* Posts by theOtherJT

505 posts • joined 6 Jun 2013

Page:

UK.gov watchdog didn't red flag any IT projects. And that alone should be a red flag to everyone

theOtherJT

Re: Too big to succeed

UNIX philosophy works for so many things...

1
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Jodie Who-ttaker? The Doctor is in

theOtherJT

"It's all about suspension of disbelief..."

Which is sadly where Dr Who lost me quite some time ago.

I always thought that for the whole suspension of disbelief thing only worked as long as you had a framework to work in.

These are the rules. These rules are not your rules, but they are the rules here. It's OK to travel in time. That's part of our rules. It's OK to have FTL. That's part of our rules. It's OK to have humanoid aliens. That's in the rules.

Once you accept that there are rules, and start to get a handle on what they are - then you can just get on with the thing. That's how it works for me.

The problem with Dr Who is it keeps messing with it's own rules, to the extent that I have no idea what they even are any more, and that's made me get bored with it. If there are no rules then there's no story. With no rules someone can just go "Oh, that thing you can't do? Well you can. Because you need to to fix this plot problem. Problem solved." and shit like that just makes me stop caring about the story at all. Nothing has any dramatic tension if there are no rules.

Dr Who has played too fast and lose with it's own rules basically... forever... if we're honest, and it reached a point somewhere during Matt Smith's tenure that I just lost patience with the entire thing and stopped watching it.

I don't care that the new Doctor is a woman, because I already stopped caring about Dr Who at all :(

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Media mogul Murdoch's 'Sky dataset' swallow poses 'grave threat'

theOtherJT

" the hands of an owner with an appetite for political leverage"

...and where do they envisage finding an owner who doesn't have one of those? It's not a good idea to let any single entity control that much data IMO.

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Linus Torvalds may have damned systemd with faint praise

theOtherJT

Re: It's a phase young programmers go through

@Martin an gof

VNC is pretty hateful as an RDP protocol. RDP (if one can get over the microsoft connection) is much, much better - but getting xrdp to build under Linux is a bit of a bitch. You'll need to build X11Rdp too normally if you want decent performance (otherwise it uses a local VNC server for some reason giving you

RDP Client -> Xrdp -> VNC -> X Server

which does rather defeat the point of going to all the trouble to remove VNC from the loop.

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G20 calls for 'lawful and non-arbitrary access to available information' to fight terror

theOtherJT

I'm going to keep doing this...

...because it cannot be repeated enough. This remains possible. The content of the message isn't even important. Unless they're going to ban maths, this shit ain't going anywhere.

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2
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Microsoft drops Office 365 for biz. Now it's just Microsoft 365. Word

theOtherJT

Can anyone clarify...

...if this means that we have to buy Windows and Office together and won't be able to decouple the two? Does this also mean that we're onto a rolling subscription charge to even use Windows? I'm a little confused.

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Windows Insiders with SD cards turn into OneDrive outsiders

theOtherJT

Re: The usual abuse of language.

Yeah, variations on that particular bastard weasel phrase "To provide the best possible experience" always mean "We made this change for our own benefit and now we're going to pretend that we did it for yours". If they had an actual good technical reason, they'd have given it, not that empty marketing-speak stock phrase.

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Microsoft: We'll beef up security in Windows 10 Creators Edition Fall Update

theOtherJT

This would be the same Defender...

...that keeps identifying parts of TeXLive as malware and quarantining them, thus buggering up what is already an hour long install process?

I'm not sure I want that on my servers, if I'm honest.

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We'll drag Microsoft in front of Supremes over Irish email spat – DoJ

theOtherJT

Re: Why not start a relocate?

a pretty senior MS executive basically said they would fight it all the way to the Supreme Court, and if they lost that they would reincorporate MS elsewhere, with the US as a subsidiary, rather than lose European (and potentially Asian) markets.

I've heard similar things in meetings regarding what happens to UK companies after we leave the EU. "Follow the money" has never been more true. There's no nationalism when there's profit at stake.

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Break crypto to monitor jihadis in real time? Don't be ridiculous, say experts

theOtherJT

This again?

