221 posts • joined Friday 17th May 2013 05:19 GMT
@John Smith 19 --- Re: @RobHib
ESS computer was designed to survive WWIII
Right, I suppose there has to some planning strategy somewhere, after all there's stacks of nukes still around, it's only that we don't think about them as much as we did during the Cold War.
Not seen Martin's book and I doubt that the modern telecoms engineer would have either. That said, clearly there's many specialist engineers etc. around quite familiar with the issues. Presumably they've their finger on the pulse.
@btrower -- Re: ...Boring?
Every new version of Windows isn't truly an upgrade nor is it really a new operating system. When Microsoft brings out a new version it's concocted from a mash-up of previous version with some new code and features. The new code is added to entice users to upgrade.
We pay all over again for the old code from the mash-ups and often this code isn't even touched or upgraded when it's already a source of contention with users. More often than not, it's this old code that users want upgraded and or fixed.
New versions of Windows are deliberately designed to force users to upgrade. New equipment won't work on older mobos and such so we never have a smooth ride--it becomes an endless cycle of upgrades and patches.
In an open letter to Microsoft I deal with these issues more explicitly:
Sure we'll reach a point were XP isn't viable anymore but for some that will be a long time. I regularly see NT4 and Windows installations that are still running and NT4 is nearly a decade older than XP!
The fact is there's essentially three classes of users:
1. IT types, gamers, bleeding-edgers, many El Reg readers etc.-- they'll instantly buy anything new MS comes out with.
2. Normal users whose most exciting application is MS Office - they'll only upgrade with a replacement machine which has a later O/S already installed.
3. Industrial and certain commercial users for whom Windows is just another component - these people rarely upgrade components--"if it ain't broke, don't touch it". For them, Windows will get upgraded when the whole plant and equipment is upgraded. Such people talk in terms of 20-30 year cycles.
I can only add that I know of many NT4, Windows 2000, XP and some Windows 95 and even OS/2 still in operation in the #3 class. Moreover, there are many 'industrial' mobos available deliberately designed to still work on these old OSes--but you won't see them advertised in popular computer mags (but you will at a machine tool or electronic component exhibitions).
The reason why there is so much old junk in existence is hardly because of cheapskate users, rather it's primarily because of Microsoft's intransigence. If Microsoft paid attention to what users actually wanted and ensured a smooth transition from one version of Windows to the next, then most of the issues would go away.
Unfortunately, at Microsoft, marketing dominates whereas engineering, user needs and common sense do not.
@John smith 19 -- Re: There's a book on instrument design that makes intresting reading.
What's the book?
One of the key items was maintaining a uniform temperature.
On the IBM link which RustyNailed kindly provided (above), I noted that IBM specifies:
Temperature stability: 0.1°C/1 h and 0.5° C/24 h
and I can attest that this is a pretty difficult task. I recall having to calibrate thermometers in a calorimeter and trying to get temperature stability to less than 0.1°C was both difficult and it took ages for the calorimeter to stabilize--and a calorimeter is not a room!
I note with interest that IBM only specify both hourly and diurnal temperature tolerances. In such an establishment I've have thought that a monthly and annual specification would also have been necessary. If the error is cumulative then longitudinal calibration errors could occur as a consequence of temperature drift.
0.5° C/24 h might be OK but not specifying monthly/yearly could mean much larger drifts over this time frame.
I wonder why longer times were not specified.
@RustyNailed -- Re: Uh?
Thanks, that solves all my queries in a nutshell.
And from experience, that spec for noise power up to 1kHz excluding 50Hz is a very tough call.
And I meant to add:
We have to ask: Wasn't that a bit risky putting the future of IBM's nano-technology research in the hands of an building-design novice?
Building designers are extremely unlikely to know anything about anechoic chambers, very low frequency vibration, EMR shielding (Faraday cages) and Helmholtz coils.
Specialist laboratories have always been designed and or specified by the researchers. Loertscher and other researchers OBVIOUSLY are the only ones qualified to attempt this work!
"clean room produces less than half the noise of any rival facility – 30dB versus 65dB.
Uh? 30dB ≠ ≈ half 65dB. And I'll ignore the confusingly placed dash.
Anyway, '65dB' relative to what. And does it refer to sound or EMR/RF? They are different you know.
Presumably, '65dB' refers to nominal/ambient sound level, if so then 30 dB down on that isn't much if the anechoic chamber is state of the art. And what frequency/range of frequencies does this apply to?
Perhaps 30dB versus 65dB actually means 'anechoic chambers typically attenuate 65dB and this one is better by another 30dB'. If so, then it would be truly a state-of-the-art facility.
If it's EMR/RF then again the figures make no sense. The EMR/RF attenuation of Faraday cages is measured in dB relative to background radiation and specified across bands of frequencies. So what are those frequencies?
If the Faraday cage attenuated some 65 dB down on background then this is good figure but it's hardly state of the art (unless that limit is determined by radiation from plant and equipment being used within the cage).
Incidentally, dB is a logarithmic ratio. Here's a very shortened precis from the Wiki defn.
The number of decibels is ten times the logarithm to base 10 of the ratio of the two power quantities.
This article left me not much the wiser.
...However, XP will never drop to zero.
From next April into the foreseeable future, we'll still be using raw XP-sp3 unpatched with no updates.
For us, the issue's been over for ages. And figures suggest 30+% of the world concurs.
Boring, next subject please.
Of Course Australia's Silicon Beach is a wipeout--we damn well planned it that way!
“If only Australia were more like Silicon Valley,”
Well, once we Australians had our own 'Silicon Valley'! Certainly the beginnings of one anyway.
* We had AWA in Rydalmere in Sydney making silicon integrated circuitsin the late '60s; and before solid state, AWA made all sorts of electron valves and hi-tech electronic components.
* AWA also made hi-tech equipment too--from military electronics to telephone exchanges to microwave links to precision test equipment to mobile radios to radio and television broadcast transmitters, and much more.
(I still have an AWA F242 Distortion and Noise Meter and a G232 and G233 ultra low distortion oscillators. These world-class products were made over 40 years ago and even by today's standards they're still state of the art instrumentation. ...And this is no bullshit either, for example, the G233's distortion is typically below 0.0003% across the audio spectrum (even today that's damn hard to beat).
