* Posts by Def

1124 posts • joined 8 Jul 2009

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Microsoft returns to Valley of Death? Cheap Surface threatens the hardware show

Def
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Unhappy

Re: It doesn't much matter

We're not apes, though. We're primates and have descended from the same branch as apes have. We are the "cousins" of apes.

Sadly that statement is not entirely accurate for far too many people.

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Def
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Re: It doesn't much matter

I only use it in a VM once a week or so for testing, and more often than not I'm delayed by an update, which then causes a core to burn for 20 minutes while it does something when it finally boots.

Settings > Update and Security > Advanced options > Pause Updates

(I don't think this exists in the Home version though.)

That said, if you only boot it once a week, it's not surprising you're always having to install updates. I'm sure you'd be complaining just as much if it was never updated and you kept getting h4x0r3d. ;)

...and each update presents me with a new "recommendation" in my start menu...

Settings > Personalization > Start > Occasionally show suggestions in Start

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Surface Hub 2: Microsoft's pricey whiteboard gets a sequel

Def
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Re: I quite like ours...

I wonder how this works better than your standard big screen if you're using it to display remote conferences.

The last company I worked for had some weird video conferencing system (that was probably a competitor to Cisco) that you could dial into from any of the meeting rooms, providing said room had a PC and a screen in it. It mostly worked for conference calls, and sharing a screen worked more or less as you would expect. Where it didn't work was trying to use the whiteboard during a conference call that was invariable located next to one of the screens (or when it wasn't, impossible to read anything that was actually written).

The current company I work for basically uses Google Hangouts for conference calls, which is about as cheap and as shit as you can get. We have the same problems as before with regards to viewing the whiteboard remotely, as well as a raft of new problems with feedback from the screen-shared TV interfering with the audio quality and the terrible UI of Hangouts.

So I can definitely see a use case for a whiteboard/conference call/presentation board in one handy package. Given that half our team like to use Macs as their day to day machines (what weirdos, eh?), I'm not sure whether this would be it.

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Google shoots Chrome 66's silencer after developer backlash

Def
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Chewing bandwidth?

...the plan was to stop auto-playing vids from assaulting your ears and chewing bandwidth.

The size of audio data is tiny compared to video. If you really want to save bandwidth (and you really fucking should considering most mobile users are on metered connections) stop playing video automatically.

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How could the Facebook data slurping scandal get worse? Glad you asked

Def
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Re: data use

That's not a legitimate reason to request access to your contacts. The game should request the specific game user IDs of your friends instead of requesting a complete list of everybody in your address book.

That makes no sense. Where will it request these IDs from? How will it know who your friends are?

Here's how I envision it working (and how I will implement it if I ever have time to work on game projects again):

1) You download and start playing a game.

2) Your contact information (email or phone number) is hashed, sent to the game server, and stored along with your game user ID. (And possibly other information that you have consented to sending, like a nickname and/or your real name.)

3) The game then retrieves unique identification data for each person in your contacts list (email and phone number), hashes each in turn and sends them to the backend which attempts to find existing matches in the game's database. If a match is found, those accounts in the backend are linked for future notifications.

At no time are any of your friends' details stored remotely unless they play the game and give their consent. But the game still needs access to your contacts list to perform the above.

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Def
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Re: data use

There are plenty of legitimate use cases for gathering *some* personal data.

If you're playing a game, for example, that game might request and store your contacts so that the game can notify you automatically when one of your friends starts playing the same game, or has beaten your best score, or done something you haven't, etc.

As long as that data is held securely and never sold or otherwise disseminated to third parties *and* as long as permission is given in the first place, I would argue that that is a legitimate use of that data.

A lot of the problems stem from the fact there are too many apps out there that take advantage of user laziness and grab all they can. Educating users and prosecuting rogue developers should take priority in my mind.

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And THIS is how you do it, Apple: Huawei shames Cupertino with under-glass sensor

Def
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Re: A removable notch, that's Genius!

When the notch breaks or malfunctions you just remove it and replace it with new one, no need to buy a new phone.

I'm 99.9999% certain you're being sarcastic here, but just in case you're not...

The notch isn't physically removable, the UI merely renders the notification icons in white with a black background to hide the notch. I picked up the P20 Pro work bought me the other day and that's how it works there. Surprisingly well, I have to add. (Although I'm never going to use an Android phone for anything other than presenting our awesome video tech and testing.)

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Uber says it's changed and is now ever-so ShinyHappy™

Def
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Re: What I really want is an app that lets me search across black cabs and minicabs...

Do you need to go to a cashpoint cos I prefer not to declare all my earnings.

