* Posts by bazza

2069 posts • joined 23 Apr 2008

Tube bosses: 'Wireless tickets too slow, we think'

bazza
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Re: Works in Tokyo

Yep, the entire SUICA setup does seem to work very well indeed. I've no idea why any other tech is even being considered elsewhere. And it's not just transport - load of shops, coffee stands, vending machines, etc. all use it.

In other words it really is a near universal system for small purchases, just like the West wants NFC to be. Except it's already been working for 5 years.

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Universe has more hydrogen than we thought

bazza
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Re: @sarev

"Depends how you cook 'em."

Peking Penguin? Hmmmmm, I'd try it... Penguin a la orange doesn't sound so tasty though.

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bazza
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Re: @sarev

"Penguin, 'cos everyone knows what they're like."

Not as tasty as ducks?

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bazza
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Re: Echidnas?

Oh I dunno, doesn't it depend on how well fed the echidna is?

Great piece of work I thought, well done them!

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Windows 8 Release Preview open for download

bazza
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Re: Win 8 better? C'mon

I generally found that Windows 7 works better on any given hardware than XP. I've even got it running reasonably well on a 7 year old Dell laptop (and certainly better than xp sp3 on the same machine).

If you're ever going to have to upgrade OS you're probably want to get 7, not 8. I've no idea if MS are going to keep selling 7 once 8 is out...

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'Dated and cheesy' Aero ripped from Windows 8

bazza
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Re: And the funny thing is....

Ah well, it's all fine and dandy to wait for the release, but many of us have been trying the consumer preview (myself included). It would be a significant surprise if the release turned out to be very different. Personally speaking I hate the metro interface on a desktop but I can see it working quite well on a tablet.

Two problems for Microsoft. First, there's a distinct lack of good PR resulting from the consumer preview. This might actually translate into bad PR once the mainstream press wake up. That's never good for a product launch.

Second, a platform depends on the developers to make it successful. Now developers are never going to use a tablet for this; they do too much typing and want several large screens. They want a good desktop OS, something that Win 8 really isn't. So if their life becomes too hard they might just go to a platform where life is easier. OS X springs to mind. The most talented individuals out there will certainly jump ship as soon as they get fed up.

The trouble is that there aren't enough devs to show up significantly in MS's usage statistics, yet in essence they are MS's most important customers. MS will ignore their views at their peril.

I'm very disappointed with MS. When they first started talking about ARM I thought great, proper Windows on ARM, maybe Metro for mobiles, ARM servers just round the corner, etc. Looks like they've been lazy buggers and tried to do mobile on the cheap and ruined desktop at the same time, and no hint of them innovating in ARM servers.

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SpaceX sets new blastoff date for Dragon: 19 May

bazza
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Software tweaks?

"as Elon Musk's SpaceX decided to tweak the software one more time."

It sounds very late in the day to be tweaking the software. You don't just go into that sort of software, make a few changes, re compile and upload to the target system all within a couple of hours...

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Google's self-driving car snags first-ever license in Nevada

bazza
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Re: BetaDrive

@Thorne,

" you're already trusting your life to programmers and engineers every time you get into a car now"

Not really, at least not in the same sense, and not to the same extent. The mechanical design can be analytically proven to be safe. The car's electronics and software do not yet have total authority over the cars actions. The driver still has direct mechanical / hydraulic control of the car, with the electronics and software just there to help.

The exception is air bags. It is highly important that they do *not* go off until you crash. However, they sometimes do - it happened to friends of mine whilst they were driving along the motorway, nearly killed them. Big fail, Ford. Other exceptions thus far are I think the brake-by-wire system on some Mercedes, and perhaps adaptive cruise control, neither of which I believe are wholly reliable.

With Google's self drive car it's different. Google's line is that you can cede control of the car and relax, in which case the car is now in control, not the driver. But the fact that the driver will remain legally responsible means that not even Google really trust their own system. So why should the driver? After all it'll be their crash, not Googles.

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bazza
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Re: On the one hand...but on the other...

@Cliff

To extend your comparison (if I may) with autopilots in planes, another key difference lies in what the two systems actually do.

