* Posts by A Long Fellow

43 posts • joined 2 May 2012

Screwball ruble closes Apple's Russia store, whole kit and caboodle

A Long Fellow

That picture...

I must be tired AND showing my age, but that picture just slammed me into a Tetris flashback.

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Deprivation Britain: 1930s all over again? Codswallop!

A Long Fellow

Perception and reality

I suspect that a large portion of the disaffection is founded on the schism between expectation and reality. We are constantly told of the opportunity and the golden futures awaiting us -- yet the reality falls far short for a number (an increasing number?) of people.

From teachers to entertainment to politicians... all promising a brighter tomorrow. "You can be anything you want to be!" "Follow your passion!" "The land of opportunity!"

Right.

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El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

A Long Fellow
Thumb Down

Not good in either usability or readability

Love el reg, having been with the site almost from the very beginning. That said, I'm not too keen on the design; the more I live in it, the more I dislike it.

I was okay with the "five featured stories" at the top of the main column -- the single headline story is going to be a hit-and-miss proposition, now. With five stories, there was a better chance that at least one would be interesting.

In general, it feels as though the information density has dropped a lot.

I also dislike the black > grey link status. The grey-on-white combination fails 3 out of 4 accessibility standards. This is important: the design is hostile to users with non-optimal eyesight.

And finally, I take issue with the 'live popup' sections at the top of the screen -- particularly since they're pinned to the top of the window. This means that going up to any of the browser application menus or the browser window's buttons will probably -- unless I'm very quick about it -- cause irritating visual interference with what's on the screen. Putting that kind of thing left or right would be better, since it would not interfere with browser activity.

All in all, it's quite off-putting. Sorry.

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Now Uber can take EVERYONE for a ride

A Long Fellow

Let's see -- a soundtrack for two icky companies getting together for a marriage made in Las Vegas...

Like all good playlists, there has to be a conceptual development of sorts, in this case moving from the idealism of young love through to realism/cynicism and then on to mature acceptance of the inevitable fate -- whatever that is.

Early Innocence:

Among the Clouds - John Williams

What a Wonderful World - preferably Maceo Parker

Burning Rope - Genesis

*

Disillusion:

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes - the Platters

Who's Fooling Who - Mike Rutherford

What a Fool Believes - Doobies

(What's) The Name of the Game - ABBA

(Star Wars IV) The Last Battle - John Williams

Tie Me at the Crossroads (When I Die) - Bruce Cockburn

*

End:

Ten Years Gone - Led Zep

When All is Said and Done - ABBA

*****

Note that this playlist should, in most cities, be long enough for a trip of about eight blocks.

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All but full-fat MS Office to be had on iPads, Droidenslabben for NOWT

A Long Fellow

Can't do Word Art!

The inability to commit WordArt is at least one way in which the tablet versions surpass the desktop apps.

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Facebook's new self-destructing pic app SELF-DESTRUCTS

A Long Fellow

re Big Boobies: Obligatory "'Allo, 'Allo" Reference

Where's the Fallen Madonna?

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You've made the product, now get it to the customers

A Long Fellow

Learning...

Thanks for the insights, Don Jefe & Robin Birtstone.

However, I believe that the discussion is chiefly applicable for established, commodity products shipping a few containers per year. I'm currently working with an innovative quasi-publishing project; getting my product into the channel now is going to be practically impossible. However, I suspect that two years down the road, with an established brand and proven sales figures, I might be able to farm out the order fulfillment and product delivery process.

Between now and then, however, I suspect we'll be moving from kitchen to (heated) garage and then (VCs willing) to office/workshop before I have the luxury of worrying about logistics. Besides, early product updates will be based heavily on feedback that comes from direct contact with customers.

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New Facebook phone app allows you to stalk your mates

A Long Fellow

Re: Opt-out

Stacks of menus? Good heavens, no. You'll have to go your local planning office, where you'll find the form in a dark cellar with no stairs, in the bottom of locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard.'

I like the idea of Facebook becoming the marketing department of Sirius Cybernetics Corporation, if only for the comfort of knowing what fate awaits them.

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Hyper-V telling fibs about Linux guest VMs

A Long Fellow

FUD like it's 1991!

It's déjà vu all over again. See Graham Lea's article from 15 years ago in a newish, youngish, website that was just starting to rake up the muck:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/1999/11/05/how_ms_played_the_incompatibility/

The article quotes Brad Silverberg: "What the guy is supposed to do is feel uncomfortable, and when he has bugs, suspect that the problem is dr-dos and then go out to buy ms-dos."