* And we Australians let AWA die because some slimy currency trader sent the company broke whilst gambling with the company's financial assets. If it is was not so tragic then not even Monty Python could dream up something so outrageous.
* In Melbourne as far back as about 1966 we had Fairchild Semiconductors making silicon Field Effect Transistors (FETs) both N and P-channel types (even by world standards of the time this was a big deal).
Remember: Fairchild is the company that spawned the 'Fair children'--Noyce, Moore et al who went on to found Intel. Right, albeit in a small way, we were in there at the beginning. Now we've nought.
* We even had space industry at the Weapons Research Establishment in South Australia, it put the Blue Streak rockers into space in the 1960s. (I even applied for a cadetship there which unfortunately I didn't get.)
* We had a first class-steel industry, now it's almost defunct (despite the B/S you'll hear). At Wollongong NSW as a kid I watched iron being poured from BHP's furnaces then followed the whole steel-making process through to the Lysaght's Flat Products Division next door. Here, red-hot steel from BHP was turned into finished (completely tinned) tinplate--all in one operation. Right again, this involved two companies cooperating side-by-side with the production line starting in one company and ending up in the other.
* During WWII we made aircraft in large numbers, we made Bristol Beaufort bombers at Chullora NSW. In fact, my father worked in this aircraft factory and as a protected/war industry, it took him over a year to be released so he could join the Navy.
* Also during WWII, Australia made parts for the famous Spitfire fighters. I've seen boxes of machine tools and cutters used for this purpose left over from the war (in fact I've a HSS machine tool cutter that was once used in manufacture of the Spitfire's Merlin engine which I now use as a doorstop)!
* The latest crisis is that our vehicle manufacturing industry is being dismantled, and we're now importing rail locomotives from China, once we used to manufacture large quantities of these ourselves.
* And that's only the beginning--I've not even discussed Australian inventions such as Interscan navigation for aircraft, Wi-Fi that you all use today in your iPhones etc.—technology that we've effectively given away as we do not have the wit to manufacture it (or even licence it properly). And don't give me any bullshit that we're too small a manufacturing base to do so—look at what Nokia did in Finland with only 1/3rd Australia's population.
* Now, we've SFA manufacturing left, it's all been nuked by successive government polices and sleazy trade deals.
Australia's population NOW hasn't a clue how to anything with its hands—handle a lathe or milling machine etc. let alone a machining workstation or operate high-tech electronic equipment. And forget all that hi-tech manufacturing: an understanding of many hi-tech manufacturing processes was once commonplace across the community, now this strategic knowledge has all but been entirely lost from the culture. Over several generations we've axed manufacturing almost completely—in Australia you can hardly give machine tools away nowadays--precision boring machines, mills in perfect working condition etc. are being sold to India for scrap value or scrap iron!!
* The demise of Australia's manufacturing and hi-tech industries over the last 40 or so years is simply tragic. What successive Australian governments and their crony advisers have done essentially amounts to (a) a complete deskilling of the Australian workforce with respect to key industrial processes, (b) the elimination of strategic industries essential to the running of the country in both war and peacetime.
Heaven help us if things ever turned sour and there was another war--we'd be a walkover as we can hardly manufacture firecrackers let alone something as sophisticated as an M60 or AK47. And you can completely forget the more sophisticated weaponry--we've forgotten how to do all that stuff (remember, in WWII we just about made everything used in the war effort).
We even once had Jindivick—a drone aircraft produced as far back as 1952 by the Australian Government Aircraft Factory (GAF). That's 60 years ago—if we'd kept developing the product we'd now be world leaders in drones and cruise missiles:
...Arhhh, but there goes another Oz fuckup!
* What successive governments have done over the last 40 years or so is essentially commit treason against the Australian people by conning them that hi-tech and manufacturing is NOT for them—and that they won't have to get their hands dirty if they enter and embrace the 'lovely' do-nothing-truly-productive service sector.
If such anti-tech mantra had ever been uttered in Communist Russia or Nazi Germany then those who'd committed the treason would be the first up against the wall--no questions asked. Of course, here in Oz, even if pollies understood the issues, they'd be bought off by multinationals who see local self-sufficient industries as competition--thus we end up buying, say, cheap plastic buckets from China whose handles fall off before we get them home and we do so knowing full well that we're sending the local high-quality, last-forever metal galvanised bucket industry to the wall. It's sheer madness; as they say Australians are bloody-mined sheep (and there's the proof).
Now tourism is preferred over manufacturing. And when that goes sour we've SFA to fall back on.
This is what happens when governments are completely devoid of politicians who've no hands-on experience in manufacturing, engineering or science. We've now governments full of accountants, economists and lawyers who're easily led by charlatans and carpetbaggers—people (usually from large multinationals—who understand how to make—err sorry—con a dollar but who wouldn't know one end of a screwdriver from another). They're quite happy to con stupid governments to sign away a country's knowledge and skill base by entering into trade treaties and deals for their own advantage. And Australia is a sitting duck. Of course, in all such negotiations, there's not a techie to be seen anywhere.
But who cares, soon it won't matter. Eventually China and Asia Inc. will buy us out, they've sense and know what really has to be done.
By then the Oz locals will be relegated to the trash heap. And it will serve us right.
'Tis Snowden snooping on his old employer with the help of new friends.
@Tim99 -- Re: Suck it up Australia,...
After looking at that ABC Vote Compass data, I am instantly reminded of graffiti in large white lettering that for many years adorned a long grey besser-block wall not far from where I live; it read:
The Australian people are bloody-minded sheep.
That the graffiti was there for many years and that no one altered or added to it always surprised me. It's gone now as the wall was demolished for another building.
@Destroy All Monsters -- Re: Black magic
Tolerance. After all, he's only an A.C.
Perhaps so. If your name's Methuselah then you'll definitely find out one way or other with about 300 years to spare (that's if you're not zapped by the radiation).
Was aware axis of Betelgeuse would mean little harm to us, it was the only one I could think of that was very large, reasonably close and somewhat unstable w/o doing a search. However a while ago I read a report stating that if a star the size of Betelgeuse were collapse at ~300ly then we'd be in quite some strife even if off axis.
