786 posts • joined 14 Jul 2007
Re: Net access as a Utility?
"...in the absence of free net access, how does a person suffering from extreme poverty, get access to them?"
People in that position need various forms of support: health; sorting out financially; accessing what benefits they may be entitled to; and sorting out with some kind of plan for the future if there is a viable one; help filling in forms due to literacy issues; and possibly just a square meal.
Sounds like a day centre/drop in with multiple services and a subsidised cafe as a safety net to me. You could run those as social enterprises. Some paid staff, some volunteers, some basic skills teaching from local colleges. Might save money in long term (ElReg's pet economist might not agree about that).
Alternatively, how about 50kbytes/sec free for all, faster when you pick a supplier and pay a contract? Then make sure Govt sites and basic education material is low bandwidth??
Re: They're not alone
Still crap, but it gets the basics done 'til I can replace my dead laptop.
Refurbished thinkpad of ebay. Core Duo less than 100 notes runs any Linux and a reasonable stab at Windows 7 (perhaps just over the ton for more RAM in that case).
Re: When crap hardware meets crap software
True 99% of the time but then again you always have systemd.
@adsf: Debian Sid on Thinkpad X61s with Wayland Gnome. I have you know the hardware is fine.
Browsing Reg on Debian Sid with stock install, no blockers. Just really *noisy*. I find it hard to concentrate on the text.
How much per subscriber is made with ads? Just wondering.
ps: $ w3m http://www.theregister.co.uk
Well fast. Props for 'skip to content' links and accesibility for screen readers generally.
# apt-get install netsurf
$ netsurf http://www.theregister.co.uk
"There are some really good ways to make these things non intrusive."
Just wondering: National Grid. Reaches just about everywhere. Large metal structures striding over fields. Could Grid not be used to relay mobile to anywhere within a fraction of a mile of the transmission line, or if leaky cable not feasible on that scale, to within fraction of a mile of the pylons?
Am I being thick?
From the wording of the article, the 13 year old still has his Dad at least. That is something to hold onto during the earthquake that has happened to him.
Re: People die in railroad switching yards all the time.
'sometimes' rather than 'all the time' but a railway interchange in the UK is pretty safe compared to (say) a motorway.
Re: Is it really worth it IN THIS CASE, though?
"I wondered about "We will cooperate fully with all the authorities involved in the investigation" - is there an option to not fully cooperate with the authorities?"
Lawyers will no doubt be checking the relevant statutes and regulations to see how much/little needs to be disclosed &c. Remember, this project is all private companies, no govt contractors, so no federal oversight unless provided for in some kind of licence or permission.
Apollo 1 fire caused a *serious* rethink at NASA after their own internal investigation, and the inevitable congressional committees. Hopefully same here.
Re: Herding cats with long tails
"But of those, there are probably 50 to 100 dedicated committees, and a long tail of thousands who only contribute the odd patch. Some other metric is needed."
Rank contributing accounts in descending order of commit frequency then stop counting when you reach 50% of total commits? The number you get is some kind of indicator of the inner circle. Could use 75% if you just want to cut out the long tail. Might be fun to have the company allegiance if any of the most active committing accounts.
Wondering if this was that one where you set directory permissions to be readable by a group, but then forget to make the command recursive thus not changing the permissions of the files underneath...
...used to be quite common oh, 15 years ago.
Re: The best thing about Ubuntu is...
"*BSD looking better by the day. "
OpenBSD 5.6 CDs arrived this morning complete with Apocalypse Now puffer fish graphics and a song (a sub-cultural thing I gather). Official release 1st Nov (mirrors go live with binary packages then).
Its..... not Ubuntu.
E.g. printing: install cups and then create _cups group, give _cups group ownership of the printer device (in my case direct USB connected) the set cups to start as daemon having added your user to the _cups group...
Re: The best thing about Ubuntu is...
"As a Unity (is the best thing about Ubuntu) user I understand how ignorant your comment is. As a Xubuntu user you will never know."
Load LibreOffice and type the following keyboard shortcut: Alt-IOF
Does the LibreOffice formula editor appear?
If so, I may once again try Ubuntu as I rather liked 12.04.
If not, well can we tell Mark to stop hacking the input manager?
