* Posts by bazza

1922 posts • joined 23 Apr 2008

Snapchat vows to shut its hole in wake of 4.6 million user data breach

bazza
Silver badge

Horse bolted...

...and stable door now propped shut with thin, dry stick?

28
0

If you're still waiting for Firefox on Windows 8, don't hold your breath

bazza
Silver badge

Re: Can't wait for Modern UI version of Firefox

I've got a Logitech T650 touch pad, and I've let it's driver software install its browser plugins. It's the best browsing and scrolling experience I've seen yet on a PC, super smooth scrolling in IE, Firefox (and Chrome too I think but I rarely use Chrome). On Win7.

I just wish some laptop manufacturers would build them in.

1
0

HTC: Shipping Android updates is harder than you think – here's why

bazza
Silver badge

Re: blame linux?

"Sony didn't use Linux for the PS4, so they must have had their reasons."

It would seem that their choice was mostly because of licensing - the FreeBSD guys seems remarkably relaxed about what people do with their code and aren't fussed over whether people openly release their own tweaks, etc. That's ideal for someone looking for a customisable OS that doesn't oblige them to release things like DRM tweaks.

From a purely technical point of view I reckon Linux is the better OS of the two performance-wise [semaphores, context switch times, etc] on modern multi-core CPUs. So that must have made Linux a tempter for Sony, but commercial considerations are always going to override a purely technical choice.

6
1

DisARMed: Geeksphone's next high-end mobe to pack Intel x86 inside

bazza
Silver badge

Re: Not another smart phone?

Market forces, alas, are not our friends here. Want to know the reason behind the technical strategies of MS, Google, Samsung and literally everyone else over the past few years? It's because Apple showed that there's a bundle of cash to be made from selling useless toys to consumers who'd never dream of doing a stroke of work on their shiny shiny toys.

It's a stupid idea for a company to chase the Professional market for people who actually do work. There's nothing like as much money to be made. Apple have a 100billion in the bank precisely because they didn't sell to the business user, they sold to the home user. Everyone else has got that message too, hence Windows 8, Android, the demise of BlackBerry, and the imminent death of the PC.

For US based companies it's very difficult. A company board isn't really able to say, "No, we're sticking to what we've always done". The board members will get sued by their shareholders for not pursuing a more profitable market. Apple made 100billion; MS and everyone else has to follow otherwise their shareholders will take them personally to the cleaners. Board members aren't going to risk their own livelihood and well being for the sake of a few million professional users when there's a few billion consumers to milk.

So I'm sorry Ted, but there just isn't enough 'Workers' out there for any of the major companies to care about any more.

0
0

Red Hat's pockets bulging on strong Linux, JBoss sales

bazza
Silver badge

Costly MRG

Given that all you're really getting from Redhat is support (otherwise you'd be using Centos, right?), I have often wondered whether that is really value for money, especially for their MRG product. Something like £3000 per year per installation. That's a lot of money; 60 of those and you'd want a RH support engineer dedicated to you 24/7, but I doubt you'd get that.

Scientific Linux is a better bet.

0
0

Google Glass pics will BAFFLE admirers: Nudge nudge, WINK WINK

bazza
Silver badge

No no, it'll be ok because within a few more winks you'll have hired a lawyer, brought a case and settled out of court. Who knows what will happen when your eyes widen when you see the legal bill you run up without hardly knowing it...

0
0

Android antivirus apps CAN'T kill nasties on sight like normal AV - and that's Google's fault

bazza
Silver badge

Re: Android malware becoming a growing nuisance?

"There's no technical protection from some users going to malicious sites and downloading malicious software."

Yes there is, it's called an Anti-Virus package that is actually empowered to stop nasty things running in the first place. The problem with Android is that it won't let an AV package do that, and Android doesn't prevent it either.

Google's whole security set up for Android is terrible. There's no proper update mechanism, there's no means for third party AV software to properly help, Android's security model is seemingly not very effective anyway (why else the malware?), and Google don't seem to be very intent on fixing any of this.

One might as well don a grass skirt and conduct some sort of shamanistic ritual over one's phone, that would be a security measure as effective as any other...

1
9
bazza
Silver badge

Re: Crazy Platform

"also known as a factory/hard reset on Android (and other smartphone OSs, Symbian had it, Windows Phone has it, etc.)."

