* Posts by Nick Ryan

1879 posts • joined 10 Apr 2007

Men! If you want to win at board games this Christmas, turn off the rock music – scientists

Nick Ryan
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The Imperial Festival is an event to promote science to non-scientists and to generate more interest into STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in general.

Not everything has to be high brow science...

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Additional Data

I would like to corroborate this and add that this same theory appears to hold true for a sample size of two. Although for science's sake it may be a good idea to check again. And with a sample size of three, and four.

Science *is* important.

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Busted Windows 8, 10 update blamed for breaking Brits' DHCP

Nick Ryan
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Re: Thanks for the Windows Bashing.

... Armitxes is nothing more than a troll account created just to annoy. This troll has the usual 0 registration time and a single post

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Microsoft announces 16 years of support for Windows, SQL Servers

Nick Ryan
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Re: A bit overkill on the diversity don't you think

I count six ethnic types and only the one whiteboy in that picture, a bit overkill on the diversity don't you think.

It's America. Despite various other things, it's no wonder that the majority of Americans, who happen to be mostly "white", are pissed off when every Hollywood and marketing message apparently has to have a majority of minorities in it: because the minorities may be offended if it were otherwise. You kind of start to understand why so many voted for a different lizard this time.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Sounds kind of like,

Why all this bitching about the UI? Don't you know real SysAdmins never use a GUI!

:)

Real SysAdmins also don't have a backspace key on their keyboard :) They also don't using windowing systems at all, everything is done in a single full screen VT-100 compatible terminal window. Preferably green screen, although orange is acceptable at a push. But no other colours.

Personally, I find the "you must do everything in a GUI" and "you must do everything in a command line" camps annoyingly stupid. I'll use whatever is most appropriate thank you: If it's something that I don't have to administer very often then a GUI is just fine but if it's something that I have to administer often then scripting is the way forward, particularly if I want to perform repeated or consistent processes and especially so when this spans multiple systems.

In some ways this would imply that a GUI should not have it's own interface into a system and should instead call a command line behind the scenes to perform it's actions, this way the same functionality is available wherever you want it. If the GUI also lists the commands that it is performing then this makes learning what the hell it does (with the aim to automating the process elsewhere) rather easier. While this can work well, sometimes this means that a GUI is rather inefficient or the command line interfaces are sub-optimal as they're designed primarily to support a GUI.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Sounds kind of like,

Have you seen Server 2012? It's already had the Windows 10 treatment on the user interface, only a matter of time before it starts showing ads, uninstalling important tools and auto-installing bloatware.

Server 2012 had the Window 8 (not Window 8.1) interface foisted upon it. Windows 2016 is better on this front because the Windos 10 UI is somewhat less shit than the Windows 8 interface.

Then there's the Server Core installation of Windows Server 2016, entertainingly easy to confuse with the per-core licensing naming, which is a sort of no-GUI interface (if you've used it you'll understand) which would be OK if MS's tools and products were actually complete, or ideally just consistent, when it came to running in a GUI-free environment. Compared to adminstering Linux systems, managing Server Core system is rather more painful but "entertaining" fun when you involve 3rd parties who can only work with a mouse... :)

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Latest loon for Trump's cabinet: Young-blood-loving, kidney-market advocate Jim O'Neill

Nick Ryan
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Pint

Re: Your bias?

Yummy popcorn time! :)

It's Friday m'kay?

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90 per cent of the UK's NHS is STILL relying on Windows XP

Nick Ryan
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Re: Extended support?

The last I saw when I was looking at many of these XP systems that litter the NHS was that they typically were left running XP because vital but stunningly incompetently written software was in place that required ActiveX components and appalling versions of Internet Explorer.

This was one of the key reasons for them to still be in place. On some occasions the original vendor no longer existed, frequently a tiny organisation that disappeared due to the appalling way in which the NHS trusts often treated their small suppliers, or often where an updated version was available but the department couldnt sufficiently justify the upgrade costs of a system that other than running on a dead OS still did the job it was brought in place to do.

