* Posts by David Cantrell

280 posts • joined 16 Feb 2007

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Apple patents NEVERSMASH iPHONE for fumbling fondlers

David Cantrell

" We all have stories of broken-mobile woe "?

Really? I don't, because I look after my expensive devices.

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Hey, Mac fanbois. HGST wants you drooling over its HUGE desktop RACK

David Cantrell

Re: And after you have splashed out so much cash..

I'm one of those people, for my home data storage.

Power cuts/surges are so rare, at least here in the first world, that the cost of acquiring and maintaining a UPS (don't forget to replace the battery every so often!) is greater than the cost of having some backups and occasionally replacing a disk. In fact, my upgrade cycle for replacing disks because I've run out of space is far faster than the time between power supply problems, so if something does go wrong I'll just upgrade sooner.

UPSes matter more at work only because the downtime caused by an outage is more costly.

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Roll up for El Reg's 3G/4G MONOPOLY DATA PUB CRAWL

David Cantrell

Re: Vitally important question

Outside my flat. And O2. Hope that helps!

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Brits' BORKED Samsung kit held up after repair centre slips into administration

David Cantrell

Re: Pop goes Samsung's glossy image.

Once Apple have my money, they appear to want to give me excellent service even though it costs them. Why? Because giving me excellent service makes me more likely to buy more stuff from them. But then, Apple compete on quality, Dell and Samsung on price. I'd argue, however, that when you take into account how much extra you'd have to pay a third party to get Apple-level service on a Samsung or Dell product, Apple are price-competitive anyway.

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Beware of Greeks bearing spammy small omicrons, says Google

David Cantrell

The Unicode consortium's permitted combinations of character sets are a bit odd. Their "highly restrictive" level will ban identifiers that mix Latin and Arabic or Latin and Hebrew or ... well, you get my drift, while explicitly permitting Latin and far eastern scripts. That's just weird. It's fairly common to see text in random scripts with Latin numerals embedded in them.

And in the "moderately restrictive" level they single out the combinations of Latin + Cyrillic and Latin + Greek, which would ban things like Αθήνα2004 or Со́чи2014.

I know why they're doing it, but they're still going to end up hitting an awful lot of legitimate addresses and domains with this.

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YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS

David Cantrell

Re: Somewhat missing the point

Not a lie, just that they can't please all the people all the time.

Anyway, there *is* a way of downgrading iOS. I don't remember what it is off the top of my head but I've got notes on it at home. If I remember I'll dig them out and post a link.

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David Cantrell

They are obviously optimising (or satisfacting) something other than money. Perhaps they're putting a value on the time they spend not sitting in their taxi. I know that I sure as hell put value on the time I don't spend at work. If I were to merely optimise for money I would be on a much higher salary but would have a lot less free time.

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MonkeyParking FLINGS AWAY San Francisco service

David Cantrell

Re: Our Mission

I've never had to drive round for ages looking for a parking space. I have to wonder what these drivers are doing wrong.

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How practical is an electric car in London?

David Cantrell

Re: On Street Parking

Here's he Tesla marketing bumf I referred to: http://www.teslamotors.com/en_GB/goelectric#charging

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David Cantrell

Re: On Street Parking

A 250 mile range doesn't help if you need to drive further than that, like I will be next weekend. Sure, you'll be able to recharge en route, but recharging is very VERY slow compared to just pumping some squashed dinosaurs from one tank to another. You will need a ridiculous number of charging points at service stations - including those on the back roads, not just motorway service stations where they have the parking space - if you are to avoid humungous queues.

You either need some way of getting 1.5GJ (about the amount of energy in a typical car's full fuel tank) of energy into a battery in a couple of minutes (so an 8-ish MW power supply) or you need some way of swapping batteries automatically. Both are, umm, "challenging" problems. The current Tesla S, according to Tesla's marketing materials (so take this with a pinch of salt) will take *three and a half hours* to recharge with 250 miles worth of energy using their studliest charger. This is why electric cars are only suitable for commuting - journeys you can do on a single charge, with a long break to recharge at both ends. Trouble is, in cities you don't want people commuting in cars at all, because of congestion - you want them commuting by train or bus instead.

