Feeds

* Posts by Charles Manning

2927 posts • joined 26 Jun 2007

New research: Flash is DEAD. Yet resistance isn't futile - it's key

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Nobody wants storage

We just want to be able to access our stuff on demand.

With perfect clouding etc, there would be no need for storage at all, beyond a few kbytes needed to boot a device.

1
6

New NSA boss plays down impact of Snowden leaks

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Does the NSA give you a healthy family?

"I think most Americans don't care about respect from the rest of the world, they just want the same as everyone else - a health family, a roof over their heads, food on the table, and a vacation once in a while."

Sure, no problem with those aspirations, but it is unclear how the NSA provides those.

At one time, NSA probably served the people by giving them intelligence, but so too did the KGB.

Unfortunately these secret organisations become a law and a community unto themselves. They start to serve themselves and anyone outside NSA is deemed to be "the enemy".

An organisation that has gone that far off the rails cannot be corrected. it can only be disbanded.

5
0
Charles Manning
Silver badge

Sure the world is a better place since the NSA came along....

But that does not mean we should give credit to the NSA.

We could equally give credit to the transistor, rock music, super glue, oral contraceptives and Barbie doll - all of which came out around the same time.

3
0

Microsoft thumbs nose at NSA, hardens crypto for Outlook, OneDrive

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Finding a scapegoat

These people are naive in thinking the USA tech industry industry is crumbling because of the spying and that it might have been " an issue that needed to be addressed but might blow over ".

Nothing happens in a vaccuum. The US tech industry has been losing ground for ages and has been doing so perfectly well without the spies dragging them down. All the spying has done is erode the FUD that was keeping the market going for a bit longer. Net result, the spying has only changed timescales by a few months - a year at the outside. The outcome has not changed.

But big biz leaders never want to admit the rot of their industry. They always want something else to blame. They did it in 2001 and they're doing it now.

Exactly the same thing happened in 2001 with dot.bomb. The US market imposion was largely blames on Sept 11. However the industry was on the skids already. Sept 11 might have accelerated things by a month or three, but the trajectory was already set.

We've seen the upsurge of Huawei etc for a few years now. That they were coming along to eat everyone's lunch was obvious long ago. Microsoft has been rolling about in its own excrement for years.

All of this predates spies, but the spies five them a nice little scapegoat when the share holders get uppity.

9
5

Bitcoin was illegal in California? Whoops, governor fixes that 165-year-old money law

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Mark my words...

If they don't allow it, they can't tax it.

Step one to taxing it is to first allow it and recognise it as a currency.

4
0

Facebook Australia's 'small company' status makes it a small target

Charles Manning
Silver badge

With any luck...

FB will soon really become a small company. Very, very small...

1
0

Facebook 'manipulated' 700k users' feelings in SECRET EXPERIMENT

Charles Manning
Silver badge

That's the whole point of FB

It is an advertising platform.

Regardless of what a few mind-boffins do, advertising is intended to mess witth your mind and get you to buy crap you don't want and is MUCH worse than a slight emotional wrping due to the order you receive news in.

Getting uppy about this while placidly sucking on the advertising teet makes no sense alt all.

4
3

BOFH: You can take our lives, but you'll never take OUR MACROS

Charles Manning
Silver badge

I had a similar discussion with a mechanical engineer

He wrote a bunch of Excel macros that used a spread sheet to drive an NC milling machine.

He asked for help when the spreadsheet got sluggish and the resulting NC milling was all wonky.

I suggest he rewrote things using a programming language (C, Pascal, even BASIC). Nope. He was "frightened of programming"/

Eventually he came around when I explained to him that he'd been programming for years in Excel macros and using a real programming language to do this task would end up being easier.

0
0

Power BI: Office 365 just got more intelligent

Charles Manning
Silver badge

A word processor is a tool

I don't want intelligence or an emotional bond with a hammer.

Why do I want it in a word processor?

6
3

App maker defends selling S.F. parking spots as a FREE SPEECH issue

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Re: can't resist

Baby boomers have generally been givers.

I would think the post baby boomer generations have been the takers - always expectiving stuff to be handed out for free, cultivating the notion that getting stuff should be free without worrying about cute notions like ownership, permission etc.