Most departments have such a tiny budget left over after the huge staff costs (massive layers of management and consultants) are taken into account that they can barely afford to buy the consumables they need and more important medical equipment that replacing an otherwise working system just doesnt happen. it's further complicated because many pieces of software are cross department that it needs all departments to upgrade which adds to the impossibility.

On the positive front it did appear that NHS trust IT depsrtments were getting smarter when iit came to new systems but this doesnt help the old software - it wasn't as if the IT departments didnt want to upgrade our see the value in it, they just can't...

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Stung by Dynamics 365 hike? Microsoft has a deal for you... just don't expect much

Nick Ryan
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It can't just be me but when I read something like this:

"Some will pay a little more in that transition pricing and some will pay less.

I tend it to read it like the following because this is closer to reality:

"Most will pay more for the same service but in an attempt to spin this positively there is a very small chance that a small number of users will pay less."

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Sysadmin figures out dating agency worker lied in his profile

Nick Ryan
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Re: Setting passwords for international users

Wonderfully evil, even better as the average USAian erroneously thinks that the Pound sign consists of two (near) vertical and two horizontal lines overlaid in the shape of the game board for noughts and crosses - a "number" or "hash" sign to the rest of the planet: #

None of this was helped by the marketing morons at Microsoft who named their fork of the C language as C-Hash (pretty apt at times) or C-Number, except for USAians where it as read as C-Pound. Of course, the marketing morons really meant C-Sharp but failed to notice that there is a difference between a pound sign £, a hash/number sign # and a sharp ♯.

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Nick Ryan
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I had a user that just couldn't manage to login. Reset password, still no luck.

I tried logging in using one of my accounts but no joy on that either no matter how carefully I typed. Next step was to test the characters being generated by the keyboard by switching to "other user" and typing away to see what was coming, which is a useful and regular trick to check if the damn keyboard/system is running in American instead of Engish. Turns out that the shift key functionality on the keyboard had failed (both left and right shift keys) and there was no longer any normal way to generate a capital letter or most symbols.

Later the user admitted that they had spilt water onto the keyboard the day before but had tipped it out quickly (apparently there wasn't much) and the keyboard had been fine afterwards therefore didn't worry too much about it.

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Three to appear in court over TalkTalk hack

Nick Ryan
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Re: Poor show

One where there's no penalty for failure and security is only seen as a cost.

...and where is the court case against the TalkTalk executives that did not permit/push for the investment needed to prevent simple hacks like the ones that opened up TalkTalk?

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UK's new Snoopers' Charter just passed an encryption backdoor law by the backdoor

Nick Ryan
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Re: Well...

What's particularly galling is that a pathetic nut job murdered a popular MP who was generally regarded as doing what she was meant to be doing: representing the people who elected her to represent them compared to Ms May who has her own personal agenda of an all invasive (thought) police state that many experts have clearly stated has no benefit to the electorate, particularly in what is meant to be a leading democracy in the "free" world.

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Investigatory Powers Act signed into UK law by Queen

Nick Ryan
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Re: *idly wonders how easy it would be to access an MP's WiFi*

It's not Britain (as I've always known it) anyway.

No, it's Ms May's private wet dream police state. She just needs to get the interfering EU out of the picture and she'll be free to push through even more mindbloggling gross indignities and abuse of personal rights.

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Loyalty card? Really? Why data-slurping store cards need a reboot

Nick Ryan
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Re: Nope

I've had one-and-a-half free tvs and three free radios out of Nectar Card (as well as various smaller things, days out etc). To me that's acceptable.

But you didn't. This is the wonders of distraction or step-removal psychology.