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NOT APPY: Black cab drivers enraged by Hailo as taxi tech wars rage on

David Cantrell

Re: Monopoly

There's no satnav system available that can cope with temporary road closures. A cabbie who keeps up to date with TfL's published closures and who knows all the roads intimately can just route around the problems.

Also, a "London Satnav" would be just another way of increasing the cost - just like the special London taxis are.

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Russia to suspend US GPS stations in tit-for-tat spat

David Cantrell

Re: American GPS stations

Why the confusion? Would you still be confused if it said "Benin" instead of "Russia"?

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Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?

David Cantrell

Betteridge's Law of Headlines says that no, it wasn't a date calculation bug.

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Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'

David Cantrell

Re: iphone?

D@v3, you were on course for an upvote until your twattish parenthetical.

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France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours

David Cantrell

Re: People are way too loyal.

> Seems a bit mean blaming the Project Manager, they don't hold the purse strings or determine the delivery time frame that's specified higher up the chain.

Actually a very big part of a successful project manager's job is saying "no" to management. Only if they do that will they reliably get their projects delivered on time and on budget.

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David Cantrell

Re: Allowable overtime means they can creep up to almost 40 hours?

> Trade Unions really are shitty for workers, aren't they?

No, only when you permit them to do stupid things on your behalf - or you have a stupid government or employer.

I've been in a union for over 20 years now. Not once have I permitted them to negotiate anything on my behalf, because I know that I can do better. So what do I get for my membership dues? Knowledge of what my rights are and a great insurance policy that will provide highly-trained attack lawyers if I ever have a massive falling out with an employer. And like with all insurance policies, I hope that I'm just pissing my money away and that I never have to use those lawyers.

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David Cantrell

Re: 9 to 5

"Oh how awful, I didn't hear it ring".

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BOYCOTT FIREFOX, rage gay devs as Mozilla appoints JavaScript daddy as CEO

David Cantrell

Re: David Cantrell

Actually slavery hadn't entered my mind. I give you 1 out of 10 for mind-reading, the 1 being because at least you tried.

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David Cantrell

Re: David Cantrell

Why is it not a valid comparison?

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David Cantrell

There's a simple way of telling whether Eich's opposition to gay rights is acceptable or not and whether he is a fit person to run an organisation. Just consider whether his behaviour would be acceptable if applied to some other minority group. Black people, for example, or Jews. Only if it's reasonable to deny marriage rights to black people is it reasonable to deny marriage rights to gay people.

If Eich were to have been suddenly outed as donating money to the cause of outlawing black marriage, Mozilla would turf him out tout de suite.

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Middle England's allotments become metric battlefield

David Cantrell

Re: Metric is easy to do calculations in.

Any bridge, or ship, or oil rig, or aircraft, or piece of railway infrastructure has dimensions spanning more than three orders of magnitude.

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David Cantrell

10 pounds 30 shillings and 60 pence. Obviously. Or £11.15/-, which makes them bloody expensive doughnuts.

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David Cantrell

It was decimal currency that really destroyed mental arithmetic, you know. In real life you rarely have to convert between inches, feet, yards and so on - I'm 6'3", not [thinks] 75". But you very much had to convert between L, s, and d all the time.

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Ad-funded mobile carrier goes titsup

David Cantrell

I understand that most of their customers were, umm, how can I put this politely ... tight-fisted old people who didn't use data and so never saw the ads, just consumed the minutes.

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Wireless charging standards war could be over 'as soon as 2015'

David Cantrell

Re: Talk about a solution looking for a problem

Of course, almost all hotels have far fewer rooms and charge a lot less than that.

