* Posts by M Gale

3549 posts • joined 22 Apr 2007

Microsoft Skype: How the VCs won and Ballmer overpaid

M Gale

Not just 1990s

Wonder how far that "settlement" of Novell's pushed them into the red?

While Matt Asay might like to troll on about Microsoft being "more open than Google", the facts speak very very differently. At least Android 3.0 WILL be opened up when it's ready to be. I don't think the EFF have infinite patience with GPL software in that regard. Can you say the same of Windows, or of anything that Microsoft do?

The only time I've seen Microsoft release genuinely free open-source software is when they were forced to by a court after being found out to be using someone else's intellectual property with cavalier disregard for the licensing terms. No, not just threatened in vague terms by someone who wouldn't even tell them where they were violating. They were caught with their hands in the till, cookie jar, with their pants down and very red faced, however you'd like to paint it. Even then they managed to paint it as a public gesture of friendship towards the "open source community", whatever that means.

Oh how ironic.

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M Gale

<crickets />

What's that? Nonstandard HTML tags?

Oh I see what you did there.

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Sony unsure if PlayStation Network user data was stolen

M Gale
Troll

none of those existed?

Somehow I don't think you were around in the 90s. Could be the lack of knowledge, or perhaps the attitude. "Fuckers" indeed!

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M Gale
FAIL

Games industry was destroyed in the 90s?

Funny, nobody told me. I was too busy having fun with the PC, SNES, Megadrive, Mega CD, Saturn, original Playstation.. what, all those gaming platforms were there for a destroyed industry?

Oh hang on, is this like how home taping killed music, and how home videos killed movies?

Sony pissed off a sleeping giant, is what happened. That they can't secure their systems from jack shit when companies like PayPal seem to either manage it or compensate when they can't, is not the fault of "crybaby" "pirates".

Still, at least it should put to bed the myth that consoles and other locked down platforms are somehow cheat-proof. Has anybody ever looked at the top 5 ot 10 or so people in the world on Cover Orange? A friend of mine has gotten to well within the top 20 through his (and my) own hard work, but there's no way in hell that a game that only allows a maximum score of 1,000 per level has people who've scored around 999 on EACH ONE. Seriously, are those scores real or rubber?

(this isn't even mentioning the cheats who were removed a little while ago, with scores in the millions..)

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Google hits 'prove we killed no Afghans' – Assange™

M Gale

Interestingly..

..typing in "the register" and "blood on their hands" shows this post on the very first page, out of 7,000-something results.

The Register must be evil! Well. I suppose at least Simon Travaglia is.

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Dell refreshes Alienware laptops

M Gale

No longer called laptops.

Manufacturers call them notebook computers these days, mostly due to modern processors and roasted-testicle issues.

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Google Linux servers hit with $5m patent infringement verdict

M Gale

Be interesting...

...if in a few years Bedrock try to make a tablet or PMP that supports all common web video formats. I understand the WebM license will come back to bite them rather hard.

Fortunately for them they're just a bunch of trolls. Try searching for them. Only links I find are either to this court case or other litigation.

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Apple stuns Wall Street with 95% earnings surge

M Gale
Coat

"why not stick a LT1073CN on a bit of veroboard and make 20V from the 5V?"

Because it's been a long while since I last got high from flux fumes and I didn't want to chance blowing something else up by reading the resistor stripes wrong or confusing microfarads for picofarads or something.

Still, it's an idea. I'd more than likely go 12->20v though, probably be less heat generated while doing it.

Erm, mine's the one with three feet of shrink tubing in the pocket. I'll need it for fettling that ATX connector.

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M Gale

"When will you need to replace your latest pee-cee because it's knackered or dead?"

I still have an old PPC640 that works. 286 processor, two 720kb DD 3.5" drives and a copy of DOS 3.3.

Also my old peecee got replaced due to being old, not being broken.

The G3 Power Mac on the other hand, sits there being dead through lack of a power supply. New power supplies (no, not second hand eBay ones) cost an absolute boatload, because Apple are "special". So.. what was that you said about an investment? Only I have a Spectrum +2 in the shed that would probably be more use than my Mac, currently.