Free is free, as in you got something genuinely for free. When you use a loyalty card or similar the fees for this, as in the perceived value of the loyalty rewards or points you are given come from somewhere. The subscribers, who are the stores not you, have to factor in the cost of these points and rewards and therefore have to either reduce their profit on your purchases or to absorb the costs and you can guess what happens here because the supposed gains from loyalty will rarely equal or exceed the costs of the scheme compared to the additional profit that they make from you through encouraging you to spend more with them. So what generally happens is the cost of the items for sale are slowly increased to cover the cost of the loyalty points or rewards while keeping the previous level of margin.

In the end the loyalty cards are adding to the cost of whatever's for sale (and this includes the "cash back credit cards which work similarly"). If you chose not to take part in the scheme but still buy the products or services that include this cost within it then in you are in fact funding the scheme for others. Many of these schemes would probably fail, or have to be significatly rebalanced, if everybody participated in the value that can be recovered from them.

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Inside Android's source code... // TODO – Finish file encryption later

Nick Ryan
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Re: On fire?

Your government doesn't want you to know this but there's functionality in recent Samsung Note devices that they are unhappu about and don't want you to know about. This is evidenced by the many punitive government level legal attacks that are currently targetting Samsung's mobile phone division.

The galaxy note self-destruct feature is nothing more than a highly sophisticated security feature designed for the peace of mind of galaxy note users who want to keep their data safe. In the event of a detected data breach attempt the device triggers a burnout mode that wipes the data on the device so thoroughly that after which no agency, government or otherwise, will be able to retrieve your data.

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Passengers ride free on SF Muni subway after ransomware infects network, demands $73k

Nick Ryan
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Stop

Or forced to ride public transport 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Please have some degree of appropriateness about the level of punishment. These are only low live malware inflicting scum out to make a (dis)honest living, it's not as if they are mass murderers or politicians who would be more deserving of such a punishment.

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Three certainties in life: Death, taxes and the speed of light – wait no, maybe not that last one

Nick Ryan
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Re: In a vacuum?

Vacuum... the problem is that we really don't understand what we consider to be a vacuum actually is. Traditionally it's considered to be absolutely nothing, nada, nothing there at all. Unfortunately sub-atomic particles have a nasty habit of spontaneously forming in a vacuum can there truly nothing there because by definition they have to have come from something? Or is it the case that there is nothing there that we can currently observe and measure? in which case it's not unreasonable to assume that the speed of light may vary.

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Small ISPs 'probably' won't receive data retention order following IP Bill

Nick Ryan
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Next steps

Next steps from our SS wannabee thought-police dictator:

* Outlaw https access to websites

* Mandate that all security protocols can be decrypted by a "master key"

* Create a super database of all master keys, this should be outsourced to the usual inept organisations, overrun by a factor of 3 in time and 200 in cost and the data will be hosted in a different nation state. There will be no security problems with any of this.

* Require that all ISPs maintain a white-list of permitted addresses that users may access, access to addresses other than those on the approved list will be recorded - purely for performance monitoring purposes of course.

* Require that all ISPs maintain a black-list of non-conformant, non-compliance or just awkward addresses. Access to addresses on this black list will be recored, solely for performance reasons of course.

* Create an arbitrary law that a citizen accessing a resource on the black list may be a criminal act with non-appealable on the spot fines and repeat offenders may face further sanctions. Ensure that all this dressed up with enough "mays" that nobody is sure if and when it may apply, but that it's definitely for the good of their children and will counter terrorism. Citizens will not be permitted to know what is on the black list, for their own protection as publishing the black list will be seen as aiding child abuser and terrorists.

* Publish marketing-created statistics about how well this is working with a reduction in prosecutions against child abusers proving how well the system is working (on the spot fines are not prosecutions which is why they can no longer be appealed against). Earnestly note that the government would like to do better.

* Redefine the black list as "anything not on the white list". This is important for the safety of children and the prevention of terrorism.

* Ensure that the press smear anybody who disagrees with these changes as being a child abusing terrorist.

Success! The country is now a much better place with all dissenters (really child abusers and terrorists) successfully identified and locked up.