So what? If a factory reset merely results in you having a phone as insecure as it was before, how exactly are you better off, and how exactly do you stop the same nastie getting in?

At least with a PC or Mac you can reinstall back to clean, get a better AV package and install a load of updates and be more secure that you were before.

1
8
bazza
Silver badge

Re: But also:

"Not even in the darkest days did Windows XP stop viruses from cleaning up AV software."

True enough, but at least that was by mistake. At least I am presuming that it wasn't deliberate on Microsoft's part...

Android is seems designed to make life harder for the AV guys than it is for the malware authors. I just wonder when it will occur to Google that they've a properly bad security problem and that their design is preventing other people from fixing that problem for them. Maybe they don't care, sales are great, but it's not exactly setting themselves up for a glorious long term future, is it?

Look at the things with major security problems at the moment. Java - who is running that in their browser these days? Adobe reader - so bad that the browser writers are developing their own PDF plugins. Flash - eek! Yahoo has a number of security problems, so people go to Google, Outlook, etc. MS are still around of course, but Apple did very nicely out of OS X's reputation for being more 'secure'.

In short, people start to drift away from platforms that have feeble security. Google can't afford that. They will actually have to fix it sooner or later.

1
8
bazza
Silver badge

Re: Crazy Platform

" Android, unlike any version of Windows, isolates apps giving them separate uid's and thus has them running in a sandboxed env. Each uid routinely joins various groups with different permissions. These permissions are also transparent to a user.

All apps are pretty much equal and cannot have higher privileges over each other. An admin (the user) or root can go over their heads. You cannot simply allow an app on an unrooted system to do just that.

All those features combined is a good measure against malware already."

Boring, and useless. Android is riddled with money stealing malware that no-one is doing anything about. If all that guff you've spouted is worth a damn, why are there so many Android nasties doing the rounds?

It is very obvious that the Android sandbox isn't worth a damn. I don't care if it's design is any good or not, the end result is that there's a shed load of Android malware. And yet the sandbox and OS architecture in general is set up to prevent anything (i.e. anti-virus software) doing anything about it. Seems that to have effective protective software the AV guys would have to use the same tricks as the malware guys are using in the first place. That's a simply crazy position for a software ecosystem to be in.

1
12
bazza
Silver badge

Crazy Platform

This sounds like madness. Not even in the darkest days did Windows XP stop AV software from cleaning up viruses. At least XP allows a modestly competent user to reinstall from scratch if necessary. What on earth do Google think they're doing?

Except of course the end user isn't dealing with Google, it's "not their problem" (unless it's Nexus). The end user deals with Samsung, Sony, etc or more likely with their network provider. And there's nothing they can do, because actually it all comes from Google.

Google really seem to be doing their best totally screw up Android. They're just one big hack away from driving all their customers to another mobile phone platform like iOS, Win phone, etc. And I'm pretty doubtful of Android's ability to resist hacks.

4
15

Kiwi inventor's court win rains on Apple's parade

bazza
Silver badge

Crazy System

The trademark system basically requires a trademark owner to actively defend their trademark or lose it altogether. So if someone came up with "iiPhone" Apple would have to sue or risk losing exclusive rights to "iPhone". Same with "Experier" vs Sony's "Xperia", etc, etc. The trademark authorities themselves will not protect your trademark for you except in obvious cases of direct copying.

So the problem is that you have to be "seen" to be defending your trademark, or else you'll lose it. The common sense thing for Apple to have done would have been to write a letter saying that they don't mind DRIPHONE, that they recognise that they're selling waterproof cases and that there's no real conflict of business interests. However, that's not public enough to be "seen" to be defending "iPhone". And without that someone would be able to argue that Apple didn't care and that they should be allowed "iiPhone" as a trademark.

It would be far better if the system allowed trademark owners to officially lodge letters of consent ("Dear DRIPHONE, we're cool with your company name coz you're selling cases, please don't make an actual phone otherwise I'll get angry, lots, Tim Cook") as official evidence of actively defending a trademark. That would be better for everyone.

Having said that, Apple do seem to have been needlessly paranoid in this case. I guess we all would be too if we stood to lose $billions of business if we lost control of a trademark and risked being personally sued by the shareholders for being so careless.

4
0

Three offers free US roaming, confirms stealth 4G rollout

bazza
Silver badge

Re: There is a reason why it's free...

"It's seems to be engineering lead rather than marketing lead."

