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* Posts by Steve Medway

104 posts • joined 11 Sep 2007

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Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer

Steve Medway
Joke

Don't bite the hand that feeds you....

Phones4U starting LifeMobile was about as a good a business plan as Gerald Ratner admitting his firm sold "total crap".

Now the crows swoop in to pick through the carcus.

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Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart

Steve Medway

"Why can’t we switch supplier within the hour with our meter reading?"

That will be because of the data transfer catalogue (DTC) and the amount of messages that need to go between the new and old supplier plus mop (meter operator), dc (data collector) and the da (data agragator).

There isn't even a common field standard where economy7 meter readings are kept (even at the same electric supplier)! So it ain't so simple.....

Classic example, from memory a DTC 'D69' message is a 'confirmation of an objection rejection removal' message, there are bloody hundreds of the things.... (A bog standard transfer involves about 40 DTC messages though).

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New MH370 search zone picked using just seven satellite 'handshakes'

Steve Medway

worth a watch

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpfYvGWt8qo

I pay my licence fee to watch stuff like this instead of the terrible 'conjecture based' bullshit from most other broadcasters (i.e. ask a few 'experts' their opinion with zero research into the actual story).

It's worth a watch. It's got more technical detail than all the other coverage I've seen put together.

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Automating repetitive tasks: If it moves, script it

Steve Medway

When your a sysadmin as well as a dba a few bash scripts here and there are essential in almost any dynamic environment.... There have been times when I've automated something 'in case it needs to be done again' even though I've not had the need to run the script a second time.

I call it 'playing it safe', at least the script will have been properly tested and could be used again if the need arose even if it does take a bit longer to deploy the 'first fix' than dicking around on a live system.

I always make sure I've documented the potential consequences if dicking around in live systems instead of using a tested scripts.... If something goes wrong the management dick who ordered me to do whatever 'on the fly in live' will get the flak if it goes tits up instead of me.

Funny thing is that Management always claim that 'script / test / deploy' MUST be adhered to right up until the point their manager is breathing down their back... Bloddy hypocrites springs to mind.

Panarnoid? No, just looking after my back in environments ran by management type incompetents.

1
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Clingy fondleslab owners TORPEDO industry forecasts

Steve Medway

Hmm what's the saying, once bitten, twice shy.....

There were days when there simply weren't good cheap Android tablets available. It's only thanks to thanks Amazon and Google for realising the cheap tablet market was committing harakiri due to awful hardware.

IDC don't seem to have taken into account the huge number of terribly slow, resistive touchscreen cheap Android tablets that were quickly put into people's drawers never to be used again after the purchase fad had worn off.

If someone's first tablet is a slow piece of junk it takes a massive amount of convincing for them to buy a second tablet that actually has a working touchscreen and operates fast enough for web/email.

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Latest Snowden leak claims NSA bugged ALL mobile calls in the Bahamas

Steve Medway
Joke

NSA paying for info in Bitcoins

The NSA didn't actually bug the Bahamas Telecom Company.

They paid for every call in BTC :)

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Apple, Google: WE SURRENDER ... to each other in patent war truce

Steve Medway

Samsung and it's Tizen OS are now becoming a threat to both Google and Apple. Same principle as the 2nd world war when Russia helped the rest of the Allies to beat the Nazi's... Nobody was under the illusion that they were buddies but it was in both of their best interests to fight the common enemy.

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$3.2bn Apple deal would make hip-hop mogul Dr Dre a BEEELLLIONAIRE

Steve Medway
Joke

Re: Perfect match

Apple don't need Monster Cable... They're already selling Thunderbolt cables for £35.00 a pop without the bad publicity ;)

3
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Quantum Key Distribution proven to work over everyday fibre

Steve Medway

quantum keys are a bad idea

Boffin 'A' says "lets invent something so secure that its impossible for people to listen in". Boffin 'B' replies "it's obvious, lets use quantum keys, if someone unauthorised peeks at the data its totally garbed". Boffin 'A' says "perfect, nothing could possibly go wrong".

