* Posts by Alan Sharkey

262 posts • joined 18 Jan 2009

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Artificial Intelligence: You know it isn't real, yeah?

Alan Sharkey

You missed off "42"

Alan

Data hackers are like toilet ninjas. This is not a clean crime, you know

Alan Sharkey

But...

We want to know who the culprit was and what actions you took .

The story isn't over.....

Microsoft slips ads into Windows 10 Mail client – then U-turns so hard, it warps fabric of reality

Alan Sharkey

EM Client is the answer

It's as good as Outlook and is free for 1 or 2 accounts. Vote with your feet.

Alan

If at first or second you don't succeed, you may be Microsoft: Hold off installing re-released Windows Oct Update

Alan Sharkey

I am a home user

and I have 5 network drives (to different areas of my NAS) and 5 subst'ed drives. They all seem to be OK in 1803 but I did have an issue for a while with one of my networked drives having a red X. It went away after a small update some time ago.

I would like the 1809 update purely so I can respond to text messages on my PC - but it's not worth blowing away my network drives just for that.

OnePlus 6T: Tasteful, powerful – and much cheaper than a flagship

Alan Sharkey

My 5 is still good

I've had the OP 5 since June 2017 and it's still working fine and being updated. I may go for an OP7 if thee's enough new stuff to justify the cost.

Dell Corp UK makes 1.46% net profit margin on £1.556bn in sales – 'satisfactory' apparently

Alan Sharkey

Something's not right

They do more than 10K's worth of PS business in the UK. I see some "creative accounting" here.

With the 6T, OnePlus hopes to shed 'cheeky upstart' tag and launch assault on flagships

Alan Sharkey

why all the fuss over a headphone socket?

Most people I know use bluetooth headsets (and yes, you can use them on aeroplanes). Having leads dangling around is so 1980's :)

As to the notch, does it really matter?

For the price, it's a cracking phone.

Alan

PS - I have the OP5 but I doubt I'll upgrade - that does everything I want.

Sync your teeth into power browser Vivaldi's largest update so far

Alan Sharkey

I use it because...

It has proper bookmarks. Not those sill tabs that Chrome has. Now it has proper sync, I will replace Firefox completely.

HP Inc strips off, rolls around as Windows 10 money pours down

Alan Sharkey

How many?

" according to Gartner it grew 6.1 per cent to 13,589,000,000 units as the total sector grew just 1.4 per cent to 62,095,000,000"

But there's only 5 billion or so people on the planet - so that's around 12 PC's each. I only own 3 - who's got my other 9?

ALan

Facebook flat-out 'lies' about how many people can see its ads – lawsuit

Alan Sharkey

Re: And, of course....

Just turn off blocking for that site while you get what you need.

Alan Sharkey

And, of course....

The also OUGHT to take note of all those users who have ad blockers and don't see any adverts (it's quite pleasant in an ad free cyber world)

No one wants new phones – it's chips that keep Samsung chugging

Alan Sharkey

Look at the OnePlus 5 or 6. That will do what you want.

Imagine a patent on organizing computer files being used against online shopping sites. Oh, it's still happening

Alan Sharkey

Re: But but but ....

MY RDOS search was "files" as it saved all the found data to a new file and then used that for the resultant prinout/view.

So, I can claim "prior Art" here :)

Alan

Alan Sharkey

But but but ....

Surely database searches, which then output to a "hybrid" or "virtual" table have been around since the start of databases.

I can remember writing something like that back in about 1980 on a Data General RDOS system. And, doing it again in DBASE3 when we used that - and so on.

How did that get to be a patent?

Alan

A volt out of the blue: Phone batteries reveal what you typed and read

Alan Sharkey

Now they are just getting silly

I am sure, once someone has physical access to the phone, there are easier ways to intercept what is going on. This sounds like a solution waiting for a problem.

HPE CEO pledges $4bn Edge R&D splurge

Alan Sharkey

And things go round

"Edge computing, for the uninitiated, puts compute and storage capacity closer to where data is created, so it can be processed locally. Doing so avoids the cost of shipping data to a cloud and improves response times too. If an edge system spots something worthy of more attention, it will ship that data to a core cloud so that more processing power can be brought to bear."

