* Posts by Steven Raith

1813 posts • joined 26 Jun 2007

Get off the phone!! Seven out of ten US drivers put theirs and your lives at risk

Steven Raith
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Maybe it's just me, but taking a piss at the side of the road out of the way is less embarrassing than crashing into a parked car.

Then again, me dad was a major petrolhead (and so am I) so maybe he just instilled some odd values into me? :-)

Steven "has a wee before driving" R

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Steven Raith
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Re: But technically....

A closed course != the road, with random hazards.

Reaction times while even moderately inebriated are much, much larger than when sober and paying attention.

Reaction times are what matter on the road.

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Are we looking at the first domain name meme? Neigh

Steven Raith
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Re: Not an UZI

I vote Glock 18 with extended mag. The rear 'chunk' of it that makes it look Uzi like is the slide immediately after firing, while ejecting a shell casing.

Hmm. I think I need to get out more.

Steven R

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Ding-dong, the cloud calling: The Ring Video Doorbell

Steven Raith
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Re: HD video?

Why do you need more than 640k of RAM?

If the common components support HD transcoding of video in the hardware, then offering a lower rate image isn't going to make a huge difference to power consumption for the expected use (we're talking seconds of usage at a time, not hours) and modern wifi can generally handle it.

So why not?

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Going up hills past blokes with coke-bottle legs: The Smart E-bike

Steven Raith
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Re: £1800?

You can't really take them on canal towpaths and the like though....

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Steven Raith
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Re: Archway hill

Cycling up it? Walking up it is a pain in the arse enough, thankyouverymuch...

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From Manchester to Microsoft – missing mum :-(

Steven Raith
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Re: Gentrification

"Utter Bollocks. It very much helps to come from a privileged or at least well off background to get you where you want to be. Having the confidence even if you don't have the cash can come from the background and opportunities you were given as a kid."

It can help, but it's not the be all and end all; I was brought up alone by an alcoholic, in the sort of conditions that would feature in a modern Childline ad (I brought myself up from around age 12, including handling the bills, etc); and yet, I'm doing pretty well for myself despite being disadvantaged in almost every important respect from a first-world standpoint, not to mention living in the arse end of nowhere, to boot.

Opportunities come easier if you have the benefit of a 'lucky' upbringing, but I've mostly got to where I am today (which isn't much, but it's fine) by wit, intellect and a burning urge to prove everyone who said I'd amount to nothing because I was the local poor kid utterly, blindingly wrong.

Opportunity smooths the path, but incentive and attitude are far, far more important IMHO, and make you take the path. Incentive makes you smash down the barriers and get places.

Steven R

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Steven Raith
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Re: Gentrification

I agree that extreme gentrification is a problem for locals, but I must admit, I can't recommend getting out and about a bit enough - if for no other reason than to get out of your comfort zone, meet people who have a totally different world view to you.

I moved from John O Groats to London, effectively (living in herts, working in 't Smoke) and now live in Scarborough and work in York; it's been pretty awsume now I think about it, and certainly more interesting than staying local, with better/different opportunities etc.

Thinking of moving closer to York this year (nobody lives *in* York - it's too expensive ;-) ), as commuting 45 miles each way a day is grating now...!

Steven R

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Bonny Scottish post-pub nosh neckfiller: Rumbledethumps

Steven Raith
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Clapshot?

Being from John O Groats (just a run and a jump from Orkney) I thoroughly approve.

It's lovely with the previous nights ghoulash.

(yes, we were an odd family when it came to food)

Steven "Most scottish person you know, even though I'm barely scottish these days" R

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Apple in rinky-dink ink stink wristjob admission: Watch IS affected by TATTOOS

Steven Raith
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Re: To quote R. Reagan, "There you go again."

Something can be crap without being a flop.

See Transformers movies, The X Factor and Vauxhall Corsas.

Steven R

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High-speed powerline: Home connectivity without the cables

Steven Raith
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Re: Wired ethernet still rules

Unless you're renting, in which case plumbing cabling behind the walls is normally a no-no....