The coy, "Hah, hah, just kidding!" from Microsoft will do nothing to appease the PHB standing over your shoulder when that little warning appears.

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Helpdesk/Service Desk Recommendations

A Long Fellow

Another vote for GLPI

I've implemented GLPI and all were fairly happy with it. Also does a brilliant job of asset management and inventory tracking.

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Google to Supremes: End this Street View fight once and for all

A Long Fellow

Slight difference?

If I understand correctly, Google is equating its slurpage with the actions of sysadmins who are engage in securing their own networks and thus 'listening' to traffic.

If this is the argument, Google needs to have its collective ass kicked, starting with the legal team. The sysadmin who secures his/her own network is working within an organisational boundary, where a reasonable argument can be made for judicious oversight. In applying this logic (?) to its own activities, Google appears to tacitly assume a paternal oversight of _all_ computer communications -- and that is something to be struck down with no subtlety whatsoever.

The very act of making this claim begs further punitive action.

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The plot to kill Google cloud: We'll rename Windows Azure to MICROSOFT Azure

A Long Fellow
Alien

What a career!

Consider the sad probability that several somebodies are likely getting paid several handsome salaries to formulate the "strategy" and the "communications" behind this.

Can you imagine meeting your maker with this on your record?

Droid: I operationalized an emergent reimagining of corporate communications, materializing meaningful cognizant evolutions in the conceptual metaspaces of user consciousness.

Maker: You changed the word "Windows" to "Microsoft".

Droid: Indicative cultural signifiers demonstrated -

Maker: You go to hell.

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Thanks a lot, Facebook: Microsoft turns Office 365 into social network

A Long Fellow

The spokesdrone says: "Today, the world has become a giant network where connections make information more relevant and people more productive,"

The use of social media does not necessarily make information "more relevant", and absolutely nobody is "more productive" from its use.

It will be depressing to see how many managers drink the Koolaid.

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MtGox MELTDOWN: Quits Bitcoin Foundation board, deletes Twitter

A Long Fellow

Virtual Currency - what isn't?

I am not an economist, but aren't _most_ currencies effectively virtual these days? Control mechanisms vary, but in most (all?) cases, that colored sheet of stuff that you exchange for goods and services doesn't actually correlate to anything other than blind faith.

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Facebook adds 50+ gender options: Stalking your 'Friends' just got more LGBT-friendly

A Long Fellow
Thumb Down

Re: WFT

"...a good level of respect from Facebook."

??

Facebook is only respecting its ability to tag you with ever-more-focused labels for its own marketing benefit -- not yours or mine.

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WHEEE... CRUNCH! iPad Mini tops list of most breakable slabs, mobes

A Long Fellow

Balance between industrial design and user responsibility

Although I'm a big fan of good design, there's an point at which responsibility for device integrity passes from the manufacturer to the consumer and -- by extension -- to third-party accessory suppliers. I suspect that a more realistic test would have included the "case + device" situation.

Personal experience: I have an iPadMini and I've housed it in both soft and solid Trexta cases. Dropped it, thrown it, spilled water on it, and tossed it into a bag filled with sharp metal bits: not a scratch on the Mini, which speaks well of the device and the cases.

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California takes a shot at mobile 'killswitch' mandate

A Long Fellow

Who needs due process?

The excuse that this will deter crime is absurd; it's an excuse to inject further government control into your everyday activities. If they think you're a bad 'un, this will just make it easier for somebody to shut you down. Your car, your phone, your 'leccy...

Just waiting for them to try shoving a (figurative or literal) barcode up my butt.

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Apple's Tim Cook: Fear not, worried investors, new product salvation is 'absolutely' on the way

A Long Fellow

The Value of Analysts

Analysts are great... as ballast.

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Microsoft seeks patent for blade server chassis

A Long Fellow

Prior Art

I once set a Bladecenter chassis on its side.

My lawyers have been mobilised. Don't bug me whilst I shop for my private island, okay?

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Your squirty insecticides make bumblebees SHRINK, warn boffins

A Long Fellow

No surprises here

Unintended consequences, anyone? I am increasingly depressed at the blunt stupidity of people who think they can cause large-scale disruption to biological systems without incurring long-term damage.

