* Posts by dubious

39 posts • joined 20 Nov 2013

Microsoft: Like the Borg, we want to absorb all the world's biz computers

dubious

target?

Who's this aimed at? Even without sms/sccm, with pxe bootable re-imaging, GPOs, roaming desktops, and folder re-direction, I've never found managing hundreds of desktops to be what me or my team ever spent significant time on anyway.

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Official: Google Chrome 69 kills off the World Wide Web (in URLs)

dubious

Re: Reg

It's an irrellevant annoyance that Google insists on using in [whatever Google Now Cards Are Called This Week] as far as I can tell.

Amp pages are so slow to load on my mobile that I can normally edit the amp out of the URL before the page has loaded and get to the proper site very quicky. And which inevitably works just fine anyway. And includes all the content as the site designer intended. (not always a good thing.)

Used to infuriate me but then some kind soul made https://addons.mozilla.org/en-GB/firefox/addon/amp2html/ and I can carry on blissfully unaware of amp for a bit longer.

Come on elReg, do the right thing and dump amp instead of just bitching about it.

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dubious

Re: A question

I'd assume they'll do the same annoying thing they did when they last started hiding bits of the URL such as 'http[s]' which was that when you copied the host bit of the URL to paste into a shell window they'd "helpfully" add the invisible protocol bit back and you'd find yourself trying to, say, ssh into "https://example.com/"... Genius.

Ditched Chrome after a bug report for this crappy protocol and path hiding of essentially 'this is v.stupid and at a minimum please for the love of Dog have a flag to disable it' was closed with wontFix and an arrogant retort from the Chrome devs.

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London's Gatwick Airport flies back to the future as screens fail

dubious

Re: 4G

I'd suspect that what they really should have done was run the screens off a pair of on-site servers preferably split over server rooms at opposite ends of the airport, but CxOs don't get lauded for not racing to (public) cloud.

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Phased out: IT architect plugs hole in clean-freak admin's wiring design

dubious

Re: Bad power setups

We once had just moved to a temporary site using a particular building for the main servers because that was where the previous occupants had their server room, and it had a genset.

Shortly after moving, one evening I get a call from my guy covering the late shift that there was a power outage, and although miraculously the vintage generator managed to start itself, both UPSes were screaming about not getting a feed. He'd done all he could reasonably do, including manually switching over to the generator feed, but no joy.

When I get on site I'm met by my guy looking a little sheepish and a strong smell of burning. Turns out that whatever the previous inhabitants had considered valuable enough to provide generator power to, the server room wasn't one of them. The single plug at the photocopier station just up the hall, though...

Bless his heart, but he'd strung together 4 or so extension cables and evicted the Xerox.

Red hot cables, an exciting scorch mark all along and up over the hall walls, and a smoking and now eternally dead socket, plus the knowledge that perhaps the fire alarm should be re-tested but by someone competent this time.

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Architects? Power-hungry GPU fiends? HP has something for you

dubious
Joke

desktops in a rack?

Why would you want to jam 56 PCs into a rack?

You'd never fit people's desks around it for a start.

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British Airways' latest Total Inability To Support Upwardness of Planes* caused by Amadeus system outage

dubious

outsourcing

It seems properly odd that a company the size of IAG, especially if you get their 20-25% owners Qatar Airways on-board too, would outsource something so critical to their operation and reputation. The licensing bill must surely be fearsome.

But what do I know, my clothing sense is as deeply unfashionable as in-house IS is in this era of perpetually renting some cloudy 3rd party webservice saas bollocks.

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Tech support made the news after bomb squad and police showed up to 'defuse' leaky UPS

dubious

upsea are evil

Once upon a time in Bahrain yours truely was helping service a large UPS. This included replacing the 4 large shelves of large batteries while the DC was fed through the much smaller backup UPS.

We were just 3/4 of the way through when there was a national power outage. The backup UPS kept the critical systems up, but it would only hold for 15 mins.

Picture 3 guys in close proximity desperately attempting to connect up the last load of huge 48V batteries, on earthed metal shelves, in a tight space, with no AC, no air circulation, a weak emergency light, and +40C outside air temperature. Humid as hell, and with every surface at nice cool DC temperature, heavy condensation was everywhere. On us, running down the walls, and... on the rubber-coated handles of our electrical spanners...

So many shocks.

So many.

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UK.gov's shift to AWS: It's squeaky-bum time for small cloud pushers

dubious

"He noted that the Home Office still hasn't moved to Office 365 four years after the strategy was laid out."

That's a good thing, surely?

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Flight Simulator's DRM fighter nosedives into Chrome's cache

dubious

Re: They are probably Android developers as well

It is concerning how much data apps can extract, either directly or as part of the analytics framework, without triggering a request for permission.

Don't use Android without xposed+xprivacy!

I don't suppose it is any different with ios though?

