* Posts by Sam Liddicott

494 posts • joined 5 Apr 2007

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BoJo, don't misuse stats then blurt disclaimers when you get rumbled

Sam Liddicott

-50% / +100%

The Boris figure is right to within -50% +100%.

The actual amount is only an issue to those who don't care about the principle at stake.

The EU cost could reasonable be as high as £660M per week: http://www.brugesgroup.com/blog/costs-and-liabilities-associated-with-the-european-union.

But even if there were some idiots who somehow thought the referendum was on an NHS budget increase of precisely £350M per week, there were plenty of others who actually read the question on the ballot paper before voting.

Even if the figure were not in dispute, as it was not on the ballot it would be part of the budget, debated in parliament (Gina Miller and the remainers would like that) and in fact could still be granted even now!

On the other hand, Ted Heaths lies were lies in principle, not of quantity, but none of those remainers who get so very excited about "lies" care about that, it was before their time!

http://www.theeuroprobe.org/2017-040-the-1971-fco-301048-heath-knew-it-was-treason/

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The new, new Psion is getting near production. Here's what it looks like

Sam Liddicott

Re: No Google?

Is it a phone, though?

2
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TalkTalk plans to bail on mobile in major shake-up for beleaguered biz

Sam Liddicott

This explains why TalkTalk recently increased their Mobile rates; perhaps they wish to make the business look more attractive with higher projected Revenue.

I used it as an excuse to bail out of the contract and move to ID.

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Hell desk to user: 'I know you're wrong. I wrote the software. And the protocol it runs on'

Sam Liddicott

some people have annoyed experts without knowing it

Over 15 years ago, a colleague and I worked on the plugin Orange custom home-screen for the SPV1 and early MS Smartphones.

One the modaco forums there was a lot of custom homescreen layouts making use of all the cool features, the main one of which was embedding other plugins into smaller areas.

As I can best recall, one prominent designer seemed to enjoy pontificating the extent and limits of customisation and was in our view quite harsh on another designer whose work was good.

As a consequence my colleague suggested that we provide information on some extra customisation features to the oppressed designer directly so that he could do better designs which were also "impossible" according to the wisdom of the self declared expert. As his work was dissected those features would become widely known, but he was our nominated prophet, so to speak.

I don't know how the expert reconciled this "lowly" designer finding such cool features, but us two and our prophet had a private joke playing out.

I believe that most of the parties are represented here:

http://www.modaco.com/forums/topic/98804-cobalt/

10
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ZX Spectrum Vega Plus backers complain of months-long refund delays

Sam Liddicott

Re: 21st century update of an old saying ...

such warnings by you and/or others influenced me to stay my hand.

Thanks

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Today's WWW is built on pillars of sand: Buggy, exploitable JavaScript libs are everywhere

Sam Liddicott

Re: Too many dependencies.

For your boss, and your replacement, your code is someone else's code, and they worry about it.

1
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Snapchat coding error nearly destroys all of time for the internet

Sam Liddicott

Re: Could this explain why

If you want to date yourself you need time travel.

Or a mirror.

0
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Sysadmin 'fixed' PC by hiding it on a bookshelf for a few weeks

Sam Liddicott

Re: deja vu

I've tried to return "NFF" hardare before.

I've been successful with the demand: If you think it works, then sell it to someone else, but give me a different one.

I need to apologise to the someone else.

Sorry.

9
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Shhhhh! If you're quiet, Linus Torvalds might release a new Linux

Sam Liddicott

Re: This is a genuine question to all software devlopers...

Supply and demand. People install software with known bugs.

There is no value in being more picky than your users. Give them the choice.

I guess the users that care will consider if the way in which the known bug might affect them is worse than the benefits (and fixes) in the new release.

I guess my server doesn't care if there is a V4Linux regression.

2
0

Reg man 0: Japanese electronic toilet 1

Sam Liddicott

Re: Izal

When we ran out of tracing paper, I offered to fetch some as I knew were it was.

My teacher was very pleased with the supply I brought, until he heard I got it from the toilets.

Obviously they had high-class tissue in the staff toilets.

The pupil toilets were old stables or milking stalls or something like that.

