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* Posts by Don Dumb

172 posts • joined 20 May 2013

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Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE

Don Dumb
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Boffin

Re: It doesn't matter how good the display is if there's nothing to display

@Peter Gathercole - Sky in the UK delivers 1080i60 (at least that's what my telly and Wikipedia says)

Ah, but is that the Sky box output to TV connection delivering 1080i60? What is the broadcast resolution of the channel being carried within the Sky box output? See what the telly says when there is an SD channel being displayed, I'll bet that it still says it is giving 1080i60 and doesn't change regardless of the channel viewed, it's just a high quality signal carrying a picture of much lower quality.

So the question is - of the HD channels on Sky HD, how many carry a 1080 picture?

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Don Dumb
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Holmes

It doesn't matter how good the display is if there's nothing to display

But neither is 4K on pay-TV, as we’ve yet to see a 4K channel appear on satellite or cable.

There is barely any Full HD 1080p broadcasts, at least in the UK. As far as I'm aware Freeview has none and Sky HD doesn't seem to do any Full HD channels, to my knowledge all the HD channels are 720p. I have a Full HD TV and the only time that gets used to its fullest is the occasional Blu Ray. Even in the World Cup, where TV tech gets pushed, there were only 3 games broadcast in 4K and none of those were available in the UK.

It's not just the price, it's pointless buying a TV that is 2 generations better than what is being broadcast, Netflix excepted. I think the TV manufacturers may have to realise that we just don't want to upgrade our TVs like we do our phones and they have overused "the next big thing in TV" to the point that the public just aren't interested in more TV technology. The marketing equivalent of crying wolf, we've had 'Widescreen', 'Digital', 'HD', 'Full HD', '3D' (people tried 3D but didn't care about that either) - most people have just got HDTV or Full HD TVs and have no intention of throwing them straight away.

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Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers

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Re: Tired admin

@ ckm5 -

4. Auto-update
Can't argue with most of your tips, but I would disagree with point 4, in particular for business or any important servers. A sysadmin really should check that every patch works and doesn't break critical services/applications before deploying. Or at the very least, the sysadmin should deploy the patch themselves at a specific time, so that if something does go wrong they are around to fix it and know what he/she has just done that might have caused things to go wrong. Leaving updating to an external service/provider is essentially allowing a third party to break your systems outside of your control.

Auto-update might seem like it makes sense but even very important, simple and lightweight patches *could* contain a bug that breaks something. Especially when the most important patches are often the most rushed. Just look back through the archives of the site and you will see major software houses releasing patches that were buggy and the patch was either withdrawn or itself patched in short time.

For the sake of a few days, it is worth testing any update, or applying it at a time you can be there to clean up its mess and/or limit the damage.

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Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery

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Pint

"Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage"

Have a beer for that sub-headline

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Hackers' delight: Hotel cyber-cafe, er, business centers, apparently – US Secret Service

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Terminator

Re: Note to self:

@Herby - Then again how do you print things out? Like boarding passes.

If you have your laptop and just want to print something from it. I would say the moderately safe and easy way is to take a USB stick with you. Use your laptop to download your boarding pass, and save the pass file as a pdf (or picture) onto the stick and then use the stick in the business centre, that way you don't have to type anything into the probably compromised business centre computer to print out the pass.

Obviously, treat the USB stick as horribly contaminated before using again. Even better use a CD which you can bin afterwards. The alternative is to use an airline which doesn't need you to print out the pass (there are some), you just display the pass on your phone.

I always assumed the business centre computers or any public computers were riddled with malware. Useful for a bit of simple impersonal surfing (e.g. looking for a local restaurant, checking the news) but never try logging into anything secure.

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Murdoch calls for ISPs to be liable for users' activities

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Boffin

Re: Is this the owner of the London Times and FT? When you wonder what Rupe's bottom line is

He owns The Times (you may call it the 'London' times) and its sister The Sunday Times, he also owns The Sun. He doesn't own the FT however.

