* Posts by Steve Medway

128 posts • joined 11 Sep 2007

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Don't laugh: Ofcom's a model for post-Brexit Europe

Steve Medway

Erm...

"Praising Ofcom may seem incongruous. Wasn’t the UK one of Europe’s 4G laggards because of regulatory dithering?"

Well you could easily argue that the delay to UK 4G was an improvement over the race to 3G.

When 3G networks were first introduced to the UK it was 1st Gen equipment with no upgrade path apart from rip and replace. Compare that to the UK's 4G networks which were 2nd/3rd Gen and easily upgraded via firmware updates to LTE-Adanced.

That's the reason 3G was always pants in this country regardless of what network you were using compared to the 3G 'laggard' countries of the world which were almost as fast as bog standard LTE.

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Three UK cloudy firms promise CMA they'll be 'fairer' to customers

Steve Medway

Shitty contract vs Act of Parliament...

These practices are illegal in the UK and have been for some time.

Any provider would epically fail in court due to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations Act 2008.

The beauty for customers taking this route is that you get to claim compensation as well a refund. You can also charge interest at up to an APR of 8%

Essentially they tried to **ck people over, but people can easily **ck em' back several times over. It's cheap, pretty quick and easy to do.

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Don't panic, says Blue Coat, we're not using CA cert to snoop on you

Steve Medway
Joke

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off on holiday we go.

I was almost 99% sure it would an article about a Pontin's Holiday Camp security breech.

Shame on you reg. for getting my hopes up, sigh :(

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British cops to film you with 59k body-worn cameras by end of year

Steve Medway

"That has the potential to make us more efficient – rather than arresting a vulnerable person and having to take them into the station. It's not about taking away anyone's liberty, all their rights and entitlements would be exactly the same."

No change in rights? On Street questioning? How many people walk around with their solicitor 24x7?

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Intel's XPoint emperor has no clothes, only soiled diapers

Steve Medway

Not convinced by the article, Not convinced by intel either. 2nd Gen X-Point in a DIMM slot format would be around x1000 faster than current storage.

Does the author not realise that X-Point on all current storage busses don't have the bandwidth or low enough latency for it to perform to it's promise? Attach it directly to the memory bus and things could be golden.

That's marketing BS for you. Intel engineers no doubt hate the Marketers, they're probably using numbers for a product still under NDA.

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Why we should learn to stop worrying and love legacy – Fujitsu's UK head

Steve Medway

Re: Working on legacy systems is a career dead-end

heheh, you're not doing it right then.... :p

Tell that to all old school Dev's who came out of retirement to work on Y2K. The clever ones earned more in three years than Young Padowans earn in twenty.

If I'm still alive ~2038 I know how I'll be topping up my pension.

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SpaceX aborts Falcon 9 launch again

Steve Medway
Joke

"The main job, actually getting the satellite into orbit, is on its way to completion, about 38,000 kilometres up."

Err no it's no, it didn't take off.... Me thinks you doctored a pre written story for a successful launch ;)

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OnePlus X: Dinky little Android smartie with one or two minuses

Steve Medway

I got one to replace my day 1 white iPhone 4 (yes I hold onto usable tech for a long time).

After installing and uninstalling a lot of apps and receiving a few OTA updates my Oneplus X battery life was totally miserable (~14 hrs normal usage). Reset to stock, did the latest OTA, let Google Play do it's thing and only install the apps I wanted = battery life is triple what it was at purchase date. I can now get a day and half's normal usage out of it.

Awesome phone for the price, the 1080p screen is truly beautiful, nothing else near 200 quid renders virtually Stock Android so nicely. Oxygen OS is so vanilla it's refreshing, I've never turned on the 'shelf feature' I like close to stock. Much nicer than any others manufacturer skins / custom launchers.

Buy a case with the phone though, it slips off of anything that isn't dead level, I really mean absolutely anything, think butter in a hot pan, thats how slippery it is. The free cover is ok but the kevlar one is an excellent design (especially at the corners where it grips the phone and also where you need the most protection).

The camera quality was terrible before the latest OTA now its a lot better + battery life is miles better. Roll on the marshmallow update for even better battery life and proper SD card storage merging.

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IT's Holy Grail, but is DevOps a Poisoned Chalice for sysadmins?