Well they sort of had to be like that. They never had any 2G spectrum of their own, so they were forced to do 3G as well as they could otherwise they'd have had no business at all.

All the other operators had big chunks of 2G, and that allowed them to be lazy in their 3G rollouts. That worked well, right up until the smartphone revolution meant that punters wanted a lot of data instead of phone calls. Three were the only operator in a position to respond to that revolution in a sensible way.

I've noticed that Three's rural coverage is gradually getting better, and they're filling in the gaps in towns too. I think their service is pretty good at 3G, and I think I'll stick with 3G for the sake of my battery life.

0
0

Martians yet to retaliate after Curiosity's 100,000th laser strike

bazza
Silver badge

Re: Speculative Conclusions do not Compute.....

"Ahhhh, Friday ... the sun is shining in a cloudless sky, the trees are vibrant with the green of summer"

Oh stop rubbing it in, you southern hemisphere types. Up here we've got a grotty winter in full swing you know, and I for one am not enjoying it much. Especially as we're not thrashing the Aussies in the cricket like we should be.

2
0

iPHONE 5c FACTORY SHUTDOWN: Foxconn 'halts' mobe rebrand op

bazza
Silver badge

Wrong colours

The only 5c with anything like a remote chance of being popular is the white one. Who wants yellow, pick it, green, etc?

I don't understand why they didn't do a black one. Black sold very well in the old days, and I think a black 5c would have sold quite well today.

3
0

Nvidia reveals CUDA 6, joins CPU-GPU shared memory party

bazza
Silver badge

That's pretty unfair comment I think. Whilst some of us don't mind thinking in multiple different addresses spaces all at once (if you think 2 address spaces is hard, try the 69+ you get with VME...), anything that makes the programmer's job easier is a good thing for NVidia; they'll sell more product because of it.

At the software level they are copying what AMD have done, which is understandable. They can't copy AMD at the hardware level though, so they may start to struggle to compete in terms of whole system performance.

2
0
bazza
Silver badge

Re: Unified Memory

It is a response to what AMD have done with their APUs, but it's definitely a sticking plaster (band-aid for our transatlantic cousins) for NVidia's problem. Sure, the programmer doesn't have to worry about transferring data between CPU and GPU anymore, but the hardware does and the latency is still there.

If anything this could make the situation worse for NVidia. Before this, when the programmer had to do their own data transfers, the latency was explicitly there in the source code. It was practically shouting "this is painful and slow, don't do this too often coz it'll be a slow steaming pile of shite". Now that it's all hidden from the programmer it is easy to write working code with little evidence of inefficiency in the source. Laziness will become harder to spot.

In AMD land where the APUs have properly unified memory at the electronics level everyone wins. There are no inefficient data copies to be done at all, so source code that looks efficient ends up being efficient. That's a very good thing. It's not something that NVidia can compete with unless they start building themselves a serious x86 core.

13
0

Sony's new PlayStation 4 and open source FreeBSD: The TRUTH

bazza
Silver badge

Re: Another win for open-source leechers

@Oh Homer,

Firstly its not "our" software, it belongs to the FreeBSD guys. Secondly, if the FreeBSD guys want to license it under BSD that's down to them, not you. Thirdly, their choice of that license clearly shows that they're super-chilled about what other people, including Sony, Apple and even YOU, can do with the code. And I rather suspect that the FreeBSD guys derive a well deserved portion of smugness from the fact that their software seems to be so popular.

Personally I find that Google's choice of Linux as the basis for Android to be very odd given that FreeBSD would have done very well indeed. They would have had more control over the platform and the anarchy that is the Android ecosystem could have been avoided.

26
1

Host Minecraft on Shard Gaming? Grab your data RIGHT NOW before it goes completely titsup

bazza
Silver badge

Re: Yet People Still Flock to the Cloud

Not everybody does.

As Clouds come and go that'll just condition the market into not trusting clouds in general. For instance, I doubt that the former Shard customers are terribly enthusiastic about the whole idea anymore.

It'll also probably end up with there being just a few clouds, perhaps Amazon, Google, maybe Apple & MS. Apple have too much of a reputation for closing cloud services, MS are late to the party.

The really scary thing is that Google are just a couple of privacy law changes away from having no business model at all. If they ever lose the right to sniff through customer data then the whole business model for their cloud services vanishes, as will their cloud. Given the court cases starting up in the US its not so hard to imagine this happening. So, would you take the risk of irrevocably basing your whole corporate IT around Google Apps if you thought you might wake up one morning to discover its not there anymore?

