* Posts by DrXym

3767 posts • joined 18 Jul 2007

Google makes it official: Chrome will freeze Flash ads on sight from Sept 1

DrXym
Silver badge

Won't mean much really

While Flash has outlived its usefulness the reality is that advertisers can implement the same annoying behaviour in HTML5 and now its competing in the same thread as the rest of the content. So if anything performance is more likely to suffer with all-HTML5 ads than it would with a plugin.

0
0

Win10 Insider build 10532: Avoid if you run Chrome 64-bit

DrXym
Silver badge

Fix their rotten drivers

I have a laptop and a tablet both brough low by absolutely lousy synaptics drivers. I've tried disabling driver updates. I've tried hiding the synaptics driver from windows update with a support tool. It still installs these sodding things over and over.

To me it simply demonstrates that auto update simply cannot work. Microsoft won't do sufficient testing and nor with some of their partner vendors. People will just keep being saddled with shitty broken drivers over and over with little to fix them.

Oh and Windows update in general stinks. If I'm to receive an update, even a mandatory one, it would be nice to state specifically what it's about. Not some vague knowledge base article saying it's an "update" but actually technical description right there in the dialog.

8
1

Spaniard claims WWII WAR HERO pigeon code crack. Explain please

DrXym
Silver badge

Snakeoil

Get Bruce Schneier on the case.

7
1

Amazon UK conditions 'exhausting', claims union

DrXym
Silver badge

Re: "I'm not sure about a title yet."

My nearest IKEA has an enormous warehouse at the end with shelves up to the ceiling. Despite that, there is more ground area with nothing on it than area with shelving. I reckon maybe 30% of the warehouse is actual shelves and the rest is aisles and area for other other things. So it's entirely possible the figures could be for the same thing, particularly if large chunks of an Amazon warehouse have spaces for forklifts to run around, packaging and assembly areas and so on.

0
0
DrXym
Silver badge

Not the Amazon he knows?

Bezos has had a reputation for years of being a micromanager and a control freak, attempting to optimize absolutely part of his business including the humans within it. Nor is it the first time that the staff in his warehouses have spoken publicly about the dehumanising experiences they suffered while working there. Nor is it the first we've heard from the office staff about the arbitrary, backstabbing and oppressive culture that has been fostered to keep everyone on their toes such as meeting attendance records and emails arriving at all hours demanding instance responses.

So I really don't believe him. He knows full well what he has created. The least he can do is stand behind it rather than deny it exists.

9
0

Stop taking drug advice from Kim Kardashian on Twitter, sighs watchdog

DrXym
Silver badge

Start handing out fines

Kardashian is clearly shilling for some firm who paid her a lot of money to tweet this guff. The FDA should be slapping her with a hefty fine instead of a stern warning. Make it clear to all celebs that the rules concerning the advertising of drugs, diet pills and snakeoil apply equally to their tweets as it does for other forms of paid promotion.

16
0

Moronic Time cover sets back virtual reality another 12 months

DrXym
Silver badge

Re: And 2 seconds later

I suggest you put a bucket on your head, dance around, jump, twist turn, and see if you can grasp the point I was making. If slipping on water is too much for your mind to comprehend then you may replace it with a wire, a bit of lego, the pet dog, a 2 year old, the corner of the table, or anything else that you cannot see because you are jumping around like a lunatic without any awareness of your surroundings and increasingly disorientated.

The consequences of VR that requires players to stand are entirely predictable.

0
0
DrXym
Silver badge

And 2 seconds later

The guy slips on some water in his bare feet and breaks his neck.

VR will have very serious problems reconciling what you see or do in a game with reality. The only games I see really working are those where the player is seated - flight sims, racing cars etc. If the person is supposed to stand, or worse use motion sensing then it's going to get disorientating fast, particularly if the game can't reconcile their real position with the game..

0
0

Hacktivists congratulate Daily Show's Jon Stewart via Donald Trump's website

DrXym
Silver badge

jquery?

Maybe the site is insecure but jquery has NOTHING to do with it. An old version of jquery might be riddled with bugs but it's executed client side. And site protection is done server side so any vuln is clearly there - either not locking the machine down or using software / code that makes it vulnerable to some kind of injection attack.