Steve Medway

Re: DevOps = Fire lots of needed people....

Totally agree that its the perception of availability (or lack of) that really cheeses off clients.

A one off indicates a problem where things are not standard, where as frequent downtime indicates stability issues, that is what annoys clients far more than big one-off's.

Constant small amounts of downtime usually result in a different supplier being found at the end of the contract, one (or ever a few over a long period) generally have much less impact when it comes to contract renewals.

That's just from my experience in Telecoms, but YMMV dependant upon your field of work.

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Steve Medway

DevOps = Fire lots of needed people....

DevOps is corporate bullsh*t for layoffs.

It's main use is to lower staff headcount and err reduce the headcount some more.

A developer will never see things the way operations do. Good Op's are the customers voice (Oy! Dev's sort ya crap out, this issue will piss off my customer, and hence me cos' I'll get it in the neck).

Put a dev in front of a customer and they'll more than likely tell them to f*ck off 'My codes great, you're the one doing it wrong'. It may well be true but that's not the point, 'the customer is always right' sigh.

What Op's do is throw away the crap customer 'issues' and forward on the real issues. Op's staff are basically the bs filter, without them most Dev's I've worked with would no doubt turn into gun toting mass customer murderers.

As for the uptime bit of this article, I call BS. One big downtime per year is much preferred to many small outages. Just look at SLA's, most companies are hit with punitive damages based on the total number of outages not their length.

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Metel malware pops bank, triggers 15 percent swing in Russian Ruble

Steve Medway

Re: Seems like banks are going to have to beef up at last

Yeah sure Pascal because no Linux machines have ever suffered from something called heartbleed.

Linux isn't any more or less secure than Windows, it's the numptys that badly configure both OS's that are to blame for 99% of attack vectors.

You can on the other hand say Linux is more secure by default than Windows, but that still doesn't stop numptys configuring it badly from a security point of view.

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Zero. Zilch. Nada. That's how much Netflix uses its own data centres now

Steve Medway

'Only real businesses have Data Centres'

It was once famously said "Only real men have fabs"...

Surely it won't be long before someone says "Only real businesses have Data Centres"

Shame that neither saying is true, 'Cloud' my arse it's just shiny wording for old idea, we'll get back to the real world when one of the Clouds goes REALLY tits up, but not until then.

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Government hails superfast broadband deal for new homes

Steve Medway

Re: Still building mud and sticks.

"A kitchen so small I needed to pay double to get a table top D/W because there's no slot for a floor standing one, even a half-width. I'd rather look out of the window when doing prep or eating my cereal, instead of having a breakfast bar facing the wall and a sink facing the window. I also have a fridge in the hall because the flipping kitchen is too small. And the sensible place for the fridge has got a bloody washing machine in it."

So your too lazy to wash up manually and your kitchen is super small too. Here's some ideas for ya:-

1. Swap the fridge and the washing machine locations, you can buy long washing hoses no problem.

2. Stop being lazy, wasting 'leccy and do your own washing up, dishwashers ruin decent kitchen wear, plates, glasses etc, you've got one so you know it's true!

3. If you live in a terraced house whilst doing the washing up try waving at your neighbour and maybe open your kitchen window and have a chat whilst getting on with it, does wonders for neighbourly friendships :)

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Steve Medway

Re: Still building mud and sticks.

I'm guessing your a Yank, they still allow plug points in bathrooms. Tis bloddy stupid mixing leccy & water in bathroom, but since your probably a Yank you'll never believe that.

Err sinks under Windows are a good idea. You get to look out the window whilst doing the washing up. I mean seriously, have you seen how small a two bedroomed terraced house's kitchen is? Plenty can't even fit a fridge in theirs (that's circa 1900's housing stock for you, small kitchens and no original bathroom).

It's embarrassing that many new builds are actually smaller in footage than tiny old terraced houses. Barrat type development houses are nick-named 'rabbit hutches' for a reason!

As for no UK house needing central heating... my god you've obviously never lived by the sea or in Scotland (or the UK for that matter)!

Next you'll be telling us how banning guns in UK has caused a major uplift in shootings.

To sum up..... Muppet!

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Steve Medway

Meh who cares?

Simples...

