* Posts by ArmanX

431 posts • joined 17 Mar 2010


Facebook DIES ON THE VINE hours after Twitter tie-in


Welcome to the new Internet...

...Same as the old Internet.


Re: This sounds like the IM wars...


Fixed it for you.

Yay for iOS 6.1, grey Wi-Fi iPhone bug is fix- AWW, SNAP


Re: That really is a massive fail

I beg to differ on your math; you assume that every single iPhone user affected by this posted in that forum. Obviously that is a poor assumption, since some part of iPhone users couldn't figure out how to plug in a USB device, let alone navigate to a forum. Since we have no idea how many support calls were made about this, we can only make up random numbers in the hope that our assumptions are correct; thus, if we assume rampantly speculate that:

  • 50% of users affected by this bug ignore it completely
  • 90% of the remainder never visit the forum (troubleshooting in other ways)
  • 75% of the users that visit the forum see that thread, and
  • 20% of the users that see that thread post in it, however
  • 25% of the posts are repeat posters.

Given that the 2700 posts are only the tip of the iceberg, I calculate that it is actually only 0.5649% of a fail, and that this issue affects over a quarter of a million iPhones - a small but statistically relevant number!

Broadband ESSENTIAL to life, titsup ISPs must cough up - court



Just because something is cheap, doesn't mean it's not important.

A few years ago, a utility vehicle damaged a telephone line. I was a little upset that I couldn't get to the Internet, but my neighbors were very worried - one was an elderly man who had a 'life alert' monitor which would call 911 if it detected a heart problem, and the other neighbor has just invested in a security system which relied on the phone line to dial out in case of a break-in.

Both relied on a very cheap solution - a $15/mo phone line. However, the line was repaired almost immediately, partially due to pressure from my neighbors; had the phone line not been replaced, the phone company would have been held responsible for any injury or damages that resulted from either device not being able to call out.

Greenland ice did not melt in baking +8°C era 120k years ago


Actually, that's a good point; during the last warming period, it was possible to grow wheat and other crops in places it would never survive today. Plants love heat; rising temperatures would mean a huge surge in available cropland. Managed correctly, that would mean an accompanying surge in grains and other produce.

'Op! Op! Op!' Gangnam Style earns Google $8m


50% of the revenue? Sounds pretty fair to me, frankly. I'd take that deal over what the record companies are offering these days.

Intel to leave desktop motherboard market


Re: SoCs are the future

Desktops will never truly die; businesses love desktops. They are much cheaper than laptops, and as long as your employees are chained to a desk, might as well chain the computer, too. Oh, sure, some employees need laptops, but for basic office work, a PC does just fine. Then again... those desktops might as well have laptop motherboards inside; most of them will never have the case opened, let alone anything added to them.

'Leccy-starved Reg hack: 'How I survive on 1.5kW'


Re: Popcorn in the microwave??

That's what I was wondering... any cooking could and should be done with gas, as should any heating; a gas water heater is almost always cheaper than electric.

Anonymous hacks MIT websites after Aaron Swartz's death


Re: Correct me if I'm wrong...


I never said the law was fair, or even just; I am firmly against several laws held by several governments, my own government included. I even break some of those laws. If I am charged with breaking one of those laws, I am fully willing to face the court, and accept and serve out any punishment the court decides upon, including fines or jail time.

Aaron Swartz broke laws, but decided he couldn't handle the repercussions and committed suicide. I'm sorry that was his decision, I truly am; his death is a great loss. Nonetheless, it was not the death of a martyr, as many sources seem to indicate.

@Ian Johnston:

That's pretty much what I meant. If the prosecutor walked into a cell and said, "All we have on you is breaking and entering, but if you sign this it'll all be official", the chance of getting a signature is basically nil. Instead, prosecution says, "We've got you on theft, terrorism, impersonating a clown, and fifteen other charges, but if you sign this, we'll take all that down to petty theft." It's not perfect, but it's a good way to get a confession without a year-long court case.

@Chris Fox:

There's a saying: don't do the crime if you can't do the time. Yes, he would have been branded a convicted criminal and settled with a hefty debt. It wasn't for things he hadn't done, however; he really did break the law. This isn't just about downloading a bunch of free files - it's about getting access to a secure server, accessing documents that he was not allowed to access, and knowingly disrupting service.