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M Gale

Hang on, what?

"Your adversaries are using iPads/iPhones right now to gain real competitive advantage."

They are toys. Tell me what is the difference between browsing the web on an iPad and browsing the web on some Archos thing, asides the Archos thing maybe letting you view Flash content?

And how in hell does the iPhone give anybody a competitive advantage over anything? You can't even make calls on the thing without the Special Jobsian Hold being applied! My Nokia 6288 has a real competitive advantage over the iPhone 4 in that regard!

Serioously. There's marketing fluff, there's slavish adoration, and then there's that post right above.

Real competitive advantage? Thanks, you've given me the first laugh of today.

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M Gale

10 people don't like it when their version of the truth doesn't match reality

"And yet, for every one of you, there are hundreds - if not thousands - of perfectly working machines/phones. Who'd-a-thunk-it?"

Asides the iPhone 4, which has a very well-deserved "iFlaw" nickname. Seriously, that antenna? Fix the thing, Steve. You may be happy for the call to go to nothing if you hold the phone like a phone, but I'm bloody well not.

And it's amusing. Most of my downvotes come from telling Apple fans what they don't want to hear. Oh well, when I can truthfully say that I'd sell that MacBook in a heartbeat and get something with twice the spec that'll still be around next week despite getting accidentally sneezed on, how many downvotes would that be worth?

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M Gale

Moaning?

No, just telling you what you don't want to hear. Probably means more downvotes for me, but given the nature of the downvotes I'm happy to soak them up. Or as some people on Slashdot might say, "go ahead, I have karma to burn."

Might grab one of those PSUs though, depending on whether they are still working. At least that's how much an ATX supply SHOULD cost.

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M Gale

Heh

This would be like the Apple craptop a friend of mine has that continues to exhibit problems despite this being the third model? First a case with spontaneously-appearing cracks, then the hard drive fails, then the power supply goes kaput. Magnetic power clips are a good thing but not when it doesn't sodding work!

Of course, we won't go into the 4th revision of their mobile telephone that is spectacularly bad at making phone calls when you hold it like a phone. Yes, I've used it. Yes, the grip-o'-death is real. No, you don't need to go out of your way to trigger it. Just hold it like a phone and not some precious pearl, and despair as your signal goes to shit. Doesn't help that the thing keeps popping up "NETWORK ERROR [dismiss]/[cancel]" in the middle of trying to aim a bird at a particularly stubborn pig or cover up an annoyingly positioned orange either.

Well marketed, yes. Very well marketed, also yes. Pretty? Well beauty is in the eye of the beholder but plenty of people seem to think so.

Well engineered? Oh come on. Couple of nice ideas (like the magnetic power clips on the laptops), but it's the same shitty Chinese crap that goes in every beige box I've ever used.

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M Gale
Megaphone

Upvoted.

Upvoted because I'm betting out of all the people who say "great engineering" here, maybe 5% of them have actually been inside Apple gear and maybe only 1% of those knew what they were looking for, and were drunk at the time.

As someone who would love to get his old G3 Power Mac running if only he could invest £270 in a power supply that's in every other way a shitty Chinese 250W ATX supply but has a speshul Apple 20 volt line in it... I just wish I could give you more than one vote.

Oh, and the gumdrop Macs weren't exactly great either, inside.

Megaphone, because you'll need it to talk to your distant friends if you hold your iPhone wrong.

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Google location tracking can invade privacy, hackers say

M Gale
FAIL

Oh, just figure I'll post the results for a giggle.

"latitude": 34.0918525

"longitude": -118.3461034

"country": "United States"

"country_code": "US"

"region": "California"

"county": "Los Angeles"

"city": "Los Angeles"

"street": "N Formosa Ave"

"street_number": "1140"

"postal_code": "90046"

"accuracy": 24.0

Err, no. Wrong side of a very big ocean and a continent, that is. Still, I suppose any passing aliens might know I come from the planet Earth someplace.

