* Posts by Mage

6433 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Damian Green now heads up UK Cabinet Office

Mage
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Re: "another PPE graduate from Oxbridge..Parliament formed..exclusively of know-nothing arseholes?"

"They select undergraduates who already think they such gifts to begin with."

I misread that as "they are such gits", sorry.

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Mage
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Re: Oh bugger!

Transfer that to proper Universities more interested in real Science and Education than reputation and ego.

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Specsavers embraces Azure and AWS, recoils at Oracle's 'wow' factor

Mage
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Boffin

Re: Google Docs more expensive than Office 365

Yes, MS may indeed be cheaper.

However relying on the "cloud" and MS instead of their own system might be a false saving. That and the IBM deal may break the law.

There is no evidence that IBM's hyped system delivers anything yet. Specsavers are are essentially going to give IBM data and outcomes (with INFORMED permission of customers?) that eventually IBM MIGHT make sense of.

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From landslide to buried alive: Why 2017 election forecasts weren't wrong

Mage
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Simple

The only poll that counts, are the actual valid votes cast.

Ban all polls once an election is called.

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Uber board: We accept all recommendations. Any execs left to carry them out?

Mage
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How did they come up with

All the information on drivers, passengers, trips. In great detail. That's the the valuable stuff.

Most of that should be illegal to store.

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Mage
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Devil

Disruptive

Easy if you lie, cheat and under pay.

Amazon, Lyft, eBay, Facebook, Google, AirBnB, Uber etc need to face the same taxes, insurance and regulation as any retailer or newspaper or services in the street. Using the "internet" as an interface or being multinational should be irrelevant.

Law needs changed too so that people making immoral or illegal decisions can't be insulated by being Council, Government, Civil Service or Company Executives. That is not why "limited liability" was invented. Though the problem on unscrupulous people ripping people off via shell companies is in both Dickens and more clearly Anthony Trollop's "The way we live now."

People making bad decisions need to be found personally liable if found guilty rather than fining a company or a council (which the public will be paying for!)

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Raspberry Pi sours thanks to mining malware

Mage
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Re: I just hooked it to the DMZ, and it's fine...

ports open?

Wut no firewall.

I take no prisoners. We have no DMZ.

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Windows 10 Creators Update preview: Lovin' for Edge and pen users, nowt much else

Mage
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Linux bits?

That goes back to before Windows 2000, except it was called Microsoft Services for Unix or something then.

Today a VM on Windows makes more sense, or indeed just using Linux, and maybe WINE or a VM for Windows apps. Seems to me that Win7 was last version that could be customised without 3rd party software to be "sane", though file Explorer horrible compared to XP.

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Mage
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FAIL

Fail for content creators

This has really nothing of value for people interested in working rather that fiddling with websites and games?

"Pin websites on Taskbar" That's a feature????????

Bah!

Ability to have Icon for a specific web page is about 25 years old on Windows. Basically since pre-Win95 supported TCP-IP and a web browser.

Stop trying to be cool and give back a version of windows with

1) Privacy

2) Proper customisation of desktop like we had from Win95 to Win7

3) Decent WIMP GUI for people not using tablets, phones, wacom, touch etc. Available on various GUIs from 1976 till win 7.

4) No Ribbon or flat, or menu items that hide because they are little used. The 3D effect on GUI elements added approximately Win3.11 is fine. No need for fancy effects or flat UNLESS people select them by customisation.

MS has lost the plot. Probably around 2004 actually.

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Who will save us from voice recog foolery from scumbags? Magnetometer!

Mage
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Re: Quad

Or piezo

Or plasma

Or a horn

It's pointless research because biometrics can't be a security key! ANY security mechanism has to be replaceable and in many cases transferable or user created.

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DUP site crashes after UK general election

Mage
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Coat

Re: DUP?

The black and decker catalogue is in the post to all posters besmriching the DUP.

Proven bullies and bigots. Previous party leader (Robinson) led a mob attack on an Irish Garda station, which unlike NI police stations, are usually just like a regular office or even in rural areas a house.

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Mage
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Tories sold themselves as the only way to avoid Indyref2

Yet lost.

Total of ALL opposition to SNP 40.7%. Tories only got 13 seats, 22% of seats on their Unionism platform and Sturgeon / SNP managed to hold on to 35. Yet Indy ref was 55% for unionism. So you might claim support for Scottish Independence has gone from 45% to 59. SNP only did so well at last election (and far better than expected) due to backlash against Westminster, hence Ruth Davidson choosing Unionism campaign, thinking that might give majority.