0
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Google man drags Emacs into the 1990s

Sam Liddicott

Re: zx80

"sinclair wanted to make the computer really cheap"

Also likely true of those who bought it over more expensive options like the PET Commodore which didn't flicker like that.

5
0

SHA3-256 is quantum-proof, should last BEELLIONS of years, say boffins

Sam Liddicott

Re: We passed the infinite monkey stage a long while ago

Only for very very long keys. As the key is re-used, it is unlikely to keep generating normal-looking text unless it was the right key. But sure, for a block the size of the key length you can come up with a key to generate any text you want.

So maybe, for an alibi for the innocent, make sure your message is longer than the key length.

On the other hand, for an alibi for the guilty, make sure your message is shorter than the key length and after the key length pad out with gibberish.

Maybe even have a "wrong" key which reveals the right message + gibberish and the right key reveals an entire other message and no gibberish.

Disclaimer: I don't know what I'm talking about

6
0

Amazon to hire 20,000 seasonal workers in UK

Sam Liddicott

Cheap goods

If you want cheap goods from Amazon then you are driving down the cost of production and management.

If you also set a minimum wage then you are driving people out of work by making it illegal to employ them for less than the cost of the machine, whether they want to work for that price or not.

2
0

HDMI hooks up with USB-C in cables that reverse, one way

Sam Liddicott

Apart from LOTR which 4K streamed TV movies were shot at more than 24 fps?

Why insist on repeating 24fps frames to the TV 60hz?

0
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Why Oracle will win its Java copyright case – and why you'll be glad when it does

Sam Liddicott

Re: it means you can't code against some library without permission from the copyright holder

It's how the GPL is intended to work, but plenty of lawyers and GPL fans think that it has no force there.

Just because some hopefuls intend it to work that way doesn't mean it does work that way.

0
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You deleted the customer. What now? Human error - deal with it

Sam Liddicott

swapoff too slow?

On a production solaris box with no failover,, swapoff was too slow and I needed the disk space consumed by the swap file more than I needed the virtual memory.

> /swap.1

was effective at truncating the swapfile and recovering the disk space. The prompt even came back.

It was with a poignant mix of sad humour and annoyance that IT support drove me to the data centre so that I could suffer with them the inconvenience that I had put them too in my thoughtless carefree manner. They were great guys.

1
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Sam Liddicott

Re: Never delete anything.

Keeping everything IS a terrible idea, but not as terrible as deciding which files might need recovering and which files won't -- especially before the urgent need for recovery occurs to grant resources needed to make all those very many decisions.

If everything is kept, it is then a simple matter for the owner to decide whether or not it is worth trawling through everything.

0
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Bank in the UK? Plans afoot to make YOU liable for bank fraud

Sam Liddicott

Re: (de-)Training ...

The co-op bank did this to me.

They could not comprehend that repeatedly re-assuring me that they were from the bank was as useless as it was easy.

I called them back, on a published number, got through to the extension of the person calling me, only to be told:

We just wanted you to know that know we have merged

with CIS we have a wider range of financial products available...

aggghhh

0
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Japan's Hitomi space 'scope bricked, declared lost after software bug

Sam Liddicott

Re: RIP Hotomi! We hardly knew ye.

What are 3/8 shifts?

Just less than half a shift?

Three eight hour shifts?

Three days on, five days off?

0
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I am Craig Wright, inventor of Craig Wright

Sam Liddicott

Re: null output

Real life is indistinguishable from satire.

7
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Linux greybeards release beta of systemd-free Debian fork

Sam Liddicott

Re: Init freedom

I also regularly give a pittance to Devuan. It all adds up to the cost of a Windows DVD, so I'm glad they are succeeding.

8
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Awoogah – brown alert: OpenSSL preps 'high severity' security fixes

Sam Liddicott

Re: Could we fucking kill it already?

or buy yourself an SLA

0
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Ubuntu 16.04 LTS arrives today complete with forbidden ZFS

Sam Liddicott

Re: Priorities?

"systemd will have it's own word processor soon"

Systemd could well be the decent text editor that the Emacs operating system has been waiting for

50
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Graphene solar panels harvest energy from rain

Sam Liddicott

Roof tank?

Catch the water on a roof tank and then let it through a low-speed turbine... how would that compare to the panels?