FTFY ;)

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Wanna break Microsoft's Edge browser? Google's explained how

Def
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Re: Yep, we get it.

I use Edge here without issues. It's noticeably faster than Chrome and uses fewer resources.

I have to admit, the only thing that's stopping me from switching to Edge is the lack of being able to place the tab bar down the left side of the window/screen.

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German IKEA trip fracas assembles over trolley right of way

Def
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Hel being the Scandinavian goddess...

And spending an eternity in Hel would be a bad thing because?

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Microsoft programming chief to devs: Tell us where Windows hurt you

Def
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Re: Caption

The Visual C++ compiler is equally compliant as GCC and Clang for C++11 and C++14, and more (read: fully) compliant for C++17.

https://en.cppreference.com/w/cpp/compiler_support

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Def
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Re: Well I'm an optimist

You should try xcode and android studio sometime. Then you'll understand pain and learn how to curse like a pro.

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Wanted that Windows 10 update but have an Intel SSD? Computer says no

Def
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That's pretty much par for the course with Avast! these days.

Since they started stuffing it with bloat and popping up notifications all the fucking time it became worthless, and disappeared from all my machines.

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Windows Notepad fixed after 33 years: Now it finally handles Unix, Mac OS line endings

Def
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Ah, but...

...does it support Next Line (0x0085) and Line Separator (0x2028) now too?

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Apple to devs: Give us notch support or … you don't wanna know

Def
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Re: Notch Support

I don't have an issue with being pushed to support the latest SDK, that's best practice anyway.

Best practice for Apple, perhaps, because it forces people to upgrade their development hardware more often than is strictly necessary.

To use the latest SDK, you have to have the latest Xcode. To use the latest Xcode you have to have the latest version of MacOS. To use the latest MacOS, you need a Mac that doesn't keel over and die when you install said OS on it.

I'm guessing I'll be forced to upgrade my iMac (which I only bought for iOS development and never actually use as a real computer) this time next year for those very reasons.

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We just wanna torque: Spinning transfer boffins say torque memory near

Def
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Re: Intriguing....

If I may ask, do you mean physically close to the processor or architecturally?

I primarily meant architecturally. but bus lengths directly affect signal quality, power requirements, transmission speeds, and latency, so in that respect the shorter the better. (And to be honest, I don't think I've ever seen a motherboard which didn't have the RAM slots directly next to the processor(s).)

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Def
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Re: Intriguing....

That's basically how the old cartridge based games consoles used to work. All program code and static data in the cartridge was just mapped into the processor address space and referenced as is.

The biggest problem with mapping storage memory into the processor's address space would be performance. RAM has always been positioned very close to the processor. I wouldn't want to run executable code directly from a storage device - even a storage device directly on the PCI bus would be too slow. (I.e., you'd still have to copy code into the caches and with the hundreds of processes typically running on a modern system you'd end up with requiring much more cache memory to maintain performance, and ultimately you might as well just stick with RAM.)

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North will remain North for now, say geo-magnetic boffins

Def
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Joke

"...what has a 34,000 year [old] cycle."

I'm pretty sure my mum has one in the garage somewhere.

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Escape from the Zuckerborg: WhatsApp founder legs it

Def
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Re: Time To Be Afraid Be Very Afraid

Weakening encryption is easy (but a little time consuming). You just don't upgrade it, and eventually general computing performance improvements will, over time, render it obsolete.

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'Your computer has a virus' cold call con artists on the rise – Microsoft

Def
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Unhappy

Re: Are they still doing this?

So...

I'm glad I don't have *that* song stuck in my head now.

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Time to ditch the front door key? Nest's new wireless smart lock is surprisingly convenient

Def
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Re: Why's it mounted on the door?

I assume because you want the handle on the door as that's the bit that moves. Having the handle operate the latch means that opening the door is a one-handed operation and integrating the deadbolt makes for a one box solution.

But the handle *never* operates the deadbolt - only the latch. If the bolt were withdrawn into the wall, the handle and latch would still work as advertised.

I wouldn't build the lock into the frame, I'd build it into the wall. Frame size then becomes irrelevant.

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Def
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Re: re: if it was mains powered

I am seeing both benefits and disadvantages to hooking up the external door(s) to mains power.

All of them, unfortunately, too large for this ̶m̶a̶r̶g̶i̶n̶ forum.

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Def
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Re: Not just Google

...the lock and key goes back centuries and is a tried and tested security product...

That nobody ever picked/drilled/kicked...

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Twenty years ago today: Windows 98 crashed live on stage with Bill Gates. Let's watch it again...