VY Canis Majoris, again because it came to mind as comparatively close and extremely large--the point here was the wording of the article:
Had the GRB 130427A event happened in our own galaxy then Earth may have been very seriously affected, possibly to the level of it being an extinction event for humanity.
As our galaxy is ~100k x ~20kly--with no distances being mentioned--then VY C/M at 4kly was 'comparatively close' (all trivial compared to 3.7 billion).
Got some better examples?
@Wanda Lust -- Re: Worrying.
would've meant getting directly to the suspect's line circuit - a physical intervention & easy but not too covert
Right, that's what I meant. Someone talking via Strowger in Upper Woop-Woop to the same in Lower Woop-Woop would mean the NSA would have to take extra measures. Sitting on their fat 'A's in front of a terminal Langley Virginia wouldn't be quite enough (as easy as say with Frau Merkel's phone).
What's more, the few remnant Strowger systems are also likely to be in troublesome places, moreover I'm even led to believe there's a few manually patched systems still around. Reckon they'd require extra footwork.
As you essentially point out, leeching trunks is relatively straightforward, the point I was making was general surveillance scanning might detect something, but then to zoom in on a specific circuit in a Strowger without local cooperation (a likely possibility in some 3rd world places) would be problematic.
I'm well aware of the microwave issue. Used to tap into beams not for surveillance but for maintenance. Fade margins, as high as they are in such systems, means tapping requires comparatively very little effort and doesn't disrupt circuits.
Re EMP, if that were still a worry, perhaps there's nothing better than Strowger. As you say it's unlikely there's any of that left for that purpose. (Even if EMP protection were a requirement, I can't imagine the modern-day telecoms engineer not brought up on the stuff ever contemplating its use.)
Having collected the particles
Hum, it'll be interesting to see these elusive little neutrino fellas in a bottle for once.
The GRB 130472A event wasn't so bright because it was especially large, in universal terms, but because it was so close to Earth and our planet was in the right plane to catch the emissions.
Well, if 3.7 billion is close, then I'd hate to contemplate what would happen if that nearby unstable monster Betelgeuse or similar were to collapse. It's only about 600ly away. And the supergiant VY Canis Majoris is just 4000ly or so. Such distances are ridiculously small compared to 3.7 billion.
@Sir Wiggum -- Re: Serial issue
Only caveat was that the applications needed to execute in 'Administrator' mode to pick up the COM ports.
Right, it's why so often in these dedicated environments that the default is to remain with XP. After, all it's easier, cheaper, and usually the users aren't IT types--just workers--who couldn't give a damn what the O/S was so long as it worked.
I don't believe for a second that those at Microsoft do not understand this, of course they do. By engineering every new version of Windows as a new product rather than an upgrade, they deliberately abandoned this clientele. Moreover, they didn't have the courtesy (or take the responsibility) to tell anyone.
It's no wonder so many--still about one third of the world's PCs--are running XP or older.
@A.C. -- Re: Finally
There are many home user still running Windows XP without any problems at all. All the people with hacked versions whom haven't downloaded one patch are still having fun with it.
There's also many legit XP users who've no intention of changing by April next year.
I could write a book about it but all the reasons are there already. Suffice to say, many of our XP installations will be around until they rot. Why not, well many apps won't even run on Win 7, so why pay for a double whammy--replacing the O/S at a cost, having the app rewritten at a bigger cost, and in many instances the hardware needs to be upgraded (as MS tried to engineer XP out of existence by not updating drivers).
Reckon we're not alone. To have one third of the world's PC still on XP at this late juncture, 'tis proof that XP will be around a damn while longer.
P.S.: I even know of instances of NT4 and Windows 2000 still in use. And I can assure you, these are definitely not hacked or pirate copies. Why? Well, I'll explain the reason if you can prove your IQ is below 90 or so.
@Uffish -- Re: shock horror!
... whereas all the South wanted to do was continue with slavery...
...And righted by Lincoln and the North at the cost of nearly one million war casualties--young Americans in the prime of life.
A pretty terrible price to pay to end an institution that was already on its way out. A real statesman would have found a better way.
@Destroy All Monsters -- Re: Bioshock! -- And remember these undisputed facts!
Remember these undisputed facts:
(a) The Union under Lincoln started the Civil War, not the South.
- Just one instance of the many early warmongering efforts by the North: Lincoln's scheming little warmongering mate, the Zouave, Colonel Elmer E. Ellsworth, who Lincoln so idolised you'd reckon they were having an affair, was ramping up trouble with his Zouave Cadets in 1860 many months before Sumter—long before he, Ellsworth, crossed the Potomac with a few mates into Alexandria, Virginia to tear down a Confederate flag from the Marshall House Inn, where in so doing its southern owner shot him dead.
- Lincoln, in the months between his election and inauguration did nothing and said nothing whatsoever to ameliorate or placate people on both sides; the heat for war ramped up during this time. After his inauguration, he was more intent on saving the Union than avoiding war or protecting his citizens from war. To Lincoln, the Union was more paramount than the lives of his soldiers or those from the South—both American citizens; simply, his deeds and actions can't be read any other way. Either the Gettysburg address was a hollow gesture made for political purposes, or it was his contrition and remorse for letting events get totally out of hand—events that he as president could have and should have stopped!
- The way the Confederate's bombarding of Fort Sumter started was because of incompetent handling of the Fort Sumter tensions by the Union. Major Robert Anderson's actions of moving his federal troops from Fort Moultrie to Sumter turned into a disaster the North could have avoided (Anderson's hardly to blame, as commander, he had to protect his troops). The real problem was screwed-up politics in Lincoln's War Department (too long to explain here except to mention that Lincoln's secretary of war, John Floyd, was playing a double game that Lincoln as commander-in-chief didn't get on top of) hence Sumter smouldered and eventually exploded.
- And there's much more...
(b) NO MATER HOW ONE DOES THE SUMS, President Abraham Lincoln presided over the most deadly of wars in American history—in the Civil War there were more casualties and deaths of mainly young Americans than for the total of ALL other wars that US has ever been involved in. I repeat, there were more Americans casualties in the Civil War than for WWI, WWII, Vietnam, etc. combined—upward of one million soldiers! Lincoln's war record is just diabolical by any measure—no other commander in American history comes even close.
