* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16449 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

What's Brexit? How Tech UK tore up its plans after June 23

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Re: All it will take is one big company

"North East is the only region of the country with a balance of payments surplus - that is to say that exports more than it imports (largely thanks to Nissan)"

Who set up there because it was in the EU and who now have no great incentive to continue investing there.

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Re: Already paying 10%

"The weakened Pound is due to market speculation that UK might leave the single market, speculation proves to be wrong 99% and I doubt this will be the 1%."

Haven't you noticed, we've already voted to leave the single market?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: German car industry...

"...allow the Asian competitors to create cheap, reliable and enjoyable cars that the British public are loving. They then move into Europe..."

In case it's escaped your notice those Asian competitors are producing cars in Britain now. They're doing so because that gives them an EU manufacturing base.

You're right in that they'll move into Europe. They'll move into Europe because they'll want to continue having an EU manufacturing base.

The odd thing is that it seems that the areas where they currently have their factories voted for them to leave. This will be the second UK car industry destroyed by its workers (the native industry was pretty-well banjaxed in the '70s). What makes you think anyone will want to provide us with a third?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge


"He was frozen out of the brexit negotiations even after being the reason for a referendum"

On what basis could he be included? Not only is he in the gov't party, he failed to even get into the HoC.

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I wonder if May is playing a strategic game. The Brexiteers have been given jobs of setting up deals. At some point whatever they come up with can be put before the HoC as a basis for invoking Article 50. The govt. doesn't actually have to recommend the proposal and she could even lay down some criteria to be met to gain a recommendation.

If they can actually put a viable proposition together then all well and good. Personally I'll be surprised but pleased. If not it will be up to them, the Leave campaigners, to accept that they couldn't make their good idea work at which point it can safely be remembered the referendum was only advisory. In the meantime any malcontents on the backbenches can be added to the team so they can accept their share of responsibility.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge



Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"The US has also hinted at a deal."

Given that there existing trade negotiations look a lot like colonisation that might be one to avoid.

BBC will ‘retain your viewing history’

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Re: The real goal is..

" If the BBC want money then make good programs that everyone wants to watch. Not the usual gardening, nature watch, antiques, cooking, dancing, Eastender crap."

Has it occurred to you that there are few if any programmes that everyone wants but that the programmes the BBC chooses to make are those for which it has the largest number of people wanting to watch?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Thankfully...

"The BBC do not produce anything worth watching anyway, every time I see a BBC channel"

You also say "Although, in the 5 years or so I've not paid for a TV license" so are we to take it you're watching someone else's TV?

"it's deadenders, antiques shows, house buying/selling"

Such programmes have audiences sufficiently large that it's worth making those programmes. Indeed, if you're watching someone else's TV in order to see these then it would appear that your hosts are amongst that audience. Maybe that audience wouldn't want to watch the programmes you'd prefer.

" or biased news."

I take it that this means news that doesn't reflect your own biases. As a general principle I'd expect that the more effective a news organisation is at avoiding bias the more likely it is that people will consider it biassed, an artefact resulting from their own biasses.

"There used to be a show called Top Gear that was fairly good, but even that's been messed up now."

Now there you have a point.

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Re: Retarded Argument

"My point is why attack X when Y and Z have been doing it for ages? Attack them first."

Prevention is better than cure.

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"Is it any worse than what Netflix or Amazon (presumably) do with your data?"

From the Beeb we should be able to expect better. Much better.

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English translation needed

"We have met and continue to engage with the ICO on personal data usage. We regularly review the ICO’s published guidance about current and future legislation, particularly in relation to GDPR. We comply with all aspects of the Data Protection Act and take the operational privacy and security of people’s personal information very seriously."

I recognise all the words but have a problem extracting meaning. I do, however, recognise the last bit. It occurs frequently in association with "only a few customers were affected" or similar expressions.

Ofcom should push for fibre – Ex BT CTO

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"If the UK is to participate in cloud computing, we cannot do it with asymmetric services. It's no good having 30mbps download and a 5mbps upload. You can’t upload all your material into the cloud."

This assumes I want to participate in uploading all my material, whatever that means, into the cloud.

It's as well to remember that if you do upload a lot of stuff into the cloud you're liable to find that some of it gets deleted because of excessive use of your unlimited storage.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Spot on Peter!

"Laying fibre is not rocket science."

Neither is making good the damage from extending it into millions of homes which currently have underground copper connections. It just costs a lot of money.

