* Posts by Professor Clifton Shallot

344 posts • joined 6 Mar 2013

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It's been two and a half years of decline – tablets aren't coming back

Professor Clifton Shallot

> If they came up with a 12" unit with the same, or better, specs

>then I might think about it. It would need the precision of the

>S-Pen as well as having a standard touch interface.

I have a Galaxy Note Pro 12 which sounds like exactly what you are looking for.

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Crafty Fokker: Norfolk surgeon builds Red Baron triplane replica

Professor Clifton Shallot

Re: You have to love...

"It's only comparatively recently that we've got into the "it's far too difficult for your little noggin" attitude..."

Yep. I think electronics and miniaturization have had something to do with that - the best of today's toys are near impossible to construct from scratch.

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It's 30 years ago: IBM's final battle with reality

Professor Clifton Shallot

Re: Interesting times

It was better at DOS and Windows apps than it was at native.

One native GUI app could hang the whole interface making the system unusable.

The multi-tasking was a bit iffy too - nothing stopped a high-priority process from hogging all resources forever.

But it was still the best thing around at the time in many, many ways.

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Professor Clifton Shallot
FAIL

Interesting times

And interesting speculation.

I wonder if a smaller Microsoft making developer tools might even have been 'cool' for a while.

I loved OS/2 but at that point I didn't have any work to do, I was free to just play so the fact that it could be spectacularly flaky just added to its charm.

Doom in a window? Yes. Slowly. And briefly. But achieved. Well worth the entire UI hanging if you sneezed near it.

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Robo-AI jobs doomsday may, er... not actually happen, say boffins

Professor Clifton Shallot

Lift

It was suggested the other day that the only job that has been completely automated out of existence in the USA is the elevator (sic) operator.

Are there any others (septic or otherwise) that spring to mind?

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How about a nice game of ... Tetris? Oxford eggheads slow PTSD onset with classic game

Professor Clifton Shallot

Disrupting negative memory formation

I wonder if getting tremendously inebriated would also help.

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UK.gov departments accused of blanket approach to IR35

Professor Clifton Shallot

Off at a tangent - providing cover for absences

Apologies for the slight deviation but this thread should have the right people reading it to get some useful answers.

All the contracts I ever signed when "self-employed" decreed my company would supply a worker for a duration - I only had one employee, and that's pretty much always the case for this sort of work so what generally happens when there's an unavoidable absence?

I always winged it and never had a problem but do people buy insurance against this sort of thing? Do agencies help out with providing cover? Are employers just generally understanding? (I know UK Mail hasn't been recently).

Anyone have any experience of this sort of situation?

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NASA to fire 1Gbps laser 'Wi-Fi' ... into spaaaaace

Professor Clifton Shallot

" the proposed CAT 6 Ethernet needed too much copper..."

Shame - might have been useful for the Space Elevator.

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Prisoners' 'innovative' anti-IMSI catcher defence was ... er, tinfoil

Professor Clifton Shallot

"Aren't you being a bit harsh on a very well meaning body of men?"

Apparently there aren't as many Porridge fans on here as the earlier posts would suggest.

Have an upvote from me.

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Licence-fee outsourcer Capita caught wringing BBC tax from vulnerable

Professor Clifton Shallot

> Are you offering to pay for my camping trips and track days,

> should my motorcycle racing also be folded into taxes?

Well I'm happy to pay my share of the tens of millions it costs to maintain National Parks for you to pitch your tent in and to fund the NHS so that if you have a mishap when racing your motorcycle you don't have insulting medical costs added to the injury. To be honest I'm not sure the government should fund Silverstone but if it decides to grant their request for extra money then I won't protest.

But sure, I get how upset you must feel about having to pay the equivalent of 10 litres of petrol a month for a BBC service that you have never, ever taken any enjoyment from at all, not when you were a child, not when they had live Moto GP, not now, and certainly not at any future point in your life.

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Professor Clifton Shallot

"Why not privatise the BBC and let advertisers pay for it?"

Because that's the real way to force the cost of the service onto people who don't use it.

If you don't watch TV you can avoid the licence fee but unless you are self sufficient, off the grid, make your own toothpaste and soap, and don't have any banking or insurance you can't avoid paying for things that advertise which means (apologies if this comes as a horrid shock) paying for the advertising.

Tesco's advertising budget is more than a pound per person in the UK, Unilever's is more than two. Total TV advertising in 2015 cost £5.3bn, total spend on advertising was 1.08% of GDP, making it £308.56 per person (adult or child) in the UK.