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TWO-FACED Facebook: Vid calls slapped into blabber app

Steven Raith
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So WhatsApp does realtime video calls?

Could have fooled me....

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Apple Watch RIPPED APART, its GUTS EXPOSED to hungry Vultures

Steven Raith
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No, I think I'd get a fair bit of mileage out of it too...

Steven "not so much mind in the gutter, as positively subterranean" R

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Steven Raith
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"On the other hand, what's the harm in having your ego massaged for £300?"

For £300, you can get your ego massaged, along with many other parts. More than once.

Probably a better use of the money.

Steven R

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'Aaron's Law' back on the table to bring sanity to US hacking laws

Steven Raith
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Re: Eh?

I think what they mean is separating cheeky actions like what Schwartz did (IE copyright theft, and less immediately harmful actions etc) from deliberate, malicious actions intended to harm (either financially, or by harassment, etc - think Cryptolocker).

Hacking is fairly easily distinguished from piracy and suchlike in the eyes of the general public and the government (who are mostly non technical) and those are the people it has to be approved by, if you catch my drift.

Steven R

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Chat app WhatsApp gift-wraps free yaps for Apple iPhone saps

Steven Raith
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The only time I'm not within reach of fast wifi (that I'm authorised for) is a few hours a day when I'm in the car, when I ignore the phone entirely.

That said, I do recall when I used to be a roving engineer and that would be a bit trickier, but you've got to admit, it's not like wifi is a rare thing these days.

I'd rather use a SIP server over a VPN though, for less chance of being scraped, but I'm way to lazy to set one up...

Steven R

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Chinese 'Superphone' manufacturer declares war on Apple

Steven Raith
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Phablet = phone and tablet, as opposed to being based on arbitrary size limits, does it not?

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Apple will cut down 36,000 acres of forest in 'conservation scheme'

Steven Raith
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Re: And if Tim Cook abandons capitalism to live naked in a cave

"El Reg will castigate him for depriving bears of potential hibernating habitat..."

Well, Apple are already denying them their toilet area already so it wouldn't shock anyone.

Steven "Obvious joke" R

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Mega fatcat Kim Dotcom in deportation drama over SPEEDING ticket

Steven Raith
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90+ in a 30?

I had sympathy for him up to that point.

I treat NSL roads as 'derestricted' and drive whatever speed I feel suits the conditions (even if that is below the limit - slush, lashing rain etc) but 30, 40, 50 mph limits? No, I won't break em, they are there for a reason.

Fuck 'im.

Steven 'reasonable levels of respect for the law' R

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Bloke hits armadillo AND mother-in-law with single 9mm round

Steven Raith
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Re: Ah

Nah, he just needed to ask to borrow his cousins outfit.

Steven "Never played MegaMan but heard it's top larks" R

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Why are enterprises being irresistibly drawn towards SSDs?

Steven Raith
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Re: @Trevor_Pott Change in Flash technology to eliminate finite write lifetime?

@Archeon

""What use is a SATA 32GB SSD today ....."

Even taking frank ly's *Nix example as a given, I've got a machine with a pair of 30GB (not even 32GB) SSDs in RAID 1 which runs Server 2012 R2 Standard quite happily. Believe it typically sits at around 11GB free."

Come back to me in a couple of years when WinSXS has eaten up the rest of that ;-)

Steven R

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Welcome to the FUTURE: Maine cops pay Bitcoin ransom to end office hostage drama

Steven Raith
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Backup verification matters

Something that is often forgotten is that you don't test your backup system works, you test that your recovery system works.

Sadly, not many people actually do it - they just assume that because Backup Exec/Windows Backup/their cron'd rsync job/Backup2l reports a successful backup, they don't bother checking that they can actually pull data from it....