The way I see it is that for clouds to survive in the long run they're going to have to properly inter-operate properly. A couple of big failures and everyone will decide its safer to do it themselves with their own hardware. That's what I do,

3
0

Furious Google techie on NSA snooping: 'F*CK THESE GUYS'

bazza
Silver badge

Re: Pot, kettle, black?

@ShadowedOne,

"You have the option to not use google, so if you don't like anything they do, then don't bloody use it. ”

Right, but that means you can't send email to anyone with a Gmail account, you can't browse most websites, and now you can't even phone someone with an Android 4.4 mobile.

Because if you do any of these things Google are tracking you, they know your name, address, phone number, they know what you look at and who you know and what you're sending to them. They'll even know get SSID of your home wifi. And they do all this even though you have never ever ticked a box accepting terms and conditions on Google's websites. They do all this because someone else you know has ticked that box.

2
1

HP 100TB Memristor drives by 2018 – if you're lucky, admits tech titan

bazza
Silver badge

Biiiiiiig Changes

The logical conclusion of the claimed performance and characteristics of memristor is startling. The only storage anywhere in a computer will be directly attached to its CPUs, just like RAM is nowadays. No SATA, SAS, PCIe SSDs, Fibre Channel, nothing. Just DDRx (whatever the 'x' has become by then).

That memristor storage would likely be divisioned into an area to take on the role of long term storage, and another to be the equivalent of DDR RAM. Except that the DDR-RAM part won't forget what it stores when power is removed.

And we'll have to get used to the fact that switching off your PC won't necessarily mean that it's memory goes blank. Everything in its terabyte sized memory will be retained between power cycles. Sounds like a security nightmare... Just to be sure the shutdown process will have to consist primarily of securely deleting its short term storage so all that those decryption keys, important data, etc. are wiped out. A power cut could be a real security nightmare for some people. And losing a laptop - eeek!

If you think about how software these days deals with important things like crypto keys, etc. so much of it assumes that memory is volatile and will be forgotten when power is lost. With memristor based RAM, things like BitLocker will be extremely vulnerable to power cuts.

8
0

Three million Adobe accounts hacked? Sorry, make that 38 MILLION

bazza
Silver badge

Re: What's in a zero anyways?

The first rule of cloud club is, don't get hacked.

The second rule of cloud club is, really don't get hacked.

.

.

.

The last rule of cloud club is, if you do get hacked don't ever tell anyone. Except when it's that bad...

1
0

Z30: The classiest BlackBerry mobe ever ... and possibly the last

bazza
Silver badge

Re: Here we go again...

"It's aimed at RICH grown-ups. I don't know anyone who would spend that kind of money on a mobile and if I did, I'd have to say they were fucking lunatics."

Are you suggesting that people who spend that much on an iPhone or Samsung are lunatics too?

12
0

Finally! How to make Android USABLE: Install BlackBerry OS 10.2

bazza
Silver badge

Re: BB's saviour?

No, Google don't need to make direct money from Android, not so long as their shareholders haven't figured out where it's all going.

Google made $10billion in 2012, not bad for an ad broker. However Samsung are making more like $30billion. A very big chunk of that $30billion is courtesy of Android, yet it isn't in Google's shareholders' pockets. Samsung galaxy wouldn't be doing anything like that much business without Android. How long before Google's shareholders start wanting a slice of that pie?

0
1
bazza
Silver badge

Re: BB's saviour?

@ Steve Davies 3,

"Release a build that can be installed on say, Samsung Android phones and still let the user have full access to Android apps."

Er, you do know this is an article about the BlackBerry operating system, not about the recent BBM port to Android and iOS?

From what I understand of BB's architecture there's hardware features in BB's phones that support the operating system's security model. Without those hardware features the phone wouldn't be as secure. Porting BB10 to a Samsung might not be possible without ruining the security model.

BB have offered manufacturers BB10 under license, but so far there's been no takers. Understandable - Android is effectively 'free' and clearly good enough to attract a healthy market. BB10 wouldn't be free.

On the topic of money, I think it's astonishing how much money Google aren't making out of Android. They do all the work, but it seems that Samsung are the guys making all the money. Google clearly do make some money, but they're effectively missing out one many gigadollars that are being banked by Samsung.