For various reasons, Lincoln's historical memory has had a charmed life but it's high time it was reassessed. No doubt, the Gettysburg speech, his assassination and the fact that the North was victorious contributed to Lincoln's idolisation over the last century and a half but cold hard facts speak for themselves. Nevertheless, to me it seems improbable that any reasonable reassessment of Lincoln is likely to come from within the US as this issue is still far too with raw for most Americans to handle with any objectivity.
Why should we outsiders so concern ourselves with American history? It's simple really, US hegemony—US worldview and its imperial role in the world today—essentially stems from the North's dominance over the South. American attitudes to governance, power, their self-righteousness and belief they've a right to impose their views on the world essentially stem from the outcome of the Civil War. Even though these views were prevalent at independence and onward, the Civil War reinforced them.
Issues over Lincoln and the Civil War are no longer just the concerns of the US; by its actions the US has ensured that they now belong to us as well.
* The 150-year-old Gettysburg address is considered to be a public domain work
Yuh mean there's something still left in the public domain after the RIAA and MPAA et al have rampaged and pillaged through all the out-of-copyright material, scanned and tweaked it and thus automatically re-copyrighted everything again.
Unlike them to miss something this important.
In this day and age, methinks being connected to an antiquated Strowger-switched or crossbar exchange would be a much safer bet than the present AXE-type exchange, let alone new IP ones.
Tapping these, especially Strowger, is time consuming and difficult.
Want privacy? Well, a good way to start is to call Strowger-to-Strowger exchanges irrespective of what's in the middle (I'm told there are a few still in service and presumably they cause the NSA some angst).
...And Ghostery etc also helps.
Still, ads and privacy issues are why my Facebook and Twitter accounts go unused.
What else would you expect from our so-called democracies?
Australia with its Defence Signals Directorate, New Zealand, Canada, US and UK have been at this shady caper for years so we shouldn't be a bit surprised.
Moreover, the Indonesians are almost certainly doing the same—their present show of indignation should be just translated as jealousy that their technical capabilities at tapping aren't quite up to the combined efforts of the English-speaking cabal.
Nevertheless, Snowden's leaks are a solid confirmation of what any thinking person already knows.
However, what's key and needs to be mentioned repeatedly is that in our so-called democracies the 'real' government is unelected, not immediately obvious and essentially unaccountable to us citizens.
For hundreds if not thousands of years, it's The Diplomatic Service of each of these countries that essentially drives spying, negotiates and involves us in wars, lumbers us with treaties such as SOPA, ACTA and WIPO and such, all of which they carry out in secret, etc. We, the public, are completely excluded from their negations and decisions which ultimately end up having a dramatic effect on our daily lives.
Although this does not apply to corporations and large multinationals; as we've seen, they've little trouble in lobbying and even drafting many of the treaties that our governments just rubber-stamp.
Furthermore, these diplomats consistently manage to deflect attention and blame from themselves whilst simultaneously getting our elected governments to rubber-stamp their secret negotiations. What WikiLeaks and Snowden's revelations repeatedly exemplify is that we citizens need to make these secret 'unaccountable' diplomatic governments openly and transparently accountable to us the public.
Nevertheless, it's clear in all this hoo-hah over WikiLeaks, Snowden etc., that again the diplomats have succeeded in escaping their fair share of recognition.
Unfortunately, the press and we the public are to blame for being so easily sidetracked.
It's a game warrior who'd take on this assignment.
Only a fool ignorant of history would ever develop an app for the Bennelong Point Lunatic Asylum, moreover to do so for only $4000 would guarantee to certify him as an inmate.
As its great architect Jørn Utzon found from bitter experience, the SOH has been a hotbed of intrigue, managerial incompetence, government bungling and interference from the moment Joe Cahill, the then premier of NSW, first championed the idea of a opera house for Sydney way back in 1954, some 20 years before the building opened.
As many who have worked for, provided services, or been closely associated with the SOH will attest, this institution has multiple masters all of whom wield considerable sway. These include the general manager and managerial staff, the SOH Trust as well as the government of the day and its Arts Minister not to mention the Ministry and various other levels of bureaucracy. Then there's the hiring companies who also wield very considerable political power, the Australian Opera, Aust. Ballet et al.
The SOH has been a political hot potato for nearly the past 60 years. Risk battle, and as with many before you, you'll likely end up being another of the many 'corpses' found littering the Sydney landscape.
Naive IT techies be warned, you go there at your peril: technology—especially IT, government bureaucracy and the Arts Mafia have long proven to be an explosive mixture. Get involved in this project then at the first hint of a problem you'll be left carrying the can—patents, IP, litigation, everything. 'Tisn't worth being toast for utter pittance. ...And forget kudos, there won't be any.
Leave the performing arts to the few politically savvy hiring companies, not only are they world-class but also they've proven capable of surviving the bureaucracy.
It might be classic lit, but....
I recall many years ago being forced to read Pride and Prejudice as it was part of the curriculum.
I'd sit on my bed repeatedly hitting the book against the pillow whilst cursing and swearing.
These days, that ought to amount to cruel and unreasonable punishment.
Love to be a fly on the wall at NSA.
Jacob Appelbaum, a computer security researcher and leading Tor developer, bluntly warned earlier this month: "RC4 is broken in real-time by the NSA – stop using it.
If true, I'd love to be a fly on the wall at the NSA. Love to see the swearing, cursing and gnashing of teeth now that this peephole has been closed.
There'd have to be a contract out on Snowden by now.
@ecofeco -- Re: Beep beep -- It's probably more than you think!
Who are you sir?! You are perhaps one the few people I've ever heard who understands this connection!
'Tis probably many more than you think. I learned it at school years ago.
I'll prove the point, just Google this:
East India Company Flag
The moment I saw this sight many years ago the connection forever gelled in my mind. And it ought to for most.
'Stars and Stripes forever' -- well stripes anyway!
(...And school also taught me that's where the stripes came from too).
The US is a country steeped in commerce
The US is a country steeped in commerce. When the bottom line falls and it's measurably attributable to the NSA then legislators will legislate.
If they don't then it'll be the first time in history.
Now for their software library.
Presumably their software library is both extensive and well organised.
