* Posts by h4rm0ny

4609 posts • joined 26 Jul 2008

For Windows guest - KVM or XEN and which distro for host?

h4rm0ny
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Re: The other way around?

>>"Thanks h4rm0ny; I've been running Linux under VMware and I'm unconvinced by this:"

I see your point. I hadn't really appreciated that you wanted protection against other people using up resources to be part of this. I actually have a set-up similar to how I described and similar intense requirements (heavy database work in my case, however). However I'm the sole user of the machine so that aspect was a bit foreign to me. Happily I think Gordon has given you excellent answers.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: The other way around?

Gah! There are enough people here who've already said this and it's probably doing the OP's head in that everyone is telling him the question is wrong rather than actually giving an answer. But I do the same - Windows 8 as the host and GNU/Linux (Debian in this case) as the guest. For me that gives the best of both - the friendly and well-thought-out design of Windows with the raw capability of GNU/Linux.

I use Virtualbox and I can throw as many cores and as much RAM to the guest as I like and it works pretty bloody well. I would guess the OP (understandably enough) has the view that Linux is the solid foundation and also there may be a VM-tax on the efficiency of the guest. And as they want Windows for goofing around in the GUI and Linux for furious compilation, they think that way round is best. I've found Windows 8 to be a very solid host, I don't think there's any concern there. I can't answer with certainty about a performance hit because the machine is virtual, but I'll say it performs very well for me and modern chips have special functions to support virtualization which means the virtual machine can be quite close to running on the metal. It's virtualization, not an emulator and the days of clear distinction between bare-metal hypervisors and software hypervisors are gone.

I wish I could give the OP more of the answers to their specific questions. I could using VirtualBox with Windows as host. For example, you can set up a shared disk space which is (probably) a better way of achieving what the OP wants than Samba. You can set a USB device to only be visible by the guest (though you'll need to leave said device plugged in).

Honestly, I was going to hold off on joining the "Other way round" bandwagon, but this particular part of the OP's question persuaded me to just add my own opinion that it might be a good idea:

"I'm fine to put good money into hardware, 32GB RAM and 2x Xeon are not out of question. Also happy to split resources in half - Windows does not need to have all the goodies."

Reason that this persuaded me to join in is because it shows a misconception. If you're willing to do that sort of hardware then there is no way that you need to "split resources in half". Clearly if the OP wants to do heavy compiling, then all you would need to do would be to install Windows on that set up, tell VirtualBox to give the guest (Linux) 14 cores and 28GB RAM and you're going to have a mighty powerful compiling machine. It's not going to be held back by the Windows host doing the odd bit of USB port handling, et al.

The Intel E3, E5 and E7 chips integrate the newer virtualization technology which is worth having. Really lets the host just get out of the way of the guest and the metal. It's available in some Haswell chips as well.

Anyway, those are my thoughts.

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Bitcoin value plunges as Mt.Gox halts withdrawals and Russia says 'nyet'

h4rm0ny
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@Richard12

You don't know what you're talking about. In fact you make a habit on these forums of talking confidently whilst giving flawed information. If you like playing the knowledgeable person, first educate yourself.

>>"The 'mainstream' currencies like USD, EUR, GBP etc don't have such an asset base either"

This is crap. The USA has massive state assets. The Euro is the national currency of numerous nations and nations denominate their state bonds in euros - again state actors with major state assets. Your statement ranks alongside War is Peace and the Moon is made of cheese for its stupidity.

>>, and neither do any of the banks you store your cash in.

Odd, because I'm pretty sure collateral counts as an asset. Yep, it does. If you actually believe banks have no asset base, I presume you think you don't have to pay your mortgage? You're an idiot. You just say what you think sounds profound and to Hell with reality.

>>"All governments that have their own currency continually print more in part to fund their borrowing"

Actually, the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve are both not controlled by their host governments. Printing more is a fundamental part of the system - it's called interest rates. It's not ultimately about the Government abusing power to pay off its own debts as you make it sound. Especially in those cases where debt is foreign.

>>"as inflation is the most effective way to reduce the debt burden of a country."