Meanwhile Terrorist 'A' says "I don't give a shit about the data, I just want to stop em' receiving it". Terrorist 'B' replies "No problem, to stop the data transfer all we have to do it look at it". Terrorist 'A' says "excellent, we've just created the perfect DoS tool! It'll really piss em' off because its far harder to spot an easily moved tap compared to a full on cable break".

Surely a 'perfect' cryptographic transfer should still be readable by the 'official' receiver while the fibre tapper gets junk........

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True optical zoom coming to HTC smartphone cameras

Steve Medway

What wasn't said in the article is that compact camera's will go the way of the dodo very soon.

A phone's optics doesn't even need to be 'better' than a compact's optics, it just needs to be 'good enough'. MP3 quality isn't as good as CD, same principle.

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'iPhone 6' with '4.7-inch' display 'coming soon', but '5.5-incher' 'delayed'

Steve Medway

I would like a bigger screen iPhone but not at the expense of iOS game frame rates.

The reason why an iPhone hasn't had a bigger screen until later this year is that the current mobile cpu's/gpu's weren't a good fit for high resolution screens from a framerate or power usage perspective.

When running at their native resolution android phones nearly always sucks compared to iPhones for gaming. The more graphically demanding games are prettier and smoother even if they don't push quite as many raw pixels on apple hardware.

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WOW! Google invents the DIGITAL WATCH: What a time to be alive

Steve Medway
Black Helicopters

So thats why Google bought Motorola and then sold it!

Google only wanted Motorola’s patents and use it’s engineers to make an android watch to kickstart the wearables market based on android.

I bet Samsung feared being squeezed from the high-end by another vertically integrated company like Apple. Google then offloaded Moto to appease Samsung, who are are currently still hedging their bets with tizen.

Samsung have nice leverage in a brand new market segment and Google can’t afford to piss off it’s hardware partners but they are friends again now so bye, bye tizen.

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For Windows guest - KVM or XEN and which distro for host?

Steve Medway

In the past I've tried a 'headless' esxi 5.1 on a mac mini (intel gpu gfx) with a virtualised linux, windows + osx vm (with gpu passed through it it) as it would appear to be the best solution but never got it to work properly :( esxi 5.5 appears to have the same issues I had which is a shame:-

https://communities.vmware.com/message/2330282

So instead I'd recommend Xen & Debian Stable would seem to be the way to go:-

http://linux-bsd-sharing.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/howto-xen-413-windows-8-hvm-domu-with.html

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Microsoft: Everyone stop running so the fat kid Win RT can catch up

Steve Medway

Re: Tablets shrinking, not phones growing?

I'm not even sure there should be 'a perhaps' in your post :-)

WinRT, what is it? It's 'Metro' api stuff + Win8 kernel + a bit of Win8 userland recompiled for ARM. WinPhone 8, what is it... It's got a subset of the 'Metro' api + Win8 kernel + WindowsPhone userland (i.e. not the same as Windows8 proper).

There's no way in hell the bits of Win8 userland (not sure about Metro because it's newer) could have run nicely on Tegra3 class ARM devices because there's too much legacy cruft in the Windows8 source tree.

WinPhone is a dead end, it has been since it's inception because it was designed to be a stop-gap solution from the start. Wasn't the Nokia 808 enough of a burning platform warning? Obviously not since people are beginning to buy Lumias now.

WinRT on the other hand is MS's real future phone OS. Which is exactly the reason why I refuse to buy a Lumia to replace my ageing iPhone4 even though WinPhone has got a good GUI running on decent hardware. I don't buy new hardware running on platforms which are soon to be buried.

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First look: Apple iPhone 5S and 5C

Steve Medway
Mushroom

Happily, the C is rather better built than toys - I call bollocks on that one

Sorry El Reg but I'd wager a 500 quid on a fisher price toy phone vs an iPhone any day of the week.

What to take up the challenge? We could even have a playmobil umpire and he'd beat the iPhone in a destruction test too.

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Fancy some BEER ON TOAST? Italy invents spreadable booze

Steve Medway

Not new at all

I'm pretty sure this isn't an Italian 'invention', from memory Spreadable beer has been available in Japan for years.