1
1
bazza
Silver badge

Installed it...

...and I like it :-)

8
0

Please, PLEASE, Skype... Don't kill our apps and headsets, plead devs

bazza
Silver badge

Re: 1 out of 3 aint bad.

"The reaction and participation on the petition - or rather the distinct lack there-of - is a pretty good indicator of the impact and importance of this API. The internet says "meh"."

Except that most end users won't have a clue what all this means until they discover that the Skype peripheral they got given for Christmas last year stops working before this Christmas.

Ok, so perhaps there's not that many people out there who are going to care or even notice, but it is crap of MS to do this. The API was well established, used by quite a wide variety of hardware and software, wasn't doing any harm, and wouldn't have taken any effort to leave it in Skype alongside whatever new API MS want to introduce.

Gaining traction and market share in communications is a key business goal for MS, and they're not in an unassailable position. Skype is not the whole of the mobile comms market. Doing something that pisses off even a small portion of the customer base would seem to be a stupid thing to do.

25
1
bazza
Silver badge

They weren't kidding...

"They believe the HTML-based Skype URI interface lacks the rich functionality needed to build decent third-party services and products for Skype."

And they're right. Looks like all the URI interface allows you to do is start up Skype in one way or another, not access the audio/video data streams themselves. That's a severe curtailment of functionality!

16
0

Lenovo sniffing BlackBerry's laundry, may purchase: report

bazza
Silver badge

Unintended Consequences

"Then there's the mobile messaging business BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins has said is BlackBerry's fallback position, although whether the world is ready to have its supposedly secure messages tended by a Chinese concern is another matter."

Lenovo buying BlackBerry risks them encountering the same sort of problems as Huawei. And for those users who really want BlackBerry secure messaging (Governments, banks) they might suddenly find that they can't use it anymore. What price does one pay then?

It's another example of something necessary and important for the few is supplied by the mass market, but then the market moves on leaving them stranded with few real options. With everything beginning to focus on the consumer, the tools used by the providers are going to become unique and expensive, or possibly non existent. For example, things like PCs used to be used by consumer and provider alike, but less so now.

1
0

Apple slams brakes on orders of (not so cheap) plasticky iPhone 5C

bazza
Silver badge

Re: No surprise

Well the world's a crazy place.

People prefer to spend larger sums of money on a flashy metal finished iPhone 5s, then they cover it in cheap plastic and rubber protectors to make it look worse than a 5c. What gives?

No, I've not bought a 5c either.

5
0

All cool kids' phones run ALTERNATIVE alternative custom Android ROM

bazza
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Not like Skype then

"Skype was never open source as far as I'm aware."

Quite right, it has always been proprietary. In fact, it kind of went beyond proprietary, it didn't even comply with any open standard. Instead they invented their own complete and finished VOIP system which poked two fingers up at the likes of SIP.

Judging by how successful Skype has been you have to wonder if any of those open standards is actually any good. Skype clearly had 'something' that all the rest lacked.

2
2

Oracle says open source has no place in military apps

bazza
Silver badge

What You Really Need...

...is good support. Properly good support that actually works, will pick up the phone when called and give you useful answers. If you can find someone to support FOSS, great. If that means finding a good proprietary product from a good helpful company, great. In my time I have found both with great success.

3
0

PC sales continue meteoric death plunge through 3rd quarter, drop another 8.6 per cent

bazza
Silver badge

Re: PCs are horrible

"Sometimes necessary"

Well for anyone doing an actual job of creating something, tablets are pretty much useless. So if we want to the world to carry on existing as it is we're going to keep needing PCs (or Macs I guess).

"but hugely inconvenient and with many annoying flaws"

Not if you're creating something. Tablets are badly flawed from that point of view.

"Too much maintenance."

Not really, its just that the mobile platforms like iOS, Android and the like don't get updated often enough. Android in particular is truly dreadful; it's full of security horrors, and there's not much the average user can do to rectify them. PCs don't require too much maintenance; Android does too little. Apple, Microsoft and Blackberry all push out regular updates too, and as the hackers get their teeth into these platforms the need for regular update cycles will increase.

I suspect that the decline in the market is caused by two separate things. First, no one likes Windows 8; anyone with enough cash is probably going to buy a Mac instead. Second, most people only ever used PCs for content consumption, and having discovered that you can do that quite happily on a mobile device they suddenly find they don't need a PC.