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oI12oxIhbD6cTZpZaTI=

Just for fun this is a little harder to decrypt. I'm sure it will take any of you that care to do so about, what, 2 minutes once I tell you that the key is the title? Seriously. GPG exists. There's no point pretending that it doesn't. It can't be un-invented.

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theOtherJT

Silva clarified that he was not in favour of "banning encryption"

Which is just as well, because one would hope that before being in favour of banning something one should understand what is is. It's pretty clear from the rest of his statement that he doesn't.

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WannaCrypt outbreak contained as hunt for masterminds kicks in

theOtherJT

Re: Shouldn't that be "have already taken steps"?

That's what makes me personally so mad about all of this. 90% of this was completely avoidable if people had just been following good security procedure. Yes, there are always going to be zero day exploits, and there are always going to be idiots that click on links in emails - but since we KNOW that's always going to be the case, people should be putting measures into place with that in fucking mind!

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Red alert! Intel patches remote execution hole that's been hidden in chips since 2010

theOtherJT

Re: Domestic HP laptop user here

Doesn't need a firewall rule. The exploit exists on the bare metal. The cpu can talk - and more importantly listen - to the network interface without the OS getting involved. This thing exists at a hardware layer effectively putting it on the other side of your firewall.

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Microsoft raises pistol, pulls the trigger on Windows 7, 8 updates for new Intel, AMD chips

theOtherJT

Re: Question

Because I have approximately 100 administrative and support staff all of whose desktops are reaching the end of their service life according to our hardware upgrade policy. That's 100 new machines to buy, and I'd really rather not have to arrange to separate them from the couple of hundred new linux desktops that are due at the same time. We've always run the same hardware across the board.

Now, why not "Just upgrade them to windows 10"? Because they'll all hate us. The support staff have absolutely no interest in changing anything at any time ever. They just want to get on and get their jobs done with everything staying the same as it has been forever. I know that's stupid, but there we go. It'll cause a massive, massive headache for IT support to bring in Windows 10. We're going to have to do it some day, sadly, because we have a ton of Windows only software that we can't realistically replace, but half that software isn't certified for Windows 10 and we've no roadmap from our suppliers as to when it might be.

Change for change sake - especially when Win7 is in LTS until 2020 - is A Bad Thing.

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Iconic Land Rover Defender may make a comeback by 2019

theOtherJT

"The Car Will Tell YOU What is wrong"

Mine bloody won't. My BMW is absolutely convinced there's nothing wrong with it. The diagnostics are all fine.

Except when they're not. The stability control light comes on, and the ABS stops working... until you go over a sharp bump and then it's fine. It's been to BMW 3 times and all they say, every time is "There's nothing wrong with it." ... well, clearly there is or the bloody light wouldn't keep coming on!

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theOtherJT

Re: Why did people like the defender?

@Dave 15

You may well be right, but I think I may also be right. One of my uncles used to work for Land Rover, and some of the things that came and went past him it's hard to imagine how they even got out of the factory. They were a mess, and it was just impossible to keep them running properly because they were fundamentally badly built to start with.

A proper modern, well managed assembly process could almost certainly fix that - and I'd love to have had a chance to drive a defender that was actually put together right - the only one I ever did drive constantly felt like it was on the verge of falling apart. (My mate who owned it insisted that that was perfectly normal, and that you just needed to hit the dash occasionally to get the lights to come on, which is why there was a large flat rock in the passenger foot well)

So, sure, I don't have a problem with that. Build the damn things better.

But once you're building them better, you still have the "how do I fix this in a field 200 miles away from the nearest source of spare parts or for that matter diagnostic tools" problem, and I'm not so sure about that one.

Landies are great to work on because they're just so primitive by today's standards. Once you have to start including all sorts electronic gubbins to get them through the emissions/safety tests, that's just a whole ton of things that when they go wrong - and every car I've ever owned has developed some sort of electrical fault at some point - they're going to be impossible to put right without a trip to a well equipped garage.

