* Posts by Phil W

1085 posts • joined 10 Mar 2010

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Brit Parliament online orifice overwhelmed by Brexit bashers

Phil W

Re: Can you blame us?

"I voted to leave but all that's happened in the past two years is that Westminster has proven itself to be utterly unworthy of governing the people."

I voted Remain, not because I was that arsed about staying in but because:

A. I knew that our MPs were a waste of oxygen who wouldn't be able to sort it out properly

B. I didn't see the benefit, in terms of the whole "unelected bureaucrats" "sovereignty" and "making our own laws arguments. We've got far bigger problems with corruption (all of westminster) and unelected bureaucrats (the house of Lords) in our own country, before we worry about being part of the EU.

Thanks to UK peers, coming to a laptop near you in 2019: Age checks for online smut

Phil W

Re: Doh....

"Paid for and used properly they can considerably increase security while browsing, and not just smut."

The fact that you're paying for a VPN makes it neither secure or trustworthy. If you believe that's really the case I will happily take your money for the VPN service I'm about to set up.

I pinky promise not to log all your activity and sell it to either the government or ne'er-do-wells on the dark web.

Scam or stunt? It's looking like the latter... Xiaomi so sorry for £1 smartphone 'promo'

Phil W

Versus Samsung

If Samsung can survive phones literally catching fire and exploding I think Xiaomi can handle this. At least this marketing blunder hasn't harmed anyone or cost anyone anything, unlike exploding phones, and doesn't really reflect the quality of their products just the competence of their marketing team.

I don't know about anyone else but I don't buy my phones based on the quality of the marketing...

Xiaomi anarchy in the UK: Chinese tat-flinger wants to slip its cheapo flagships in Brit pockets

Phil W

Re: Redmi 6A at £99

That's a little unfair, all the other major brand's lowest end phones are full of crap too.

However something like the Mi A2 is still relatively cheap at £250 (compared to the £1000 LG referenced above). That has pretty decent specs and runs Android One so is fairly pure Android with Google services, maintained and updated by Google on regular basis because it's Android One.

Phil W

Re: So....?

That's true about the updates, I bought mine 4 months ago and I've had at least 3 updates since then, including a major OS version update.

Phil W

Re: So....?

If data privacy is your concern maybe don't use the Internet at all.

I'd bet you posted your comment from a major browser on either a Windows PC or Mac or from an iOS or Android device so it's a bit late for worrying about that.

Personally I'd trust Xiaomi just as much (or little) as I'd trust Samsung or Google from a privacy point of view.

The hardware is pretty good anyway, I have a Mi Mix 2S and it's very good. If using Xiaomi's OS worries you, there is a working unofficial Lineage OS for it.

Mourning Apple's war against sockets? The 2018 Mac mini should be your first port of call

Phil W

Re: Mac OS X Server isn't what it used to be

It's not just the software either. Your options for server hardware should not be iMac or Mac Mini form factors with single hard drive, or Mac Pro with multiple drives (assuming you use one of the older tower type not the new sexy cylinder jobs).

Want a server with enough storage physically attached to store the user profiles and work of a few hundred plus users? Yeah no help there sorry, you'll have to run a Mac Mini to manage the the users and then a Windows/Linux/BSD server or dedicated NAS/SAN appliance for the storage.

Want your server virtualised, as per industry standard operations these days, to help improve reliability and downtime (forget costs this is Apple we're talking about), nope sorry.

Most of us are left having to manage network users on Macs through Active Directory, with maybe a Mac "server" thrown in for extra functionality if required.

Maybe Boris Johnson is secretly running Apple, given the "F*** business" attitude that seems to be prevalent.

Microsoft Windows 10 October update giving HP users BSOD

Phil W

Re: Again

"so is MacOS and not once have i updated my 8 year old Macbook and had it forget how to play sound!"

Funny you should mention that but certain models of iMac had exactly that problem after updating to a particular MacOS, I forget whether it was Sierra or the one before that but essentially all the iMacs we had of a particular model stopped being able to output sound via the internal speakers following the update.