Thing is, we will always need PCs, and they're only affordable because the market is so large. But if that market dwindles too much then PCs will start costing a lot of money. And where does that leave the people who actually need one for creating all that stuff that everyone else wants to watch, play or run?

3
4

Britney-obsessed Ubuntu 13.10 DUMPS X Windows-killer Mir in desktop U-turn

bazza
Silver badge

Re: Oh FFS

"Is this important? In terms of distinction between kernel and OS, not really, no, though there are plenty of people who would vehemently disagree with me on that one. But in terms of remembering there are plenty of other Linux distributions out there (which may or may not have the same bug, depending on where it originated), yes it is. A bit. Relatively speaking, of course."

Well, for the average Joe it is quite important. How's anyone supposed to know which distro is good and proper, and which ones to avoid? And are the recommended ones popular because they appeal to a certain type of geek, or because they are actually well thought out for the average end user. It's especially difficult when the answers to these question seems to change every year or so. And as for desktop consistent experiences - ha!

1
0

Great Britain rebuilt - in Minecraft: Intern reveals 22-BEEELLION block map

bazza
Silver badge

Easter Egg

He's an intern; there's bound to be an easter egg in there somewhere. Anyone going to go looking? It could take a while...

0
0

BlackBerry inks deal to go private for $4.7bn

bazza
Silver badge

Re: "Beleaguered BlackBerry"

@Levente Szileszky,

"...and worst: they are even unable to come up with anything remotely original on their own - "Beleaguered BlackBerry", dear Jesus in heaven, really?"

Well, a $billion loss in a quarter for a company of Blackberry's size is pretty bad, and definitely well down the road to terminal if not dealt with.

Being taken private is probably the best way to deal with it. They may even do quite well unencumbered by dullard shareholders wanting their firm to take on the likes of Apple, etc. Far better that they focus cleanly on what they're good at; a high security platform for those who want that above all else.

Problem is that I think that their core market is being taken away by company accountants reckoning on BYOD being cheaper for their employer. And of course all accountants of course know everything about IT security and the consequences of getting that wrong.

What Blackberry need above all else is a massive and public disaster in a large famous company to be traced back to a rooted and compromised Android BYOD employee phone. That'd focus minds somewhat.

1
0

Roll up, roll up: Cash, Bitcoin and booze offered for iPhone 5S fingerprint scanner hack

bazza
Silver badge

How many fingers?

Does anyone out there know whether the phone keeps several fingerprints on record? I hope so, or its going to be very annoying on some occasions:

* when you've injured your first term and got a plaster wrapped around it

* if you're a couple used to sharing a phone

* when you just want to lend your phone to someone for a short while

* when you're wearing a pair of those touch screen compatible gloves on a cold day

If iPhone 5x doesn't deal with those scenarios then I suspect it will be quite annoying...

0
0

BlackBerry Messenger to launch on Android, iOS this weekend

bazza
Silver badge

Re: Something for the kiddies

@Khaptain,

"I have never even considered that it was even possible to connect directly to an Exchange server from a BB terminal.."

Yes it is, and a whole load of other email server types too. Mine's bolted onto Hotmail (or whatever it's called these days) too.

Plus, BB Balance allows you to do a neat trick. The phone implements a Multi-Level Security System, and I've had to do a lot of reading to glean what follows from that. [Alas I've not got a company phone, nor my own BES, so I've not been able to try it out myself]

So, as I understand it, one level is "personal", and can be joined to your own email, Exchange, Facebook, Twitter, and can have it's own apps, calendars, contacts, the lot.

The other level is "company", and is joined to your company's BES server, has its own email, apps, calendars, contacts, the lot. The company has full control of that level, they can install apps, setup email, wipe data remotely.

The clever bit is that nothing in the company level can be interact with the personal level, nor can anything from the personal level interact with the company level. Personal apps can't nick company data. Company apps can't see personal data. That provides assurance to the company that their data is safe, but you can still do your own personal thing knowing that your boss can't see. The company can even remote wipe their level in the phone, but they can't touch the personal level at all.

And the really clever bit is that apps like the Calendar and Contacts sit above both levels and can see down into them. For example, that means that you can see both your company and personal calendar when arranging a meeting, but your company can't see your personal calendar at all.