Is it illegal to listen to the radio? No. Is it illegal to break into your neighbors house every night just to listen to his radio? Yes, yes it is.


Correct me if I'm wrong...

But doesn't this happen with every case that ever goes before a court? The defendant(s) claim(s) innocence (or at least less guilt than suggested), and the prosecutors pick the biggest, scariest bits of the law to wave about, in the hopes that they get a confession and don't have to go through the whole court thing. This had not yet gone to court; there was no verdict. It couldn't have been a miscarriage of justice, because justice wasn't finished yet.

Aaron Swartz did break the law. Even though JSTOR weren't going to press charges, it is perfectly reasonable for the government to do so. I wouldn't want to be hit with the same charges... but then again, that's one of the many reasons that keep me from breaking into a university and plugging a laptop into their system.

Sure, it was harsh. But that's what happens; you break the law, it comes down on you like a ton of bricks. If you're not prepared to deal with that, then you should probably keep from breaking it.

Android Trojan taints US mobes, spews 500,000 texts A DAY

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Re: Did you read the blog post, Mr Register?

It doesn't help that many well-known apps have access to things they never should - Facebook doesn't need to send SMS messages, games don't need access to my email, and why does a a file browser need access to my GPS? I've seen some explanations that make sense - a program needs permission to take pictures before it can turn on the camera flash, for instance - but many apps request full access to everything, without a single explanation of why.

That said, I love the idea of "always off" privileges. If the app never actually tries to send an SMS, fine; if it does, I can see it, and kill it first. I'd be able to use the Facebook app again, assuming it doesn't force close when I tell it to get stuffed...

Dutch operators: Ugh, we really overdid it on the 4G last night...


Re: Old shool website design

@Goat Jam - I didn't mean the header tag - I meant the horrific, rippling gif used as a page header. Yes, simpler is better, but does it really have to be so UGLY? I drive a smaller car for better fuel efficiency, but I don't paint it fuchsia...


Re: Old shool website design

Augh! My eyes! That header's worse than the blink tag!

Microsoft to Moto: We'll give you $1m a year for your patents


Re: Wrong I am

Just maths, eh? Well, technically, a gearbox is just that, too. So are computer programs. In fact, when you come right down to it, everything but art is dictated by mathematics. And even then, some art - music, for instance - is bast on equations.

Saying "Applied Maths shouldn't be patentable" is roughly equivalent to "Nothing should be patentable."

Chinese spacecraft JUUUUST avoids smashing into Toutatis


Re: Is it just me?

It looks like a potato to me... bomb it with some oil, pass it close to the sun, and BAM, lunch!

Three little words stall UN's 'bid for INTERNET DOMINATION'


Re: I nominate Bill Clinton

"They've been in there for three months without food or water, but we're pretty sure they're reaching an agreement - the arguing and yelling has died down considerably."


Re: Google > ITU

It's possible to mangle addresses to force the filter to 'on' regardless of user settings; the university I attended and one of the companies I worked for did just that. That may be your problem...

Alternate solutions include "You're an idiot and didn't do it right" and "You're a troll who's trying to get people fired when they run that search at work."

File-sharing mom begs US Supremes to void bloated RIAA fine

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Re: Gateway crime

Sure, it's a Gateway crime - but don't forget Dell, Lenovo, et al!

I've got the 'fastest growing THINGY ever', boasts Google+ chief


Re: LOL, more misguided crap from idiotic writers

Personally, I think this speaks volumes for social media. All the best bits and it's still crap? Sounds about right to me...


Re: I deleted my Google+

I've tried using Facebook... at first, I used their services normally. After a change or two in their privacy policy (and a few irritating picture deletions), I stopped uploading images. Then, I started using FB in a 'private session', deleting all the cookies, etc., after I'd logged in. When that stopped working (I forget exactly, I think it was a Flash cookie or similar), I started using a browser in a frozen virtual machine (it reset everything when I closed it), but that was a huge pain. I used the mobile app until it started reading my text messages. At this point, the only way I interact with it is through email.