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Elon Musk to fund Tesla museum with 'ONE MEEELLION DOLLARS'

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The Geek of Hearts

@ukgnome -

I used to think that Musk was a massive cock....And then he gave his patents away, and built a rocket, and actually turned out to be a decent chap.
I'm the same, more beer for Musk. I'm guessing many here might have warmed to him. I wasn't keen on him and to be honest I have asked myself lately what it was that turned me off as I can't even remember.

In any case, seeing how good the cars are, how he is clearly running Tesla very well and then the patent release has really won me over to Elon. He seems to be the reason society needs billionaires - because some of them can do something genuinely useful with their money. This just adds to the feeling that he may have been a bit immature early on but is actually a decent bloke trying to do ambitious things the right way. Let's face it, good or bad, the world would really benefit from most of his projects succeeding, good luck to him.

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Dubai to get HUGE climate-controlled DOMED CITY and giga-mall

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Terminator

Re: Elysium on Earth ?

It is interesting that it does sound absolutely horrific but I can't help thinking that the fact they are doing it in Dubai makes it seem that way. I wonder if they were doing this in Japan it might seem to be much cooler.

From the article - "Additional districts within the project will include .... a cultural celebration district " I'm guessing not many cultures will be celebrated. Can't imagine they'll be having a pride march.

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Don Dumb
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Re: Not just the air

@Cliff -

"As stupid as air conditioning the desert is, it may be that putting a lid over the buildings isn't massively more inefficient than all the individually cooled buildings - they all lose their cool individually, but if the cooler air leaks into a contained space as opposed to hot streets, it may not be quite as stupid as it first appears."

It's a good point but it would only work if the whole city is built accordingly. Or will the 'outside' - the streets and communal areas be set at a higher temperature than the inside of buildings? So they still end up air conditioning the buildings separately anyway.

It seems that in most places people prefer a higher temperature outside than they do inside. (We go to hot places for their nice weather but still end up air conditioning the hotel rooms because we don't want that temperature when we sleep!)

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Brit celebs' homes VANISH from Google's Street View

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Facepalm

He *was* Prime Minister

@Martin-73 -

Is he paying for the danged armed police (I thought carrying an offensive weapon in public was a crime anyway, guess it's one law for us... again)
They are Special Branch, the bit of the UK Police Force that guard all of the sitting, and former, Prime Ministers and they naturally have many armed officers. You do realise that it is legal for the police to have armed officers in public?

It's not that difficult to work out, US Presidents also keep their Secret Service detail after leaving office. I believe John Major once commented that it is quite strange that since he started being Prime Minister he has never really been on his own and never will be.

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Windows 7, XP and even Vista GAIN market share again

Don Dumb
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Pint

Re: @Don Dumb

@Trevor_Pott - As to your magical woo-woo crystals sending you a positive vibe about Windows 9...what proof you have? Vista/7 are ages behind us.I don't, that's why I said it was 'my guess' and I did declare it as uninformed.

You read like you need a weekend, have a beer.

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Don Dumb
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Re: History repeating

@Trevor_Pott - forgive me I don't exactly know what you mean by 'less ass' and 'more ass'. Do you mean something that I might understand along the lines of 'less of an ass' and 'more of an ass'?

As others have posted, my (uninformed) guess is that Win 9 will fix the errors of Win 8. In the same way that Win 7 did for Vista. And due to a product of corporate infrastructure lifecycles and Microsoft fixing Win 8's problems - Win 9 will get taken up en masse.

Of course, Microsoft could still easily mess that up.

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Don Dumb
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Windows

History repeating

@John Tserkezis -

I've called 8.x "Vista v2.0", and going on market share, it seems I'm not too far off.

I agree. The problem with Vista was that people were, on the whole, content with XP, there was no real need to upgrade, anyone who really didn't like it moved to Linux or Mac - Vista wasn't going to help that. The problem with Win 8 is that, again, no one who uses Win 7 is crying out for a new OS.

It seems evidently clear that Microsoft just don't understand their customers. Home users are happy to simply buy the machine with the OS loaded and don't care what the OS is - no real gain for Microsoft there, they would get the money for Win 7 or 8. Business users move slowly, OS upgrades across hundreds and thousands of machines can take years of preparation and, more importantly, if there is no compelling reason to upgrade, then they wont do it.

