* Posts by llaryllama

35 posts • joined 7 Jul 2010

Reliable system was so reliable, no one noticed its licence had expired... until it was too late


Re: Bah!

Sorry to be a party pooper, but you are likely paying more in electricity to run that thing for 3 months than it would cost to replace outright with modern hardware. I have got rid of many old boxes that otherwise ran well for just this reason, in one case consolidating several kW of power hungry servers into a single i7 based system that is much more frugal and paid for itself in a few weeks.

Vitamin Water gets massive publicity for new flavor: Utter BS


It's got electrolytes...

Huawei exec out of jail, just as US accuses China of Marriott hack



Surprised and disappointed that no media outlet has dug deeper into all of these cases and just lashed out at Canada for being America's lap dog (they aren't) and support Meng for being an innocent pawn of international relations (she isn't).

Meng was arrested on charges related to defrauding the US financial system in order to evade sanctions.

Canada has done the right thing - international law cannot be based on whether or not some action will piss off a superpower in the middle of X or Y important deal.

Meng has had full access to family, lawyers, consular support and fair hearings - none of which is afforded to foreign citizens or Chinese nationals arrested in China for even petty crimes. China's media has pushed the angle that Canada or the US have not given full details of the charges, but this is actually because Meng's lawyers applied for a gagging order which has been respected.

'Men only' job ad posts land Facebook in boiling hot water with ACLU


I think some people might have missed something...

If this was a case of certain people being denied jobs outright then that is not OK, but these are paid ad placements.

If you had a limited budget for posting a job ad and knew that 95% of interested parties would most likely be men then you target your budget to where it will be most effective. Why would you want to spend half your budget advertising to a group that will give you a very low rate of qualified, interested applicants?

You know all those movies you bought from Apple? Um, well, think different: You didn't


I live in a region that is not well supported by the major publishers and torrents are generally the only way to get a lot of new content.

The thing is, once you get used to working with DRM free high quality .mkv files you start to ask why the hell you would pay for a crappier experience where you have to login, reauthenticate yourself, wait for the network connection to settle down and wonder if the content will be removed next week.

I am a huge film buff and still buy a fair number of blu ray discs because they are basically the same price or cheaper as a digital download, sound and picture quality is amazing (HDR10 looks great) and they are more convenient for me than storing a lot of ultra HD content.

Same goes for music, I used to buy albums on iTunes and just got annoyed with all the restrictions and it's often more expensive than buying physical media. For casual listening I have a Spotify subscription which I don't mind paying for because it's pretty clear that I'm paying for a service rather than ownership of a product. Most vinyl releases come with a download code these days so you can own something physical and also download the DRM free files for convenience.

Oddly enough, when a Tesla accelerates at a barrier, someone dies: Autopilot report lands


Playing Elon's advocate here..

I am wondering out loud what the net benefit/loss is so far with these self or pseudo self driving cars. I wasn't able to find any proper studies but admittedly haven't tried very hard.

Do road deaths and injuries decrease when they are being used? It's an important question to ask because if the answer is yes then we should support their use and development even when there are mistakes or accidents.

There are some pro-car people making a noise that even one death in these vehicles proves they are not fit for purpose etc. etc. while ignoring the fact that traffic accidents are a leading cause of death and injury in the modern world.

I used to enjoy driving when I was younger but as I get older I am starting to think I am just adding to the world's problems by doing so. I guess I see neither autonomous vehicles nor meat bag drivers as the future, it would be cool to see more towns adopt smart urban planning and less reliance on cars or powered transport outright.

What's up with that ZX Spectrum reboot? Still no console


Remember to pack a rubber...


Here's the list of Chinese kit facing extra US import tariffs: Hard disk drives, optic fiber, PCB making equipment, etc


Re: I'm with Mr. T on this one

Generally with these things, there's a carrot approach and a stick approach. The carrot approach would be to make it more appealing for US companies to make their products in the US. It's far cheaper to make them in China, and the company bigwigs and shareholders don't give a shit that it makes Americans poorer, because America's system is aimed at enriching the individual.

It's cheaper to make them in China for mostly all the wrong reasons. Low wages, minimal labour laws, poor safety, almost zero environmental controls and in some cases state subsidies.

Large corporations don't care about this stuff and can't help themselves. They will buy from the cheapest seller even if they know puppies and kittens are being fed into a grinder for fuel.