Spending time examining it would be most informative.
@Tommy Prock - Re: Sponsored curriculum
Of course, the linguistic trick here is for the MPAA to make us all feel guilty over copyright whilst it condones theft from the public domain then enforces copyright on that theft.
They're really hoodlums. Trouble is governments still listen to them.
What else would you expect?
The Oz government's changed. It's right wing, pro big business and pro the status quo.
The MPAA et al now have their man in place.
...But don't worry, it's only pipsqueak Australia, the only people it'll inconvenience are too stupid to notice they've been done over yet again.
@Francis Boyle - - Re: Emporers new cloaking device
Of course I can see the tank in the picture - it's the invisible one just to the left I can't see.
Lucky you, there's not tank in sight anywhere, only an ugly Emperor in full regalia.
Well, Microsoft would say that, wouldn't it?
...after Microsoft revealed new research claiming over 34,000 publicly-funded bank branches are still reliant on Windows XP
What else would you expect Microsoft to say? After all it's not impartial, and for every XP still in existence, it's a lost sale.
In a post to the El Reg article REJOICE! Windows 7 users can get IE11 ... soon they'll have NO choice about MS forcing users to accept IE 11 through Automatic Updates, I gave just some of our reasons why we'll be using XP indefinitely past the 2014 deadline.
Essentially, we're finished giving money to Microsoft for junk.
Seems, like us, the Indian banks have woken up and called Microsoft's bluff.
Footnote: Doesn't it strike anyone as peculiar that the software industry alone, especially Microsoft with Windows, can scare users into upgrading by saying its earlier product is so crappy, poxy and unusable 'that it'll do you great harm to use it, XP, one second past the end of support'!
Imagine a car or any other manufacturer risking its business name, reputation and credibility by saying that its previous products had manufacturing faults and defects so unacceptable that it would harm you or you business to keep using them. Essentially, this is what's happened with Microsoft and XP!
Listen IT users, you've been hoodwinked by the greatest con-job of all time--the principle of accepting that software is (and has to be) defective when you buy it--in fact so defective that you MUST have ongoing support to use it or it'll screw you completely if you don't!
IT-ers, you're supposed to be technical people with the ability to see through con-jobs such as this! For heavens sake, keep a little of your self respect and start objecting seriously to this crappy Microsoft propaganda.
This con-job has not only made Microsoft and its owners billions and billions of dollars, which won't be refunded to you because the product is faulty--but also it's made some of the richest people in the world at our expense. Right, we gullible users have actually let these Cretins and con merchants get away with one of the greatest lies of all time.
"More fool us."
...Right again Shakespeare.
@Tromos -- AVOs and their response to RF power.
Are you sure it was a genuine AVO meter?
The traditional AVO Meter uses a copper oxide rectifier as the AC rectifying diode NOT a point-contact germanium or junction silicon diode etc. Copper oxide rectifiers have a very bad frequency response which makes them cut off in the upper audio frequencies, perhaps 100kHz or so.
This fact is very useful (and well known to techies). If one had to measure [any other] voltage near VHF transmitter antennae etc. (i.e.: when one's up the mast near the antenna etc.), one used an AVO as it would NOT respond to the transmitted power. (I've used an AVO specifically for this purpose myself on many occasions.)
Most other multimeters use a point-contact diode which DO respond very well up to microwave frequencies and thus it would likely have indicated as you've stated.
Moreover, as the copper oxide rectifier as used in the AVO (Model 8s and earlier) was a hard-to-get replacement, when it was damaged some slack techies just replaced it with point-contact types (OA91 etc.) which worked but the calibration was somewhat buggered.
I'd suggest either the AVO wasn't a genuine AVO brand (and you're using the term generically) or it had its diode changed for the wrong type by improper service.
The AVO Meter was pretty unique in using a copper oxide rectifier (at least in multimeters made since WWII). I still own three of them which I still use when working in RF environments, they're invaluable (it's a shame they're still not made).
Doomsday merchants will tell you this would mean the end of life as we know it,...
Nevertheless, if the magnetic field were to flip 'overnight' many birds and other animals that navigate by the magnetic field would obviously likely die. Sufficient time for them to adapt is essential.
That's not doomsday, just a fact.
@Chairo -- Re: I wonder -- Quid Pro Quo!
Quid Pro Quo!
Kids also must ALSO be taught to report the MPAA, RIAA and their cronies when they rip off out-of-copyright public domain works, wipe them over then re-copyright them for the next hundred years or so.
These mongrels have only one goal and that's to copyright--and charge for--as much of the world's information as they can possibly get away with. Pretending they're white knights is utter crap and we need to expose them.
This is not only MPAA and RIAA propaganda but it's also brainwashing our kids and it should be exposed as such.
Will it make a difference?
It will be interesting to see how this pans out.
For years now, since the introduction of FOI (Freedom of Information law) and corruption commissions (in NSW, the ICAC--Independent Commission Against Corruption) etc., public servants et al have a tendency to commit to paper--computer--only information which they absolutely have to so do.
Much detail associated with decision making now occurs in corridors etc. and remains undocumented.
@Boris the Cockroach -- Re: El Reg, there IS a choice about IE11 upgrades, etc.
Fine, except XP in VM, with or without net connectivity, can have IO problems with ports, depends on the hardware or arrangement being used. The fact is VM is great but not as good as native when doing rea-time IO & such (and it's significantly slower). And one's never sure when it's all going to go belly up.
(PS, I'm running XP VM now on this machine, this time under W7, other times it can be VMWare.)
Why not ditch Microsoft all together for Linux
There are many reason for this. In corporate environments, especially manufacturing etc., you have plant running Windows (which may not be--sorry, isn't--a good idea) but you can't do anything about it (some other company has made the gear). The fact is the Win 32/64 APIs are ubiquitous and they're not Linux compatible (and Wine is impracticable to use in many circumstances).
Unfortunately it's true. What we need is a 'Linux' that runs Win 32/64 APIs natively: it would solve two issues (a) provide real competition for Microsoft--Linux doesn't, it only has nuisance value--and (b) open source would allow us to engineer and tailor the product specifically for each application.
@Belardi -- Re: El Reg, there IS a choice about IE11 upgrades, etc...