Maybe it's possible to build a car full of seat belt sensors, and anti-lock brake sensors, and fuel injection sensors and exhaust emission sensors, and engine management sensors, and be absolutely certain that all of those are just going to Keep Working (tm) but I've not seen one thus far...

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theOtherJT

Why did people like the defender?

Well, it certainly wasn't the reliability. They break down all the time.

The important point was that when they broke down - which they would - you could mend them with some string, a hammer, and a bit of swearing. They weren't bullet proof, but they were sort of idiot proof. You don't need a million quid's worth of specialist electronic tools and a degree in software engineering to work out what was wrong with one and fix it.

And I love that about them, I really do. I'm just not sure you can build a car like that any more and still get it through all the safety and emissions regulations we have now. I'd love to be proven wrong, but having an engine to which the word "tolerance" is more likely to apply to the person who has to work on the bastard thing, than to anything measured in decimal places of a millimetre just doesn't sound like something you can do these days.

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Apple's macOS is the safer choice – but not for the reason you think

theOtherJT

Re: systems that are no longer "secure" but "immune."

I don't disagree on any of those points. I just think it's important to remember that All. Software. Contains. Bugs.

Sure, you can have everything you suggest there, right up to the point someone discovers that it's possible to buffer-overflow something running entirely within the constraints that you suggest such that it pokes data into memory it doesn't own, and oh look, if I invoke the following totally legal processes in the correct order I can cycle memory usage until a target process is _using_ that block, and ooops, look who's got arbitrary code execution as the system/root user.

Obviously we should do everything we can to make sure that our platforms are as secure as possible, but to believe that they'll ever be "immune" is hubris.

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theOtherJT

systems that are no longer "secure" but "immune."

All. Software. Contains. Bugs.

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The Psion returns! Meet Gemini, the 21st century pocket computer

theOtherJT

Re: That display...

You're seriously telling me that at 5.7" diagonal you can see a problem with a 1920x960 image? I'm sat about 2 feet from a 24" display that's only 1920x1200 and it's perfectly acceptable for actually doing work on. Sure, its noticeably imperfect, but let me put it this way - some minor jaggies vs another hour or more of battery life?

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theOtherJT

Re: Oooh shiny

Looking at the video it does lift very _slighty_ due to a sort of hinge-stand thing at the back.

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theOtherJT

That display...

...is about the only thing here that's annoying me.

2880x1440? For a 5.7" display? WHY?!

I'm sorry guys but that's just pointless. There's no way I can possibly see the difference between that and one at 1920x960 on a device that size and you'd be far better served conserving the battery power than pushing pixels that are too small for my eyes to see. Frankly 1920x960 is still probably too high. I'd be perfectly happy with something in the 1440x720 sort of area for all practical purposes.

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theOtherJT

Re: I want one

Where are you getting that from? Is there a crowd-funding link somewhere I've missed?

0
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Bring it BACK... with MODs! Psion 5 storms great tech revival poll

theOtherJT

It's the keyboard.

That's what really made the 5. That keyboard was actually usable, unlike any other mobile device before or, frankly, since. If you want to be productive you need to be able to input lots of data quickly and reliably, and that's what you can do with a decent keyboard - and exactly what you can't do with a touch screen.

Yes, having a keyboard like that made it a bit big for today's fashion conscious "it'll spoil the line of my suit / won't fit in the pocket of my ball crushing skinny jeans" crowd, but it fits perfectly well in the inside pocket of a normal jacket so if what you care about is being able to work on it, not pose about with it, it's just better to have a keyboard that size.

8
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Samsung's Chromebook Pro: Overpriced vanilla PC with a stylus. 'Wow'

theOtherJT

Absolutely. If I can get debian on this thing I will almost certainly buy one. Looks like an excellent alternative to my aging zenbook.

3
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SQL Server on Linux? HELL YES! Linux on Windows 10? Meh

theOtherJT

bash on Windows...

is actually kinda useless at the moment. The problem is that as soon as you start bash on Windows, you're in a totally different environment. You even have to create a separate user for it, making it a completely disconnected experience.

