* Posts by Hayden Clark

503 posts • joined 24 Apr 2006

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RETRO-GASM: The Fuze electronics kit for the Raspberry Pi

Hayden Clark

Re: I love the smell of rosin cored solder in the morning.

Ahh.... Ersin Multicore from RS.

I have just been using the last couple of feet I have. It does smell very different to modern solder, a fact I had forgotten.

It doesn't eat the end of your soldering iron, either.....

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Hayden Clark
Happy

Re: Strange desire

Utterly, utterly..... Snap!

Me too, in all respects.

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Virgin Media to hike broadband prices by nearly 7 per cent

Hayden Clark

100Mb limit

Indeed - what is the point of "153Mb/s" if your house cabling is 100baseT? And you can only get more than 100Mb/s over wireless by squatting on top of the router?

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Netgear router admin hole is WIDE OPEN, but DON'T you dare go in, warns infosec bod

Hayden Clark
Happy

Re: WNDR3700v2 owner here...

When you buy a router to reflash with decent firmware, you only care about hardware and memory size. The TP-Link WR1043ND has 8M of flash and 32M of RAM, plus 3 aerials on it's wireless-N adaptor. 42 quid, and you can them make it do anything. I've got a few TP-Link devices, and they're cheap and reliable. Firmware's sh**e, but I never use it!

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Reg reader's nipper takes felt pens to Vulture 2

Hayden Clark
Happy

... to counterpoint

the surrealism of the underlying metaphor.....

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Streaming TV Aereo's enemies lob sueball into Supreme Court

Hayden Clark
Unhappy

Re: The Broadcasters next move will be...

Google "automotive NiMH encumbrance".

Oh, yes. That's why we will have to drive around with incendiary devices in our electric cars.

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'The NSA set me up,' ex-con Qwest exec claims

Hayden Clark
Facepalm

He's right - but he's guilty

It's just that everybody was at it at the time. What's "not fair" for him is that he got called out on it because he pissed off the NSA, not because he was more criminal than the other robber CEOs

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500 MEELLION PCs still run Windows XP. How did we get here?

Hayden Clark
Devil

What about fitness-for-purpose?

Xp was sold as a retail product. You buy a licence, not rent it. The whole issue of "support" is a smokescreen for "fixing faults". Why should Microsoft support XP for ever? Because every security failing is a defect in the product, either present when it was sold, or added by Microsoft in subsequent updates (delivered to fix faults present at point-of-sale).

Unlike physical products, software is not subject to wear-and-tear, so effectively has infinite life. The subsequent detection of faults in it does not constitute some kind of decay.

Sue them, I say!

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OUCH: Google preps ad goo injection for Android mobile Gmail app

Hayden Clark

Re: @AC 12:44

Nope. K9 mail supports IMAP IDLE, so you get something that quacks like push from most email servers.

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ISPs set to install network-level smut filters despite Lib Dem opposition

Hayden Clark

What about FreeView?

Along with the PC, many kids have TV's in their bedrooms. If you keep your finger on the channel "up" button for long enough, all sorts of icky things appear. BabeStation, the various "rabbit" stations, for example. No-one's proposing to ban those.

Odd that.

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'Beat the lie detectors' trainer sentenced to 8 months in jail

Hayden Clark
Thumb Down

Re: Win on Appeal?

No, he wouldn't. Whatever it says on the charge sheet, the actual crime was "making the Feds look stupid". No defence against that, as any counter-argument worstens the offence!

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Happy 50th birthday, Compact Cassette: How it struck a chord for millions

Hayden Clark
Happy

Re: Essential cassette accessories

Aha - don't you remember whacking the cassette each side to even up the wind on each reel? I immediately thought of it when I saw the pics, with the uneven tape.

If you didn't do it occasionally, the reel would jam against the lubricant sheets.

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Holiday HELL: Pourquoi, monsieur, why is there no merdique Wi-Fi here?