3
2

Freeze, Glasshole! Stop spying on me at the ATM

Charles Manning
Silver badge

re: Use a PIN with one number repeated.

I tried that once, but I could never remember the order to type them in.

0
0
Charles Manning
Silver badge

Please be fair to El Reg

They said 40 PACES, not 40 metres, and certainly not 40 meters (*).

Glassholes wear tight pants so 3 metres for them is about 40 paces.

(*) A meter is an alternative Register measurement based on the width of the electricity meter installed at the observatory in Greenwich and is approx. 12cm. 40 meters is thus approx 4.8 metres.

0
0

Boffins untangle why your software builds fail

Charles Manning
Silver badge

"that any Linux user will know"

Wrong by at least 90% or so...

The vast majority of Linux users are Android phone users who have never done any software building at all.

7
1

Google's Urs Hölzle: If you're not breaking your own gear, you aren't ambitious enough

Charles Manning
Silver badge

On the FPGA stuff

He is right about FPGA code being slow and hard to develop. That is partially due to compile cycles that are an order of magnitude slower than software and not very parallelisable.

That is why a group I work with pefers to do FPGA design of "co-processor engines" which get configured and sequenced from software. That allows the FPGAs to do what they do best while leaving the more rapidly changing logic to still be in software which is quicker to change and easier to develop.

Soft cores and custom processors can help to wedge software in where you'd not normally think you could.

1
0

Microsoft tests HALF-INCH second screen to spur workplace play

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Microsoft still have Apple Envy

It looks a bit like an original Mac.

5
0

FAA shoots down delivery by drone plans

Charles Manning
Silver badge

But...

People in various countries have been using radio controlled aircraft for IR photography for soil analysis etc since the 1980s or so.

I remember people doing this in South Africa in the late 1980s so surely people have been doing that in The Land Of The Free too.

Surely that will remain legal?

2
0

Fearful of the drone-filled skies? Get some protection

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Re: "Detection is apparently within 50ft of any node."

50ft is nice slingshot range, even for a complete novice.

0
0

DISPLAY DESTRUCTION D'OH! Teardown cracks Surface Pro 3 screen

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Re: Here's an idea

Glue is required for many purposes....

Glue stops components falling off during soldering.

As pad size goes down, pads provide less adhesion for components. Vibration etc can rip up pads causing product failure. Glue fixes that.

1
1
Charles Manning
Silver badge

It's going to the landfill anyway

Look, these devices are not even going to be used long enough to go obsolete. They're just going directly to the landfill.

Nobody needs to service them there.

4
5

Firefighters deliver trapped student from GIANT GERMAN LADYPARTS

Charles Manning
Silver badge

The obvious reason...

Who had ever heard of imgur.com before this?

Post a few pics of a twat in a twat and... instant publicity.

0
1
Charles Manning
Silver badge

Re: err

" photographic evidence "

You can fake photos with Photoshop etc.

You can't fake Playmobil!

4
0

Russian gov to dump x86, bake own 64-bit ARM chips - reports

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Could the NSA bribe ARM??

The FUdders will ask the question: Could the NSA or other spy agency bribe ARM to insert backdoors and keep quiet?

Of course the theoretical answer is Yes.

The more practical answer is No. ARM is far too transparent and employs hundreds of people - most of whom would be rabidly anti-NSA/GSHQ. Keeping any spy deal covered up would be virtually impossible.

11
8

How Microsoft's cloud aims to cover the world

Charles Manning
Silver badge

With Microsoft the best things come in threes....

Ctl-Alt-Del

12
2

9 Dark Social Truths That Will Totally Blow Your Bowels!

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Re: WTF? "Sun level" @ AC

"Have you never seen Buzzfeed?"

Nope.

Thank you for your warning. I certainly shall not go looking.

1
0

Congress passes crackdown on NSA surveillance

Charles Manning
Silver badge

... and E)

whether the NSA really give a shit what others think and say.

The NSA of today have got to be what the KGB of 30 years ago was - a law unto themselves and outside any oversight.

They don't care what the prez tells them. They most likely spy on him. As far as the NSA is concerned, you're either part of the NSA or you're the enemy. All congress people, presidents, Fedex delivery people etc are the enemy.

