* Posts by alexmcm

44 posts • joined 28 Jan 2013

Microsoft's AI is so good it steered Renault into bottom of the F1 league

alexmcm

"it's the evolution of the piss poor Lotus F1 car that Renault bought a few years ago."

Yep piss poor Lotus F1 team, in the financial sense only. They couldn't afford to keep Raikkonen for the whole of 2014, but in 2013.

Lotus finished 4th in constructors championship 2013, and Raikkonen won in Australia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_FIA_Formula_One_World_Championship

Then they started running out of money for 2014 and 15 and were bought by Renault. How are Renault/Microsoft doing these days? Last year 9th, this year 7th so far.

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Why the Apple Watch with LTE means a very Apple-y sort of freedom

alexmcm

Re: Are you sure?

"Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) requires an iPhone 6 or later with iOS 11 or later. Apple Watch and iPhone service provider must be the same. Not available with all service providers. Roaming is not available outside your carrier network coverage area. Wireless service plan required for cellular service. Contact your service provider for more details. Check www.apple.com/watch/cellular for participating wireless carriers and eligibility."

You have to read that with the hurried mumbled legal disclaimer voice heard at the end of adverts:

"Available only at participating restaurants, check local media for details. May contain peanuts. Requires iPhone 6 or later."

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Commonwealth Bank: Buggy software made us miss money laundering

alexmcm

"Given the Australian addiction to identity checking for almost everything (even worse, IMHO, than the UK"

You are not wrong there. When I first got to Australia 13 years ago, i went to Hardly Normals to buy a digital tv receiver. I was paying cash, and they asked for ID and proof of address. As I didn't have a permanent address yet or utility bills on me, there was a big debate amongst staff whether they could sell it to me.

They did eventually after much discussion. I still hate going to Harvey Normans, even for the simplest thing like an ink cartridge they want all your details.

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Smoking hot Galaxy S8 and storage sales fire Samsung to flaming brilliant quarter

alexmcm

Tech company has business model not based of selling adverts shocker

It's getting a bit strange all these companies building huge profits from just selling advertising, e.g. facebook, google, and just about every game app developer. So it's quite refreshing to hear it is possible to make money actually making tangible things, not just pushing adverts in peoples faces. Personally quite tempted to get the Note 7 Fan edition, but just worried about airlines freaking out about allowing Note 7's on board.

And What is the story with game apps pushing adverts, which are usually just for other game apps, which, if you install them, push more adverts for other game apps. I assume they are all paying each other for showing each others ads, but at some point, somehow, they have to actually get money? Is it the one in 10, genuine ad that appears, usually for a car maker or fast food joint. that greases the whole game app to game app advertising model? Or do they make enough from in-app purchases? I don't think so, as they seem way more focused on making you watch ads than in-app purchases.

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Ubuntu Linux now on Windows Store (for Insiders)

alexmcm

Re: MENSA = underachiever

"I am sure that there a any number of people with above average intelligence that can also get high results in MENSA tests"

Yeah, about 50% of them.

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Photobucket says photo-f**k-it, starts off-site image shakedown

alexmcm

Or do what they did

I remember a photo site that replaced the original image with a picture of a large bosomed topless old drunk women sitting on a park bench. I first saw it on a rather formal forum and had to alert the user that their post now showed said picture instead of what she meant it to show.

Certainly worked, she had changed her old post in an hour.

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ZX Spectrum reboot firm slapped with £52k court costs repayment order

alexmcm

Re: Well then

I understand your scepticism, but the Gemini Psion thing looked too good to pass up, so I have gambled on it. The Gemini people send out regular updates, and all seems to be proceeding so far. They have their manufacturer in China lined up, and are passing on the designs to them next week, so they still think they are on schedule for a release this year.

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Google offers devs fat bribes, hopes to lure them to its Home

alexmcm

Same here, I couldn't imagine using it. Except I got one for my birthday, and it is now constantly in use by the family in the kitchen as a radio, an argument settler, info center, weather person, calculator, and podcast player. It's one of those things you don't know you need till you get it. Now the kids are wanting one for their bedroom.