Only have to respond to your "XP users love Quick Launch, now in Windows 7 it's gone"
- er... not really. In a good sense, its been updated/replaced with "pinned" programs.
In First-Class Annoyances I did make the point that Quick Launch is not gone but it's hard to get back as it is in XP, in fact it's very far from obvious if you're not told. Here's how: http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/888-quick-launch-enable-disable.html. This is about the simplest explanation of many and it takes eight steps. And you tell me how any normal user would know exactly what to cut-and-paste in point '2.'. Not likely!
I'm fully aware of the Taskbar 'Pinning' in W7, but (a) it's not the same as Quick Launch and it's not as convenient--I can drop anything into Quick Launch in a split second by simply dragging it there. Default action in Win-7 dragging doesn't work to pin; (b) Win 7's 'Pinned' Taskbar has icons that are spaced miles apart, this takes up valuable desktop real estate, it's nowhere as economical on space as Quick Launch. I've just counted the Quick Launch icons on this Win 7 laptop and there's 30. These fit with about a half dozen spaces to spare on this 1920x1080 screen as well as the Pinned stuff (default) which I've not bothered to remove. If all pinned it'd be impossible to do. Other issues with the default Win 7 installation is that the icons are too big and so is the Taskbar--all this takes valuable time to rectify (and it should not be necessary).
It really is hard to understand MS, we've been struggling for extra screen real estate for years, and the moment we get it MS takes it away with a chunky, oversize UI. Just about everything Microsoft does is contrary to user expectations, here, also add that damn Ribbon in for good measure. It's simple, MS doesn't give us what we want, we simply walk with our money--the Ribbon meant no more MS Office.
The real issue is that every major release of Windows (except DOS versions '95, 98) , the UI is significantly different from each other (and there's no easy facility to allow a user to immediately fallback to the previous version's UI.)
The futzing and stuffing around trying to fix the problem by millions of users across the planet unnecessarily wastes millions and millions of hours of human time, and it's simply because of Microsoft's perversity and bloody-mindedness. It really is time we objected big-time (I hope the W8 fiasco is just the beginning). I can count the time lost in my own life due to Microsoft's shoddy products and it amounts to years. It's time Microsoft was brought to account over this lost time as there's no legitimate reason for it other than some perceived benefit to MS's bottom line.
BTW, I've no objection to changes--'advances'--being made to the UI, it's MS's enforcement of these changes for the sake of its corporate one-look policy that's the issue. It reminds me of limited product availability under communism or Henry Ford's 'You can have any color you want so long as it's black*' policy but this is what happens when you have a monopoly, it's the normal hehaviour in absence of competition.
What amazes me is the complacency of the technical press, why the press hasn't screamed blue-murder over this I find amazing. If they had then Microsoft wouldn't have done Win 8 without compatible fallback features or it would have introduced two separate Win 8 products.
Anyway, as I said, we don't care anymore, it's the end of the line for Microsoft for us unless it pulls some magic out of Redmond's box. We'll keep XP until it rots (by using new industrial mobos that still accept XP drivers, and the occasional Win 7 on new laptops--but no Win 8 or 8.1). We're already expanding our Linux from servers and specialised uses such a CAD to desktops, we might even let in Macs (which would have been unthinkable a few years back)
The fact is by telling Microsoft to go root itself with respect to Windows and Office upgrades and ignoring its 2014 XP deadline (which already means nothing to us anyway) we've bought time to reorganize.
* This old saying was never quite true anyway, probably because Henry Ford, unlike Microsoft, did have real and effective competition.
@Don Jefe - Re: Interesting.
And I wish I had that W table myself, my only access is to a granite one. Would be interested in how you made and polished it, W's somewhat hard and time consuming to polish flat, exp if not 100% pure.
The team developed a "metamaterial", an artificially assembled material not found in nature and built for specific purpose
Yawn, Yagi and Uda's 'Yagi' antenna, invented in 1926, essentially acts as a metamaterial because its reflector's phase changes the propagation direction from the forward to backward (sends the wave back from where it came). So there's little new here, the principle is well known.
Real innovation with metamaterials will come when a metamaterial is able to replace existing materials such as the glass in lenses (the limitations of which are a real problem and require new thinking and a solution), especially if we're to make cameras significantly smaller).
But there's little in this area on the horizon at this stage. Alas, the best metamaterial solutions can achieve are some benefits at microwave frequencies.
El Reg, there IS a choice about IE11 upgrades, many have made it already!
REJOICE! Windows 7 users can get IE11, soon they'll have NO choice
El Reg, you may well say there's no choice but many of us have already made it with respect to Windows 7 and IE updates well before this authoritarian edict from Microsoft ever hit the streets.
And Microsoft, I hope you're also reading this invective, after all it's aimed at you; El Reg's only the messenger.
The fact is none of our Windows 7 machines have Automatic Updates even installed. The usual practice of nuking it is just to disable its service but we've found that is not safe because you, Microsoft, can't be trusted NOT to turn the service back on again at the first opportunity. Moreover, you do so in a deceitful and untrustworthy way by hiding offending turn-on 'Trojans' in the setup of some of your other products.
We users have made a conscious choice NOT to turn updates on yet you deliberately act contrary to our wishes. Who in Hell's name owns these PCs anyway? Well Microsoft, it's not you, and you're NOT going to dictate how we use them!
RIP Automatic Updates
Microsoft, when forced to use Windows 7, usually because you've ensured XP's drivers are not updated, we start the Windows Updates 'cleanup' process at the Command line. We begin thus:
SC delete wuauserv
To ensure its gone we also remove any relevant registry entries and 'wu' DLLs (update files). When done, there's no way that Automatic Updates has a hope in Hell of ever working as it no longer exists on the PC!
The only practical way to resurrect updates is to reinstall Windows from the distribution disk—and here there are strict rules about PCs being quarantined from the internet, as we assume newly installed Windows dial home with the eagerness and slipperiness of eels trying to flee one's hands.
Microsoft, we're fed up with years and years of your irksome one-product monopoly, your constant authoritarian dictates about what we should or should not do on our PCs and when we should upgrade them. Your incessant nagging about updates/upgrades rings like the mantra of a communist dictator who's only one product to sell—the party line. Right, your warning threats no longer work and they haven't for quite some time.