8
0

Microsoft's Windows 10 Torrent-U-Like updates GULP DOWN your precious bandwidth

DrXym
Silver badge

Sounds like a good idea

I have 4 PCs which I suppose will all eventually end up with Windows 10. Having to download the same set of patches 4 times over the internet would be a waste of bandwidth if I could just grab it from one of the peers instead and save a lot of time.

1
0

'Fix these Windows 10 Horrors': Readers turn their guns on Redmond

DrXym
Silver badge

Control panel gets me

I find the split of control panel & settings to be incredibly bizarre. On the right hand side of the desktop you have notifications within which you can access your settings. The Settings panel / app has a modern (and strangely ugly) UI to access most of the every day settings. It's probably adequate for someone using a tablet or a casual desktop user. On the left hand side, accessible with a right-mouse click on the start button (or a Windows+X) you have Control Panel which is all the legacy control panels and stuff Microsoft couldn't be bothered to port to the new L&F.

There is a massive amount of overlap between Control Panel & Settings. I realise that Microsoft has possibly 20 years worth of CPLs, many of which it doesn't own that could reside in Control Panel. But surely there is a better way to do it than this? Even if they methodically replace all their own CPLs and then stick 3rd party ones in an "Other" folder.

My other gripes with Windows 10 is that it's still not easy to customize the start menu UI with a keyboard and mouse. Dragging and resizing tiles around one. tile. at. a. time. is. mind. numbingly. tedious. Why can't I rubber band a group of tiles and resize, delete or drag and drop them together? Why can't I group tiles into something akin to a folder? Why is grouping as implemented so unintuitive? Why do the popup menus on Start look so stupid and have that annoying little animation?

I also HATE the thin borders around metro apps. It's very hard to resize windows because the edges are so thin. It's like the needs of desktop users were placed second to aesthetics - that putting borders might make look the windows look ugly and therefore screw you.

Overall though, Windows 10 is what they should have done for 8. It aligns quite closely with what I hoped they fix - mini metro start menu, apps in windows. It's quite usable overall and seems like a positive step in the right direction.

21
0

Octogenarian accused of performing sex act with a SHRUBBERY

DrXym
Silver badge

So what the article is saying

The man and the neighbour twigged at the same time but in a different sense.

3
0

MORE Windows 10 bugs! Too many Start menu apps BREAK it

DrXym
Silver badge

"Whether he said it or not, he evidently believed it, as Microsoft built an operating system that embodied the 640k limit."

Of course they did because the 8088/8086 only had 20-bits of addressable memory - 1MB. Part of it was reserved for BIOS, peripherals, memory mapped IO and video leaving 640KB. Later versions of DOS (including DRDOS) moved drivers and parts of the kernel into the upper memory leaving more for programs.

When Intel supported larger address spaces with the 80286 & 80386, DOS implemented an extended memory manager that allowed software to make use of it.

19
0
DrXym
Silver badge

Re: Decisions

I expect it's one of those things which has a rational explanation even if doesn't seem so on the surface. e.g. perhaps to maintain responsiveness they cache info on up to 512 tiles and nobody tested the boundary condition and so it blew up.

12
0

We put Windows 10 on a small fondleslab: STILL not ready, 3 days to go

DrXym
Silver badge

Re: what hierarchical menu?

I find this incredible too. It's very easy to fill up a page with too many tiles and it would be nice to be able to collapse groups, or reduce them to a single tile which expands when it's tapped on.

On top of that, the way Windows arranges tiles in groups is horrible and unintuitive. Sometimes dropping the tile in one place, makes it go to another, or it starts a new group whether you want it or not.

0
0
DrXym
Silver badge

Linx 8

I got one of these for my kid for Christmas. It's a neat little tablet considering it cost me £80. I'm somewhat mystified that I haven't seen an "update to Windows 10" icon on it though. I thought every Windows 7/8/8.1 device was eligible but nothing has shown up so far.

The device itself runs 32-bit Windows but since Windows 10 comes in a 32-bit version I would have thought it was still eligible.