Aircraft autopilots are performing relatively simple flight dynamics calculations to keep the plane in the sky. They're processing data from reliable sensors (air speed, altitude, attitude, GPS, etc). They operate in an environment where there's nothing to hit except other aircraft that are easily spotted (radar systems / transponders work really well). Also they are similarly controlled either by an autopilot or by a pilot following the rules of the sky. Missing the ground is generally straightforward provided everything is working. They're not artificial intelligences systems; their rules are actually quite straightforward. In short, the problem is well specified, bounded and comparatively easy to test.

This system of Google's has to make complex decisions based on data that is not wholly reliable (image recognition systems never are) in a complex and highly varied environment. How, for example, does it cope with rain, fog, a patch of smoke, debris in the road, etc? It is a classic artificial intelligence situation in that the rules are not tightly defined. In short the problem is not well specified, is poorly bounded and is a nightmare to exhaustively test. Not a good place to be if one is contemplating offering this to the general public…

Your point about Google's corporate culture is valid. They've not got a tradition of developing safety critical systems. I very much doubt that there's anything about the development of this system that an avionics engineer would recognise as being appropriate and sufficient given the scale of the problem. Personally I'd prefer to spend my driving time looking after what the car's doing myself. I'd rather not spend the time wondering if and when another of Google's bugs will occur.

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bazza
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Re: BetaDrive

"...I'm quite keen to see these become mandatory".

Well that'd be interesting, especially if its use (not just it being standard equipment) was mandatory.

If the local legislature were to consider such a move then it would also, provided it had an ounce of common sense, transfer liability for accidents caused by a system failure to the manufacturer (or possibly to itself). It would be highly unreasonable for drivers (passengers?) to be held responsible for failures in a system which they are obliged by law to use.

So if that were done, that would mean Google (for example) would be responsible for every single accident caused by their system failing. That would potentially be one hell of a liability; one trivial bug could cost many millions of dollars in pay outs / fixes / etc.

Still, if it evolved to the point where mandatory use was truly backed up by proven reliability, perhaps then it would also acceptable to allow it to drive us home from the pub when drunk!

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bazza
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"so can i drink and get driven home in this?"

No. The person sat in the driver's seat will still be responsible for the actions of the car. Basically it's a way for Google to say that the software is in beta, and any bugs and consequences arising from them are not their fault. So if the car has an accident because of a bug and you're pissed or on the phone it's your fault.

Personally I think it is madness. What's the point of all that tech if it can't drive you home from the boozer? And would you really trust Google's software with your life?

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Java jury finds Google guilty of infringement: Now what?

bazza
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Google's haphazard approach

Whatever the merits of this current case, Google's approach to Android is undeniably haphazard.

* They didn't set up a decent update mechanism.

* They've gone and needlessly lumbered themselves with a court case over Java; they could have bought Sun themselves and avoided this issue altogether.

* It's generally regarded as the least secure of the smartphone platforms out there.

*The Android ecosystem is pretty fragmented, making everyone's life hard.

All this smacks of a lack of commitment on Google's part to get Android right and make a decent commercial future out of it. Now we learn in this court case that it's costing them a bundle of money anyway, with a less than certain net return on the investment.

Makes one wonder what their game plan actually is...

It's a real shame. I'd love there to be a consistent, well developed, well supported and completely open source mobile OS that anyone could use trouble free. I don't think that Android is really it. I don't think that the handset manufacturers want that - it would definitely cost them sales. Maybe that's why Android is the way it is, otherwise it wouldn't have got manufacturer support.

Small thought - how publically available is MS's hardware spec for Windows phones? We know that they mandate a standard spec on the manufacturers. If that were officially obtainable then it would be possible to brew a Linux distribution for it (in the same way that you can for a PC). Even if it weren't publically available, it could be reverse engineered (legitimately?), but that would be a lot of work.

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Google counters juice V8 Javascript engine

bazza
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Optimised?

Cc -O3

(And variants thereof).

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Can Amazon become the biggest platform peddler in the world?

bazza
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Re: "Grid"

"The secret sauce in HPC is in the interconnects, something that "cloud" and cloudier-than-that doesn't do very well."

