* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

My headset is reading my mind and talking behind my back

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: sunnies after dark ?

"AR coating is good to have anyway for a whole lot of reasons."

The only AR coated pair I had a soft focus effect. On close examination the coating was finely granulated. I've gone back to uncoated.

UK's mass-surveillance draft law grants spies incredible powers for no real reason – review

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OK, who expected anything different?

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Re: Oh really

"Maybe, just maybe, there are several thousand ordinary human beings much like ourselves in there"

Are you telling us they're imprisoned?

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Re: Hiding messages is easy....

"Good encryption is hard."

That's why we have libraries.

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Re: Poor sods.

"Only if something is spotted does a person start looking, and sooner or later they have to get a warrant."

Sooner or later? What's wrong with sooner? And from whom do they get the warrant; a senior officer or a politician? We should have due process of law. The fact that it's a principle that's over 8 centuries old (remember the hypocritical celebration of that last year) doesn't mean it should be out of date.

"believe me, They are not interested in Us. I went to a privileged university with some of Them."

If You went to a privileged university with some of Them it makes us (with a lower case u) less inclined to believe You.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Business as usual

'As for what to do about a person "known" to the security services, that's is indeed a matter of resources, etc. '

If they're failing through lack of resources does it improve matters to spend more time trawling through the communications of innocent people?

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Re: Business as usual

"Eh? Who killed Fusilier Lee Rigby? Who blew up three underground trains and a bus?"

The same as a number of other atrocities. Have you noticed that when they're identified they always turn out to have been known to the security services but somehow slipped through surveillance? What should we learn from that? Maybe they're doing surveillance wrong. If so doing more of the same isn't going to work.

Windows 10 Anniversary Update completely borks USB webcams. Yay.

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Re: MS is in decline, but Linux will never replace it

"Mind coming back on and telling everyone who you work for, so that they can avoid you?"

I think we can all make a pretty good guess who they work for and in what capacity.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: MS is in decline, but Linux will never replace it

"I have worked in IT for years,"

In what capacity? Marketing?

"installing Linux on any platform/brand has always been a crap shoot."

What you should realise is that those of us criticising Windows but normally using Linux or other non-Windows OSs nevertheless have experience of Windows, usually over very many years. At the very least that consists of sorting out Windows problems for friends and family. So not only do we know how straightforward Linux installation has become these days, we also know all too well the on-going problems with Windows.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Things are getting really bad. SWMBO tells me that this one has even made it to "You and Yours" on Radio 4.

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Re: Optional behaviour

'Microsoft never "falls back".'

And yet in the past they've maintained bugs like allowing usage of memory that's been freed simply to allow applications that did that continue. That seems to have been an egregious error that should have been thrown back in the lap of the application developers. This seems to be largely a performance issue; if the user wants to run a combination of stuff that requires a lot of CPU power it's up to he user to provide that power and maintain backward compatibility for the rest.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: The beginning of the end

'They won't go. Linux is in the hands of the "developers" and they don't care about end users.'

My emphasis.

Did you even read what the Microsoft developers were quoted as saying in the article?

To some extent I agree with the general point - developers can easily become detached from what users want except where they're working in in-house teams, and maybe not even then. It's not a prerogative of open source developers. As regards Linux, Linus seems to have a pretty solid mantra: don't break userland* which the Microsoft camera team could have heeded in this case.

I like to distinguish between projects and products, product in the sense that Brookes, used in in chapter one of TMMM, not necessarily something that's going to be sold. Projects all too often go off on personal gratification but open source also delivers some solid products such as LibreOffice.

*IME userland did get broken between 2.4 & 2.6.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Oh and don't tell me I have to get new Apps."

It sounds as if you have to if you want to run a webcam on W10.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"What do you mean, "you people"?"

I think the work "little" got lost somewhere.

Microsoft can't tell North from South on Bing Maps

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Just browsing across the UK map at the initial scale shows that quite a few places unlabelled including Horsham, Maidenhead, Wellingborough, Macclesfield, Huddersfield and Hebden Bridge.

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"ncluding the women (There's a story there that I'm not going to get into right now)."

Pictures, or it didn't happen.

New UK trade deals would not compensate for loss of single market membership

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"In July unemployment was down (after Brexit)"

I think this tells us all we need to know about the quality of your thinking.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: This what made Britain "great"..

"Farage ... Incidentally, what is his involvement in Brexit these days?"

To be fair, he doesn't need one. Getting and winning a referendum was his objective, wasn't it? Sorting out afterwards? SEP.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Brexit...

"If the tories played fast and loose with this they will suffer at the ballot box next time around."