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Struggling through the Crystal Maze in our hunt for a spare CAT5

Steven Raith
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Re: Actually, Mr Dabbs

@anothercynic

It really depends on the scale of the company. Somewhere I worked many moons ago, my network manager got a recording of a particularly self-important staffers X-factor audition tape (I didn't ask how but I believe if involved some BOFHery and confidence tricksterism) and changed his login sound to it.

It's OK though, because the guy was a git.

Can't imagine getting away with something like that in, say, a local government or a large corporate like IBM or similar though.

Still, helps keep the sanity there, eh?

Steven R

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ISIS: You bomb us, we’ll interrupt your TV transmissions

Steven Raith
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Re: Upgrade the air strikes...

JustWondering - I'm ashamed to state that I laughed like a drain at your comment about Boyle.

I'm a bad man, and luckily, I'm working from home today so I've not had to explain myself to anyone...

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Forum chat is like Clarkson punching you repeatedly in the face

Steven Raith
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Re: Sticks and stones

Moiety, if you like, but it's polite to buy 'em dinner first.

Steven R

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NORK internet outage was payback for Sony hack – US politician

Steven Raith
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Re: Reasonable and proportionate

Most of them aren't living long enough to see their grandkids not get the internet, I'd imagine...

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BBC: We'll give FREE subpar-Raspberry-Pis to a million Brit schoolkids

Steven Raith
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Re: What a bunch of ****ing moaners

Yup, I did LOGO with a turtle back when I was eight or nine in primary school.

Drew a massive pentagram four feet across with 360 one degree turns for the circle on the outside.

Teacher was well impressed.

That was over 20 years ago!

Steven "feels old" R

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Should online pirates get the same sentences as offline ones?

Steven Raith
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So if you cripple your upload speed and have a low personal seed ratio, you have to pay £50, if you leave your seed box running 24/7 on an unmetered gigabit connection, £5000 fine?

Steven "kidding a bit" R

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Apple Watch: HOT WRIST ACTION plus slim $1299 MacBooks - and HBO TV

Steven Raith
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Re: hahahaha

To be fair, it was not dissimilar to USB1 when it came out, as I recall - although it was a while ago. Apple pushed it on the iMac and it gained a lot more traction.

If it causes USB-C to be implemented more widely on other hardware, that's fine by me.

As for the just one connector....be interesting to see how that is worked around in the real world. Presumably a y-cable on the power connector or something?

Steven R

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Reg exec in deluxe roo-skin pen case beernami trauma

Steven Raith
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Re: Similar problem with e-cig liquid....

Citation needed.

Also, no, they don't. PG/VG, flavouring, nicotine (all pharmaceutical grade) is all that any good E-cig liquid contains.

Research that shows harm from them at greater than a percentage of smoking a cigarette has almost without exception, been rubbished by all reputable peer sources. For example, yes, you can get formaldahyde from them. If you run the coils *way* over spec for *way* longer than anyone would in the real world.

It's like claiming that Honda VTEC engines expire prematurely because you put it in neutral and wedged a brick on the throttle. Yes, that sort of abuse might cause problems.

Show me some reputable evidence of serious harm - that is, something less than 90% less harmful than a normal ciggy - and I might reconsider.

At the moment, the main research into e-cig harm is whether it's between 90% or 95% less harmful than a boggo ciggy....

Steven R

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Steven Raith
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Similar problem with e-cig liquid....

I get 50ml bottles of electric ciggy liquid. They come as a bottle with a seperate, threaded dropper to replace the leakproof tab and cap that the bottle is sealed with for transport. Fine.

Remove cap and leakproof tab. Screw on dropper top. Seems tight. Slip into jacket pocket.

Finish contents of current tank. Open up, get bottle out...hey, this is a bit slimey....ah. Half the contents gone. Pocket soaked in PG/VG mix.

Turns out the dropper cap has it's own 'tamper proof' seal (like wot bottles of water/coke have - you know the one) which is meant for when it's put on a suitable bottle with a catch ring, which the actual bottle of e-cig liquid is not. Cut off the tamper proof ring, and it screws down tightly.

