* Posts by MJA

34 posts • joined 26 Feb 2013

Beyond code PEBCAK lies KMACYOYO, PENCIL and PAFO

MJA

My favourite

One I heard from the Networking team: "Layer 8 issue".

Personally I normally use a shortened version of PEBKAC: "PIC" - Problem In Chair. Plus there's PICNIC I've seen mentioned "Problem In Chair Not In Computer".

The most concerning thing is how normal all this is. What should be a rare occurrence of stupidity or funny stories from the 80s and 90s is now at least 50% of all users in every sysadmin's job :D.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Far Cry 4 review: It's a far cry from Far Cry 3

MJA

Does anybody else think that the bad guy looks like he could be footballer Neymar's dad or something? It's uncanny.

I'm glad they kept the FC3 underpinnings. I was dreading that they'd ruin the game by going back to the FC2 formula. I wanted to love FC2 but 60 frustrating, repetitive hours later I had to give up for my own sanity, only 70% through the story.

I loved FC3 and the characters and was gripped all the way. It is one of my top 5 ever games because it's a rare one that I enjoyed the whole way through and never really found any of it annoying or frustrating. Just difficult enough without dodgy mechanics to create false difficulty by handicapping your character in unreasonable ways (rant back at FC2's random weapon jams and pointless Malaria side story). I feel that the game mechanics will make up for the lack of a decent lead character, that and the new varied landscape. It worked before so no need to do anything drastic yet.

Here's hoping it doesn't end up a yearly trudge like AC. There's an unfortunate desire these days to milk something to death once a winning formula is found. CoD is the case in point and AC isn't far off being more irritating than intriguing.

As for the reported long un-skippable cut scenes. I'm knee-deep in The Last of Us at the moment (switched to PS4 after XB360 and finally did the honourable thing) so cut scenes are my bread and butter at the moment. I just need to learn to stop pressing Square when it says 'Press X' on screen.

CURSE YOU, 'streaming' music services! I want a bloody CD

MJA

I'm not quite ready yet.

I don't like the idea of streaming. First we lost the hard copy (which did have the positive of freeing up shelf space at least) but we still had a file we could see in front of us and move around - dependent on provider.

Now the product never actually reaches us. It becomes nothing more than cache. Movies I can deal with, simply because I recently had the dusty nightmare of sorting through hundreds of DVDs that haven't been touched for at least 4 years but music on the move never really needed to happen if we'd all settled with large capacity portable players like the iPod Classic (RIP). There seems to be an urge to use up every last bit of available mobile bandwidth. Unfortunately for me it's just not widely available enough yet. Even travelling through London on an overground train I'd only get 10 minutes out of the 25 minute commute listening to music due to the lack of even mobile signal in places.

There aren't many other markets that involve us handing over money but not actually receiving a product. Imagine a future of streaming clothing. "Wow, I can get unlimited changable clothing for a small monthly fee". Imagine the horrors of seeing 100s of hipster early tech adopters naked on the tube. Next time they'd remember to buy a hard copy.

Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE

MJA

It's too soon.

This was the issue when HD TVs first approached affordable. I bought my first in 2006 and it was 4 years before I had any decent HD content displaying on it, by which point TVs were cheaper and better quality.

I bought my newest HD TV last year for nearly half what I paid for my first ever one. It is better in all ways and has Freeview HD. It has taken 7 years since my original HD TV for me to become fully content with HD viewing.

I did see a Samsung 4K demo on a curved TV and I could see the difference. It looked spectacular. Judging by the first HD 1080 demos though, I know it will be at least another 4 or 5 years before we can get anything approaching 'demo quality'. Either in terms of cost (people won't be as willing to swallow the jump up in price from Blu Ray to 4K video as they were from DVD to Blu Ray) or broadcast source (I won't pay Sky or Virgin to get 1 or 2 4K channels). When the decent 4K panels are sub £800, 4K is availalbe on Freeview and 4K video disk players cost less than £100 to buy, I'll consider.

Please work for nothing, Mr Dabbs. What can you lose?

MJA

I always look forward to reading Something for the weekend although I would appreciate it if you started work earlier and published it in the morning. Currently it pops up around my lunch break, the only period between 9 and 5 that I'm not being paid! :)

I did enjoy the article though. I was under the impression (based on David Brent in The Office being paid a tidy amount for his 'Simply the Best' speech) that conference speakers were getting paid silly amounts.

Next time I go to one I'll try extra hard to keep my eyes open in the knowledge that the poor speaker may unable to afford lunch.

Light, fast ... and pricey: Toshiba's Portégé Z30 – now THIS is an Ultrabook

MJA

1366x768 isn't the end of the world.