To be fair it was a trivial fix, plugging something into the headphone jack and unplugging it fixed it, but the principal is the same, it should never have happened.

In some ways you could blame Microsoft less for this, they can't realistically test Windows updates on every conceivable bit of hardware that it may be running on. Apple on the other hand have a much smaller set of hardware to test, and they make all of it!

Samsung Galaxy A9: Mid-range bruiser that takes the fight to Huawei

Phil W

Re: Four cameras?

Are you thinking of the Mach 20 razor?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FAP8o5ZEo0

Dust off that old Pentium, Linux fans: It's Elive

Phil W

Re: If it's snappy on old kit...

"What does it run like on a modern 8th gen I7, 32Gb RAM, a 4Gb video card, & 250Gb SSD?"

This question makes me think of the scene from Lost in Space (the 1998 movie not the Netflix series), where they find the ship from the (relative) future and the computers are so fast they struggle to use them.

Also the fact that Matt le Blanc, Heather Graham or any of the other stars from that incredible cheesey movie haven't been given a cameo in the Netflix series seems a missed opportunity.

Google is 20, Chrome is 10, and Microsoft would rather ignore the Nokia deal's 5th birthday

Phil W

Re: 'Amazing how Google evolved ... to all-powerful Megacorp out of a dystopian SciFi scenario'

Google is more akin to Massive Dynamic from Fringe.

Now you can tell someone to literally go f--k themselves over the internet: Remote-control mock-cock patent dies

Phil W

Re: SMTP

Massage payload delivered to box.

Thinking of saying goodbye to your servers? We'll show you how

Phil W

Up next:

Computerless computing, workerless working.

Microsoft's cheapo Surface: Like a netbook you can't upgrade

Phil W

@SSampson

"A+ certification is a joke"

Yes, yes it is, and I say that as A+ certified technician.

A multiple choice exam where more than one answer is right but you can only pick one, or only one is correct they one they say is correct isn't, is not a good measure of anything except your ability to pass bullshit exams.

Phil W

@WallMeerkat

Unfortunately there is a lot of cheap tat around in Windows 10 tablets now, much as with Android. iwork chuwi and other odd brands all tend to be garbage. Linx I have mostly read good reviews of, apart from those where people were clearly expecting more than they should given the specs. I am quite pleased with mine.

As with all purchases of items not from major brands (and some of those from major brands frankly), read reviews and be sure of what you're buying before purchasing.

Phil W

@AC

No thanks, I'd rather buy cake for myself, plus I have now received my Linx tablet and am not disappointed at all. Performance is more than adequate, especially given the price (£145 for a Grade A refurb unit)

Phil W

The WiFi dropouts should supposedly be better now, there have been driver and BIOS updates to fix it.

As for performance, like others have said it depends what you're doing with it. I tend to use small laptops/tablets as web browsers and remote desktop clients.

I had a HP 2in1 with a Bay Trail Atom and 2GB RAM previously, it was just about ok for everything I wanted, only lack of RAM let it down really. Given that this is a generation of CPU newer and twice the RAM it should do for me.

Phil W

If you're on a budget but want a Surface it might be worth looking at the Linx 12x64. Surface lookalike with a quad core Atom and 4GB RAM, available for under £200.

I don't have one yet but most of the reviews are good, so I have one on the way.

'Can you just pop in to the office and hit the power button?' 'Not really... the G8 is on'

Phil W

Re: An server environment

Not to mention several instances of "the" missing from the details of the trip to Seattle downtown

How much do you think Cisco's paying erstwhile Brit PM David Cameron?

Phil W

what up G

In fairness the being known as G thing might be more to do with stopping people mangling the pronunciation of Guillermo than it is to do with being hypercool.

In a world where people often don't bother to learn the correct pronunciation of names from countries other than their own, I'd imagine having people call you Gwill-err-moh instead of Gee-yair-moh becomes a little tedious after a while.