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David Cantrell

It might hold the phone to a vertical surface under normal circumstances, but if the phone is to be easily removed from the charging point I doubt it would hold it under the sort of extreme acceleration you get in an accident, whereas a properly mounted cradle will.

Having hard things flying around the cabin like missiles is Bad. I'd rather suffer the very minor inconvenience of having to pay a moment's attention when placing my phone in the cradle than run the risk of having the phone smack me or my passenger in the temple or eye when someone drives into the side of my car.

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FCA drafts new rules to protect crowdfunders' lenders

David Cantrell

Re: Inevitable

This shall not be allowed? Really? I use a "loan-based crowdfunding site" (fundingcircle.com), and a large proportion of the loans made through it are partially funded by ... the government, as part of some programme for supporting small business. Yes, clearly it shall not be allowed.

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Apple to maintain phone profit lead through years of 'enormous transition' – report

David Cantrell

Re: History says otherwise

I bought a shiny new iPhone on Saturday, to replace my shiny old iPhone. There are two main reasons that I went with Apple and not Android.

First, my existing apps would continue to work. Second, continued availability of new apps.

Given that both of those apply, there's no reason for me to go Android. However, if the second stops applying, then Apple will eventually lose me as a customer. Palm lost me for the same reason - Palm arsed around for years and lost all their third-party developers, so users got no new apps or services and no updates to existing apps. Users then jumped ship and by the time the Pre came out it was too late - all their customers now had iPhones, Windows Mobile (or whatever it was called that week) or Blackberries.

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But... you work in IT... Why aren't we RICH?

David Cantrell

Re: Totally agree about WTFapp

Don't build the infrastructure! For a long time you could make pots of cash by just running a switch and flogging number translation services for businesses that thought they needed an 0845 number. These days, run an MVNO.

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MtGox has VANISHED. So where have all the Bitcoins gone?

David Cantrell

Re: Face meet Palm

Currency doesn't make very good arse-wipe because it's the wrong sort of paper. Been there, done that, got the smeary mess. Sorry to disappoint you :-)

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Apple, Symantec, other tech heavies challenge anti-gay legislation

David Cantrell

Re: Guess I'll be the bad guy

A business can say that they can refuse to serve you for any reason they like, just like they can put anything they like in a contract. But statute always trumps that so that, in civilised countries, businesses can *not* in fact refuse to serve people just because they're gay, just like they can't put clauses in contracts saying "and you can't sue us for any reason ever".

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David Cantrell

Re: Guess I'll be the bad guy

Because "no dogs, no blacks, no Irish" is disgusting and those who want it shouldn't be allowed to have it.

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Collective SSL FAIL a symptom of software's cultural malaise

David Cantrell

Re: Goto

And ... code coverage analysis will tell you where you've got missing tests.

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David Cantrell

Re: Goto

And also ... use 'else if' for long chains of independent conditions. Not only does it make the code clearer by making their independence obvious, but it would also have turned this particular error into a syntax error and compilation failure.

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David Cantrell

Easy. There are examples out there. Which means that creating a test case is also easy. Time-consuming, perhaps, but easy. All the certificate tests would be time-consuming but easy, and I *really* hope that they've got at least some - and that means that they know how to create them, so creating more shouldn't be such an awful task.

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David Cantrell

Re: You'll get nothing from clang using -w

In current gcc, -Wunreachable-code doesn't do anything. That functionality was removed. In Clang it does work, but isn't turned on by -Wall. Apparently 'all' doesn't mean 'all' in Clang-land.

The real problem though is that the code clearly doesn't have unit tests, and they probably didn't do any analysis of whether all the code was covered by the tests.

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Steelie Neelie 'shocked' that EU tourists turn mobes off when abroad

David Cantrell

Re: Funny thing is

It happens occasionally on the beaches between Seaford and Eastbourne too. Whenever I get hit with those roaming charges I gripe at my cellco and they give me a refund.