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Why aren't you being arbiters of truth? MPs scream at Facebook, YouTube, Twitter

dubious

truth

MPs complaining about truth and lying? I am old enough to remember the good old days when, if an MP was caught in a lie, they immediately resigned and were never seen from again.

Good times.

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Twilight of the idols: The only philosophy HPE and IBM do these days is with an axe

dubious

Every time they cut staff, reduce executive pay/compensation by at least the same %.

Unfortunately their pay is already so out of wack compared to most people, they might not notice.

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IT 'heroes' saved Maersk from NotPetya with ten-day reinstallation bliz

dubious

Good job guys.

Don't get company values such as 'uprightness', and 'humbleness' at many other places.

I'd left the Big M group years before this, but we were well into a outsourcing and centralisation program, pushing lots jobs to India. Despite it being as unpopular with the users as these things always are, we went full steam ahead on Helldesk and desktop support, but the plans went much further. We were pushed to an expensive US company for HP-UX, Oracle, and Navis for example, which didn't seem particularly smart since Maersk had plenty of domain knowledge and was big enough to support centralised internal teams. Can't say they didn't know their stuff though.

There was also talk of centralising port infrastructure until the speed, cost, and reliability of Internet/IPLCs in many locations was brought up.

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Why does no one want to invest in full fibre broadband, wails UK.gov

dubious

Yes the roll-out of fibre is expensive, but chances are once you've got a fibre to each house, that's pretty much all the cabinet/prem network investment you need for the next 20* years (copper has lasted +100 years after all). Amortised over that sort of time frame it really shouldn't affect bills. Unfortunately publicly listed companies rarely withstand shareholder pressure for short term profits, so strategic planning has become something of a rarity in large Western businesses.

Maybe I'm just salty that you can get pukka FTTP up in darkest Malham, yet the current place I am staying at while over here is 10 miles outside Reading, supposedly a UK IT hub, and I have the indescribable pleasure of 4M ADSL that drops packets like a meth dealer high on their own product when it's windy or raining... I'd say it's like going to a 3rd world country, except many of them have better Internet access than this.

* Maybe swap out transceivers now and again, maybe switchout PON for AON, but we're always told running the cable is the actual expensive bit.

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Thou shalt use our drone app, UK.gov to tell quadcopter pilots

dubious

Re: Could they perhaps...

'Miniature' one and two way ADSB transceivers are already available which would enable your multirotor to participate in TCAS avoidance, but they are of the $2k region, eat power, and aren't really miniature enough for smaller than 450 class craft. The sort of proximity flying your typical 150-250 class is doing is not going to interfere with aircraft in any case, so it would just be dead weight and something else to break in a crash!

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Oh lordy, WD just SCHOOLED Seagate in running a disk drive biz

dubious

Have found WD enterprise drives to not be especially reliable (5/6 dead in 4 years), and the warrenty not worth the effort - apparently no-one buys drives in one country then moves to a different one.

Not as bad as the Seagates before that, and 4 of them had the decency to fire of smart alerts a short while before dying.

Really hoping they don't fuck up HGST with the 'integration'.

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Republicans want IT bloke to take fall for Clinton email brouhaha

dubious
Headmaster

I thought it was standard practise for US government officials to have multiple opaque email accounts and even off-site accounts for the purposes of attempting to avoid the records act?

In my opinion, each government office should have a published address and official business should be directed there rather than to the individual, whatever fake name they're using for their current email.

We also need to crack down on officials claiming not to use email, as first that is ridiculous in this day and age, and secondly a strong pointer that they're up to no good if they're trying to keep stuff off the official record.

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Now UK bans carry-on lappies, phones, slabs on flights from six nations amid bomb fears

dubious
Holmes

2 flight tiers

Maybe they could introduce two tiers of flights and have them active on alternate flights. One for the fearful where you can only fly with your passport and boarding card, and another where you can fly with what we used to, such as a laptop and a bottle of pop.

Let The Market Decide - that's the Republican way, right?

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Brit smart streetlight bods Telensa named 'global market leader'

dubious

Re: speeding fines

But that's just it, the speed you can go on a particular bit of road is already variable. The posted limit, which used to be set at the 95th percentile of best case, is the _maximum_.

If it is rainy, or foggy, or kicking out time at the school, you probably should not be at say the 50 limit that stretch of road otherwise warrants. Unfortunately there are many retards and unobservant drivers around who can't or won't drive to the conditions. This leads to situations where we have limits being artificially reduced on broad swathes of road, just to cope with one slightly tight bend near one end, and ultimately to generally slower and slower limits being imposed.

This in turn leads to devaluing the lower limits, driver resentment of said low speed limits, and then more 'speeding' because people drive to the perceived risk of the bit of road they are on.