Google+ may suck, but at least it's better than Facebook. Not a rousing approval, but still. No one can say that they don't use Google because they swipe information from you, and still be able to use Facebook. I mean, seriously - when was the last time Google used your face to promote businesses you've never heard of?

Home Sec: Let us have Snoop Charter or PEOPLE WILL DIE


Re: "Anybody who is against this bill"

It is blatantly obvious that this bill will not help stop "serious crime, terrorism and child sex offences". Laws are already in place (there, and here in the US) to allow the police to 'snoop' with the proper warrant. All this does is remove basic freedom. Anyone who believes that this bill really will stop crime is being mislead by the flimsiest of excuses.

That being said, yes, it's true. We've lost the argument long ago. Our countries are being run by people who have either no regard for Internet privacy and personal security, or no understanding of the way the Internet works. The first group is malicious, willing to undermine personal freedom to make their jobs easier; the second group is willing to go along with anything because they don't understand what's going on - I could use nicer, bigger words like "prone to making unintelligent, uninformed decisions" or "acting in an unintelligent or careless manner" - but those are definitions of the word "stupid," so I went ahead and used the word "stupid" to describe them.


Re: "Anybody who is against this bill"

...standing on end.

That's what scares me; some people truly believe that this would not only help fight crime, but that it wouldn't be misused because of strict guidelines. They aren't malicious - they're worse. They're stupid.

BOFH: The Great Patch Mismatch



The reason young people today know nothing (and I place myself squarely in that category) is actually pretty simple; it boils down to documentation.

First, documentation today is generally terrible. It used to be that you'd get a giant manual with everything from a bag of case screws to the newest software; these days, you're lucky if it comes with a web address printed on the box. Or a box, for that matter. And good luck finding something that wasn't translated by someone using Google Translate.

Second, in the 'old days', there were hobbyists that held on to documentation (or wrote it themselves); these days, there are so many versions of things, not to mention off-brands and knockoffs, finding complete documentation is almost impossible. Even the manufacturers don't know how their own products work. (1)

And third, we have the Internet. What used to take hours searching stacks of books and dialing obscure BBS's now takes a two-second Google search - and that's what The Boss expects. Need eight hours to find the documentation to turn off an annoying beep? Ha! Live with it or reboot it!

(1) In trying to debug some ancient, arcane hardware, I was given the private home number of a septuagenarian hobbyist - the only person in the world who knows how their hardware worked. Turns out he actually worked for their competition 20 years ago...

Google parks panzers on Germany's lawn over 'link tax' plan


Re: not really

Is there a way to force Google to link to your website - especially after you just told them they have to pay you for the privilege? Blogs are just as good as big news sites at breaking news; if Google has to pay for links, they will seriously devalue costly links in favor of free.

It's so brain-dead, I'm assuming this is a thinly-veiled attempt to close online news sites by driving away Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc...

Thank BRIT eggheads for new iMac's sexy seamless knife-edge


Re: @h4m0ny

Of course I didn't buy the same parts; that's part of the point. Instead of a huge, fancy, $1000 monitor, I have two smaller, cheaper, 1080p ASUS monitors ($140 each). Instead of a super-awesome $100 slot-loading DVD drive, I have a $18 Lite-On drive. Instead of a who-knows-how-expensive plastic-and-steel case, I have a basic off-brand case I got for free. Instead of a quad-core Xeon processors, I have a $150 8-core AMD FX-8120 (admittedly, the Xeon outperforms the FX; there wasn't a decent comparison between the two, so I chose Apple's cheapest). Instead of the $150 1TB Apple-branded drive, I have a $100 Western Digital Black 1TB drive. Instead of the $300 RAM Apple uses, I have 16 GB of "Team Xtreem Dark Series" that I got for $40 (8GB came free with my motherboard - which cost $95). I have no idea what PSU they use, but mine is a $70 OCZ ModXStream Pro (600W). I also have a GeForce 8400 GS that I got ages ago, and could probably pick up at a garage sale for $5.

If I bought everything new, it would probably be about $1000; Alienware hits around $1200, which sounds about right. I expect a 20% difference between my choice of hardware and that of decent quality retail. Counting Windows and other software (that I don't have), the prices are about even. Which is why I added the comparison of Alienware; you can choose the parts yourself, and make the closest computer you can. go ahead - both Alienware and Apple have product customizers.