As well as that Amazon's cloud servers are virtual, not real (as far as I know). That means sharing the physical hardware with whoever else is using the service at the same time. Not ideal when actually trying to extract maximum compute power!

Not all HPC work loads need high performance interconnect. Fluid dynamics does, protein folding doesn't I think. But a Cray or K machine will always have an edge...

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Fanboys excited by ancient Google Qwerty Nexus plan

bazza
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Re: What I want is...

I vaguely recall reading here on El Reg that Psion still hold the patent on the keyboard. It seems that no other manufacturer believes there is enough market demand for it to be worthwhile licensing. Pity, the Psion5 was indeed a fabulous device.

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Betting on Box in a SkyDrive and Google Drive world

bazza
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Re: files increasingly live within apps.

@Tom 35

"Sounds like lock-in to me..."

Absolutely, and is anticompetitive. As the cloud app / storage market settles down there may be law suites at dawn over interoperability, lock-in, etc.

I'm amazed that the fuss over Megaupload hasn't dented the thirst for cloud storage. If ever there was a lesson concerning how many eggs one can wisely put in a single basket, that was it.

What was it that Joni Mitchell sang? You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone? Having complete control of files is something that the computing industry has had and taken for granted for decades now. Take that away and life becomes harder.

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Google wanted Java 'partnership' with Sun

bazza
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Re: Do no evil?

@ Daf L

"Just give away one of their most important technologies",

Er, yes. If Google's commercial judgement is that they'd be better off without Android, they would drop it. Larry Page said in court that Android isn't critical to Google's success, and if that isn't a scene setter for an Android-less Google I don't know what is.

They're a company with shareholders, and shareholders are remarkably unsentimental about technology that isn't earning money. If Google have contracts with the likes of Samsung, HTC, etc. that tie Google in to Android for the long term then I'd say Google's contract lawyers need sacking. I doubt this is actually the case, and I imagine that Google can just walk away from Android just like any other software vendor would.

"to a bunch of ambulance chasers that don't have a cat's hell in chance of walking away from this bogus lawsuit with anything more than their bus fare home"

Except that the last time someone took liberties with Java they lost in court quite soundly (Sun vs Microsoft).

Now this particular case has not yet concluded, but the internal Google emails coming out in court aren't exactly doing Google any favours. The top echelons of Google are busily denying any knowledge of these emails (ha!), but that doesn't matter. The emails show that corporately there was awareness and an admission that Google needed a Java license. If the senior management didn't pick up on that (which is very hard to believe, they were the addressees of the emails) then they're not managing the company very well. But that doesn't get the company off the hook.

In a sense the internal emails are a sideshow to the matter of Does Google Need A Java License (that's down to the T&Cs of the license for the public bits of Java), except that they're not exactly going to encourage the court to judge in Google's favour. Where they do matter is if the court decides that Google does need a license because the court might then conclude that Google already knew that but deliberately went to market without it. That would probably result in whatever punitive damages are consequently awarded being higher.

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Floppy disk drives jam James Bond theme

bazza
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Re: That's Nothing

Yep, I completely agree - James Houston has definitely topped the floppy drives!

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Turing's rapid Nazi Enigma code-breaking secret revealed

bazza
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Re: "squeezed the juice" out of the two papers...

The Poles did a tremendous job on the early Enigmas with very limited resources, but got stumped when the Germans added the plug board on the front of the machine. Turing's genius was to solve the plug board problem. So it was in effect a joint effort.

One of the most important additional aspects of the Polish work was to demonstrate that attacking a machine cypher was possible. Without that the British might not have got started in the first place.

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DARPA overjoyed that its hypersonic glider came apart, blew up

bazza
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Re: Shuttle speeds in similar position?

I think that going that fast is pointless anyway. The view won't last anything like long enough for the trip to be worthwhile. Far better to get up into orbit and stay there for a few revolutions at least, and spend a whole lot more time looking out the window.