Mmm, yes. 11-nines data durability? Mmmm, that sounds good. Except it's virtually meaningless

Phil W

Statistics Vs Reality

Statistics for probable data loss are all very well but they don't take account of the most important rule of data loss/recovery.

That is, if the statistics indicate that you may lose a file once every 8 years then it will happen at the worst possible time and/or the file will be the worst one you could possibly lose. AKA Sod's law.

'Fibre broadband' should mean glass wires poking into your router, reckons Brit survey

Phil W

Re: Virgin Media are the worst

Never had a single problem with Virgin of any significance. A handful of outages that rebooting the router fixed, and one that wasn't but was somewhat obviously explained when I looked up the road to see a team of Virgin engineers with a cabinet open and hundreds of meters of cable all over the place, a scheduled upgrade I'd missed the letter about.

Phil W

Re: Virgin Media are the worst

"Virgin Media are the worst"

Nah they aren't. Sure they advert that says Fibre with a picture of coax is jarring, but at least they provide speeds that are actually remotely worthy of Fibre unlike others.

Phil W

Re: Eir, Vodafone & Sky

"Three claims to sell High speed broadband. They have NO broadband. That is their WiFi hotspot fed by Mobile. Mobile can sometimes offer ADSL2+ speeds, but rarely and is never broadband."

As much as I love to bash misleading headlines like "Fibre broadband" when they're inaccurate, describing a 4G SIM card powered WiFi hotspot as high speed broadband could well be considered one of the more accurate statements.

I can't speak to Three's network specifically, but I've just done a Speedtest on my mobile which is on EE with 4 out 5 bars signal with 4G connection and got 122Mbps down 6.88Mbps up. By many people's standards this would be considered high speed and well in excess of anything ADSL2+ can provide at least on the downstream side.

Clearly this is dependent on the mobile signal available where you place the 4G device, but this isn't significantly different to the caveats of copper line quality for supposed "Fibre" broadband. At least in this case they aren't claiming the product uses a technology or transmission medium that it doesn't

Phil W

Re: Is it important?

"As longs as the final run is short enough (yards, not miles) that its not significantly impacting performance"

Sure but unless that final run is shielded Cat5 or better, which it isn't, it WILL be impacting performance. It may not be by very much if you live within spitting distance of the local cabinet, but it could be by a lot, especially if the cabinet is nearby but the cable takes a rather circuitous route to get there.

For example my nearest cabinet is on the corner of the street only 3 houses away, but the cable goes overhead to a pole on the other side of street then underground to get back across to the cabinet, making the run more than 3 times longer than it otherwise might be.

As a result for BT's Superfast Fibre package that can provide up to 50Mb the estimated speed for my address is 33Mb, only two thirds of the maximum.

If BT's Superfast Fibre was actually Fibre all the way to my house, I would get the absolute maximum the equipment on each end of the cable could support.

Tech team trapped in data centre as hypoxic gas flooded in. Again

Phil W

" the dust that gets blown around is enough to kill a lot of kit"

Not heard that one, but one known problem is that the sound pressure/vibrations generated by the gas exiting the nossles at high speed is sufficient to wreck mechanical hard drives.

Ironically it's potentially possible to loose more data to the fire suppression going off, that if the fire had just been left to burn out.

Tired sysadmin plugged cable into wrong port, unleashed a 'virus'

Phil W

Re: 10 minutes is 9 min 58 sec too long

BPDU Guard is your friend.

Hurry up and make a deal on post-Brexit data flows, would you? Think of UK business – MPs

Phil W

Policy

It's my understanding that data regulations will fall under the UK government policy that Boris Johnson announced of "Fuck business!"

Creep travels half the world to harass online teen gamer… and gets shot by her mom – cops

Phil W

Re: Now he can get a tattoo, "Shot by the Mom!"

"It takes a hell of a lot of bullets to chop down a douglas fir!"