1366x768 isn't all that bad but I accept that is the very minimum. I've been using a Dell Latitude 6430u for a year or so now (the ultrabook that smells like cat urine if you remember the article a few months ago)... That is 1366x768. It's not the 'crispest' screen in the world but I don't know where people are coming from saying Office is unusable. I perform the usual daily tasks on it without any problems. I'd rather be using my 23" dual desktop setup but on the move 1366x768 is fine. Tech is moving so fast at the moment that people cling on desperately to numbers without seeing the product in person.

I guess the issue arises because my Dell cost £700 but this Toshiba is £1000+. For that price they should be offering a higher quality panel. Just don't start thinking that 1366x768 is unusable.

Ho, ho, HOLY CR*P, ebuyer! Etailer rates staff on returns REJECTED

MJA

I like the one in the ho ho ho jumper...

I think most people instantly forgot the point of the article in order to rate the ladies.

Google RIPS aside curtain, exposes Nexus 5 phone, KitKat Android 4.4 coupling

MJA

A new feature that isn't a gimmick?

Ignoring the hardware for a moment - Kit Kat has a feature that will search Google Maps for a business name if a number calls you that isn't in your address book? That's actually pretty useful. I'll no longer have to reasearch a pest number and add the name to my address book :)

Like iPads? Like stuff called AIR? Here's our REVIEW ROUNDUP-squared

MJA

Re: Quote.... It's just an iPad, FFS

Please I hope they don't improve the camera.

Nothing looks more daft than an idiot stepping backwards holding an iPad in the air trying to take a photo of something/someone.

A better camera will only encourage them more.

No longer are people holding small digital cameras at arms length (as if the camera is going to bite them)... they are now holding iPads like they are holding on to a steering wheel of an out of control car.

Nothing to sniff at: Dell Ultrabooks REEK OF CAT PEE, scream users

MJA

None affected here.

We've been using the 6430u since they were released back in Feb and have over 100 of them now. I receive them all and deploy them and have never noticed the cat p**s smell.

Perhaps it was a dodgy batch? Our new ones feel slightly different to the original ones. They have a slight powdery feel on the case now so I'm assuming their manufacturing process has changed slightly.

Apart from the fact the screen is a bit pants, they are solid little notebooks. <Sniffs one> - they actually smell quite pleasant although I'd imagine after a few years of use, the textured rubbery case will get worn down and be covered in horrible shiny patches. They scuff very easy too.

Virgin Media only puts limited limits on its Unlimited service

MJA

Neutral

I'm pretty neutral with VM. I've been a Broadband customer with 'them' since the Blueyonder days when 512kbps was mind blowing. I've heard a lot of bad things but fortunately I've never had a bad run-in with them. I also like their online support. I prefer things like that in my own time over battling over the phone to get through to the Middle East and repeating myself.

I think Throttling is a good idea if somebody is using excessive data but there needs to be an exact limit specified and I think blanket throttling at peak times should be made illegal.

Due to the mass uptake of Broadband, we as customers are being punished because the suppliers haven't got the infrastructure in place to handle the demand. That is their problem though, not ours. In order to roll out blanket throttling I think they should lower their prices. I know I'm paying the same as I did before when there wasn't any throttling. My speed may be faster but that is what they offered. I know I'd rather have 10MB permanently than a 30MB connection that is throttled to 10MB when I want to use it. It is a sly marketing trick to make their overall speeds look good. Imagine if a motor company offered a car that was super low emissions but then from 5pm to 10pm every night, it suddenly produced more fumes than a 60's Mustang. They'd look good for having this low emission car but in reality, they are taking the mickey a bit.

Alarming tales: What goes on INSIDE Reg hack's hi-tech bedroom

MJA

I love the observation on touch screen phones gaining a life of their own during the night.

I thought I was the only one struggling with every last ounce of concentration just to turn my alarm off. It literally looks like it's jumping out of my grasp, only ever making it half way across the screen towards being disabled.

I have an opposite problem too - when I can't sleep I sometimes play rainfall on my iPod. Often I'll wake up a few hours later in pain with an earbud millimeters from penetrating my eardrum, or the sound has morphed into the sound of a chainsaw or something. I've found some remarkable sleeping positions that allow me to lay on my side but prevent the earphones being squashd into my brain :).

Oh, shoppin’ HELL: I’m in the supermarket of the DAMNED

MJA

Sometimes it's easier than facing up to a real person.

Better than handing over a tube of KY jelly or Johnnies at a manned till. I'm never sure whether buying other items on purpose is better or worse than owning up to the fact you only entered the store for some lube. The best one I conjured up was buying one single windscreen wiper blade with the KY. Surely no assumptions could be made from that? It wasn't the right size for my car though but for all they knew, the intention was for me to get the wiper blade and the KY was purchased on a whim.