You can't do a lot of things either. Windows tools to manage the OS like ipconfig don't exist there... and neither do their Linux counterparts. I'm not entirely sure what it's meant to be for.

2
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More tech companies join anti-Trump battle, but why did some pay for his inauguration?

theOtherJT

Re: This is surprising because?

You know Anon, it's much easier to take people's claims of employable value seriously when they're prepared to put their own name to them. It does sound a bit like "I've got a 10 inch dick, just don't expect me to prove it" otherwise...

12
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Netherlands reverts to hand-counted votes to quell security fears

theOtherJT

Not much point tho.

So, the machine prints a paper trail. A copy of that trail can go to the voter, but unless the voter then puts that paper copy in a box somewhere to be counted later during your sanity check, how do they know that the machine has printed the same result on the paper that is going to be recounted?

Once you're printing a paper copy and then putting it in a box, all you've done is created a really fucking expensive way of marking things on a piece of paper. Which we can already do with a pencil.

1
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theOtherJT

Brexit White Paper published: Broad strokes, light on detail

theOtherJT

Re: Let's privatise the negotiations

I'm sure they'd get a good deal for Capita...

3
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theOtherJT

Re: Words fail me

MPs serve the people, not the other way around.

I wonder then why it is that despite an overwhelming victory for remain in this constituency, my constituency MP decided not to vote that way?

I wonder further why it is that we're going to undergo a colossal constitutional change based off an informational referendum won by a margin of victory of only 2%

Possibly neither the opinion of their constituents nor their own good conscious is actually driving this one.

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theOtherJT

Re: Page 33, Chart 7.1

Edited. Good thing I'm not in charge of producing governmental papers... or possibly it wouldn't matter.

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theOtherJT

Re: Words fail me

Roll on 2019 when the whole stupid thing gets dumped, along with May and her crazy friends.

I bloody wish. This nonsense is happening regardless. 494 votes in favour 114 against? You couldn't find 114 MP's who actually wanted to do this before the referendum, but here we are and suddenly everyone's determined to stick it out regardless of the consequences.

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theOtherJT
FAIL

Page 33, Chart 7.1

They have the middle two bars the wrong way around.

I mean, it's only an official white-paper regarding the largest single change to UK law in the last 40 years. Let's not worry about getting it right, eh?

I wonder what other wonderful details will turn out to be "Mistakes"?

The budget for the NHS perhaps?

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What's the difference between you and a sea slug? When it comes to IT security, nothing

theOtherJT

Not a lot of options here.

So, it's a fact that we're wired to ignore things that are repetitious. Well, ok, that's not terribly surprising, leaving us with the task of making the things not repetitious, right?

Our options aren't good for that. We've got:

  • Lock the warning to the foreground and refuse to dismiss it, until it is acted upon in a satisfactory manner.
  • Vary the appearance of the warning every time to minimise the repetition.
  • Don't show warnings at all.

None of these are good.

1 will make people angry. Especially if there's any possibility for false positives. Not to mention the fact that most users will be incapable of following the instructions presented, even if they're 2 lines long, in big letters and don't use any words of more than 2 syllables. 2 will work for a while, but then cease to be effective anyway, and 3 is basically giving up.

What we really need to address is that users should never see security warnings, because they should be being protected by their operating environment from things going wrong in the first place. When one does appear it needs to be a surprising once-a-month-if-that sort of event.

9
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Microsoft sued by staff traumatized by child sex abuse vids stashed on OneDrive accounts

theOtherJT

Re: For all you you screaming "Muh Privacy"

Onedrive is built into Windows 10 and Office and made the default location.

And that was but one of many straws that broke the dromedary for me. I might be stuck with the damn thing at work, but that's work's problem. I've made my objections clear and have been over-ruled, so... fine. That's the way things are. I presume our legal people will have to deal with the compatibility between that and our data protection obligations one day.

I'm not putting up with it on any hardware I own.

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

theOtherJT

How impartial are the regulators?

...or "regulator", as it seems that there's only one that's on the approved list here.