Doesn't this just mean a local data centre? Like what we always used to have?

In defence of online ads: The 'net ain't free and you ain't paying

Alan Sharkey

Quite a sensible discussion

For a Friday.

I agree - I like the internet being "free" and will put up with the ads and data slurping. As I am now a poor pensioner (thank you DEC, for your final salary pension scheme), I do need to know what my outgoings are - and having "free" internet does help.

Alan

Orchestral manoeuvres in the Docker: A noob's guide to microservices

Alan Sharkey

Just curious

All that sounds lovely. But do we know of any large commercial customers using microservices "in anger"?

I just get the feeling that changing the mindset of large customer support services is like turning an oil tanker - and we have only just sent the "hard about" command.

But I could be wrong (and I'ld love to be proved wrong),

Alan

PCs were more and less expensive in Q1 as shipments stalled

Alan Sharkey

Quality has slipped

I recently purchased a new I7-8700 PC from HP as an upgrade from my old I7-4790. The speed increase is nice but the quality is awful. It is really built down to a price. Everything seems flimsy and awkward to upgrade.

I wanted to add another hard disk - no chance. Getting at the SATA connection on the motherboard involves taking everything off AND moving the 2.5 SSD to a little corner. There's no spare power connections anyway.

The included wireless keyboard was obvioulsy designed for a laptopn where the USB dongle is about 6" from the keboard. Putting it on a desktop machine at the back where the case is in the way just destroys the signal.

The DVD player is not only flimsy, but really slow. I could get around 7x speed on dvd copies whereas my old one goes up to 11x speed.

Still, it looks nice :)

Wanna work for El Reg? Developers needed for headline-writing AI bots

Alan Sharkey
Happy

Is this what I think it is?

Funny it should come out today of all days :D

SpaceX has a good day: Successful launch and FCC satellite approval

Alan Sharkey

Re: There is a question from the tinfoil hat brigade

Yes, I noticed that too. Very strange

Autonomous vehicle claims are just a load of hot air… and here's why

Alan Sharkey

My prediction - it won’t happen unless

We get all the non-autonomous cars off the road. Far too many people will see autonomous cars as a challenge. Just think about it....

More power to UK, say 'leccy vehicle makers. Seriously, they need it

Alan Sharkey

Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

I live in Rochdale. My son lives in Norfolk. It's over 200 miles to go and see him.

OK - I can buy an electric car that will probably have the range to get there. But when I do, then what? He lives in a terraced house on a street with all the parking spaces filled up with residents cars (no off street parking). So, how do I get home again?

This has not been properly thought out.

Alan

A smartphone recession is coming and animated poo emojis can't stop it

Alan Sharkey

Re: My OnePlus 5 is fine

I was being slightly facecious - but the principle stands. I paid £400 (ish) for a phone that has a CPU fast enough for anything I can throw at it, enough memory (8Gb, enough storage (128Gb) and a battery that easily lasts a day.

I can see it lasting me 3 years at least.

Alan Sharkey

My OnePlus 5 is fine

I got my OP5 last June. Unless it breaks, I can't see I need to replace it for at least 3 years. None of these new 'features' interest me. As long as I can make calls (remember that? It is what a phone used to be for) and read emails, that'll do me.

Alan

Does my boom look big in this? New universe measurements bewilder boffins

Alan Sharkey

Something's not right here.

How can it be accelerating? That implies a force pushing on it. If it were this mythical dark matter, then that would need to

a) be constantly created behind the expanding edge (because we know there's nothing beyond the edge)

b) employ anti-gravity to 'push' the stars out from behind.

So, go on - explain it in simple terms.

Six things I learned from using the iPad Pro for Real Work™

Alan Sharkey

It isn't there

I have an iPad Pro and a Windows PC.

On my PC, I normally have more than 2 windows open at once. I can share data between apps. I can EASILY flip between windows or add a new one. I can see what I've got open at a glance. File Manager is more than a joke.