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'Data saturation' helped to crash the Schiaparelli Mars probe

Nick Ryan
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Re: Pathetitudinous

A bit like the poor sod who fell from the top of a 100 metre tall radio mast - he was 99% successful in surviving the fall.

From that height it's pretty much certain that the fall would have caused him no harm, certainly nothing worse than soiled underwear and aching vocal chords but nothing serious. It's the sudden stop that brings the fall to an end that's usually the problem.

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Fancy the new HTML vSphere client? Go get it: The old one has a security problem

Nick Ryan
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Re: Where's the bug?

The name vSphere "client" does not help with this. The vSphere web "client" is just a web page provided by the vSphere (web) server component. In this case the web server side of the appliction accepts and does bad/stupid things with some requests.

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Happy days for second-hand smartphone sales

Nick Ryan
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Re: Mmmm, attractive...

Flash - yes, this could be a problem although the churn on flash cells in a mobile device is currently somewhat less than that of an excessively write happy desktop OS such as Windows.

Battery, not so much of a problem as most batteries can be relatively easily replaced by a technician - the difference is that they are not consumer or in-the-field replaceable.

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Microsoft plans St Valentine's Day massacre for SHA‑1

Nick Ryan
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IIS certificate request management

Perhaps Microsoft would like to assist many web site managers and to support the generation of certificate requests within IIS using something other than SHA-1.

While certificates can be requested using the certificate manager MMC plugin, IIS offers a far simpler service for the relatively narrow requirements of https certificates that is less prone to mistakes - either change it to support something other than SHA-1 or remove it altogether.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: All together, now!

Can we get rid of Flash at the same time?

...and Silverlight as well. Same unnecessary rubbish, same problems, similarly unwanted.

However silverlight is still a "recommended" update for making a server less secure... To add to the non-joined up stupiditity should you click on an error link on a Windows server OS it will take you to the MS website which will then fail because JavaScript and Silverlight are not installed/enabled on a server's browser. Yes, we shouldn't really be using a server in this way but it happens...

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New state of matter discovered by superconductivity gurus

Nick Ryan
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Some element of logic would indicate that there should be some state between structurally different states, for example, solid and liquid because during this transition the structure is changing from one very different structure to another. Whether or not this transitory state is a state that the matter is stable enough in so it can be "persuaded" to remain in for any period of time is likely a very different question.

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Barnet Council: Outsourcing deal with Capita has 'performance issues'

Nick Ryan
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Re: translation of strategy into delivery

By definition, what the customer wants is what it states in the contract. However, that may not be what the customer needs.

True, although I did write it as "actually wants" meaning this but "needs" would be more brief and probably more accurate... Although often an end user "needs" a slap but is unlikely to want one... :)

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Nick Ryan
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Re: translation of strategy into delivery

Or more likely:

Do as little of what the customer actually wants as possible while pointing at the contract, laughing and running to the bank.

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Microsoft's cmd.exe deposed by PowerShell in Windows 10 preview

Nick Ryan
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Re: Problem of interfaces

What's most annoying about the interface problem is that the problem was "solved", to a certain degree, many years ago: REXX. All an applicated needed to do was to expose a REXX port and it could be remote controlled.

While it's possible to create your own PowerShell extensions, these are a bastard to deploy easily and require that your application is cobbled together in .net - which for lean or efficient applications is just not possible.

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User needed 40-minute lesson in turning it off and turning it on again

Nick Ryan
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Re: Witless idiots

"Error message? Yeah something popped up but dunno what it said - I just hit 'Cancel'. So why doesn't it work?"

I once had a dumb-arse IT support guy working for me who would do exactly that. Every bloody time. He always failed to look at why something wasn't working and concentrated on the end result of the failure... So on the monitor fault front he'd spend ages going through the monitor connections, power status, fuses, power switches and everything else before finally being prodded into the general direction that turning the computer on as well would be a good start...

