* Posts by Nick Ryan

2017 posts • joined 10 Apr 2007

Plants in SPAAAAAAACE are good for you

Nick Ryan
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Which is a good thing because the average human is a fine biological humidifier.

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Beware the GDPR 'no win, no fee ambulance chasers' – experts

Nick Ryan
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GDPR compliance should be easier for you. There is, very intentionally, no lower bounds to the "organisation size" when it comes to GDPR appliance. If there were, this would be gamed by the unscrupulous within minutes, if not faster.

What we already have is a new industry of GDPR ambulance chasing, even before GDPR kicks in - i.e. those organisations whose only interest is to promote their "training" or "certification processes" or "GDPR compliance applications". They have zero benefit other than draining cash and making GDPR compliance look considerably harder or "needing" legal advice repeatedly.

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Hitting 3 nanometers to cost chipmaker TSMC at least US$20 billion

Nick Ryan
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Re: Price or opportunity?

Where is the Apple bashing in this article? Seriously... I've checked back and can't see it.

As for your "scamsum" references, why don't you also say "crapple" as well? Or is that taking being childish too far?

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Before you head into Office 365, pull on this cosy Cloud Archive

Nick Ryan
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GDPR

Yay! Just sitck those four letters on anything, make up some mumbled techno-babble promises about compliance and sell, sell, sell.

Please don't check reality, please don't read the actual GPDR and, most importantly, please don't understand that these services are very unlikely to help in any meaningful way with GDPR.

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Russia to block access to cryptocurrency exchanges' websites – report

Nick Ryan
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Cryptocurrencies are interesting...

Cryptocurrencies are interesting because they are no less real than the fabricated, but strangely accepted, warped reality of money circulating ("creation") schemes such future markets trading and other promisory trading schemes where it turns out that nothing is actually traded and often nothing happens at all, however it is very important to pretend that something has. In fact cryptocurrencies are probably better because at least most cryptocurrencies have a limited resource and accountability built in.

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Rattled toymaker VTech's data breach case exiting legal pram

Nick Ryan
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Re: GDPR

It wasn't adequate for data protection under DPA rules, however there was too much money involved therefore rubbish like the "safe harbor" act was often considered "adequate" even though even a cursory reading would reveal that it was utterly useless. The follow on protection is no better or of use therefore exporting the data of EU citizens, particularly children who have an additional level of protection as do all other vulnerable individual, to a regime such as the US is against the rules.

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Support team discovers 'official' vendor paper doesn't rob you blind

Nick Ryan
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Re: You say .. I say ..

English, as a language, is messed up enough without Americans (and Australians/similar) habitually misappropriating words and pronounciations.

Apart from having two words for almost every traditional/physical object, i.e. Cow+Beef, Pig+Ham and so on, we have a vast array of words that are not pronounced anything like they can be sounded out. For example "put" (opp. of take), "friend" (seriously, what is the "i" doing there?), arbitrarily deciding that a "y" (why) is actually either pronounced "ee" or "eye", never "why" of course... and it goes on.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: The story is ...

I suspect you mean 1D and 2D barcodes. 1D barcodes are the more traditional types that are a series of stripes and you'd find on books and supermarket products. 2D barcodes are often square (but don't have to be), for example QR codes and are often rotationally symetical but don't have to be. While technically there are 3D barcode scanners these are often just video cameras because they are usually 2D barcodes with the additional "dimension" of colour or, occasionally, relative shading, as well.

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How bad can the new spying legislation be? Exhibit 1: it's called the USA Liberty Act

Nick Ryan
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Re: The meaning of words

Very similar to the CAN-SPAM act which pretty much allowed exactly what it says in the title.

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Another W3C API exposing users to browser snitching

Nick Ryan
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Re: why

I wonder how much Amazon paid the W3C to come up with this brilliant idea?

Why would Amazon do this? Payment cards are already linked to amazon accounts and (securely I trust) stored on Amazon servers. There would be no real benefits to be gained, in fact quite a lot of negatives, from distributing the storage of the card details to the individual browsers of individual user's individual devices (as in phone, tablet, TV, laptop, desktop).

I believe this API comes as an extension of the fact that, for convenience, browsers already store and auto-fill a lot of details relating to payment including names, addresses and payment card details and it would be a good idea to formalise and therefore control this mechanism.