Sorry, but IOS is NOT a replacement for a proper working environment. I did try to do it, but failed very quickly.

Lloyds Bank bans Bitcoin purchases by credit card customers

Alan Sharkey

Don't assume the banks are doing it for you

The banks don't want crypto currency. This is one way of ensuring it doesn't happen

UK data watchdog whacks £300k fine on biz that made 9 million nuisance calls

Alan Sharkey

Web site still working

Their web site is active - with a freephone number and a glowing reference from "Linda of Liverpool".

Data-by-audio whizzes Chirp palmed £100k to keep working with EDF

Alan Sharkey

How?

It says "far easier in a location where electromagnetic signals are not permitted ". But there has to be electromagnetic signals to power the speaker at the source - and a mike at the other end.

So how does that work?

Alan

Fancy coughing up for a £2,000 'nanodegree' in flying car design?

Alan Sharkey

Uber wants you

I reckon Uber will employ all the flying 'nano' experts they can find - so job security is sorted

Acronis: Ransomware protection! Get yer free ransomware protection!

Alan Sharkey

Re: I've asked before, but:

MY Synology NAS box can create multiple backups - I do one a week and keep a 3 backup rotation. So, I have 3 weeks to fix things if I get struck by malware.

Alan

Apple iPhone X: Two weeks in the life of an anxious user

Alan Sharkey

Re: I hate iOS - but......

Thanks all - streaming doesn't work on aeroplanes (unless you pay loads).

And jumping through hoops is what I have had to do to make it work. But it would have been nice if there was a place which was "public" rather than all these separate "private" places. How hard can it be?

Alan Sharkey

I hate iOS - but......

Nice report. I've got an Android phone and an iPad Pro (just so i can enjoy the wonders of IOS).

My BIG gripe is sharing data files across apps. I want to load videos onto it so I can watch them on a plane. There's issue no.1 - how to do it without using the godawful iTunes. Issue 2 is that I would like to use VLC as my player. Nope - have to use the apple video player.

Then, there's my music. And the wonderful iCloud - and all the other stuff that keeps all my data isolated.

If there was an Android tablet as fast as the iPad Pro, I would have changed by now. But it is actually nice and useable as a tablet as long as you can accept the foibles.

DXC execs: Here's another deadline for skills profiling

Alan Sharkey

And this is?

" we have begun to implement a formal Redeployment Program in Q4."

In what way is this dfferent from what's gone before?

Drone perves defeated by tinfoil houses

Alan Sharkey

And you won't hear them and see them? How many people are actually monitoring extra wifi streams anyway?

Sounds like a solution waiting for a problem

Meltdown, Spectre: The password theft bugs at the heart of Intel CPUs

Alan Sharkey

Re: Some real world results

and, your point is?

I tested before and after applying the patch. Nothing else changed. So any other discrepancy you find is the result of other changes (1703 to 1709 for example).

1709 is the current release. Not a future version.

Alan

Alan Sharkey

Re: Some real world results

Yes, but nothing approaching the 30% that has been bandied about.

Alan Sharkey

Re: Some real world results

The patch is available for anyone who does a Windows Update. Number KB4056892

Alan

Alan Sharkey

Some real world results

OK - as a home user, here's a couple of data points for you to consider.

MS have issued the patch for Windows 10. which takes you from build .125 up to build.192.

I ran a handbrake video conversion before and after and also ran the passmark test before and after. This was on my I7-3770.

Handbrake. Before: average FPS 168. Time taken - 18mins.

Handbrake. After: average FPS 167.5. Time taken 18 mins 20 seconds.

Passmark. Before After

Total 3219.7 3228.7

CPU 8214 8224

2D 557 561

3D 3585 3605

Mem 1752 1758

Disk 2444 2409

So, the only thing that seems to have suffered is disk I/O and that by around 1.5%

YMMV - this is just what I found.