What's more, all that's got some pretty good approvals from various bits of the US and UK governments. That probably means that it's quite strong (though of course recent events might have dented that inference somewhat...).

You need Z10, Q10 and so on to be able to do all this; older Blackberries won't, and I think that the company needs to upgrade to the latest BES too. There might be money involved in doing all that, which might put off a company from upgrading.

It'd be interesting to know if your company has heard of BB Balance.

1
0
bazza
Silver badge

Re: Something for the kiddies

@Seven Seas Jim,

"All that is very nice... but BlackBerry has failed to advertize and promote these advantages and features. They make great phones but don't know how to sell them."

Well, I think you're fairly right on that front, but I think no marketing campaign would ever be able to convey exactly what it is that might make a BB phone a good choice.

Part of Blackberry's problem (in my humble opinion) is that quite a lot of their really good technology is unmatched by everyone else. A BB phone is not a clone of anything else, it stands apart in quite a lot of important areas. So, when you show an iOS user a BB phone, there is not a lot in their previous experiences to tell them what a BB phone can do. You have to explain the Blackberryness to them from scratch.

For example, Apple have educated everyone to expect some sort of a home button. Android copied that idea. Blackberry didn't put one on, they did something different; a bezel swipe gesture that works no matter which way up you're holding the phone. It saves you having to hunt for the damned button, and also saves surface area (you don't need to find room for a physical button), and thus has quite a lot of benefits. It also stops the phone looking long and thin and means the screen can fill the whole frontage, unlike the iPhone 5 for example.

As for marketing, they have advertised things like Blackberry Balance, but you have to look at it all really hard to really understand exactly what Blackberry Balance is and why you might want it. That doesn't even begin to fit into a 30sec ad, never mind impart the true essence of that particular thing to someone who has never seen anything like it before.

So I think that BB are sort of in a Betamax vs VHS situation; in many ways they're arguably far superior to everyone else, but most people don't understand why so don't bother looking. Instead BB have to rely on users who have a pressing need for something different and are thus motivated to thoroughly explore what BB actually have on offer. Most of the 'deficiencies' of a BB phone (a lack of apps is the most common observation) would be easily fixed if they had mass market appeal; software devs would eagerly write the apps for the thing.

I think that BB themselves recognised this problem some time ago, which is why they said then that they'd be focusing primarily on the corporate market hoping that they at least could be bothered to read the literature properly. Instead it seems that the corporate market is itself largely committing data-security suicide by being happy with staff using their own phones.

It's a pity, because BB's Balance is the ideal solution to that problem. I'm pretty sure that most companies have no idea that Balance allows company data security to be assured whilst letting the user do whatever the hell they like with their own messaging, games, etc.

1
0
bazza
Silver badge

Re: Something for the kiddies

@Khaptain,

The reason why their email is so good is because of the corporate BB subscriptions and BlackBerry's Enterprise Server, worth paying the money for.

However, BB now offer an alternative. Point your BB at an Exchange server and the result is fantastic. And, if you've already got an Exchange server, it's free.

Me, I rent my own Exchange server online (well, a mail box on an Exchange server), a cloud I can call my own. Better than using Google's, Apple's, or Microsoft's. Costs only £3.99 a month which is a pretty good deal for privacy I reckon.

0
0

Open ZFS wielders kick off 'truly open source' dev group

bazza
Silver badge

Re: @AC

And we're lucky that Sun did gave away the source code to various gems like ZFS.

People who complain about it not being GPL2 licensed are simply being ungrateful. Perhaps they should chill out a bit. You don't look a gift horse in the mouth, as the old saying goes.

6
0

Cold-blooded, INHUMAN visitor hitches ride on NASA moon rocket

bazza
Silver badge

OK, I'll jump

One small jump for a frog, one giant leap for anurankind...

8
0

Torvalds suggests poison and sabotage for ARM SoC designers

bazza
Silver badge

Re: He's right.

Not convinced he is completely right.

If you want discoverable buses, that all adds transistors, taking more power, and probably starts trampling over some other company's intellectual property, etc.

For ARM SOCs, power is king, and no chip builder is ever going to put in a whole bunch of additional transistors that then makes their chip look bad from a power consumption point of view. Nor can they afford to pinch someone else's intellectual property; someone out there is bound to be holding patents on discoverable buses like PCI.