I don't like Mondays, Pokemon, Twitter or Facebook – Sir Bob Geldof

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I don't like Mondays, Pokemon, Twitter or Facebook – Sir Bob Geldof


By 2040, computers will need more electricity than the world can generate

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The limiting factor might be the number of coders required to write enough bloat to require all those computers.

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Re: Clearly needs a Doc Emmett Brown

"some bad things are exponential"

However, some things which look exponential are sigmoidal.

No, the VCR is not about to die. It died years ago. Now it's VHS/DVD combo boxes' turn

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Re: Actually VCRs still exist

"they probably still have a large library of tapes sat in storage."

And at some time in the future they'll have a big panic because they find they've got a large library and nothing that can read it. How many times has that happened?

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Re: Actually VCRs still exist

"Essentially you have a computer with an array of DVB-S2 cards."

Or one DVB-T card with a couple of tuner modules on it. As it can take several streams from a single physical tuner you'd be hard pushed to find enough simultaneous watchable programmes to exceed its limits. In fact, I'm not sure mine uses the second tuner very often.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Stop making me feel old


It was the major storage medium in a lot of applications in the late '80s/'90s. HP made a 6 slot changer. Combined with a bit of scripting that was the way to do unattended overnight backups.

Free Windows 10 upgrade: Time is running out – should you do it?

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"Will somebody please think of the children!"

Indeed. I'm thinking of my granddaughter. She's about to get a laptop. It won't be W10.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"there was a dearth of programmers interested in writing software for Windows"

There may be something in this. At the time there was a DOS office suite called Smartware. My employers of the time were big users. Informix bought it. In one of several inexplicable decisions the then management team made they didn't port it to Windows (they did contrive to add Informix as a back-end storage for Smartware - but only to the spreadsheet component and not to the database). A bit of rationality there could have seen them taking over the Windows office market. In the end IBM took them over instead.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge


"That depends to a large extent on what you need a computer for. If, for example, you're into full time publishing, then you're most likely going to be running Adobe InDesign....Since engaging in that battle requires time, and time is money, then it's a no-brainer to run your business on OS X."

Like you I'm retired so I don't need that sort of thing. Writing. A little development, mostly with Lazarus. GIS. Any Unix-style OS does fine.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge


I can't say I have anything against Macs, really. After all, they're Unix underneath. It's just the price. I wouldn't even say I couldn't afford one if I really wanted one, it's just that there's good enough cheaper elsewhere and always better things to do with spare cash.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: "....should you do it?"


Your choice of icon seems appropriate for your views.

As I've said a number of times here, go and read what Microsoft grant themselves access to once you've agreed to their T&Cs. And read it carefully enough to spot that they don't exclude any accreditations you may have with non-Microsoft entities, nor to any transactions you may make with non-Microsoft entities. Remember that Microsoft, at the very top, is run by lawyers; do you think such gaps were accidental oversights?

Yes, they've made various statements as to the fact that they don't do this, don't do that. They may well be prepared to swear on a stack of Bibles that they don't. It doesn't alter the fact that that can be changed tomorrow by an update that their users won't be able to decline and the legal gate to allow them to do that has been left wide open.

And if you still don't think that amounts to anything, then at least take a little time to ponder why the French data protection regulator is now taking them to task over all this.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: dont forget your tin foil

"Funny thing is these same type of people gave the same complaints for every new ms os , including their beloved windows 7, "I'm never moving off of windows xp, windows 7 is piece of junk, spyware ridden, I cant believe you have to switch to admin to change system settings""

You seem to have an intermittent problem with your shift key.

Actually, from my recollection, no previous Windows version seems to have triggered this amount of ire. In fact I don't think all the previous versions put together have done so, and Vista and W8 have made serious contributions. So you have to ask yourself whether there might, just possibly, even slightly, be something that you're missing about this. If you can overcome your lack of curiosity I suggest you start with reading all the T&C/Privacy policy stuff. In particular, ask yourself what ought to have been there on the limits to their "telemetry". Don't look at their blog posts which say "we don't do that" or "only people with a business case" (what business case FFS?). Look at what they get you to grant them that right to do any time they decide to do it.

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Re: No, just don't

"Marketing people are the most goddamned arrogant, self important assholes you will ever meet."

Why do you think I included the word "intelligent"?

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Thumb Down

Re: The OP forgot one advantage

"Thumbs up for your enthusiasm, if nothing else."

Thumbs down for it.

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Re: Ahem. Actual real user here....

"immediately let it upgrade to Win 10."