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Skype: 3D video calling is the FUTURE

Steve Medway

Re: 3 Questions, obvious answer, please connect the dots.

3D chat could be used on any connection that can cope with NetflixHD.

This isn't a high bandwidth application, it's a high processing requirement application. After processing the co-ordinates required to be sent to the other party would be a tiny percentage of the video stream itself.

The video stream would still be the same size as a 2D stream, the only thing that's being altered is your viewport onto the scene based upon your location in relation to your kinect sensor.

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Steve Medway

3 Questions, obvious answer, please connect the dots.

Who is Skype owned by..... Microsoft.

Does the Xbox One come with a mandatory Kinect Sensor perfectly capable of 3D tracking...... yes it does.

Does just about every new high end TV come with 3D support (wether you want it or not)... yes they do.

Will the Xbox One support 3D Skype at some point in the future...... is it really that hard for The Reg to join the dots?

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Apple MacBook Air 13-inch 2013: Windows struggles in Boot Camp

Steve Medway

Maybe you have tried a native EFI install instead of going via bootcamp BIOS emulation of EFI. Works flawlessly on my mini and should work fine natively on a Haswell laptop too.

Win8 should install perfectly, after that just install the bootcamp drivers for any remaining items after the EFI install. Win8 has a stupid gui that can made almost Win7ish so what's the point of even trying Win7, Win8 like it not not is better under the hood compared to Win7 (and that includes built better hardware support for newer hardware).

Regarding booting dodgyness in the Air make a usb flash drive Win8 installer instead of trying to use a cd (I'd be willing to bet that external optical drive Apple one eh?). Cheap usb3-to-whatever bridge chips don't like booting on a usb3 mac much either without much prayer to 'insert god of choice'.

btw. The main benefit of going native efi instead of bootcamp is much, much better power management, you'll get much more battery life under a native EFI install.

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Never mind your little brother - happy 10th birthday, H.264

Steve Medway

Re: I miss the dayxs when I could flip between 3 programs simultaneosuly.

If you want instant channel hopping it's perfectly feasible today whilst being able to simultaneously time shift + record every TV channel being broadcast at the same time. Cover all the muxes with a tuner, simples and nowadays cheap.

EyeTV on the mac has been always been decode all channels on a mux since back in the PowerPC era.

xbmc + linux is one alternative but it's less friendly to setup if you don't have a mac. Five dvb-t + one dvb-t2 tuner is all that required for the every channel in the UK. From experience it'll behaves a lot nicer on a pc/mac with an ssd for the live buffer.

Why on earth YouView didn't go this route along to reduce net bandwidth requirements I'll never know, oh hang on far too 'free' a solution for UK TV Cartel to stomach.

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I am NOT a PC repair man. I will NOT get your iPad working

Steve Medway

Age <> decrease in learning ability.

When the first dot.com bubble burst I had to spend a miserable time doing PC tech support over the phone....

One day on old lady called that was 85 and the first time she'd used a computer was when she was 83. She had a problem with WinXP, so I asked her what she had done to try and fix it. She reeled off a list that I can only describe as what could have been a training manual for most of the muppets I had to work with.

Anyway after I'd helped her resolve the issue she said "Sorry, I'm not very good at computers thank you so much for helping". I replied truthfully that she knew more about how to fix a Windows problem than most of my colleagues and it had been a pleasure talking to her.

This contrasted strongly with the really, really rude old git that called because he bought a laptop that "won't f'ing work" when he took it out of the box. He hadn't worked out that you need to actually charge up a laptop by plugging it into the mains. I simply told him to take it back to the store, he asked "what for a bloddy replacement?" followed by some more aggressive rudeness. I replied "no, ask for your money back because your too fucking stupid to own a computer".

The moral of this little rant:-

1) Age is no excuse for being a rude aggressive old git.

2) The human brain does not stop being able to learn new things regardless of age.

3) Many oldies use their age as an excuse for not even fucking trying.

4) I'm more than happy to help my neighbours (mostly OAP's) that actually want to know how I fixed something but I'm not happy to just 'fix' their problem and then fix it again and again because they are too lazy to learn what to do 'next time'.

