* Posts by Nick Kew

1974 posts • joined 16 Jan 2007

Analysts slash Ultrabook sales estimate by over 50%

Nick Kew Silver badge

Come on, let's have a real advance ...

I'd buy a machine that size and shape like a shot, if it had E-ink screen, ARM processor, and really sensible battery life.

Texas Instruments: Screw smartphones, put our chips in the dishwasher

Nick Kew Silver badge

Is there a story?

Hang on! When were TI ever more than an also-ran in sexy devices like smartphones/tablets?

If it had been Qualcomm or NVidia reporting being squeezed by Apple and Samsung, that would be a story! And it would speak of a changing field: one which a player like Intel might (try to) enter on equal terms.

But AFAICS it wasn't, and it doesn't.

SHA-3 hash finalist Schneier calls for halt in crypto contest

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If it ain't broke ...

... fix it, until it is.

Scientists: 'Castration is the key to a longer life'

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Someone's got to say it

Do you really live longer, or does it just feel like it?

Did noone think to ask Methuselah?

Apache man disables Internet Explorer 10 privacy setting

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Re: Misinformation

@Alasdair Russell - since there's no code involved, any talk of a code freeze is a red herring.

If you want to know about code freezes at apache, you can check the development mailinglist (where you'll see it doesn't work that way).

Nick Kew Silver badge

Re: Default ON

"The server doesn't know and cannot know."

The server absolutely does know. If it cares, which mine (among many) doesn't.

DNT: [anything] - someone explicitly set it

No DNT header, default behaviour, noone set it.

And of course, noone has committed a code patch to apache.

Nick Kew Silver badge

Re: Misinformation

@jimc, true but not in the least relevant. Your comment is still premised on the misinformation that he's changed the apache code.

Nick Kew Silver badge

Re: IE10 patch to follow

"Or.....why doesn't somebody, anybody, just make a browser that actually refuses to store or pass any tracking information at to a web site unless it is part of an approved cookie interchange - is that really so hard to do?"

Nope, not hard at all. In fact it's been standard since sometime last century though some implementations (e.g. early Firefox versions) have had their own problems. But it's a browser option: accept or reject third-party cookies.

It's a shame that's not all that's involved. The real crap is things like (paraphrasing HTML syntax):

<img size=0 src=tracking url>

or of course equivalent tricks with other elements like object, iframe, etc. The key point is that the tracking URL is at the site that sets cookies and supplies data to advertisers.

Nick Kew Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Anyone can undo the change

You're much closer to the truth than the article's author, or most of the commentators. Indeed, if the purpose of Fielding's apache change was as everyone (including you) assumes, you'd be spot-on.

Your speculation is insightful too: a server upgrade isn't going to mess with your config (that would indeed make every upgrade a headache for every sysop).

Nick Kew Silver badge
FAIL

Misinformation

Both this article and ALL the comments[1] above are based on misinformation.

>>> "Fielding has updated the code of millions of servers"

He has done no such thing! So far as we know, he hasn't updated the code of a single server in respect of DNT.

If the peanut gallery cared about it, they could raise the matter on Apache's mailinglists, where discussion of all aspects of apache are welcome.

I'm not bothered either way about "DNT" (FWIW I have no problem with harmless ads, but will automatically block anything that moves/animates - noscript is more helpful than adblock).

[1] Unless I've missed something, which is entirely possible.

Publishers pony up $69m in ebook price-fixing settlement

Nick Kew Silver badge

@Andy ORourke

Isn't it just VAT that pushes up the price of e-books above the paper versions?

The tax on being too poor to have the physical space for a paper-book library.

Assange's fate to be revealed at high noon

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Black Helicopters

Legal basis?

The legal basis is cited as a law passed in 1987.

Hmm, what might 1987 legislation have been targeting? Could it be the incident when a London policewoman (Yvonne Fletcher) was shot dead from inside the Libyan embassy? That kind of incident could indeed merit some kind of extraordinary action.

Does that mean Mr Assange is armed and so dangerous as to pose a live threat, AND has the collusion of the Embassy? Or is the government threatening blatant abuse of this extraordinary legislation?

Samsung: We NEVER sniffed around RIM... or BlackBerry licence

Nick Kew Silver badge

Pump and dump?

A rumour of Samsung gold pushes RIM shares up. Who benefits?

Does this raise the possibility that the analyst in question was, if not involved in something shady, then perhaps being used by someone with a big stake, feeding him elaborate misinformation?

Though I wouldn't rule out a bidder for RIM. No idea about Samsung, but I wonder if, say, Oracle or IBM would see value in integrating Blackberry's business services and customer base into their own?