Re: Pulled off on MS Office? (@Mage)
"only the stupid can't figure out the "Ribbon". Only took a few minutes for me."
OK, what is the secret? I spent two working days recently chained to MS Office 2010 hacking out a series of Word documents of moderate but not outrageous complexity. Tonnes of googling.
One example: the command to select paragraph(s) of text and put a box around it(them) catches me every time, hiding in plain sight like a le Carré pavement artist.
The Management have recently installed OpenOffice 4.1 (why oOo and why 4.1?) to considerable rejoicing.
Re: Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory...
"Last time I tried Linux and attempted to install Firefox I first had to find an installer for the distribution I was using."
When was that and what distribution?!
Most 'recent' (like Ubuntu 5.04 onwards) you just load a package manager and search for Firefox then type in your password (or root password if root account enabled).
Re: Windows 10 is fugly
"BTW, Windows 2000 may have been the best OS MS ever made. If only it had a firewall it would have been a great consumer OS."
I liked Win2k as well. I used a desktop with it on at work for a couple of years. Absolutely no drama, just cranking the work out (Celeron, 256Mb ram, large crt monitor).
So upvote for that
AFAIK it's in danger of being dropped.
OK, OpenBSD (Gnome 3.10 installable) and the other BSDs, and OpenIndiana (party like it is 2006).
"Yes I'm testing Slackware too at the minute but I believe they are currently sitting on the fence regarding this."
The slackers are a pragmatic bunch not given to drama. I run it on my typing box (a boat anchor Dell E5240 laptop). As you say, Volkerding will roll in systemd if it becomes unavoidable when attempting to provide a decent desktop experience.
"From what I know, the only non-systemd committed distros (at this moment in time) are Slackware, Gentoo, Crux and Alpine Linux."
There are a couple of 'one dev and a git repo' Linuxes like Dragora (runnit).
Of course, there is CentOS 6 and the other EL clones (support until 2020).
Re: the "fun" part about systemd
"Hibernate is more problematic, as on Thinkpads it is necessary to have a FAT primary partition on the hard disk to contain the hibernate file."
X60, Trisquel Linux, no FAT partition at all just a few gig of swap (Linux swap / Solaris) and a / partition that is ext4.
Hibernates and suspends fine.
"Armenia has a culture of kludging things together and working to western standards was my biggest challenge."
Pretty resilient people the Armenians. Survivors. I wish we did more kludging and less globbing everything together into just-in-time cost reduced systems
"It even supports the old menu shortcut keys."
Nope. I was actually using MS Wrd 2010 today for 6 hours or so doing a job on a deadline. Kept losing time looking for functions I can reach with Alt-keyboard shortcuts on MS 2k and on LibreOffice at home. That is *actual billable time* y'now. Around 10% as I had to break rhythm and use the rodent.
Scale that up over all of us mature members of the workforce over say the next 25 years...
Re: rant-like journalism
Ah... The peppered moth (Birmingham moth) rears its ugly head again. It is a clear example of natural selection, not evolution.
I live a couple of miles from the Birmingham sampling ground. Have a look at Of Moths and Men by Judith Hooper. Might have been a clear example of a bird-feeder (and I am a UK based scientist without any interest in creationist twaddle).
Re: rant-like journalism
"You do not understand how evolution works."
Would that be hardy-weinberg equilibrium or something deeper I should know about? Or simply that cognitive diversity may not have been linked to basic survival > 50kyr ago?
Re: rant-like journalism
"I hear some flavors of BSD are supposed to be secure...."
And OpenBSD runs surprisingly well on laptops that are not of the absolute bleeding edge shall we say. Three hours total to check out the source (1.2Gb of it) from the local public CVS (uk adsl over copper) and then compile the kernel, core OS and ports on a 7 year old Thinkpad (dual core). Have pre-ordered Version 5.6 as a donation even if I stick with Linux. Worth forty quid for the man pages alone.