Once again Microsoft are trying to push an OS no one wants, just like they did with Vista. By the time Win 9 comes and matures, large businesses may start to move from Win 7 to Win 9, if they need to. Until then the big marketshare change will be XP being gradually replaced by Win 7 through large migrations. (I don't think any later migration will be as painful as moving from Win XP has been as there shouldn't be as many browser lock-in related issues that IE6 has caused)

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Google Glass faces UK cinema ban: Heaven forbid someone films you crying in a rom-com

Don Dumb
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Re: film theft

@AC - I believe the comedian was Ed Byrne

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Re: Cinema (n.)

@Studley - "An auditorium where you can watch a blu-ray with hundreds of other people, at an inconvenient time, for the same price as buying the blu-ray six months later.

And all that on uncomfortable seats, without a pause button (even though the film may be several hours long), with loads of adverts and spoilers (some call them 'trailers') for other films you might want to see but won't need to after the spoiler has given everything away. And even better there's lots of films available at your cinema only in 3D - which is more expensive, comes with shitty glasses, looks worse and yet does not hide the lack of any decent storytelling.

I'm just not a fan of the cinema experience. I do occasionally go to my local arthouse cinema which actually is quite good, there are sofas, pauses during long films and wine & beer in the shop. It just annoys me that you do not get value for money (if you ever did) at the cinema these days. Even more galling is that you pay and still get adverts.

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Apple ships security fixes for iOS, OS X, Safari ... basically EVERYTHING

Don Dumb
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Re: 7.1.2 iOS update...

@AC -

"7.1.2 iOS update...

required a manual reboot (the progress bar never completed). On two iPhone 4S and a 5C.

Recovered fine, but not good."

Thanks for the experience, glad I didn't do the update this morning. I'll keep an eye on the update. I always backup the phone first and do the update via iTunes on the computer so hopefully I can restore if the update fails, but I did manage to have a 3GS brick while updating (Apple store replaced straight away thankfully) so I'm always nervous.

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We got behind the wheel of a Tesla S electric car. We didn't hate it

Don Dumb
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Happy

Re: Wait, the screen is used for what?

mikeyw0 - Thanks for the clarification, very helpful. The implication that crucial controls were entirely on the touchscreen did seem mad, and thankfully inaccurate.

Can I ask how good the height and position of the touchscreen is? It looks like it would benefit from being placed higher (like the screens are in modern Audis are). I get annoyed at some cars for having screens and controls too low down on the centre console, outside of peripheral vision.

The car updates itself automatically like an iPhone - you get in one morning and it tells you there's been a software update and that new features are now available.

That would make me nervous considering how rocky my iPhone updates have been lately.

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Don Dumb
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@John Robson - Where was ABS introduced? Electric windows? virtually anything else you now consider standard.

I thought most developments (with regards driving aids rather than the 'leccy windows) were originally developed in Formula 1 cars - like ABS, semi-auto gearboxes, etc

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Don Dumb
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WTF?

Wait, the screen is used for what?

"you have to look at it too much by saying there are anchor points – buttons which don’t move – to call up the essential screens for things like the lights and windscreen wipers."
Wait, hang on - to turn on the lights or windscreen wipers, both actions required to be able to do while at speed, you have to press a button on the touchscreen to bring up another display with controls? That surely can't be right.

If true, it's terrible, especially considering the screen is below dashboard level. On the motorway you have to be able to turn on (and off) the wipers and/or lights, sometimes quickly, without looking away from the road. Say for instance, when a rainstorm suddenly hits. How many times are you going to have to look down because you've missed the right button or need to work out where the button for high intensity rear lights is on the screen.

I'm sorry, a clean UI is helpful but not in all cases, some things are important enough for physical switchgear to be able to be used without looking at. You wouldn't have the indicators operated by a touchscreen (please tell me Tesla hasn't done that!), neither should the other essential controls. I notice that the example owner hasn't used the car beyond a few miles and so likely hasn't come across these situations.