7
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Bundling ZFS and Linux is impossible says Richard Stallman

Sam Liddicott

Re: Open/Closed

agreement of a lunatic is not a condition of use

2
2
Sam Liddicott

Re: Question

...and yet people care about whether or not people care about what Stallman thinks.

Whichever way Linux goes, it's going to be under the GPL2 for a very long time, they'll be no nuances there whatever your black and white thinking would lead us to believe.

15
8

Tesla books over $8bn in overnight sales claims Elon Musk

Sam Liddicott

Re: Great looking but...

As long as everyone doesn't buy an electric car on the same day, they might have time to convert

0
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India orders 770 million LED light bulbs, prices drop 83 per cent

Sam Liddicott

Re: Dull

You are not supposed to enjoy saving energy.

You need to SUFFER.

4
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Microsoft to make Xamarin tools and code free and open source

Sam Liddicott

Re: Pointless

It's only free at the point of use.

We'll all have a tax hike next year because of it :-(

1
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Top rocket exec quits after telling the truth about SpaceX price war

Sam Liddicott

Re: Reality versus spin

True, but don't forget that you had to make some extra more-precious rocket in order to hold that less-precious fuel.

We need inflatable rubber tanks for any fuel that will get used before orbit.

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Data protection: Don't be an emotional knee jerk. When it comes to the law, RTFM

Sam Liddicott

Re: I'll tell you what's worse...

Not if you depended on the notices of their "over-and-above" scheme when you bought the item, and those notices did not mention the need to gather personal information.

5
1

Good thing this dev quit. I'd have fired him. Out of a cannon. Into the sun

Sam Liddicott

Re: Always use braces

If you have to indent, then use braces.

Asides don't need braces, and are confused by braces.

if (...) return; // Look ma! No braces

if (...) break;

if (handle<0) handle=getDefaultHandle();

if (filename && *filename) handle=open(filename);

else handle=open(DEFAULT_FILENAME);

The last one will no doubt make some people feel sick, particularly the if (...) clause, but there is no opportunity for misunderstanding, and it construes neatly. As a pair of lines it means "open the file", the two code paths to open the file are incidental.

I wouldn't go as far as:

handle=open((filename && *filename)?filename:DEFAULT_FILENAME);

(unless I wrapped it in a macro !)

1
0
Sam Liddicott

Re: Let me guess, that last one was an academic?

and an example commercial naivety

Did they want the major conversations about their book to be about how people couldn't get the code to link properly? Or to be stories of success and usefulness?

0
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Shopping for PCs? This is what you'll be offered in 2016

Sam Liddicott

Re: Linux vs Win10

You probably needed to type:

dmraid -ay

before installing. Appalling, I know.

My adventures here:

http://blog.sam.liddicott.com/2015/12/linuxmint-173-on-dell-xps-8900.html

it took me about 7 days to work out how to get LinuxMint working. In the end installing on SSD while external USB attached, and then moving it to internal did the trick (along with some trick to hide the existing disks during installation)

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SCO slapped in latest round of eternal 'Who owns UNIX?' lawsuit

Sam Liddicott

"indefatigable groklaw"?

"Indefatigable groklaw"?

Groklaw fatigued in 2013.

6
0

Who would code a self-destruct feature into their own web browser? Oh, hello, Apple

Sam Liddicott

Sounds to me like an objective c++ paradigm flaw.

It's easy to write async lambdas all over the place but it doesn't mean that your code can cope with state changes in the mean time.

Which reminds me, I think it was MSIE 2, I clicked to print a page and focus returned back to the browser while it was printing. I immediately guessed that if I navigated to another page while it was printing, the browser would crash.

And it did. Changing page WHILE it was printing was like replacing a paving stoe with a banana skin.

4
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You've seen things people wouldn't believe – so tell us your programming horrors

Sam Liddicott

Re: Goto? What about longjmp()

And don't capture a well defined set of any state.

Variables temporarily in a register (and pushed onto the stack) when longjmp occurs from some deeper function will have some stale value and not the value they seemed to hold when you called setjmp; so all variables you plan to use after longjmp should be declared volatile which is easy to forget.

If only all variables were evicted from registers before the call to setjmp - but what implementation does that?