McDonalds tells fatties to SUPERSIZE THEIR BRAINS

MJA

The fact there was a giant McDonald's in the middle of the Olympic park in London says it all really.

I don't agree that fat people should be given an easy time but there needs to be some sort of limit to them being set up everywhere.

I have the same opinion of those rubbish Pret stores and coffee chains. The difference is the big players like McD seem to be able to put some money aside into charities and sports etc and get given a free pass to exploit. Fatty, unhealthy food is only half the story.

Microsoft store staff to hold all night vigil for Surface 2

MJA

There is a Microsoft store?

I've never seen one. Unless it's hidden behind a sex shop that as suddenly opened. Maybe if they close and re-open the shop I'll be able to pay a visit.

No more late 90's Windows jokes... but in all seriousness: if they are having to use concert tickets to lure people in, surely they should have given themselves a fighting chance by offering tickets to an artist with appeal? Justin Bieber or One Direction would have had the usual crazed Apple store queuers coming along at least.

Expert chat: The end of Windows XP and IE6

MJA

After all the work on compatibility...

the main concern users had was 'my email address history has gone so I have to type the address in instead of it appearing when I type the first letter'. (Didn't migrate Outlook profiles from 03' to 10').

Me: 'You only have to type it once, or even just add it once from the address book. You'll build up your list again in no time'.

User: 'It's lowering the efficiency at which I can perform my job... I want it back now'.

Definitely don't envy the person in charge of the HMRC task. The migration part is easy compared to the people politics involved.

MJA

Re: Time to investigate the alternatives

I'm sure nobody would doubt the ability of Linux to perform for a small org just as well or better than Windows but as others have mentioned - you need somebody with a bit of knowledge or enthusiasm for Linux, which is unlikely in a small organisation that probably don't have their own IT staff to A. suggest the idea or B. assist them with the inevitable problems such as when their old scanner that gets used once a year suddenly doesn't work.

That said, most non specialised organisations would probably have the same issues with Mac and OSX but I'm sure staff would jump at the idea of having flashy iMacs on their desks. Cool always outweighs Function. Normal is always the solution. Unfortunately Linux falls under the Function category and Windows is the 'Normal'

Microsoft watches iPads flood into world's offices: Right, remote desktop clients. It's time

MJA

That's basically what happened here and we stopped supporting them. Problem is most people who are non-IT don't understand that concept.

After we stopped supporting them, my superiors began giving other superiors back handers, casually putting an iPad on my desk and asking me to have a quick look. Now there are so many back handers that we are fully supporting them but via our own management instead of via the client. If I put my foot down and say "sorry, don't support them" I get told to man up and stop being awkward. There's no network access on them but general things like 'Mr CEO's daughter can't get her Gmail to sync'.

The iPlague creeps in like a rot. I have no problem with iDevices at all if there is the proper infrastructure to support them. The problem I have is a lot of people try to shoehorn them in to organisations because they are cool, with no consideration for the logistics.

GTA V Online hits speed bumps: Short wait before you can rough up that hooker

MJA

Re: MMO?

MMO GTA would be incredible but it would need to be done properly and missions would need to be in 'instances' like WoW otherwise most people would end up ruining your game on purpose :).

Can just imagine huge groups of people all sitting in the home city and somebody flying a jumbo jet into the ground, wiping everyone out.

'Bogus IT guys' slurp £1.3m from Barclays: Cybercops cuff 8 blokes

MJA

Believable

Puts truth to the saying that your IT security is only as secure as the users themselves.

You'd think that A. The 'IT Engineer' would have been challenged for ID and perhaps the actual IT department would have been called to verify this and B. with it being a bank and a high risk target to thieves, that some kind of software would be used on client machines to block a device like a KVM until admin access was provided on the machine to accept its use.

Far too easy. Although as in most cases I'm assuming the IT guys will take the rap rather than the dumbass staff that let said intruder in.

In an office somewhere is an IT security manager shuddering at the prospect of loosing a job and in another office, a multi billion pound IT project ready to be approved and farmed off an an overseas company :).

Official crackdown on Apple fanboi 'shanty town' ahead of London iPhone launch

MJA

Re: How sad

It's the release of PS4 and Xbox One :)

New iPhones: C certainly DOESN'T stand for 'Cheap'

MJA

Downside to fingerprint.

Fingerprint security? All it means is when somebody mugs you for your phone they will also cut your finger off :(.

People will have to buy fingerless gloves too :).