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HDMI hitch hounds Mac Mini holders

Steve Medway
Gimp

Loads of issues with my 2.3 Core i7

Running hdmi to dvi monitor and colour and sharpness fine. Do get the 'tv noise/snow' issue and have to reboot my monitor or sleep my machine to fix it but that's just the tip of an annoying iceberg.

Bought it, powered it on. It refused point blank to talk to my apple wireless keyboard (new style one), yes it had been paired with my old mini but nothing worked so had to resort to a 15 year old usb logitech wireless kbd + dongle just to get to the desktop. Then it required another reboot and several pairing attempts before it finally sync'ed with my apple keyboard. All bluetooth fine since but a major pita during install/first boot.

Plug any storage into the firewire port and all of a sudden booting from external usb3 devices becomes a total nightmare. Seemingly almost random detection of bootable partitions, having to unplug and replug usb2/3 storage devices and a reboot (sometimes several) before it'll boot from the right drive. Thankfully it then sticks but this thing sometimes feels more unstable than a hackintosh. OS is now via a 64Gb sandforce sdd in a usb3 caddy, internal 1TB used for storage plus an additional 1TB raid0 firewire 800 hardware raid and a 2TB time capsule router/nas.

On the plus side have stuck 16Gb in it even after the issues and it kicks arse at serving Win and Lin desktop seamlessly with decent 3D support in all OS's. It 'feels' like a hardware kvm combo activated by a swipe of two fingers on my magic mouse or like using wine without the constant compatibility headaches in windows mode. OS X pisses over the competition for seamless triple OS X / Win / Lin integration.

My old machine:-

Mac Mini early 2006 CoreDuo 1.66Mhz (upgraded with a 2.16Mhz C2D) & 3Gb Ram

Running Mountain Lion 10.8.2

Firmware = Hacked Late 2006 firmware (early 2006 firmware tops out at 2Gb)

Bootloader = hacked boot.efi to allow booting a 64bit OSX from 32bit EFI (f. u. Apple)

Gfx drivers (the only 64bit ones compiled for intel gma (f. u. Apple)) 10.6.2 intel gma950 drivers - (f.u. Apple a newer GMA driver for my old mini would allow it to run Mountain Lion perfectly).

Wireless works fine once the drivers from 10.7.8 simply replace the 10.8.2 ones.

Internal sandforce 64Gb ssd

Performance when running Lion = Damn good, just gfx holding it back and not really enough memory for vm's. Compatibility with all usb2/3 and firewire devices I threw at it though even though heavily modified.

New Machine:-

2.3 Core i7, 16GB ram

Running Mountain Lion 10.8.2

CPU Performance is astounding but the GPU really lacking already, roll on Thunderbolt gfx cards asap.

Compatibility with storage devices (and bluetooth annoyance) is truly horrid.

OSX I suspect is not the culprit here, it's just the damn firmware of this wee beastie that needs to be fixed asap. the bugs are damn annoying (I don't expect hackintosh like boot nightmares from Apple) and it's the worse out of box experience I've had of any Apple product I've bought.

Not a good sign, Apple get your S*** together.

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Windows Phone 8 has a secret feature which may activate at any time

Steve Medway
Mushroom

so it automatically connects....

So how long before many users web based app paswords are compromised (it's not exactly difficult to sniff that stuff on wifi without a VPN to protect you).

I bet it doesn't set up a vpn tunnel to keep you safe whilst on *public* wifi so great idea, but bad security ms :(

If it ever got turned on by default... ohh the poor compromised millions of numpties it'll create will be huge (that's assuming MS actually manage to sell millions of phones ;-)

big Doh!

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Mozilla debuts Firefox Marketplace for Android apps

Steve Medway
Flame

re-inventing a wheel that already fell off.....

Before the iOS app store there was supposed to be a world of rich HTML5 based apps, that didn't exactly pan out how Steve Jobs intended.

Then there was ChromeOS with it's HTML5 rich web based apps and NaCl to remove one of the too many layers, that did really well in the market too.....