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Nick Ryan
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I wonder if somebody could add this "functionality" to the websites of the conservative party? This way all supporters and members would be proved guilty of terrorism. Which has a certain ironic truth to it.

Disclaimer: Other political parties are also available for such functionality enhancements.

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Seagate fires NASty volley of 12TB spinners with lifebelt for fried data

Nick Ryan
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Interesting to see similar thoughts to mine... as in "wow, that's a nice, large HDD. Damn, it's a seagate."

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Legacy clearout? Not all at once, surely. Keeping tech up to snuff in an SMB

Nick Ryan
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Part of the issue with onsite email is that the "most popular" (as in most used, not necessarily popular) email client is Microsoft Outlook. This application effectively only works "correctly" with an Microsoft Exchange Server. Microsoft Exchange Server is one of the most overly complicated, horribly inefficient server processes around. While it's usually stable these days (it's taken a long time to get there), the obscene complexity of configuring something that should be considerably less complex takes its toll on the installation and ongoing management processes.

Hell, if the PowerShell interface was consistent between remote and local sessions (seriously) it would be a start... And yes, I'm aware that it's remote PowerShell management is not officially supported for (stupid). All this is before you get to the sheer enjoyment of tracking down various parameters in the GUI and the PowerShell interface which don't actually agree between themselves what the configuration actually is, or are liberally strewn around the object tree(s) with conflicting values and meanings.

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Home Sec Amber Rudd: Yeah, I don't understand encryption. So what?

Nick Ryan
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I have often wondered what happens if something is actually 'bunked'.

I understand that this is how politicians breed. I am trying not to think about this too much.

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Nick Ryan
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Not sure that will be an issue because there won't be much of a British finance sector before too long to collapse, encryption or not.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Techies will continue to sneer.

Yep. While it is true that a politician does not need to know the mathematics behind encryption, especially the more head hurty public/private key arrangements, they do need to understand the basic concepts of security and reality. If a mechanism, any mechanism, is designed with a catch-all bypass which is "protected" by keeping this mechanism "secret" then the mechanism is no longer secure and this bypass mechanism will find its way out to big, bad world.

Would Ms Rudd require that all door locks produced by locksmiths selling locks for use in the UK share a common master key, copies of which are stored in Ms Rudd's office, in all police stations (just in case), in the glove boxes of all emergency vehicles (just in case), in the cabinets of all utility companies (just in case), in the offices of local councils (just in case - terrorists and kiddie botherers y'know) and of course various very reputable* private security companies such as G4S (just in case one wants to outsource things).

Ah... Ms Rudd would think this is a good idea because she is unfeasibly stupid and would lose an intellectual challenge against a tub of lard and can't of think anything beyond a police state. Damn. I think I may have sneered. My bad.

* "Reputable" doesn't necessarily mean having a good reputation...

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BYOD might be a hipster honeypot but it's rarely worth the extra hassle

Nick Ryan
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Just four years ago, Gartner reckoned by 2017 half of employers would be leaning on staff to supply their own smartphones or tablets.

...and there's the crux of it. A gartner report paid for by pushers of software to "manage" third party devices in a corporate environment.

<sarcasm>Not that any of us with any experience were in a position to predict that in general BYOD was a waste of time and money and only shifted the accounting focus from one area to another while savaging network and data security. Oh wait, we did. </sarcasm>

For many organisations BYOD was/is acceptable for mobile devices - partly because they are more locked down and isolatable than a PC but also because many users do not want to carry two devices, and often two chargers, around with them. However on the PC front it was pretty much a non-starter from the off and while as is life, there will be a few examples of it working there will be a lot more where it won't or can't.

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Microsoft gives all staff a marked-up 'Employee Edition' of Satya Nadella's new book

Nick Ryan
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Stop

Re: Entertainment

It's a short quest. :)

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Nick Ryan
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Re: FN+F5

I'd go a bit further than just a slap when it comes to the designer of these abortions. i.e. the designer that didn't comprehend that having a hibernate/sleep/crash-very-slowly button one accidental press away at all times was a bad idea. A very bad idea. Likely the same designer who put power keys on a normal keyboard as well as sticking prev-page and next-page buttons where they can also be accidently pressed at the least convenient moment.

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Scared of that new-fangled 'cloud'? Office 2019 to the rescue!

Nick Ryan
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Re: am i missing something here?

It may be a "promise" to not intentionally introduce "incompatibilites" between older Office application versions and the Operating System that they run on.