The better action is to engineer that bit of road so that the speed the majority of people would drive below is safe rather than attempt to force lower limits. If you want engage drivers in slowing themselves down, you need to have road engineers redesign the road so drivers believe it to be riskier. For instance, planting trees down the edge of the road leads to a significant decrease in driver speeds, as do things like pedestrian refuges in the centre of the road.

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Sony: Get out Comedy Central, MTV – we've built a wall around Vue, the greatest wall ever

dubious
Angel

Yay cloud.

Oh, look, an online service provider that unilaterally changed the terms and capabilities of its service with no consultation or interaction with its consumers.

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Now you can be tracked online by your email addy. Thanks, Google!

dubious

Addy?

I didn't know anyone over the age of 14 used "email addy" for "email address". Next you'll be telling me you also use "mobe" instead of "mobile"!..

<shudder>

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How much of one year's Californian energy use would wipe out the drought?

dubious
Boffin

thermal de-sal

If you already have thermal power stations, then even after the 2nd or 3rd stage turbines the steam still has heat to help boil off seawater, and as you need to cool the steam off anyway the combined power and water plant can work out cheaper overall than RO.

Combine that with using TSE for agriculture and city planting irrigation.

The nice thing about TSE is that as the city grows, you get more of it. You can see this in action in Oman where the trees along the side of the highways reach further out of town every year.

The ME's municipal planting is almost exclusively watered with TSE, since they have a decent amount of it and Islam apparently has some restrictions against using it for crops (I have been told).

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Windows 10 Start menu replacements shifting like hot cakes

dubious
Black Helicopters

Microsoft doesn't need to ask users any more - the amount of telemetry and spying Windows 10 does obviates it!

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No, Microsoft: Your one-billion Windows 10 goal is just sad ... really sad

dubious
Thumb Down

Re: Haters gon' hate

You've had no problems with Win10? Seems unlikely!

Guess you haven't changed your wi-fi PSK yet, or used Edge to go to youtube.com/tv, or tried to select all emails in a folder, or tried dragging a window between monitors without moving it at 1,000kph, or set the system sounds to a lower volume and rebooted? etc., etc. Admittedly, I've hit nothing really show-stopping, but it looks like a perfect example of Agile development done wrong.

Also, I dunno about you, but I'm getting snowblindness from all the white. No themes, no dark colour schemes, no user colour schemes, removal of keyboard shortcuts and most right click actions. It's getting to be as annoying to use as OSX, and even Apple started to use the right button a few years back.

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MORE Windows 10 bugs! Too many Start menu apps BREAK it

dubious
Coat

Re: what's the point in having it available if it's not a good idea to use it?

Nah, releasing buggy crud is how the Agile development methodology works!

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Five data centres you can't live without

dubious

would this be AWS's Dublin Facility 2?

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.4003902,-6.2200976,396m/data=!3m1!1e3

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dubious
Boffin

with dry air you also start to run into issues with static electricity.

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We tried using Windows 10 for real work and ... oh, the horror

dubious

Re: Useful review

Everything is not really blue, it's an optical illusion with there being so much white.

Win 10's so overwhelmingly white, only an anti-Desiato is going to feel comfortable using it.

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Thinking of adding an SSD for SUPREME speed? Read this

dubious
WTF?

The important question to ask when buying flash-based storage is what happens when the spare area is used up.

Intel rather obnoxiously brick the drive ensuring that data recovery is impossible. Why they wouldn't fail to read-only I don't know. At least that way you could recover any data off the thing.

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DWARF PLANET Ceres beams back SUNNY north pole FROWN

dubious
Flame

Hope they're careful - we don't want to wake the Inhibitors.

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No Santa, no Irish boozers and no regrets: life in Qatar

dubious
Thumb Up

Re: Driving...

While Doha's driving is atrocious it is also quite liberating. My inner knobhead would be in heaven if I was an Audi driver!

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dubious

Doha is more conservative than Bahrain, and probably close to the UAE, except you don't notice in Dubai because there are only 50 Emeratis in the whole city. Think of it as Dubai 10 years ago - basically half building site with new and exciting unannounced diversions and road closures every week.

The highways agency equivalent, actually the whole of Qatar government, has not grasped this concept of letting people know about things in plenty of time so they can plan. This, the bad driving and the Middle East's fetish for grouping things like schools and industry together (Bahrain goes a bit meta and has 5 malls within 2km), make for some most excellent traffic jams. Live close to work if you can, although you then run into high rents because of Qatar's "shortage of office and residential space". Patently nonsense of course - the 30 floor tower next to my office has been finished and empty for over 2 years, and two residential towers nearby are only 1/3 full since the locals would rather have them empty than drop prices.