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Microsoft plans summer CRM war opener against Salesforce

alexmcm

Do you know these people ...Your Wife, Your Brother-in-Law

I was forced to created a linkedin in account about 5 years ago for work. It has the absolute minimum in it, but now I get almost daily e-mails from linkedin telling me that an ex-colleague has endorsed the skill set of another person that I don't know or care about.

And the repeated e-mail asking "do you know <wife's name> <brother-in-laws name> <ex-colleague>?"

Yes, yes, well done. Your annoying algorithm has figured out who my wife and brother-in-law are without us ever contacting via linkedin, but do you have to ask me every week? Or are you just going to keep asking until I crack and scream OF COURSE I F**KING KNOW THEM!

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Up close with the 'New Psion' Gemini: Specs, pics, and genesis of this QWERTY pocketbook

alexmcm

Re: $600

Given that is their RRP, I'm guessing they'll be widely available for $470, which isn't bad for a pocket computer with a real keyboard and phone functionality.

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alexmcm

Re: It was the software that made the Psions so great

Those were my thoughts exactly. I don't just want a Psion lookalike running Android, I want the software too, but as there is no mention of them developing Apps for Android what is the deal. Are they going to give it a skin with some bog standard apps from the Google Play store like Jorge Calendar or Evernote. I can't believe they'd just ship it with vanilla Android on it.

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BlackBerry's comeback: El Reg gets its claws on the QWERTY KEYone

alexmcm

Re: The last chance saloon

"Apple comes along with a phone that won't last a day, and sells millions of them based purely on the shininess of the product. And now that everyone considers it perfectly normal to have to charge up during the day"

Still remember sitting in my Boss's office after he'd got an original iPhone and he had it plugged in charging *during the day*. I mean wtf, I'm thinking I charge my phone random evenings every few days when I feel like it.

It'll never take off I thought, imagine having to constantly worry about whether your phone is charged. Ha Ha...oh....

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The last time El Reg covered IBM Domino we used a chisel

alexmcm

Loved Notes

I bloody loved Lotus Notes, though I think it probably peaked about Notes 4.6, I loved having all the databases on different tabs, the whole thing was a joy to use. I'm not being sarcastic, I thought it was a brilliantly designed system way ahead of it's time, which was only reinforced when my previous employer got rid of it and replaced it with Outlook and a whole load of fiddly, slow web based apps.

I know it's cool to make fun of old software, but Lotus Notes, Lotus Agenda, and Lotus Improv were 3 bloody amazing programs, and look at what the standards are now: Outlook, OneNote and Excel. What an enormous leap backwards.

12
4

Leap second scheduled for New Year's Eve 2016

alexmcm

More importantly

What about all those Games I have on my tablet that accuse me of arsing about with the clock on the tablet to fast forward to get tomorrows bonus? Will they think I'm stealthily increasing the clock in 1 second increments now?

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Victoria Police warn of malware-laden USB sticks in letterboxes

alexmcm

Re: Why the fuck...

I think back in the day they wanted to simplify PCs and make them more like your friendly CD player or DVD player. If you stick a DVD in your player, you expect it to bring up the DVD movie menu, or CD to start playing the music. So they introduced autoplay for CDs and DVDs on PCs as well, so if your home theatre system was a PC it would act like your DVD player.

Then USBs came along to replace CDs and DVDs, same idea, surely you want them to start playing their content without any user intervention. What could possibly go wrong?

1
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Sorry Nanny, e-cigs have 'no serious side-effects' – researchers

alexmcm

Re: Who do regulations protect?

Thanks for the advice, I was never able to find a good guide to nicotine strengths when I first started vaping a few years back. Through trial and error I eventually settled on 18mg nicotine (used to be a pack a day smoker), and as you say, for throat hit, a menthol flavour. Now I'm down to just a crisp clean flavour like Green Apple and 6mg.