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Mage
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Big Brother

Scotland & Tories

Before last big election win the SNP had maybe 6?

Ruth Davidson fought Scottish Tory election on Unionism (55% in Indyref) and lost. All non-SNP (mostly Unionists) was 40.7% to the SNP 59.3%. I'd call that a win for SNP.

In NI, despite near parity in Stormont (and a hung assembly with no prospect of a government), the Nationalists (SF) only got 38.9%, DUP (10) + 1 Unionist Independent = 61.1% Adams & SF will go quiet on calls for a border referendum.

SF should take seats or get no money.

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Ericsson leads 5G connected car gang towards pot of EU gold

Mage
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Coverage

Better coverage than now needs about x6 more basestations. Not more spectrum, not a new protocol, not 5G.

But where is incentive for operators? They'd hardly see any increase in customer revenue.

This seems to ignore basic physics and economics.

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Uh-Koh! Apple-Samsung judge to oversee buggy Intel modem chip fight

Mage
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Intel?

Presumably Arris is unhappy with Intel. Given the number of issues with Intel products, they are looking tarnished.

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EU, China may demand concessions for Qualcomm's $39bn Dutch chip plant slurp

Mage
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buys them political clout in Europe

How?

NXP is the spun off Philips Semiconductor.

Qualcomm only regards product as a vehicle to get royalties. They only want the ex Philips RF IP.

Any European staff will be laid off.

Only chips with ability to charge a % on final product for royalty will be kept, and only far east production. Likely ANY remaining NXP chips in production will be licensed to highest Asian bidder.

So there will be zero NXP European jobs and production. Possibly no NXP chips at all after a couple of years. It's about eating the real RF IP. I've seen it before with Qualcomm acquisitions!

Qualcomm has no interest in $1.50 ARM cortex or car radio ICs.

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Mage
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Re: Rory must be on holiday

Sounds like Stephen Fry,

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Mage
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Qualcomm buying NXP.

Should Not Be Allowed.

OTH look at all the companies Amazon has eaten.

These corporate acquisitions go beyond synergy, scaling up etc, to simply extort customers.

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Infosec guru Schneier: Govts will intervene to regulate Internet of Sh!t

Mage
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Regulation

We need FCC, CSA, CE marks that actually mean something more than an licence to import and retail, with proactive regulator sampling of the market. There is not just security, but also every kind of safety (not just electrical), RFI and RF susceptibility, ability to repair, and ability to sensibly recycle, rather than built in 18month to 28 month life due to sealed in batteries or poor component quality.

We need to look at the big picture.

Also there has to be SEPARATE security and functional updates. I received a forced automatic update in a Kobo eBook reader while making annotations. It did add one "security" feature, a PIN to unlock, but dramatically reduced functionality of the home screen to almost useless.

So Microsoft is not the only bad guy. If people get "Security" updates that interrupt their work or remove or downgrade features, they will block updates.

Also MS lack of security patches on some older products is pure marketing to force people to upgrade, as they continue often to develop and release the patches to specific users or products using same code rather than in public. MS is quite entitled to charge specific customers for support, but it's sheer bloody mindedness to turn off patches to the ordinary public when in reality they are still AUTOMATICALLY distributing them.

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Ex-MI5 boss: People ask, why didn't you follow all these people ... on your radar?

Mage
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IRA: not anxious to kill a lot of people

REALLY?

Indiscriminate bombings, mostly of civilians. The shootings and beatings were more targeted... mostly at their own community. Look at the figures.

From 1969 to about 1998:

More than 3,500 people were killed in the conflict, of whom 52% were civilians, 32% were members of the British security forces, and 16% were members of paramilitary groups.

More people were killed in the Irish Civil War than War of Independence: Previous incarnation of IRA.

Most attacks on security forces were ambushes.

Though from 1916 to the GFA, reacting with force, executions, internment, shooting at protesters etc, only created followers.

Though contrary to much media reporting, unlike current terrorism, it was purely about politics, not religion. It was just historical accident that the two sides mostly belonged to two different denominations.

What is this person thinking?

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Would you let DJ E-to-the-Musk set the playlist for your roadtrip?

Mage
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may move into music "matching algorithms"

I dunno, I'd never employ him. Except maybe to proof read SF, if he's any good at proof reading.

Why would ANYONE want "music matching algorithims"? Except folks wanting to make money out of you.

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So despite all the cash ploughed into big data, no one knows how to make it profitable

Mage
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Unhappy

Big data profits?