That's what I get for making assumptions. Anyway, the jacket was put through the wash, but the lining was still stained so I had to junk it.

Bah.

Steven R

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Adobe launches cashless bug bounty

Steven Raith
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Re: You want your vulnerabilities traded in underground forums?

I never got a gift card for free beer.

Clearly, my contributions aren't as valued as some peoples :-(

Steven "dry week" R.

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Steven Raith
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Re: You want your vulnerabilities traded in underground forums?

I got that too.

Also, El Reg badges can't have that much value garnered to them; I have one, and I'm well known for talking utter tat on most occasions.

Steven R

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Here comes Vulkan: The next generation of the OpenGL graphics API

Steven Raith
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Re: Waiting for Blizz to pull all this into WoW

AMD are likely to back it as they wrote large chunks of the core code - Vulkan had the entire Mantle stack donated to it, to be done with as Khronos pleased.

What I meant was, I can't recall which AMD cards are at what OGL level, but further news suggests anything from an HD5xxx series onwards will be Vulkan compliant.

So no, no new GPU to take advantage of Vulkan enabled engines like Source 2...

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Steven Raith
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Re: Waiting for Blizz to pull all this into WoW

It'll run on anything OpenGL ES 3.1 compliant from what I've read elsewhere (which suggests hardware tesselation support it's necessary?) providing the vendor implements it correctly, so that'll be a Geforce 400 or newer.

Not entirely sure about the AMD side, but given Vulkan contains a fair chunk of Mantle in it, I'd hope they'd make the effort to get it working nicely.

Steven R

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I see what you've done, there, twiiter.com: Tweet troops tackle tech twin

Steven Raith
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Re: says

I sea what you did their.

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Shove off, ugly folk, says site for people who love themselves

Steven Raith
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A thousand times this. I've met some seriously narcassistic people in my time, and with one exception (someone who was narcassistic but knew it and made up for it by also being a good lass overall) they've all been the sort of people that I tend not to associate with.

If this keeps them off dating sites for us normals, that's fine by me....

Steven "tends to find people to be more attractive once he gets to know them better" R

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UK spaceport, phase two: Now where do we PUT the bleeding thing?

Steven Raith
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Re: North East

How about Wick Airport?

Could extend the main runway, with the bonus of flattening Ackergill in the process. And the secondary runway could just be extended right up to the coast, to give the pilots something to concentrate the mind on take off and landing.

If bits fall off, just make sure they're guided to Pultneytown, no-one will mind that, the place is a shithole as it is.

I'll take my million pound consultation fee in £20 notes, thanks.

Steven R

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Broadband routers: SOHOpeless and vendors don't care

Steven Raith
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Re: Advice?

Jason 7 - interesting, in my last job, we had dozens of sites with Drayteks, no wifi problems with 'em, but it might have been a shoddy batch you got etc.

Only problem I've seen with Drayteks are the occasionally port forwarding bug. That, and the SSL VPN being on by default on port 443 needing to be changed to summat else.

I've got a seperate AP (A result of having poor wifi in the bedroom of my last place) so I don't use the wifi on the Draytek so maybe I've just not spotted a problem meself.

Otherwise, they've been rock solid.

Steven R

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Steven Raith
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Re: Advice?

I've been running a Draytek 2830N for the last few years, I've found it to be plenty quick for VDSL (handles 80mb firewalled no problem, although I believe it'll struggle with anything more) and although it doesn't have the best wifi performance, it's fine otherwise. Very good granular controls too, and although obviously it's not as quick and easy as your average Netgear modem to set up, it's not terrifying. You get proper VLANs and multiple SSIDs, etc too.

2830 has a built in ADSL modem, 2860 has a built in dual mode ADSL/VDSL modem (and has a WAN port for fiber, as well as USB for 3/4G modems).

They do cost around £200 though - but they are kept updated for years, and have lots of connectivity, slow line firmware, etc.