Linus wants these things so that Linux doesn't need to be manually configured and built for each individual SOC design from every individual manufacturer. But if that's what we're going to be stuck with, how about making it possible for the manufacturers to easily contribute a single 'config.sys' file (for want of a better phrase) for their SOC that is then automatically available to everyone downloading the Linux source code? That would at least mean that the work gets done only once.

I don't know enough about the Linux ARM source code base to know if that makes sense, but something along the lines ought to be possible. For all I know it may even already be there but the manufacturers aren't playing ball, which would be a pity.

27
5

Boffins follow TOR breadcrumbs to identify users

bazza
Silver badge

The Irony

TOR started off as a NRL project which they later open sourced. It's ironic that another NRL study has found it to be not wholly effective...

1
0

THE HORROR: Bloody SLAB sales slash fest forecast for 2013

bazza
Silver badge

Foresight?

Didn't BlackBerry predict this downturn about 8 months ago?

0
0

Apple tops target list for litigious patent trolls

bazza
Silver badge

Aiming at the cash

This is not entirely surprising. The patent trolls will naturally go for the wealthier companies, and they don't get much wealthier than Apple. The richer they are the less significant the consequences of just paying up. There's no point suing a close-to-bankrupt company, there'd be no profit in it.

Of course, Apple's own litigious tendencies will probably mean that there won't be much sympathy...

8
1

ISPs scramble to explain mouse-sniffing tool

bazza
Silver badge

Bad Design

Use of this sort of tool is no substitute for designing the website right in the first place.

Scenario: website goes up, people start using it, author uses this trick to see how people use it. Author then decides to change the design in response to the gathered data. Users now have no idea how to use the website. Repeat that cycle a few times and you end up with no users.

Get design right first time; iterative design on a live site works only if you do it veeery slowly.

Website authors are getting very lazy. A search feature does not mean that you don't need to design the website and lay it out sensibly.

0
0

You won't find this in your phone: A 4GHz 12-core Power8 for badass boxes

bazza
Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: Putting up the good fight...

@BeachRider,

"That means that IBM needs to open the door to higher single-thread operation (GHz or IE efficiency). This might be a cool thing to track over the next 1-2 years."

The biggest barrier to better single thread performance for everybody is memory latency. The memory architecture for Power8 is unbelievably complex and has tremendous bandwidth, and all that complexity is a good effort to overcome the fact that DRAM latency is way too slow in comparison to the core speed. But IBM and everyone else needs faster high capacity memory technology.

You can judge how hard it is to do. Despite the vast improvements in silicon manufacturing technology IBM and everyone else still has only about 64k of L1 cache running at core speed. We can put billions of transistors on a chip, but we can get only a few tens of thousands of those to operate as memory running at 4GHz. Unbelievable after all this time. IBM did pretty well with the Cell processor (256k core speed RAM next to each SPE), but we seem to have gone backwards since then.

1
1

Pulsars: the GPS beacons of the cosmos

bazza
Silver badge

Re: @ MacroRodent (was: The idea of using pulsars for spacecraft ::snippage::)

@Jake,

I suspect that they've not worked on any embedded system like that at all.

The following may be of interest. The Lockheed A12 and SR71 did navigation by star tracking. They had a little telescope system on the top, they could sight for particular stars and work out their terrestrial position that way. Kind of like an automation of navigation by sextant. That was all done with 1960s era computing. It follows that that's all that is needed for this sort of problem. A modern day 200MHz rad hardened PowerPC is massive overkill for this sort of navigational problem.

1
1

A single company is responsible for 1 out of 4 BlackBerry apps

bazza
Silver badge

Emulation Engine

BlackBerry's emulation engine, rather than a platform-native app.

Dalvik in anything is theoretically the same as Dalvik on Android. Dalvik on BB10 is no more an emulation than Dalvik on Android. BB's implementation is getting better all the time, and reportedly will be Jelly Bean compatible in a short while.

Having said that, those Android apps on BlackBerry do show up how unsatisfactory a UI Android is. Use BB10 for a short period of time and you soon realize how stupid it is to have a home button in a fixed position on the mobile, and how crazy it is to have buttons at all. Native BB apps that use BB's bezel gestures are far nicer to use. It's a shame that app developers are taking advantage of BB' Dalvik to port apps in a lazy way rather than doing the job properly. However, BB would probably have very few apps indeed without their Dalvik implementation; beggars can't be choosers.

3
0

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017