Don't buy a new house with no decent broadband available (pre or post purchase). Builders would soon add Broadband to Gas, Electric and Water.

While we're about it force builders to NOT build on floodplains.... They're called floodplains for a reason! Mass flooding isn't a global warming thing, it's fuckwit planning thing.

Or put another way.... force builders to lay more than one of their usual cables (the Portaloo kind).

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Juniper 'fesses up to TWO attacks from 'unauthorised code'

Steve Medway

I sense a worm hole... Enron is a prime example of collusive fraud, Maybe the Juniper does proper internal code audits.... but who audits the auditors before the brown stuff hits the spinny thing?

Sarbanes-Oxley didn't really change anything, just create one massive clusterf*uk of paperwork and use it to place blame after the fact. It would be highly amusing if it wasn't such a pain in the ass.

It's a critical to have a test strategy that has a solid methodology and every potential input into the system is tested.

However off-piste testing is fun, it really pisses of Dev's off because it can expose laziness or incompetence (e.g. playing the game of doing just enough to pass the Company QA 'suite of tests' despite what the company mantra is on product security).

Off-piste pen testing is the job of a hacker who wants to do it for fun. The reality is that a company 'friendly' towards these people can save a lot of money. That is where the independence bit of bug bounties pays off. It's also a hell of a lot cheaper than keeping them on the pay roll 'full-time' but there's nothing the matter with a retainer for a good 'bug hunter'.

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Steve Medway

I think everybody commenting so far has missed an important point regarding QA.

QA's purpose is to ensure that a product's features works as intended. If some rogue employee puts in a hidden backdoor that allows additional 'functionality' it's not the QA's Dept's job to spot it. FFS They don't even get to see the code usually.

It was up to his line manager or teammates to ask the question of why something so nefarious (or boneheaded) was inserted into the code. This is a 'Pre-QA' issue and points to dev team not performing 2nd person code validation (or the second person was not as clever as the backdoor writer).

'Negative Testing' is a valid test methodology but it's virtually impossible to say it has EVER been completed because the reality is that it NEVER will be (there's always someone more cunning than you out there folks)!

Deep 'Negative Testing' would have caught this kind of stuff-up but how far do you go with it? For someone like Juniper I'd have an army of independent penetration testers + bug / hack bounties. Seems likely that they have neither.....

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We're not killing Chrome OS ... not until 2020, anyway – says Google

Steve Medway

It's damn obvious what the intent is....

Google killing Chrome OS? Nope, Google killing Android? Nope.

Google replacing the underpinnings of Android with Chrome OS so they share a common OS platform and kernel, yup highly likely (lets face it both already run a linux kernel and GNU code so its not that big a change).

Technically Android isn't an OS, It's a runtime environment on top of an OS. It's more akin to Flash running on Windows except it's really ripped off Java running on Linux (simplistically put, but close enough to get the point across).

The story should have read as Android is being merged into ChromeOS.... Hasn't anyone commenting on this story heard of ARC (Android Runtime for Chrome)?

In essence this is Google play at a converged OS in the same way as Windows 10 & Ubuntu Mobile imho

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Vodafone: Dammit Britain, your emergency services need 4G!

Steve Medway

Re: Bugger - Needed a title......in-short - Airwave rocks.

That might just have something to do with the fact that every every square km in the whole of Britain was drive trialled for Tetra and if reception wasn't upto snuff it was fixed till it did. People with backpacks were used in places like housing estates and pedestrian areas....

You won't find O2 doing that level of coverage testing even with their 4G coverage obligation.

4G sucketh for emergency comms, The GSMA still hasn't properly ratified the real deal ES LTE 4G extensions let alone any hardware built to fully comply with the latest draft spec.

So Vodafone banging on about this simply takes the piss. They also got a TV advert banned for implying the Emergency Services use their 4G instead of Tetra......

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Game of Thrones: Where to now for headless Nintendo?

Steve Medway

Re: Pretty offensive article.

4. Wii U games sometimes do have minor launch day patches, but not whopping great 40gb+ ones (Assassin’s Creed: Unity I'm looking at you). Nintendo QA levels are simply higher than the 'beta' or dare I say 'alpha' releases that come out on PS4 and xbone.

