* Posts by calmeilles

71 posts • joined 15 Mar 2013


Apple, if you want to win in education, look at what sucks about iPads


Re: Hmmmm

The price difference between any cellular and non-cellular device (not just Apple) is usually around £100.

For a Kindle Paperwhite it's exactly £60 but that includes lifetime (of the device) data use.

iPad you pay a premium to have a sim added and still have to buy a data plan of some sort do you not?

SpaceX releases Pythonesque video of rocket failures


So what's the success to failure ratio?

Amid new push to make Pluto a planet again... Get over it, ice-world's assassin tells El Reg


Re: * Orbits the Sun

An exoplanet or extrasolar planet, a planet that orbits a star other than the Sun.


Brexit could further harm woeful rural payments system


Agricultural subsidies are ultimately limited by World Trade Organisation rules.

For the European Union the permitted quota is held by the European Commission. When the UK exits the EU it will have no WTO approved subsidy quota in its own right.

Post Brexit the UK will have to negotiate its own WTO agreements. However long that takes in the interim it will have two choices: either cease paying farm support or continue paying illegally and consequently creating a block to the necessary negotiations.

Frankly DEFRA's inefficiencies are going to be the least of the problems facing farmers who rely on CAP payments for significant parts of their incomes.

Cattle that fail, not pets that purr – the future of servers


I don't mind swapping pets for cattle. There are advantages and economies in running a herd.

What I don't like is killing my pets and having to put my (limited) trust in someone else's cattle.

Pimp my racks: Scale-out filer startup Qumulo bangs up its boxen, er, '4U'


Re: About 10Gb networking

More practically in a datacentre which did have CAT6a* structured cabling but did not have similar OM3 10 years ago*, even 5 years ago SFP+ switches and nics were expensive but readily available while 10Gb BaseT switches and nics were excruciatingly expensive and rare as hen's teeth.

Whatever the other benefits fibre was the only realistic choice for a number of years.

[ * I'm aware the CAT6a standard wasn't formally defined until 2009 ]

Zuck off: Facebook's big kahuna sues Hawaiians to kick 'em off their land



What's not mentioned is that because of inheritance laws dating back to the Kingdom of Hawaii a lot of Hawaii land has what is termed clouded title, which is to say uncertain who has a valid claim.

The equally long established process of quiet title is designed to locate potential title holders and compensate them. Not mentioned in the Star Advertiser piece is that not only known claimants are involved but searches are required to locate as many potential claimants as possible.

There is nothing scandalous here, thousands of such suits are filed annually. This one only makes a headline because of Zuckerberg's name.

NHS IT bod sends test email to 850k users – and then responses are sent 'reply all'


Re: OMFG, usage of the 'singular "they"' - ew

If it was good enough for Caxton it might be time to drag yourself into the 15th Century.

Page 39 line 3 https://archive.org/details/rightplesauntno4400caxtuoft

OVH decides to Fauquier the cloud in America


Re: Oh great, more places for hackers to hire

Just looked at mine, hosted on OVH. 21 in the last 6 days. None from OVH.

Anecdote or data?

Top interview: Dr Patrick McCarthy – boss of the world's future largest optical telescope


Re: Invention Time

How would you do that? the AO should present a focused image to the CCD. How would a CCD correct an unfocused image?

In addition the large CCD camera will be just one of a number of instruments that will be attached to the telescope — 4 currently being built plus a fibre-optic feed, more will be developed. The adaptive optics technology on the mirrors means having to do the job just once and hopefully do it well.

The alternative would be to have correction systems on each instrument, some of which might not be suitable to such manipulation.


Brexit at the next junction: Verity's guide to key post-vote skills


Re: Dissenting voice

I'm 53 and was taught both Imperial and metric at primary school. My sister is only four years younger but by the time she went there it was metric only so you're probably spot on with the 50 years demarcation.


Re: Guineas

The mark was 13 shillings and 4 pence. Being 160 pence or ⅔ of a pound.

Mine's the one with the duodecimal abacus....

Sysadmin gets 5 years for slurping contractor payments to employer


Re: "And he would have got away with it too,"

You just can't get the staff these days...

A-dough-be: Photoshop flinger pumps profits 50 per cent


I said this in 2013:

For me at least. As a hobbyist user of Photoshop I've been an Adobe customer since for ever and, to save money, bought only every other release these last few.

Doubtless this behaviour is what riles Adobe. But the subscription model is far more expensive than I can justify for a hobby. My guess is that the same is going to be true for many, perhaps the majority, of private users. So Adobe rather than make more money out of me you've lost a little.