Hayden Clark
Unhappy

Re: Why not quit the freeloading?

Have you tried that in (non-Parisian) France? Only the operator shops in big cities could sell you a SIM, and then only after much paperwork and muttering. I gave up in an SFR shop aftder 20 minutes where no sales assistant even looked up from their paperwork. Oh, and the Orange France shop more or less told me to go away and enable roaming on my UK SIM.

So, OK, for international jet-setters flying through CDG, less good for holidays in the pretty bits.

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Nasty BOFHses. It burns us! It burns...

Hayden Clark
Thumb Up

>SQWARK< >SQWARK< >SQWARK<

That's what got me. It is EXACTLY the noise made by elderly infrequently-moved stopcocks when abused round.

Love it.

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Admen's suggested tweaks to Do Not Track filed straight into the bin

Hayden Clark
Unhappy

It will be like the cookie law...

... in that if you don't accept cookies from the site, it doesn't work properly.

In this case, I bet that ad-friendly sites will simply disable the "remember me" and "fill in my details if I'm logged in" features, claiming that the tracking is required to make them work.

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Why data storage technology is pretty much PERFECT

Hayden Clark
Boffin

Error correction isn't good enough nowadays.

If you look at the uncorrected error rates for modern hard drives, they seem very low (e.g., 1 bit in 1x10^14 bits). However, there's 8x3x10^12 bits on a 3TB drive, 2.4x10^13. So you can expect a bit to be wrong every 4 times you rewrite the drive.

That doesn't seem very much to me.

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Kick the tyres on UK's swap-shop for cat pics and other copyright stuff

Hayden Clark
FAIL

... and so the stitch-up of the little guys begins.

So, in order to register your stuff on the copyright hub, you need to cough a membership fee. Which will be negligable for Big Content, but totally discourage you and I from registering our cat pictures, bedroom studio ditties, web page themes and such.

So the big guys will still get to use images we take, and just bung (c)Internet on it.

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Windows 8.1: Here at last, but is it good enough?

Hayden Clark
Boffin

How to fix Windows 8

I've had it forced on me, as the i7 box I'm using has it.

1) Classic Shell. That lets you boot to desktop, and gives you a proper start menu. Plus you can add "up" buttons to Explorer. And disable the stupid hot corners.

2) TinyWindowsBorders. The default desktop windows have these great fat borders, eating up the screen space. This lets you make them a bit thinner (but not as thin as they used to be :( ).

3) A registry hack wot I put together from much googling. This a) turns off font smoothing, and b) removed Segoe UI from the font list. This is to work round the broken-broken-BROKEN font rendering that Win8 does. Windows 8 does not really support displaying without font smoothing on - the default UI font (Segoe UI) DOES NOT have any bitmap hinting for small sizes. With smoothing off, it just looks hideous and unreadable. If you replace it with Verdana the desktop looks almost sensible. Oh, and the rendering is so broken that you can't use Tahoma ( the WinXP desktop font) as the renderer doesn't obey the hints that stop adjacent characters touching.

If anyone wants it, leave a comment:-)

4) OpaqueTaskBar. Says it all really. I can't read the taskbar button text with a window behind it.

Hope this is of use to someone.....

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Company which built O2's London 4G in administration

Hayden Clark
Unhappy

Well of course they got fired....

... the execs didn't like having to travel to Widnes.

Much better to have a nice, techy company in the "centre" (i.e., London). Sigh.

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Unix luminary among seven missing at sea

Hayden Clark
Unhappy

And when all of the OS pioneers are dead....

.... Oracle & Microsoft can re-patent all of the fundamental stuff that these guys invented, but thought was too trivial to patent.

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Tech giants' offshore cash-stashing is only ever a delaying tactic

Hayden Clark
Flame

US Tax deferral is fraud....

... or at least, highly cynical.