It's all over now, we've woken up to you and we no longer listen to your rants—it's mutual, after all you've never listened to us. No longer will you dictate which updates or security patches we'll install. In the past we tolerated your monopoly as our weak legislators hadn't the guts to enforce or further legislate anti-monopolistic laws against you, but from now on we'll just ignore you altogether.
Moreover, your attempts to scare the bejesus out of us XP users over the end of XP support isn't working. We're still 30-35% of the world's PC users and we've already called your bluff by putting a halt to the buckets of money we threw at you to little effect. Your 2014 XP deadline no longer worries us, especially those of us who've been happily using only XP-sp3 and occasionally Windows 7-sp1—both sans Automatic Updates! Why should it? After all, for us, your deadline won't make one iota of difference.
Why our stance? It's difficult to paraphrase in what would be a book but I'll try. If, year after year, decade after decade, you'd not produced bloated inferior code so full of security holes that it'd make a Swiss cheese blush with shame—and produced code whose fashion always dominated over substance, then many users wouldn't now take this stance. Microsoft, essentially your products have always been optimised for maximum sales, not system integrity or data security. So great the problem one can only hint its full extent here.
Why millions of XP users are still reticent of even moving to Windows 7, let alone 8 or 8.1 are many and varied, now with the enforced IE 11 upgrade there's yet another reason. Here's just a few more:
Cost: Microsoft, in your period of dominance, O/Ses have gone from giveaway utilities designed to launch programs to internet O/Ses, and now products in their own right. But with every Windows upgrade you've repackaged millions of lines of previously-used code and resold them to us over again in new packaging for an exorbitant price. Now awake to the fact, many users refuse to pay for what's poor value for money.
Innovation: Microsoft, by your actions you've shown your 'freedom to innovate' mantra of years past only translates into 'we're a monopoly so we'll do things in our own time'. For years, you've delayed and or failed to put innovation where it's really needed. Take for instance this well known example from history: the long-suffering decade where we all had an excruciating wait for you to metamorphose 8*3 filenames into something slightly better. The current list of issues/limitations with Windows would easily fill a book (which I can't dwell on here), but you've so hoodwinked the techie press with every possible distraction that almost none focus on what's key and needed to significantly improve Windows.
Cosmetic Changes for Marketing's Sake: Nothing illustrates this more than the Windows 8 fiasco. For some perverse illogical reason, you've deliberately not kept backward compatibility and ergonomic consistency between Windows versions and it's annoyed your users beyond belief. Why you've done this and alienated so many is the big question—surely market research would have alerted you otherwise. Presumably, your reason goes 'we're a monopoly so they'll all have to fall in line eventually'. Well, over 30% of the world's Windows users have answered 'Stuff-you Microsoft, we're not paying you more money just to go backwards, we're staying firmly put'.
First-Class Annoyances, of which Windows 7 possesses in heaps, are best illustrated with an example: XP users love Quick Launch, now in Windows 7 it's gone—or so difficult to get back it may as well not be there. To what purpose was Quick Launch removed? Even if there are logical explanations then why isn't there a simple one-click solution to bring it back? Your actions are just perverse, as we know Quick Launch code is still there inside Windows 7.
Unnecessary Retraining Costs: Changing UIs etc. without giving users options to fall back to previous ways of working by deliberately removing earlier features not only reeks of an authoritarian bully but it costs IT departments significant amounts of money for what ought to be unnecessary retaining costs.
Upgrading from XP to Windows 7 breaks too many things: Unlike iPhones, for many the novelty of Windows has long worn off, thus there's little incentive to upgrade when incompatibility breaks too many existing programs. Why pay for Windows 7 to break an environment that works perfectly well under XP? For many, not upgrading is a no-brainer, especially so in situations where there's little user interaction other than to launch dedicated apps—display signs, industrial processes, single-application environments, etc. It'll be decades before XP is eliminated from all of these niches.
Windows 7 is Bloatware Personified: I've just reinstalled Win 7 on a laptop and the default install—i.e.: no extras over the distribution disk—and it came to a whopping 28.5GB! Sure, there's gigabytes of paging file, there's also the massive hibernation file (which you never thought to ask us about or option at installation time); irrespective the base size of Windows 7 is absolutely huge. Microsoft, even those publicly batting for you make the point about bloat: Mark Russinovich (of Winternals, Sysinternals fame and your employee) has said that the core of Windows is only some 20 or 30 files and the rest only serve ancillary functions. With every new version, Windows bloatware continues to escalate. Examine this issue holistically and the only logical conclusion is that bloatware is out of control—simply it's ridiculous; in fact it's outrageous.
Security Holes—The Ongoing Windows Legacy: With so much bloatware contributing to Windows, it's little wonder the O/S has so many ongoing security issues. A small streamlined Windows would be easier to maintain and secure.
Microsoft, again your greed and perversity is at the fore. If you allowed users to decouple huge chunks of non-essential code such as Internet Explorer, Windows Explorer, Media Player and even integral parts such as TCP/IP and LAN functions and allow 3rd party replacements then there'd be less security risk.
Automatic Updates: Bloatware still unsatisfied, the moment Windows 7 goes on line you've the damn audacity to allow it download well over a gigabyte of updates WITHOUT ever warning the user! Updates wouldn't be necessary or significantly less so if your product was actually fit for purpose and worked as stated in your sales blurb.
Microsoft, your hide has no bounds: as if that weren't enough, you make no distinction for wireless internet connections. With wireless connections now commonplace you still allow gigabytes of updates to download via wireless again WITHOUT warning the user beforehand. Too many times we've been unexpectedly caught out, left high and dry WITHOUT any internet connection whatsoever, because Automatic Updates has consumed both all available bandwidth and credit!
It's no wonder so many users nuke Automatic Updates!
Microsoft, a class action should be launched against you to recover the millions of dollars lost to wireless and internet charges directly attributable to Automatic Updates! You're actually stealing internet time from us, and your shoddy, substandard, poxy Windows merchandise is directly responsible.
...And don't for a second dare you blame us or say we're irresponsible for turning off or disabling Automatic Updates! Moreover, Microsoft you've a damn fucking hide attempting to make us users feel guilty about not upgrading or using updates.