So what are the Facebook & Google parasites (on personal info) using to convince advertisers to spend with them and hoover up 98% of internet advertising revenue?

Though if it IS a successful "Big Data" example, we'd be all better off without it.

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Australia to float 'not backdoors' that behave just like backdoors to Five-Eyes meeting

Mage
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Devil

Australia to float 'not backdoors'

Meanwhile Mayhem in her ferro-cement equine storage facility wants to tear up many human rights provisions.

Like not actually being locked up or deported without a trial. Look how well Internment worked from Boer War to 1970s N.I.?

This is stuff that deserves to sink.

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No hypersonic railguns on our ships this year, says US Navy

Mage
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Re: Downsides

Yes, they currently last for about 4 shots!

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Boffins get routers spilling secrets through their LEDs

Mage
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Re: Signalling by light? Really?

It's even built in!

You can program your own morse code on a router LED. I did this 10 years ago.

The trick requires compromising the router security FIRST, so then it can "phone home" on the WAN anyway.

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Microsoft totters from time machine clutching Windows 10 Workstation

Mage
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Re: Linux and all its variants.

No, any Linux distro has only "versions" for CPU type. The actual OS is the same.

Since Vista, MS has been ripping people off by artificially inventing versions.

Though it sort of started with NT4.0; Workstation, Server in 1996, adding Enterprise Server in 1998.

Then Terminal server late 1998 and Embedded in early 1999.

It supported PPC, MIPS, x86 (32 bit), Alpha. There was a version for 64bit Alpha. Those are CPU versions, so don't count.

AFAIK, NT3.1: Only one version. NT3.5 and NT3.51 (Workstation and Server, the only differences was default settings and number of clients that could connect, 10 for workstation). The NT3.51 was due MS trying to force Win3.x users to upgrade to Win95 by artificially making Office 95 use some new APIs not in NT3.5

I think Win 4.x (before Win95) was Chinese version of Win3.x

Then with XP they didn't release a server version till 2003, called Windows Server 2003.

XP had Workstation, Tablet and Embedded versions at least.

Then with Vista they started the EVIL "home" vs "pro" workstations.

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Mage
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Joke

Re: MS back ported long filenames to 3.11, you had to install a patch.

It was called Windows 95, it had no USB (that was a later Win95b). :D

Seriously, if you had on WFWG 3.11: VFW, Win32s, MS 32bit TCP/IP, 32bit disk driver, etc, the only big difference was extra APIs to run Office95, Explorer Shell and the insecure really stupid ideas of Autorun and hiding file extensions.

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Does Microsoft have what it takes to topple Google Docs?

Mage
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Paris Hilton

Software as a service?

"you'd employ some software option delivered as a service. "

Only if you like paying extra (for ever! Even to access archives 10 years later when you don't use that package), having less security, less privacy and less reliability.

Upgrades? I've heard of them.

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Oil and lube firm offers to ease pains of frustrated office workers

Mage
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Not Y Chromosome

How much time purely typing vs shuffling around.

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EU wins approval to waste €120m on pitiful public Wi-Fi

Mage
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Re: Pork Barrel politics?

At £120M?

It's loose change. About £1.2M on average per EU country per year.

It's a gesture.

If it was going to ONE company for something in one town you might call it Pork Barrel politics, depending on the circumstances.

Though tt is pretty pointless.

Fibre to home in Rural is about £200 to £1000 depending on volume and difficulty. Fibre can go on overhead electric or phone poles, up water mains, up sewage pipes, up gas mains, or be cheaply buried in a ditch by machine. It can be strung on grid cables without turning off the power.

There is nowhere that fibre can't be delivered today, more cheaply than copper phone or mains electricity in 1950s (In 1948 about 1/5th UK still had no mains electricity!).

Mobile and WiFi needs fibre today anyway to get the advertised peak speeds. Clue in name. Mobile should NEVER be promoted as "Broadband" but as MOBILE internet. Mobile might be on average 2 to 4 times faster in some areas if the "static" users had real broadband. The truly mobile users and especially voice call users are subsidizing "Mobile" data for the static users.

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Mage
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Re: public money to sort out normal broadband

Yes, they do.

The local National Governments have to do it and get scheme approved. Nearly impossible as incumbents such as BT and Eir "pretend" coverage and Mobile operators oppose it. It has to be proved to not compete with existing services.

The real problem is not the EU, but regulators that would rather promote mobile (licenses AND annual revenue from all existing Telcos/mobile based on market share). Governments would rather spend money on more "vote friendly" issues. They think no votes in Fibre to the home. (For above 3Mbps it's cheaper than copper for rural).