That would depend on the size of the bullets. It would definitely take more than one, but probably less than 5 or 10 .50 cal rounds.

Phil W

Re: I thought of the child(ren)

"The safe option would be to shoot a single warning shot through the top of the door, at an upward angle."

Or alternatively, given that she appears to have shot him while he had his arm through the window of the door trying to open it, shoot him in the arm that you can see.

Phil W

Re: Isn't he supposed to be ...

"possesion of material likely to be of use to a trrrrst, i.e duct tape"

While that charge does have the potential to be abused, I'm pretty sure they'd be tying it to the knife and pepper spray rather than the duct tape, which is somewhat more justifiable they'd only try for the duct tape as a terrorist implement if that's all he had.

Plus, honestly if you travel round the world and buy weapons with the clear intention of breaking into a house to attack a teenager you deserve zero sympathy and should be charged and convicted of anything that will stick.

Violent crimes are sometimes, to a greater or lesser extent at least in some way understandable, when done in the heat of the moment in immediate response to some kind of perceived slight.

But if after spending more than 24 hours in airports and on planes not to mention the time it would take to arrange those flights, you're still committed to violence against a person you've never even met then you're clearly a lunatic who should be locked up for as long as legally possible and subject to psychiatric treatment.

USB-C for Surface owners arrives in form of a massive dongle

Phil W

Re: I don't get it

USB-C can do those things but in my experience rarely does all of them, or often any of them. The majority of USB-C implementations I've seen on laptops and even desktop PCs are actually just plain old USB connections and don't support any of those things, in fact some of them weren't even USB 3.x they were just USB 2.

Frankly the whole one port to rule them all philosophy seems like a waste of time and effort to me, especially if that port isn't always going to do all of the things it can be used for. The whole point of USB is that it's Universal so that generally speaking if you see a USB socket you know you can plug in a USB device and it's likely to work, USB-C may as well be RSOUFSB (Random Subset Of Unlabeled Features Serial Bus)

Phil W

I don't get it

I don't get why you'd especially need a USB-C port on a laptop, handy perhaps but not essential.

With the exception of a handful of USB memory sticks (most sticks that have C have an A at the other end) most devices you're likely to want to connect such as phones or USB HDDs/SSDs are going to be a USB-C socket on them not a plug, so a USB A to USB-C cable will work just fine. Further I have yet to see a device such as a phone or USB HDD that has a C socket that comes with only a C to C not an A to C cable.

Microsoft Azure Europe embraced the other GDPR: Generally Down, Possibly Recovering

Phil W

Re: More Microsoft CloudFog

"The plan was to be able to blame someone else."

Yes that usually is the plan, and both IT management and senior management tend to be on board with the idea that not having any control or ability to fix it yourself during an outage is acceptable, right up until there actually is an outage at which point senior management shout at IT management to fix it and IT management shout at the people who actually know what they're doing to fix it, and we say "Sorry boss, but you took it out of our control".

Computer Misuse Act charge against British judge thrown out

Phil W

Re: Thrown out? Or she should be jailed?

"I believe that the average member of public would not be lenient on a Judge breaking the rules."

Sure, but she didn't break the rules because apparently there weren't any. She didn't "hack" anything she just opened some files that she clearly had access to. No training or guidance was given on appropriate use of the digital records system and an email advising not to use it this way was only sent out after she did it.

NASA spots asteroid on crash course with Earth – with just hours to go

Phil W

Re: Big giant head

Excuse me, did you just assume my physical appearance? How facist of you!

Phil W

Big giant head

Is it me or does that asteroid in the picture clearly have a face?

Chief EU negotiator tells UK to let souped-up data adequacy dream die

Phil W

Re: It's also clear that it's going to end the Tory party.

"No doubt Mogg's view on abortion will be go down very well with the average DUP supporter in the street"

As much as I detest Mogg, and am pro-choice, I actually have no problem with his view on abortion. In the interview where he was questioned about it he made it extremely clear that it was his personal view and not the position of the Government or Conservative Party, and that he was not trying to put it on the political agenda. He was explicitly asked about his view on abortion and gave an honest answer.