Are the devs at Mozilla smoking too much crack, been asleep for the past five years, simply run out of ideas or were both of the above just too ahead of their time?

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Cloud company foraged for hard drives to stay afloat

Steve Medway
FAIL

It's not scrounging

I take exception to the title of this story.... If you can't even get the definition of scrounging correct do you really believe that we trust what your writing?

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McFlurry McMisdemeanour costs Welsh lass McJob

Steve Medway
Joke

There is no standard for such measures

“There is no standard for such measures - they are always imprecise and will vary among customers."

That's pretty ballsy thing to say.... McDonald's would pay millions to defend itself against this accusation.

Why? Purely to prove that it's not contravening the Food Labelling Regulations Act.... All that extra undisclosed choc might cause a fatty to sue McD's for false reporting of mc flurry choc content ;-)

Let's wait for the McLibel v2 after the tribunal ;-)

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Casio to enter tablet market with twin-cam scanner

Steve Medway

Don't forget Casio's Camera's.....

I bought a Casio EX-S500 Camera in 2005 because it had mpeg4 recording at an really good price long before any other manufacturer within my price range for a point and shoot.

Two years later they even provided a firmware update to use allow the use of sdhc cards (they didn't exist when I bought the camera). I seriously doubt most other camera companies would bother to do provide an update two years down the line. It's still working perfectlytoday, I just need a new battery because mine doesn't hold much charge anymore, but I'm not going to blame Casio for that.

Every now and again Casio really do drop bombshells on their competition, lets hope this is another one.

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Why lock your digits to a phone? Telefonica to flog cloudy numbers

Steve Medway

Wow an entiire article about VoIP yet not a single mention ;)

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iPhone 5: skinny li'l fella with better display, camera, software

Steve Medway
Mushroom

o.k. so it's got a Broadcom 8960 just like all the decent Android phones to follow in the next six months - check. wifi upgrade is nice - check, but whooooa Lightning Bolt port? - It's not on the check list but I'll take it thank you.

Who would have thought something from AMD would never turn up in an Apple product? Maybe in a Mac but an iPhone5 first?!

iPhone5 has a Lightning Bolt port = USB3 over DisplayPort :-) But why didn't the bastards give this years notebooks the same?

(

that was a rhetorical question btw ;-)

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UK ad watchdog probes Apple iPad '4G' boasts

Steve Medway
Mushroom

iPad3 - 4G in the UK, yes sir it is.

The iPad3 supports 42Mbps HSPA+ on the 3 Network here in the UK. So lets for arguments sake chop of 15Mbps so the figure is closer to real world downloads = 27Mbps......

Now lets look at the average download speeds people have been getting on US 4G LTE networks..... Oh look it's only around 25 to 30Mbps.

So what benefit is a 4G network at the moment? Not a lot apart from an approximate halving of latency from around 100ms to 50ms. There is no 'real' 4G network in the world PERIOD. Only 'LTE Advanced' reaches the original ITU spec for 4G.

We all know the term 4G has been bastardized to mean 3.5G, At least Apple iPad really does do LTE. All over the world (especially in the Caribbean) dodgy Mobile networks are beginning to claim 12Mbps HSPA+ = 4G... I can accept 42Mbps as '4G' but anything lower is really taking the piss imho.

From the figures quoted above it's hard to argue with Apple's marketing, it's a 4G device as it can run on a LTE network and since it's also a 42Mbps HSPA+ device it gets damn close to USA LTE speeds even in the UK on the right network.

Personally I don't want an LTE network in the UK yet. If EE get the go-ahead then we'll end up with bog standard LTE network (and not much incentive to update it) but if things get delayed till after the spectrum auction we'll be more likely to get 'LTE Advanced' from the get go plus living with a 42Mbps HSPA+ device till then isn't exactly a ballbreaker.

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Google reveals 'leap smear' NTP technique

Steve Medway

@you've missed the point...

Using your logic we'd still be using pounds & ounces and shilling & farthings.