As article says, the only way to use your offshore stashed profits is to repatriate them. So, the asset value of those balances is 65% of the money value, yes? Well no, when totting up the "cash pile" of companies like Apple, the offshore balances are added at face value. This means that the "market" is pricing in the idea that they will, at some point, get repatriated at a low or zero rate of tax. So either (a) this ain't gonna happen, and the valuations of these companies is off, or (b) big companies can budget for a tax amnesty to occur frequently enough that they can reasonably expect to be able to make use of the entire balance.

That's the usual one-rule-for-them situation. Sigh.

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Hayden Clark
Unhappy

And this is where the complexity comes in..

A sound use for some of your VAT-paying expenditure is on some nice clever accountants. They then set up trusts, shell companies and what-have-you to ensure that you, personally, don't pay VAT. Everything you own is an asset of some company somewhere, neatly arranged so that VAT doesn't apply. Hey, you even get to set the Bentley's depreciation against tax!

So the stupidly-complex tax system comes about because any simple system is ripe for gaming by clever people.

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Biz bods: Tile-tastic Windows 8? NOOO. We lust after 'mature' Win 7

Hayden Clark
Happy

What about a fixed version of 8?

Win8 plus Classic Shell plus TinyWindowsBorders gives you a very Win7-like experience.

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Fraudster gets ten years after selling fake 'ionic charge' bomb detectors

Hayden Clark
Unhappy

Plainly, he has annoyed somebody in power

Otherwise he would not have been singled out.

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Ubuntu 13.04: No privacy controls as promised, but hey - photo search!

Hayden Clark
FAIL

What does LTS mean, anyway?

I don't get how they can ship unfinished features on an LTS build. Either they will remain in the unfinished state for the next 5 years, with just the occasional bug fix, or they will be finished/removed/replaced in the future, so a 13.04 install next year will be significantly different to a 13.04 build now.

How are you supposed to rely on LTS for a stable platform?

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ICO probes Home Office refusal to reveal Snooper's Charter details

Hayden Clark
Unhappy

Why doesn't someone call Ms May out on her untruths?

She keeps moaning on about "national security", and "saving lives" when so many of the organisations that have requested access to the information are not security related.

Local Councils

HM Revenue and customs

Food standards Agency ??

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Linux in 2013: 'Freakishly awesome' – and who needs a fork?

Hayden Clark
Unhappy

Re: "Freakishly Something". Dunno About Awesome Though... @jonathanb

Because LibreOffice sucks very large balls interoperating with Word 2011 documents. Round tripping through LO will often damage the document in some way.

It's a pity, as I'd use LO exclusively otherwise....

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Dell ready to pay Icahn $25m to behave himself during buyout deal

Hayden Clark
FAIL

Re: How is this kind of deal even legal?

Rubbish.

Remember, the business, instead of having a reserve of working capital (needed to operate) now has to rely on debt to fund operations. The underlying purchase debt is also a drain on revenue, lowering the overall profit margin. Unless the new owners (Ha!) are really very good, this means the business is now very susceptible to sudddenly going under in a downturn, as credit dries up.

So, to refute your points:

1) The employees suffer, either by the business going tits-up, or by having their pension pot raided (directly or indirectly).

2) Customers suffer. The business generally has to clamp down on cost, this means less service, less product range, less innovation.

3) You are correct. The original shareholders get paid.

4) The new owners don't necessarily get their suitcases by increasing value. They ensure, that even if they cannot offload the smoking shell to some other mug, they get paid anyway. Usually by charging high "management fees" or by awarding themselves large dividends, or by charging a "commission" on the original purchase. Remember the "Rover 4"!

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Hayden Clark
FAIL

How is this kind of deal even legal?

Effectively buying a company with it's own money, via a relatively short-term mega-loan from investment banks.

At least in this case, Dell actually has enough cash (as the share price is so depressed). Normally, the debt is loaded on the bought company, then the buyers run away from the smoking wreckage as fast as their money-stuffed suitcases will allow.