You haven't got a clue. You make it sound as if governments are all keen to pump up inflation in order to reduce domestic debt. They hate doing that! Inflation devalues savings, discourages investment (why lend a million to get two million back if by the time you do, the two million is worth less than the one million), and it destroys foreign exchange rates.

>>"All modern currencies work by fiat - they work because they work"

They are fiat currencies but you make it sound as if they're arbitrary and entirely based on faith unlike Bitcoin. The fact that you can pay taxes in them and that their governments are required to use and accept these currencies gives them a foundation that no virtual currency has yet come close to matching. There are numerous interesting ways in which the pros and cons of virtual currencies can be compared to those of the mainstream currencies, but you're not interested in them - you just want to do a flawed hatchet job in favour of bitcoin.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: barter

>>"A bitcoin has no intrinsic worth. It is just some bits. If those bits encode music or something then it could be argued those bits have some intrinsic value."

People get overly hung up about whether individual bits have intrinsic value or not. It doesn't matter - not all crime is about property. If by taking an action (in this case moving some numbers around a network) you cause harm to another (they lose purchasing power or money they would have had), then it doesn't matter whether those numbers have "intrinsic value" or not. What matters is one person taking an action that harms another and that can be the basis for making something illegal.

It's just the same as copyright infringement. People keep shouting about how it's not theft because the numbers are just numbers, ignoring the actual harm caused / wishes of the legal owner.

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Mars rover Curiosity snaps 'pale blue dot' image of Earth, Moon

h4rm0ny
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Re: Moment of realisation

>>I wonder if it's as bright as Venus has been this last week?

Venus has vast clouds of vapourized Sulphuric Acid giving it an albedo just shy of a polished mirror. I doubt the Earth shines half so bright, unless you're watching on radio wavelengths, in which case we probably dazzle.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: For Carl

>>"Forget any dream of moving out and colonizing other planets because although we are an intelligent species we are definitely not a wise one."

We as a species are capable of great wisdom and great foolishness. Your mistake is to think that they are inseparable. The foolish might remain here, but the wise will eventually shake us off in their pursuit of the stars.

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Want to remotely control a car? $20 in parts, some oily fingers, and you're in command

h4rm0ny
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Re: VW Has an evil defence built in.

>>"On several new AUDI/VW/SEAT etc, if you plug in an ODB Reader and read the ECU engine map out, you will immediately blow some on chip fuses and your car is then utterly immobilised."

So they've built in a way for anybody with a six quid device to completely bork any of these cars invisibly and untraceably?

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h4rm0ny
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>>"You would have to work pretty hard to create havoc with this kit, and it would be very, very model specific."

With this, perhaps. I don't know. But unless there are actual hardware compatibilities which appears to not be the case, surely it's a very small step from this to something you could run from a computer or smartphone and use with almost any car that uses this system. I'm picturing a generic app that you just load up the appropriate make and model of car you want to work with. What's wrong with my understanding here?

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It's Satya! Microsoft VP Nadella named CEO as Bill Gates steps down

h4rm0ny
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Re: Signs of failure

>>"YoY growth is a useless statistic when comparing to other manufactures."

But not a useless statistic. It shows that a product is establishing itself and not going anywhere. And given all the crap people kept talking about WP in its first couple of years about how it was a dead end, would die off, lack of support, could never become a real contender, Year on Year growth is a counter argument to all that hate. Because so long as it keeps growing in a market that is slowing (there is less and less low-hanging fruit of people who don't have a smartphone every year), then it is establishing itself and it is doing well.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Cowboys & Indians

>>"And the rest is used for astroturfing Windows 8 in the comment section."

You know what would be the first and most effective tactic at undermining those saying positive things about Microsoft if I were a shill hired by one of their competitors? To immediately start making statements about how other people were shills.

So, guilty conscience or just paranoia. Heaven forbid that some people should actually like what one of the leading software companies in the world produces. Clearly they are in that position because everyone hates their products!

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Ain't nothing going to change

>>He realized that monopolizing access to "The Interwebs" via a proprietary and "enhanced" portal application fused to the underlying OS like a facehugger would make sure that Microsoft would stay a factor in the age of interchangeable commodity browsers and standards as people would need to have Windows to get the "enhanced" Internet.