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Apple claims Aussie 3G is so good it's 4G

bazza
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Re: Its the ITU's standard

It was quite easy for GSM network operators to achieve good performance. This is because the radio characteristics of GSM (principally it's time division multiplexing) are very well thought out and a miracle of their day. GSM allows network operators to put base stations up here, there, everywhere without having to re-jig their existing infrastructure too much. That's why GSM took off worldwide like it did.

It's been much harder for network operators to achieve good performance with their 3G networks. This is because the radio characteristics of UMTS and CDMA2000 (e.g. cell breathing and related effects) make it difficult to add additional base stations in the same way they could with GSM. 3G places a much higher emphasis on getting the network deployment right first time, and improving it once it's deployed is difficult and expensive. Basically, the 3G standards were drawn up in too great a hurry and everyone forgot about the need for easy network planning.

For LTE the standards writers didn't make the same mistake as they did with 3G. This time TDM is back in the mix, and that along with various other things will make it easier to put micro and pico cells literally everywhere, much like they can do to with GSM.

The point is that LTE has the potential to get very much better than it already is because it is commercially viable for the network operators to upgrade. So whilst both 3G and LTE today might not be delivering close to their theoretical throughputs, only LTE has the technical and commercial potential to get significantly better. Apple saying that a 3G device is as good as a 4G one is likely to be true for only a short period of time, after which it starts becoming a lie. I imagine that Telestra are busily rolling out LTE base stations as quickly as they possibly can, and iPads can't join in.

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bazza
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Re: Ill buy that

"In classic Jobsian style, blame the system and everyone else, but never admit their slick marketing bends the truth."

Indeed, and I hope the Aussie authorities will stick with their hard line. Facts really do matter to consumers. Apple have got so used to being able to fib to American consumers with impunity that they are forgetting that the rest of the world doesn't work in the same way.

That graph is a very curious piece of data. Assuming that this is something that Apple have put forward it is hardly doing their case any good whatsoever. The point is that under the right circumstances LTE really can outperform 3G. I imagine that Telestra have done some convincing demonstrations of that for their own marketing reasons. And as the roll out of Telestra's network proceeds the chances of ordinary punters encountering the right circumstances will only increase. But today's iPad cannot benefit from that. It may benefit in the future from the future roll out of LTE at other bands in Australia, but that's not what Apple are claiming in their marketing blurb.

Apple has never done a TD-SCDMA version of the iPhone despite there being hundreds of millions of potential customers in China. Most other manufacturers seem to be able to squeeze the requisite chippery into their handsets to tap even quite small worldwide markets without too much difficulty. So why won’t / don't / can’t Apple? I think it’s because they’re a bit light weight when it comes to engineering capacity. Do they have problems keeping hold of skilled staff? Surely even Apple would chase the TD-SCDMA market in China if they thought they could? And surely they’d want to avoid local difficulties like they’re experiencing in Australia?

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Dad sues Apple for pushing cash-draining 'free' games at kids

bazza
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Re: My 10 year old has had a phone for a couple of years now

"Most families have a few of these "once was pricey piece of premium kit" and handing them down to junior is one of the best uses for them (after a thorough factory level wipe)."

Completely agree with that :) In my case I just hope that I'd have learnt enough about the mobile so as to be able to fend off the barrage of technical questions that would no doubt flood my way. Not so difficult with a 6310i, a touch harder with the N95...

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bazza
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Re: My 10 year old has had a phone for a couple of years now

Oh how the mighty have fallen. Once upon a time an N95 was a pricey piece of premium kit.

It's interesting how expectations have changed - kids used to roam free like that long before mobile phones.

One thing I do know is that most parents hate retailers using their kids as a marketing lever. Parents have a hard enough time as it is without additional nagging from offspring. McDonalds got so good at it they're not allowed to advertise to children anymore in the UK. Freemiumware is a whole lot worse.

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Moody's downgrades Nokia to near-junk status

bazza
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Re: Nokia will come good

@ Paul Shirely,

"Somehow I don't imaging the latest ploy of turning Windows into a massive WP8 advertising billboard will change much..."

You know, I think you've hit the nail on the head perfectly there.