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NHS IT bod sends test email to 850k users – and then responses are sent 'reply all'

Nick Ryan
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Re: Speak to Hillary

You sir, seem to have mistaken this website for some other site.

Here we lambast pretty much everyone, although usually from the technical point of view ("where's the IT angle") but not always as we don't want to restrict ourselves too much. Therefore we have articles pointing out holes (and making fun of) both Trump's useless website and email configuration and Clinton's personal email server.

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Trumped? Nope. Ireland to retain corporate tax advantage over the US

Nick Ryan
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Re: Mandate from the voters?

The majority voted for someone else.

It's more correct to state that the majority did not vote for Trump.

The voter turnout was only around 60% (rounding up somewhat) which means than 40% of the eligible voters did not vote. As a result, Trump (or Clinton) have/had at most 30% of the overall vote of eligible voters.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Seems to me ...

Owning a business or two, corporation tax is a bloody imposition and is the case of double or even triple dipping on a company's money for tax purposes...

Tax is paid for the purchase of services or supplies. Tax is paid for the sale of services of supplies. This leaves a somewhat smaller amount of money from which operating expenses are paid, e.g. utility, staff, insurance and other costs.

Out of what's left a government will then arbitrarily decide to take, for example, 40% of it. Just because. There's no "we're saving for a rainy day", or "we're saving for a new factory or office", just a 40% grab of whatever's there. After which the company may pay shareholder's dividends - which are also taxed at source and the shareholder will likely pay tax as well.

In other words if, as a business, you want to save for anything you can't because the powers that be have decided that you must instead borrow the bloody money instead. At poor rates, and only if the lender feels that they can make an immediate profit and therefore may lend to you.

I do have some sympathy when corporations do their level best to not have all their profit swiped before even more taxes are paid. On the other hand, rules are rules, even if they are unfair and barely justifiable and as is the case with many things, it's the smaller players that tend to suffer.

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Google Pixel pwned in 60 seconds

Nick Ryan
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Re: Cheaper to pay bug bounties...

Mistakes can happen but the biggest improvements come from compartmentalisation and sensible coding and testing. If a unit of code has clearly defined actions and inputs and outputs then this compartmentalisation allows the code to be tested. Wider ranging logic failures can still happen but at least the building blocks should work as expected.

I've always worked on the "trust nothing" approach and while I taught myself this from the age of 9 (I really should have got out more) it was demonstrably evident how much better this worked when it was time for computing coursework time at around the age of 15 as mine was easy to test/debug therefore I got drafted in to help with other students...

A simple example (bare in mind that these were primitive systems used in a primitive manner because the teachers didn't understand anything more), but 80% of the software that was written made assumptions about the state of variables before a block of code was entered. So instead of initialising flags at the start of the block it was relied upon that every block of code reset the flag once it had finished with it (you should be able to see where this is going). These were global variables on a system with tight constraints on the memory available and given the weirdo manner in which this language worked (global vars unless specified local) and the teachers lack of understanding of functions, despite them being in the language, students were taught GOSUB based code instead. Nothing overly wrong with this and everything worked fine as functionally clearing flags after you're done with them does work and is in fact slightly more efficient than initialising flags that were initially set to zero to start with. Until, of course, one function doesn't reset the flag in which case it was a pleasant experience checking all 5000 lines for the same flag just to see which was the last one that didn't clear the value.

Trust nothing. Assume all input to be bad and work from there.

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Robot solves Rubik's Cubes in 637 milliseconds

Nick Ryan
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Re: World Wide Jungle

Yep, and it's same old bullshit pedalled on each one... "you won't believe what happened next", "millionaires hate you knowing this secret", "this woman in X makes Y per day working at home" (stop yer tittering at the back) or "How to buy X, Y or Z for unbelievable prices" and so on. Repetition: the underpinning of brainwashing. The more "reputable" (hahaha) sites foist this bullshit on every page the more the gullible believe that any of it is remotely true and not just click bait shit.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: “large number of unanticipated sensors”

"Oh, look here, I've got a sonar sensor! Crap, a laser rangefinder too! What am I going to do with these?"

