* Posts by Callam McMillan

249 posts • joined 7 Jun 2012

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Sonic BOOM: 10 blast-tastic soundbars

Callam McMillan

Re: The TV manufacturers really have taken us for chumps

I think the whole sound is attrocious thing is overdone. I have a 40 inch Samsung in an average sized living room running the onboard speakers, and it is perfectly audible at a wide range of volumes as well as going more than loud enough for watching any kind of TV programming.

BUT. While the sound is perfectly competent, it's nothing spectacular. You should look at it in the way that some people decide to remove the perfectly ok stereo from their car and spend a small fortune to make it louder etc. They didn't need to, but they wanted to do so because it's what they like. What you wouldn't say is that the car companies are taking them to the cleaners.

Oh, and I'm planning to install a 5.1 surround sound setup at some point!

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IBM Research wants laptop batteries to retire and slum it

Callam McMillan

If the laptop batteries I have disassembled are anything to go by (I'm not one for following the instructions not to disassemble them) then once you remove the casing, you are left with a series of AA type cells wired in series to a small controller board.

From what I can tell, what they're really doing is finding a reliable source of good-enough Li-ion cells, rather than reusing laptop batteries wholesale (I saw a picture of this the other day on another news site).

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Microsoft hikes support charges by NINETY TWO PER CENT

Callam McMillan

It depends whether this is a flat fee, if it is then it's not too bad. Many years ago, one of the Exchange servers where I worked crapped itself. We had a Microsoft engineer on the phone from about 3pm until midnight to get it all sorted out. Once you're talking about a full days work to fix a problem, $499 doesn't sound unreasonable.

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IEEE turns crank on new wired Ethernet standards

Callam McMillan

Why?

Instead of bringing in 2.5/5 Gbps standards, why not focus on getting the cost of 10Gbps ports down to something sensible?

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Bruges Booze tubes to pump LOVELY BEER underneath city

Callam McMillan
Pint

The Belgian equivalent of B&Q has just reported a massive run on pipe tapping kits... Meanwhile at the bottling plant, they can't seem to get any beer out the pipe, no matter how much the brewery puts it!

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80 PER CENT of app devs SUCK at securing your data, study finds

Callam McMillan

I don't suppose they've made the test public? It'd be a great way to waste a bit of time learn something on a Tuesday morning!

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'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator

Callam McMillan

Don't forget that around the fibres is an electrical conductor carrying 10KV DC to power the repeaters. Make a mistake cutting through that and you've probably written the plot for the next BOFH story... As others have said, doing it on dry land seems like the much easier method.

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4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch

Callam McMillan

Re: But with 8k on the way...

Talking to somebody in the know, there should be regular 8K transmissions by the middle of next decade with the Japanese Olympics really showcasing the technology.

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Square Kilometre Array reveals its 1.6TB-a-day storage and network rigs

Callam McMillan

Re: Not quite...

Plus with tapes, you can load hundreds of them into a tape robot without issue.

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BT FON fail: Telco CHARGES customers for FREE Wi-Fi usage

Callam McMillan

I have a really simple solution. Take the BT router and deposit it in the bin (or the back of a cupboard) then plug a proper router in.

Job done!

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BAD VIBES: High-speed video camera records your voice from trash

Callam McMillan

CCTV that can eavesdrop?!

I had to laugh at the idea that a CCTV camera will ever be able to eavesdrop on you. Yes it may be technically possible, but if you look at all the CCTV footage available on the internet, even if the person was holding up a placard with what they're saying printed like in the cartoons, it'd still be an unreadable blurry mess.

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El Reg is looking for a new London sub-editor

Callam McMillan

Re: Sir

I think you'll find that's code for "A bit rubbish"... Especially so if you work in Financial Services IT!

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Zuckerberg and other directors sued over GIGANTIC PACKAGES

Callam McMillan

Re: @Don Jefe

Yes and No. If you own a single share of the company and you are fighting the majority opinion, then yes, you have the right to sell your shares and shut up.

However, while you own those shares, you do in fact own part of the company, and therefore the board works for you. Therefore if you can control (or convince others to) enough of the shares, then the board have to do as you say.

That said, the fact he's resorted to the lawyers suggests that he falls into the first camp.

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REVEALED: GCHQ's BEYOND TOP SECRET Middle Eastern INTERNET SPY BASE

Callam McMillan

Re: Well i got 3 months

...There is no alternative choice. You have Virgin Media, which runs over the co-ax network they already have in their pocket. Then you have every other ISP who lease the wires in the ground from BT... Who they have in their pocket.

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Callam McMillan

Re: I can...

Hence why I said it's unlikely that they have no knowledge. A phone call "Mr. CEO. We're tapping your lines here. Your staff don't tell anybody about it, you don't touch it, and if you do... Unfortunate things may happen" is still having knowledge...