As a result, they will keep doing what they damn well like.

It would seem the only people that could actually get them under control would be the people supplying utilities. Shut off water and leccy to their data centres and they could not function.

21
1

Oracle shares pummeled after giant reports glacial growth

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Re: SaaS, PaaS

"Unless you are too small to make having an IT support person"

Small business is the only growth area in USA. Small businesses cannot generally afford BOFHs and hence the cloud-based solutions are very appealing.

They might lock you in, but at least they're available. Even people that can do their own BOFHery are using cloud because it is cheaper than doing it yourself.

Some collegues of mine (small company of sub-20 employees) use Amazon VMs when they need some grunt. Why? It is cheaper than buying and maintaining your own.

2
0
Charles Manning
Silver badge

So where was the growth supposed to come from?

Oracle sells to corporations, mainly US ones.

Corporate USA (and even corps globally) are generally on the ropes. They are not spending up huge, especially on expensive infrastructure.

No corporate growth --> no corporate IT spend up --> no growth for companies feeding on that.

Where these is some growth in USA is in small businesses. Most of those are going for new cloudy brands for their accounting services etc. They are not installing big iron or using big-iron-think database systems.

1
2

Microsoft: NSA security fallout 'getting worse' ... 'not blowing over'

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Really?

It seems that whenever an industry hits the skids they are always out to blame some external factor.

The reality though is that events do not happen in a vaccuum. There are other trends happening too.

When the US economy declined in 2001/2 it was blamed on 9/11, but the trend was clearly there before this.

Microsoft has'nt done anything interesting for a decade or so - they've been too successful and too arrogant for too long and have lost their way.

Even without the NSA stuff, the US tech industry was already sliding. Gone are the days when everything happened via Silicon Valley. We now have most of the world's cell phones routers etc running on Asian designed chippery with UK-designed ARM cores inside with no involvement of Silicon Valley.

Sure, the advance of worldwide adoption of Chinese products was being thwarted by US-led xenophobic FUD. The NSA bunfight squashed that.

So the trend has always been there, the NSA nonsense is just making it happen a bit faster.

13
2

Intel reveals its FrankenChip ARM killer: one FPGA and one Xeon IN ONE SOCKET

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Re: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

"What I'd like would be 100MHz 14bit ADC and a couple of 100MHz 16 bit DACs built in. And 40hrs battery life :-)"

I have one of those in my flying car.

0
0
Charles Manning
Silver badge

Many FPGA vendors + ARM

Xilinx Zinq and Altera SocFPGA both use ARM multicores (I have a dual core on my delsk here). Others pave other hard cores too.

The hard part is getting the FPGA part going. For that Intel would have had to buddy up with an FPGA partner.

I predict nobody will tough these things. Intel have a terrible track record of developing then dropping fringe parts - leaving the board designers high and dry. Where's my 80251, i960, ...? Gone. No doubt Intel will soon dump these parts too. As a result, the embedded communit is increasingly shy about designing Intel parts into a system.

8
1

Microsoft 'Catapults' geriatric Moore's Law from CERTAIN DEATH

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Re: Here's a Lesson Learned (from SDR) for anyone going down this road...

" That means that, beyond getting your design algorithmically correct, you also need to layout the design such that it conforms to timing constraints. "

Not exactly...

You don't do the layout yourself. The tools do that. You just provide the timing constraints and it is the job of the tool to do the floor planning.

Of course you need to write the HDL code in a way that timing **can** be met.

For example, instead of having complex blocks of logic that take a long time to crunch you instead chop these up into lots of small steps and use pipelining.

ie.

X := A + B + C + D

might become

Step 1:

X1 : A + B

X2 = C + D

Step 2

X = X1 + X2

Now each bite of processing is smaller and can therefore be processed within a clock cycle.

Something like a multiply and accumulate might end up taking many (6-10) pipeline steps, but at least it is FAST.

2
0
Charles Manning
Silver badge

Microsoft research...

Re-cutting the edge that has been mown by others for decades.

FPGAs have been used for data processing applications for ages. They are particularly valuable for doing things like video processing.