However what will make the difference will be the take-up by corporate customers. That I cannot guess about. So far it doesn't look good but corps. are notoriously slow so maybe Adobe will keep them as CS6 becomes too old to use.

I guess we've now seen.

A while back I discovered that a new camera needed a new RAW plugin that needed a newer version of CS. Seems that Photoshop is now, after 25 years, no longer useful to me.

EU ends anonymity and rules open Wi-Fi hotspots need passwords


Re: Users required to reveal identities

That's so they can write your name on the cup. Wifi access will require much more.

Light at the end of Intel's Silicon Photonics: 100Gbps network tech finally shipping, sorta


"technology, which uses light through thin glass fibers to replace copper wires" Reads like a press release circa 1994.

CERN staff conduct 'human sacrifice' at supercollider site



...that the damned thing has worked this long with only a single sacrifice.

Osram's Lightify smart bulbs blow a security fuse – isn't anything code audited anymore?


All your bulb are belong to us.

Remember those stupid hoverboards? 500,000+ recalled in the US after they started exploding


Exploding hoverboards? Self correcting problem.

Inside Electric Mountain: Britain's biggest rechargeable battery


Re: Wonky math

Transposed the feet and meter figures. Silly billies.

Is uBeam the new Theranos?


Re: Worlds best tranducer, Worlds best microphone

"The unspeakably omnipotent members of the Complector Council were bound by nothing else save the laws of physics, and were generally held to be putting considerable effort into getting round those."

The Internet of Things edges toward a practical reality


Life changing features you never knew you needed.

Yesterday someone told me that they'd bought an oven with built-in webcam.

Great. Now you can watch your soufflé rise from the comfort of your armchair. And so can the rest of the world.

I can't help feeling that the IoT might have jumped the shark, but only if the shark is 802.11b/g/n enabled.

Good enough IT really is good enough. You don't need new hardware


Re: It's all about balance...

If six floors are all that you have...

Sysadmin given Licence To Perve shows why you always get it in writing


"A long time ago* in a galaxy far, far away...."

Or in a windowless cubbyhole in the depths of IT we ran a Usenet server for legitimate business reasons.

Enter person demanding (also for allegedly legitimate reasons) to see some pron. Preferably really nasty pron.

No, quoth we. It would be against all policy. So pron-fixated person goes to boss who dutifully gives him the same chapter and verse. On to boss-squared for the same result. Boss cubed and so on through the exponents until it arrived at the very top. From whence came the diktat "Do it!"

We quailed and genuflected and timorously prayed "Put it in writing." And lo the verse of the chapter was amended to say "...yea dismissal and dole will be upon ye except for this, which you must do." And we read the Revised Version and in obedience thereto added numerous binary groups to the server, supplied the means to assemble and view whatever might arrive and righteously averted our eyes.

Each day the valiant pron-seeker waxed wroth and wrother verily until the fourteenth dawn when he went full Lucifer and accused the minions of censoring his feed, impeding his noble purpose and even keeping his pron unto themselves.

We minions were puzzled. Had we not offered up the finest pron the interwebs had to offer? We mused, we pondered long — about 15 seconds — and dug out a binary viewer...

Now good and bad are often subjective values but we all (five of us) agreed that the "worst" a fortnight's binary collection had produced was a scantily clad lady of substantial build interacting with a widely available root vegetable.

Sadder and not notably wiser we returned the server to it pristine condition, scrubbed the evidence (such as it was) and turned our attention to less stimulating affairs.

[ * 1996. Any connection to other events of the time or the creation of the IWF will be denied.]

Pair programming: The most extreme XP practice?


After two cycles of management change pair programming became why do we have so many programmers.

At least, that's what it looked like from outside the programmers circle.

Hey, tech industry, have you noticed Amazon in the rearview?


Re: IT sales

I know that when I tell vendor that the budget is £X they'll come back with an overspecced quote nudging £2X.

Weeks will then be spent paring down the spec and "negotiating" the discounts until I get what I wanted in the first place at the price I was prepared to pay.

Vendor's seem to think that this ridiculous process will endear them to you for offering an extra special "good deal" but it doesn't.

Amazingly however it still seems to work on whole classes of PHBs who will, with apparent sincerity*, offer congratulations on said "good deal."