Def
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Re: It's always great entertainment

I prefer the remix myself.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=d_AP3SGMxxM

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Soyuz later! Russia may exit satellite launch biz

Def
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Joke

Re: At those prices...

The dummy was just a dummy, dummy. But did anyone check in the boot?

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Windows 10 Spring Creators Update team explains the hold-up: You little BSOD!

Def
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Thumb Down

Re: Windows insider Program

"tough shit, buy newer software"

Hello, VMWare. I will never ever be buying anything from you ever again.

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Go away, kid, you bother me: Apple, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla kick W3C nerds to the curb

Def
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Re: W3C dead?

After seeing what emerged for the HTML5 spec, I'm not entirely sure that WHATWG could do much worse.

Because HTML 1-4 were soooo good in the first place.

In an ideal world someone would take pretty much everyone who had a hand in 95% of the "standards" out there around the back of the cow shed and have them shot. Apple engineers can go to the front of the queue for the utterly irrational, half-arsed, and frankly annoying effort they called HLS. (Which I haven't been dealing with on a daily basis for the last year, honest.)

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Linux Beep bug joke backfires as branded fix falls short

Def
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Re: Of course it's not an important security issue

But that sort of user would never have installed beep to begin with, so it doesn't matter.

Well, that sort of user would most probably be at the mercy of their distro provider to install software that they would deem "necessary" for the smooth operation of the OS. While this might be a relatively unlikely/benign utility, it wouldn't take too long for something more necessary to be exploited. Most probably in the form of an unpatched/out of date library.

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Def
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Re: Of course it's not an important security issue

The difference is that the security implications were detailed in the man pages and you can fix this yourself very easily whereas with Windows you would have wait for Microsoft to provide a fix if a) they found the issue in the first place and b) they actually decide to fix it rather than logging as "won't fix".

That's no different to Linux though. The average user (I.e., pretty much everyone if Linux were to ever become more than a fringe OS) wouldn't ready the man pages, certainly wouldn't know how to fix it themselves, and would have to wait for their distro provider to ship an update.

In fact that very attitude of "you can fix this yourself" very nicely illustrates exactly why Linux never will gain widespread adoption on the desktop.

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Virgin spaceplane makes maiden rocket-powered flight

Def
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...not really hauling stuff into space any more but now sub-orbital London to Sydney hypersonic flights - now just who needs to get to the Antipodes in that much of a hurry anyway, the market can't be that big.

It's not just London to Sydney that would benefit from SABRE. Any intercontinental route will benefit:

London - Sydney: four hours.

London - New York: 80 minutes.

London - Rio: two hours.

London - San Francisco: Maybe under three hours if you went up over the north pole.

Not to mention the fact pushing long haul flights into sub-orbital trajectories would free up a lot of space in what are already overly congested skies.

A fully reusable space plane with air breathing engines should certainly be cheaper than a reusable rocket, I would have thought, so hauling stuff into space will still be a potentially huge market. (And that market is tiny right now.)

While they might not think money is one of their current problems, I suspect a better management team would be able to push harder and faster with a bigger round of investment.

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Why a merged Apple OS is one mash-up too far

Def
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Re: If it's done right...

The awesome comment was directed more to the fact that I finally have a device that I can carry around in my pocket that effectively turns into a desktop computer when I plug it into a dock. Yes, there's room for improvement, but it's still pretty awesome. The only thing that could make it more awesome would be if my AI-piloted flying car had a dock and screen. And a bottomless minibar.

I still don't understand the Start menu hate. I suspect a lot of it is just people trying to get their views validated (it's still an easy way to the upvotes around here). Let's compare the start menu in 7 and 10 for a minute...

7: The most recent apps appear in a list directly above the start button - a nice idea, but the most used apps appear furthest away from the start button. (Unless you have your taskbar on the top of the screen, I guess.) Furthermore, the order will potentially switch around if several apps are used as often as each other - reducing the ability to use muscle memory to open applications (albeit ever so slightly). You can remove applications from this list, but you can't explicitly add something there (IIRC). Below all that is the Windows 95 style gargantuan All Programs tree of crap for all registered applications along with all the bullshit web and redundant uninstall shortcuts that the developer (or marketing department) deemed was absolutely necessary for you to run their software.

10: The left half is an alphabetical ordered list of installed applications. (There's still some crap in there because old developer habits die hard, but it's nowhere near as messy as the All Programs menu from before.) The right half is a fully customisable space for your favourite and most used applications. After five minutes of setting this up, you can develop and tone your muscle memory to perfection. (You can even add a shortcut to the old Control Panel there.) I don't remember how the search worked in 7, but I rarely have trouble finding an application by typing a few letters after opening the start menu in 10 - I don't even have to click anywhere first.