Pipelining means hundreds, or even thousands, of steps can be executed in parallel. I'm currently working on a project where we're applying a long sequence of manipulations to video pixels passing through at 150M pixels per second. As each pixel is having, say, 100 transformations applied, that's 15 Gpixel transformations happening per second. Far, far faster than anything that you can do on a CPU.

Similar things can be done with networking, search, ...

7
1

British boffin tells Obama's science advisor: You're wrong on climate change

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Re: Logic Fail

Worse still:

> Your eyes measure temperature?

We can measure temperature with sennsors, but temperature is only a secondary result of heating. Unfortunately we really have no way to easily measure heat.

Heating means adding heat. When we heat something up then the temperature might change or the heat might be absorbed by a phase change (ie latent heat).

Since much of the water in the world is in the form of either ice or water vapour, and phase changes happen all the time, the correlation between "temperature" and "heat" gets blurred.

Climate models that just model temperature are disconnected from reality and should be taken with a grain of salt.

1
0
Charles Manning
Silver badge

Damn right you need proof!

"Regardless of if it is true or not, there is plenty of verifiable and observable evidence"

Yes, real proof is needed.

The warmers are proposing "solutions" which cost them little but have immense impact on others.

The warmers are asking people to disrupt the progress of the last 200 years that has lifted people from pretty much global poverty into global comfort. Pushing the stop button will have the worst effect on the third world poor who are in making the most progress.

If you're making demands that the third world give up their progress then you better have some damn good reasons to do so.

Proof. The real stuff. Verified. Double verified.

The true measure of your commitment is to ask whether you - personally- are prepared to go back to pre-industrial life. Are you prepared to take the place of a third worlder whom you are denying progress to?

But no, the green solutions have very little impact on those demanding it: city dwellers in rich countries for the most part. They might get their conciounce eased by paying a few $ more tax or by buying an eCar (taxpayer subsidised of course).

6
6
Charles Manning
Silver badge

Mathematician vs. "toy" mathematicians

Climate science is not a fundamental/pure science. It relies on using the tools from other disciplines. Clearly those tools nneed to be applied correctly or they are misleading.

If they were using physics (which they never seem to), then it would be reasonable for physicists to call them out when they forget friction or gravity or latent heat.

There is no opportunity to do any scientific experiments, so the "real scientists" are making mathematical models instead. Therefore it is perfectly reasonable for a mathematician to call them out when they apply the maths wrongly. This is particularly true for statistics which is one of the least understood and least intuitive areas of mathematics.

5
1

Bring your own device – as long as it's Microsoft

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Microsoft had this sewn up... and pissed it away

You often see people saying that MS need a chance to establish themselves being so new to the phone market. Bollocks.

MS have been in the game since 2001 or so, longer than Google and iphone.

They had the opportunity to almost have a corporate phone monopoly hooked in with corporate servers and desktops but then they just idled for ten years.

Microsoft went wrong when they stopped understanding the cusomer. Corporates want boring but functional platforms. Beige.

The rot started with ribbons. Adaptive UIs make it almost impossible to find your way around a program. They make over-the-phone help desking almost impossible.

Then MS bought Danger and became enamoured with the Kin phone and tiles. This is designed as a cool interface for kids. Not something that just gives utility as a tool. While Kin itself died quickly, the tiles interface was picked up and shoved into Win 8.

They even added things called "charms". Such things might make sense in a Pink Pony OS for 9 year old girls, but it is a stretch to think that IT and corporate people want to play with their charm bars.

It is only through a huge corporate smackdown that MS might rethink their strategy. MS need the corporate desktop to survive.

5
1

Tom Hanks NICKED my COPYRIGHTED PIC, claims Brit photog

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Tim, grow a pair

Instead of just whinging, get your lawyer to send a demand to Tom Hanks for a healthy amount of folding.

He, whether directly or indirectly through his PR people, has abused your copyright.

Whinging in El Reg does nothing.

If you want to get anywhere useful you will need to lawyer up.

0
0

Splash! Three times as much water as ALL of Earth's oceans found TRAPPED underground

Charles Manning
Silver badge

How did all the oil and gas get to Alaska?

Don't need none of that plate claptrap to explain it.

God put it there. Probably on day 3.