I wish there was a good well known trustworthy beginners guide to vaping. That might be seen to be encouraging the kids though,

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Inside our three-month effort to attend Apple's iPhone 7 launch party

alexmcm

Re: Not missing much

Bose have very nice bluetooth, noise cancelling headphones that I am sure would work with an iPhone.

https://www.bose.com.au/en_au/products/headphones/over_ear_headphones/quietcomfort-35-wireless.html

Only $500 AUD !

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First Wi-Fi box ever is chosen as Australia's best contribution to global history

alexmcm

Another invention

First the Hills Hoist and now Wi-fi. Australians are full of great inventions.

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Microsoft to buy LinkedIn

alexmcm

Who are Microsoft's M&A advisors??? They bought Skype and Nokia and basically had to write them off, now they've bought this steaming pile, which was a write off before they even bought it.

Are Microsoft intentionally trying to bankrupt themselves buy buying 'past sell-by date' companies?

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LinkedIn sinkin': $10bn gone in one day as shares plummet 40%

alexmcm

Re: The uses of LinkedIn ..

I used linkedIn as another Friends Reunited. You could look up old school acquaintances and see what hyped up job titles they were giving themselves these days.

But then I started seeing the downside, that LinkedIn reports to the other person you have looked at their profile and then asks them if they know you , and would they like to link to you etc. I have no interest in 'linking' to them, I just wanted to see if they were in prison yet.

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25 years ago: Sir Tim Berners-Lee builds world's first website

alexmcm
Facepalm

Good Advice from the original website

Put up some data

There are many ways of doing this. The web needs both raw data -- fresh hypertext or old plain text files, or smart servers giving views of existing databases. See more details , etiquette.

Suggest someone else does

Maybe you know a system which it would be neat to have on the web. How about suggesting to the person involved that they put up a W3 server?

________

If only I could think of a neat idea. In plain text obviously. Then this W3 thing might take off.

1
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Pope Francis' first act in America: Halt iPhone 6S, 6S Plus deliveries

alexmcm

Re: Oh the Ronny

Lets add to that the preaching against contraception, encouraging billions more of us feeding, emitting and cutting down trees.

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Asus ZenBook UX305: With Windows 10, it suddenly makes perfect sense

alexmcm

Re: @Pompous Git - ?

So did you have to pay $3,000 for data? :eek:

But seriously, was this before everyone and their dog knew to turn of roaming updates, and did you not notice your zenbook was going crazy downloading 6GB of data?

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Microsoft: This Windows 10 build has 'NO significant known issues'

alexmcm

Re: Hallelujah - File Explorer's file path limit is not 256 any more !

Yeah worked for a company that insisted their code tree had 1 letter names, so when we were trying to find a source file you had to go looking for

c:\Source\A\F\X\B\Y\H\Z\Q\U\L\O\P\G\R\L\My Code.cpp

I spent more time looking for the file than working on it.

3
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Facebook and Twitter queen Taylor Swift: Facebook and Twitter are RUBBISH

alexmcm

Updated Christmas Card list

My wife uses facebook, and she treats the 'likes' like a Christmas Card list. If she 'likes' one of her friends pictures, but the friend doesn't reciprocate by liking her next picture, then she is off the 'like list' for the next few days.

It appears to be human nature to expect 'likes' to be reciprocated even if you post a picture of a piece of toast. But it does become an obsession for some people, checking to see which of their friends hasn't 'liked' their latest picture.

That is why I'd be a billynomates on facebook. I don't check things that frequently, I don't remember who did what, and I can't bring myself to 'like' things I clearly can't be arsed about, especially other peoples dinner and their kids.

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Hey Apple - what's the $178bn for? Are you down with OTT?

alexmcm

Tesla

Having just read an article claiming Apple is working on its own car, and how Tesla and Apple keep stealing each others employees, I had the idea that Apple might be gearing up to just buy Tesla outright and have an immediate entry into the car industry.

You know how Apple used to like to do unexpected things....

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Is it humanly possible to watch Gigli and Battlefield Earth back-to-back?

alexmcm

The English Patient

Can't even remember the plot now. But it went on and on and on, and the girl I was with was crying at it and I was falling asleep. Jeez one of the most miserable soul destroying nights/films ever. Felt like it was 3 hours long... oh it was...