We translated Intel's crap attempt to spin its way out of CPU security bug PR nightmare

Alan Sharkey

Re: Killed photo's app on HighSierra

OK - as a home user, here's a couple of data points for you to consider.

MS have issued the patch for Windows 10. which takes you from build .125 up to build.192.

I ran a handbrake video conversion before and after and also ran the passmark test before and after. This was on my I7-3770.

Handbrake. Before: average FPS 168. Time taken - 18mins.

Handbrake. After: average FPS 167.5. Time taken 18 mins 20 seconds.

Passmark. Before After

Total 3219.7 3228.7

CPU 8214 8224

2D 557 561

3D 3585 3605

Mem 1752 1758

Disk 2444 2409

So, the only thing that seems to have suffered is disk I/O and that by around 1.5%

YMMV - this is just what I found.

Kernel-memory-leaking Intel processor design flaw forces Linux, Windows redesign

Alan Sharkey

Why just now and will MS/Linux be intelligent?

If the fix is just

<If CPU=Intel, do this

else

do that>

Then any fixed CPUs (e.g. the i7-8xxx apparently) will not benefit from it at all. So, will MS/Linux etc. do the right thing and test properly?

ALSO - if Intel knew about it when they were designing coffe-lake (I7-8xxx), then how come it's taken so long to get a patch in place? Surely the design was years ago.

Storage startup WekaIO punts latency-slashing parallel file system tech

Alan Sharkey

Wow

The programming effort needed to do all that must be immense - or is all plug in modules these days?

I hope it's all been thoroughly tested....

Alan

Firefox 57's been quietly delaying tracking scripts

Alan Sharkey

I like it

FF is one of the two browsers I like (the other is Vivaldi). It's fast and it has a proper bookmarks menu which is easy to use.

So, count me as no 2 in the list above.

Seagate's lightbulb moment: Make read-write heads operate independently

Alan Sharkey

Re: Half the drive's recording heads will operate together

Why stop at 2 sets? Have 2 heads per platter, one for read, one for write.

Google asks browser rival Vivaldi to post uninstall instructions

Alan Sharkey

Email?

I use Vivaldi a lot and I've never seen the email that it is supposed to provide.

Alan

Poor NASA sods sent to spend Xmas in Antarctic ahead of satellite launch

Alan Sharkey

Accuracy?

Of course, that does assume that the ice won't move between the time they measure it and the time the satellite measures it.

Disk drive fired 'Frisbees of death' across data centre after storage admin crossed his wires

Alan Sharkey

Dear Data general - such a lack of foresight.

Back in the late 70's, I was working in the oil industry and using DG Nova 1200's and Nova 3's. They brought out the Micronova with really small (for the time) circuit boards.

We needed a small waterproof computer that we could take on the oil rigs. So, I stripped out a Micronova, put it in a waterproof box with a small (around 8", if I remember) screen and two floppy disks (does this design sound familiar?). I attached a keyboard in the lid. It all worked very nicely. I tested the waterproofness by throwing it in the river Yare (attached to a rope, of course), fishing it out - and it started up with no issues.

Now, we didn't have the resources to build many of these ourselves, so I went to DG and asked them if they would build them for us. The answer? "Sorry, but we cannot see a market for a portable computer".

2 years later, Compaq arrived on the scene. To say I was a bit miffed, was an understatement.

Lap-slabtop-mobes with Snapdragon Arm CPUs running Windows 10: We had a quick gander

Alan Sharkey

I'd buy one if it starts up as fast as my iPad does and performace is better than the Z8350 series intel chips.

Just saying that I think it does have a place somewhere.

Is Oomi the all-in-one smart home system we've been waiting for?

Alan Sharkey

Hue works for me

I've got a Hue system for one reason.

We rearranged our lounge and ended up with a lightswitch for one end and another for the other end. So, going to bed, we'd forget to turn off one or the other (depending on which door we used). With Hue, we have one dimmer switch and the controller which turns off all lights at 1am if we forget.

And yes, it was much cheaper than replastering the walls after we'd moved the light switches.

Of course, now we have the system, it has expanded into other areas.

Alan

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