1
1

Join me, Reg readers, and help me UPGRADE our CHILDREN

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Sorry...

I could only give one up vote.

In blighty and most of its offspring, Aus, NZ, etc.educational resources are there for everyone to use. All that matters is whether you get off your arse and make effective use of them. Unfortunately that depends on upbringing more than anything else.

Kids of the underclass are under huge conformist pressure to not excell from parents and their mates. "Too good for us are you?". "We're a working class familiy." ...

How do you fight that, apart from state programs that take away the children of poor parents and put them into better surroundings. That sort of social engineering fell out of favour long ago.

1
0

Yes. Facebook will KNOW you've been browsing for smut

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Not pointless

It keeps the ads in your face. This is particularly true for the interwebs where people have short attention spans and only stay on a single site for a short while.

I was recently looking for a hunting torch and ended up on dx.com. For a while I just got served lots of different dx.com ads for various torches. After I bought one (from dx.com), they stopped with the torch ads and started with other dx.com tat.

These people know how to use their data to their best advantage.

1
0

Yet another reason to skip commercials: Microsoft ad TURNS ON your Xbox One

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Only command you'll ever need

"Xbox, list yourself on ebay."

5
1

BOFH: On the contrary, we LOVE rebranding here at the IT dept

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Time to rebrand HR....

In one small company where I worked for a while, the managing director proudly showed me his "HR department".

It was a cardboard box. Inside was a bottle of scotch and a box of Kleenex.

"Sorts out any people problems in minutes."

75
0

Microsoft in hunt for the practical qubit

Charles Manning
Silver badge

A quantum computer running Windows?

MS are no doubt up to the challenge of bloating even a quantum computer to death.

Might as well just stick with a regular computer running *nix!

6
3

When will Microsoft next run out of US IPv4 addresses for Azure?

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Personally....

I'd rather have the US address with my stuff stored in Brazil.

With the NSA freak-outery, an assurance the data is in USA really doesn't have much benefit.

14
0
Charles Manning
Silver badge

Re: Perhaps

Well Apple is still fine... Could be because:

1) Fry is a fanboi.

2) Al Gore invented the internet and is on the Apple board. He looks after his buddz.

3) Apple own 17.0.0.0/8

5
0

Tumultuous Twitter torches top talent, topples COO

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Expect a profit? How can that be?

Does nothing, creates nothing etc.

Yet: runs a 295,000 sq ft office in SF + o25 others sprinkled around the world , 3000 employees (of which 1500 are engineers) eat 1440 hard boiled eggs and drink 585 US gallons of coffee per week.

And "invesduhs" still expect them to be profitable?

1
0

Israel develops wireless-malware-injection-by-smartmobe tool

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Re: Agreed -- @ Paul Crawford

Stuxnet did not get onto the centrifuge PLC. It infected the computer that programmed the PLCs.

The PLC programming tools on the PC uses various DLLs in the back-end compiler that generates & minipulates the PLC code that is downloaded into the PLC.

Stuxnet switched the DLLs for malicious DLLs that generated bad code.

Regardless, crossing airgaps in anything but a contrived lab environment is quite likely close to impossible. Basically you'd need to use some EM interference to flip specific bits to specific values. Not going to be easy at all.

1
0

Greenpeace rejoices after getting huge renewable powerplant CANCELLED

Charles Manning
Silver badge

"Make friends closer to home"

Probably a direct quote of someone who had just flown in to an enviro-summit at Cancun.

One of our NZ politicains was telling people to reduce their carbon footprint - interviewed while on a week's holiday in Greece!

The "do as we say, not as we do" nature of these people is gobsmacking.

6
0

Microsoft poised to take Web server crown from Apache

Charles Manning
Silver badge

Re: Nick Kew Deja vu again

"making IIS's real share of the webserver market even larger"

If we're playing games like this, then let's consider all the embedded web servers in printers and ADSL routers etc. None of those are running IIS or Apache.

These will outnumber all Apache + IIS web servers by a large margin.

2
0
Charles Manning
Silver badge

Windows Phone 2030?

The 2030 number is wrong.

Microsoft have been doing Windows phones since 2002. Longer than Google or Apple.

2002 + 18 = 2020.

4
0