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M Gale

Wardriving? Illegal?

I still see no difference between what Google are doing, and running around with a CB set to channel 19. If you don't want every Joe and Jane in the area being able to see your Facebook password, encrypt your damned connection!

Anyway, the difference between what Google and Apple are doing, is that Google at least seem to be telling you what they are doing. How many iDevices tell you how much snooping that "free" fart app is doing before you install it? What about all the wibbling that Steve did after he found out third parties had snuck out details of his precious fondle-slab, by snarfing data from the development models as part of advertising programs? Notice how even the Apple developers didn't know their apps were grassing on them.

You think he was more pissed off that someone was doing it, or more pissed off that HE wasn't? Google, Apple, Microsoft, all want your data and all for the same reason.

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IPv4 addresses priced at $4 on new trading site

M Gale

What do you do?

Same as anybody else faced with dwindling supplies of a finite resource: Pay more for it, go bust, or both. Plus, plenty of ISPs already have limited IPv4 address space. Some of them own their own addresses, some rent address pool access from others. It's one of the reasons DHCP was invented.

Massive IPv6 adoption will only happen when the big players, like Google, Yahoo, Facebook and the rest, go to a primarily IPv6 service. Until then, why should Joe Public give a shit about something geeky and technical like TCP/IP?

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M Gale

One reason IPv6 is still years away

It's like those conspiracy theories where the Big Bad Oil Companies are keeping super-high-efficiency free energy secret, except in this case it's not a conspiracy.

Why introduce a 128 bit address space when you can keep the old model and charge people increasingly high amounts for a set of 32 1s and 0s?

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Eight... spatial soundbars

M Gale

Wow.

That's a hell of a price for a single speaker unit and a subwoofer. Isn't SRS and similar tech years old? I'm sure I remember picking up a "Nureality" inline-with-your-hifi-system box for less than £50 that did a pretty superb job of stereo widening, and this was when SRS was a new thing that hadn't long been on Tomorrow's World. Yeah, remember that programme?

That £180 item seems about the upper limit of what this sort of thing should cost. You can pick up a proper surround processor for that much or less! I'm sure someone will like to tell me why I'm horribly horribly wrong, though.

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Google hits 'fast forward' button on WebM codec love for YouTube

M Gale

What you want...

...but maybe not what Google are willing to pay for?

I certainly wouldn't be, if I'd just spent all that money acquiring a video codec.

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M Gale

Right click the video.

If it comes up with the Flash context menu, it's a Flash video. If not, it's HTML5 and what with being Google, most likely WebM. They did a Charlie Chaplin thing a day or two ago on the title page.

As for FlashBlock, well HTML5 video isn't flash. You'd need something to find and either remove <video> tags or replace them with, I don't know, Parry Gripp's Om Nom Nom Song?

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M Gale

Could do some encoding yourself?

Take a DVD and your favourite DeCSS-equipped transcoder of choice. Do some tests at the same bitrates/quantizer/motion detect/etc levels, see how it compares?

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M Gale

Loads easier to code for?

So I make my site work in Firefox and Chrome. Works fine, both of them love it. I try it in IE8, and I expect it to fuck up somewhere. So I make it work in that, and it fails in IE7. Ho hum, more exception code, more fucking about.

So finally I get it working and then I think "oh crap, there might be some Opera users". Guess what? Opera doesn't like it.

At least in this case it was just Opera and Safari both thinking that "no colour specified" means "paint it white" rather than "DON'T GIVE IT A FUCKING COLOUR." Just means any and all elements that have a transparent background need to be explicitly told to be transparent. Still, easiest to code for? Hardly. Opera has its own quirks, you just need to design something more complex than "Hello, World" to find them.

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M Gale

Letters and/or digits.

"H.264 playback (ie the bit that browser vendors and end users care about) isn't "royalty encumbered" ... professional encoding is..."

So, royalty encumbered then. "Sure it's free unless you want to use it".