Some kind of control is still needed at the government level so basic ethical standards can actually be maintained and we don't all just race to the bottom.


Re: Oh no !

No it wouldn't, all WTO countries are given exactly the same treatment here.

Taiwan is a highly liberal, democratic and peaceful country with a nutjob neighbour. From a moral standpoint this is exactly the sort of country and system the US should defend, but Taiwanese are not idiots and realize we are basically on our own in case of military action by China.

Automation will not change China, by the time wages are high enough to make it worthwhile all the cheap manufacturing will have moved on somewhere else.


Re: Oh no !

There is a difference, though, in that Taiwan is extremely open about trade, more so even than Europe. I have imported millions of dollars worth of industrial machinery, parts etc. into Taiwan from the US with mostly zero duties. Taiwan has a fairly balanced ratio of imports:exports and it's very easy for foreign entities to do business here.


Re: Nationalism Trumps Consumer Choice, apparently

This has nothing to do with nationalism and has everything to do with fair trade.

Obviously there is a negotiation tactic going on here, just like buying something at a Chinese night market. The vendor gives you a high price, you counter with a much lower one, pretend to walk away and at the last second they will call you back to make a deal.

At the moment America is basically taking the opening price, adding 10% because they don't want to upset the vendor and pretending not to notice when they steal stuff from their backpack.


I'm with Mr. T on this one

As someone who lived in Asia for most of their life and has tried exporting to China as a small business I am fully aware of how one-sided the realities of foreign trade are right now.

It's basically impossible to export even small quantities of many products into China due to ridiculous laws and red tape at customs. China whines loudly at increased tariffs for industries that are subsidized by government cronyism. cheap labour and lax regulations. But even with increased tariffs billions of dollars will continue to feed into the Chinese juggernaut while the Chinese market remains firmly closed for business except by cooperation with local government-connected entities.

China has been playing this game a lot smarter than western peers in the last 30 or so years and uses democratic openness against itself.

I would love to see genuine global free trade but that only works when all parties are playing fair. I'm amazed that so many people do not understand how China is gaming the west over trade and western countries are losing badly just to get slightly cheaper smartphones and dishwashers.

Terix boss thrown in the cooler for TWO years for peddling pirated Oracle firmware, code patches


How is this even legal?

I don't get how this kind of behaviour by oracle is legal in a democratic, civilized society. Each time they win this kind of lawsuit it only serves to embolden them to take continually more aggressive action.

Audio tweaked just 0.1% to fool speech recognition engines


Re: "My Voice is my..."

Shall I phone you or nudge you?

Big shock: $700 Internet-of-Things door lock not a success


Re: What if ...

The electronic Samsung locks I own have a physical key backup and an external 9v battery terminal in case the regular batteries died.


Samsung already dunnit

The idea of a smart home lock is not dumb at all. Problem is a number of companies already have working, mature, secure designs. I bought Samsung locks direct from Korea for about $250 each a few years ago and they work great. Very handy to be able to give family or friends a temporary pin and don't need to worry about forgetting my keys. They even look just as good as this $700 thing.

I specifically purchased models without internet access although that's available too if you really want it.

Dumb autonomous cars can save more lives than brilliant ones


The fact that humans are still allowed to control machines with hundreds of horsepower and weighing several tons just to buy milk from the store is baffling to me.

Alleged dark web drug baron cuffed – after he flew to US for World Beard Championships


It just goes to show...

In these kinds of situations you must stash your computer before travelling.

FTP becoming Forgotten Transfer Protocol as Debian turns it off



At a printing outfit we run a secure FTP service using FTPS (FTP over TLS) which is supported by all decent modern FTP clients such as Filezilla. It's used for clients who need to send very large files to us.

We do have a pretty advanced browser based uploader but it doesn't work well when e.g. clients are behind a slow or unreliable network connection. Also sometimes a combination of browser, add-ons and/or the phase of the moon just randomly stops things working.

A secured FTP service is useful over something like SCP because a) non tech savvy people have generally at least heard of FTP and any other acronym scares them off and b) it allows for very secure jailing of the FTP user from the system at large.

Sometimes it's easy to forget that not everybody has super fast and reliable internet, and FTP over TLS is nice for those users because you can choose to secure just the communications between client and server but perform the transfer unencrypted. The data we are receiving is not exactly top secret blueprints so that can be a lot faster and more reliable for these users.