I think it's a dangerous game for MS to play. Win 8 CP isn't exactly going down well (I hate it, staying with Win7). If Win 8 Desktop gets a poor reputation then that might actually put people off Win Phone 8, even though the interface itself seems to be really quite good for mobiles / tablets. Customers can be very fickle like that.

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bazza
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Re: Nokia will come good

Well, they are currently totally bound to the fate of Windows Phone. Their future is in Microsoft's hands. The lure of their admittedly good hardware engineering isn't anything like strong enough on its own to attract customers. Windows Phone shows some very decent promise, but they've got a long way to go before we're all clamouring for one.

Having read about various things Nokia over a couple of decades I'm not entirely surprised that it has sunk to this level. From the very beginning of the smartphone revolution when Nokia first acquired Symbian from Psion (yes, a looooong time ago) they started making a mess of things. It would appear from interviews with former Psion guys that Nokia just didn't understand it. I mean, consider how awesome a Psion 5 would have been had Nokia just added a phone to it and left everything else exactly as was? That was in 1998, but instead Nokia spent three years 'improving' it before finally puking up the 9210 which was, erm, worse.

My view is that Nokia is first and foremost a hardware company with no one high up who really, really understood software and its market power. They didn't see the way in which it would revolutionise mobiles as soon as the CPU power was there to support it. And they continued to do so all the way through the 2000s. All their recent software decisions have been poor, and give the impression that engineering pride is more important than commercial reality. Dented pride is nothing like as bad as corporate extinction. Ask Saab. Oh wait, you can't.

Like it or loathe it, or even loathe it a lot, and despite the mess, Android is the only money spinner available to outfits like Nokia at the moment. Even if they adopted it just for a few years it could save the company. In a weird way I think Microsoft need Nokia to adopt Android for a few years to make sure that Nokia is still there for when Windows Phone starts attracting larger sales. I mean, if Nokia don't make high spec Windows Phone mobiles, who will?

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Boeing plans super-secure Android smartphone for top echelons

bazza
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Re: The upside

Any improvement to Android would definitely be most welcome. It is the most fragile (from a security point of view) of the platforms out there.

As for putting improvements back in the mainline, well that's fine so long as no one else (i.e. Google) then goes and modifies it to add some hey-new-whizzy feature that undoes all of Boeing's hard work. And just because it's in the mainline doesn't mean to say that millions of users are going to benefit. No, I suspect Boeing are going to have to maintain their own fork of Android if they want to have a long lasting product line.

It's quite clear that Google didn't do enough analysis of Android security in the first place, nor think about how it could be improved. Maybe they didn't have to - they're earning good money out of it as it is. We all know that Android, uniquely, cannot be auto-updated in the field by Google. Until they fix that Android is always going to be behind the security curve, or stuck in some slow moving fork created by outfits like Boeing.

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bazza
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Re: What about the users?

Well, that nicely encapsulates the bind that RIM find themselves in.

A corporate BlackBerry is normally configured by the corporation's IT bods to prevent loading of applications for this very reason. This makes BlackBerries 'boring'.

Androids and iPhones generally let you add apps, which makes them 'exciting'. However allowing arbitrary third party software on to a corporate device means taking a risk of some sort.

Boeing are right, there are organisations whose risk appetite is low meaning that they understandably don't like mainstream Android. But to fix that means placing RIM style restrictions on what the device can do, or having a multi-level security system of some sort.

A hyper-visor approach may deliver (with some effort) a multi-level security system, but that's not likely to result in improvements to battery life. The only justification for it would be to allow people who require security to also use mainstream apps.

The inevitable questions arising from that is "are spooks allowed some fun?", and "are spooks really incapable of carrying two phones?"

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bazza
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Re: Questionable management

Does he know about the $10,000 toilet seats?!?!

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bazza
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Re: Microsoft can't even afford lobbyists?

The result of that effort was SE-Linux, such as you find bolted into Fedora, Redhat, etc. It's an extension to Linux that allows you to set and enforce security policies on a system.