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iPhones secretly track 'scary amount' of your movements

M Gale

Didn't suggest it.

Just reporting the facts. Android phones at least tell you when they are snooping, report what apps do snooping, and let you turn it off.

iSomethings? Not so much. An iSomething-owning friend of mine is surprised that I'm not loading my tablet and phone both up with every free thing on the Market, especially all those "cool" free things you can get on Apple's app store. So I point him at the big permissions list that some of these apps want, and his response is something like "so what?"

So maybe the iPhone is perfect for him...

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M Gale

GOOGLE ARE TEH EVIL

Yep, they track your location and everything!

Except they don't unless you let them. And, uhh, the phone/tablet tells you when it's trying to locate you with a flashing sat-dish icon. Oh, and it tells you if any applications you're about to install want that kind of access, as well. Oh, and continues to let you review installed applications' permissions any time you please.

Android better than iOS at protecting privacy. Who'da thought it eh? Well, I believe I've said this any number of times, that Apple and Microsoft all want your details for the same reasons that Google do. Have I been believed so far? Well, no.

Perhaps that will change.

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SF fire dept lost computer password during massive blaze

M Gale

If I remember right..

...and without reading the original article, Terry Childs refused to give up the password because in his opinion, he couldn't trust anybody at the workplace with it.

Perhaps now he can be released early and compensated for unjustified time served?

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Microsoft opens Office 365 beta floodgates to the world

M Gale
Troll

Matt Bryant, you are a plonker.

Two posts, and neither one even mentions the Toy Unix. And yet, you're going on some holy crusade against anybody who might know what they are talking about? Go you! Perhaps you are the master of assumption? Or maybe just one of those things on the left.

Now, can you come across as something other than a Microsoft shill? Not saying you are one. Just, that's what you sound like.

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M Gale

What the fuck?

Hang on, who the what which where now? "M$"? Linux and FOSS? I really don't care if the system on the other end is being run by some ideological Debian purist. If I want to put a website on a host that'll scale up to however many users decide to use it at once, I'll consider "cloud" computing. If I want somewhere to store my personal information, I'll use my personal computer!

Are you that eager to put all of your information technology back behind the glass doors?

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M Gale

See now...

This is what the "cloud" isn't good for. All Your Software Are Belong To Microsoft? I think not.

Just give me a disk and a computer to put it in. Or an .apk and a usb lead to send it over, whatever. Just so long as my machine's continued usefulness does not depend on paying the people behind those big glass doors.

Have people never heard of RDP?

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Microsoft breaks own world record for IE nonsense

M Gale

One upvote.

Because it's actually quite funny.

But still, who can resist the temptation to stick the knife into Microsoft? It's not like they don't have a long, long history of deserving it.

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IP registry goes to Defcon 1 as IPv4 doomsday nears

M Gale

Won't work..

..yet.

Seriously, the moment Zuckerberg and Co decide to go IPv6 only, IPv6 will take off faster than a class M rocket engine attached to a bog roll. It will happen, you mark my words.

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M Gale

Never supported at all?

LOL, don't be too sure of that. I can see some hacker implementing it simply to be contrary. Sure there is no such thing as a "local LAN IP" in IPv6, but that doesn't mean everything outside one single address can't just be redirected to the bit bucket at the edge router, and the rest of the "public" block you're assigned being turned into your own set of de facto unroutable addresses.

Only problem I have with NAT is it going further upstream than my router.

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M Gale

Assigned ports...

..and when, say, I'm playing a multiplayer game, dont' fancy paying $wtf for my own colo server, and fancy just selecting the option in the game that says "start new multiplayer game", then asking my friends to connect to me...

Oh. Oops.

Pushing NAT up any further than the router in your house is a really bad idea, if you want the Internet to remain the Internet, and not a strictly client/server model of which I'm sure various large media companies would LOVE.

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Server vendors and the dead hand of commoditisation

M Gale
Thumb Down

Eh?