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Deloitte is a sitting duck: Key systems with RDP open, VPN and proxy 'login details leaked'

Nick Ryan
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Not just "awards", anything Gartner related is purely paid for and has no value except among the clueless. Or possibly to laugh at a year or so later. Usually it's easy to work out who paid for any given gartner report.

Unfortunately many of the clueless are in positions of influence and believe that the paid-for-reports that Gartner produce for their customers have any value.

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So. Should I upgrade to macOS High Sierra?

Nick Ryan
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Re: HEVC isn't that tough

Maybe it's the encoding that needs the grunt not the decoding?

MPEG is asymmetric in that the encoding is many times more intensive than the decoding, perhaps HEVC shares this trait.

Yes, this is the case and much more so as well. Real time, or preferably considerably better than real time if you're into any kind of video work, needs a lot of capable grunt on the CPU/GPU front. The general guideline is that HEVC (H.265) requires 10x the computer compared to H.264 encoding.

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After Microsoft calls out HP Inc over stalled Windows 10 logins, HP bounces back with a fix

Nick Ryan
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Re: Ooh a success!

If "works" you mean "throws up an application error every time a user prints anything" the yes, it does work - and works "well" at that.

It turns out the fix, that HP appear to be very keen to not publicise, it to disable all "smart" features of the print driver. These are the annoying "smart" features that seem to spend more time telling a user to replace a recently replaced cartridge than doing any actual printing.

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Hotter than the Sun: JET – Earth’s biggest fusion reactor, in Culham

Nick Ryan
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Re: "Demo"?

When I first went there in the early 1990s there was a fair bit of humour and caution about the place.

Put simply, if there is a serious plasma breach at running temperatures then the plasma was not going to stop for much - walls, buildings people. The humour at the time revolved around how fast you could run and whether or not you thought suddenly becoming religous would be a good idea or not.

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Red Hat pledges patent protection for 99 per cent of FOSS-ware

Nick Ryan
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Meanwhile here in the free world

Meanwhile here in the free world... software is not patentable. Business processes are also not patentable.

A fine approach only marred by having to deal with poor quality regimes where software and/or business processes are patentable.

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UK PC prices have risen 30% in a year since the EU referendum

Nick Ryan
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Re: Hmmm

Long story short....tech companies have always taken the piss and will continue to do so with the UK where a $999 piece of equipment will cost £999 here when it should only cost about £750.

While I hate this kind of pricing "parity", the reality is slightly different. Due to batshit insane point of sale taxes in the US, all US prices are quoted exclusive of sales tax (federal, state, county, city, whatever). UK prices, on the other hand, are usually quoted including the local, fixed all over the UK, sales tax (VAT). As a result the differences aren't quite as despicable as they look. (just spotted an AC has already noted this difference, curse you "next page" :) )

Spending £1000 on a phone on the other hand... that's breaking many people's acepptances of "sensible", including die-hard Apple users who would very much like to not leave one ecosystem for another but at this point are most definitely not considering spending that amount of money on a phone. An easily losable, breakable, thief-magnet phone.

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Boffins discover tightest black hole binary system – and it's supermassive

Nick Ryan
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FAIL

Standard units of measure? (@Katyanna Quach)

The supermassive black holes have a whopping combined mass of about forty million times the mass of the Sun.

Sorry Katyanna Quach but the mass of the Sun is not a valid unit of measure on this site. Please report to the Vulture Central Standards Bureau for, erm, "training".

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Unloved Microsoft Edge is much improved – but will anyone use it?

Nick Ryan
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Re: Seen in the wild!

Yep, Win 10 is full of Windows functions ignoring the user's preference and opening things up in bloody edge regardless. All these inadvertent clicks naturally get counted as part of the usage lies/statistics. Not forgetting periodically hijacking other document types and forcing users onto edge as well. Then we have the whining special case "you want to change your browser, please don't do this, use edge instead" type of nonsense when trying to change the user's default browser - do other applications have this level of crap around attempting to confuse a user into using edge? No.

The pinnacle though is that Edge is wholeheartedly aimed at end, home users and not business or enterprise users. It's barely compatible with SharePoint (although in truth, sanity is barely compatible with SharePoint, the least worst browser to use with it is IE). Edge is thoroughly uncontrollable using group policy, IE is largely controllable using group policy - subject to various levels of stupid of course.