Better to be quickest than right, apparently.

0
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Learn you Func Prog on five minute quick!

Sam Liddicott

Your cure is worse than the disease.

The error is failing to have a definition of malloc, but fear of this unlikely event is no reason not to cast the return value of malloc.

1
0

Reverser laments crypto game protection, says wares dead after 2018

Sam Liddicott

Re: Demos

It's not a matter of law, it's a matter of contract and negotiation with the seller and the buyer, and the rules imposed by the owner of the voluntary market place.

Many vendors in the world allow and openly publicise this practice - it is good for the vendor, because it means that the prospective buyer does not delay a purchase hoping for a sale soon, but can buy now and get the sale price later if there is one (and if they also remember).

It means the vendor might even sell-out and so not need to have the sale.

Also, if you can buy a game and get a refund if it turns out to be rubbish/boring/easy then you are more likely to take a risk on it - you only have your time to lose.

This strategy makes it easier to sell, and vendors who are confident in the quality and value of their goods can get much benefit as sales are easier.

5
0

Hollywood given two months to get real about the price of piracy

Sam Liddicott

Worldwide distribution licence

"The company also re-states its argument that it wants infringers to pay for a worldwide distribution licence"

If they are forced to pay for this license, will that mean the can legitimately offer as many free downloads as they like?

What will the other licensees think, having to compete with a legal 0 price supplier?

13
0

Cisco bitten by Java deserialisation bug, working on patch

Sam Liddicott

Re: It's ASN.1 library problems all over again

taint mode:

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

0
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Report: VW execs 'knew' about fuel economy issues last year

Sam Liddicott

> Former CEO Martin Winterkorn reluctantly quit

> as chief exec in September, stating: "I am not

> aware of any wrong doing on my part." "

> [engineers] had claimed the firm's CEO's public

> promise of a 30 per cent emissions decline

> provoked them to cheat on the tests by mixing

> diesel with the motor oil and inflating the car tyres."

Get me 30% savings you idiots or I'll hire me some engineers that can!

That's real leadership, not wrongdoing.

The CEO just pressures everyone else into doing wrong in a way that pleases his bonus criteria.

10
0

Google cloud outage caused by failure that saw admins run it manually ... and fail

Sam Liddicott

Re: Oops!

but not instantaneously. The damage must be observed first

3
0

Outsourcer didn't press ON switch, so Reg reader flew 15 hours to do the job

Sam Liddicott

Re: France

I was travelling with a company director and we had canapés on the ferry on the way back :-)

1
0
Sam Liddicott

France

I travelled to France to replace a 25 pin serial cable for an Iomega Ditto drive with a 25 pin parallel cable.

I think I was due a trip abroad to see the wider company anyway, but from a technical point of view I regret that I could not diagnose that over the phone.

1
0

GPS, you've gone too far this time

Sam Liddicott

Re: How far off?

True - but only because there are so many one in a million chances.

If only we could tell WHICH one a in a million chance was likely to come up...

1
0

Tax bill could kibosh Dell-EMC deal

Sam Liddicott

not

Admitting that the tax "responsibility" consumes the benefit of the transaction isn't avoiding a tax responsibility it's avoiding a risk that has no benefit.

0
0
Sam Liddicott

apparently they did

The story seems to suggest that they did look into the tax implications.

The company is “confident there was no such

threat to the deal since tax authorities would

treat the tracking stock in line with previous

similar transactions".

0
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Microsoft now awfully pushy with Windows 10 on Win 7, 8 PCs – Reg readers hit back

Sam Liddicott

Re: Linux iOS devices sucks

To be clear, it's the iOS devices that suck, and Apple that sucks.

This is Apple with an iTunes store that is basically a web server that needs the magic 200MB iTunes web browser.

This is Apple that kept working to disable pyMusique and SharpMusique small tiny iTunes clients for Linux to prevent Linux users from buying music from iTunes.

Apple do their darndest to make sure that you cannot use your iOS devices with Linux.

So point your blame finger in the right direction.

11
1

Online VAT fraud: Calls for government crackdown grow louder

Sam Liddicott

Re: Don't know about on-line VAT fraud but...

This is the behaviour that VAT incentivises.

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