I would like to see the end of efforts by marketing departments (a.k.a. government rubber-stamping agencies) to assure us that their concentrated concoctions are anything other than deferred debts.

I'm not (yet) a luddite, but I would like to see a greater willingness by industry participants to project the consequences of actions beyond a simplistic "this miracle powder will keep bugs off your plants and doesn't have any long-term effects on rats that we could observe in a two-week test period and we don't care what happens beyond our next quarterly earnings call anyway".

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Target's database raided, 70 MILLION US shoppers at risk of ID theft

A Long Fellow

Re: This is precisely why...

"hackers" are lovely; it's "crackers" you might want to target.

If you're reading this site, you should probably know the language. See

http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/H/hacker.html

Then read backwards to "(TM)" and forwards to "zorkmid".

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You... (Sigh). You store our financials in a 'Clowds4U' account?

A Long Fellow

Common core with edge/fringe additions

I've been the victim on both sides of the IT management / user divide, so I sympathise with both perspectives. I can respect the pressures from both sides, and I usually try to reach a compromise between them. Ultimately, both extremes are untenable. Whether IT tells me that I am _required_ to use only sanctioned hardware and software, or a user tells me (as IT dept) that I am _required_ to support everything he happens to like using, the extremes show a lack of leadership.

In practice, this is easy to set up and requires only intelligence and flexibility to sustain: there's a common core of functionality and support offered by IT that extends as far as management can stretch; a user who wants to venture beyond those 'safe waters' does so without the support of IT.

Unfortunately, the unholy trinity of bean-counters and careerist IT managers and MBAs has led to rigidly-defined decision structures that incompetent manager cling to in lieu of thinking.

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I want to play with VMs

A Long Fellow

I'll cast another vote in favour of the free base version VMWare ESXi. While OS-based hypervisors are fine to start with and for casual desktop use, the additional features of ESXi are well worth the marginal learning curve. With all due respect to my colleagues, I maintain that the desktop hypervisors don't offer a compelling platform for somebody who really wants to explore the power of a VM infrastructure.

As for hardware, any contemporary CPU is an acceptable starting point, but I would consider 16gB RAM to be a reasonable minimum. I would also very strongly recommend having four (or more) network ports, allowing you to manage traffic more effectively. Start with a capable but humble bit of server hardware, knowing that ESXi will allow you to shape hardware utilization far more effectively than a non-virtualized OS. Also understand that, in 12-18 months, your new-found understanding of virtualization -- and your own requirements/interests -- will allow you to spec your _next_ VM host far more efficiently.

Of course, this may only be the start of your voyage into the lovely world of VMs, but using ESXi and a low-end server config will give you enough experience to venture into some fairly deep waters.

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Google's latest ad push gives LONE LAWMAKER the creeps

A Long Fellow

Off by default, perhaps

I don't recall setting my privacy settings for my gmail account when I first created it, but when I recently checked those settings in response to a notification of this new 'feature', I discovered that the 'permission to use' was already checked OFF. It _seems_, therefore, to be "off by default".

Anybody else look at this?

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MS Word deserves DEATH says Brit SciFi author Charles Stross

A Long Fellow

Piling in on Word Abuse

I have four complaints with Word.

First, it attempts to overwrite system fonts with its own -- often inferior -- versions. It does this on the assumption that you will ONLY use Microsoft products to create and view your work.

Second, it commits the sin of execrable typography. Last time I checked, ligatures were turned off by default, and it still can't seem to handle kerning pairs.

Third, it can't seem to handle styles in any rational form. I guess I could take a few days to create a handful of 'never-to-be-modified' templates, but I'd rather get on with the task of creating content, rather than accommodating the tantrumesque child that Word has been for most of its life.

Finally -- and this is the big one -- Word invariably pisses me off by trying to think for me. Word persists in pretending to know what I want, changing and re-arranging without my having asked it to do these things. This is why formatting gets changed, pagination gets fouled up, images won't stay where they are (or move when they should), and lists look like garbage.

Of course, it's possible to wrestle Word into submission -- one tedious document at a time. And if you're locked into some corporate style and workflow that somebody else has created, then all you have to do is follow somebody else's script and ignore the indignities. But if you're trying to create original work that doesn't match the preconceived notions underpinning the software, then you're in for a world of pain.

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Google: Now your mom will try to sell you toilet paper

A Long Fellow

Re: opt-in or opt-out?