You realize that the "portal application fused to the underlying OS like a facehugger" was simply ahead of its time? What do you think ChromeOS, is? What about Firefox OS or the latest Ubuntu desktops or how tablets and phones now integrate HTML / CSS rendering and JavaScript directly into the OS for performance reasons? MS was its usual victim of coming in too early. But the Active Desktop was actually an early ancestor of what we see today.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Not Elop then.

>>"Has Microsoft said what patents Android violates? Have they been challenged in court?"

They've said it to the companies involved which are the relevant parties. They've not been challenged in court which gives you a pretty clear idea of how slim the paying organizations think their chances of victory are.

>>"Or has their just been a letter to Samsung/Sony/Lenovo etc saying "call it $5 per tablet and you won't suddenly find your OEM licence to sell copies of Windows on your PCs and Laptops cut off."

Microsoft couldn't legally do that. It would be shot down easily in court under anti-trust laws. Which shows how very little you actually know what you're talking about. As to a court case over the patents themselves (the more plausible scenario), we're talking Samsung here. Not a company known to be shy of lawsuits. And Sony. And Lenovo. Do you have the remotest idea how big these players are? Or do you just have a mental map in which Microsoft is this giant evil colossus that dwarfs all others? Hell, Google has a higher market-cap than Microsoft! Do you really think that between all these huge companies, they wouldn't turn over MS's patents if they weren't valid?

TL;DR: You're a partisan idiot.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Welcome to Toyland!

"Gates's point of course is that there's no *commercial* value in allowing other companies to release components that can replace your software - quite the opposite in fact."

Gates has since witnessed how it is possible to be open and yet still have subtle soft control over the market. Look at Google. Technically open, and dozens of tiny little barriers to going against the way they do it. Watch for MS to follow Google's lead with a lot more 'soft' control in the future. Gates wasn't wrong about stopping people being able to leave. He just didn't realize you could do it without overt force.

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Tell us we're all doomed, MPs beg climate scientists

h4rm0ny
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Re: Thing is, we *are* all doomed.

>>"As far as I can see, we need several generations to die en-masse (disease and hunger are good, less destructive than war and more <span color='red'>Darwinesque</span>) to keep our numbers down-something has to."

Ouch. Not sure if I'm more bothered by your sociopathic lack of empathy, your terrible grasp of demographics or the fact that you don't know the word 'Darwinian'.

People are dying all the time. You don't need to have massive disasters, just reduce the birth rate. (And for you to call disease and famine 'good' is monumentally bone-headed and for you to imagine its a positive thing because of evolution, staggeringly simplistic).

All you require to lower the birth rate in a humane and voluntary fashion, is available birth control and greater educational and career opportunities for women. That's as close to proven as anything in Sociology gets. What sort of primitive advocates for plagues and famine over a contraceptive pill and career equality?

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Garbage In Garbage Out

>>"the suns energy output is remarkably steady regardless of solar flares, sunspot cycles and such."

Oh for Pity's sake. Seriously? How can you just say something like "regardless of solar flares, sunspot cycles and such" with a straight face. The Sun's energy output is remarkably steady regardless of frequent and pseudo-random events that produce significant variation? Hanibal Lecter is a well socialised human being regardless of the occasional murder and eating people? Just because you identify the weaknesses in your own argument and name them, doesn't mean you get to dismiss them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_cycle

Look at variation in energy output over time. There are semi-predictable cycles but we still don't have the degree of that variation down to anything like predictability.

Things like your post are what push people away from agreeing with AGW, because they see themselves being told they're wrong by people who clearly don't have a good grasp of the science themselves and are just arguing from an a priori belief in AGW.

Everytime someone posts an obviously false counter-argument to a query or question by a skeptic, that skeptics distrust of AGW proponents increases.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: A rule of thumb

>>"As far as I can tell there's a hell of a lot more money in anthropogenic climate change denial than there is in supporting the consensus. All those oil, coal and gas companies willing to support their positions, for a start."

