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* Posts by Callam McMillan

240 posts • joined 7 Jun 2012

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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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US army bites the bullet in $50m software piracy pay-out

Callam McMillan

... Not when the guys protecting them have bigger guns than you (quite literally in this case!)

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Weird PHP-poking Linux worm slithers into home routers, Internet of Things

Callam McMillan

Re: Wiping a load of system files?

The domestic routers that I have seen are upgradable, therefore will have some form of flash. It may therefore be possible for a malicious piece of software to overwrite core parts of the software on the EEPROM to disable access and persist across reboots / factory resets.

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What's wrong with Britain's computer scientists?

Callam McMillan

Re: Computer Science is to Developers...

Sorry, but that's the wrong way to look at it, we don't need loads of developers, because then they'll be competing with India and the rest of Asia at twice the cost. Using your building analogy, yes the physicists won't get the building built, but the Engineering Architects (Not the arty farty kind) who have the physics and materials science knowledge will make sure it doesn't fall down. In the same way, we train our Computer Scientists to be able to do good software design, good project management and governance and the basics of programming (like the architect knowing how you pour a concrete foundation, even if they don't actually do it) then we have professionals that are both employable, but also able to add real value to the companies they work for.

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Callam McMillan

Misinformed opinions

As a recent Computer Science graduate (2011), I agree with a lot of what's being said, and thought I'd chuck my own two pence in. The problem with Britain's Computer Scientists is that they're being told the wrong things and therefore have the wrong information to make well considered opinions.

First is the issue with salary, from what I have seen, the pay for IT work ranges from poor to a decent amount above average (£40k ish). If you want the big money that Computer Science promises though, you have to look at Financial Services IT which means you'll likely be based in London with the associated costs of living.

Secondly, and it shouldn't need saying, but it does, a computer scientist shouldn't be fixing computers, that's the job of an IT technician on £22k per year. Also, as others have mentioned, if you want to do coding, then you're going to be competing with south-east Asia, so get used to it. The trick here in my opinion is that you need to be doing something specialised enough that having your skills on-site is a benefit to an employer, or you need to take the downsides and go work for the smaller companies that aren't ready to outsource their work.

Thirdly, when I was at university, they made a point not to teach to a technology. Sure, we did some PHP and some MySQL, but we also did some Java, C, C++ and K (Which is a very interesting language as an aside) The result of this is that my university didn't just pump out programmers, but rather well rounded computer scientists who also understood things like project management and people management, which brings me to my conclusion:

If you want to sell Computer Science, don't talk about coding, talk about producing future leaders of the IT industry. People who know how to run IT projects, but who also understand when the people doing the actual techy work are talking BS and can call them out on it.

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Carl Icahn: I don't want to fight with Tim... but I will

Callam McMillan
Facepalm

Given that he only owns 0.4% of apple, perhaps Tim Cook should politely tell him to sod off and bother Dell, because we all know how that one worked out for Icahn!

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Brit inventor Dyson challenges EU ruling on his hoover's energy efficiency ratings

Callam McMillan

Re: Dear Dyson

Simple solution: Buy a Henry. You'll change the bags every so often and keep the filter clean, then it'll last you at least 10 years judging by our one!

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Microsoft investors push for Bill Gates defenestration: report

Callam McMillan

Re: @Callam McMillan - "the ..goal of putting a PC into every home came to fruition"

It's not that I forgot. In 1994 I was 6 years old and had never heard of the Atari ST. What I remember from then is a computer you could turn on, type win at the DOS prompt to start windows (until I added the command to the autoexec.bat file) and then play the various games we had on the machine. It was also about this time I found QBasic and started writing programs by bastardising a manual I had on how to write in OPL for a Psion CM2 organiser (Good times).

Other people have already said it. This is a time when 4MB of ram was the best part of £200 and while our first machine could support 64MB, this was effectively a £4000 upgrade, so we made do with 16MB, upgraded from the 1 or 4 MB it come with (I can't remember totally.) In that vein, while there may have been better options for the operating system, they weren't exactly what you'd call cheap, or targeted at the domestic market.

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Callam McMillan

Re: "the company's audacious early goal of putting a PC into every home came to fruition"

No, I think they were right.

In 1994 we got our first computer, a Dell 486. We had no internet connection, but we did have a half dozen floppies for DOS 6.2 and another half dozen for Windows 3.11. Having gone through the disks, the computer then just worked. We could play games on it and do various bits. It also continued to work when we upgraded to Win 95 a couple of years later.

In 1999, we still had no internet, but I got a copy of Linux, with the only drivers being those on the disk, it was an interesting time trying to turn it into somehting resembling a useful machine. Because of that it was another eight years before I properly returned to Linux when I went to university.

Microsoft put a computer in every home, because it just worked (how things have changed). Linux is only recently got there and Apple around the same time was nowhere.

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Sharp whispers its vital statistics: 15.6in 3840 × 2160 IGZO screen for next MacLap Pro?

Callam McMillan

Sod the Macbook Pro

When will they be making some desktop monitors with small (<24") 4K panels?

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