I received an alert from Google that this would be happening, got a fairly informative page that told me what they planned to do, and saw some inks to control the "opt-in/opt-out" setting. When I went to that page -- which I had NOT seen before -- it was definitely an opt-IN, so the default setting is not malicious.

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Standard Model goes PEAR-SHAPED in CERN experiment

A Long Fellow
Pint

Hmmm...

I always thought antimatter was spontaneously consumed after the aperitivo and before the primo.

Furthermore, it's clear that the real reason for the pear shape has to do with an excessive indulgence of the secondo, not to mention the formaggio e frutta.

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Office Software Checkpoint

A Long Fellow
Thumb Down

A distasteful bit of shilling

Maybe I missed a turn somewhere, but this is clearly an advertorial, yet appears to be billed as 'reportage'. For all the protestations in the "whitepaper" that it is not an advertisement, it clearly is -- not least because it has MS plastered all over it, there is a preponderance of pro-MS rhetoric, and the conclusions are remarkably kind.

This is a disappointing term for The Vulture, which in this case more closely resembles a haggard and violated chicken.

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Geolocation tech to save 60 Londoners from being run over next year

A Long Fellow

But... _which_ 60 Londoners?

In principle, this seems like a good idea. However, I would very much like to know exactly _which_ 60 Londoners won't be culled from the gene pool. These things matter.

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Rackspace sues 'the most notorious patent troll in America'

A Long Fellow
Thumb Down

Re: Watch out Apple

Apple are hardly an NPE, thus not a troll by all but the most bilious definition.

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Monkey poo probe reveals secrets of middle-management brains

A Long Fellow
Pint

"her examination ... will encourage them to breed"

"...Edwards is now studying horny rhinos at Chester Zoo. She hopes her examination of sexy hormones in the animals will encourage them to breed."

That depends on how she examines their hormones, doesn't it? I mean, maybe she's doing her fieldwork whilst wearing that sexy off-grey number that accentuates her horn and shows off her well-muscled...

Wait, did I misunderstand that sentence?

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Microsoft gives away Windows 8 to Mac devs

A Long Fellow
Meh

Re: Why are you so sure that they are scheming?

My experience is different -- I've found Parallels to be the least stable and most problem-prone of the OSX-based hypervisors... and on the Mac I've used them all since Connectix Virtual-PC with DOS back in the early 90s. YMMV.

I'm afraid that "scheming" makes perfect sense in light of two decades of MS behavior. The last thing MS really want is for Mac devs to have a good time using their computers. Far better to sour the milk with a little FUD.

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How the iPad ruined the lives of IT architects

A Long Fellow
FAIL

Am I missing something?

Do people really get paid to write stuff like this? Ever? Do people pay to listen to it? People can actually make a living out of this?

I always thought you had to know something, be able to do it, get the job done, and preferably not piss off everybody in the process.

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US insurer punts 'bestiality' to wide-eyed kiddies, gasp 'mums'

A Long Fellow
Headmaster

Re: Double Standards!

Only female pigs are used to search out truffles, because the truffle smells like the saliva of a male pig.

So it's unlikely this gentlepig would ever find a truffle, unless he's gay -- which would explain both his behaviour and the young lady's dismay.

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'New' Canadian BlackBerry security scare emerged in 2011

A Long Fellow
WTF?

"Canadian time"??

"...FUDgasm started on Wednesday, Canadian time, when Canada.com revealed..."

Although I heartily applaud "FUDgasm" as a delightful neologism, I take exception to the phrase "Canadian time". Canada spans six time zones, which makes the reporter's word choice ironically provincial.

1
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Public told to go to hell, name Pluto's two new moons

A Long Fellow
Pint

a poetic reflection

The hell of astronomy

is all that taxonomy.

There's an object for everyone famous.

I understand Triton

was one of the Titans.

But I don't know much of Uranus.

OR...

I'm very impressed by Uranus.

or

The cold gassy blob is Uranus.

or

...

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Ray Kurzweil to become Google's top engineer

A Long Fellow
Happy

Re: That name rings a bell

I can confirm the music connection -- I saw Ray Kurzweil speaking at a "synthesis pioneers" roundtable discussion at Berklee in the early 1990s. After the Young-Chang buyout, many of the brains went to Berklee, where they had a lab full of K250 rackmounts for sampling classes. Finding zero-crossings for loop points was a bit... um... nightmarish. On the other hand, those output smoothing filters were soooooooooo warm. No quantizing grit on long instrument tails here, no indeed.