0
0

LinkedIn users rebel after personal data siphon crimped

DrXym
Silver badge

LinkedIn is already a recruitment platform. It started off as a "social" network but as soon as they built up enough connections they started selling premium services to firms who want to harvest that info.

If you value your sanity, do not accept invites from recruitment agents. They do a search on "java" or some other common keyword and spam all their contacts with the job spec regardless of relevance. And of course all other agents with the same spec will spam it too. They can't help themselves. At least by not being linked they have to use up one of their precious in-mails if they want to communicate which cuts the noise down considerably.

4
0

Happy birthday, Amiga: The 'other' home computer turns 30

DrXym
Silver badge

Commodore screwed up is what happened. They sank heaps of cash on CDTV / CD32 which flopped and and didn't invest enough in things which would have kept the platform competitive.

14
0
DrXym
Silver badge

Memories

I had an A500 with a "sidecar" HDD boasting a whopping 20MB storage and 1.5MB ram expansion. I crafted myself a pretty sweet Unix-like system from Fred Fish disks and used to develop with Lattice C. Mostly I remember it for the games like Dungeon Master, Virus, Monkey Island, Pinball Dreams etc.

I saved up and was prepared to buy an A4000 but Commodore jacked the prices up and I bought a PC instead using OS/2 & Slackware as surrogates. I made the best choice in hindsight. Commodore managed to run the brand into the ground.

It was kind sad to watch the Amiga brand tossed around from one failed relaunch to another. The delusional loyalty and misplaced hope in comp.sys.amiga.advocacy and the magazines was pretty hilarious though.

3
0

Even Microsoft thinks Outlook is bloated and slow

DrXym
Silver badge

Re: Outlook for Phones

"If you think the desktop version is bloated and slow, then you should try using Lotus Notes for a while. Outlook is a whole lot lighter."

I agree with that. I'd be over the moon if our company dumped Notes for Outlook. The Notes client is a software abomination - unusable, filled with arcana, bloated, tech, bugged and extremely expensive.

I bet many orgs still use it because they bought some horrifically expensive site licence and rather than switch to something better they throw good money after bad by making their staff suffer under this POS.

2
1

Pan Am Games: Link to our website without permission and we'll sue

DrXym
Silver badge

Scientology should use this ruse

Tell people they cannot link to scientology's website and watch as people do it out of spite. And end up improving their rankings.

0
0

Google's Cardboard cutout VR headgear given away GRATIS by OnePlus ... SELLS OUT

DrXym
Silver badge

Re: Cardboard, just cardboard

It's not just cardboard. There are lenses, an NFC chip and some parts for a moving switch. Not a huge amount but enough to justify $5.

1
0

Reg hack survives world's longest commercial flight

DrXym
Silver badge

Re: Auckland to Heathrow

"Pretty well any US airport for incoming International travellers is shit. It might have changed now but in Minneapolis in the 1990's, "

I remember pre-911 getting off a plane in the US with an onward connection and being told I had to pick up my bag from one conveyor and put it on another under the watchful eye of some minimum pay guard. So 30 minutes farting around doing that. Then another hour queuing for customs and immigration. Then a really long walk in the blazing heat to another terminal and all the way through checkin and security again.

I discovered *why* the US was so crap when I finally took my connecting flight - their domestic system simply wasn't secure in the slightest sense. Anybody could walk through the security including beggars, thieves (and terrorists) and the baggage collection hall connected right onto the main exit. It was a criminal's paradise. So all the international security and customs had to be done separately.

Post 9/11 the experience is just as miserable. All the bullshit of ESTA, photo terminals, fingerprint scanners and you're still queuing for hours to get in. I notice that the UK has gone down this route except the UK system doesn't even cope with family groups which meant a 90 minute queue coming back from Florida recently.

5
1

Apple Music: First three months for free? We lasted less than 3 hours

DrXym
Silver badge

Autorenew is the next thing the EU should crack down on

Too many services don't give a user the choice during subscribe of auto renewing or not. It's just on. And even if they do it's still defaulted to on. And if a user wants to change or cancel their choice some make it incredibly hard to find to turn off.

It's not just reputable services either. Many popular websites have incorporated a particularly nasty scam into their checkout service where people are offered money off their next purchase and unwittingly sign up for a discount coupon service which charges their credit card every month.