Attach them to sharks of course.

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Rolling out flash in the enterprise? It's a matter of application

Nick Ryan
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Facepalm

Hmmm. On the workstation front I was on the indirect receiving end of a numpty seller who was trying to tell their clients that there really wasn't much of a performance gain in using an SSD in a workstation compared to a HDD. Windows spends an inordinate amount of time reading and writing small chunks of data from arbitrary locations on a volume and this won't be improved through removing the mechanical action of forcing the damn drive head to move from one physical location to another. Repeatedly. Seriously?

While caches can be overloaded on an SSD but this is no real difference to HDDs which commonly suffer from cache overload situations that force the IO subsystem to wait. Not that storage systems couldn't or shouldn't be optimised for their intended purposes but for most operational situations an SSD is better than an HDD and the remaining cases are usual financially motivated rather than operational.

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What do you give a bear that wants to fork SSL? Whatever it wants!

Nick Ryan
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Joke

Re: 25KB or RAM

How do pictures of snakes reduce storage? :)

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Why Apple's adaptive Touch Bar will flop

Nick Ryan
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The windows tablets of 15+ years ago (or whenever it was) generally weren't bad systems overall, although I only got to use a few of them.

The key downsides were the price and the rather less than stellar touch screen experience which was stylus driven only which also lagged in time behind presses and the rather poor handwriting recognition - it was inaccurate and slow therefore it was easier to use the on screen keyboard instead.

The main and simultaneous advantage and disadvantage was that it ran a largely standard OS and applications and while some worked with what was effectively a single button mouse, many didn't.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Apples and Lemons?

What? So you DO look at the keys then?

My whole point..

If it's dark and I have to find the bloody thing I'll be looking for the laptop itself and not just the keys :)

I don't know if I'm alone on this but I can can touch type happily on a normal keyboard with a normal set of keys however when it comes to hitting function keys I tend to look at what I'm doing because firstly they're not normal keys to press (and function keys are aligned differently on many keyboards) and secondly because function keys tend to have rather more "interesting" functions therefore I'd much rather that I pressed the correct one first time. Even though the Escape key is generally in the top left of a keyboard it's action is often more dramatic than just a normal key press therefore I'm likely to find myself looking at the keyboard to check this one as well.

My pet hates: Laptops which swap the bloody Fn and Ctrl keys around (Lenovo) and particularly those laptops that decide that in order to use the normal function of a function key that we have to press the bloody Fn modifer key to do so. Because I'm really going to want to put my laptop into hibernate with the single press of a key. Idiots. I have the same level of hate to the idiot keyboard manufacturers who put power keys onto keyboards as well... usually just where the Insert, Home and Page Up keys should be.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Apples and Lemons?

Can you honestly say you can use unlit F-keys in a dark room?

Yes, because there's a source of light right above the things. If this is dark then the likelihood of me needing to press any function key, let alone a specific one, is quite low.

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Five-a-day energy drink habit turned chap's eyes yellow, urine dark, caused anorexia

Nick Ryan
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Re: Monster (other enrgy drinks are available, and probably much the same)

:)

To counter this, while I generally just can't drink red bull as it's foul all round although I have, of course, in the past drunk it with vodka in bars. On the other hand some of the no-sugar diet drinks are actually palatable with the M&S own brand particularly so with the Tesco own brand and Sainsburys own brand equivalents being reasonably drinkable as well. They're still probably dangerous as hell just for different reasons and compared to a coffee which consists of 75% sugar with a topping of caffeine and water probably quite healthy.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: What's wrong with coffee

And while we are on the subject: 'detox' diets are a waste of time. Discuss.

The value in 'detox' diets isn't all the horseshit mumbo-jumbo pseudo-science blabbering. It's the slight fact that while you're drinking all this super-wonderful-rainbow-unicorn-superfood tripe you're no longer eating and drinking to excess all the bad stuff. The lack of the bad stuff is what gives you the benefit, your body already the best anti-oxidant system in place already.