I upgraded my PC recently, and bought motherboard, processor, RAM, and power supply. I spent just under $400. Adding in the case, hard drive, optical drive, etc., that I'd kept from previous upgrades, I spend somewhere around $750 total, counting monitors. Pricing the same or equivalent hardware on Apple's website (and underestimating if there wasn't a direct equivalent; instead of dual monitors, I chose only one), I ended up with the cost of $4373 for an Apple desktop computer. Neglecting the cost of OS X and other software, that is 583% higher than what I spent on my own machine.

Granted, I built it myself; if I bought it from Alienware, according to their price calculator, it would have cost closer to $1208. That means that Apple is only 296% higher (which is pretty close to 300%).

Just look at the price of their components: $100 for a DVD drive, or $1000 for a 512GB SSD, or $300 for an 8GB RAM upgrade? Those prices are much, much higher than the market average. I may sound crazy, but I'm not far wrong...


Re: That thing looks very thin

It's the pricetag that does it for me... I'll never buy an Apple computer, because they cost three to ten times what an equivalent PC would cost. Pretty, yes, but I favor function over form. I can always stick my computer behind a (well-ventilated) door somewhere.

Galapagos islands bombed with 22 tonnes of Blue Death Cornflakes


Re: Decimated

Obviously, the rats reduced each hachling by a tenth; a leg here, a head there - never the whole hatching, no, just 10%. These are some fairly OCD rats.

Lawyer sues Microsoft rather than slot an SD card into his Surface


Re: What a load of crap.

As noted, it does say (somewhere) that there is less than the full amount available as free space... and to be fair, every device since the dawn of computing that was sold as having X amount of space available also had the OS and accompanying programs installed, using some of that 'free space'. I think Microsoft should give him a new tablet (in trade), with exactly as much free space as suggested - no OS, no programs, nothing. Just a big, blank chunk of flash. Doesn't run? Who cares! Think of all that space you could have been using if you weren't such an idiot!

BOFH: Can't you just ... NO, I JUST CAN'T


Re: Spot on

>When the phone rings and the amoeboid life-form on the other end begins the conversation with "Hi, just a quick question." I know immediately that the rest of my day is fucked....

Not terribly long ago, our phones got updated, from standard wired phones to IP phones. The test phones we got had a very special fault... the phones have a multicolored LED, to show messages, incoming calls, whatever. However, the engineering phones were missing those LEDs - and furthermore, had a small metal plate covering the hole. Get a call from that annoying guy in marketing? No problem! Just call his phone from another line, and he'll be signaled that he has an incoming line - by pulsing the "LED" - aka, his head.

To the disappointment of IT, the phones we ended up with had an LED on the base, rather than the handset...

Hey, start-ups: Why do you only cater to storage SIZE QUEENS?


Re: Because they are start-ups.

I'd agree with that; the business I work for sells to both consumers and businesses, and the money to be made from a single business outweighs that of a consumer by at least two orders of magnitude. Even though the margin is (or at least, can be) higher for consumer-grade stuff, if you sell N at a margin of 10% to consumers, it makes less money than if you sell 100 * N at 5%.

Nvidia heralds Steam for Linux debut with 'double-speed' drivers


Re: @Trygve

I've had a similar experience, upgrading a PC - but the difference is cost, flat out. I upgraded motherboard, RAM, CPU, heatsink, and power supply for just under $400 - kept the case, hard drive, optical drive, and graphics card (I'd upgraded it fairly recently). In fact, the last few upgrades I've done have come out right around $400 - about one upgrade every three or four years.

The equivalent fruit-based computer (a Mac Pro) would cost $3573, according to the selection guide. That means I saved more than $3000 just by not owning a Mac. I could have gotten a computer and a car, instead of just a computer.

For added fun, take a look at the Mac Pro "Configure" page - $100 for a CD/DVD drive (normally $20)? $1000 for a 512GB SSD instead of $400? At those prices, I'm sticking with my PC...