If you really think you got between one and a half times and two times as much benefit from adverts that you did from the BBC that's great but for me the licence fee looks better value.

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Ditching your call centre for an app? Be careful not to get SAP-slapped

Professor Clifton Shallot

Re: This behaviour

"Nope. It will not. [ push people towards open source ]

The mantra "this is not our core business, we need to buy it" is extremely entrenched.

That doesn't mean no open source.

Big companies want a cast iron contract around performance and support so they outsource.

When that guarantee is threatened by the actions of closed source providers as in this case I agree that the response is not going to be "bring this in-house with open source software" but it may well be to allocate a preference to bids that are not susceptible to this sort of threat.

The point of open source software has never been the cost, despite this getting most of the headlines, it's about control.

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Nokia's 3310 revival – what's NEXT? Vote now

Professor Clifton Shallot

Re: Psion netBook

I've still got one (well, a 7Book - the Series 7 with the netBook ROM) and I love it although it no longer sees even monthly use.

I would love a Series 3 / Series 5 / Series 7 revival - they were so well designed for their respective sizes.

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USMC: We want more F-35s per year than you Limeys will get in half a decade

Professor Clifton Shallot

Irrational

But I feel something like affection for the Harrier so it's sad that anyone wants to replace them.

They're just cooler and quirkier than anything else around.

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Snapchat chooses London for international headquarters

Professor Clifton Shallot

Does anyone know how many more jobs over the existing 75 this means?

They already expanded the London staff not too long ago.

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You have the right to be informed: Write to UK.gov, save El Reg

Professor Clifton Shallot

"what's wrong with just making the loser of a case pay? "

It is basically the reverse of the Reg case - if you have just stepped off the Clapham Omnibus or out of your Mondeo and find that e.g. the Sun has printed something you object to the fear that the costs of their superior lawyers could ruin you if you lost the case or even that you risked the same just from your own costs during the process then you might not want to go ahead and they get away with it.

It's a very complicated issue and can easily seem unjust whichever way you cut it.

We all want a free press (I don't think there's a sane objection to this) but I expect that most would agree that freedom is as wasted on some of our current press as youth is on the young.

I'm not sure quite what the answer is - just that the current proposal isn't quite it.

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BOOST! LEGO's computing future and its ground-breaking past

Professor Clifton Shallot

Re: One of the world's great companies

"They did try to use patents to ensure that you cannot manufacture compatible ones."

Still sort of base level of business malignity though I suppose; everyone's pushy with IP to the extent they can get away with it.

I think these days they too often go too close to just being toys but nonetheless they are pretty much the mainstay of the gifts-from-uncles-that-are-both-worthy-and-fun realm.

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Riddle me this: What's green and freezes cloudy penguins?

Professor Clifton Shallot

"Why would you want something to eat your backups?"

Archive copy to tape/worm?

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Bill Gates joins $170bn climate change investment club

Professor Clifton Shallot

Re: Victorian values

"This seems an attempt to make a lot of money, what else would you expect."

I'm sure that the sort of people involved would want to make their sustainable energy financially sustainable as well - they'd see that as prudent and responsible.

In Gates' case I don't think there's any profiteering in his attempts to eradicate malaria, polio etc so even if this energy and research investment scheme is just another way for him to make money he plans to give away with those aims in mind I'm not too worried.

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Professor Clifton Shallot

Victorian values

Gates is not the kind of sparkling personality that naturally prompts party invites and Microsoft is not always the most delightful company either but he does seem to be making a genuine and intelligently focussed attempt to make the world better.

(Some of) the IT rich guys seem to be the inheritors of the socially minded Victorian entrepreneurs.

I wish more of the preposterously wealthy felt obliged to act similarly.

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Kentucky pried chicken: Fried grease chain's loyalty club hacked

Professor Clifton Shallot

Re: When asked about their poor security, KFC gave a

Frankly I think they are winging it.

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Busted Windows 8, 10 update blamed for breaking Brits' DHCP

Professor Clifton Shallot

Re: Confused

"Have you tried switching if off and on again?"

Perhaps switching it off and not switching it back on again might be better in this case.

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Samsung SmartCam: Yes, those eyes really are following you around the room

Professor Clifton Shallot

Re: I can see the meeting now

" let the punters figure out for themselves that they're our market"

That sometimes works. I can't see why I'd want this but I do know someone who takes photos of the cooker and taps so they can confirm that all are definitely switched off - I can imagine them wanting one (several) of these for the real-time reassurance.