Ha! Have fun backing that up. The renewable power industry is huge and exists as an extra on top of our existing power economy having as yet almost no significant impact on fossil fuel, so don't try to compare them as if it's either/or. It's a massive money drain. Not to mention the huge number of academics making money from AGW-related grants. And then you've got giant lobbying groups like FoE. Carbon trading, fuel levies... The amount of money dependent on AGW is colossal. Don't start talking about the money in AGW "denial" until you've totalled up the money in AGW "belief" for fair comparison. And be sure to check your sources for the former especially because there are a *lot* of false accusations. For example there was a story recently about the millions donated to an organization for AGW denial. Turned out when you dug into it that it was a publication that covered the full gamut of politics and did some skeptical stories on AGW. Do some back of the envelops on the amount of money and careers dependent on AGW and then make the same comment if you feel it's still valid.

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h4rm0ny
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"The generally accepted position is that scientists are very sure (99%+ probability) that humans are the primary cause of global warming..."

Reading the comments here, I'm not sure "generally accepted" is quite right.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Sir

>>"Yes, it took al long time to persuade some people that the world wasn't flat too..."

Citation needed. Because as far as I'm aware even very early societies knew that it wasn't flat. The Phoenicians knew it as they were great sailors (for their period) and they could *see* that it wasn't flat the same way you or I can - as a ship sinks beneath the horizon. And the Phoenicians are going back quite a way - I think they were one of the first societies to use an alphabet!

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h4rm0ny
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"When people start listing reasons as to why they cannot donate to one charity or another NGO, i think they are just making excuses. FOE has no anti nuclear campaign and hasn't for many years."

I was a member of FoE. I left because of their anti-nuclear stance. This was only a few years ago. Just for you, because it's easy to show you don't know what you're talking about, here are two features on Nuclear Power from the FoE website still available and on display:

http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/faqs/nuclear_power_5896.html

http://www.foe.co.uk/campaigns/climate/issues/nuclear_index.html

Leaders from the above including:

"Many people feel uncomfortable about nuclear power but cannot see any real alternatives. They are right to be wary. Nuclear power is costly, toxic and not 'emission free'. It is also not needed"

Fact 1: We don't need more nuclear reactors"

and pricelessly:

"WMDs - uranium enrichment plants can be misused to make nuclear weapons.

Vulnerable - No nuclear reactor would withstand a direct hit from a jumbo jet.

Nowhere to hide - A successful attack could have an impact 40 times worse than the explosion at Chernobyl. "

And this you call "no anti-nuclear campaign". You will find FoE speaking against nuclear power every time it comes up in their earshot. The last literature I received from them before I left (I joined up for rain forest preservation) was filled with anti-nuclear 'factoids'.

No, I'm not "just making excuses". What is your problem. I didn't just ditch FoE and RSPB. I switched the charities I support to others.

"If you are a bird lover as you say, you should still support the RSPB. You cannot expect to agree with everything that any one charity or NGO does or believes."

I expect disagreements to be in the nature of what birdlife to protect or whether it is right to cull a non-native bird to a region of the UK to create more opportunities to the original native birds to the area. Not to find that my money is being used to support a particular choice of energy source. Now try writing your post again without assuming you know better about me than I do. I meant what I said and there's nothing unreasonable about my expectations. You don't know what you're talking about. Spend 30 minutes trying to find some non-negative bits about nuclear by FoE. If you're honest, you'll have to wade through a tonne of anti-nuclear stuff and come back and admit you were wrong.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: A convient crisis

"If politicians admit the climate crisis isn't a big deal, people will hold them to account for their failings - so they are as likely to let go of this cornucopia of false virtue as they are to let go of their parliamentary expenses."

I gave you an upvote for "cornucopia of false virtue".

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Just wait

>>"According to the sage Arthur C Clarke, when asked what causes changes in science, "Old men die". We'll just have to wait & hope they don't do anything too daft before a more rational set take over."

Is the Universe taking the piss? The other day, I pulled up someone for attributing a quote from Arthur C. Clarke to Einstein and bemoaned how everyone thought Einstein said everything:

http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2014/01/29/peter_capaldi_doctor_who_costume/#c_2092

Today, I find someone saying that Arthur C. Clarke said something and it was actually Max Planck. The original quote is this:

A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it. ~Max Planck

It's a conspiracy to drive me crazy, I tell you.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: My beef with climate change ...