Crushed Juicero now officially a fruitless endeavor


Re: I bet...

Then before you know it you've found Clive's brother Ralfy and started a whisky collection.

New York Police scrap 36,000 Windows smartphones



Everyone is bashing the people who signed off on these, but what about MS?

How the hell does a smartphone purchased in 2016 become almost completely obsolete by 2017?

I have an HTC android phone purchased in 2012 that is still receiving updates and running well.

This definitely makes me worried about our organization using anything Windows related and MS seem to be constantly shooting themselves in the foot with this crap. Windows had always been my favorite desktop OS for productivity but MS keep sabotaging their own work with various stupid decisions like the Windows 10 forced upgrades/updates.

Why I just bought a MacBook Air instead of the new Pro


Mac portables used to be a good deal

I owned a variety of Mac portables from the age of 16 until a few years ago when Apple killed off the built-in CD drive, which was a deal breaker at the time.

For a long time if you wanted a well built, lightweight all-round laptop in a 13" form factor and all the requisite ports 'n stuff the 13" MBP was actually a very good deal. It was about the same price as other crappier offerings and I'm not a PC gamer so I could live with the cost savings they made on performance to get a better chassis and screen.

Now the Taiwanese manufacturers have rapidly caught up on build quality and have a lot more specialized options so you can choose the right balance between weight, performance, ports etc. My current laptop is an insanely well built 13" Asus with a great IPS matte screen, ports all over the place, super light, i7 processor, crazy good battery life, all the other jazz and about half the price of a current generation MBP with similar specs.

My colleague has a brand new MBP and is already starting to regret it. For a start Apple keep breaking NFS connectivity with our Linux servers on each update. His desk is full of dongles just to get basic connectivity with ethernet and HDMI, and as a bonus the Apple display he bought quite recently is no longer compatible with the current MBP. In fact it's basically not compatible with anything except an older Apple laptop.

Windows has its faults and quirks but I can still hook up my laptop to a 10 year old touch monitor from a completely different brand, I don't need dongles to hook up gigabit ethernet and I never run out of USB3 ports. Oh, and as a party trick for MBP owners when I stay at hotels I can hook up the TV to my built-in HDMI port and watch Netflix.


Back around 2008/2009 MacBook Pros were my default choice when I wanted a reasonably priced, reasonably specced, lightweight machine. There was no other real competition for a 13" laptop.

When I broke my last MBP I saw the non-upgradeable, overpriced, under specced and almost portless machines I would be looking at for an "upgrade" and abandoned Apple altogether.

I got a 13" Asus zenbook for barely over US$1000 with a core i7 processor, 255GB SSD, 16GB RAM. The build quality is as good as a MBP, screen is superb, battery life, keyboard etc. are faultless. Comes with a 3 year global warranty. You could get one with a touchscreen as well if that floats your boat.

Yes, there are other options outside Surface and Apple these days.

Microsoft officially hangs up on old Skype phones, users fuming


That's more than I got

A few years back I was using Skype for Business in Taiwan with multiple SIP lines and landline numbers in various countries hooked up to our Asterisk PBX. We spent a fair amount of money on Skype each month and it was actually a pretty nice solution because we could allocate credit individually to staff who needed it and the latency/general performance was extremely good.

At some point Skype made a deal with some local Taiwanese company to handle all the sales and business, except in this case there was zero warning. Since we were logging in from Taiwan IP addresses Skype would not deal with us direct and insisted we go through the local company, except the local company had no way to handle automatic billing for credit and nobody knew how to add credit to a business SIP account. So we basically had to abandon Skype overnight because of some dumb ass business deal, and it took a while to find SIP trunking providers that could offer the same kind of functionality.

We had about 150 EUR of credit left on the account that was now useless and eventually gave up trying to get it back. Bunch of twunts.

Germany gives social networks 24 hours to delete criminal content



Obviously the safest/cheapest/easiest path for networks is to take down anything complained about immediately without even bothering to check it. Since most of these networks are almost guaranteed to take the safest/cheapest/easiest path for all business decisions that's probably what's going to happen. And what happens when some pranksters decide to make automated complaints in the millions?

If anyone doesn't see the problem or abuse potential then they need their head examining.

I don't like to jump on the Hyperbolic Bandwagon but this does have that little bit of Stasi whiff about it. Germany already has ridiculously powerful laws to protect IP rights holders and other entities who don't really need protecting. If anything it needs less of these laws, not more of them.