Most people's practical exposure to it is the annoying dialogue boxes that still pop up in Fedora saying that some badly thought out policy has been breached, usually by some other standard part of the OS / desktop / services. In my limited experience it has a propensity to call wolf a lot...

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bazza
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Re: Daring move...

"But the most risk is the liability aspect itself I think"

Believe me, even the most trustworthy of software platforms comes with an EULA that absolves the authors of all responsibility in all circumstances for any faults whatsoever, despite what the glossy brochure says. Boeing will be no different.

Anyway in this arena it's not the author's word you trust in the first place. You test the product yourself against whatever information security standard (e.g. FIPS) suits your needs, or accept the word of some other trusted authority (e.g. the government) that has already done that testing. The more stringent your security requirements the harder that is to come by.

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bazza
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Re: No, President Obama doesn't use a Blackberry...

@Malcolm Weir,

"The crux of the matter is that Google makes it possible to scrutinize Android, "

Er, not quite. According to the fount of all knowledge Wikipedia the current version of Android is 4.0.4, but Google have released the source only up to 4.0.1.

Even if you could stay current with Google's releases (which you can't with Android because you need the manufacturers to keep up) you can't examine the source code you'd be running because Google don't release it at the same time the binaries hit the streets.

Even then what you're running isn't what Google released, you're running something that was put together by the mobile manufacturers *based* on what Google released. You don't ever get to see their modifications (so far as I know).

I don't see what Boeing hope to achieve. They're not going for a stronger Android that the mass market would adopt. They're aiming at a niche market. That niche will always accept lock down, restrictions; that's the price you pay to get security.

That would appear to be a niche that RIM (as you point out, MS increasingly so) already fill well. RIM's Playbook (and I guess their future mobiles) even supports repackaged Android applications!

I think Boeing is being carelessly vague. Whatever it is they think they'll be doing will at best be a major fork of Android. It will not *be* Android itself. But if it's not full fat fresh from the chocolate factory Android then it's not going to offer any advantage over the offering from RIM or MS. Both let you write/deploy your own niche-specific applications in mainstream-friendly ways (= cheap coders). 'Cheap coders' is all that the label 'Android' implies in this case anyway.

Boeing may be able to offer a more secure product, but taking Android as a starting point will make their life very hard. Something like Greenhills' Integrity OS would be a better basis; layering Dalvik on top of that could produce something really quite interesting from a security point of view.

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It's all in the wrist: E-ink smartwatch Pebble bags $2m

bazza
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Re: EPIC FAIL

Depends on how they've done it. Bluetooth has quite a lot of things like audio, audio controls, etc already in the specification. If they've implemented that sort of thing then there's a half chance that the pebble will just work with other mobiles too (at least for things that Bluetooth knows about).

If they've ignored the Bluetooth standards and done something bespoke then it will be harder. It would be a shame if they have ignored all those Bluetooth profiles, there's some good stuff in there. But the open SDK they're talking about might mean that any programmer could make it work with Windows Phone, or BlackBerry, or why not a PC?

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RIM: BlackBerry sales to US gov still on the rise

bazza
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Re: RIMarkably dense behaviour...

I'm not your down voter, but maybe RIM have a good reason to try and wean us off whatever library that was. Though it is a bit tardy of them if they're still using it, and I think I'd share your frustration. If its good enough for them, its good enough for us.

Which library is it?

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Big Four US carriers vow to switch off stolen smartphones

bazza
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Re: Another system, really?

Blackberry have a system too where you can wipe / secure (maybe disable) your phone at a distance over the web. But the advantage of the networks blocking a particular IMEI is that it can be done at any time after the loss of the phone, whereas the Blackberry way (maybe HTC too) is something you have to set up in advance. And it works for any phone, regardless of what the manufacturers have put in place themselves.

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bazza
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Re: It's a matter of jurisdictions.

"Plus the US is a pretty big country with 50 states with numerous police jurisdictions inside each one and a hodgepodge of organizational structures that make coordination difficult."

I read somewhere that the US has upwards of 50,000 different police forces. That sounds like a lot. Organising that lot must be like herding cats.

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'Unibody' iPhone 5 said to debut in October

bazza
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Re: Unibody?