My beef is where people misrepresent skeptics as not believing the climate ever changes. I've actually had people tell me to my face what I believe in contradiction to what I've just told them and I've had others online insist that skeptics believe this even citing studies at me which turned out not to show this (bad statistics on their part) and they still insisted on it, rather than actually debate any points. The worst sort of strawmanning.

I tend towards a neutral position of "we don't really know with enough confidence" and I get pilloried for it by people who repeatedly ignore that we are skeptics of AGW and keep throwing abuse at us about how stupid we are to think the climate never changes. Even after being repeatedly corrected as to what we actually believe (or await evidence of).

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h4rm0ny
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>>"Tell us we are doomed..... So we can have an excuse to raise spurious taxes."

Actually, what they did was funnel all the extra money to the renewables lobby. I think this was more a genuine case of the extremely vocal "environmental" lobby beating the MPs over the head to get them to do it, rather than lining the government's pockets (though I'm confident some of that happened on the side as per usual).

The reason I put environmentalist in quotes up there is because I don't really consider Friends of the Earth et al. to necessarily represent us environmentalists. There is a legion of us who genuinely care about the environment but there's an old guard with a lock on all the main movements and pretends to speak on behalf of all of us. For example, I'm pro-nuclear as by far the most logical way to reduce carbon emissions and other pollutants, but who do I join when FoE will just take my money and plough it into distorting the facts on nuclear? I can't even join the RSPB as a bird lover because they've jumped on the wind power lobby. Especially ironic as aside from the flawed economics underlying them they kill birds.

There are many of us environmentalists who have no voice because there's always someone ready to leap in and be interviewed by the BBC on "our behalf". And to pressure MPs into sticking high tariffs on our energy bills to pay for unwanted wind farms.

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Microsoft-backed lobby group demands market test of Google's proposed 'search fix'

h4rm0ny
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Re: Sod off, microsoft

>>"Uh, if you buy a Windows phone does it not default to using Bing for search? You sir, are a hypocrite."

Really? Because I didn't say MS phones didn't. It was someone else that said how MS operating systems did and I pointed out that so did Google's. Now your logic fits better the person I replied to, fits them exactly in fact because they were the ones that criticised another for doing what their own 'team' did. So will you now turn on them and call them a hypocrite seeing as they are the ones who did what you accuse me of?

Somehow I doubt it. I suspect your attacks are one direction only.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Sod off, microsoft

"Bzzzzt - wrong. To use Bing and IE you just use the stuff that came with the OS. "

Uh, if I buy an Android phone does it not default to using Google for search?

The pro-Google lobby is out in full force today, looking at these comments. If Google's competitors can put pressure on to hold Google responsible for what they do, I'm fine with that. It's a good thing for us, citizens of the EU. It's only a bad thing if you have some football-supporter "my team" approach to Google.

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EVE Online erects mashed-up memorial to biggest space fight in history

h4rm0ny
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Thumb Up

Re: Cool

You sound smug.

Which is fair enough, all things considered.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: 40% of the characters are female but 97% male player?

"Can you imagine what the female game experience would be like if you had to advertise your real-world gender in game?"

Very, very unpleasant.

It seems to me that in games like this gender is becoming more and more about perceived gender roles rather than alignment with real world players.

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UK picks Open Document Format for all government files

h4rm0ny
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Re: hard coded systems

>>"So you make a copy of soffice.exe and rename it as winword.exe. Actually not quite that simple, but you get the idea."

I get the idea that you think saying "actually not quite that simple" can mask a hundred nightmare scenarios of incompatibility.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: The Lawyer from Lima

>>"If a government decided to screen a version of Open/LibreOffice ,it not only has the means to do so, but the amount of money it saves on license fees also makes it a very viable proposition "

As someone who has been a systems programmer for many years, I really don't think the above is correct. Especially as its a moving target. Nor would it be a good use of our taxes to employ legions of code reviewers rather than just buy in enterprise software.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Open does not necessarily equal cheap/free

>>"And god forbid they want to use MS Office on Android tablets - fixed"

Wrong. Office365 is browser-based. Open Office / LibreOffice (which you are replying about) does not have an equivalent.

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h4rm0ny
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"I think they meant documents that didn't need editing - like press releases."