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UK Data Protection Bill lands: Oh dear, security researchers – where's your exemption?

Nick Ryan
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Splendid, if you read this implementation that it's littered with clauses stating that the "Secretary of State may..." i.e., it's within their whim to change the bloody thing without laws being passed or adequate discussions being had. Has anybody read the appropriate other EU implementations and do they have the same "power-crazy individual may make sweeping changes" type clauses in them?

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UK's new Data Protection Bill will be 'liberal' not 'libertarian', says digi minister

Nick Ryan
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Any mention of when he's going to tackle the police's illegal mugshot and DNA databases?

Why would he do this? When the minister who was responsible for turning as much of a blind eye to this as possible this is now the PM and her fuckwit crony is the current Home Secretary. Nothing positive is going to happen until these police state wannabees are ousted from power and influence.

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Giant frikkin' British laser turret to start zapping stuff next year

Nick Ryan
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I believe that there are one, possibly more, lasers for targetting with the high power laser only being used when the target laser, or lasers, are on target. I could be totally wrong, but that's my memory of how it works and it makes sense to ensure that the calibration is working.

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This article has been deleted

Nick Ryan
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Coat

I would like to be the first to point out...

Pictures or it didn't happen.

/slackers

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RIP wireless laptop docks as Intel bins WiGig parts

Nick Ryan
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Re: "VR and AR kit is destined for the enterprise"

...and for some reason some people still believe the tech pushers and think that VR and AR are "the next thing" and not just another fad. Yes, there are use cases for it but these are rather niche and while I'll happily agree that it's fun tech, practical uses are thin on the ground.

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Everyone loves programming in Python! You disagree? But it's the fastest growing, says Stack Overflow

Nick Ryan
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Re: dBase II...

IMHE there is a lot of (x)base code still out there. On one hand, forced obsolence is crippling a lot of it with code no longer operable on modern systems (actually, a bad reflection of modern systems) but far too much of it is suffering because it was written by people who should never be let near a keyboard, let alone an applictaion/database system.

So it's great because it was accessible to many people while simultaneously not being great for the same reason... :)

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Stand up who HASN'T been hit in the Equifax mega-hack – whoa, whoa, sit down everyone

Nick Ryan
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Re: Only

Can't see the problem here. (sarcasm, for those that don't detect such things without help)

After all a free year of fraud monitoring from an organisation that was incompetent enough to cause the problem in the first place is a good thing right? Besides which, after a whole year, everyone will have changed their social security number, birth date and address anyway therefore prolonged monitoring past this arbitrarily low time period is not necessary. (again, sarcasm, for those that still don't detect such things without help)

It still amuses/scares me about the daftness of using what's meant to be a largely private government identifier in as many (effectively public) databases as possible. A data value is either considered private and priviledged knowledge or it's a publicly available value - it can't be both at the same time. i.e. an SSN should be considered to have no additional value or identity importance than an individual's name would have.

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Nick Ryan
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Stop

Re: 'We pride ourselves on being a leader in managing and protecting data'

Cut the crap, just vote for lizards. You know it makes sense.

Just make sure that you vote for the correct lizard, ok?

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You are the one per cent if you read Firefox's privacy spiels

Nick Ryan
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Re: GDPR ?

GDPR applies to personally identifiable data. If the data is not personally identifiable then it doesn't matter therefore anonymous (or anonymised) usage data is not covered by the GDPR in any way.

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Nick Ryan
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It really depends on what is collected, how this collection is justified and, in particular, whether this can be tracked back to an individual in any manner.

There is nothing wrong with error reports, processing statistics and the other - this helps developers fix issues that otherwise they will have missed. Which is important given the weirdo stuff that is "normal" out there in web land, let alone anything that is deliverately abnormal in a malicious way. It's the fine line between providing enough detail to allow somebody to look into and fix the error and allowing the same person, or an automated tool, to join up details about the user and their browsing habits.

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Microsoft won't patch Edge browser content security bypass

Nick Ryan
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Re: Hmmmm

I still shudder whenever I read the term "mash up" because it inevitably winds up a different type of "**** up"...

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Big Tech fumes over Prez Trump's decision to deport a million kids

Nick Ryan
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FAIL

Human compassion

Where has it gone? These are humans, people, children and they are being relegated and labelled as just being burdens on righteous society or some other vague "wrong". What happened to America, the land of opportunity, the land of the brave, the land of the dreamers?