This to me seems to be the real nub of this question. If everyone's happy that impress is a genuinely impartial body then I don't see that there's a problem here - the rule does what it's nominally intended to do and provides a route for those of little means to take on the press.

Of course if that regulator is in the pocket of people who intend to use it to silence criticism of them and their business/political/criminal* dealings then we have a massive fucking problem here.

I'd be happy to write to write and object to this, if I had an answer to that question and I thought it was appropriate, but with only slightly more than an hour to go I don't feel that it's possible that I can make that determination with any degree of confidence.

*often hard to tell the difference, I know

2
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I was a robot and this is what I learned

theOtherJT

Fascinating read.

Do you think the problems you encountered were more technological (the machine not being fast/manoeuvrable/tall enough to keep up) or human (people being dicks because you're "just a robot") and if the problem was more down to people being, shall we say, unhelpful, do you think they'd be less likely to be discourteous to the thing if it were faster/more manoeuvrable/more imposing rather than looking somewhat like someone had glued a circa 2005 LCD monitor to an upright vacuum cleaner?

3
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US Supreme Court slashes Samsung's patent payout to Apple

theOtherJT

I still can't grasp...

...how the hell this ever made it to an appeals court.

The first judge to ever hear this case should have invalidated the patent for being utterly and obviously trivial, fined the both of them for wasting the courts time, and put a stop to all this shit before it got rolling.

2
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UK NHS 850k Reply-all email fail: State health service blames Accenture

theOtherJT

How does this sort of thing happen?

We don't use Exchange, so possibly I'm missing some exchangy concepts here but as I understand it someone foolishly sent out a mail to a ton of people on a list that probably shouldn't have existed in the first place.

Some of those people replied to that email - which, instead of being immediately sent back with an auto reply along the lines of "This address belongs to a mailing list daemon. If you wish to send email to this list, please email $LISTSENDADDRESS" was taken as an instruction to the mailer daemon to send that message to everyone on that particular list - which already feels like a pretty massive configuration cockup right there, but ok, that happened.

Even assuming that you made the mistake of having the reply-to being the send-out address, why then did every single one of these emails not get the next line of "Your message to this list requires approval. Please wait for this message to be approved by a list administrator" which should always be the case for lists that can hit tens of thousands of people for precisely this reason, and then sit in the mailer's approval queue?

Then - even assuming that THAT was allowed to happen for some reason, why doesn't the list daemon go "Holy shit, my queue is suddenly full of tens of thousands of messages, that's never happened before. I'd better rate limit those bastards and email my owner to warn them that something weird is happening." at which point it drip feeds messages out a few hundred at a time until someone comes along and tells it that it's OK, no one's account has been compromised and you're not being co-opted into some massive bulk spamming campaign, we really did mean to email the entire organisation.

Feels like a lot of config level school-boy errors had to be made to allow this to happen in the first place.

0
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Whoosh! China shows off J-20 'stealth' fighters and jet drones

theOtherJT

Re: Human waves

Zerg rushing. Coming soon to a real battlefield near you?

1
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Adobe emits emergency patch for Flash hole malware is exploiting right this minute

theOtherJT

Whist simultaneously making updating it harder...

This coming as it does a few weeks after Adobe pulled the "offline" flash installer from their downloads page and force you to apply for a "Distribution licence" to get it back. This application being a manual process where you fill in a form and they promise to email you back letting you know if your application has been successful, and then go silent.

3
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Internet of Things botnets: You ain’t seen nothing yet

theOtherJT

Re: telnet?

What's really the difference between HTTPing to port 80 and Telnetting to it?

I agree, up to a point, but you shouldn't be allowed to do that either. It ought to be https on 443 and the only thing it will present you with there is a login page.

I get why it wants a "non web" port open, so it can take commands from things that script automation, but if you're going to do that then there ought to be key exchange first.

1
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theOtherJT

telnet?

Seriously, this needs shooting in the head now. There's no reason for _anything_ to be using telnet these days, there really isn't.

That said, I actually had quite a bit of fun this weekend turning one of my friends's living room light on and off with my phone - rather to her annoyance - because the amazing wireless IoT lightbulb she'd acquired from somewhere was listening on port 23.