Don't panic, friends, but the Chinese navy just nicked one of America's underwater drones


The international reaction to anything involving Taiwan and China is incredibly frustrating and saddening for anyone who lives here in Taiwan.

Most of the world has collectively put a huge middle finger up to our democratic, liberal, LGBT-rights-approving country in order to appease a bullying, increasingly militaristic pseudo-communist country in the hope their citizens might want to buy their crap in future.

Almost every news headline involving Trump and China seems to involve China being 'angered' by x, y or z. Well who gives a shit? Like most people in Taiwan I get pretty angry about being bullied by commies pointing a thousand or so missiles in our direction and being systematically humiliated on the international stage, but nothing about that on CNN.

China's complaints that supporting Taiwan will 'destabilize peace across the Taiwan strait' is like a fat bully punching all the nerdy kids and saying they are destabilizing peace in the school yard by not bringing enough lunch money to steal.

I don't like Trump much as a human being but I don't understand the amount of ass kissing and bending over that the most powerful nation in the world has been doing with China so far.

Bloke flogs $40 B&W printer on Craigslist, gets $12,000 legal bill


It's worth looking up this chap's name to see what he's been up to. I'm pretty sure he has some kind of mental illness and genuinely believes that he's a crusader for justice.

The problem with this case is that the US legal system doesn't have any allowance to recognize that some people are just grade A nut jobs.

It sounds like he's been allowed to get away with a lot of stuff just because judges are busy and can't be bothered dealing with him, so they allow the hot potato to get passed around until someone occasionally grants a judgement in his favor on technicalities.

NatWest IT cock-up sees 600,000 transactions go 'missing'


Surely I can't be the only one worrying..

.. about the number of people with such poor financial literacy that they are literally a day away from being unable to buy food or basic utilities?

Dawn raids on Orange over TROMBONING allegations were fine, rules EU court


I must be getting old

I always understood tromboning in a telecoms context to mean bypassing a national interconnect fee by routing calls through an international country.

VMware builds product executables on 50 Mac Minis


Not such a bad idea

Anyone who has worked in a real world corporate IT environment can probably see some benefits here. It's all very well saying that you could buy components for X and get a more powerful setup, but then some chump has to be paid to build and support those machines.

There's no shame in using consumer gear for the job if it's good enough. Pre-built, easily sourced, easily swappable and free support. Not too shabby.

PayPal post-checkout cash slurp a FEATURE not a BUG


Re: WTF?

My company took an issue with PayPal to the Luxembourg regulator, but all I can say is good luck with that. Even with access to French speaking staff and a pretty formidable international legal team we kept hitting a lot of brick walls. It's very different to what you would expect from the FSA, for example. I'm sure we could have got somewhere eventually but when you rely on the PayPal monopoly you really don't want your main payments provider being out of action for 2-3 years while you drag through the courts.

Eventually what worked best was potential for bad press, they seem to be much more afraid of that than the Luxembourg regulator.

MIT and CERN's secure webmail plan stumped by PayPal freeze


It's PayPal wot's the problem

I think you guys missed the part where it says that direct credit card payments are still being accepted.

The problem here is not the US government but PayPal - despite years of promises that they are getting better they are still basically acting as a bank without having to be regulated as one.

We have to use them because they have a total monopoly and it's pretty amazing what they can get away with. I am constantly waiting in dread for the yearly Limited Account email having displeased the PayPal Gods.

The only thing that these guys seem to understand is a hard hitting legal firm but for most people that's not an option so they just have to bend over and take the inevitable shaftings.

Want a free Bosch steam iron? You'll have to TALK TO THE DEAD


I'm really getting board with these comments

HTC One M8: Reg man takes spin in Alfa Romeo of smartphone world


re: Dan 55

HTC Sync will sync and backup/restore from a Mac or PC. Works okay.

Cowon iAudio J3 personal media player



Cowon make some impressive media players but unfortunately they are beaten on all fronts by the HTC HD2. 480 x 800 4.3" capacitative screen, same 32GB micro-SD capacity but also full 3G and wi-fi connectivity. Install TCPMP and it can play whatever you can throw at it.

I found myself using it as a portable movie player much more than the phone it was supposed to be. A real shame that this thing seems so hard to get hold of over in the yook.

Oh, and did I mention the HD2 makes phone calls as well?

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