There were other samplers at the time, but Kurzweil absolutely WAS one of the best. Their first instrument, the K250, was much cheaper than either the NED Synclavier or the Fairlight. For sheer sound quality (to my ears) Kurzweil blew away anything from Emu, Roland, Akai, and Yamaha well into the 90s. I owned a Roland S-550 and loved editing with it, but there was no other choice than the Kurzweil when it was time for acoustic work.

Google has gained a fine mind.

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Goldman Sachs: Windows' true market share is just 20%

A Long Fellow
Go

I hate to admit it, but...

...I think Goldman Sachs are pretty close on the money here. A smartphone can certainly do some things that used to be the domain of a laptop. Tablets sound an even louder death-knell for the Windows hegemony: it's possible to use them instead of a laptop for some more purposes -- a tablet user sitting on a train, typing into GoogleDocs can get a fine start on some work that is picked up at the home or the office. Nothing to install, no licenses to worry about, no viruses...

Yes, there will be Very Loud and Impressive Boys on this board who will insist that You Cannot Do Real Work on anything other than Office on Windows... but that's a minority. Most people can do lots of work without that combination, and it is the breaking of a monopoly that bodes ill for Microsoft. When you can't count on everybody having your particular variety of application and platform, you start thinking in more heterogeneous terms -- which brings us straight to Trevor Pott's eminently sensible argument.

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Analyst slams Apple innovation FAIL

A Long Fellow

Re: Bad idea

With respect, I don't think it WOULD work for you... if the screen were down at hand position, you would very quickly develop some awfully unpleasant strains in the upper back & neck muscles. Natural position: hands down, eyes up. Anything else is going to hurt. I'm tall, so even a laptop's display (with the laptop on the desk) is too far down for my comfort.

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Court confirms $675,000 fine for sharing 30 songs

A Long Fellow
Thumb Up

Yo, Freetards: Reality Check

1. He broke the law. Stupid law? Maybe. Still the law, and he knew it.

2. After he got nicked, he showed stupidity (refusing to settle), cowardice (it wasn't me!), and arrogance (c.f. Nesson).

3. Bankruptcies happen. It's not terminal. Properly handled, this could be a great career starter.

4. The court did precisely what it was supposed to do: it considered whether the law had been correctly applied, and made a ruling.

Don't like the law? Change it. Go out and do something useful rather than sitting there like a whining child caught with your hands in the cookie jar. Campaign for legal reform. Write letters (yeah, those) to your congressman. Buy (as some here honorably do) music through other channels. Make some music of your own -- invest some major effort into creating yourself.

This wholesale "sharing" puts no money into the hands of artists. The deal with the RIAA sucks, but it's where the law got us. As a creative, I'm thrilled that this has happened, because it just might galvanise one or two people into thinking and acting.

Here's something that would have gone miles toward establishing Tenenbaum's moral credentials: if Nesson had produced one -- just ONE -- street busker to come forward and say, "Yeah -- I know that kid. He always puts a couple of bucks into my hat."

You want to get worked up about something real? Look at the number of bankruptcies caused by medical expenses.

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Lenovo iPad-smiting Windows 8 slate slips out

A Long Fellow

Odd comparison

Did I misread something? The comparison seems to be between the current iPad and a _future_ Lenovo product, concluding that the vaporware is better than currently shipping incumbent.

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Microsoft's Surface proves software is dead

A Long Fellow
Megaphone

Re: Comments from the Metro hater.

AC @ 17:35 writes...

"Ps. all the people who can't get their Iconia 3g working. Download the Huawei drivers from the ASUS website instead."

And THAT, in a nutshell, is how Apple has succeeded in a world where most people don't want to screw around with drivers...

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Barnes & Noble plans instore NFC Nook-book bonk-buying

A Long Fellow
Holmes

Calligraphy with Crayons

I cringe at the thought of being forced to read something that was 'published' in Word. Given the age of the software and the deep pockets of the company that produces it, you would think that they'd have decent typography worked out by now, but as of the latest version kerning didn't exist, ligatures have to be explicitly enabled, and the fonts installed by MS are usually not as good as the versions which the installer tries to replace by default. Add in the default of a san-serif font (Calibri), Word's grindingly irritating attempts to "help", and Word Art, and you have a recipe for a typographic disaster.

It might be possible to do a good layout in Word, but the inherent limitations of the software make it an uphill battle.

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