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US footballers set to vie for BITCOIN BOWL

Don Dumb
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Meh

Method of Payment

One crucial aspect is missing - how will BitPay be paying for their sponsorship? I'm guessing the St Petersburg organisers are accepting payment in US Dollars rather than Bitcoin but I imagine that would slightly undermine the publicity effort if that were to become public knowledge.

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Apple is KILLING OFF BONKING, cries mobe research dude

Don Dumb
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Boffin

Re: Shift in Thinking

@cosymart - I have no desire to look like a plonker waving my card and the cashier giving me strange looks (well, no more than normal) :-(

Why not stick a small unmanned pay by bonk till by the exit with bullet point instructions for idiots (me) to reduce the normal queues?

I've just recieved a pay-by-bonk debit card from my bank. I've had my moment of looking like a plonker, so I'll try and give my lesson -

Basically (my card) is limited to payments of £20, although YMMV. When you get to the till, the card machine will say something like "swipe or insert or tap your card". As long as it says tap, then slowly tap the chip end of the card to the TOP of the card machine, you don't need to hold it there. It should beep to acknowledge, a second or two later it will have processed your payment and will be printing the reciept. I have found that I can now do the bonk without taking it out of my wallet, which is useful but equally concerning.

One advantage is it does make the self-service tills in Waitrose faster, or it would do if the elderly used pay-by-bonk rather than the complex and glacial process for payment they seem to employ.

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Don Dumb
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Facepalm

Have iPhone competitors thrown in the towel?

From the article - "Apple is not, to this date, supporting NFC, so other companies have wondered, "why bother?"

Perhaps to have a unique selling point? God forbid other companies might actually want to give people a reason to buy their phones rather than iPhones. But no, we just get a range of identical looking phones that all do pretty much the same thing.

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Stephen Fry MADNESS: 'New domain names GENERATE NEW IP NUMBERS'

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Stop

@AC - I am sick to death of the bashing Fry gets on the register.

Agreed. This is utterly pathetic behaviour from El Reg and clearly so much so that Andrew Orlowski is too ashamed to even put his name to the article.

If this were Linus Torvalds or a CIO then maybe this would be a worthwhile article. But pouring over Stephen Fry's every word so that you can pick up on any mistake is just deplorable.

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Happy Birthday Tetris: It's flipping 30

Don Dumb
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Go

Re: This song is going to be in my head all day now!

@Jimboom - One of my favourite music videos, introduced to me by Adam Buxton's BUG, is the 'History of the Soviet Empire to the theme of Tetris'. Absolutely glorious - http://youtu.be/hWTFG3J1CP8

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Don Dumb
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Happy

Re: After-effects

@monkeyfish - After Effects - To be fair, that happens with any video game if you play it long enough. I've had it with wipeout, tony hawks, even doom.

I nostalgically remember we played so much of The Sims when at uni, my housemate dreamt of living his life by progress bars! Good times.

Can't say I would want to have a Doom dream mind.

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'Inaccurate' media misleads public on European Court's Google ruling

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Re: Google-friendly?

@Gio Campa - +1

Yes, I find it suprising that there are very few reporters, even here on El Reg, making the point that Google doesn't store the data, it is just one site that says where that data is. If there really is a right to remove, this needs to be applied to the site holding that data, along with any secondary stores (Google cache, archive.org). It's like trying to stop people knowing about a telephone number by only asking the Yellow Pages to remove it from their listings. But everyone would rather go on about the ECJ 'killing the internet', which unfortunately (deliberatly?) dilutes our cries about net neutrality.

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Supreme Court nixes idea of 'indirect' patent infringement

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@dan1980 -

Now, if you move some of that over to the user then, for example, the user would have to identify the text themselves and then tell the phone what type of data it is, thereafter the phone can present options. In this instance one might see the patent not applying as the critical function of identifying the data structures is handled by the user.

You've just described copy-and-paste (into the phone app). That's exactly why 'moving bits of a patent to the user' shouldn't be covered by the same patent, it isn't an *invention* if someone is just doing the work that the invention should be doing.

To stretch the 'Quick-Links' example further, I could do the same work by writing down the number I see on a piece of paper and then typing it into the phone's keypad. If copy-and-paste is part of the patent, then so would using paper and my eyes. Very quickly, any way of acheiving the goal becomes covered by the patent.