Why should we have to get rid of the 'second' as an SI unit? Even though its a non 'base 10' system I don't envision it being completely banned if we changed over to base 10 time (well not unless you live in the EU :-)

It's true it been tried before by the French, Henri Poincaré came up with the idea not Napoleon and he was a pretty darn good mathematician.

As with any new standard we'd have 'give it some some time' before it really took off, three years was nowhere near enough time for it to become accepted.

My standard day would equal 100,000 Deconds = 1,000 Dinutes = 10 Dours. Then we'd have decideconds, centideconds, millideconds & nanodecond's etc, etc.

The point is that current time uses multiple bases and is also randomly variable. I see no reason not to change over to decimal time (which is more readily calculable) even if leap seconds and leap years would still have to be added to make up for our lunar lunacy.

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Steve Medway

you've missed the point....

Who says we should have to put up with the SI second?

There is no good reason to sub divide a day into 86400 units. A mean sidereal day is actually ~86,164.09053 seconds long which is closer to a 'real' day.

What about the ~365.25 days per year? That's not even real unit of time (don't even get me started on leap years) it's just an approximation so people can have a 'birthday'.

The earth revolving around the sun is not a constant. Why should we forever have to change time to conform to something which isn't constant?

0
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Steve Medway
Flame

wtf??? this totally goes against the grain.

NTP is SUPPOSED to be a constant. If a leap second needs to be added then it should be added at a specific point in time not dicked around with during the day preceding the event. If Google's software can't cope with a leap second they should change their bloddy software.

Now while we're on the subject of time..... We should change over fully to decimal time (and decimal degrees too).

What's the point in having 60 seconds in an hour and 24 hours in a day? The answer is quite surprising.... there is no point at all, it's just a unit system used by the Sumerians (or possibly someone else) because they used Base 60 for currency, weights & time.

What's really annoying is that we have a seriously messy solution at the moment:-

We use 'Base 24' to measure a day, 'Base 60' to measure hours and minutes and 'Base 10' for centiseconds, milliseconds etc....

Before someone says 'but what about degrees & angles' well what bloddy idiot came up with that? The answer is no-one remembers!

rant over.... and google leave time the fuck alone.

thingi

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First look at Toshiba's Portégé Z830 Ultrabook

Steve Medway
WTF?

Ultrabook.....

Why will ultrabooks succeed when the expensive Dell Adimo (surely it was a an ultrabook in all but name) failed even though it was beautiful?

0
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Italian boffins to robo-grapple space junk

Steve Medway
Mushroom

Who on earth would try an Italian when it comes to 'waste management'?

Italy, The Camorra, Naples & Toxic Rubbish.......

If the Italians can't sort out the trash in one of the own cities why the hell trust them with space debris?

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Apple resellers squeezed out of volume licensing model

Steve Medway
Thumb Up

get with the program......

xbox live, pshome, & nintendo will kill bricks and mortar game stores - and I really don't give a hoot (I'm am avid gamer and hate these teen invested hell holes with inept snotty spotty staff).

Why bash Apple because they want to do exactly the same - apart from actually reduce the price of the software..... which the the above group haven't done!

Apple's App Store is just the beginning, Amazon will come on strong and there's also the abomination which is the Android Marketplace.

Welcome to the new world order of digital downloads, 'Reseller' = Middleman = 'Leech' = No benefit to content producer or the customer.

1
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Middle East questions get under RIM boss’s skin

Steve Medway
Black Helicopters

Security Issue... there is one but not the one implied by the BBC!

The issue is that RIM's security model is too good for many regimes in the world that want to be able to snoop on their citizens.

To be fair to the RIM CEO the question was unfairly phrased - The question implied insecurity was issue instead of RIM's security being too good.

3
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Seagate triples up heads/platter ratio

Steve Medway
Go

new idea? - I don't think so somehow!

I wrote about this back in the mid 90's when doing CompSci at uni - I wrote a essay which included some algorithms for a cdrom drive using multiple heads, I've always thought it was an obvious idea.

The trouble is the failure rate would be significantly higher than a standard drive and heat generated would also be increased too and cost is a big factor too.