Auto renew should be an explicit option during sign up for a service and the default option should be OFF. No free trial should require it to be turned on. And turning it off should be unambiguous and simple. This is the sort of thing that consumer protection law should protect against with sufficient teeth to fine or shut down rogue services.

34
1

Uber execs charged, will stand trial in France

DrXym
Silver badge

Re: "New technology can be disruptive"

It's not "anti-competitive". There are in the order of 20 or so taxi firms around my current location. They manage to compete with each other just fine.

And yeah getting a licence probably is a big investment and probably there should be rules that govern how a licence is transferred. But that's not argument for ignoring the system entirely just because a company doesn't feel like it. An unlicenced mini cab operation would be shut down as soon as its discovered. I see no reason that the same doesn't apply to Uber.

4
0
DrXym
Silver badge

Re: Nice way of shooting yourself in the foot, or both

"They could have gone to the EU Commish and ask to regulate Uber EU-wide, then they'd have the backing of at least some directives that they could throw in the face of the French, and claim good will."

Or they could have simply set themselves up under the limo, hackney, minicab legislation that every other firm operates under in each jurisdiction.

Instead Uber thought all that legislation was for losers and decided to ignore it completely. It turns out that some places have a serious problem with companies that break the law.

8
0
DrXym
Silver badge

"New technology can be disruptive"

Which may be true but in this case is utter bollocks. There are lots of taxi hailing apps that work just like Uber but which summon an actual taxi to your location, a taxi that is licenced, insured, inspected and driven by someone who has undergone all the necessary background checks and tests.

So its nothing to do with technology or disruption so much as with Uber running an illegal taxi service. Their service might be a bit more high tech than some dodgy mini cab drivers but it's largely no different.

9
0

Microsoft: This Windows 10 build has 'NO significant known issues'

DrXym
Silver badge

Our bug tracking system has no category called "significant"

I doubt Microsoft's does either. I bet in fact that every version of Windows has 10,000s of bugs logged against it and each is assigned a severity and a priority.

I assume that "significant" here would refer to those that are highest priority and the most severe. And it may be true that those are cleared but it's also likely that there a very large number of others still waiting to be fixed and probably still waiting to be fixed when the OS launches.

That said, complex systems are never bug free or anywhere close so I wouldn't expect the bug count to ever reach zero. But I do hope that when it launches that it has a high level of stability and it continues to improve as they start slapping in features or other things left and right thereafter.

0
0

Crowdfunded beg-a-thon to bail out Greece raises 0.003% of target

DrXym
Silver badge

Re: Ignorance of the issue

The problem with Greece is it has been lax about collecting taxes, has a bloated public sector and corrupt by European standards. Put them all together and you have a country spending more money than it should.

The current government can't be blamed for the mess the country finds itself in but it sure as hell isn't helping the country get out of the mess. Greece might not like the options, but options it has - either stay in the Euro and take the bitter medicine, or leave and be assured of absolute economic ruin. Even if both choices are negative, one is still obviously better than the other.

5
4
DrXym
Silver badge

Re: Islands

I should think all those uninhabited islands would be perfect places to develop solar and wind farms.

3
1

China's best phone yet: Huawei P8 5.2-inch money-saving Android smartie

DrXym
Silver badge

Does it still have that hateful front end

I bought a Huawei and discovered it had combined the all apps view with the desktop view. It made it impossible to customise properly because new app icons got plonked in the next available space rather than having a separate All Apps view like a sane handset. Is this still the case? That one feature alone would drive me nuts, and even if I could swap out the launcher I'd still resent that it was there at all.

0
0

Github's 'Atom' text editor hits version 1.0

DrXym
Silver badge

Like Sublime

The general look & feel and bindings are so similar that you'd be mistaken for thinking it is the Sublime 4. The main difference is under the hood - it uses JS for packages instead of python.

Personally I still find these editors still fall short compared to an IDE like IntelliJ or Eclipse for actual development but they're fine when used in conjunction with the command line.

1
0

GM's cheaper-than-Tesla 'leccy car tested at batt-powered data centre

DrXym
Silver badge

Re: I'm sure you'll be glad to know

That sounds like a selling point to me.