So, um, that's one possible customer.

Definitely worth the effort.

-

In politically correct mode I feel obliged to point out that the mother not being present does not mean the child is alone.

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Cambridge University controlled tech startup fund raises £75m

Professor Clifton Shallot

Re: Nice little idea you've got there

"They also have(had?) a blanket policy saying they own everything, you get 10% or so - not much of an incentive for you to leave the comfy job and create the next ARM/Tesla/HP"

If it is just that they take the money then fine by me, if they also have the control then less so.

Not that I am in the least bit likely to have an original, clever, or lucrative idea in the first place mind, but if I did then it would be the doing it, not the earning from it that would be fun.

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Sysadmin told to spend 20+ hours changing user names, for no reason

Professor Clifton Shallot

" the kind of change that can only really be done out of hours and hence at a nice overtime rate. Then script the bejesus out of it."

Such cynical thinking. And precisely the thinking that first occurred to me.

If it has to be done then scripting it is surely the only way to stay sane through the process. But that shouldn't make it cheaper - we don't want to encourage this sort of nonsense after all.

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Who killed Pebble? Easy: The vulture capitalists

Professor Clifton Shallot

Re: Fancy that

You are probably right.

Which is tremendously depressing.

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England OUT (of Euro 2016, not the EU) tops Twitter year

Professor Clifton Shallot

I think Gavin just thought the headline was too good to let go of even though it doesn't work properly.

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Ofcom fleshes out plans to open up BT's ducts and poles

Professor Clifton Shallot

Re: "Ducts"

"if it warps like a duct and cracks like a duct..."

Then you need to send someone to repair it - mind you it's not complicated, a trained chimp could do it so don't go for an expensive repair option when all you need is duct ape.

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New British flying robot killer death machines renamed 'Protector'

Professor Clifton Shallot

"US-made Paveways? They're not going to use the Scottish-made ones that the RAF uses for everything else? Or was that sentence just sloppy journalism?"

Well, they are made by us ...

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Cassini tickles Saturn's rings ahead of final death plunge

Professor Clifton Shallot

Re: You know what they say to do if you're about to hit a deer

"The more you drive, the less intelligent you are."

Blimey, imagine if Fred Housego had had a desk job.

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Amazon tries again with AppStream because customers didn't like it

Professor Clifton Shallot

Re: Yeah, no.

" lots and lots of enterprises use citrix to push out a whole range of applications and have done for over a decade."

Yep. I like Citrix despite their incredible inability to make good admin interfaces.

It's particularly good for legacy apps, BYOD (/BYODT*) and some counter-intuitive uses like remote access to CAD products.

When it's the right sort of tool to be using nothing beats it - and I suspect that will be the problem for Amazon's product; the people who need it enough to pay for it will pay for something else.

*BYODT - Bring Your Own Dumb Terminal

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King's College London staggers from outage, replaces infrastructure services head

Professor Clifton Shallot

Re: One down...

" Quintdown? Quintdown in Cornwall? This is King's College London isn't it? The failed server was at the Strand, yes? Strand in London? He's got bloody good eyesight then."

Squintdown?

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It’s Brexploitation! Microsoft punishes UK for Brexit with cloud price-gouging

Professor Clifton Shallot

Re: £490 will get you a WD 16TB raid 0 drive from Amazon. (2x8TB Reds)

"In RAID-5 you can tolerate one disk fault"

Well, that's begging the question; the claim of the linked article is that for a certain, currently realistic, size of RAID5 array the likelihood of an unrecoverable read error during rebuild is as good as certain making the redundancy useless and meaning that a RAID0 array of equal capacity is more reliable as it has fewer drives.

It's not dubious, it's a perfectly logical argument, although I can't vouch for the actual figures used in the calculation.

It's not a great argument for the use of RAID0 and doesn't seem to be intended to be but it is a strong warning against the use of RAID5 in large arrays.

I thought it was interesting.

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Plastic fiver: 28 years' work, saves acres of cotton... may have killed less than ONE cow*

Professor Clifton Shallot

Re: Pandora's box?

" Apart from one person who could not imagine wearing anything other than doc martins."

Apparently there are vegan Doc Martins.

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Microsoft’s ‘Home Hub’ probably isn’t even hardware at all

Professor Clifton Shallot

Re: Given the success of Amazon’s Echo speaker?

"Still cant add Championship football teams to it."

It never knows the score in the cricket either.

Still I like it as a jukebox and it is brilliant as a kitchen timer too if you are a messy cook like me.