Well, it's now up to the Tory pro-Brexiteers to come up with some workable plans. If they fail to do so then they'll have to tell their own supporters that they gave it their best shot & it wouldn't work. Such a statement, coming from the Leavers themselves, would take an awful lot of heat out of the situation. May would be able to say that Leave had had their chance. In those circumstances it would be a brave political party who could campaign on a Leave ticket.

Irrespective of that I won't be voting for them as long as May is in charge - she brings too much baggage from her time as Home Sec.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Er...

"a lot of things are agreed with other WTO members at EU level and those will need renegotiating."

That's OK, we've got BoJo to look after that.

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Re: The big picture

"Anyone with a reasonably brain could do this, it doesn't take an engineer or scientist."

Have you read what the scientists are saying about the impact on British science?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: TTIP to the rescue?

"The BoE will act in the best interest of it's share holders and guaranteed that is not the tax payer."

From Wikipedia: "The Bank was privately owned by stockholders from its foundation in 1694 until nationalised in 1946."

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: TTIP to the rescue?

"once it's published - then it's up to us to ratify it,"

It won't be published until the stitch-up's complete.

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Re: Really ....

"it was not worse in 18c Britain."

No, the large-scale urbanisation that Mayhew described hadn't got going in the C18th, at least not to the same extent.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: @Tom 64: Really ....

"Only if you want or need to move."

Which severely harms the mobility of labour which has a substantial national economic cost as well as the impact on the individuals concerned.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Really ....

"you make a trade agreement with one country, Japan"

We currently have dealings with Japan in the car business. They build cars here because we're in the EM. How long do you think that's going to continue? Future investment will be in countries still inside the EU in the future unless, of course, we still have access to the single market. But remaining in the single market, it's been made quite clear, will include continuing freedom of movement. Any other conditions will be decided by the EU without our input because we won't be there.

So we don't get rid of all those Johnny Foreigners from the EU. We don't regain control, we lose more of it. What else was the leave vote for? Oh yes, sticking two fingers up at the bureaucrats; well they'll be sticking two fingers up at us with impunity.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Really ....

Re Reuters article.

With interest rates as they are there's no point in hanging onto money that will be worth less in the future.

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Re: Really ....

"Not sure if she really wanted to leave or was just hedging her bets."

Given that she didn't seem keen on anything from Europe that impinged on her Home Office brief I'd say that her barely visible Remain stance was hedging bets against the expected Remain win.

However, kudos to her for putting prominent Leavers in charge of trying to make it happen. If it goes pear-shaped they'll only have themselves to point the finger at. I do think she ought to have handed a few more of them similar jobs.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Really ....

"It was to stick two fingers up at the elected bureaucracy that thinks it can ignore the little people, both in Europe and the UK. "

The words nose and face come to mind.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Really ....

'This led to the establishment of the British Empire, on which "the sun never set", the largest empire the world has ever known in terms of area and population.'

And on which it had pretty well finished setting before we joined the Common Market. Clocks don't run backwards. This isn't going to magically project us back about half a century or more before we joined.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Really ....

"But they make no effort to factor in the cost reductions from not having to comply with EU legislation for products not destined for the EU."

Products destined for countries not in the EU will have to comply with existing requirements of those countries so there would be no change there. The exception is for products to be sold here. Do you think that to save money we should reduce the existing EU-wide standards on, say, electrical safety of goods sold here?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Really ....

"There may be some tariffs and fees to pay, and some regulations to follow, but that's all."

Yes. they're the difference between being in and not being in. They'll be set by the EU. Right now we're in the EU so we contribute to making the decisions about those that the rest of the world have to follow to trade here. When we leave we will have to such influence. The conditions on which we will trade with the EU will be made by the EU in their best interests, not in ours. We will have no control. And wasn't regaining control one of the issues?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: legitimate democratic outcome

"If people had been told then that the trading union of the Common Market would become a political European Union over-ruling British Law and policies then the overwhelming vote would have been to leave that Common Market."

Up to this point I'm with you. I'd go further. The Maastricht and Lisbon treaties should have been ratified (or not) on the basis of basis of referenda in each of the countries, binding referenda with sensible majority levels set appropriate to the fact that they'd have been overturning the status quo. No change without substantial agreement in each country and none of this "keep voting till you get the answer we want" nonsense. On that basis we might still have had the status quo and if not it would have been something different to what we have now.

However we got what we got and we now have to think whether jumping blindly out of it is the most sensible thing to do from an economic perspective. I don't think it is. I think it's going to turn out to have been a very bad decision for most people including those who voted leave and kids like my grandchildren who didn't even get to vote.

"a political organisation with a vastly different idea of personal freedom"

The EU's idea of personal freedom does indeed seem to be vastly different from that propounded by recent Home Secretaries of both major parties. Vastly better in my view.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: legitimate democratic outcome

"The only sensible way forward is another referendum for England and Wales giving three choices.