I can respect a politician being able to hold a personal view that is unpopular that they don't try and push onto the political agenda without a mandate to do so from their voters.

Phil W

Re: Irish abortion referendum.

@codejunky

No of course we can do things that can't be undone, my point was that if you're going to something that can't be undone it should be with the consent of an actual majority of the population not ~38%.

You seem to misunderstand my position on the EU. I don't like it in it's present state, I think it's mess of beurocratic bullshit with lots of stupid ideas like the single currency.

I certainly believe it has benefits, but most of these are related to the EEA, single market and customs union. The ECHR has done a good job at preventing our government from being a bunch of total bastards. I'm not in favour of total centralisation of everything that the EU is aimed at, most especially not the single currency. (The single biggest problem with the EU right now though is that douchecanoe Juncker).

But that's why our existing membership with opt outs is the best option.

To decide the EU isn't perfect so we must be better off out and quitting without any idea of what that will entail is like deciding you'd be better off quitting a job you don't enjoy without bothering to look for another one first.

My reason for wanting to remain in is simple and doesn't really come down to whether I like the EU or not it's a simple equation as to whether we as a country (and I personally) are better off in the EU or out.

As an absolute certainty we're better off in the EU in the short to medium term, no-one with half a brain could argue that we're better off now than before Article 50 was triggered. The value of our currency is substantially reduced, major companies and banks are beginning to relocate large portions of their business out of the country, the already crippled NHS is facing massively increasing staff shortages because foreign doctors and nurses feel unwelcome.

In the long term? Things might well be OK, but only OK not some fantastical land of milk and honey trading with the poorer non-EU countries that Boris and co promised. It will take at least a decade to get us back to the financial state we were in pre-Brexit if not longer and that's just to get us back to where we were.

If there were ever a good time for Brexit it would have been at a time of economic plenty not in a stagnant plateau at the tail end of a recession.

Phil W

Re: Irish abortion referendum.

"True, and 72% turnout would certainly meet most such requirements."

Indeed it would. However the quorum being in place doesn't generally affect the majority requirement i.e. only 75% of the board/Senate vote but it still requires more than 50% of the total membership of the board/Senate to pass.

It works well this way for those type of organisations because they have a much smaller total membership who are generally whipped into line one way or another. So although only 75% turn up almost all of that 75% will vote the same way, thus giving a real majority of over 50% of the membership.

Phil W

Re: Irish abortion referendum.

"Every election over the last 100 years came with an 'oops' clause; a quick opportunity to reverse a mistake."

THIS! Exactly this! I wouldn't exactly describe it as quick, but changes made by one government can largely be undone less than 5-10 years after they were made by the next one should the public vote in someone else because the results were unpopular.

However in the case of the UK's EU membership, it isn't possible to ever undo the change. Even if we had another referendum in 5 years and decided to rejoin the EU, we wouldn't be in same position we are now.

If we were to rejoin as a new member we wouldn't get the special allowances to not adopt the Euro and other measures that we put in place for ourselves due to our negotiating power when the treaties were written. As a new member we'd have to adopt the Euro within a short time frame, loosing control of our banking and interest rates. We'd most likely be forced into Shengen as well, which we currently don't have to be in.

Phil W

Re: Irish abortion referendum.

"That's because you lost."

No it's because I believe major change on binary decisions that can't be undone should require real majority consent.

If we'd had the same percentage results but an =>85% turnout, or the same turnout as we got but a real solid majority like =>70% leave, I wouldn't dispute it at all.

Phil W

Re: Irish abortion referendum.

"I presume you mean 52%?"

Nope, more like 4% because that's the difference between the Yes/No result.

But the constant argument by ardent Brexiteers that a whopping 52% majority of the population voted to Leave is extremely annoying.