Telecom Regulators are cash cows for the Treasury. Totally captured by the industry.

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Mage
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FAIL

Operators repeatedly attempt to block municipality Wi-Fi

Not only that, they want Femto cells that run on YOUR broadband, doing LTE on the WiFi bands, so that:

1) They won't have to pay for a licence

2) Get naive users to use up their Mobile allowance when they could be using WiFi.

In "corporate" / hotel space it's sold as the idea of not having to manage public WiFi for visitors.

An increasing issue with any WiFi not your own is the Man-in-the-middle attack. How would you even be sure it's a Municipal WiFi spot?

The motive is laudable. However "outdoor" WiFi is of dubious scalability and value. More money for real libraries would be good. Loads of villages and small towns have no libraries. They can have WiFi in a library. More real use than one at the clock tower!

Also you CAN'T look everything up on the internet. What libraries that are here emphasize fiction too much and dispose of reference books because they are too old.

Journals are paywalled. Decent reference books are still better value on paper too, as the big publishers only give a tiny discount on hardback and eBook versions of reference material is often unusable even on a laptop, never mind an eBook eInk eReader (great for novels, useless for anything else).

Filling Libraries with Fiction, DVDs, eBook lending, CDs etc is now pointless. Lets make them be community reference and learning centres. I've been using Internet since 1987 and Web since 1994. I don't see it replacing proper library based reference works anytime soon. Except programming and programming language material (where books can cost €25 to €75 and be out of date) and electronics datasheets. For much other reference material the Internet seems poor. Wikipedia forbids "how to" and "Original Research", it's only good as a starting point.

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Boffins find evidence of strange uranium-producing bacteria lurking underground

Mage
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Re: The usual baloney

Actually the Romans gave Celts a bad press, they had a better (iron) plough with a knife to allow ploughing once (the Romans copied it later), fertilising with manure and crop rotation. It would take nearly a 1000 years to recover the culture the Romans destroyed.

Yes I know irrelevant. The whole "organic" thing started well enough but is now being exploited. It was a bad choice of label for food grown without artificial chemical pesticides, herbicides and polluting artificial fertiliser. Though perfectly natural fertiliser can cause as much pollution, spread parasites, kill fish cause algae blooms etc. We need sustainable farming practices rather than "marketing virtue labels".

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Mage
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Re: Alchemy

Sadly while you CAN change lead into gold, now, changing anything to approximately iron is probably easiest?

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Utah fights man's attempt to marry laptop

Mage
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Paris Hilton

Inspirion 7500

I'll sell it to highest bidder. It's an adult next year in January.

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Amazon granted patent to put parachutes inside shipping labels

Mage
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Antiquated?

British postal and parcel services to GB and Ireland were better in the Victorian era.

I don't know how good the 18th was.

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Mage
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Re: Why?

Or indeed most of the stuff the USPTO approves.

It's SIMPLE.

They get more income from approvals and searching costs money. The "real" system is to unapprove by taking a court case.

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Mage
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USPTO

Bigger idiots than Amazon.

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'My PC needs to lose weight' says user with FAT filesystem

Mage
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Re: BBC Model Bs?

I was fixing the new ones in my 3rd job, young whipper-snapper. The computer in College ran George and better students were allowed to punch their own cards.

At school we filled out coding sheets in block capitals and got the printout two weeks later.

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Crapness of WannaCrypt coding offers hope for ransomware victims

Mage
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Re: Special folders -why?

Don't use them. You don't have to.

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Microsoft's cunning plan to make Bing the leading search engine: Bribery

Mage
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Again?

Didn't they fail at bribing people to use Bing before?

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Microsoft founder Paul Allen reveals world's biggest-ever plane

Mage
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Re: Victor, Vulcan etc

The UK did incredible stuff in 1950s.

Including one test of spaceplane idea by firing a rocket motor in a bomb bay, I think set an altitude record.

The Victor would look fine in a Alien's planet's war.

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Mage
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Reason dual fuselage

Probably purely to carry spacecraft centrally (heavy) and under wing. The US carried Shuttle on top to solve that. The Russian Buran was carried on top of a specially built Antanov, the largest one.

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Mage
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Advantages?

" The twin fuselage configuration offers the advantage of a clean payload area underneath the wing centre section."

I count about 30+ aircraft (most military) that have been twin fuselage.

"During World War II a need sometimes also arose for a heavy fighter, which could not be met by a new design in the time needed. Joining two examples of an existing lighter aircraft was one way to achieve this."