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Callam McMillan

Re: TRAITORS

To be honest, if it's on The Register, then it's hardly top secret any more. You should be more disgusted at the laziness of modern intelligence gathering, if the only way to find out what is going on it the work nowadays is to capture everything and hope you find something useful, then the spies have a lot to answer for!

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Callam McMillan

"one report states, the tapping connections were installed in an undisclosed UK location and “backhauled” to Bude, in the technical language of the communications industry."

I can't imagine the tapping is done entirely without the knowledge of the cables owners. As I understand it, a TDR scan should identify the location of the tap. If I was the cable owner, I would then be making a massive public fuss over the tapping, plus, if it was tapped from a manhole somewhere... Sending staff armed with some wirecutters to do some snipping.

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Google Glass? Feh. Behold Dyson's 2001 pocket 'puter techno specs with own 'Siri'

Callam McMillan

Re: well very few products are competely new designs?

Perhaps they haven't? Maybe they're assuming nobody would be monumentally stupid enough to wander around while wearing something over their eyes... Then again that's a dangerous assumption to make, so I'm sure they're consulting their lawyers on making sure the disclaimers are watertight!

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Taipei's tech malls are less than sum of their parts

Callam McMillan

My second home

Going there in July to see the inlaws. Perhaps will have to visit this place and try the Boar sausage!

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Cyber crims smash through Windows into the great beyond

Callam McMillan

Re: @king of foo - Gnu/Linux?

That looks like a pretty fair assessment of the weaknesses of Windows. Ironically it is the same weaknesses that allowed them (coupled with some shady business practices) to capture over 90% of the market at their peak.

On the other hand, I upgraded to Windows 7 in 2011, since then, I haven't had so much as a sniff of a virus or any other malware. A little pragmatism goes a long way. It's just a shame that that lesson is so hard to teach people.

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Callam McMillan

Re: Gnu/Linux?

It's a combination of scale (more users = more profit opportunities) and openness. Things have got better since Vista with UAC (Password for privilege elevation) but unlike other operating systems, it's still possible for the user and the administrative account to be one and the same.

In answer to supporting the sales drones, this recent Dilbert came to mind... http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2014-05-19/

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Callam McMillan

Re: Gnu/Linux?

Funny that. In a previous job I was reviewing a build document for linux servers, one of the lines what that Antivirus was not required. I made a quick scribble through that with the justification that the cost implication is minimal. The servers will never run at 100% load, so there is no real performance impact. The install is automated so it's no extra effort, and having antivirus that is never needed is better than not having it (for no good reason) when it is needed.

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How about printing your electricity?

Callam McMillan

Re: It was all working perfectly until...

At least they're not using a Lexmark. Take the bloody paper... No, not two sheets... Why have you jammed you useless POS!!! *Printer leaves window at high speed*

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Boffin fights fire with EXPLOSIVES instead of water

Callam McMillan
Mushroom

Campfire

I remember once we had a campfire going, and a little camping gas cylinder ended up in the fire. After the oh shit moment and we all dove to take cover behind various trees, there was a big bang, and on further inspection the campfire had been blown clean out. More importantly, it didn't reignite even though no cooling had been applied.

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Nvidia unveils Titan Z: An 8TFLOPS off-the-shelf supercomputer disguised as a gfx card

Callam McMillan

Surely this sounds like an application for the Tesla range of GPGPU cards rather than a graphics card?

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Plusnet shunts blame for dodgy DNS traffic onto customers' routers

Callam McMillan

Re: For me there is a basic question

When you say a Cisco router, do you mean a Linksys by Cisco router, because I don't know of any issues like that with my big arse enterprise grade cisco router I have?

As for Plusnet, I love them, I get 72/19, use my Cisco 3845 to shift bits and I never have any reliability issues with them.

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Cable thieves hang up on BT, cause MAJOR outage

Callam McMillan

Damn, you beat me to it.

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Hot racks and cool customers: Colocating in the capital

Callam McMillan

Re: With that amount of diesel..

Given that it'll be red diesel, I think HMRC would have a bit of an issue with it. Not that annoying the revenue isn't fun, but you want to do it in a way that doesn't get you nicked!

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Apple investor Icahn backs down on share buyback plan

Callam McMillan

I think you mistyped the a... I'm pretty sure it should be a u

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Woz he talking about? Apple co-founder wants iPhones to run Android

Callam McMillan

Actually, I could see the market. As much as I hate to say it (I hate Apple stuff) they do seem to make nicer feeling stuff than Samsung. I hold a Samsung phone in my hand and it feels like I'm holding a lump of plastic, not a premium device. The reason I wouldn't have an iPhone is I don't like the walled garden it locks you into. If I could get an Android powered one that didn't need iTunes, I'd be very tempted.

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STRIPPED DOWN and EXPOSED: Business kit from the good old days

Callam McMillan

So the big question is

Can any of those bits of kit tell you the number of the local skip-hire company... EIther that or theres some ebaying to be done!