The willingness to forego the stupid price/product merry-go-round is why Dell — through a re-seller — got my last order over potential vendors $c, $h and $i. I have no idea if that was good vendor or good reseller but I do know that enquiry Monday, quote Tuesday, purchase order Thursday resulted in delivery following Tuesday. 9 (7 working) days from interest to install will result in return custom.

[ * Yes, I know it can be faked: but few PHBs have the skill-set.]

Call the Cable Guy: Wireless just won't cut it


Re: Direct wiring

Yup. At last gig it was the PoE IP-phones with pass-through for computer that ensured every desk had at least one live port from the get go. It was the 2nd device people who were the cause of patching.

How one developer just broke Node, Babel and thousands of projects in 11 lines of JavaScript


Re: Looks like everyone is being a dick

> Koçulu seems to be less than professional and not particularly polite in his responses.


Not impressed with Kik and not entirely convinced by NPM either.

But frankly when interacting with a community there's a minimum degree of politeness required and interacting with a business a minimum degree of professionalism.

Koçulu displayed neither and stamping his feet and taking his toys elsewhere just reinforced that impression.

French publishers join Swedish 'Block Party' to pester ad refuseniks


I was amused to find that acquiescing to one nag screen ended the nag but did not reveal any ads which were served from different domains. I suppose they'll get wise to this eventually... but it's been six months so far.

'Contractual barriers' behind geo-blocking could breach EU rules


The negotiation of publishing rights has yet to catch up with the EU's internal market.

Typically US/US English Language books will have three rights sales. North America, United Kingdom ( sometimes including Aus and NZ) and the rest of the world (with translations being another set of contracts). The details vary for other languages and origins but the principal is much the same, French being typically divided into France, N. America and ROW.

When you had the rights for one region case law said that it was okay to sell into any market to an individual but it was a transgression of another holder's rights to market a book in areas other than your own.

In practice this meant that a bookshop could order you a copy of an out-region work but could not shelve such copies for general sale.

Amazon's US and UK operations — on the advice of lawyers — has tried to replicate this model to stave off being sued by publishers who might claim their rights were being infringed and the same was done as other national markets were opened.

Unfortunately within the EU this is antithetical to the EU's borderless trade laws.

In my view it's long past time that the Commission shook both the retailers and the publishers out of their traditional practices and mandated EU-wide retailing which would in turn encourage similar scope in publishing deals.

Power outage in Sheffield kills e-commerce at Insight UK


Re: Rebranding?

It's not just immediate cash costs but also reputation.

Tender from Insight? Oh! Those guys who can't even keep their own data centre running...

Top rocket exec quits after telling the truth about SpaceX price war


From the 1817 Bonus Bill to the 2005 Gravina Island Bridge, two centuries of congress-critters buying the votes of the folks back home. Not a purely American tradition, but they must rank among its finest exponents.


Your 30 second guide to the past three months on Planet Adobe: Talk about sitting on cloud 9


Re: The 'jumping ship' bonus?

"moving from a high cost relatively low volume house targeting pros to the mass market for hobbyists"

Really? As a hobbyist I'd maintained a licence for Photoshop through upgrades from version 3.1 onwards. The subscription model pricing is what finally decided for me that it was no longer justified for my light use.

I'd rather assumed that I was typical in this — and that work forking out massively for CC was also, suggesting that Adobe's only interest was the corporate market.

So I'd be interested to know if there is any evidence that this in not in fact the case and that individual users are taking up CC in large numbers.

Dropbox slips 500PB into its Magic Pocket, not spread over AWS


Re: Easy

A terabyte is too much does strike me as an odd response.

If it's functional and affordable then surely 1 TB at £80/year is a better deal than say Amazon's 500GB for £160/year even if you don't expect to fill it.

Uncle Sam's boffins stumble upon battery storage holy grail


Re: @uncle sjohie

In the UK there is funding for on-street residential charge point installations which means that in principal it's possible.

But it means getting your local authority to do it, which means the practice might be very different.

And nothing there will solve the bar steward parked in my spot problem even if you do manage to get one installed.


E-borders will be eight years late and cost more than £1bn


Re: Government IT?

Yup. Moving goalposts are a problem everywhere but with government it seems to be ($numberofdepartments*$numberofmpsonthecommittee) orders of magnitude larger.

Tandy 102 proto-laptop still alive and beeping after 30 years, complete with AA batteries


Tandy 100

I encountered a Tandy 100 when I went to work for a journalist in 1984. Complete with acoustic coupler to phone in pieces.

Nine years later I began working for the newspaper at the other end of the phone line, complete with rack of 300 baud modems.