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Smart metering will disrupt weather forecasts, warns Met Office

Hayden Clark
Unhappy

In other coutries they have another name....

"Load Shedding"

In other words, just before the fuse goes in the power station, they just shut off "non-essential" power users. Just' like that.

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'Charge memory' boffins: Hungover Li-Ion batts tell fat whoppers

Hayden Clark

Multi-cell battery crapness

I think that most "memory effect" moans are actually the degradation of battery capacity due to cell damage. When a series stack is deep-discharged, the lowest-capacity cell will get reverse-charged. This damages it, so that the next time the stack is discharged, the runt cell gets reversed-charged more.

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Windows XP support ends a year from … now!

Hayden Clark
Unhappy

Re: Updates

I wonder if this is already happening. Some of my Xp installs are behaving worse and worse - particularly in the area of networking, where slow or absent servers cause the UI to freeze. I'm sure this didn't used to happen.

Windows 7/8 will be "so much faster than XP is (now)"

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AdBlock Plus BLOCKED from Google Play

Hayden Clark
Happy

AdBlock-in-firefox still works

Firefox add-ons don't seem to be Android apps (.apks). Firefox on Android still uses .xpi files.

So, just move to Firefox!

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Mmmm, TOE jam: Trev shoves Intel's NICs in his bonkers test lab

Hayden Clark
Happy

Re: most of this stuff is old

... if you have any real, 720k 3,5 inch floppy drives, I could find a home! I have a load of old floppies for which a 1,440k drive just won't cut it.

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Mark Shuttleworth: Canonical leads Ubuntu, not 'your whims'

Hayden Clark
Unhappy

Re: Seriously I have trancended time and space.....

The thing that gets people annoyed about Unity is the same kind of arrogance that annoys about TIFKAM. Not just "this is better" but "everything else is crap, even our old stuff".

Unity allegedly replaced Ubuntu Netbook Remix, which was a great way of reviving an old, small-screen netbook. It came with all of the extra toys to save power, deal with 3G modems, multiple wireless links and such, all wrapped up with a simple Launcher. It was simple enough that my daughter just sat down and used it without any instruction from me.

Now, Canonical are free to stop supporting UNR, and stop making it available in current distros. But what they have done is to go though all of the download sites for old versions of Ubuntu, and remove the UNR versions! Even though Ubuntu can be downloaded right back to 8.04, UNR has vanished, even though the last build was 10.04.

That's not "leadership". That's just gittish.

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RBS and NatWest FAIL downs services across UK

Hayden Clark
Unhappy

Nationwide are ok now, but....

Nationwide's systems are a home-grown bunch of mainframe cruft. .. so it stays working all the time. They are about to do a big-bang switchover to an outsourced SAP solution. That has such a high probability of failure it's not funny. I don't know what I will do for a bank then.

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Socket to 'em: It's the HomeGrid vs HomePlug powerline prizefight

Hayden Clark
Unhappy

Earth-Neutral bonded

Some installations in the UK have the earth wire bonded to neutral at the point of entry to the premises. So to get any signal down the earth wire is going to need an appreciable amount of power. So these things will be hotter (more wasted energy) and more noisy.

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Microsoft tries to sell home Office users on subscription pricing

Hayden Clark
Happy

Re: I'm still using Office 2000

@Ian Johnston

Because you didn't, Wedgwood is no more.

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My top tip for Microsoft: Stop charging for Windows Phone 8

Hayden Clark
Unhappy

Re: "the writing is on the wall for desktop computing."

@eadon.

No, retailers demanded Windows on Netbooks because of the high rates of customer returns on Linux netbooks. It's a great shame - I have a few eeePC701's, and the default Xandros build is really nicely done (my kids love them). But most people didn't like the inability to install stuff from the internet, and to play silly web games, print to their printer, use their scanner. So they took it back, as it was "broken".