0
0

Pirate MEP pranks Telegraph with holiday snap scaremongering

DrXym
Silver badge

Re: I doubt it's hard to prank them

"The Telegraph's online edition has no sub-editors - they publish directly to web without any proofreading or fact-checking of any sort"

To be fair, they did their very best to stifle all stories about HSBC bank even when it was front page news for every other newspaper. Absolutely nothing to do with HSBC being a major advertising client of theirs I'm sure.

2
0
DrXym
Silver badge

Re: I doubt it's hard to prank them

"If you think The Telegraph is anti-EU, you obviously haven't read it in a while."

You obviously haven't if that's what you think. It is the home of some of the most rabidly anti-EU opinion pieces in the mainstream press. Not to mention a continuous stream of stories about immigrants, the failure of the EU in one way or another, stories favourable to UKIP or anti-EU conservative groups etc.

0
0
DrXym
Silver badge

I doubt it's hard to prank them

The Telegraph has lurched so far away from journalistic standards that they'll print anything that promotes their agenda - anti EU, anti science, pro religion. Their nearest "competitor" these days is the Daily Mail which tries even less to check the veracity of what they print.

9
4

Gaming's favourite fly by night. Batman: Arkham Knight reviewed

DrXym
Silver badge

Reviews all appear to be on the PS4

I've read quite a few reviews for this game and virtually all of them are on the PS4 version. I wonder what that's about.

1
0

JavaScript creator Eich's latest project: KILL JAVASCRIPT

DrXym
Silver badge

JS is the problem in the first place

What's really needed is to be able to run the LLVM bitcode directly in a page with some APIs that allow it to interact with the DOM, input, rendering and so forth. How the browser executes the bitcode is entirely up to itself - it could even emit JS bytecode if it wanted in-memory (much like Emscripten turns bitcode into asm.js code but without the need to parse it), Or it could do something more sophisticated such as compile it into native assembly code (suitably seeded with stack guards, hooks and so on).

Google's Chrome more or less has this already in PNaCl which is LLVM hooked up to a Pepper API which does the outward bindings. What should really happen is that other browsers adopt PNaCl or use it as the basis of a cross-platform specification which does something similar.

3
2

Testing Windows 10 on Surface 3: Perfect combo or buggy embuggerance?

DrXym
Silver badge

Re: Decent screen for once

Windows applications traditionally work at a DPI of around 96 and these super density screens are are 250+. Desktop apps are too small to use so the OS ends up upscaling window surfaces by 1.5-2x to compensate. There are some hidpi aware applications but not as many as there should be and many of them don't render big enough even with hidpi support. A user would also tend to sit further away from the device than they might a tablet or phone.

The upshot is a high resolution on a small screen doesn't really do much for a desktop. There isn't much screen real estate, the upscaling makes the windows look blurry, more memory is used by the display and the GPU has 4x the pixels plus upscaling work to do. It probably works better in a tablet mode where the device is held closer and apps tend to be DPI-aware.

1
0

Would EU exit 'stuff' the UK? Tech policy boss gets diplomatic

DrXym
Silver badge

Re: “national measures” continue to entangle the single market

"None of that is put at risk by leaving"

I'm sorry but reality and common sense begs to differ about that. Being burdened by two increasingly divergent legal, economic, financial systems will not help any business.trying to trade across those boundaries.

"They would both then have to apply to join the EU, which would require them to join the Euro, you think that the Scots would be that daft?"

The SNP have already said they'd do it and they'd definitely win a referendum this time if the UK left. As for Northern Ireland, I didn't say Irish unity but there is the matter of that land border (which of course would suddently exist with Scotland but hey), and the sudden barriers to trade and free movement that both sides have enjoyed and an exit would deprive them of.

As I said, think of the fun. Basically the UK is pointing a gun at its own head and threatening to pull the trigger. It has far more on the line than anyone watching.

11
7
DrXym
Silver badge

Re: “national measures” continue to entangle the single market

The UK tech sector as you put it has extremely strong ties to Europe. Many European headquarters are situated in the UK. Many of the people working in the UK are from EU countries. Many businesses have major trade of software and services within the EU.