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UK flights CRIPPLED by system outage that shut ALL London airspace

alexmcm

Re: Get them to hold at the outer marker

Picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hd1ciPnTGKg

4
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'I don't NEED to pay' to watch football, thunders EU digi-czar

alexmcm

Re: Good luck on that one.

Ah yes, and the Scotland world cup song:

We're on the march with Ally's army

We're going to the Argentine,

And we'll really shake them up,

when we win the world cup,

cos Scotland are the greatest football team!!!

We're representing Britain, And we're gaunny do or die,

England cannae dae it, 'Cos they didnae qualify!

2
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Sinclair is back with the Spectrum Vega ... just as rubbish as the ZX

alexmcm

Re: That's a really useful controller

Only 4 responses allowed in The Hobbit now

>F

>FS

>FFS

>FFSR (eally?)

None of this 'climb in the barrel and close the lid' crap.

1
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Ex–Apple CEO John Sculley: Ousting Steve Jobs 'was a mistake'

alexmcm

Re: Jobs and Gates

You realize Gates' foundation is spending beeellions on eradicating diseases and improving sanitation in the 3rd World. So whatever you think of his former career at Microsoft, I'd quite like his new career to be a long and successful one.

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Original iPhone dev team was 'shockingly small' - Apple engineer

alexmcm

The reason for the small team was it was a Steve pet project. No-one else took it seriously. They'd tried making an iPod with a mobile with Motorola, it was a failure. So they were happy to ride the iPod wave and not get involved with partners and mobile phone companies.

Heck, even when Steve Jobs announced the iPhone he said he'd be happy if it got 5% market share from Nokia. And as well all know Ballmer was completely dismissive of it. And why not, a non-mobile phone company tries to do a phone, and forgets to add the keys. It was a hail Mary shot that paid off.

I bet the iPad team was HUGE in comparison, once they knew they were on to a winning idea/design. Just make a bigger iPhone,

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Scam emails tell people they have cancer to trick them into installing a money-stealing Trojan

alexmcm

Re: statistics

That's possible I suppose, but the number of 'hits' would still be very small. I could come up with a spoof email that would get waaaayyy more 'hits' than a recent cancer treatment. How about :

To all recent passengers of <insert national carrier here> .

We are contacting all recent passengers of out short and long haul flights, specifically Airbus 320 and Boeing 7x7 series. A staphylococci virus has been detected in the air-conditioning systems of these plane variants and you are required to attend your local gp for a blood test (see attachment).

Please bring your booking details and passport when you attend.

Some further convincing bullshit

Rgds,

<National Carrier>

Attachment: Your_Trojan.doc<rtl>.com

0
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Facebook pays $19bn for WhatsApp. Yep. $45 for YOUR phone book

alexmcm

why didn't the just buy Blackberry?

It would have been cheaper and they would have got BBM, and a phone manufacturer to make more Facebook phones.

Why 16 beellion for. A BBM imitator?

2
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We've found it – the ULTIMATE man-cave accessory

alexmcm
Pint

The Homer

Why not add a 4 stove bbq beside the work surface, another fridge compartment to store a keg of beer, and few optics on top, a gas canister at the side, a few rechargeable battery packs, and wifi extender, some solar panels on the lid to charge the batteries, 3 years subscription to Foxtel Go, and wifi home media center.

I'd love to see a comic relief episode of Dragons Den where somebody turned up with something like that, and just presented it with a straight face and called it The Homer.

1
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Feedly coughs to cockup, KILLS Google+ login as users FLEE

alexmcm

It is an annoying trend on websites to try and suck as much information out of users as possible. Certain discussion forums expect you to give a face book log in to comment on articles, or to 'like' it, before you can read more , or +1 it in Google or diggit or reddit or share it. Ahhh for the good old days when an old spam filled email account and a password was all that was required.

1
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'With free Mavericks, we are turning the industry ON ITS EAR'

alexmcm

Hasn't every hit 'Reply All' at least once?