I mean, ok, I was already on her wifi so I didn't have to vault that particular hurdle to get at it, but why the HELL was it accepting anonymous connections at all?

18
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Astronauts on long-haul space flights risk getting 'space brains'

theOtherJT

Re: "...Earth’s magnetosphere deflected harmful radiation particles away."

I don't think their point is that this makes space travel impossible, but more that we really need to take seriously the requirement to do just what you suggest - which is not easy*, especially when you're in an energy constrained environment like a space ship. A magnetic field strong enough to deflect cosmic radiation from around the ship would presumably have a significant power requirement.

* Although possibly easier than coating the thing in a few feet of lead, given how much effort it takes to put heavy things in orbit.

1
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Microsoft warns Windows security fix may break network shares

theOtherJT

Re: Give them a break

Please tell me that's a thing that actually happened and link me to somewhere I can read about it. I could use a good laugh this morning.

1
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USB-C is now wired for sound, just like Sir Cliff Richard

theOtherJT

I don't have digital ears...

At some point we're going to have to turn this signal into something analogue for the purposes of moving some air about. I really don't get this obsession with trying to make a digital headphone connector.

3
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Hello, Star Trek? 25th Century here: It's time to move on

theOtherJT

Re: I have a speech...

Contemporary philosophy seems to be simply that there's nothing you can't solve with a big enough hammer

Well, you know the saying. "When all you have is a hammer..."

I think that was one of the most important things that Star Trek did. It convinced - if not actually millions certainly a very large number of thousands - of young people who watched it that we could, if we tried, have things that weren't hammers; and that having things that were not hammers was in fact beneficial.

14
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theOtherJT

I have a speech...

...that occasionally comes out when I'm a bit drunk about why the world badly needs Star Trek.

I genuinely believe that it does. Not just Star Trek either, but all the optimistic forward looking scifi that I used to watch across the kitchen table at dinner time in the 80s and early 90s - that itself so often a rerun of 60s or 70s stuff.

It was a little ray of light in the world. The present was bleak, but the future - in the future we could be better than we are. The world could be better than it really is if only we worked for it.

I don't really consider myself a "Fan". I'm not the sort of person who dresses up as a vulcan or even goes to conventions. I don't have a list of favourite episodes, I certainly couldn't _name_ any - but I have seen them all. Every episode of every season of every incarnation. Whilst a lot of them were pretty bad, over all, the message was good.

The future can be better than the present.

We can put all this pettiness behind us and go to the stars.

It will be - and should be - hard.

When I was a kid I sat down and watched good triumph over evil in epic space battles. I enjoyed the (now rather cheesy) effects, and the space ships, and things that went "Wooosh" - all that was great because I was a kid. What I didn't realise then, was that I was being subtly influenced to believe that it was possible for good to win - and most often by diplomacy and understanding, not just by superior military force. I was being taught that there is room for more than one idea. That we need to try and understand other cultures and social values - even if we can't embrace them. That there is such a thing as right and wrong and we should always stand up for what we know to be right. Very subtly I was being made a better person.

We live in particularly troubled times again it seems. So many issues from the 60s remain unresolved. So many new ones have arisen. It would be good for us to have Star Trek back, because I think there's a whole new generation of kids who need to be taught what I was taught.

I've seen very little of that in the new movies. I really hope the TV show can bring some of it back.

79
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Latest Intel, AMD chips will only run Windows 10 ... and Linux, BSD, OS X

theOtherJT

386, 486, good grief! Why on Earth are you keeping that junk? Let me guess...you keep using the same toothbrush until the last scraggly tuft falls out.

Because you find various perfectly servicable industrial machines that have an integrated controller with early 3/486 cpus in them. Nothing wrong with the machine, but you can't update the software any more, and you can't change the controlling machine because it uses some weird proprietary hardware so what to do? If you can put Linux on it chances are you can hack together some working control code, which is a damn sight easier than trying to work out how to get a modern PC to talk to whatever the hell it is.

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