I normally criticise Apple for their 'Form over Function' approach, but hang on. Didn't the original iPhone have an aluminium back? Not having owned one I don't know for sure, but I recall complaints of its reception not being very good...

And it's not like it's going to have an aluminium front either, because that'll mostly be screen.

I wonder if Apple have let their RF guys see where the aerials are going this time, instead of repeating their iPhone 4 debacle?

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Windows XP support ends two years from now

bazza
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Re: @Elmer Phud

Yeah, works ok for the OS install. But you try installing linux software that's not hosted on the default repository! First, is it deb, rpm or tarball? Have all the dependencies resolved? Is it a source code package, in which case you now have to work out whether the right GCC has been installed already, and then pray that configure works. Installing software on Linux is not always a simple thing to do.

Whereas Windows / MAC software normally just installs. If the Linux crew want to make Linux more accessible they might want to study that.

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bazza
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Re: No Problem

>Ahh the fabled "year of the Linux desktop".

I share your sentiment. From what I've experienced on a variety of Linuxes in the past few weeks I don't think the fabled year will ever become real. Even the best of them, Linux Mint, seems to have taken the idea of a desktop and made it worse. Not that they're alone in that - Win 8 is terrible on the desktop.

What is it with the IT world at the moment? Everyone seems to be getting hot under the collar over tablets being the next big thing. With the way OSes are going at the moment tablets will be the *only* thing that will be semi-usable. But we won't be as productive as we used to be with the humble desktop. They're great toys but rubbish to actually work on. I can type quicker on my Blackberry than I've ever seen anyone manage on a touchscreen keyboard.

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HP Labs chief Prith Banerjee departs

bazza
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Memristor

It's interesting to see HP putting effort into memristor research. So the management of HP are still sensitive to the commercial lure of research.

Mind you given HP's track record over the past decade or so that lure really must be particularly strong. They've thrown a lot of other promising little nuggets of ideas in the bin.

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Foxconn staffer lets slip iPhone 5 ship date

bazza
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rumours++

I heard that the iPhone 5 will be able to make a cup of tea.

Needless to say I would be very impressed by that.

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RIM extends management software to iOS, Android

bazza
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Are you having a laugh?

The whole point about the Blackberry ecosystem is data security. That was achived only through careful design of everything from the hardware though to the OS, services and software. Security does not happen accidently.

If RIM ported to Android then they would not be able to provide any security at all because Android is a terrible platform from that point of view. Even without jailbreaking it leaks data. And once it's jailbroken all bets really are off. Same for iOS and WinPhone. Google and Apple have good PR departments that are veeeeery careful not to admit that. MS were at one point handing out instructions on how to jailbreak WinPhone...

Unfortunately for RIM security = boring. Unfortunately for users excitement (ie iOS, Android) = poor security. And poor security = identity theft, loss of corporate data and potentially corporate failure.

So, what price bling?

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bazza
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Re: Potentially something to write home about.

Ah well, I suspect that they've not been able to solve that problem (I may be wrong on that). Also with iOS, WinPhone and Android totally defenceless when jailbroken, it would be asking a lot of RIM to somehow fix that.

The potential for jailbreaking should really scare off corporate use of iOS, Android and WinPhone. But even without jailbreaking Android seems to leak data quite readily. IOS seems not to provide much protection either. Last time I looked MS were positively encouraging jailbreaking! So far as I can tell companies that allow their use are basically saying "we have no data that we'd like to keep private". Doesn't sound good for profits to me.

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Coders' 'lives sucked out' by black-and-white Visual Studio 11

bazza
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Re: Two points:

Eclipse CDT is a pile of shiiiiiiiiit.

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Apple relents, doubles EU warranty (sort of)

bazza
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Apple's self confidence?

It's at the very least inconsistent for Apple to say they manufacture quality goods but then express reluctance to dish out a standard warranty. Compare their attitude to that of some car manufacturers (Kia? Vauxhall/GM?) who are beginning to offer 7 year warranties. On a car!

That's what consumers like to see in a product. Not some stingy deal from the world's wealthiest company. Especially when that deal doesn't last as long as the contract you've had to take out to buy the thing in the first place.