In '84 it seemed a technological marvel. But as better options turned up it was strangely hard to persuade the journalists to give up their Tandy's. Robust, simple and functional they were trusted far more than the new-fangled laptop things.

The modems finally went in 2003 — with the mournful howls of the dozen news-hounds still using them — after 20 years of service.

Why Tim Cook is wrong: A privacy advocate's view


It seems that the phone in question is a 5c and doesn't have the secure enclave.


That's cute, Germany – China shows the world how fusion is done


Re 3. Laser refers to the ignition method. The confinement in that case is inertial.

Alphabetti spaghetti: What Wall Street isn't telling you about Google


Re: There is no free lunch

But in 1995 Mapquest was doing that and a double handful of web search engines had been launched. Two years later ShareYourWorld gave us video.

Google came along with a better search engine algorithm. Arguably eventually a better everything they subsequently bought. But looking at their long list of acquisitions from Deja News in 2001 onwards Google's vision has been how to market and monetise products while fundamental innovation has been very thin on the ground. Do it better / faster / slicker / wider / higher / deeper is all good stuff for the user and has created Google's success. But every genuinely new concept has come from outside.

After all, why invent when you can buy.

Cabling horrors unplugged: Reg readers reveal worst nightmares


Re: Wrong spec co-ax

Oliver Heaviside. A self-taught physicist and mathematician

And one of two physicists who predicted the existence of the Kennelly–Heaviside layer.


That's why each cable needs to be uniquely labelled both ends. And every run have a few spares just in case.

BOFH: I want no memory of this pointless conversation. Alcohol please


We always know somewhere to stash the bodies.

Server retired after 18 years and ten months – beat that, readers!


Some hardware just lasts.

And there's little predicting which will and which won't.

I had a Sparc 20 that was in use (albeit not always for the same purpose) from 1995 until 2009. When finally closed down for decommissioning it showed 1953 days uptime.

BBC News website takes New Year's Eve break


Re: It's not just their website

Ummm.... I'm getting R4 streaming no problem.

AWS outage knocks Amazon, Netflix, Tinder and IMDb in MEGA data collapse


Re: I thought part of the point of [my butt] was FAILOVER...

"AWS services went down due to an AWS balls-up. Their customers services went down due to customers not deploying redundant solutions in the AWS cloud - or indeed a multi-vendor deployment, if you have to have your backup options in the same region."

That. Exactly that.

Cannot be repeated too often.

Why OH WHY did Blighty privatise EVERYTHING?


But public money...

The one glaring difference between public transport and the other privatisations is the need for subsidy.

Whatever else might be beneficial about the dynamics of private ownership how does it make sense to put public money into an industry that pays dividends to private investors?

It's easy to accuse SNCF and DB of not being particularly well run but there is a basic political consensus that transport is a public good provided at public expense to the benefit of all — even those who never use it benefit from the positive effect on the economy over all.

The logic of privatisation should demand that transport becomes self-supporting yet there is also a wide understanding that to be so the already expensive fare structure would have to become prohibitive for many. Beyond the direct cash it is inconceivable that an entirely unsubsidised industry could make infrastructure investment such as Crossrail.

When you look more broadly at pressures of profit, investment and the public good the example of the water companies is clearly picked to make a point. A counter-example might be the economically vital roll out of fast broadband, something that profitable VM and BT wouldn't undertake without the government providing £2bn subsidy (and still fails to mandate fibre to the premises).

Not everything is rosy in the world of privatisation.

Let's talk about the (real) price of flash and spinning disks



Real life measures for power and cooling late last year SAS cost about 100p per gig per year, SATA 50p per gig per year, Flash 12p per gig per year for a head and 7p per gig per year for a dumb-ish shelf.

There's a lot more to the TCO or cost efficiency than either capital outlay or iops.

Bank of America wants to shove its IT into an OpenCompute cloud. What could go wrong?


Pretty certain that you're right here if for no other reason that public cloud just won't satisfy the regulatory regime.

We all know how much more efficient commodity and VM can be in all sorts of areas (and how it can be messed up!) right? The financials for a cloud solution could look very attractive. The scale at which banks use hardware make that important to them and similarly their scale makes it practical; it's not an SME's half rack of blades but distributed data centres full.

For many it'd not be conceptually a great leap. Surely we're used to sitting at a desk in London running a "machine" in Weymouth with a hot shadow in Frankfurt and its backups in Houston and Vancouver. Financial institutions have been doing this sort of stuff since the 60s.


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