There was an Israeli company that sent out a press release about a multiple head cdrom drive shortly after I wrote the essay but I don't think it was ever released.

Now thanks to the wonders of Google I've just found out that Conner actually made a scsi hdd called the Chinook at the start of the 90's that had multiple heads.

Seagate bought Conner in the mid 90's so this idea has been sitting on the shelf for a long time, I want to see the performance of these new drives purely to see if the idea really is as cool as what I though it was all those years ago!

0
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iPhone 5 rumors: bigger, smaller, cloudy, keyboard-equipped

Steve Medway

"the cloud is the future"..... for how long though........

"the cloud is the future".....

Exchange the word 'Cloud' for the word 'Mainframe/Client system' and you get closer to the truth.

Sure the Mainframe/Client maybe back 'in vogue' again at the moment because its got a shiny new name but give it 10/15 years and 'Cloud' will become old fashioned - especially when your phone can carry a few hundred terabytes......

There's nothing new in computing apart from the names attached to rehashed old ideas.

Thingi

1
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No need for speed, says Oz communications shadow

Steve Medway
Boffin

"640K ought to be enough for anybody." - Bill Gates, 1981

I can see both sides of the argument, after all no one wants to cancel a project based upon an assumption that something may not be required.

Bill Gates is laughed at for saying "640K ought to be enough for anybody." - you could apply the same to the fibre rollout in Australia in say 20 years time.

On the other hand we have the 'TPON Fibre' rollouts by BT in Milton Keynes in the early 90's to act as a warning that things don't always pan out as intended.

The humiliation of BT having to replace fibre with copper to provide ADSL purely because they invested in fibre tech too early should act as a BIG warning to the Australian project.

thingi

1
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Google axes Jobsian codec in name of 'open'

Steve Medway

What about hardware acceleration? This is a BIG ISSUE!

So Google will dump h.264 from Chrome. Nice.... Thanks.....What about hardware acceleration?

Can someone point me to an Intel, Nvidia, AMD or ARM chipset that supports WebM? No thought not. Now can someone point me to an intel, Nvidia, AMD GPU/Chipset or an ARM SoC that supports h.264... ohh look all fairly recent ones (except Atom chipsets but they were hobbled deliberately by intel).

Well done Google - you've just deliberately obsoleted every Smartphone in existence (hardware h.264 doesn't kill a battery - WebM most definitely will) and probably most handsets to be produced over the next two years or more.

Look at it this way - How many people commenting like their battery to last in their smartphone when it plays video or like their desktop to not sound like a hoover or like their laptop to be able to actually play a whole movie before the battery dies?

thingi

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Steve Medway
Stop

What about hardware decode - this is a BIG ISSUE!

So Google will dump h.264 from Chrome. Nice.... Thanks.....What about hardware acceleration?

Can someone point me to an Intel, Nvidia, AMD or ARM chipset that supports WebM? No thought not. Now can someone point me to an intel, Nvidia, AMD GPU/Chipset or an ARM SoC that supports h.264... ohh look all fairly recent ones (except Atom chipsets but they were hobbled deliberately by intel).

Well done Google - you've just deliberately obsoleted every Smartphone in existence (hardware h.264 doesn't kill a battery - WebM most definitely will) and probably most handsets to be produced over the next two years or more.

Look at it this way - How many people commenting like their battery to last in their smartphone when it plays video or like their desktop to not sound like a hoover or like their laptop to be able to actually play a whole movie before the battery dies?

thingi

1
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CIA used 'illegal, inaccurate code to target kill drones'

Steve Medway
Flame

Big Endian vs Little Endian

PowerPC vs x86.... weird results 1-to-13m differences that'll be due to the endianness of the code I expect.

To trawl through code and ensure all your code uses the same format isn't simple a cut and paste job but it's not a mammoth unsurmountable issue either. Two months to port the code including testing seems about right to me, any less and I suspect issues would creep in.

Here's my take on the situation:-

1. There was no refusal to port the code even though there was no contractual obligation - IISi simply told their *Customer* you can have your code when it's ready but you can't have a hastily recompiled beta (seems pretty fair to me - a company where the techies rule I suspect).