Quite possibly. Then why can't they just say something like "finalized documents" or "documents for public dissemination"? Wouldn't something that accurately described the goal, rather than the method, be the correct way to classify things?

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Important change

"With what? Seven different distros of Linux each with its windows manager and that may not support some hardware because "proprietary drivers" are bad"

I wouldn't chose it over Windows 7 or 8 myself, but just because there are seven(teen) different GNU/Linux distros out there, doesn't mean it's impossible to standardise on one. There are a couple of enterprise level distributions: RedHat and SuSE. I haven't used SuSE since about 6.4 but you could run RedHat alright with LibreOffice as your standard. Again, I would prefer Windows by far for enterprise management and user experience, but the nice thing about using open formats (whether that's ODF *or* OOXML) is that it facilitates choice.

I feel that you have used my admonishment of richard76's own biased post to semi-launch your own rant. Yes, I like Windows also and MS are very good at enterprise deployment and management, but choice is good and its flawed to say that just because there are many GNU/Linux distros, you can't standardise on one of the enterprise-ready ones.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Important change

I wrote: "You seem to want to actively lock out one (Microsoft). "

You responded "No" with a big Fail icon.

Your comment which I responded to:

>>"I don't think that will mean MS Windows will be abandoned soon, but going browser based is a good first step in that direction too."

I think my comment was pretty justified. Lets have a simple answer: are you stating that you wouldn't prefer to see Microsoft Windows replaced in Government?

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Important change

>>"Speaking as someone who actually works on a library that tries to read and write OOXML I can tell you that OOXML still is not very nice: it is overly verbose and inconsistent."

And compared to the original version? ;)

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h4rm0ny
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"I think in-browser editing means use wiki or HTML CMS to host data in a form directly accessible from a browser instead of using a format that requires launching a separate app like OpenOffice or Word when a browser will do."

Hmmmm. I honestly find it hard to believe that anyone would be so clumsy as to say "in-browser editing is preferred" to mean "use a wiki". I mean this is the UK Government so it's possible, but it's staggeringly inept even for them. It really sounds more like groundwork being laid for a deal with a company that primarily offers browser-based products. Some company that spends even more on lobbying than Microsoft and has a highly vocal and loyal supporters in the IT community, perhaps. ;)

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Important change

"Hmm, Westminster cafes are going to earn a lot of money in the coming days from all the Microsoft lobbyists landing there to try and "open up" that decision for the only-in-name "open" monstrosity called MSOOXML which is not only a standard that only became a standard by (IMHO) flat out abusing the ISO process, but is even today not possible to implement by Microsoft itself..."

You're out of date. The _original_ OOXML was a hurried mess, poorly documented and even including binary blobs. It was MS desperately trying to rush out something that qualified as Open back in the day when they suddenly realized they needed to. The _current_ OOXML is actually very nice. And yes, there are third parties that implement it. Best we forget all about the first attempt and focus on what we actually have today.

"I don't think that will mean MS Windows will be abandoned soon, but going browser based is a good first step in that direction too."

Openness is good because it allows free choice of vendor. You seem to want to actively lock out one (Microsoft). Office 2013 is really, really good. And there's also Office 365 which works in the browser pretty darn well. As pointed out earlier, ODF doesn't exclude Office at all. It's actually one of the best editors there is for ODF.

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h4rm0ny
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"Yes but you don't need Adobe to read PDF."

Well no, but Adobe make all the best software for creating PDFs. You can export a document from Word to PDF and it will do it quite nicely - well enough for all my reports. But if I wanted to do something big and serious with PDFs, particularly dynamically creating reports in PDF format from templates I'd created (but other things too), I'd be using Adobe software. It's the same sort of "soft" control Google and other companies use.

Also, just to highlight how clueless the Government is, you *can* edit PDF documents. It's not always perfect but again, Office 2013 amongst others can do it. It's gone a bit screwy with PDFs made externally but when I've needed to edit a PDF generated by Word itself, it works absolutely fine. So choosing PDF as the "non-editable" format is a bit dubious. For real non-editability, you need DRM solutions. E.g. you can check the signature of a document.