Peugeot 208 GTi: The original hot hatch makes a comeback

MJA

Arguments?

Everybody knows turbo charging a 1.0l 3-pot engine to get 100hp out of it isn't brilliant news. "The power of a 1.6 but the economy of a 1.0" is a catchy marketing term that we see through.

It's just obvious and not worth arguing over. The problem is the days of using a happily revved naturally aspirated 2.0 engine in a hot hatch are well and truly over since they started charging £250 to tax them. My example here from another hot hatch is the Fiesta ST: The naturally aspirated 2.0 model from 05' is £220 to tax and the 1.6 turbo 2013 model is £125 to tax, despite being over 30hp more powerful.

In the everyday market I don't think we will see anything with a displacement over 2.0l anymore. No more putting a bonkers 3.0l mid mounted V6 engine in a Renault Clio. Not until the government stop basing 100% of car pollution solely on C02 anyway, which isn't going to happen because it's easily measurable and taxable unlik the long term negative affect of the soot from the Diesel engines they are encouraging everybody to buy.

Either way... the Pug 208 GTi is nice I think. On par with the other hot hatches of today - a little garish looking, tacky and loud inside and surprisingly nice to drive on motorways. They are all spewing out the same things. I guess because everything is now owned by everybody so there's no real variety in the cars anymore. Plastic, cheap & cheerful. I guess at least they don't have manual chokes and a tendency to break down every hour on the motorway, unlike the original hot hatches from the 80's :).

Google Nexus 7 2013: Fondledroids, THE 7-inch slab has arrived

MJA

Impressed

Despite not being a Fondleslab fan at all, despising tourists walking around taking photos with them (and therefore not owning one), I've had a lot of use of them over multiple platforms. The Nexus is definitely a dark horse. Work decided to splash some money on an iPad Mini, Tab2 and Nexus 7 (for reasons unknown) and as I predicted, they quickly ended up gathering dust in my bottom drawer. As I result I adopted them and gave them some use.

I was excited about the Tab2 10 and initially sceptical about the Nexus but it quickly became apparent that the Nexus is a far more capable device. In my examples the screen is smaller but aside from that the Nexus is better than the Tab2 in all ways. The vast price difference definitely didn't prepare me for the fact the Tab2 would be a juddery mess when trying to play games that the Nexus took in its stride! Plus the Tab2 resolution is far too low for the screen so the display looks blocky and unappealing. This trend continues with the smaller Tab2 7 inch tab.

As for the iPad Mini - well my girlfriend uses one of these so I have first hand experience of the crashes and performance issues requiring factory resets. It's not a bad little device and feels much nicer to hold than any Android tab (certainly the best iPad from the range - unless you have a desk to keep the full sized version on) but you need your head checked if you completely overlook the Nexus and pay £100 more for the iPad.

It's worth a try. An absolute steal for under £200.

Give us a break: Next Android version to be called 'KitKat'

MJA

I was quite taken on Key Lime Pie. Their names have been playful so far. Why the sudden free advertising for Hershey? Makes for interesting guessing on what the next ones will be though...

Lindor, Mars Bar, Noughat, Oh Henry!, Penguin....

Unless they decide to move away from confectionary completely.

Cool cars, cat-crushing chronometers, cashmere ... is this your IT boss?

MJA

We need those types though. It's comedy gold seeing them handle situations that anybody with a normal sized ego would be able to brush aside. Like being splashed by a car driving through a puddle, or a pigeon s***ting on your head.

As long as we can see they are a cock and can talk to each other about how much of a cock they are, then we're all good.

As far as suits go, I wouldn't want everywhere to be shorts & t-shirt like Google, mainly because many people who get the same train as me clearly work for companies who have a 'dress-down Friday' policy and judging by their civvie clothes style, should never be allowed out of their suit. Saville Row though? Pfft, what's wrong with Next? Fine suits and I don't need a man with a turn of the century profession hovering uncomfortably close to my nutsack with a tape measure in order to get a pair of trousers that fit.

Unemployed? Ugly? Ugh, no thanks, says fitties-only job website

MJA
Thumb Up

Why not?

I've noticed there is also a dating site for people who wear or like those who wear uniform as part of their job. I think that pretty much means Police or Firemen as I can't imagine there are many who get turned on by a person in a McDonald's polo shirt and cap!

A site only catering for good looking jobseekers isn't necessarily a bad thing. I'd imagine if you become flush enough to step into an Aston Martin dealership with the intention of buying a motor, you'd expect the person greeting you and taking your money to be fairly attractive or at least well presented. Fair enough the best looking person on the site may not be suitable for the job but at least if you browsed the site you'd be able to select somebody who is guaranteed to not be a munter and you'd avoid the embarrasment of people turning up to your fine showroom for an interview who look more suited to the role of Extra on a zombie movie set.