Shock ZOMBIE attack could kill off Nokia's 3G phones

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Re: Patently crazy

Nice idea, but the US is too important a market to get locked out of by pirates. Look at NTP vs RIM: the case that may well have turned the latter from a leading-edge innovator to something besuited and unable to maintain its lead.

Nick Kew Silver badge

Re: Nokia/Symbian? Pining for the fjords?

Nokia/symbian ain't dead until someone produces an alternative phone as good as the E71.

True, the software leaves something to be desired (mostly in the clumsiness of switching between apps, which is crap). But no iphone/android even comes close in physical construction/build/ergonomic quality.

India crowned global spam-spewing zombie king AGAIN

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Re: India??

Yep. The US has always topped the table, though a breakdown of their states would be interesting given that a few are spam-havens while others have decent anti-spam laws.

India doesn't even appear in Spamhaus's top ten.

Micron mass-produces Phase Change Memory

Nick Kew Silver badge

Power Consumption?

So tell us: do we know whether this will consume substantially different power compared to flash? If so, is it more or less?

Nick Kew Silver badge

Re: Is this a problem?

Looks to me like it's still not for developers. Especially with the GNU toolchain and thousands of little writes, even in a small build.

Running the toolchain on a pocket-puter (aka smartphone) but using a disc NFS-exported from the desktop for all those writes gets tedious.

WikiWin: Icelandic court orders Visa to process WikiLeaks $$$

Nick Kew Silver badge

Re: NHS (hardcore pornography, Klu Klux Klan, and online gambling sites)

"good God! Surely A&E would be the pace to go for that kind of thing?"

A&E? Isn't that for accident victims? I wouldn't have known where to find one, anyway. I wanted to get to the eye hospital, but I was in no position to find it, even if I could've got through the red tape to be seen without a GP referral.

"The somewhat harsh reality is ..."

That outcome statistics don't compare like with like.

Anecdote: an ex-colleague had a long history of dental trouble, and had had himself fixed up by a dentist every couple of years. Then his job took him to the US, so when he needed fixing he got an american dentist at a fearsome price (to his employer's insurer). The american dentist, unlike the UK ones, did a good job that lasted, so he no longer needed repeat treatment. An altogether better outcome, yet it'll show in the stats as just one successful treatment, compared to many in the UK stats.

Nick Kew Silver badge

NHS (Re: hardcore pornography, Klu Klux Klan, and online gambling sites)

"The NHS hasn't failed by any reasonable measure."

It failed me, the one time in my life I had a real medical emergency that couldn't wait. Wouldn't even give me an emergency GP appointment for sooner than two and a half weeks ahead. Which is not what you want to hear when your eyesight has faded *very suddenly* to the point where things suddenly look dark, you can't sustain reading a book for more than a couple of lines, and you're bumping into people on the pavement.

That wasn't some distant past. It was less than five years ago, in 2007. More recently I heard a report that some 70% of people who had had some medical emergency had been let down by the NHS (OK, some of those were next-of-kin where the non-patient hadn't survived).

I used to believe in the NHS until I tried to use it. Now I resent every penny of my taxes going to fund that bandwagon for the useless (and a lucky 30% of Brits with medical needs).

Nick Kew Silver badge
FAIL

Re: Noraid

Do I hear a whooshing?

"if you seriously believe the IRA blowing people up was the only thing preventing genocide in NI, I have several bridges, a tower and a tinfoil hat you might be interested in"

You and others seem to miss the point. Noraid funding a terrorist rebel movement is directly analogous to causes with which we're supposed to sympathise. Topically right now you might look at rebels in Syria throwing all they've got into escalating to provoke foreign military intervention.

More directly relevant we have UK charities like "help for heroes" presenting EXACTLY the same case as Noraid: "we're helping the casualties of conflict and their families". Perhaps top of the that pile, "combat stress", whose mission is to help any troops haunted by the terrified screams of small kiddies when the British troops beat down their door and beat up and dragged off their dad.

p.s. I've no idea who the much-downvoted anonymous coward may be. Were they just too subtle, or is El Reg a hotbed of jingoism?

Another Microsoft Windows Phone exec legs it to Amazon

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Disappointed

Saw the article title. Thought you were going to report a rumour of a phone with e-ink screen.

Anonymous hack hands WikiLeaks TWO MILLION Syrian emails

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Gay Girl?

What's the betting much of the material comes from sources like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amina_Abdallah_Arraf_al_Omari

Apple faces Italian shutdown over warranty skulduggery

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Re: Meanwhile, over at Dell Italia...

On-site support is a genuine extra.

At least if they honour the deal. I've had mixed experiences with Dell, but the most recent (and the only one this century) was so horrendous it'll be the last.

Nick Kew Silver badge

Thank you Italy

Good to hear someone is prepared to take a stand.