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h4rm0ny
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>>"Remember what happened when Massachusetts tried this. There may be more to come on this."

Perhaps. But MS Office is perfectly compatible with ODF so there's no reason why they can't continue to use Word, et al. with this. It's mandating an open format (good) rather than mandating a particular company's software (bad).

I'm puzzled by the babble about in-browser editing is preferred as if this is intrinsically connected to openness. Is this some Google infiltration trying to push Google Docs, or something?

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Big tech firms holding wages down? Marx was right all along, I tell ya!

h4rm0ny
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Re: Excellent article - b u t -

>>>"It is illegal not to divide ones assets equally among one's children on death, a parent cannot write a will that favours (or disinherits) one child"

What??!?!?!? So if I want one child to get all my wealth then my only options are... what? Arrange an accident for the less favoured child? Give it to one in advance of my death? That's outrageous!

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Boffins demo re-usable paper and waterjet printers

h4rm0ny
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#1 in your list is silly. Uncertain about #2 but doubt it's insurmountable. However I have one that is a significant problem: shredding.

I can think of very little that gets printed out which shouldn't properly be shredded after use. If this ink leaves traces that can be recovered to read the original document (and I'd be a little surprised if it didn't but am willing to be corrected), then it's not usable for many of us. Though I really approve of using less paper.

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Hello Moto: Lenovo grabs Motorola biz for $3bn. But Google's KEEPING the patents

h4rm0ny
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Re: Defend who against whom?

>>"Remember that they never sued Google directly, only it's customers."

That's because Google came up with the genius idea of monetizing the _use_ of their product rather than the _selling_ of their product. So they are free to infringe on others' patents whilst others have to shoulder the costs of licencing those patents. All the while Google still makes money off infringed IP. And they still get to control Android itself by subverting the Open Source principles of it with all sorts of "soft" controls on it:

Good article on the last point for any interested:

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/10/googles-iron-grip-on-android-controlling-open-source-by-any-means-necessary/

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h4rm0ny
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"Has this become the United States of China?"

Yes.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: for those who said buying Motorola was all about the patents...

Finally, even the most fanatical Google cheerleaders will have to stop trying to claim to the rest of the world that the Motorola purchase was about manufacturing.

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New Doctor Who's new costume newly REVEALED by Beeb

h4rm0ny
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Re: Remember that bit in the IT Crowd

>>"Also, going with what Einstein (I think) said about magic, the Doctor kinda sorta IS a magician, to us backward apes at any rate, no?"

Assuming you're thinking of the quote I think you're thinking of, then it was Arthur C. Clarke who wrote: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic".

Honestly, if you don't know who said something, don't just make up a name. People do this all the time and it just spreads disinformation. If it's vaguely sciency, people pick the name Einstein if they don't know. If it's vaguely period and funny, people assume it was Oscar Wilde. If they're especially well-read they'll occasionally claim it was Dorothy Parker.

History contains more than three people, you know.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Grats to Capaldi

"Never seen Dr Who but I understand it's quite an institution over there and thus a plum assignment for him."

It's very much an institution. We had a cinema release for the 50th Anniversary episode and the cinemas were having to open up extra screens and it was booked up over a week in advance round our way. The crowd when I went was probably around 40% teenagers (of which slightly more girls than boys, I'd say) and then the remainder was a complete span of all ages up to around mid-fifties, with a small smattering of older. I'd say above the teenage level it was roughly an even gender split, maybe slightly more men than women so an inverse of the teenage set. But not especially pronounced in either case. It really does span everyone in this country other than, I guess, recent immigrants.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Right wingish

"Cut his hair a bit shorter and we would have the first skinhead Doctor...."

Second skin-head Doctor. Matt Smith went skin in Time of the Doctor. Although he put a wig on afterwards.

As to the costume - I was hoping for something a bit less trendy and a bit more dishevelled. I'm happy if this Doctor is a bit less gabbly-look-at-me-i'm-so-zany, but it would be fun if they went a bit more rambly / disorganized, rather than serious-mature.

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Stephen Fry rewrites computer history again: This time it's serious

h4rm0ny
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Re: Why let truth get in the way...

>>"Sod it, Jeremy Paxman knows everything (if his role on University Challenge is to believed) so let's just make him President of the World now and save some fuss."