All of that is put at risk by leaving. There isn't far less point in having a European HQ which isn't actually in the EU for example.There isn't much point being outside the EU if it means the hassle of extra red tape, more worker visas and so on.

And yes the UK could probably achieve some kind of free trade agreement. It would command the same sorts of power and influence that Norway and Switzerland do over the EU - pretty much none.

Of course, if the UK was stupid enough to leave the EU then almost certainly Scotland would leave the UK, and possibly Northern Ireland too. So there would be options for companies which wished to relocate. Oh what fun that would be.

11
9

Entertaining prospect: Amazon Fire TV Stick

DrXym
Silver badge

Re: Its all about the SP Factor (Shiny and Pointless)

I find the Chromecast quite useful for travelling. It's small and I can plug it into the hotel / rented property's TV and get streaming video. When I'm not travelling it gets hooked up to a TV in a spare room. Last night I was streaming from a DLNA server to it via the BubbleUPnP app.

I think I would prefer it if it came with a remote, and persistent apps but it's fine for the purpose I use it for.

2
0

Microsoft picks up shotgun, walks 'Modern apps' behind the shed

DrXym
Silver badge

Re: It's perfect for touchscreen devices like tablets and phones

"Yes it's fine... on a phone."

It's fine on a tablet and a laptop too. Of course nobody forces you to use the tablet app - go install a full blown email client if you want and forget the app even exists.

0
2
DrXym
Silver badge

Nothing wrong with the modern interface

It's perfect for touchscreen devices like tablets and phones and some apps put it to really good use. Netflix has a nice interface in Windows 8 and the email app is pretty good too.

Perhaps Skype was a bad example although I wouldn't know because when I installed it refused to go any further unless I tied my Windows Live account to my Skype ID. It's one thing to ask (nicely and optionally), it's quite another to force me to do it and I resent consolidating IDs without a good reason. The desktop app didn't care so I used that instead.

6
8

The Martian: Matt Damon sciences the sh*t out of the red planet

DrXym
Silver badge

I doubt he'll science the shit out of anything

Ridley Scott is directing this so expect basic violations of the laws of physics, nonsensical science (and script) and deus ex machina's galore.

5
2

But... I... like... the... PAIN! Our secret addiction to 'free' APIs

DrXym
Silver badge

It's too bad about pipes

I've never heard about it before now but it seems like it was a useful service. I've had need to produce an aggregated RSS feed and it sounds like this service would have saved me a lot of effort.

2
1

Using leather in 'leccy cars is 'unTesla', rages vegan shareholder

DrXym
Silver badge

I don't get it really.

A car, by its very existence is not eco friendly. It's made from materials mined out of the ground, it consumes power, it runs over land which has been converted to road, it runs through areas of natural beauty, it kills animals and insects, it encourages globalization and waste.

Yes the Tesla is pushing things in the right direction by not burning fossil fuels and recharging through charge stations which are mostly solar operated. This is an important advance but in most respects it's just a car.

So what the hell does it matter if it has leather seats or not?

13
1

Jurassic Part: Vertu announces lizard-skin phones

DrXym
Silver badge

I wonder who buys these things

I'm sure the case looks sufficiently gaudy to attract the eye of some oligarch but the phone itself is inferior to one costing 1/20th the price. What's the point of that?

2
0

SourceForge sorry for adware, promises only opt-in in future

DrXym
Silver badge

What happened to you Sourceforge?

Once upon a time, SF was the go-to place for open source development. But since they started bundling code with installer crapware and other shenanigans, the move to github has become an exodus.

9
0

VirtualBox 5.0 beta four graduates to become first release candidate

DrXym
Silver badge

I like VirtualBox

It has a very friendly user interface and in general works pretty well.

If I had to find fault it, the speed of the guest / host virtual file system is horrible which makes it very hard to contemplate using it with something like Vagrant to virtualize development environments. I packaged up a compiler and some other tools into a vagrant box and while the compiler ran at about 90% of native speed (not bad) locally, it took close to 10x longer to compile files out on the host fs due to the virtualization.

It would also be nice if operating systems came with a standard set of hooks so there wasn't a constant need to install guest drivers

1
1

Forums