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Sugar content now to be measured in Cadbury Creme Eggs

bazza
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Re: For the record ...

It's an acquired taste, but I really like the 100% stuff Hotel Chocolat do. It's a shock to the system at first bite, but the after taste is phenomenally good. Trouble is that once you've tasted that, every other chocolate seems weak and pointless by comparison.

Weirdly, I can't stand coffee at all in any concentration. Nor Creme Eggs in any size...

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PlayStation 4 'Orbis' pegged for 2013 release

bazza
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Hardly seems worth it

So Sony are proposing to build what is essentially a mildly fast PC with locked down user unfriendly software stuck on it. Why on earth would anyone other than Sony think this is going to be a good idea?

It'll be obsolete within months of launch because mainstream PCs will move on.

Sony will be having to do an awful lot of work to provide a software platform that works, whereas PCs can have Windows. Like it or loath it, Windows does provide a feature stuffed run-what-you-like platform that is readily deployed on a wide variety of hardware specs.

It sounds like it's going to be all GPU. An AMD 64bit CPU isn't a bad thing, but it's not exactly a major step up in performance. So what's the point? Why not keep churning out PS3, or maybe just pep up PS3 a bit with a better GPU?

Why bothering developing a game for a locked down thing like this? The developers could just as easily develop for the PC market. They'd get roughly the same qualitative result because the PS4 is so PC like in hardware spec. And they'd reach a far wider market because there's loads more PCs out there than there will be PS4s. The only attraction of PS4 is that it might in effect be offering a pre-packaged anti-piracy environment, but as PS3 showed that's not a guaranteed thing.

I think this is a clear sign that Sony are running out of money and can't afford the grand development projects any more. They're going the PC-esque route because it's cheap (er, affordable?), and they'll have to put up with the consequences no matter what. Trouble is those consequences might mean being irrelevant all of a sudden.

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ARM-Android to outship Windows-Anything by 2016

bazza
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@tybalt

Yes you're right! Sorry El Reg. Damn you, Chrome!!!

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bazza
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Flame

Damn you, El Reg

My 1,981 character post / rant got chopped. Was it really that boring?

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bazza
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Black Helicopters

Re: Don't believe it....

@Alexh2o, your point about content creation is key. In many ways the trends that we see today (the rise of Android phones, iPad, etc) is crazy.

Up until relatively recently the devices on which people consumed digital content were largely the same as those used to create it in the first place. Now it’s completely different. The consumers of all things digital now use iThings, Androids. But these devices really suck when it comes to creating anything.

However the rush for consumer orientated tablets and smartphones is for nothing unless there is content. And the serious content creators still need/want a good desktop PC / MAC. They've got commercial time-scales to work to; they've a lot to get through. Bling may be cool, but it doesn’t pay.

I think the world is on the edge of a disaster so far as hard nosed realistic people who have a job to do are concerned. Some predictions:

*PCs and Macs I think will suddenly become *very* expensive as most people will be buying tablets / smartphones. That’s bad news for the world’s content creators.

*RIM is clearly in trouble and may fold. But can you imagine a business world without them? The offerings from their smartphone competition have only a veneer of utility (though MS could get close, because they do Exchange). Deep down the others have little to compare to what Blackberry give their corporate customers to safeguard, control and access data. RIM are interesting (i.e. brave) because they've not abandoned their hard nosed approach to business functionality purely for the sake of chasing bling and fat consumer sales. It's costing them dear.

*The rise of BYOD, Android, iPhone in the workplace is increasing the risk to employers' businesses. Even the people on Capitol Hill see that. It is setting the scene for some spectacular company failures. E.g. a company could easily go under purely because some idiot employee (and there *will* always be one) jail-broke their Android and wound up with a key logger Trojan. Worse still, no one would know why it happened. Blackberries don’t have that problem, and that should still matter to companies.

In all I think current tech trends are leading to less work being done, more unnecessary risk for companies, and a change in work/life balance that in the round is detrimental to an economy. I suspect that company IT people recognise that, but few company directors do.

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