Re: Triple buffering

That last one is the real reason for higher framerates: if your graphics card does 60 fps, same as your monitor, then the graphics will look fine, as long as it can keep up. However, many games alternate between drawing a frame and checking controls, doing math, and generally keeping track of everything. If your computer is working hard on getting the fps up to 60, it's not taking as much time as it needs to do number crunching and control checking, and the game will feel laggy, often to the point of being unplayable. In my experience, if the fps is somewhere around 2-3 times what your monitor can display (that is, between 100 and 200 fps), games are a lot smoother - not because the graphics isn't lagging, but because all the stuff that happens between frames has enough processor to get the job done.

As an aside, I tend to play most games in a new X window; it has the benefit of always being the right screen size, it disables graphics processing on my desktop, and it allows swapping between the game and the desktop (alt+F7 for the desktop, alt+F8 for the game). Plus, if the game crashes, I can always kill it from my desktop. Very handy.

Apple's poisonous Touch silently kills the GNOMEs of Linux Forest


Re: Sad, and a huge loss of resources

Perhaps a better way to state that would be, "If you are familiar with Windows, KDE will seem more natural, while if you are familiar with Mac OS, Gnome will seem more familiar."

Sock-wielding movie pirates go to prison


Re: IR Countermeasures

It wouldn't need to overwhelm the IR filter by much to ruin the recording - just saturate the screen, and it will 'white out' the picture, while also being completely safe to view. It's not all that difficult, actually, especially with the cheaper cameras... then again, that only stops people who record from the screen. The best pirated films are copied straight from a master disk or the projector itself.

Better luck next time Blofeld! Five Bond plot myths busted


Re: Helicopters (one) can have eject systems!

What's the worst part about helicopter ejection seats?

Having to wear parachutes for both halves.

Volunteers sought to see if anyone actually can hear you scream in space


Re: Er-

"Hey, we found a wifi hotspot - I'm sure FREE_WIFI_ISS is perfectly safe!"

Amazon lends e-books free to Prime subscribers


That was my thought

I read a lot more than a book a month... for the price of Prime, I can usually just buy a book a month. I mean, seriously; who takes a month to read a book? A much better solution would be to only allow you to check out one book at a time - return it, and you can immediately check out a new one. If that's one a month, fine; if that's a dozen a day, that's fine too. On average, any given user will only have one book checked out at a time.

WHITE WHALE spent 4 years trying to tell us something, then stopped


Re: Speech?

Actually, it sounds like someone yelling through a megaphone; he's really just trying to tell everyone that this is the line for prepurchased tickets, and that the line for swim-ins is on the other side of the reef, but if you want to get an autograph from Flipper, you'll need to get in the line over there...

Flashboys: HEELLLP, we're trapped in a process size shrink crunch


Re: Spinning disks

I've wondered why there hasn't been much work on spinning disks as well... if RAID improves reliability so much, why not build a RAID-in-a-disk? Effectively two (or more) independent disks and heads, with some software to set it up as either striped or mirrored. It would be half the space of a 'normal' disk, but it would either be faster due to striping, or more reliable due to mirroring. It wouldn't be difficult to fit all that in a 8.89 cm(*) drive; even a 6.35 cm(**) drive might be able to squeeze in another platter, though that would be a lot harder...

(*) 3.5 in.

(**) 2.5 in.

Ay caramba, Ubuntu 12.10: Get it right on Amazon!


Re: ubuntu rip

While I can understand some of your problems, I think a few of them aren't actually Ubuntu's fault. PlayOnLinux has had some problems recently; use the latest version from their own PPA to get around that. Spotify may have the same problem; I've never used it. Installing KDE shouldn't be hard - "apt-get install kubuntu" and you're done. And Java... well, java crashes. It's pretty good at that. For video and sound problems, make sure you're using the right drivers; for video, nVidia proprietary drivers work better than the open source ones. ATI and Intel cards may or may not work, depending.

My suggestion? Debian. Ubuntu came from Debian roots, and if you're used to that, then Debian is the way to go. If you really want to stick with Ubuntu, then use the latest LTS. In my experience, LTS tends to be the most stable. The release after the LTS is usually the most buggy - all the projects that didn't finish in time for the LTS are thrown in there.


Re: Common Sense Coming Home to Roost

I don't mind commercialized, but that's not what this is. A commercialized offer would have a slick, useful tool that people don't want to do without, that just so happens to make some money. This is obviously not that. This is, effectively, a talking banner ad. With built-in spyware. Good job, Canonical. I'm increasingly glad I stayed away from Unity...