Most personal assistants are still pretty useless. Cortana, Siri, whatever the fuck Google has... I don't use them. I can see the point, but I just don't think the technology is there yet. There's a whole host of privacy issues that need solving from a legal perspective before I would consider using them too.

I don't think it's any harder to find something in the Settings than it was in the Control Panel of 7. Certainly if you didn't know where something was in the Control Panel, it could take ages to find something. At least there's a semi-intelligent search box in Settings. The biggest problem with Settings is that it's simply not finished. They should have completely replaced Control Panel in one go - but I realise that wouldn't have been possible with backwards compatibility requirements. On the whole though, I like the fact that settings are now freed from the tiny little cramped dialog boxes of yesteryear. If they can just finish the rest off and get rid of all the bloated peripheral panels with bullshit custom UIs (hello, Intel and Logitech), I'll be happy.

Anyway, not going to try and convince anyone they're right or wrong here, just fancied sharing some thoughts. :) (First <icon>'s on me.)

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Def
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Re: "Applications are restricted to "fullscreen" only [...] their UIs reflow to fit the display."

You misunderstood me. All the applications I've tried do have different layouts depending on the aspect ratio and resolution of the display they're running on. It might not be anything other than portrait Vs landscape with components positioned relative to the edges of the display and scaled according to DPI, but that's pretty much all you need most of the time.

Ironically, the desktop monitor (1900x1200) and TV (1920*1080) I have used continuum on have lower resolutions than the actual phone display (1440x2560) anyway.

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Def
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Re: If it's done right...

If it's done right, I could see it working.

It has been done right. Windows 10 smoothed out the wrinkles of Windows 8. It's awesome. ;)

See my reply further up for more details.

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Def
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Re: OS !== UX && OS !== CPU

Isn't this where Microsoft was going with Continuum on Windows Phone? Plug it in and you get a Windows PC. Though I'm not sure if it ever offered an actual desktop. Anyone with a Windows Phone who used it able to tell me more?

Continuum gives you a standard Windows desktop.

The start menu just contains your regular home screen tiles, with All Apps off to the right as usual.

Applications are restricted to "fullscreen" only (apparently there's an app that allows you to tile windows across the display), and their UIs reflow to fit the display. There's still a task bar at the bottom though, so it's easy to switch between running apps as usual, and alt-tab works as you would expect.

The Continuum dock (it can work wirelessly too, apparently) has a couple of USB ports and a few video outs too (Display Port and HDMI, I think - I've only used it with HDMI), so plugging in a mouse and keyboard basically works as you would expect. You can still use the phone display as a touch pad and keyboard if you don't have those handy though.

There are a few problems with it - I haven't found an easy way to access things which are wired to physical buttons, like the volume controls, for example, and you can't right click on a task bar button to close an application (you have to activate it, and then click the close button in the title bar), but I think CShell will probably help solve the latter.

Apart from those minor problems and the lack of tiled applications, it's actually pretty fucking awesome IMO. When Andromeda comes out and has Win32 on ARM support, a lot of people really won't need Windows desktop machines anymore.

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Magic Leap ships headsets at last, but you'll need a safe

Def
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The "magic leap" will be when your headset is capable of locating everything around you from your position – effectively seeing the same way we do with our eyes.

Errr... you realise Hololens does this already, right? The HL demos I tried 18 months ago had guys I spawned with a (mid air) tap of my finger interacting with furniture in the room- falling on to chairs when spawned above them, running to the edge, and falling on to the floor. I'm pretty certain they were running behind things too.

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Java-aaaargh! Google faces $9bn copyright bill after Oracle scores 'fair use' court appeal win

Def
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Re: Still reeling

Except BS was working at AT&T when he invented C++, so they'd have to sue themselves.

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Microsoft's Windows 7 Meltdown fixes from January, February made PCs MORE INSECURE

Def
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Re: Why is this allowed?

For the same reason everyone else is. There's no such thing as bug free software, and there never will be. Probably.

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Slap visibility beacons on bikes so they can chat to auto autos, says trade body

Def
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Re: Yeah... Right

...but for some unknown reason, bicycles coming from the town side often get onto the wrong cycle lane and cycle the wrong way, against the flow of traffic...

Why is that considered less safe? When there are no pavements, pedestrians are supposed walk against the flow of traffic. Why shouldn't cyclists cycle against the flow too?