Have they also addressed the power cord issue previously reported by El Reg at http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/11/10/apple_magsafe_replacement/ ?

Texan team paints batteries onto beer steins

Nick Kew Silver badge

The pee-powered car?

Was it El Reg where the notion of a pee-powered car was discussed a few years back? This is surely the same principle, albeit more realistic with the scaled-back ambition!

Apple wins US ban on Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1

Nick Kew Silver badge
Holmes

A non-US company

Once again, a US court exercises economic imperialism by finding for a US company against a foreign one.

Was my comment a couple of days ago when the reg reported Apple-vs-Motorola prescient, or what?

http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2012/06/24/posner_skewers_apple_and_motorola/#c_1452561

Posner to Apple, Motorola: 'And don’t come back'

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Re: Two US companies

Well, well ... what did I just say?

When one of the companies is Samsung, the result is indeed different as reported today at http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/06/27/apple_wins_tab_ban/

Nick Kew Silver badge

Two US companies

I wonder whether the outcome would've been nothing for anyone if one of the parties had been a non-US company?

With a sufficiently no-nonsense judge like this one it's perhaps unlikely to make a difference (and I wonder if SCO might've been resolved a lot quicker if he'd been presiding?) But more generally when one of the parties is foreign, a travesty of justice like NTP vs RIM seems more than likely.

Samsung offers cool green RAM for the same cold hard greenbacks

Nick Kew Silver badge

This goes on the shopping list!

Sounds like a really worthwhile improvement. It can go on the wishlist for my next 'puter, along with ARM processor, E-Ink screen et al.

Chick-lit naughty girl MP Mensch starts own web-jabber service

Nick Kew Silver badge

Catching up?

Doesn't every Comp.Sci student since the birth of the Web hack up something like that? It's kind-of how I got started in Web development in 1995: although I wasn't a student, it was the same learning exercise.

What should Oracle do with Sun

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Basis of calculation?

Erm, why is this comment page seemingly detached from the story that points to it at http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/06/20/oracle_sun_revenues/ ?

Your basis for calculation splits hardware revenues into two categories. What do IBM's, HP's or any other vendors figures look like if you apply the same split to hardware sales in competition with Sunacle?

So you wanna be a Wall Street techie? Or anyway, get paid a lot

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MeToo

The Cambridge part, that is. I did maths there, back in the days when computers were for people a lot richer than students.

Every time I hear that story about the interviews, I worry about my memory: how could I have so completely forgotten such a thing? Is that Urban Myth I smell?

Fatties are 'destroying the world'

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Re: Lunatics

I guess you missed that part of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, where they discover the truth about our ancestors ...

Nokia after the purge: It's so unfair

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Re: N900

Yep. maemo was good, the N900 wasn't (and isn't). But there was quite a buzz, around the time it was released: I recollect it as a true Hot Topic at FOSDEM. Dumping maemo for meego effectively ceded the whole of that market to the Androids. Hindsight not required: it was perfectly clear at the time.

Nick Kew Silver badge

If only ...

The E71 was a wonderful phone, and I understand the E72 was much the same. But whither that line now?

My E71 recently died (drowned in a lot of water). Can I replace it with a decent update? The E5 is far from a worthy replacement, while the E6 is one helluva price for an OS that's being orphaned (and noone wants to stock or sell them). Ugh.

It says something that the E71 is more expensive now than when I bought it three and a half years ago. Back then Nokia were keen to sell me a superb phone. Now they don't even seem to be making an effort.

Budget smartphones all the rage as punters look sub-£100

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Re: @old Nokia users

I want to buy a new Nokia right now: my three-and-a-half-year-old E71 just drowned, a victim of the weather, and my bag unexpectedly letting in a lot of water but not letting it out as fast.

Can I buy a successor to the E71? No-one offers or stocks its nominal successor, the E6. Do I really want to pay £350 and have a long wait while a supplier sources it, when Nokia tells us Symbian is an orphan line? I'm thinking about it, but with gritted teeth: it's not at all like the E71 which cost a lot less and wasn't at the time an orphan, making it a no-brainer. Back then Nokia sold superb (among other) phones, today it seems to have lost interest.

It's only the lack of alternatives that would now drive me to that E6. The only alternative qwerty keyboard that can hold a candle to it is the blackberry bold, and I certainly don't want something that size regularly cluttering my pocket! The cheaper Nokia E5 is also too fat, like the wallet that gets uncomfortable in the pocket if carrying train or bus tickets.

Skype launches in-call ads

Nick Kew Silver badge

Demographic targeting?

I wonder if they might target this a little bit. To take the most obvious example, spare Linux users the crap on the grounds that they might expect Linux users to have a much lower tolerance of crap before we switch to an alternative, compared to windows users?