5. Arkham City is a great game on any platform. Yes 3rd party doesn't always equate to drossware, but going by the percentages PS4 and xbone have far more of it. For the really good 3rd party games a PC is usually the much better platform.

7. The Mariokart DLC tracks are cheap and the extra content nice. Doesn't mean you can't play online without them, there's plenty of content in there already for superb free online racing. Amiibos are never required for core gameplay functionality but I too have a more than slightly cynical opinion of them, but at least you get something physical instead of a DLC that should have been included at purchase to get the 'proper' game experience.

9. I've never spent over £35 squid (sorry, splatoon pun) on a new Wii U game, 65 quid is the norm for PS4 / xbone games worth buying.

I don't think it offensive to consider the fortunes of Nintendo now he's passed away, however slagging off a man's legacy based upon incorrect, out of date 'Wii U internet hate' so soon after he's dead pretty offensive.

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Steve Medway

Pretty offensive article.

1. WiiU sales have been higher than PS4 and xbone in Japan for the last three weeks.

2. Japanese lifetime sales of 3rd gen consoles put the WiiU ahead of PS4 and xbone with the lead growing.

3. Everybody knows US and Euro WiiU sale haven't been great so worldwide it's behind, not a big deal.

4. WiiU games work properly at launch instead of requiring massive day zero critical patches and often month+ long waits for real game repairs (hello PS4 & xbone).

5. Lack of third party support is a blessing not a curse, you don't get the 3rd party crap that appears on the 'lead consoles'. These titles only get bought by mummy, daddy or another idiot, trust me no gamer would ever buy one of these 'games'.

6. If you count the 3rd Gen titles that are 'must haves' the WiiU is still ahead of the PS4 and xbone put together.

7. There's no fees for online WiiU gaming, Splatoon + all it's dlc has been free, compare that to CoD and xbox live / PSN.

8. The Wii was too 'family', The WiiU is like the spiritual successor to the SNES in glorious HD (just look at it's game library). Single players have never had it so good.

9. Most games for the WiiU are half the price of PS4 and xbone titles.

Sorry, but I think the article is pretty offensive considering he's only just past away, and all because you jumped on the internet slag the Wii U bandwagon (which became out of date about a year and a half ago) and are obviously not a true gamer.

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Then there were 3: Another UK mobile network borged ...

Steve Medway

I still don't quite understand how things are going to work out at network level. We have MBNL (Three & EE) & Cornerstone (o2 & Vodaphone) running/constructing/maintaining cell sites.

It would make sense to combine MBNL & Cornerstone and create a telephony equivilent of the National Grid. This could potentially be a way for the Gov to get its way with regards to National Roaming without any actual roaming taking place. CapEx expenditure on a single network would surely bring economies of scale too.

I suppose I'm proposing one core network with at least a 99% landmass coverage obligation with BT/EE, Vodafone & Three/o2 acting almost as if they were MVNO's. With that kind of obligation then getting rid of TETRA and moving onto a later spec LTE for the Emergency Services would then make sense too.

Ofcom's role would be to police the networks to ensure that customers arn't ripped off (Ofgem is a good idea but has nowhere near enough clout to protect consumers but even with that issue nobody can claim the UK national grid doesn't work incredibly well compared to most other countries).

Unfortunately it's probably too good an idea to ever happen :(

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Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked

Steve Medway

whoopie do most apps have been pirated

So what if you can download a knocked off version of most popular iOS / Android apps and load them onto a jailbroken/rooted device if you use a dodgy respoitory.

Why are they so desperate to not use the word *pirated*... because nobody would care about their PR missive if they did. It's not as if Apple and Google don't know about it.

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TalkTalk and Three want to make it easier to switch mobe networks

Steve Medway

Dangerous Game Is Being Proposed.

I've seen the effect of Provider Led Processes. Customers end up getting transferred to new suppliers without their authority or knowledge in many cases because the sale people are all commission based.

The early UK Gas & Electric market competition spring to mind. So fuck off Three & TalkTalk, who incidentally are both not exactly known for their fantastic customer service.

Far simpler to have a system which goes - ring provider A 'Give me PAC', it's provided immediately via voice or txt. Then ring provider B and provide PAC, transfer between suppliers should take no more than 2 hours for the new num to be active. Two factor auth is far better than one for consumers.

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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.

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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 ;)

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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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