Microsoft, this time we've your measure and we're calling your bluff.
@Chris W -- Re: @M Gale
...photographer had to make a determined effort to get the shot then it's an invasion of privacy
That's a reasonable proposition and it ought to be so both here and in many other privacy situations as well. Paparazzi who invade the privacy of others by unduly going out of their [normal] way would be another example.
That said, I reckon we'd better get used to it, as they say 'we ain't seen nothin' yet'. In the last few decades cameras have miniaturized I guess between ten and a hundredfold. When they miniaturise even further and we've drone cockroaches or similar equipped with cameras creeping about then what are we going to do? How on earth will that be policed, irrespective of what the law says?
Don't say it won't happen for it clearly will. Technology marching on, the legit surveillance industry etc., etc. will ensure that it does, thus it'd be very foolhardy to assume these micro cameras won't be diverted for such nefarious uses.
Being male and nothing to write home about, I'll never be worried about micro cameras sneaking up on my rather uninteresting body parts, but I sure do worry about other forms of intrusive surveillance to which I'm likely to be exposed.
Miniaturising the camera by another tenfold will effectively end privacy, and I find that concept very worrying.
Re: I'm all tapped out...
...i do have some advise though, make sure you keep the location of your 'Backups' to yourselves otherwise the NSA might try to torch those locations too
Thank goodness the last mob to torch books on any significant scale were triumphantly put out of business by Montgomery, Eisenhower and Zhukov! If ever the NSA had a death-wish then destroying the Internet Archive would be an 'excellent' way to begin.
Amongst its other backups, the Internet Archive mirrors itself with the new Library of Alexandria (Bibliotheca Alexandrina):
From the mostly puerile posts to this story, it's pretty clear that El Reg readers have little idea of the importance of the Internet Archive, or what it does, or even that for which it stands. It really is a rather pathetic indictment of the one-sentence-is-almost-too-much Twitter and Facebook world that many of us are now forced to endure.
FYI, the type of equipment the Internet Archive has lost will be similar to this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmhIJOqepVU .
The fact that the IA is a non-profit charity run by a few farsighted individuals instead of a mainstream activity of humankind, is it itself a tragedy. The fact that there isn't widespread concern about such news is another.
This story isn't alone: also today on El Reg we even see Bletchley has to go a begging to HP to make its archives available to the masses: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/11/08/bletchley_park_snoop_station_to_put_secret_wwii_archives_online/
@I ain't Spartacus -- Re: No war
"There is a real problem with international terrorism."
The question is why.
There's always been a few nutters with a grudge against society and there probably always will be but they're not the main threat. Most terrorism of recent times comes from people who either perceive they've been hurt or who have actually been hurt by policies of the countries of whom they are threatening.
Since the Reagan Thatcher years and the downfall of communism the West has indulged itself in an orgy of internationalism, rampant capitalism, free trade, international treaties, multinational companies, etc. There's exploitation of third-world resources, exploitation of pharmaceutical patents, imperial imposition of intellectual property 'rights', exploitation of third-world labour (Pakistani building collapse etc.), cultural imperialism and so on and so on—much of which has disadvantaged those who've little power to fight against it.
Even in instances where the West's wrongdoings are just perceptions, they're strong and firmly held. And why not? The recent behaviour of the West's bankers—those one would expect to be the most trustworthy—were found to be morally corrupt—is just another of many signals the West is sending as to its disingenuousness.
Until the West straightens out its questionable ethics and genuinely tries to make the world a fairer and more equitable place, there'll always be those who'll take extreme and terrible measures to 'right' things.
To date, terrorism hasn't made the West blunt its behaviour, thus perhaps the current 'threat' is the price it's prepared to pay for its continued indulgence.
@Tom 7 -- Re: Oh Freddy Hoyle yuh Maverick, where are yuh now?
I dont think B2FH is in any way regarded as a crank paper. Maybe they should have got awards for it
That's the point of my sarcasm, Fred didn't get proper acknowledgement for great work. There's nothing crank about B2FH, actually it was a seminal paper, it's already gone down in history as one of the great papers/discoveries in physics in the 20th C. After all, Synthesis of the Elements in Stars; stellar nucleosynthesis theory (how the elements are made), is pretty important stuff!
Fred Hoyle didn't get (or share) the Nobel Prize for his B2FH work although he ought to have (that's agreed by many). Of the four authors (Margaret Burbidge; Geoffrey Burbidge; William Fowler & Fred Hoyle), only Fowler got the gong! Why? Well, Fred was too outspoken for a physicist, he upset the applecart too many times, and he also went out on a limb over the Big Bang (a term he coined) and other things too, and perhaps panspermia is one of them. Mind you, Hoyle wasn't alone over Steady-State vs the Big Bang, he was with some very illustrious company--some decades previously Einstein was also of a similar opinion re Steady-State, (remember Penzias and Wilson only discovered the CMB in 1964 and that took a while to sink in). In hindsight, it's damn easy to criticise.
Hoyle was a Maverick because he didn't always play by the rules, but not to give him due recognition when he deserves it is another matter. Too often the Nobel Committee hasn't given credit where it's due. Shame the Nobel isn't reorganized along more democratic lines, but then the Establishment would never ever allow something as radical that, now would they?
With the public's respect for science at miniscule levels compared with what is was when the B2FH paper cape out in '57, perhaps it's time that moribund committee pulled its collective finger out.
BTW, I attended a lecture on panspermia given by Fred Hoyle in the early 1980s and Chandra Wickramasinghe was with him at the time. Because of the controversy, even if it were ever found to be true, it'd have a hard time getting any traction because Wickramasinghe is [still] one of the authors behind this report.
And the band played "Believe it if you like".
...And the band played "Believe it if you like" and it rained bullshit all day!!
No doubt, there has to be rationalisation, and no doubt people are tiring of installing apps but to think installing is going to go away anytime soon is a pipe dream. As soon as the next tech craze happens the whole exercise will happen all over again.
Why? Because AI is nowhere sufficiently developed to create workable and creative applications on-the-fly at the user's whim.
I wish it were (and I can hardly wait). But we've been waiting for 60+ years (since Turning enunciated the idea in the early 1950s) and we're still waiting with bated breath.