They aren't as fully loaded as a enterprise Cisco, but they are a damned site better than the average consumer device without being quite as tricky to set up.

The only vulnerability I've seen them fall to is the TR069 one - but TR069 was possible to disable (unlike lots of the other devices).

Don't work for Draytek, just never had any real issues with them at home, or at dozens of client sites - if anyone wants to poke holes in Drayteks reputation, go for it, I'm always up for an education!

Steven R

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Win! El Reg exceedingly fine mug collection

Steven Raith
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Re: Ummm

No we don't.

OH SH-

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In Barcelona, no one can hear you scream ... HTC, Valve unleash Giger-inspired VR headgear

Steven Raith
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Re: Hololens isn't VR...it's AR..

WRT to Steam, SteamOS is coming along pretty well, just still in beta/testing. It's never been claimed as anything else that I recall. Sort of hoping that the GDC conference has a bit more info. It's 'launch' has really been series of announcements of progress on SteamOS and info about how hardware partners would work with them and what to expect from them.

As for Xi3 (makers of the piston), they worked with Valve for a bit in the early days, then backed out - Valve mentioned that they had worked together but have since gone seperate ways - probably after a senior person at Xi3 started banging on about how awsume Windows was. Xi3 then continued to use Steam terminology to fluff up their PR, saying that the Piston was the first commercially available Steam Box, even though (more likely because...) partner hardware is called Steam Machines....

Basically Xi3 are a pretty shady bunch when it comes to their association with Valve, and I'm prepared to cut Valve some slack on that one as I got confused by it too back in the day.

Source? Google and widely known facts. Plenty of info on the Xi3 debacle here.

Steven R

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Pebble Time Steel ready in May. Plus: Now you can strap on sensors, GPS ... Geiger counter

Steven Raith
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Re: Battery in straps

I'd imagine it's fear of having a lipo fire.

If you smack your wrist against a door jam or something else that punctures the battery pack - which you'll note, is strapped to your wrist - and if it catches fire (or at best, expands and heats rapidly), it can only be undone by the parts that are at that moment in time, on fire (or very hot and difficult to hold).

Highy unlikely, but having the battery exposed in a what by design needs to be a fairly soft and supple casing (IE the strap) would leave it more vulnerable to damage.

If we can get good capacity batteries that aren't made of....just awful materials (in terms of skin damage, fire risk, etc) then it's likely that'll happen though.

Steven R

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$250K: That's what Lenovo earned to RAT YOU OUT with Superfish

Steven Raith
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Re: Heads will roll?

Shame that would be a major case of a pot calling the kettle black, eh?

Every major vendors consumer level computers are filled with pish-ware, Lenovos was just marginally more shitty than some others.

Steven R

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NO ONE is making money from YouTube, even Google – report

Steven Raith
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Re: No-one at all? But I thought...

I'd wager that streaming a game broadcast costs less than having a video crew and production suite to make a 'traditional' video - see Motor Trends Roadkill series, ///Drive, et al.

Roadkill have 30+ videos, almost all with over a million hits each, and they still need sponsorship from outside for it to make sense.

I'm guessing paying a couple of professional cameramen and hiring a crew cab van to transport them (IE traditional way of making a broadcast video) costs more than the few grand a month per million hits that would make someone like pewdiepie/totalbiscuit perfectly capable of paying the bills without having external revenue.

Steven R

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C’mon Lenovo. Superfish hooked, but Pokki Start Menu still roaming free

Steven Raith
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Re: Why are you even diagnosing this lappy?

And to compliment Solmyr ibn Wali Barads point, getting a hold of a Windows 8 ISO of the correct variant (And even knowing which one to get) is a massive pain in the arse - Microsoft appear to have deliberately made it so.

In all honesty, this was one of many reasons why I got out of teching on Windows; At the end of the day, I enjoy working on computers, but I don't enjoy working on broken Windows 8 machines in the slightest.