With Paxman's ego, I suspect he'd consider President of the World beneath him.

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Sinclair's ZX Spectrum to LIVE AGAIN!

h4rm0ny
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People will cherish even bad memories if they're long enough ago.

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GP surgeries MUST DO BETTER on data handling, says ICO

h4rm0ny
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"Does anybody currently trust their data in the hands of those antisocial, incompetent bastards known as 'medical receptionists'?"

My team were pretty hard-working and unless you've seen what it's like from the other side of the desk, trying to deal with an endless horde of patients with very small teams, shut up. We'd turn our phones on early in the morning and they would ring continuously (yes, I know the difference between continuous and continual) throughout the day. You'd get occasional five minutes here and there when they'd stop.

We divided our reception staff up logically. So we'd have a dedicated line for test results and a receptionist permanently by that phone upstairs. We had some further receptionists upstairs who just did phones so that patients on the front desk in person weren't kept waiting too long by the receptionist taking a call. But it all goes only so far when you're under-resourced and over-subscribed.

Saints? No. Degrees in biochemistry and astrophysics? But "Incompetent bastards" ? I bet you'd last five hours on the front desk before losing it with the eighth patient that morning who insisted they be seen as an emergency patient right away when your GP's only have a small number of emergency slots left and the patient is clearly just trying to jump the queue of people who are sicker but willing to endure and wait.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Everything you need to know ...

"GPs will always have access to your data. It also gets mailed around the country when you move doctor or you get health insurance"

Let me tell you how it is from someone who worked in Primary Care (GP surgeries and PCT). Yes, your GP has access to your data. Yes, if you move to a new GP your records get transferred. I don't know why you imagine these two things are profound counter-arguments to centralized record keeping and wide-spread access both of which are vastly different to just your own and previous GPs having access. Furthermore, on an insurance check, no - the insurer does NOT have access to your health records, a GP will be asked to let the insurer know if there's anything on there that would impact the policy. Very much not the same thing. I have actually witnessed discussions between two GPs on whether something needed to be disclosed to an insurer or not and they were trying to tread a balance between patient confidentiality and obligation to the insurer in that instance. If you had a cardiac arrest last year, they'll tell the insurer that (and you should have anyway as you'll already have signed something saying if you had any serious medical conditions or not). It doesn't mean that the insurer gets to look through your records and see that you were pregnant at fifteen or are seeing a counsellor.

Nor do they get to do any of this at any time they like.

I get really tired of people who know fuck all, think they're clever and just like to try and sound smart or score points by attacking what they think are obvious flaws with what they think are great insights.

Your GP / previous GP seeing your records =/= a massive centralized database accessible nationwide and by insurers.

I say this as someone who used to work in Primary Care - you CANNOT trust the DOH to safeguard your privacy. I repeat: they WILL NOT. The original CfH (Connecting for Health) programme where all this comes from had every receptionist at every GP practice in the country able to access your test results and similar and their response to us when we were horrified at this was 'only registered NHS professionals who have signed patient confidentiality agreements have access'. Translation: anyone who takes a job at a practice has signed a bit of paper (one of many). That is the DOH attitude in a nutshell - it doesn't matter if something works or doesn't work or shouts your personal information from the rooftops. What matters is whether there is a bit of paper saying its someone else's responsibility or not.

There are tonnes of horribly overworked people in the middle and lower-tiers of the NHS. People at the coal face struggling with endless waves of ever-aging patient lists, people at the lower levels of the PCT tearing their hair out trying to co-ordinate finite resources and manage all the programmes that exist between practices and stay on top of all the bureaucracy that is dumped on them. But the upper levels of the NHS? Rotten to the core. It's why I left - so many problems that were above the level of access I had to fix.

Anyone who tries to trivialize this like the AC I just replied to did, or who thinks that the DOH will look out for you, is lying or an idiot. Once you get to the upper reaches of the PCTs and higher, they're corrupt as Hell and motivated solely by making sure they get money to their private industry friends and that they have a bit of paper saying a disaster is not their fault.

They will NOT give you any privacy protection that you do not FORCE them to. And the moment you take the whip away, they will try again.

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