But security can also be had by restricting the connections. See quote below from OA
"Basic things like "what programs are installed" and "what is the hardware configuration of your PC" are generally collected as part of operating system updates and/or automated troubleshooting systems because they provide clear technical benefits in solving technical issues. It would be pretty insane to say "don't collect this info, because NSA"
Could this information not be collected and kept in local storage (a la lennart and his binary logs) then be made available for upload when needed? Can you not ascertain the nature of the packets leaking out of the machine ( a firewall rule based in the upload url springs to mind).
By the end of page 1 of the article I was getting slightly worried - I was thinking what might be on page 2. Add cards within cards, a powerful search function, a set of 'agents' that allow you to do things like 'list all cards with 'do this next week' in the title dated a week ago', hyperlinks between cards? A powerful scripted export template?
...but no Tinderbox is safe. The only reason I would ever run Mac OS again...
"How does it feel to know you're making Microsoft richer?"
Well, since you ask, it doesn't bother me in the slightest. A court case occured, arguments were presented, a settlement was reached. As I believe in the sovreign right of countries to govern themselves and in the rule of law, and as I generally support the market economy (with bits of regulation as needed) all this is fine by me.
I do find the way the US legal system works a bit odd, but then I imagine people who are used to America would find aspects of Britain a bit strange in just the same way.
I also like the fact that Red Hat is a $1+ billion turnover corporation making reasonable profits from selling services off the back of GPL licenced software. I really hope Canonical gets into some kind of actual profit soon. I believe that SLES does make money as well and that makes me glad. Good quality jobs, economic activity, competition.
Yes, I do have residual concerns over Red Hat's tidal pull on the open source world, and I do wish one of their senior people would sit Mr Poettering down and have a good long chat(*) about the need to stabilise the APIs and affordances for the software associated with systemd so the various upstream projects have a chance to catch up. But, hey, it all works and will do so for some decades, and, for edge cases and people who want to be different, there are viable alternatives.
Ace isn't it?
(*) British for 'sort him out'
Re: Linux is bad for everybody the way it currently is.
"The BSD's and Debian are ok for a server. But all the gui stuff contains so many linux features which end up having to copied by the BSD's (Which had a clean understandable consistent design up until not too long ago)."
Stock OpenBSD install with cwm set as window manager in the .xinitrc and netsurf(*) as a graphical Web browser on my testing laptop seems pretty clean to me. LaTeX and an editor for document production. mpg123 for music while I work.
Retro GUI could be in this autumn. Read about the tilde club as an example.
Re: It's gotten better.
"(Eventually I got a Linux-owning friend to explain to me that you fix problems like this by logging in from a remote computer, su root and issuing the command e3fsck -f -b 8193 /dev/hda1. How's that for intuitive?)"
These days for most distros you just boot from a live CD and work through a repair menu. Worst case 'touch /forcefsck' from the single user mode prompt.
But I do take the point...
Seriously, you are crowing about desktop figures?
The Linux kernel runs billions of phones, and the Linux kernel with the GNU userland runs a huge range of devices from your router, HDTV up to and including supercomputing clusters, not to mention Google ChromeOS and backend, F**book, Ebay, Twitter &et Al.
And you worry about *desktops*? You are as bad as that boy Lennart.
PS: running Trisquel Linux on an X60. Cheaper than a Chromebook. Haven't had to use a command line yet except for R. The forum is civil and welcoming to newcomers but being a fully libre distribution without proprietary drivers or blobs, OP would almost certainly have to use a USB wifi dongle (Netgear WG111v3 or similar) to be able to connect.
P2S: If Shuttleworth ever pops the Ubuntuphone out I'll be in the queue. I mean the one you can dock and it switches userland so you can do your Office work on a full sized monitor and keyboard. One device. Many uses. See the Rob Pike Setup interview...
Keyboard commands for select, copy, paste and find
I've drunk a lot of free coffee and gained a (totally undeserved) reputation as a clever chap from showing people CTRL-A, CTRL-C click in the other window CTRL-V.
CTRL-F has helped out many a colleague trying to find a student by name in a long list ordered by reference number. I have brightened people's days with CTRL-Z.
Strange isn't it?
PS:do journalists still have to learn teeline?
(Typing this on the Calm Window Manager on OpenBSD on an old laptop, all keyboard driven. I'm the beginner again in BSD land.).
Basic concept fine...