See also what are the advantages of twin-fuselage aircraft?

The first seems to have been around 1915. Most didn't meet expectations of performance. There would probably be no advantage in having more than two fuselages.

I think the single fuselage approach might end up like this family:

Vulcan

Still looks like SF 60 years later. Came in different sizes.

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Mage
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Re: Hang on... Nuclear

Lockheed Martin?

It's not that people haven't thought of it.

Try https://www.google.com/search?q=nuclear+plane+fusion

I remember reading that USA actually considered a fission nuclear powered bomber. Or why bother with "spaceplanes" at all? Project Orion.

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Mage
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Boffin

Interesting

I wonder why the tails are separate rather than sharing a wing,

See

Twin boom aircraft

Twin fuselage aircraft

It would maybe reduce drag (if no outer wing) and also make the structure more stable?

( I nearly typed Theresa May).

This is weird: Airbus patent

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Bank of Canada finds flaws with current blockchain solutions

Mage
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Re: Bitcoin and Blockchain

I'm not.

Almost all of the Bitcoin problems are because it uses blockchain.

It's a solution looking for a problem, and not scaleable. So niche applications.

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Mage
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Alert

Three problems

Items 1 & 3 may not apply to specialist use of blockchain, except YOU will need to reverse transactions often, but NOT do it automatically.

1) It's deliberately designed to be absolutely anonymous. So reclaiming "money" in case of disputes is nearly impossible. It's of most use to speculators and criminals.

2) It's got a serious design flaw. Increase in processing & communication is WORSE than growth of N, thus not scaleable. This is due to no central control and totally distributed & anonymous nature.

3) The mechanism for creation of bitcoins.

Item two makes the "blockchain" design useless for any major application and pointless for anything controlled by one organisation, such as a Bank, government, credit card or Paypal. Anything solving these issues isn't "blockchain".

This is not new news.

The only real world problem the "blockchain" solves is ability to anonymously do transactions like handing cash to a random stranger. Like that, it's assumed you'd not generally expect to reverse the transaction.

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German court says 'Nein' on Facebook profile access request

Mage
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Re: You say that now

Except FACEBOOK rides roughshod over privacy, also of EVERY user of every website that has their evil scripted icon instead of icon and plain link. Not just their own users.

Facebook don't know the meaning of the word privacy. It's about CONTROL. They control.

I have a special notebook with all the websites I use. If I die (mysteriously or not), the survivors can pretend to be me.

If you are teen and don't trust your family, at least make a backup of logins and have someone mature and trustworthy mind it.

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India sets June 5 as the day it will join the heavy-lift rocket club

Mage
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Re: Ariane Unlikely?

Check it out.

Arianespace is a multinational company with headquarters in France. It was the first commercial firm to offer launch services, founded 1980. Its current launch vehicles are the heavy-launch Ariane 5, the medium-launch Soyuz-2, and the light-launch Vega. A new heavy launcher, Ariane 6, is under development and expected to start operations around 2020.

As of early 2017, the company has sent more than 550 satellites in space.

The European space port in French Guyana was started in the 1960s and now has a launch pad for the Russians.

They do have some subsidies, to compete with USA subsidies of Boeing, NASA, ULA and Space X.

Some major milestones in the 2000s include the last flight of Ariane 4 (2003), the launch of the Rosetta comet mission (2004), the first Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) launch to the International Space Station (2008) and the launch of the Herschel Space Telescope (2009).

Since 2010, Arianespace has launched spacecraft for Europe's Galileo satellite positioning system, debuted the Vega and Soyuz rockets, and completed the ATV launches to the space station. As of February 2017, Vega has flown nine times (all successfully) and Soyuz 42 times (with 41 successes.)

Space isn't just USA and Russia. China is catching up with USA. Japan and Israel are active. NZ has done a test. India is doing VERY well (see Mars). UK is the ONLY nation to achieve space capability and abandon it. Also only nation to achieve nuclear weapons and reactors and abandon both.

Over 50% of commercial satellites in operation have been launched by Arianespace.

http://www.arianespace.com/about-us/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arianespace

It's separate to the amazing ESA. ESA is part funded by EU, but not all members are in EU, and not all EU members are members of ESA. Canada is an associate member of the ESA.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Space_Agency

CNES is the French equivalent to NASA.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CNES

It's a shame that an article about the wonderful achievements of India should give so much prominence to USA (who are BRILLIANT at PR) and no mention of Arianespace, the world's oldest and most successful commercial space launch company.

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