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Tiny tech ZigBee harnesses puny power of the press

Hayden Clark
Happy

Emergency buttons

Will work just as you expect, in that the chances of the signal getting through is improved by pounding the button harder!

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Belkin buys Linksys from Cisco

Hayden Clark
Unhappy

WRT54GL

.... RIP. Sigh.

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Google's JavaScript assassin: Web languages are harder than VMs

Hayden Clark
Happy

Phew!

Curly-braces!

syntax-significant whitespace always gives me the heebees......

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Sheffield ISP: You don't need a whole IPv4 address to yourself, right?

Hayden Clark
Boffin

VPN and VOIP

Both VPN and voip sessions require that a NAT router do some fairly sophisticated connection tracking on connectionless protocols. Voip is easier, as at least it uses UDP, which has port numbers as part of the protocol header, which means that the NAT process is free to tweak the source and destination addresses and port numbers to achieve a reasonably reliable pseudo-connection.

VPN, particularly IPSEC and PPTP are very hard to run over NAT, particularly if there are multiple VPN clients in the local LAN. The protocol (GRE) does not have port numbers, and the payload data is opaque. This means that the NAT router needs to make some guesses to route the packets correctly, and so bad NAT algorithms are bound in a CDNAT situation to cause VPN connection issues.

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Twitter's Tweetdeck must 'file accounts or be struck off'

Hayden Clark
FAIL

Might just be plain incompetence

I bet they bought the company, got rid of the board and senior execs, and just manage it as a subsidiary. They probably don't realise that they need to keep filing in the UK.

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Zuck on that! Instagram loses HALF its hipsters in a month

Hayden Clark

Re: Hmmm

Adding EXIF data to your jpegs won't help, when most media organisations have a policy of stripping all metadata on publication.

Plus - you can't read the EXIF data from a paper magazine!

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The amazing magical LED: Has it really been fifty years already?

Hayden Clark
Headmaster

Re: Duck tape

Sigh, here we go again. Even the Wikipedia article gets all out-of-shape over "Duck" and "duct" tape, while correctly describing the function of each.

The sticky, hand tearable stuff that you repair the world with is Duck tape. This follows on from the military stuff used to hold ammo boxes shut and keep the wet out.

If you used Duck tape on a duct, it would quickly dry and crack, especially if the duct carries warm air. Duct tape does not have the awesome properties demonstrated on Mythbusters. It does, however, have adhesive that continues to work at higher temperatures, and is resistant to cracking. Some varieties incorporate a foil layer to improve airtightness.

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Fart-buster underpants selling well among Japanese salarymen

Hayden Clark
FAIL

Typical

The one time you really need a "Buy from Amazon" link, it's not there!

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The Z-Factor: Meet the Simon Cowell of Linux

Hayden Clark
Unhappy

How about actually making Ubuntu work?

Get rid of that Unity bollocks, for starters. I actually installed it on a netbook. With no "netbook remix" available, you're forced to use Unity on an 800x480 screen. And guess what? It's complete pants. With the old app classifications gone, unless you know what, say, the image editor is called, you can't find it unless you scroll through a list of every single installed application.

Oh, and re-instate support of the kind of elderly hardware that folks can recycle with Linux!

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WD blames hard drive woes on dominant mobile gear, feeble PCs

Hayden Clark
Happy

.. or maybe the customers won't play?

I'm guessing that quite a few big consumers of drives are just waiting for prices to descend to pre-flood levels.

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BT and Virgin sue over £10m state-funded Birmingham broadband

Hayden Clark
FAIL

Re: @AC 13:56

No, VM paid for none of it. The bankers (and therefore, indirectly, us) who originally securitised their debt when Cable and Wireless, and later Nynex, then NTL went nearly bust paid for it. Like any other big infrastructure project, it only succeeds when the original financiers have been wiped out, and the debt reset to zero.

Anybody who bought shares in Nynex lost all their money.

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