Immediately? As in, before reading the "privacy" policy? I hope this ordinary user never uses it for work where data security is an issue because her legal department will throw a fit if they read it.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Mint 18 + WINE

"WPS Office, which has a better interface than Libre Office IMHO....Print quality ... not quite as good with WPS"

WPS. Subscription model? Does it have open standard file formats?

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Re: No, just don't

"And they just don't understand why."

An intelligent marketing department, instead of sending out shills to sites like this, would have people read the comments and learn from them.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"For windows 7 support will eventually stop and you'll have to pay for an upgrade"

At that point, if not before, you can put a better OS on it. There are several out there beyond Microsoft-land.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Boy does that sound like a trap."

No, it sounds like good news if it actually means the end of the rape attempts. The worrying thing is the possibility of a last minute decision to continue the free offer "on account of the demand" (i.e. not enough of it).

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Cue people complaining

"Your point is?"

As far as I can see it's "Ooh shiny".

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Cue people complaining

"If you work in IT you're just making yourself outdated."

If you work in IT you become very cynical about upgrades. You become very cynical indeed when people try such extreme tactics to force upgrades onto you systems. And, if you've got your wits about you, you read the T&Cs very, very carefully. Just go and read those. If you can't grasp the problem you should take up a job that doesn't require reading skills. Note that I avoided saying "if you can't see the problem" because the problem lies in what's omitted.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"What I love about working in IT is how everybody is in favour of progress"

And, of course, their ability to distinguish between progress and regress.

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Re: and after upgrading, to get the FULL Windows 10 experience...

"What a tedious comment."

You said that before. Saying it again really is tedious. Hey Cortana is that you?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Just say no.

"The exaggeration is pathetic."

I take it you're a stranger here. Those of us who are regulars remember Andy's account of the grief it's caused him.

UK employers still reluctant to hire recent CompSci grads

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Re: Meanwhile, back in America..

'They asked for someone with "5+ years experience with Solaris 10"'

I blame ISO9000 and similar crap for this. They have their quality manuals saying that everyone working with whatever should have a minimum of 5 years in it because it looks impressive. Unfortunately it's written by someone with a total lack of contact with the real world (my view of most quality wonks) who doesn't realise that (a) in some fields technologies turn over faster than that, (b) there's no way everyone arrives fully minted with 5 years' experience in anything and (c) there's no way on paper of distinguishing between 5 years' experience and 1 year's experience repeated 5 times.

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Re: Interesting...

"'Cos I'm really really old I started on a trainer board with a hex keypad"

No, if you were really old you'd have started with punched cards.

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Re: @Anonymous Curd

"How big is an int in C?"

Accountant's answer: how big do you want it to be?

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Re: He said the F word

"it won't be long before those dull cars are quite good, cheap and moving into the European market."

And moving in despite being dull and having a tariff barrier against them. Yup, got that.

Microsoft's 3D Jedi phone explored

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"UI – which hasn't changed in almost a decade."

There's usually a reason why that happens.

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Re: Wave your hand and hope....

"I think the most usable radio is the one in my wife's VW Caddy; it is electronic"

Don't tell me the days of steam radio are finally over.

She wants it. She needs it. Shall I give it to her or keep doing it by myself?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Been there, done that...

'On my last day on a contract I usually wear my original Network Week BOFH tee with "YOUR computer's broken and it's MY problem?"'

Does anyone do an updated version: "YOU'RE running Windows 10 and it's MY problem?"'?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"It's called job security, computers that just work leave you with nothing to do and management wondering what the hell you are doing all day.

Ironically I failed miserably at establishing job security by standardising, idiot-proofing and automating everything, which was my job."

You seem to have been very unlucky. Most companies simply go out and recruit a better class of idiot.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Drag and drop between windows

"I believe you can get similar safety feature on modern journalling filesystems, but I think you have to be using Linux."

Maybe you're thinking of ZFS - Sun, BSD & just recently on Linux.

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Re: Obsessive

"The Ancient Greeks obviously had their own equivalent of being IT support."

Of course they had. They needed it for the Antikythera machine.

Diablo conjures up hell of a DIMM: 128GB NAND pretend-RAM summoned

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Re: What's the point?

"This will cost an 1) An Arm, 2) A leg, 3) A kidney and 4) the lives of your unborn children."

According to the article it's a good deal cheaper than the equivalent real RAM. That's the point.

IT boss 'set up fake companies to charge his employers $2.4m'

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He set up a chain of accounts to try to avoid detection - and then paid it into his own account?

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