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Ballmer SLAM-DUNKS $2 BEEELLLION bid for LA Clippers

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Stop

Non-Contact?

@Ren Bren a non-contact sport- I don't know where the idea comes from that everyone seems to think basketball is a non-contact sport. I used to get injured much more from contact in basketball than I did playing rugby. There's loads of contact in basketball, you just have to keep from handling someone when they are shooting and you can't just clatter your way through people who are standing their ground (which you can't in football either)

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About to make a big bet? Don't crash out, cash in with the power of maths

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Re: Ahhh Monte Carlo - Cost Modelling

@unscarred - There are many tools available, mostly extensions of risk management tools (such as www.palisade.com/risk/) - however most recently I have seen massive bespoke Excel monsters because of the need for some organisations to obtain very unique data (not just a single distribution).

It depends on how much data you need and how accurate you need it. It shouldn't be too difficult to build a simple cost model on a spreadsheet. But the problem with spreadsheet based models is they aren't very good for estimating time or handling complex time/cost/risk relationships. Commerical tools are better at giving both time and cost estimates from a single risk register and handling complexity within model (such as do the risks occur sequentially? or do they force other risks to occur?)

I reckon all you'd need for a crude spreadsheet model is 3 sheets - a sheet with definite costs (max/min/most likely for each), a sheet with risks (probability, max/min/ML) and a results sheet. Have a macro (or something better) add a line in the total sheet for each run of the model randomly picking values from the max/min/ML distribution for each cost and risk (but only adding each risk cost if it meets its probability check for that run). Then graph the results, you should get a nice bell curve in most cases giving an obvious median point.

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Don Dumb
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Boffin

Re: Ahhh Monte Carlo - Cost Modelling

@Nifty - to be honest that was a hypothetical project (the examples work well without explaining the whole background).

However, to take your question seriously (I'm guessing it wasn't). Whether you model such costs depend on what the scope of the project is, specifically in this case - at what point is the project finished?

If the project is just to get the house built then the problems you highlight should not be included. However, if the project is to build and sell the house for a certain return, then such uncertainties as "house market fluctuations" and risks such as the developer attempting to gazump the buyers, should be factored in. In any case you still have to manage these risks when they happen.

This is what I mean about identifying risks properly, if you don't then your project can be derailed, get it right and when bad things happen, the project will stay on track becuase you have anticipated them and have a plan to handle them. Even if that plan is just having some extra money in the budgetbudget, hence modelling the costs.

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Don Dumb
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Boffin

Ahhh Monte Carlo - Cost Modelling

I've used Monte Carlo simulation many times to judge how much a project is likely to cost or how long it will take. As many will know, before a project is started there are 'deterministic' costs (i.e. the bricks will cost £1500, I have a firm quote), however there are uncertain costs (i.e. labour costs could be £1000 to £2000 but most likely £1200) and there are risks (i.e. There's a 25% chance I might need to reinforce the foundations at £800).

If you just added up the cost of the deterministic and the most likely of the uncertain values and budgeted on that amount, what would happen if the labour costs go above the most likely or the risk occurs? - the Budget won't be enough. Conversely, there's no point budgeting way more than is needed, those funds could be invested elsewhere.

So to work out what the best budget figure is, Monte Carlo analysis can be used. It works by modelling the project and running that model thousands of times. For each run of the model, the uncertain values are picked randomly from their distribution and each risk may or may not occur, based on its chance (so a risk with 25% probability will occur on a quarter of the runs). The cost of each run is ploted on a graph and after a thousand runs a nice distribution will be presented. The distribution can be sliced to give median, upper and lower quartile values, all that has to be done is decide where on that graph should be used to pick the budget. Pick an upper quartile figure and it is likely that there will be lots of spare budget, a lower quartile figure is likely to be not enough (while still more than the deterministic) so most pick the median, it could be insufficient but things will have to go badly for that to happen because it does already take into account some risks occuring.