I'd like some openness between the various ecosystems too - play Google Play Music on Alexa or iTunes music on Google's toy but I guess we can forget that because it's only good for the customer.

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Gov's industrial strategy: 'Look, we've changed the words above our door'

Professor Clifton Shallot

"Having got two of the tricky bits out of the title does it mean they're going to do something about them?"

Would be nice, wouldn't it?

Governments can't really do business which needs to move faster and under less scrutiny.

It should be having a go at the things business can't do because they can't handle the long-term thinking and the responsibility.

Which in this area would be making more people with the right sort of skills to produce the whatever-it-is-we-haven't-thought-of-yet*.

Education, education, education, one might glibly say.

*They just have to educate them, they don't have to actually make the people - that part can be successfully outsourced, one of the few processes where unskilled labour on zero-hours contracts can produce perfectly acceptable results even if the customer survey responses don't rate the process particularly highly.

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Married man arrives at A&E with wedding ring stuck on todger

Professor Clifton Shallot

Apt

that El Reg made sure to include a link for "Tips and corrections" at the end of the article.

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Brexflation: Lenovo, HPE and Walkers crisps all set for double-digit hike

Professor Clifton Shallot

when the market decides that America is doomed after either the bad candidate or the worse candidate has won the election, the dollar should collapse and hopefully restore its relative value to the pound.

Well I never.

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Crashed Schiaparelli lander's 'chute and shields spotted

Professor Clifton Shallot

Fun

Personally I find all the analysis of the failures of these missions at least as interesting as the remaining parts of the plan that will now never happen.

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FBI overpaid $999,900 to crack San Bernardino iPhone 5c password

Professor Clifton Shallot

Re: Fragile evidence...

Play One On The Internet?

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BSODs of the week: From GRUB to nagware

Professor Clifton Shallot

Grub loading

Sounds about right for Tim Horton's.

.

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Elastic acquires predictive analytics firm

Professor Clifton Shallot

Buy Prelert, the world needs

When I was seven my cousin just prevented me from reading out the "If Typhoo put the T in Britain, who put the rudeword in Scunthorpe?" graffito from Nigel Rees's book to the assembled family.

I imagine doing so would probably have scuppered the idea of getting a ZX80 for my eighth birthday and who knows, may have meant I never became a Reg commentard.

Life is indeed a bowl of toenails.

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Job for Aerosexuals

Professor Clifton Shallot

Ha! That's very tempting.

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Bill Hicks: 25 years on from the cult comedian's big break

Professor Clifton Shallot

Re: Another goddamned appreciation of the late, lamented Bill Hicks

"Stuart Lee is just bitter he's never been as funny as Hicks."

That's quite probably true but I think his article would have made Hicks laugh.

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Cell division: The engine of life – and of CANCER. Now some of its secrets are revealed

Professor Clifton Shallot

Re: "We all start out as just one cell"

"Well, to be technically correct, the best kind of correct, we start off as two cells, which is the fun part. These two haploid gametes then combine to form a single-celled diploid zygote."

Is there anything that could be said to be "us" before the zygote is formed?

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Linux on the desktop is so hot there's now a fight over it

Professor Clifton Shallot

Citrix helps get Linux on the desktop

But often not in the way Linux advocates would want.

The app virtualisation of Citrix is excellent and renders the client OS largely irrelevant as long as a Citrix Receiver exists which means Windows can be replaced by Linux but it also means that Windows apps can run on those Linux desktops and in my experience this is precisely what happens.

I had 1200 Linux workstations deployed in a nominally Windows organisation but they were all effectively thin clients for a Citrix back end supplying Windows applications.

MS will hardly miss the desktop OS fees (particularly as the cheapest option in many cases is still to buy a PC with a Windows licence and just install over it) and their stranglehold on apps will be reinforced rather than weakened.

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Planet killer: Ex-army officer's Welsh space-rock mission

Professor Clifton Shallot

Donation

I don't know if it is still current but there is a Project DRAX donation page here.

Well done, Reg, I enjoyed this article and don't think anything else I read is likely to have brought this to my attention.

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Server guys: Are you running fewer than 200 virtual machines?

Professor Clifton Shallot

Re: Sounds like IT tech word churn

I had a manager who regarded Gartner report in much the same way St Joan did the voices in her head.

Our actions were run to the dictates of these divine utterances and even if it lead to us being burned at the stake we could meet our doom face-on, consciences clear in the knowledge that we had done the Right Thing.

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