Online mutterings foretell iPad Mini on October 23


Now, is it going to be called the iPad Mini?

I thought it was going to be called the iPod Maxi...

Crazed Microsoft robot accuses BBC kids' channel of Win8 piracy


Actually, I think $100 would be about right

More than that, and it starts hurting the little guys - but automated systems will just bleed money. There were nearly 1,000 requests in that, and quite a few were fakes.

On the other hand, there could be a "cost of scale" associated; for a single request, if it's wrong, it's $10. If you submit 100 requests (over the period of, say, a month), it's $100; over 1000, you pay $1000 per bad request, and so on.

OK - who just bought a biz PC? Oh wait, none of you did


Re: notebooks have the same power as the majority of desktops

That's not entirely true - a laptop in a dock with dual screens, a keyboard, and a mouse is exactly as ergonomic as a desktop. In fact, it's exactly like a desktop in every way, apart from the fact that you've just bought an expensive dock and a laptop for twice what a desktop costs...


Re: Could it be because?

I would argue that laptops are bigger sellers because they are so far behind desktops - they have to wait until processors are smaller and less power hungry, RAM is higher density, and hard drives are smaller before the price makes it worthwhile. When there is new technology for the desktop (say, 1 TB drives, or 8GB RAM), it takes two years before it's even available for laptops, and another three before the price is even roughly equivalent. A mid-range 2006 desktop is probably on equal footing with a mid-range 2012 laptop, but for half the original price.


Re: Could it be because?

I've wondered that as well; processor speed climbed sharply from 2000 to 2003 or so, then leveled off; RAM has gotten a lot cheaper, but most office machines don't need more than 2-4 gigabytes. Sure, technology continues, but basic office software runs just as well on a mid-range computer from 2004 as it does on a cheap computer today. Obviously, more specialized stuff like drafting or graphics work will need newer machines, but if all you have is Word, Excel, and Outlook, you probably don't even need anything beyond a cheap dual core processor. So why upgrade, or even buy new?

Another pallet of your finest 2006, please...

GiffGaff: We've got no iPhones, but here's how to cut down your SIM


Re: How?

Sure, let's take that argument. There's a big sign in the all-you-can-eat restaurant that says, "One person per plate." It's cheap enough, so most people pay for themselves, their kid, etc. However, occasionally, a family comes in and orders two meals for four people; the kids just eat off mom and dad's plates. The restaurant has a decent margin, but after enough families start feeding their kids for free, that margin evaporates.

Or, a man comes in as soon as the restaurant opens, orders a meal, and starts eating. He eats lunch, then continues sitting at his table, working at a computer (and snacking and continually refilling his drink), until supper, where he goes back to the buffet. He's technically within the rules laid out, but he's eating way more than the average person.

I can't speak for everyone, but I don't complain about people who download a lot of stuff. I complain about people who download a lot of stuff just because they can. The most I've used in a month is about 2 gigs; and yet, there are people who use a hundred gigs a month. I can't fathom how someone using a smart phone could manage to download that much data legally - constantly streaming Netflix? Streaming music 24/7? Long daily video chats on Skype? Continuous video stream of your life? Synchronizing your entire DVD collection over the air - monthly? The mind boggles...

Microsoft leads from behind on Windows 8


Re: Hmm

To be fair, compared to the previous generation (Windows ME) XP was rock-stable. And compared to the nightmare of compatibility that was Windows 2000, XP was incredibly open and inviting.

Of course, if you were one of those who pirated it, installed a hundred toolbars, and only used IE... there was a reason your OS was crashing, and it wasn't the OS's fault. Yarrr, me hearties!

The iPHONE 5 UNDERMINES western DEMOCRACY: 5 reasons why


Re: Hurry Hurry - get them quick before the possible ban !

It won't happen. Even if Apple broke into another company, stole their phone, copied it exactly, and began selling it as the iPhone X - all with full sound and video recording them - the iPhone wouldn't be banned from selling. Now, they may get in trouble, don't get me wrong - but they won't be banned. How else would the judge make phone calls?


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