...just the ongoing farce of implementation coupled with IDS announcing 'smartcards' for claimants that would restrict their spending (what could possibly go wrong with that?)
I think that if you have *paid taxes* for (say) 20 years then loose your job, you damn well should be supported at a reasonable % of your past income for some period of time before dropping to a safety net level. I don't like the rhetoric coming from IDS and his colleagues. Being (suddenly) poor is not actually a crime as such, and I don't see why the Conservative Party is becoming so downright Stalinist in this way. Hayek would be amazed at the micromanagement of people's lives involved in these policies.
Back on topic, an actually functioning UC system could make it easier to manage a benefit system with a contribution based element.
Re: have an upvote
"...being a fan of "real" music (ie with very very few exceptions nothing after 1900 - no not a typo 1900)"
Fashions in home listening change, as do fashions in performing. I found
absolutely fascinating (especially the piano chapter). The database of transcriptions of 78s will keep you going for a month or so.
PS: should you decide to venture into the 20th Century, try some Peter Warlock songs and pieces. 'Modern' in structure but 'old' in sound world.
Re: 6 Months Worth of Use
"And I'm glad you agree regarding it definitely being beta - now imagine me using that between the hours of 9am to 6pm Mon - Fri for 6 months doing work. It mostly works, it just happens to screw up on the days when the whole world is imploding around me!"
I do try out testing/sid/unstable releases on an old laptop that I use for typing notes on the train. I have a live USB stick with Debian stable in the bag for emergencies so I can get to files on the hard drive and use an RDP session to talk to the work box. I also play around with distros on a spare 2.5" drive. I use recycled Thinkpads and spare caddies are a fiver. Unscrew one screw, pop the drive out, pop the other one in, and you are away.
Re: 6 Months Worth of Use
Debian stable, sure, fully agree. But you are not comparing like with like. Jessie/Testing will be 'fun' after the freeze early Nov (depending). Not for production!
Just booted elementaryOS off a live ISO dd'ed onto an old USB stick. Looks very nice, but, as you say, definitely beta.
About [expletive] time
That is all.
(NHS could lead the world in this)
Re: Not a fan of Ellison.
"God forbid Linux without the steering of Torvalds. I am under no illusion of how control by committee would work out. I wish Beos flourished."
Torvalds steers only the kernel, and does not have to cope with the overhead of running a business. He remains neutral on user space issues other than the occaisional eruption when frustrated by some stupidity (e.g daughter needing admin password to connect to a networked printer). Sensible. Protect one bailiwick.
The rest of your analysis looks fine to me.
Re: It took 18,000 employees to remove a start menu
I may be naive but I imagine any with solid technical skills will find employment reasonably quickly.
Re: Slough - Paradise on Earth
"...the post industrial, post nuclear war scabbiness of Slough..."
Sounds ace. I shall visit with cameras. Sort of like Сталкер only with Baltis and no dioxins?
"...a company operating under the name The Cuban Exchange"
Hawaiian lawyer at all? HST come back from the grave? And where is Don Jeffe when we need him?
Every crowd has a silver lining, truly.
"...aims to present Office 365 users with the information that's most relevant to them by using machine learning to analyze their contacts, activity, and data."
I manage by exception.
The things I try to find out on an Intranet are the things I don't usually deal with.
How does the 'Office Graph' model that?
"...sliding past our planet a scant 25,000 miles (40,000 kilometers) from the surface..."
Roughly 52 Earth cross sections within the 29 000 mile radius from centre.
Re: Like the 630 review before it..
Can this phone do wifi only when there is no payg credit left? I was thinking the teenagers would be buying these to bring to College for BBM on the guest wifi. Looks jolly, basics all there, they don't do photographing text much (I send them slides of lessons as pdfs).
If it does turn up in high street shops for less than £50, can anyone post a tutorial on putting the thing on silent?
"I have never seen a Linux desktop that isn't gaudy or in some other way extremely unappetizing"
Gaudy: dwm. No bling. Just an expanse of Zen like pixels with one very small information only panel. No icons. No effects. I used to set the background colour to #33335E
Extremely unappetizing: You'll have to define terms a bit more.
Personally, I'm bucking the trend and using a *default* Debian Wheezy/KDE on my work laptop. Quite nice. Other people can work out how to start programs without long explanations.