Monte Carlo analysis is a powerful tool and it can be used for time in exactly the same way. But it only works if the modelling is sound, optimism kills it - underestimate the value of risks or fail to identify risks and uncertainties and it will give a false impression.

PS - It isn't degree-level difficult but I have had to explain it to far too many people who were supposed to be the ones qualified

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New dashboard gives eagle's-eye view of Microsoft's security flaws

Don Dumb
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Re: Reboot?

@cyberelf - I'm aware of KSplice but I don't think many standard Linux distributions include KSplice. It isn't fair to compare vanilla Windows to Linux using a third party tool.

Although it would be fair to point out that at least Linux can allow for such third party tools to exist.

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Don Dumb
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Re: Reboot?

@Barry Rueger -

does Windows still require reboots after installs and upgrades?
In my experience, Win 7 does not need to reboot to install most updates but it still does for some.

Presumably Linux doesn't ever need a reboot to install updates to the Kernel then?

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Graphics pros left hanging as Adobe Creative Cloud outage nears 24 hours

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Boffin

Re: A storm in a tea cup

@Jan Hargreavees

I love that I can pay £28 monthly and have the full creative cloud with all the bells and whistles (inc 50GB of cloud storage). I could not afford the £3000 or whatever it was for the master collection on dvd while it was still around. I thought a subscription model would be great in about 2008, at least for small businesses. And finally Adobe now provides that.

That's great for you, and there's nothing wrong with offering a subscription model. The problem that upsets people is that there is *only* a subscription model being offerred. You have your choice but unfortunately other people only have that choice too, especially as you have pointed out there are no real alternatives. Remember 1 choice is no choice.

I haven't voted you down but I'm guessing the sizable down voting is for assuming people haven't understood, when you haven't understood their complaint.

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FSF slams Mozilla for 'shocking' Firefox DRM ankle-grab

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Facepalm

Dictionary Corner

@fairbro -

Firefox proved itself to be corrupt when it fired the director because he made a political contribuution to a group which sought to ban gay marriage. ... I don't have any use for a group of corrupt criminals.

You use the word "corrupt" twice and you clearly demonstrate that you have no idea what it means.

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Apple updates OS X Mavericks, iTunes, Podcasts for iOS

Don Dumb
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@big_D -

Sync via USB, how very 2010 of them...

I use USB, mostly because Wifi sync seems to balls up whenever I try it and, well, USB sync works, I have no need to use Wifi and I have to go to the computer to switch it on anyway. I also keep backups on my computer not in iCloud (I was grateful for this when I did need to restore my phone), USB backups to computer much better than Wifi.

Quant it might be, but it is also sufficient. Keyboards are *so* 20th century, but I'd rather type this on my keyboard than on a touchscreen

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Re: Podcast app

@Annihilator - Agreed.

I mostly listen to Podcasts on my phone, so this is something close to my heart*.

It was always a great frustration that bluetooth (and wired) car stereos couldn't find the podcasts as they didn't turn up in the music list (i.e. not in an album), I had to start playing the specific podcast while disconnected, connect up the phone and then it would play through the car. Apple decided to make it even worse by separating Podcasts out into a different app. Now when I press play on my headset or car stereo, it *may* play the last podcast I was listening to, or it may start playing a song in the music app, forcing me to then go into the phone, find the podcast app and force the iPhone to play the podcast instead. It's incredibly frustrating.

I do love it when I try and download a podcast, it fails, often due to the wonderful arbitary download limit of 50MB and then somehow breaks the whole podcast so that I can't download (when on Wifi), listen or delete it. I have to wait until I sync before it resurrects.

What's worse was that the move to iTunes 11, deleted all of the podcasts I has stored on my computer in the name of 'syncing' even though I had selected the option to keep all podcasts on my computer. I updated the Podcast app this morning, didn't realise there was a new version of iTunes, when I left home and started browsing the podcast app for this morning's commute, it brough up a error message saying somehting like 'Please use iTunes 11.2 to Sync' - well thanks Apple, perhaps you could have told me that when I was doing THE SODDING SYNC!