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David Cantrell

If you pick the right cellco then international roaming is so cheap as to be not worth worrying about anyway. On O2 a week of using just as much data and making just as many calls abroad as I do normally costs only about 15 quid. Sure, I'd love to get it for free instead, but there are costs arising from them buying bandwidth from the foreign cellco. If they can't recover those costs - and make some profit - from the person responsible for those costs, then they'll just have to put everyone's bills up instead.

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Friends don't do tech support for friends running Windows XP

David Cantrell

Re: Who in there right mind is doing this

I'd never recommend Linux to someone who wouldn't choose it for themselves anyway, because the applications they want aren't available.

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David Cantrell

The reason I won't help people with generic Windows boxes isn't that I don't like the people, it's that I can't help. The hardware is pretty reliable these days, but I don't know the software at all.

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David Cantrell

It's been my policy for something like a decade that I'm happy to support peoples' PCs, provided that they are bought from Apple and run a recent version of OS X. I'll support as far back as 10.6. OS X on Apple hardware "just works", without having to worry about hardware compatibility or arsing about with obscure configuration parameters, which is good from the support point of view. And all the applications that a normal person would want are available, which is good from a user's point of view.

No, I don't give a toss about video games on a PC. The iPhone and iPad are much better gaming platforms, and if you must have FIFA Call of Grand Theft Halo LVII then get a Playstation 360 or whatever it's called this week.

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You’re NOT fired: The story of Amstrad’s amazing CPC 464

David Cantrell

I loved the 464 that my parents got me for Christmas 1984. By then I was already enthusing about programming, on the BBCs we had at school, but those were unaffordable, especially considering that they'd also have to buy a cassette player and a screen for it as we didn't have a TV. The CPC, with tape deck and monitor included, was cheaper than the Acorn machine alone, and that alone makes it a better machine.

I was still using it up to 1992 when I used Protext on it to write up my A-level physics project, and to crunch the numbers for my A-level stats project.

In between, I must have spent most of my waking hours hacking on it. It made me the highly-paid IT pro that I am today. Thanks, Alan, Roland, Richard et al!

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This THREESOME is a HANDFUL: It’s the Asus Transformer Book Trio

David Cantrell

Re: It's quicker and easier to do stuff on my tablet (Nexus7).

Yes, and that PC can run OS X.

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EVE Online erects mashed-up memorial to biggest space fight in history

David Cantrell

They win at Most Boring Video Ever

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HARD ONES: Three new PC games that are BLOODY DIFFICULT

David Cantrell

"Imagine Harvest Moon set to Doom’s 'Nightmare' difficulty setting and you have Don’t Starve"? I'd love to, but I have no idea what "Harvest Moon" is. I assume it's a video game, but other than that - nothing.

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I've seen the future of car radio - and DAB isn't in it

David Cantrell

Re: Well....

64kbps MP2 is fine for Radio 4. And there are no other radio stations in this country worth listening to. Therefore DAB is great.

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'BILLION-YEAR DISK' to help FUTURE LIFEFORMS study us

David Cantrell

Re: Eh?

The idea here is presumably for the information to survive periods when it isn't possible to copy it to new media, or when it isn't thought necessary to copy it to new media.

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REVEALED: How YOU PAY extra for iPHONES - even if you DON'T HAVE ONE

David Cantrell

IIRC there's fancy-pants stuff in an iPhone tariff to support push notifications

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Just who is Apple's most frustrated fanboi? Surprise – it's GOOGLE

David Cantrell

They might *currently* be used by the people who developed them, but that sort of thinking leads to massive problems down the line when those people leave or move elsewhere in the company. What's more it will lead to communication problems with people outside their group. And they *will* need to communicate outside their group.

See also the stupid Debian naming scheme and the stupid OS X naming scheme. In both cases unless you just memorise a list of idiotic names you have no idea whether wheezy was one or three versions before etch, or whether Leopard preceded or followed Lion. This makes life harder than necessary for those who have to only occasionally know what's going on. Such as users asking for support.

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