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she

With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

As a commentard noted above, a large number of these children may be stuck in "bad areas", "ghettos" or whatever you want to call them... but what is being done to fix this? (as in fix these areas) Instead we see another attack on the vulnerable and those that can't defend themselves.

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PC sales to fall and fall and fall and fall and fall for the next five years

Nick Ryan
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Market saturaton

Unless you have more specialist requirements, for example gaming or high end video work, most PCs bought within the last 5 years are still good enough and do the job. There is just no need to replace a system if all it's doing is being used as a glorified typewriter and web browser and it still does the job fine. Swapping out a HDD for a SSD will usually give all the performance boosts most people need as long as the amount of RAM on the system isn't too low in which case just upgrade that as well.

Which makes it even more annoying when Microsoft force churn through refusing to support older processors...

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Virtual Reality

Seriously? VR will be successful in the same way that 3D-TV is now.

It's not that there's no possibility of success, just that there is no genuine need for something that doesn't really solve any problems that need solving nor solve them well. In other words, niche at best even if the technology is briefly entertaining.

As for "showstopped bugs being worked out", do you mean the sync issues with direction getting out of sync with reality, the issues in manipulating 3D space or the objects in it (moving around or interacting with objects) or the issues of interacting in an unconstrained way with the environment (leaning or otherwise moving through a solid surface).

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Seriously, friends. You suck at driving. Get a computer behind the wheel to save your life

Nick Ryan
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Re: Lane departure?

The things that catch you out in Cornwall and Devon are when you're innocently driving down the said narrow, windy road when you typically come across a 90 degree blind corner where some muppet (usually a local, I tend to not be down these areas at peak times) has parked, or more accurately abandoned, their vehicle. You then have to perform an emergency stop, which even if you're being careful is usually fro 30mph, attempt to negotiate around the abandoned vehicle and then wonder "why did they park there, and where the hell are they?"

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Nick Ryan
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Re: People aren't terrible drivers.

Research has been done into this in the Netherlands dealing with the problem of "polder blindness": drivers unable to recognise corners after driving too long on straight roads. For more information there is a report "Attention problems behind the wheel": https://www.swov.nl/sites/default/files/.../fs_concentration_problems_archived.pdf

That sounds different to arriving somewhere, which may have involved quite a few lane changes, gear changes, corners and other navigations to just plain being bored senseless of miles upon miles of straight roads. I remember hearing that curves are put into motorways to ensure that drivers remain alert rather than just driving up a monotonous straight road.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: A large chunk of accidents ...

Also a day of week cautionary alert, as in "Are you really sure you want to be driving on a Sunday? The Sunday drivers are out in force today..."

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Nick Ryan
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Re: People aren't terrible drivers.

Interesting if it is true that these periods are your safest. I've had this kind of memory-lapse on a few occasions and while I'm pretty sure that if something happened I'd have dealt with it appropriately it's still a bit disconcerting.

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VMware's desktop plan: On your command line, unleash hell!

Nick Ryan
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Re: which are now in version 14

Possibly, but the last I heard VMWare was abandoning it's desktop products entirely therefore there's been some kind of about turn on this.

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Paris nightclub red-faced after booze-for-boobs offer exposed

Nick Ryan
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Re: Really ?

Hardly - the last I checked it wasn't unusual for French breakfast TV to feature nude pictures of their viewers... male or female, they didn't care. It has been a few years since I checked though...

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Uh oh, scientists know how those diamonds got in Uranus, and they're telling everyone!

Nick Ryan
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Pint

Re: De Beers sponsoring the next probe?

The last I heard about/understoon about the production if diamonds is that there are two general methods: Attempting to replicate high pressure and temperature and chemical deposition of some form.

While it's hard to know the true story behind De Beers and the diamond trade, it is a very interesting read about advertising and in particular what advertising agencies have to do when market saturation is reached and they have to change attitudes as well as just market. On the other hand, prior to the exceedingly successful campaign from De Beers, diamonds were not considered such a rarity or a must-have (engagement and wedding rings) unless large or very pure.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Holocene Extinction coated with nano-diamonds !

I understand that they can be slightly bigger than a bowling bowl on (unlucky but luckily very rare) occasions. Not sure of the accuracy of this site but it looks reasonable at first glance: https://www.livescience.com/32694-how-big-was-the-biggest-hailstone-ever.html

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