It wouldn't be so bad if it was easier to move tracks into the Podcast folder, that would be really helpful for something like Spanish speaking lessons, for instance. But to make something become a recognised podcast (despite being just an MP3 file) you have to mess around with the hidden metadata for ages to get it to work and sort properly, you can't do it in iTunes. And while I'm at it, I don't get why Audiobooks aren't grouped with Podcasts as they are closer to podcasts than music tracks but then I'm obviously thinking it wrong.

* Almost literally, the phone is often in my shirt's breast pocket.

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Why two-player games > online gaming: See your pal's shock as you bag a last-second victory

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Re: Amiga Format Cover Disks

@ahmanwhathandle - "I've been trying to find a clone of a single screen two player bi-planes shoot 'em up supplied by the venerable magazine. I think it was just called BIP...? "

Oh man, yes. That was brilliant, I'd almost forgotten about it. It was called BIP and was a classic example of simple being fun. Outside of me and my mate I have never even seen it mentioned. Have you managed to find a worthy clone?

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Re: Sliding tackle on a stationary keeper

Best bit of the original FIFA - if your player is about to get red carded you could run away from the referee, who would just keep chasing you to give the card. As long as you could keep going the Benny Hill sketch would continue. Something like this in multiplayer might seem annoying but it was always funny when someone did it out of frustration - that kind of laugh you can't have with online multplayer, it would just be griefing (or whatever).

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Happy

Re: 2 player - well, maybe, except for 3 and 4 player gaming.

@Pithy Username - JLR didn't seem to be that well known a game but I think that was a real shame as Rugby Union is a horrible game to model, yet Codemasters managed to do just that. You have to simplify and compromise many parts to get it to work well. I loved the fact that the more people you entered into rucks the more chance the ball came back. Stonger teams needed to put less people into rucks, so as a weaker team you had to really put in the effort to recycle the ball and then attack effectively on your next phase otherwise you would run out of support. Just like real Rugby.

Rugby League lends itself better to simulation as there's less players and less 'complicated stuff' but I haven't seen any League games of note either. It seemed to me that the only sport that can be well modelled is football. Basketball and Rugby games seemed to get worse as they tried to make them more realistic, where as football deosn't seem to suffer in the same way. American Football also seems not to suffer from increasing detail, but I think that is becuase the play stops constantly with overall tactical desicions at each stoppage so there's less complexity to simulate.

I notice that there is a "Jonah Lomu Rugby Challenge 2" on Steam, which I'm naturally waiting for a sale before considering as it doesn't seem to have had great reception. Pity, as I'd enjoy a well made Rugby Union game, a sevens game might work well.

"What a tackle! That could've put him in Ward 4!" - "I hope not Bill, that's a maternity ward!"

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Re: 2 player - well, maybe, except for 3 and 4 player gaming.

@Greenawayr - Yes, RIP Bill McLaren, loved that line. What I'd give to hear someone with his class commenting on the six nations rather than the partisan and irritating commentary the BBC have now.

I can still remember Bill shouting "Mather!" as the developer team's super winger ran through.

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Childcatcher

2 player - well, maybe, except for 3 and 4 player gaming.

Two player gaming was, is and ever shall be where it’s at when it comes to having the most memorable gaming experiences.

Except for 3 and 4 player gaming.

Most of my teenage years (the 90's if you must ask) and those of my closest friends was spent playing 3/4 player games, as there was usually 4 of us.

Goldeneye, early FIFAs or PES (much better banter/teammate arguments when you are playing 2v2), International Track and Field, some-Playstation-Rallying-game-I-can't-remember-the-name-of, WWF Wrestlemania - all spring to mind.

It was something the N64 was first to get, put more ports on for controllers because there is often more than 2 people playing. People often criticise FIFA as being a dumb cash cow for EA, and there is certainly no reason to buy it every bloody year, but games like FIFA are really good fun when in groups, it doesn't need splitscreen like FPSs do.

I used to love playing multiplayer with my mates, nowadays none of us have consoles and I just haven't enjoyed the fleeting attempts at online multplayer games so I've eneded up playing single player games when I do play. For me online multiplayer games have oddly kind of killed multiplayer

</wistful nostaglia>

ps. Jonah Lomu Rugby (mid 90s) was brilliant in multiplayer. It never got that much attention but we absolutely loved it.