"...to migrate data from the broken fibre to a new cable that was installed near our switch site in West London"
Do you think they might mean 'to direct the flow of data from the broken fibre optic cable to a new cable". Unless they store data in cables.
Was the cable broken by some chap with a visibility jacket and a pneumatic drill by any chance?
Relax rules about what you can rent
"Compulsory standard rental agreement terms that allowed people to make a rental property their home, rather than some kind extended holiday let, might temper the obsession we have with owner-occupation in this country."
Security of tenure, yes.
But at present, in the UK, I *think* there are quite severe limits on what you can convert/use/rent as living space. I *recollect* that our present 'government' said something about relaxing these limits, allowing surplus office blocks/factory units(*)/unusual buildings to be converted into housing. As there are plenty of these standing idle in the area just around the centre of Birmingham I imagine they could be rented basically for the amortised cost of conversion and maintenance plus a reasonable ROI.
Could be fun for younger people and oldies like me who just need about 400 sq. ft. + bathroom/corridor somewhere interesting. Could increase the supply of lower end housing, thus easing pressure on rented/purchased traditional housing. Might lead to genuine 'innovation zones' as a mix of low cost housing and workshop/office space becomes available and small service businesses attracted (genuine 'vibrancy').
Joseph Mitchell was a journalist who moved to New York in the 1930s/40s/50s. When he first moved to NY, he deliberately moved around the neighbourhoods, renting a new appartment each six months or so, because he wanted to explore the city. I'd love to have a vibrant, secure rented sector with sufficient supply to allow that to happen now.
How do we get from where we are now to something like that? What actual policies would need to be implemented and in what order to ensure a transition without huge price spikes and idiotic levels of risk to low income groups?
(*)Subject to checks on certain categories of factory: plating and etching is common round here, very nasty chemicals, might be too expensive to clean up.
The Tramp: low income groups need to have a secure roof over their head if you want your rubbish taken, offices cleaned, children minded, buses driven &c
Re: Financial IT spending
"(possibly written by overpaid primadonnas that rode their Ferraris into the sunset some time ago)"
Your average COBOL programming drone in the 1960s/1970s(?) wasn't driving any posh cars. Perhaps a two tone chocolate/burnt orange Vauxhall Viva with tartan seat covers on a finance agreement.
The documentation would exist (I believe they coded from specs) but would include magic numbers and administration codes based on the version of the manual that was current when the code was written.
I suspect the Posh Italian Car brigade were more on the investment banking side and more recently. Perhaps the APL wizards got a Jaguar.
Not arguing with your general point however.
Tramp Icon: I was doing BASIC on a teletype with a modem (that had a dial on the front) at College then. We got to visit a Data Processing Unit once as part of the course. Seriously large tape machines. Very short mini-skirts.
I just pop into the shop. I choose times when the chap who sold me the phone is in. He does the 'magic phone number' bit and things (only a couple) get sorted.
I'm a low revenue customer (sim only) and I am noticing switching to GPRS a lot as well as another commenter here. I'm OK with that however as voice calls, emails and sms messages seem to get through ok.
Icon: Blackberry Bold user
Re: Personally ...
"I can imagine that you might do some scripting with VI but 250 pages of Sci-Fi novel sounds a bit dubious."
I don't write books, but study packs in the 30 to 90 page range can be done in 'mark up' quite easily using a text editor and a previewer now and again to check the typesetting.
"That said, a Moka pot is not really much more hassle."
Three 'cup' size (= 1 decent mug + top up when diluted with hot water) on the hotplate while I boil the porridge. 10 minutes quiet in the garden before the commute and work madness. £18 + a change of 'o' ring each year. No faffing with filters. Don't scrub the top part too much, it should stay a light brown.
"You've had your fun, mate." -Jarvis
"You've had your fun. Now we want the stuff back." -Unamed senior security official quoted by Rusbridger shortly before computers destroyed at Guardian HQ.
No comment needed really...
@LDS was Re: Stupid
"You wanted a specific example of missing hardware support? I gave it to you. But I guess given the price of that hardware you've never seen one..."
Dell *server*. Would it be those? Looks like fixed upstream.
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