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Syrian Electronic Army: We hijacked FACEBOOK ... honest, guv

Callam McMillan

So they didn't actually hack Facebook

In fact they tried (and failed) to hack the registrars DNS records for Facebook. That's a lot different to actually hacking Facebook. It's annoying when the normal news gets it wrong, but the Reg should be getting it right!

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Rivals attack Google's antitrust search settlement deal with EC

Callam McMillan

Succinctly put. Well done!

Personally I'd prefer they did the latter, but then there would be less competition for Google which means that more shit would come there way in the form of the competition lot.

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Callam McMillan

Sour grapes

This seems like a stupid decision made for stupid reasons. Unlike Microsoft for instance (Windows/IE/Bing as standard), you're not forced to use Google's search product by default (Android phones excepted admittedly). So I cannot see how there is a competition issue for the other companies to bitch about? The closest thing I can compare it to is Tesco moaning that Asda wont stock Tesco Baked Beans...

Looking at other tech companies, the dominant player tends to become bloated and fairly static, allowing more nimble companies to lead the innovation and overtake it. I think the complainents have become upset that Google is still innovating and there is nothing they can do about it!

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Boffin dreams up smart battery gizmo for Raspberry Pi fiddlers

Callam McMillan

Re: Where's the incentive @John Bailey

Chris, I could ask much the same thing of you... You contribute £x to the project, which in return, gets you a product that will retail for £x+£y. You have therefore saved £y over buying the product retail when it goes on sale.

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BT scratches its head over MYSTERY Home Hub disconnections

Callam McMillan

I appreciate that, I was more making a joke at BT's expense. Then again, unlike Virgin Media, they haven't combined the modem and router into a single device that you HAVE to use and the BT modems are pretty damn reliable.

I can't speak for their routers though as I don't use them!

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Callam McMillan

Yes actually, I don't expect it to try catching fire! Yet, amazingly, the engineer that came to install my internet connection told me that that's what happened in one house where their Infinity modem was on the floor and it got covered over by something!

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Three-yaarrgh! Major UK mobile network's data goes down

Callam McMillan

That would explain why I had a strong signal, but no data. Most irritating.

Given that your phone has to register with a cell tower, I wonder why they couldn't send you a text telling you that there is a problem when you enter the affected area?

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EE BrightBox routers can be hacked 'by simple copy/paste operation'

Callam McMillan

Re: What? You whiney lot get routers??

40Mb, Awwww I feel sorry for you now, we get 72/19 in our house, for less than £30 / $50USD per month. So I think I can put up with not using the crap router my ISP sent me!

I joke, but when you look at the state of internet access in America, we really cant complain too loudly!

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Callam McMillan

Re: So secure...

I made use of my little bit of Cisco experience and picked a used 3845 up off eBay for £70. Yes, it's totally overkill, but it does a few bits I can't do with a domestic router.

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Callam McMillan

So secure...

... That the ISP can just push random updates to it.

Stories like these, coupled with the fact that most ISP supplied routers are crap makes me glad I got a proper router.

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World's cheapest tablet just got CHEAPER

Callam McMillan

Re: put an Aakash in the hands of every school kid in the country in 5-7 years

Why?

I am sure that this will be able to run up-to-date web browsers for the next 5-7 years, so there's nothing on the internet that it shouldn't be able to access, even if you're not going to be streaming and watching video on it.

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Hypnotic wind map captures Earth's heavenly currents

Callam McMillan

Addictive

Well not for those of us at work who are stuck on IE8... It doesn't work :(

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Drawers full of different chargers? The IEC has a one-plug-to-rule-them-all

Callam McMillan

Re: Low voltage ring-main anyone?

It's not a stupid idea. I'm not quite sure how it'd work from the perspective of voltage drop and electrical noise etc. Plus it could work out more inefficient than using supplies customised to the application since you would need to have voltage converters.

I am aware that they do DC power distribution in some data centres, but if memory serves, it's done at about 380VDC to avoid these losses.

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BT network-level STOCKINGs-n-suspenders KILLER arrives in time for Xmas

Callam McMillan

To be fair, BT do offer totally unfiltered connections (No Cleanfeed), but the downside is you have to go for a bloody leased line...

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Callam McMillan

8.8.8.8

Google's public DNS server. Job done, as how many parents are going to know how to lock down their kid's network connection?

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So, what is new in SQL 2014, exactly?

Callam McMillan

Re: Only Microsoft?

In my neck of the industry (financial services), you're only going to run a database on MsSQL, Oracle, or erm... Access.

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Keeping warm in winter the el Reg way: Setting a NAS box ON FIRE

Callam McMillan

Depends on what you mean by lightning strikes though. If you mean the kind that hits a area sub-station and puts a significant spike onto the line, plus all the noise associated with it, then a UPS will definately help. If you want protection against lightning hitting your house wiring directly, then I know of no system that gives total protection.

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Callam McMillan

Get a little UPS for power protection - I personally like the APC ones, and here in the UK they're quite cheap if you only need a small capacity model.

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