I can see why there would be huge inertia behind x86 and the usual "it's a PC in a rack" server architecture. You change the processor or fuck about with the internals too much and all of a sudden your programs won't run and you've got to go out and compile or rewrite whole new ones. Or buy whole new software in at potentially massive cost.

Shoving some SSD in the machine in a totally transparent manner however? How has commoditization been the fault there? As opposed to, you know, the crippling costs of SSD?

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Perverted Justice vigilante sentenced for DDoS attacks

M Gale

Yeah..

..because exposing predators of children is totally the same thing.

Okay, the guy was dumb, possibly a bit of an arsehole and I pity his (no doubt soon to be ex) wife, but the stitch up job was neither warranted nor really reflects well on the people at Perverted Justice.

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NFC Forum touts phone-sniffable poster ploy

M Gale

So...

...any chance that in a few years I'll be able to get a phone that DOESN'T have this gigantic security hole installed? Or perhaps future phone purchases will involve some jimmying around with a screwdriver and a pair of wire cutters?

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RAF Eurofighters make devastating attack – on Parliament

M Gale
Grenade

SHould go to WW1 tech...

...cracking the window and flinging a few grenades out on the way over.

Chocks away!

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M Gale

Don't forget the kill switches.

Wasn't their some issue a few years back with the Indian or Pakistani airforce and the US selling them planes that could be remotely disabled?

Yeah, buy American. Smart idea, that.

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M Gale

But we've already shat on them from a great height?

See title.

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Five cuffed over $37m heist of Google flash chips

M Gale

To be honest...

...when staring down the business end of a functional rifle, the last thing I'm going to ask is "is that a REAL AK47?"

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M Gale

"Grey" Market?

Now I know various companies would like to make unofficially imported products out to be the devil's work.. but surely you mean "Black market"?

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Dixons' best chance? Quit the UK and move to Sweden

M Gale

Re: Re: Free Market

I'll respond as someone who's had to work for this company before: PC World don't care about technically literate customers. In fact, you are their enemy. They want someone to come in, ask if the "hard drive" comes with a "slide-out cup holder", and can they buy it in pink?

You can't blind someone with science and swipe their wallet while they are dazzled if they know more about the science than you do.

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M Gale

Eclipse EPOS terminals.

It's funny. I still go into a DSG store very occasionally for a phone top-up or something. Watching the cashier blink and poke at the screen in confusion, I'll usually say "just give it here. See that button? Yeah, the e-topup/e-voucher thing? That's the one. Now the icon for Three network.. 10 pounds please.. like me to cash the till up for you too?"

Though these days I'll usually just use the self service tills at the local Tesco, yes. Same thing except I'm actually supposed to be operating it myself.

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M Gale

Re: Jim Morrow

This is DSG we are talking about. These are the people that will charge one price for walking into the store and asking, and another price for walking into the store with a smartphone/tablet, pre-ordering the product IN THE STORE, and then still subjecting you to the same godawful hard sales techniques when you go to pick up the product that comwes from the same place, and costs the same amount to store in the shop.

It may be a "web price", but it's hardly a web purchase is it? That pre-order scheme was made with one thing in mind: To get you into the store where they can pester you to buy a warranty, instead of buying off the web where you just uncheck the little box that says "rape my bank account please."

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M Gale

@djberriman

That's what I used to do. Couldn't see any sense in turning a customer away when I could just grab OpenOffice, tell it to create a link to "www.pcworld.co.uk" and double-clickie.

Of course the manager would get on at us for doing so. Fortunately you found a store where the staff hadn't had all sense of individuality beaten out of them yet.

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M Gale

Unfortunately...

...as hammered into me during my unfortunate tenure with their PC World arm, knowing about computers is not part of the job description. Knowing how to SELL computers is.

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Sonim XP3300 Force rugged mobile phone

M Gale

See now...

..that's a phone.

As in Crocodile Dundee telling you that in fact, no, that is not a knife you have right there.

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Dell flings Froyo tablet at Brits

M Gale

Solution: Buy more stuff.

No.

Besides, my tablet IS my mifi dongle.

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