2. Netezza sold a product that didn't actually exist - not exactly criminal - didn't Bill G do the same with DOS, he inked the deal with IBM before he'd bought the company that actually wrote the DOS that ended up on PC's (pretty normal practice in the software Biz).

3. Netezza did the big no-no, Sounds to me like they did a quick recompile of the PPC source on x86 rather than really actually reverse engineering the code. To reverse engineer the code would have taken longer than to properly port the real code. (This was illegal because the code wasn't Netezza's, they only had a licence to use the PPC code on on PPC hardware - x86 code on x86 hardware would requires a new licence from IISi (A Judge has already decided this).

4. The CIA probably did give a shit about the accuracy (only at time of purchase mind you) which is why they bought the product in the first place. The trouble is that the CIA had a deadline too. That deadline had to be met, if what's ready by the deadline has some 'limitations' (never call them bugs) specified in a document they'll still be happy because their deadline was met and the audit trail complete. It really doesn't matter if the bloddy thing doesn't work because there was a 'limitations document' to go along with it.

5. Sales people are not the most honest of people. The 'really good ones' are usually the best liars - that's how it is! They sell a fantastic product but what gets installed is a rough beta due to lack of time before a deadline which couldn't realistically be met.

The moral of the story - Sales people are the root cause of 99% of all IT fuckups.

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Galaxy S firmware update invalidates Voda warranties

Steve Medway
WTF?

this is a non issue..... (typo updated - doh!)

If you have an issue with your phone you do not have to go through Vodafone at all.

Simply call Samsung on 08712 884 882 and they will advise of the repair route (Samsung offer 24 month hardware warranty on their phones).

Who gives a shit if Vodafone won't touch the phone with a 'non-standard firmware' - the manf. still will.

The stupid thing is that the phone will be sent to a Samsung 'authorized' repairer by Vodafone in the event of an issue and not repaired by Vodafone themselves.

I'm not sure if Vodafone's 'authorized' repairer is Samsung or a third party but I'd rather go to Samsung direct rather than let Vodafone sent the handset to the cheapest authorized repairer deemed OK by Vodafone.

All in all this is FUD being spread by Vodafone.......

Thingi

0
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OpenSolaris axed by Ellison

Steve Medway
Flame

Seems fair enough to me

Urmm forgive my ignorance but what's the problem?

Solaris was owned by Sun and now it's owned by Oracle. It was always up to the owner to decide the direction of the OS and Open Solaris just muddied the waters - Patches and Updates from the community may be good but they don't necessarily fit into the 'bigger plan' for an OS.

Look on the bright side - we still get to have a free Solaris distro (Solaris 11 Express) which is a darn sight better than taking the OS fully closed and thus chargeable.

So in summary - get over it, for the people that don't like it well move to modding Darwin ;-)

2
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Lucky Macs get Flash speed bump

Steve Medway
FAIL

assumption is the root of all evil....

Well no actually, not if you have a dead old machine. Apple is well behind the curve on video acceleration even when hardware decoding has been in the GFX chip it wasn't used :-(

My PPC Powermac 450Mhz running Tiger & Leopard with a Radeon 9700 can playback H.264 html5 content fine (youtube beta) but it can't handle h.264 encapsulated in flash.

It's insane really. It's older machines that would really benefit from video hardware acceleration but that'll never happen - gotta have a reason for everyone to upgrade from their powerbooks & ibook G4's I suppose....

1
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ISS cooling pump refuses to come quietly

Steve Medway
FAIL

erm.... did someone forget to.....

"The station is in a stable configuration with most systems receiving cooling and many systems operating with redundancy following the installation of jumper cables from the Destiny Lab’s power system overnight."

Why did someone forget to design proper redundant system for the cooling system? The above quote from NASA says to me that the ISS doesn't have fully redundant systems - 'many' and 'most' simply doesn't cut it when you can't just pop to B&Q for some gaffer tape to fix the issue.

That just pain sucks for the poor chaps who have to venture into space more urgently than if properly redundancy had been built into the system in the first place.

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