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Faster Macbook Air pops out: What, a NEW Apple thing and ZERO fanfare?

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Re: Without any fanfare

I'm glad there's no fanfare, too many tech updates from Apple have come with huge (deliberate) hype for nothing more than a slightly longer and lighter model than the previous version with claims like - "it's a game changer!"

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Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey

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Re: Fake Corporation science

@Tom35 - If two scientists say different things, there are lots of people who will just go with what they want to hear without looking at the actual science.

If people still believe Wakefield (and even think he is a victim) there is not much hope.

You've hit on one of the major problems - lesser qualified people being given the same weight of argument to discussion as relevant scientists. Wakefield was (at best) a part-time scientist, he was a GP doing 'some' research but didn't have a doctorate, nor did he have any research qualifications. He used his title 'Dr' because that was his professional title for being a qualified GP, which he has now lost. Despite that, Wakefield was given a equal say on the matter of MMR to that of the relevant Professors of Immunology.

News broadcasters generally inverview at least two differing sides of a discussion, to give 'balance'. However, balance isn't as simple as two opposed sides and this principle gets corrupted far too often. In debates on scientific subjects far too frequently, a scientist, highly qualiifed in the field of discussion has to debate with a politician or representative of a pressure group. To the viewer it seems like there is a reasonable side to either argument but in truth it is scientific fact arguing against opinion. It gets worse when news companies aren't even trying to be fair.

The science radio program The Infinite Monkey Cage often points out that in discussions on astronomy, people write in upset that the 'point of view of astrology' has been dismissed "arogantly" and the presenters have to painfully point out that there isn't a scientific 'point of view' for astrology.

People are trained to think that there is science and then there is 'another view' and so why would they think there is anything wrong with having the other view. We have to look out how science, or as I prefer to see it - authoritative understanding is criticised and debated in the public.

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Burnt out on patches this month? Oracle's got 104 MORE fixes for you

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No longer a concern

So glad I got rid of Java on my home machine a couple of months ago (after I changed the last piece of software that used it). Java was horrible software, had an annoying update installer and my computer is noticeably more responsive since I got rid of it, even though I always tried to disable the 'always running' bits of it.

Considering how much Oracle database software is used in large (especially public) organisations I do wonder how full of holes it is and how vulnerable important databases are.

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AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'

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Power & Cooling

@Eddy Ito - It's an interesting proposition. Build around the GPU rather than the CPU.

I like the fact that AMD have thought a bit about cooling and keeping the card quiet, often just a big noisy fan is the only cooling.

It would be interesting if the card's cooling system can be integrated with liquid case cooling setups, taking the liquid from the card to the case liquid cooling box rather than the GPU's cooling box. If so, using this as the base for cooling the CPU and memory would make for an interesting design.

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How Microsoft can keep Win XP alive – and WHY: A real-world example

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Re: I read as far as the $500k a year development job...

@janimal - Trevor's manpower and cost estimates are way, way out there.

I think that was the deliberate aim of Trevor's calculations -

as he needs to make some (big) assumptions, it makes sense to underestimate the amount Microsoft could make from support and overestimate the cost of providing it (including wages). As it is clearly finanically viable under these assumptions then it really is fair to say that it would be profitable and viable proposition.

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Hotmail-gate: Windows 8 code leaker pleads guilty to theft of trade secrets

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Re: Russian national?

@McHack - "He should immediately get himself back to Mother Russia"

I'm sure he would love to do that. Just a bit difficult when he is in custody without bail.

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Crashed NORKS drones discovered by South Korea

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Re: I pity South Korea

"Having a border to North Korea must be like living next door to a violent and psychotic drug fiend."

What's worse is that it is more like the violent, paranoid and psychotic fiend next door is your ex who insists that you've not broken up, refuses to recognise any divorce procedings and constantly proclaims that all of the violence is really your fault.

Sad thing is I've known a few friends who have had to deal with people like this. Someone once told me about an abusive relationship she was in, every time he got mad and lashed out he would say to her "look what you made me do".

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