* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16449 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

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

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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".

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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.

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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.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Really ....

"They have a number of monographs covering various things in very simple form as well as the Flexible Exit plan (aka FLEXIT) which El Reg covered some while back."

Several of the Leavers have now been given the task of coming up with actual plans in the real world where forms aren't even simple, let alone very simple. Let's see how they cope.

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Re: "Ranting about the "Daily Heil" does not make you look reasonable or rational."

"scuttled off like scared schoolboys to hide in the wardrobe."

They haven't been allowed to, at least not those on the govt. side. They've been put in charge of making real plans. That seems like an appropriate punishment. Although immediately after the referendum result BoJo's approach to Brexit did seem akin to St Augustine of Hippo's approach to chastity.

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Re: Wrong

"has proven wrong."

You seem to have a bit of a problem with tenses here. Brexit hasn't happened. Proof of right or wrong will only be available in retrospect afterwards, by which time it will be too late.

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Re: Brexit...

"If they fail in this spectactularly she will happily throw them overboard and declare that following through on the referendum verdict isn't in the country's best interests"

She can do better than that. She can put it to an open vote in Parliament. It would be for the whole of the House to decide on, not a party matter at all.

I believe that in a meeting with MEPs she talked about "lines in the sand" or some such mention of criteria. I think she ought to have done that more or less right away it certainly needs to be done PDQ.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Brexit...

"Except, if we do not Brexit, there is a large enough faction within the Tory party to plunge it into chaos."

At present several leading Brexiteers have been given the job of putting the practical plans together (I think a few of the noisier specimens who haven't had jobs yet need to be given them).

At some time they'll have to be asked to put forward their solutions with a reasoned assessment of how well they'll work. At that point the invocation of Article 50 can be put to a vote in Parliament (which, AFAICS, is the constitutionally correct way of doing that but there's a court case pending on that).

It will, therefore, be up to that very faction of the Tory party to show that they can make it work. And by "show" I don't mean stand on the sidelines shouting, they've got to deliver a workable solution themselves.

That puts the whole thing in their hands. If they can't come up with a workable set of deals etc. they can't then point the finger at anybody else; it will be game over.

Personally I don't think they'll succeed but if they do I'll be content with it going forward. But what would be very wrong would be to proceed on the sole basis of an advisory referendum without an overwhelming majority and no concrete plans that give adequate assurance of working.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Really ....

"Do you REALLY believe the Germans are going to stand idly by and watch their car industry lose out on billions in trade with the UK????

Get REAL"

What would stop them? Do you have it in your head that the EU would set export tariffs? Of course they won't. A UK govt may or may not set import tariffs. But what we should be worrying about is the EU setting import tariffs against us. And we would have no say on that because we wouldn't be members.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Really ....

"As long as Britain is larger than Brittany, we'll always be Great Britain."

What's the matter with you? Do you think facts enter into it?

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Re: Really ....

@ AMBxx

What stats are you quoting here? I suspect it's Q2, ending only just after the vote, so you're looking at what happened almost entirely before the vote, not the consequences.

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Re: Really ....

'Please tell me when, and why, the UK was "greater" than it is now!'

Prior to 1956. That's more or less when we gave up.

You're right, of course. We'd have to invade Egypt again to regain control of the Suez canal and all sorts of other stuff. Is it so difficult for people to believe that clocks only run one way?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Really ....

"We cannot renegociate a deal with just Germany for their cars"

Germany will still be able to sell the UK cars (if we have the money). The terms on which they're sold here will depend on those set by the UK government.

The problem is negotiating the terms on which to sell our cars in the EU. Those terms will be set by the EU of which we won't be a member. What was that about control?

And it's been made quite clear that the existing terms won't be applied unless we agree to free movement of people. Wasn't free movement one of those things Brexiteers wanted to see the end of?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Really ....

"The sooner people get their heads out of their asses, and realise that brexit is a horrible idea, the better."

Experience is a dear teacher but there are those who will learn at no other.

Windows 10 Anniversary Update completely borks USB webcams. Yay.

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.

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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.

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.

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

"Yeah journalctl, I'm looking at you with malice."

There's no other way!

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

"Is anyone else reminded of Xenix"

Now that you've reminded me, yes. What a pity they didn't continue with that line of development, at least as a server OS. Maybe it wasn't old-fashioned enough to catch on with the IT managements of the day.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Why is ssh built in?

"People continue reinventing an outdated system"

There was a similar argument on a recent thread. It set me thinking.

The Windows approach to volume handling resembles that of VMS. That in itself harked back to earlier DEC systems, as did CP/M which bore a remarkable similarity to the PDP-8's commands.