Thief open-sources Richard Stallman's laptop, passport, visa

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Facepalm

Re: Can we at least be a little bit smug?

RMS has a long and distinguished history of doing. Much longer than Linus's. RMS in the early days did more than anyone to persuade the world free software could mean something other than useless crap on a floppy attached to a magazine.

Dammit, have I been trolled?

Nick Kew Silver badge

Different culture

The only person to have told me in unprompted email that he has a 'pirate' copy of my book is an Argentine. Coincidence?

(though to be fair, he is also a bona fide developer of open source software and has evidently made good use of the book in that work).

Vodafone and O2 to merge mobile networks

Nick Kew Silver badge

Not before time!

For each telco to maintain separate infrastructure is ... like having separate road networks for customers of Ford vs Honda vs VW. Lots of duplication of those masts everyone loves, among other things.

Thank you O2 and Vod for belatedly getting your acts together.

Biz law reform: Bad news for lawyers, good news for hippies

Nick Kew Silver badge
WTF?

Copyright was already 70 years from death

... at least for some artistic works. Last year I was setting a number of poems to music, and wanted to include one by Dylan Thomas. He died in 1953 and has no descendents. But his copyright is owned by a ***** of lawyers, who told me I'd have to pay them:

- an administrative fee (OK, I could accept that)

- 50% of all royalties and performance fees I might earn (good grief!)

And worst of all, accept restrictions on where/how I could publish my work, and withdraw it completely within ten years (what???)

Conclusion: more than half a century after the poet's death, copyright is still preventing his work being creatively used. Absurd by any rational standard!

Ten... Qwerty mobiles

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Thumb Down

No mention of things that matter?

Scarcely any mention of battery life: which phones need recharging every day vs ones you can forget for the week.

And while you tell us which you find to have the better or worse keys, how about something on the comfort (or otherwise) of holding it in the hand while either typing or holding it to the ear? That's what ruled out the rather-big-to-hold-comfortably blackberries of the day when I bought my beloved Nokia E71.

Mobile net filters block legit content too – campaign group

Nick Kew Silver badge
WTF?

Cart. Horse.

What's the use of efficient ways for a website operator to 'opt out' or to check whether blocked, when (s)he probably has no reason to suppose there's anything to opt out of or to check in the first place?

Someone operating an 'adult' website or a website specifically for children might be aware of such filters and the risk of being blocked. Though having said that, when I was webmaster for a site aimed at high schools back in 1998, it certainly wasn't on my agenda to check block lists in my own country, let alone in every country (and language) participating in the project!

Someone whose subject is completely neutral - from a hobby site about railways/coffee/football/my-town right up to a household name like tesco, john lewis or even google - typically has no reason to check, or even to know there was anything to be checked!

Disabled can't 'Go Compare' on price comparison websites

Nick Kew Silver badge

A related El Reg story - court rules there was discrimination: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/01/25/computer_based_exam_discriminated_against_blind_candidate/

Internationally the first celebrated case was the Sydney Olympics website, whose operators had to pay up for gratuitously excluding a blind reader.

The web is accessible by design. In general it takes a lot more work to break that design and make a site inaccessible than to get it right, though there are a few cases where the laziest approach is not the best (alt being the most obvious).

There are tools to help web developers evaluate accessibility (I've written some of them, as well as served with W3C as Invited Expert on the subject). What's lacking is any kind of budget for them: I had to abandon that work when the money ran out, so my tools are looking a bit dated in the era of HTML5.

At last! A use for Blighty's phone-boxes: Free Wi-Fi hotspots

Nick Kew Silver badge

Don't knock the old phone boxes!

When your landline dies, how are you going to get in contact with BT to get them to come and fix it? It's a bootstrap problem: dialing 100 on a mobile won't get you BT's operator; from a phone box it will. As I discovered a couple of years back, there are still things for which a phone box is best!

And they don't even stink of smoke any more!

Nympho hauled to loon-cooler after serial bonkathon brutality

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Coat

The christians had a phrase for this

Stipendium peccati mors est.

Brits have Death by Chocolate. Bavarians evidently do it differently!

Boy wrecks £22k worth of MacBooks by weeing on them

Nick Kew Silver badge

Oh dear

Apple quality must've taken a turn for the worse since a friend fell in the (saltwater) harbour in Amsterdam while carrying his macbook, and got it back to working after carefully drying it out.

Cloud Foundry aiming to be 'the Linux of the cloud'

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WTF?

Linux ...

And there was me thinking Linux was the Linux of the cloud!

Apple relents, doubles EU warranty (sort of)

Nick Kew Silver badge

Power Cables

So, will they now replace old-style power cables that fray away over time, as in the US?

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