Other downsides include deeply prevalent racism, a visa system that slaves you to your employer, bureaucracy elevated to an art form possibly because government jobs are essentially the social security system. The Ministry of Skhoolz is mental and the schools are wildly oversubscribed so stay away if you have kids. There is also the chance of being flattened by a land cruiser or dying of some unspeakable lung disease caused by the dusty air. The legislature and judicial system here is bollocks, and you will get a raw deal if you ever get caught up in it (never got that feeling in Bahrain or Oman). Accept that everything in Qatar is set up to cheerfully rip expats off, which I would probably have done if the tables were reversed. Car parts and electronics at 150-200% US price type rip-off. It's like they don't know we have the (generally too expensive) Internet. A note on being linked to your employer - push for an NOC at the dissolution of your contract being written into it or you can get stuck with one company since most won't on principal.

Across the gulf it will probably be the little things that wear you down. Like handy men almost certainly won't be qualified or often even knowledgeable. You probably need 2 trips to get any government stuff done, the first being a sighting run, and despite being glitzy there is a lot of rubbish construction and head-slap fitting out. For example, the balcony peeled off our house in Bahrain (after the fuzebox caught fire) in the rain, and one house we looked at in Qatar had no sockets in the kitchen.

On the plus side, salaries for westerners are generally good, (yay tax free!) and the quality of life is great except for July/August when it's just too damn hot and humid. Don't miss anything from the UK except friends and family. Mobile coverage is generally excellent, certainly better than the UK, and seems to be reasonably priced.

So Doha's ok but I would rather be in Bahrain (except that's died) or Oman (Canada of the Middle East).

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dubious
Thumb Down

Returning to your car if it has been sat in the sun for a while in summer is like opening the oven door and climbing in. Singed eyebrows!

Not pleasant.

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Cut-off North Sea island: Oh crap, ferry's been and gone. Need milk. SUMMON THE DRONE

dubious

quad copter

Wouldn't a fixed wing machine be faster, less affected by buffeting/crosswinds, less complex, cheaper, more reliable, and potentially capable of lifting more cargo?

Launch and landing are quite probably more complicated but is largely a solved problem.

A hybrid quadcopter-fixed wing would be more interesting than a straight up QC.

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Data entry REAR-END SNAFU: Weighty ballsup leads to plane take-off flap

dubious

Pretty sure I read about strain sensors in the landing gear to measure weight 30 years ago in a Richard Scarry book.

Now, I'll concede that it probably wasn't the last word in aeronautical textbooks, but one assumes he did some research!

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Verizon to FCC: What ya looking at? Everyone throttles internet traffic

dubious

guaranteed minimum connection

They can put some of the blame on the marketing people for this 'unlimited' perception problem.

What they should have been selling were connections with guaranteed minimums rather than lines with some mythical "upto" speed. I'd wager many people would rather have a steady 5Mbps that freely bursts up towards the exchange backhaul's maximum when possible, over a "25Mbps" line that hops along at 3Mbps during "peak times" (on a good day with a fair wind). It's almost like persistent peak congestion is a complete surprise to them.

I understand where the telcos are coming from and that consumer Internet access has always been pretty highly contended, but Internet is now highly profitable, so cut the excuses.

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When will Microsoft next run out of US IPv4 addresses for Azure?

dubious
Flame

language

Perhaps this will encourage more sites to cease using GeoIP lookups to set their presented language rather than my browser's sodding Language-Accept header, that, you know, tells them what languages I want, listed in order of preference...

One can but hope.

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Recommendations for NAS-based home media set-up

dubious

another NAS + Pi + XBMC user

I use Pis and XBMC pulling files off a NAS too and it works really well, especially with a shared mySQL database (which could be running on the NAS) to sync all the media information.

What is really good about sharing the same database is that you can dump new media to the share, rename and grab metadata for it using MediaCompanion, then scan the share with XBMC on a fast PC, and new media is available to all the Pis immediately.

I am increasingly of the feeling that the Pis just don't have quite enough grunt though. The CPU is almost maxed out just running the confluence skin at 1080 (fine at 720 if you don't mind the TV resolution switching) and large BD rips can cause issues, especially ones with high bitrate audio where the Pi's relatively weak CPU has to do a lot of work. For those cases, I have an 7 year old laptop that can be hooked up to the HDMI port - fire up XBMC on that and resume the film from where you left off.

As for type of NAS, homebrew is an option if you have some technical skill and the rest are all broadly similar. I'd avoid the entry level NASes with feeble CPUs. Of the brands I only have experience with two; Qnap seem to update their gear for ages which is nice, whereas Netgear drop updates depressingly quickly, although the old Infrant support guys are excellent for when you hose your multi-terrabyte archive of pr0n^h^h^h^hholiday photos.

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Samsung v Apple: Titans await jury verdict on damages of MILLIONS

dubious

Re: What would make me laugh

As long as Obama steps in to veto the block citing "competitive conditions in the U.S. economy and the effect on U.S. consumers." it's all good.

Oh, wait, Reality Distortion Field.

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