Unix got round this. Yes, it surfaced the physical volumes in /dev. But then, for most purposes, merged them into a single hierarchical file system. Although VMS post-dated early Unix its handling was clunky and anachronistic by comparison.

When MS-DOS (which, remember, was originally QDOS, a quick and dirty replacement for CP/M for 8086 and derivatives) it was made to look somewhat VMS-like, updating the PDP-8 like commands structure of CP/M. To be fair, having drive letters was reasonable enough for floppies and they were treated as flat - no subdirectories on such small devices. They even, IIRC, simulated A & B drives with a single physical drive.

When hard drives became a realistic proposition for PCs they needed to handle sub-directories and came up with a hybrid command line notation which was part VMS-like & part Unix-like. At this point they could have moved over to a Unix-like hierarchy with everything merged, inserted the floppy drives in the hierarchy as something line /mnt/a and /mnt/b and surfaced them as [A]: and [B]: for backwards compatibility. That would have enabled them to add second and subsequent hard drives quite smoothly. Maybe on the basis that a single hard drive would be enough for anybody they didn't. They added the hard drive as a C drive condemning subsequent drives to be added with other drive letters.

So now we have Windows using a clunky, antiquated system with multiple drive letters bearing a resemblance to long-gone ancestors.

Casting my mind back to my last permie job I was running Unix/RDBMS systems with a VMS-oriented IT management. The view there was never that my stuff was out-of-date. It was seen as an upstart which in 6 months time would be replaced by real computers, namely good old VAX/VMS. Always in 6 months time. Regrettably I wasn't around to see the reactions when DEC was taken over by a PC maker and then by those HP people who provided that dreadful upstart HP-UX.

So what all this got me thinking was: did WIndows servers gain their ascendency through IT managements such as those of my old employer who could no longer get their fix of old-style clunky computer interfaces and settled for the thing that came closest?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Why is ssh built in?

"just before someone proposes rotating dials and switches..."

...and flashing lights. Must have flashing lights. And big spinning spools of tape.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

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

"works well with dotNet"

Depends on it. So not only does it get to be installed, it drags in an awful lot of other stuff you might not want cluttering up a Linux box.

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?

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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.

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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.

$100m settlement snub: Super Cali goes ballistic, says Uber deal atrocious

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Re: **Applause**

"How long have you been working on that headline?"

They used it, or something similar a little while ago, possibly in relation to the same case.

Oracle Java copyright war latest: Why Google's luck is about to run out

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Why Google's luck is about to run out

Pro tip: never try to predict what a court is going to decide.

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"So why didn't the board succeed in concluding a license deal?"

If I remember from long ago & far away, Oracle were only prepared to license ME rather than the full desktop Java. Maybe that's why they didn't conclude a deal.

Microsoft promises free terrible coffee every month you use Edge

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"their international efforts are pretty poor."

From the account I don't think international customers are being cheated with this one.

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Re: outlook.com is fine

"I've also never seen a single ad in all that time, but maybe that's because I use NoScript and ADP?"

But what about all the phishing spam pretending to come from Hotmail/Outlook/Live/whatever admin that they fail to filter out? Maybe an offer of Outlook without spam for 3 months would be better.

Windows 10 needs proper privacy portal, says EFF

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Re: Even Enterprise spies on users

"I believe it's called the Enterprise editions"

I think it's more than that. There was a comment on another thread that someone had a special arrangement because of the specific field they were in but I can't remember the TLA for it which is why I worded it so vaguely. But it didn't sound like plain vanilla Enterprise licensing.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: MS made me download software...

"But there are two key niches of software where the VM isn't helpful: custom hardware..."

That can be problematic from one version of an OS to another. Isn't it why some installations can't move from XP (& maybe even earlier)?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Missing the point

"Damn, you already made the same point I was trying to make in a far, far more concise and effective manner. :-("

Don't undersell yourself on effective.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Lobby for new/updated privacy laws instead

"No, because the EFF wouldn't be able to out-bribe Microsoft when it comes to the legislators."

Do you think that's the likely course of action in France?

Ad-blocking ‘plateaus’, claims hopeful ad industry

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Re: Maybe if they weren't so in your sodding face

"It just doesn't seem to occur to them that a search may on occasion actually result in a purchase, thus rendering their poxy ads irrelevant."

It depends on who "them" is. I'm sure it occurs to the advertising industry. As I've said here before, the only thing the advertising industry is successful at selling - the only thing it needs to be successful at selling - is advertising space to advertisers. That's where the money is.

Brit cops cuff Sage employee at Heathrow airport

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

She wasn't sage enough.

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