Working 15 years ago for IBM on a critical real-time international money transfer system. We all got an email saying if we spotted any show stopping bugs in the system before it went live, we'd 'win' an IBM T-shirt. So I forwarded the email to my friend saying something along the lines of " What the f**k are they thinking, what a crappy prize, etc etc".

The sinking feeling when you hit Send and see the 'Reply Sent to 7,300 users' is unbelievable.

On the plus side, I didn't get sacked, and got equal amounts of 'you are an idiot' vs 'Good point' replies.

1
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Wozniak: Please, whatever you do, DON'T buy me an iPad Air

alexmcm

Maybe it's because the market for people who want to carry their entire Audio/visual library with them on every holiday or business trip is very small? Realistically, even for the longest break most people would be happy with a couple of hundred hours of TV programmes and films, and a few thousand hours of audio books and radio shows. That doesn't even come close to filling a 128gb tablet.

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SUPERSIZE ME: Nokia unveils Surface rival and 2 plumped-up phablets

alexmcm

Re: If we can shoehorn linux

I thought that was going to be a witty comment about how Linux gets shoehorned into every bloody comments thread on this site (regardless of any relevance to the topic.)

But it turns out you were just shoehorning Linux into the thread. :(

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Help! I’m trapped inside the Chamber of Hollers

alexmcm

There goes my massive once in a lifetime coincidence

Sitting on a deck at 5am in Brisbane watching old episodes of Blackadder on my phone while reading news articles on my tablet. Clicked on a Register story about Steve Jobs, and then saw a story about hollering. Clicked on that and simultaneously had that scene from Blackadder on both my phone and tablet.

What are the chances of that? I was hoping the biggest coincidence in my life would be a bit more profound.

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So, who ought to be the next Doctor Who? It's up to YOU...

alexmcm

Bang for your buck

Lots of excellent choices on the list ,but 90% of them are outside what the Beeb could afford.

Warwick Davis on the other hand revealed on 'Would I lie to you' that he once accepted a gig to dress as an ewok and jump out of a tree and propose to Star wars fans girlfriend.

So I think money wise they could afford him. But also he'd make a very interesting Doctor.

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Think you're ready to make a big career bet? Read this first...

alexmcm
Pint

Re: keeping your skills nearer the edge

I see it as graceful degradation. I can no longer be arsed keeping up with every fad and latest whizz-bang thing that comes along. I consciously decided in 2000 to hitch my wagon to one last technology wagon, previously having been a bit of a C++ /Java Oracle SQL jack-of-all-trades developer. So I chose Oracle-Siebel. Thats it. Nothing else since, lots of bank and government work. And there will be for years to come.

Will I be shocked at my lack of current knowledge when every single Oracle-Siebel implementation finally ends? Not really, I will also see it coming a mile off, it will take years to replace all these systems. And I'll be happily dribbling in my cocoa on some beach by then.

Every contractor reaching the age of 40 should just take on one final technology and hang on to it with a death grip, knowing when it finally runs out, they can retire.

2
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Microsoft conceals job ad in Bing homepage

alexmcm

My My, such an outpouring of smugness and bitterness over a quite clever way to advertise a job for a large software company. Err why? So someone who is running IE in debug mode finds the job advert and goes for it, good luck to them. It is certainly one way to get some of the wheat out of the chaff.

And as for it being Microsoft, so what! There is nothing like having a couple of Multinationals on your CV when you move in to contracting. MS would be a good start.

I think it would be a great opportunity for someone starting out. I don't get the arrogance of a lot of you.

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Lotus 1-2-3 rebooted: My trip back to the old (named) range

alexmcm
Unhappy

Re: Wasn't OS/2 an issue?

Yeah, OS/2 and Improv seriously distracted Lotus. I was working on both 123 for windows release 4 (Darwin) and Improv at the same time. The big hope was that Improv would be the game changer, because we had fallen behind with windows due to the OS/2 debacle.

Improv was great, just took a bit of learning over traditional spreadsheets, and with pivot tables etc being merged into normal spreadsheets it didn't catch on.

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