(Serious question. Idiots parking in bike lanes notwithstanding, but that's what keys were invented for, right? ;)

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Your code is RUBBISH, says GitHub. Good thing we're here to save you

Def
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Re: Ambiguous headline

I wasn't criticising anyone - at least not intentionally. I was merely pointing out facts.

As for people not using GitHub to spare us the grief, I certainly never suggested that. I merely pointed out that GitHub, along with other repositories, have made it easy for hobbyists and amateur developers to maintain backups of their work. This is, generally speaking, a good thing. But it does have the side effect that statistics such as the ones mentioned in the article will be skewed, and it can make it harder to find quality work when searching for something.

As for my own work, download and install the Oso Memory Profiler and take a look at the SDK. Constructive feedback is always welcome.

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Re: Ambiguous headline

No, most code on GitHub is rubbish. Just like SourceForge before it, and countless other open repositories.

It's not all rubbish, obviously, but let's be honest there's a lot of shit out there written by people who simply don't know what they're doing half the time. Mostly due to lack of experience as much as anything else - which highlights another point - GitHub is where hobby developers dump their stuff because they heard backups are teh cool, bro.

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Horn star Sudan, last male northern white rhino, dies aged 45

Def
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Joke

Re: We gents should be so lucky!

If you were able to produce semen by the bucket load, I think your more immediate concern would be finding trousers that fit.

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Windows 10 to force you to use Edge, even if it isn't default browser

Def
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For everyone who thinks Hangouts works in Firefox, even Google admits it only works in Firefox ESR:

https://support.google.com/hangouts/answer/7334146?p=hangouts_firefox&hl=en-GB&rd=1

Edge requires a plugin to work, but it doesn't install correctly. (Basically the installer never finishes, and refreshing the page just redirects you to the plugin install page. It's possible I need to enable Flash, but that's never going to happen.)

Internet Explorer works out the box (maybe because I got it working before), but you have to enable SSL 3 these days otherwise it says it can't connect.

Downvote me all you want, but at the end of the day if you haven't tried it for yourself, you're full of shit. (Which given that this is the Internet, is entirely likely.)

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Re: That will be an improvement

Or maybe your network admins have set a domain setting that forces IE as your browser. Or some corporate spyware is doing it.

I doubt you can blame Windows/Microsoft for something that only happens to you. ;)

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Def
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Hangouts by default is a web app / website, so you can still use other browser to open Hangouts, meaning you are not really forced to install Google Chrome at all.

Except that's really not true.

Hangouts doesn't work in Firefox on Windows or MacOS. It certainly doesn't work in Edge. I think I did manage to get it to work in Internet Explorer after I disabled a bunch of security settings. (I may have got those last two mixed up - either way it requires some plugin to be installed first.) It doesn't work in Edge on Windows 10 Mobile because they incorrectly identify it as Windows Phone 8.1.

It works in Safari on Mac OS, which is the only browser/OS combination I managed to get working reliably without Chrome.

I'm pretty sure I tried another browser when trying to get it working in Windows too, but I can't remember which.

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Trump’s immigration policies costing US tech jobs says LogMeIn CEO

Def
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The standard of living in the US isn't exactly high compared to a lot of other countries these days. Highlighting that fact would probably just cause more companies to offshore their employees.

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Poop to save planet as boffins devise bullsh*t way of extracting gas

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FAIL

"bullsh*t"

Was that really necessary?

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Airbus ditches Microsoft, flies off to Google

Def
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No, they suck.

Google's document editor is closer to WordPad than Word.

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Windows Mixed Reality: Windows Mobile deja vu?

Def
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Re: Pointless

With better technology, usability and marketing AR/MR/VR is very likely to become much more than niche.

Yep, ultimately that "better technology" will come in the form of AR contact lenses or retinal implants. Today's AR/VR hardware is on the level of Babbage's Difference Engine compared to the biggest super computer available today.

You think kids with their phones are annoying today... you ain't seen nothin' yet.

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Def
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Hololens has been available for purchase for sometime. They haven't marketed it as a consumer device because it's just too expensive right now, and needs better software support. (I guess.) It is still pretty cool though - I had a chance to play with one about 18 months ago.

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Unfortunately, delivering an AR display that fills the human field of view, let alone our peripheral vision, seems to be an intractable optics problem, not readily solved by throwing more silicon at it.

I heard the other day (from a friend in a pub, but, like me, he's been in the games industry for more years than either of us can count and therefore might be privy to insider information), that the next version of Hololens will have a much wider field of view.

Luckily I had a pinch of salt handy, but I live in hope. Presumably it's a problem that will be solved eventually though, so why not this year?

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