As long as you understand this and don't inflict fad diets like these on growing people (non-adults, breast feeding, pregnant, etc.) and only do them for a short time then they will work for you.

The down side of these fad diets is that your body will take sweet revenge on you during the week (constipation or other) and after the week is over unless you're very careful you will rapidly put the same or more weight back on... classic yo-yo dieting.

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Ghost of DEC Alpha is why Windows is rubbish at file compression

Nick Ryan
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Re: Yet another thing Microsoft sucks at

Microsoft also had code supporting specific features of the Amiga hardware in rather earlier versions of their OS. Annoyingly I couldn't find it the last time I looked for it (I found it by accident originally) but it was definitely there somewhere buried in the depths of the graphics handling code.

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KCL out(r)age continues: Two weeks TITSUP, two weeks to go

Nick Ryan
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I'm rather puzzled... if there's something that was evidently this critical then why was it stored (from the description) on a RAID-1 array consisting of just two disks? Eeek.

Also, why wasn't the backup reverted to rather faster than two weeks? Yes, reverting to old data is a pain particularly when followed by a likely merge but it should be less painful than two weeks downtime. Also, why wasn't the backup period somewhat shorter - if the data is this critical then the question should have been asked "how much (time of) data are you prepared to lose?"

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EU announces common corporate tax plan

Nick Ryan
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Re: Well

I don't know if you noticed but we get to vote for our MEPs. Other representatives are selected by the governments of the member countries of the EU so while we don't have any direct say on who they select we do have a direct say on who the selectors are. Well, we would if we had a rather more democratic society where it wasn't all about party politics and we didn't have to vote for the one that we least don't want in. Even with this we're in a marginally better situation than the US where it's pretty much an institutionalised binary choice of one nutjob or another and despite this Hollywood is still trying to persuade the rest of the world that the US is a democracy...

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Nick Ryan
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Re: finally a brexit benefit (for EU)

To balance things a little, the Italian economy is generally accepted to have been a pile of lies for rather too long and moving to a marginally more accountable system is beginning to expose the institutional accounting shenanigans that exists from "commune" level and up. The Greek economy was a masterpiece of creative accounting and has been for rather a long while and how and why their self certified figures were accepted would make an interesting story.

Disclaimer: I don't live in either of these places, but I know people who do/did and their tales are quite interesting...

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Smoking hole found on Mars where Schiaparelli lander, er, 'landed'

Nick Ryan
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Descending from mars orbit wouldn't be soo bad if it weren't for the speeds involved. In other words, starting from stationary on the surface of mars, yes we could fairly easily create devices that could fly - while the atmospheric density is rather low, so is the gravity.

The difficulty is slowing down from orbital speeds, which even in this relatively sedate instance was 1700 kph, and doing this at the same time as controlling the rate of descent.

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Lessons from the Mini: Before revamping or rebooting anything, please read this

Nick Ryan
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Re: Are you saying the mini revamp was a success?

I was under the impression that the family car market has merged with medium sized vans, not small ones. :) But then I still consider this to be a small van!

As for a "success", possibly but only if you take out the measure that most were so bloody unreliable that they spent an unreasonable amount of time being "fixed". Only to then fail again for something similar or possibly unrelated within another month or two.

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Banks don’t give a 2FA

Nick Ryan
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Blah. Whatever. In my experience (personal and observed), most of the bank security problems had no source related to whether or not there was two factor authentication in place or not - most of them were outside this as they were evidently inside jobs of some form or external systems such as 3rd party card readers. None of which a 2FA system on their website would have helped with at all.

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What will happen when I'm too old to push? (buttons, that is)

Nick Ryan
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Re: Oh, Alistair...

Most don't even know what the "save" icon represents. On a website or phone app...

I think they're missed the bullet on this one!

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