignol skis

I think you've got this the wrong way round. "I see you've bought a pair of Rossignol skis, perhaps you'd like to do that again? and again? and again?". The odds of a repeat purchase will drop off for larger ticket items that you don't need many of. Amazon doesn't get this, and will continue frantically pushing cameras at you because you bought a camera.

And you've made two purcahses form the same manufacturer... well. They clearly don't have to try anymore. But for all the other manufacturers, there's still a chance for you to see the light and buy their rubbish instead.

Anyway, I seem to be not making a point. Targetted advertising is the sort of thing that cannot be done the same way for all classes of good or service. Google appear to understand this (and you'd bloody well hope they would) but can't seem to do much about it.

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Election hacked, drunken robot elected to school board

Ru

Re: Get help from the banks.

Diebold make ATMs and voting systems. Turns out the two are only superficially similar.

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Ru

"nobody ever tampered with a paper election."

Two words for you: "audit trail".

Many electronic voting systems fail miserably in this regard, whereas boring old pen-and-paper elections do in fact leave a paper trail that can be inspected after the fact. Not perfect, sure. But significantly better.

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Ru

Re: This is what passes for testing?

Well, if the hacker who got into the system before you takes steps to secure it to prevent others hijacking their hard work, then it could easily be more secure against further attacks. Indeed, a quick read of the article suggests that other attacks were detected and block by Halderman.

This is why pen-testing alone is insufficient.

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Motorola Defy Mini rugged Android smartphone

Ru
Linux

"Lucky Android is free and open"

The OS is free and open, sure. Look at CyanogenMod for example.

The problem is not the OS, but the hardware upon which it runs, and any closed source binary blobs required to make that hardward function correctly. Motorola have an unpleasant habit of using signed, ocked bootloaders for example. You can recompile your OS to your heart's content, but it won't be going on locked hardware without the approval of a Moto Veep.

My own tabletty thing can run all sorts of versions of Android, so long as I'm willing to put up with either the sound, or the 3g radio, or both, not working. Again, not an open source problem, but that of an industry which is pathologically closed, restricted and untrusting.

But anyway... 1 day battery life? Oh, suddenly I don't care about what might otherwise have been an interesting device. Its just another toy. Next, please.

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Sony exec: quad-core CPUs bad for today's phones

Ru
Facepalm

You have no idea what the point of the article was, do you?

Hooray, it is daft analogy day again!

Would you get a 6 wheeler car? More traction, better load carrying! Oh, but more expensive, more maintenance, more weight, more friction than the 4 wheeler that does the job just fine now.

How about a cooker with twice as many hobs? If you're catering, or feeding a big family, sure. Otherwise it is just extra space and expense. A kettle that's twice as big, but its minimum capacity is twice as large? All that wasted time and electricity.

I could go on, but I'm already stretching my own patience.

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ISP Be admits crippling iPlayer demand burst its pipes

Ru
Facepalm

Re: Errm...

We've found it noticable at home, from time to time. It wasn't clear before now where the issue was arising; its a shared house, and we're not overburdened with bandwidth. I've not noticed these sorts of issues with any site other than iPlayer though. Be seem to be pretty much spot on in every other aspect of ISP-age though, which is nice.

And what on earth is "I'm not sure the content of this article is 100% true" supposed to mean? There's a statement, from Be, saying they have a problem, and they're remedying it. Why would they *lie* about having a problem, and spend money to fix a nonexistent issue?

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'Kill yourself now' - Torvalds throws openSUSE security tantrum

Ru
Coat

"we're not talking about SELinux are we?"

Well, we are only one 'su' away.

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Younger generation taking 'sledgehammer' to security

Ru
Facepalm

"They even think differently"

What utter rubbish. As any teacher of teenage pupils will tell you, 'continuous partial attention' is nothing new.

Still, its nice to see a justification for letting people access the corporate network with their own devices of unknown provenance: it lets security companies sell you new systems for dealing with all the new problems that increasing your attack surface by an order of magnitude brings. Oh brave new world.

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Yahoo! threatens! Facebook! with! patent! spanking!

Ru

Re: A sad day for innovation

When a company moves from innovation to litigation it is no longer part of the tech industry, it is part of the legal industry. It is no more a tech firm than an advertising agency or venture capital fund is a tech firm.

Patent trolls? Patent zombies, more like.

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Quantum computing IN OUR LIFETIME - IBM breakthrough

Ru

There are precious few things that were a) possible and b) actually being worked upon during the first half of the last century that were not achieved by the end of that century. Fusion is one exception.

If you believe in the singularity, you should probably notice that you are in one now.

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Mobile net kingpins v the world: 'Why should we pay the 4G tab?'

Ru
Trollface

"But being a good corporate citizen is expensive"

Not in the UK it isn't! All it cost them was lunch with Mr. Hartnett.

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HP, Dell warn of price hikes after Foxconn wage rise

Ru
Meh

"if all the manufacturing for Apple, HP, Dell etc was done [in the US]"

Then it would cost a hell of a lot more, wouldn't it? It is simply impossible to make iPad devices at iPad prices when dealing with 1st world wages, taxes and environmental constraints. No-one would be richer.

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Ru

Re: What goes around comes around

The cycle has been going on for years... have a look at Japan for example. First 'made in Japan' meant cheap crap, then it meant mass produced consumer stuff, and nowadays I at least associate it with precision, high-tech stuff. Optics, robots, machine tools and the like. Taiwan is also going the same way, a little ahead of China but not by much. India will be next no doubt. Barring any economic catastrophe, neither China nor Taiwan will stop being manufacturing powerhouses any time soon... I don't see a whole lot of companies out there to replace the Foxconns and TSMCs of this world any time soon.

This won't have escaped the notice of the Chinese, who have been massively investing in African nations, and fully intend to be making a healthy profit when cheap manufacture starts becoming impractical in their country, but they're also well aware that this isn't going to happen for years yet.

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Google Goggle glasses ARE WATCHING YOU

Ru
Facepalm

Re: I thought this article was going to say

Pretty much a given, I'd say!

Have you watched Black Mirror? Have a quick think about the advertising in that.

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