The site exists, I assume, for employers who have a simple requirement but want to be a bit discreet about it. You may not join if you aren't aesthetically gifted but then who's to say that all companies would join such a site to fill their vacancies? Probably not many as I'd imagine it wouldn't go down very well if a large known company or local council were found to be recruiting from there. I suspect many wouldn't even look there at all for that reason alone so I don't think us ugly ducklings have anything to worry about.

'Catastrophic failure' of 3D-printed gun in Oz Police test

MJA
Facepalm

Oh the potential for laughs.

I saw comments somewhere about one day being able to 'download the design and print your own gun at home'.

I then had a funny image of one of those really dumb criminals (the type that colours their face in with a marker pen as a disguise), running into a grocery store holding an A4 sheet of paper with the outline of a gun printed on it, attempting to rob the place.

Is the next-gen console war already One?

MJA
Thumb Down

I really didn't like the idea of registering a game to your profile and then MS charging for a new owner to play it. Of course if you want to play at your friend's house you can sign in to your own profile but regardless, it means I can no longer swap games with people to play for a while. For me only very specific scenarios will be affected but it removes my right to do that if I wanted to.

My biggest hate is how much force they are putting behind the 'media centre' idea. Why then do we need the Xbox to do it? After purchasing an Xbox One, many people will have three different media centres in front of them (TV, Virgin Box, Xbox). Before the Xbox One nobody really used the 'Smart TV' built in to the TV and before that nobody used the one built into the Virgin box. My TV is 'smart' but if I want to watch some Internet TV/Movies then I access it on my laptop and connect to the TV because it never seems to work any other way.

It will be a very specific audience who use the TV services in the Xbox (ones who don't have a smart TV or subscription TV box) and the vast majority of people will most likely get annoyed by this non game related content. On the other hand, if they removed the Xbox TV content, people who would have used it will just use their PCs to access the same content so nobody loses out! With so many devices hogging bandwidth and conflicting with each other I can't imagine online gaming being too good.

Coke? Windows 8 is Microsoft's 'Vista moment'. Again

MJA
Thumb Up

Caution is always advised when MS announces something 'innovative'.

Even MS fans know that.

Climate change forces women into prostitution - US politicians

MJA
Meh

No surprise there.

Afterall, Climate Change is the new Smoking.

Climate Change will eventually cause everything until a new unpredictable, vague and not fully proven phenomenon comes along that the government can use to tax people.

Smart metering will disrupt weather forecasts, warns Met Office

MJA

Re: "No thank you, I've probably already switched supplier several hundred times today."

Sounds great. Until your next door neighbour works out how to connect their meter to yours. It'll be like the old days, except you won't need to trail a cable over the garden fence to steal the neighbour's utilities ;).

Admittedly sounds great though. It shouldn't be down to the consumer to have to keep making sure they aren't paying over the odds for the same service. Maybe they should just have two rates. One 'pay as you go' and another 'pay as you guess'. Until that time, considering supermarkets can tell you there and then if a rival is charging less or more, surely it should be possible for your rates to be updated live. Even an update once per week would be better than having to go through a ton of comparisons, paper work and begging phone calls.

Microsoft: 'Facebook Home just copies Windows Phone'

MJA
Thumb Down

Really?

I honestly don't know anybody with a Windows phone. I guess James Corden has one but from what I've seen on the adverts, they are trying to sell it by saying 'it has a calendar, alarm clock and an email app'.

At least MS does provide an Operating System though. Facebook WAS a social networking site but is now just a marketing tool, spewing out tons of mostly irrelevant and useless information for 'with it' companies that have no substance so therefore can make use of the data from thousands of fake accounts.

I'm assuming Zuckerberg is making a big deal of the new Android Wrap because he's most likely figured a way to plague the mobile element of FB with ads.

North Korean citizens told: Socialist haircuts are a thing... go get some

MJA
Facepalm

Side parting

Have to say - one of the male pictures (the one with the 1940's side parting) is actually quite popular in the 'Western World' at the moment, particularly in the UK. In their secluded world I think N Korean government assume that all Westerners have shaggy Kurt Cobain styles or dyed pink Mohawks. Perhaps Kim Jung Il was once shown a picture of Camden Market and now Jung Un things everybody looks like that.

Fair play to them though. I think there are quite a few people who'd love to go into the barbers and say "that one". I find more and more I'm having to learn strange hairdressing terminology to describe the barnet I want, despite only wanting short back and sides

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY TECH NEWSLETTER

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020