...

Move to the EFTA"

That couldn't be a realistic option in a vote. It would have to be Make an application to join EFTA which might not be accepted".

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Really ....

'The "great" prefix denotes it as the largest in the archipelago - Gran Canaria is another example.'

You do realise, don't you, that Gran Canaria is not the largest island of its archipelago? Your modern geography is no better than your historical geography.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Really ....

"The job of ALL MPs is to represent their constituents."

Given that constituents are apt to want different things representing their constituents' wants would be rather difficult.

In fact we vote to find the individuals to whom we delegate the task of making decisions. It's up to the MPs to work out for themselves what to decide would best serve their constituents' interests and the country's interests, even to decide what to do if those interests don't coincide.

Although we may cynically think that the MPs decisions will ultimately be those which promote their own interests this isn't necessarily so. After the 2010 election the LibDems took the view that the best interests of the country required that there should be a stable government and went into coalition. Given that a lot of their voters were voting for them to be a party of protest, not of government this cost them dearly last year but as a parliamentary party they did what they considered to be the right thing for the country.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Really ....

"what the people told her"

The people told her very little. It was an advisory referendum. In order to have an effect on the status quo a referendum should have a very much bigger majority than was achieved. One sufficient, for example, to be sure it won't change when voters are confronted with reality a couple of years down the line.

This MySpace investor keeps spamming Google with lawsuits – and the ad giant just wants him to stop

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If they succeed in getting him declared a vexatious litigator maybe they'll move on to Oracle.

You shrunk the database into a .gz and the app won't work? Sigh

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"If he didn't notice until he was in the taxi and asked to go to Dublin city centre, was he phenomenally ignorant/stupid?"

He was American. He'd flown over water for some time. He was somewhere furrin'. It's all the same, isn't it?

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"our underground places of gainful excavation"

I didn't think there were any in Otley. Maybe you're thinking of Ossett.

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Re: Editing a config file with an Office program

Sub-contracting to a sub-contractor for the main contractor (Your first guess is probably right) public sector job. We were to take XML encoded documents from main contractor for processing. Very early in the proceedings I had to take a trip to visit the onshore representative of the main contractor's favoured development house to explain how to handle apostrophes and the like in XML. Not surprising that from time to time we had outbreaks of badly formed documents sent to us.

Microsoft has open-sourced PowerShell for Linux, Macs. Repeat, Microsoft has open-sourced PowerShell

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Re: Why is ssh built in?

"At the time your options in that market space were either Novell Netware or SCO, or to go with one of the big to medium size hardware/software package vendors such as IBM, DEC, HP, etc."

There were quite a number of small Unix systems about - including Xenix. Most were on 68k family proxessors but also Zilog Z8000s. My impression at the time was that IT managements regarded them as strange and mysterious. Of course those of us who'd taken a little time to familiarise ourselves found them to be very logical. My initial encounter with Windows - at a time, say about 1990, when 386s were not only new but rare was to run an X server to access HP-UX and Xenix. TCP/IP networking was also regarded as new and strange by the local management.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: "On Linux we’re just another shell"

"Xenix ? recycled last server a decade ago."

As recently as that. The last Xenix gig I had was migrating to Openserver which I think was for Y2K reasons.

DVLA misses out on £400m in tax after scrapping paper discs

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Re: Lost 80 megaquid...

There's nothing like a well costed system. And this was nothing like a well costed system.

BT best provider for 10Mbps USO, says former digi minister Ed Vaizey

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Re: Ed who? Utter nonsense.

"Separating Openreach has become such an article of faith that I am of the view that many if not most of those subscribing to it assume that some sort of magic would happen"

Like Brexit.

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Re: Ed who? Utter nonsense.

"Our government resolutely refuses to support communities like B4RN who *can* deploy synchronous gigabit fibre in rural areas."

Maybe they didn't offer to sign up for USO?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Gigaclear

"Well if gigaclear can deliver fibre to the home in rural locations, what's BT's excuse? Granted BT have a large area to cover"

Got it in one"

"but they were very late in recognising the internet needed something better than 56K.

Shame given that we could have had fibre in the 80s if the government hadn't blocked it "

Got it in one again!

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Sadly he may be talking sense

"This was a commercial undertaking so it was sensible to think about the number of households passed and the likely uptake."

The term you're looking for is "cherrypicking". And BT, having only been allowed in the game late, is now being abused because it hasn't instantly filled the gaps between the cherries.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Sadly he may be talking sense

Beige? Trendy youngster. Real telephones were black.

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Re: Sadly he may be talking sense

"You could do that by re-nationalising it?"

Short memories.

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