52% is a very slim majority, If I cut a cake into 2 pieces one of 52% and one of 48% you wouldn't even be able to spot the difference that readily.

Another important point is that the turn out was not 100%. So it was 52% of the people that actually voted, and whose votes weren't discarded. In December 2017 (closest published figure) there were 46,148,000 people registered to vote, in the referendum 17,410,742 people voted to Leave and 16,141,241 voted to Remain.

As a percentage of the registered voters that's 37.73% Leave 34.98% Remain. Your ~38% vs ~35% result seems a bit less convincing now.

Of all the people who could vote, 38% were bothered enough about the way things are to vote to change it. Certainly you can argue that only 35% cared enough to try and prevent it, but that's a flawed argument because you cannot say why the 27% of voters didn't vote trying to claim them for either side is just plain wrong.

The general consensus about most things in life is that in a group/organisation the burden to drive change is on those who want it and then you need a majority to agree, and in many other situations not voting is considering not being for the change in one way or another.

This is achieved by simply counting abstentions as against or by setting a minimum turnout, or making voting mandatory. Having a minimum required turnout is most common, from small voting scenarios to large, in company/organisation board meetings and some government houses this is known as "having quorum".

Putting aside Brexit as a specific issue. Is the consent of 38% of the country's population sufficient to initiate massive legal and constitutional change? I certainly don't think so.

Internet engineers tear into United Nations' plan to move us all to IPv6

Phil W

"Doesn't really matter if you knock 50 years off of the life of v6"

I'm inclined to agree especially if this is accurate

"The model shortens the expected usable life time of IPv6 by at least 25 per cent, or 42-plus years at the current internet growth."

It would imply that 25% of the projected life of IPv6 is 42 years, meaning that even under this flawed plan it would have a life of ~126 years?

I would be shocked if it was still relevant in 126 years, or would be if it weren't for the fact that I'll be long dead, I'm more than happy to let my great grandchildren deal with running out of IPv6 addresses.

Unlike climate change this is definitely a problem where a plan that only works for another 100 years will do just fine.

Yay for Nvidia, GPU giant report decent first quarter results despite recent setbacks

Phil W

Ignoring market segment

Oh yes it's definitely Fortnite and PUBG. Nothing to do with cryptocurrency mining at all.....

Super Cali goes ballistic, Starbucks is on notice: Expensive milky coffee is something quite cancerous

Phil W

Re: the judge who cried wolf?

"we'll need to label every person with a Prop 65 warning"

Yup, definitely need warning labels on people. They can be extremely bad for your health if consumed or improperly used.

US cops go all Minority Report: Google told to cough up info on anyone near a crime scene

Phil W

Re: Not one to take the G-Men's side very often, but within tight limits...

"But I think the most egregious part of this is the gag order. They should not be allowed for wide-net data collections like this."

The problem is that without the gag order the search becomes pointless. If Google tell a murder suspect they've just given the police his location at the time of the murder he's going to be off to another country faster than you can say accessory after the fact.

While I'm not totally comfortable with warrants like this it does seem reasonable to catch perpetrators of violent crime. Theft, criminal damage and other such crimes of harm to property do not warrant such sweeping invasions of privacy, but violent crime most certainly does.

Developer mistakenly deleted data - so thoroughly nobody could pin it on him!

Phil W

Re: Not me, but someone else previously in my team

Maybe he should also learn about the "Protect from accidental deletion" tick box.

BOFH: Honourable misconduct

Phil W

Re: I think I even have a script for that.

BOFH - Peter Capaldi

PFY - Mackenzie Crook

Huawei guns for Apple with Mac-alike Matebook X

Phil W

Re: How do they do it ?

You'd also think a professional journalist wouldn't contradict himself in the same paragraph.

"Huawei used a more powerful Intel M core rather than the parsimonious U core because it reckons its battery and power technology is sufficiently superior to anything else on the market. The model I saw under embargo last week boasted an i7 8550U part at 1.8Ghz."

Which is it? U or M?

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