Doing Linux Sysadmin is complex as hell for someone who has been a Windows chap most of his professionial career (although I've been using Linux at home for some eight years now) but it's still not as blindly frustrating as trying to rebuild a Win 8.1 laptop with no recovery media, which is an exercise in futility and frustration, and I don't see it getting any better any time soon.

Steven R

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Steven Raith
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Re: Why are you even diagnosing this lappy?

David Austin is correct.

I've been that guy, and I can assure you not having a sysprepped image wasn't due to lack of comptetence - I've got thousands of machines rolled out under my belt, including WDS network builds with automatic application installs before the first login etc, IE The Way It's Meant To Be Done, but most SMBs want some control over what hardware they have - so unless you want to have one guy making images for every single Lenovo, Acer, Fujitsu etc that their customer is likely to buy - normally in quantities of less than half a dozen at a time, normally several years apart, then you just aren't going to be able to justify the time in image building.

And if you, as a supplier, only stock one kind of laptop/desktop to facilitate image building and make the economics work, then

A: You're going to need to buy 100+ at a time - something beyond the reach of most small IT shops

B: If you screw up the spec even slightly - wrong chassis size, no serial ports, needs four RAM slots not two, needs chassis expansion, must be ultrabook class, needs to be 15", not 13" etc - the one time someone comes who needs that bit of spec or form factor you missed, you lose a sale. Screw up the provisioning badly (for any reason - wrong spec, or local economy changes - IE you buy lots of laptops and suddently everyone wants tablets/ultrabooks/whatever) you might not be able to shift them at all and they end up as dead stock...company goes under due to £15-20k of unsellable kit.

There's more to this than competence - at the non-enterprise scale, things become....more fluid.

As a rule, if you have less than 20 systems going in at a time, justifying the expense of building an image (properly) to a customer can be hard - especially when they can just order 20 machines off Amazon and only ask you to install them, etc.

Steven R

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Lenovo CTO: Hey, look around – we're not the only ones with a crapware infection

Steven Raith
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Re: The best solution would be to allow removal of demos and other useless software

Acer, of all people, used to offer this - on their X-series desktops, IIRC.

Don't recall seeing it more recently than Win 7 though.

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Steven Raith
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Re: A tragedy of errors continues

Nah, a shitload of businesses, particularly at the SMB end, use consumer laptops and hardware.

Seriously, most business users don't want (or need) to spend £800 on a magnesium chassis'd ultrabook and don't value next business day replacement because of the extra cost - something plastic with 4gb of RAM and an i3 is all they want for Excel, why spend £500 when £300 will get it done? Next day replacement? Just buy six instead of the five you need.

This is not at all unusual when you don't have a formal IT budget and you tend to replace hardware every five years or when the old stuff starts failing.

I'm not saying it's necessarily sensible, but it's what happens outside of the enterprise space, all the time.

Steven R

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Steven Raith
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To be honest, I think you've hit the nail on the head; it's mostly the tech community who are pissed off with this (with obvious support from the consumer rights/EFF sorts) and I think we'd all be interested to see exactly how the effectively 'ad supported hardware market' stacks up and what benefits it gives to the consumer in terms of lower prices.

It'd go some way towards chilling us out, and the attitude of the CTO is pretty good IMHO - it basically reads along the lines of

"Read about this, facepalmed hard, had a strong coffee and a cigarette, now I'm up for sorting this so that we can reaassure you that we're not actually a bunch of cretinous fuckers - at least not any more creitnous than anyone else"

As he rightly notes - we're not idiots - we know that the bloatware helps firm up the margins and give us usable hardware at reasonable costs (I mean, you can get a perfectly usable, if perhaps cheaply built, laptop for under £300 these days), and I think a bit of openness about the practises involved in getting to that stage and why the product management types who made the decision to go with SuperFish (presuambly not realising how bad it was) felt it was justified, and how they plan to avoid that, would go some way to at least clawing back some of their reputation.

I think it'd take a bit more than that to get my trust back though. That said, even just including a raw Windows image sans tatware would be enough for most of us....

Steven R

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