* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16427 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

US data suggests Windows 10 adoption in business is slowing

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Re: Have an upvote.

"Ubuntu ... I feel very constrained by what it will let me do on the desktop."

If you're on Unity try installing XFCE,LXDE, Mate, Cinnamon or KDE. I really dislike the notion that a desktop should only have icons for "apps" on it.

My preference is KDE set to folder view with a Desktop directory as the folder, Classic menu, the irritating bouncing cursor turned off along with auto-maximisation of windows. This ends up with an interface which is very similar to pre-insanity Windows from W95 onwards.

If the Internet of Things will be SOOO BIG why did Broadcom just quit the market?

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Peak IoT in sight? If so the next hype product is needed PDQ. And no, not DevOps.

Miguel de Icaza on his journey from open source to Microsoft: 'It's a different company'

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Re: Very disingenuous retrospective rehash of the historical record.

"What Killed the Linux Desktop"

Interesting read. So he finally realised that breaking compatibility on a regular basis wasn't a good idea. I could have told him that at the start. Experience is a dear teacher but there are those who will learn by no other.

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Re: Miguel de Icaza is a great coder, and will always be so

Gentlemen. Please.

Try to understand the difference between libel and slander.

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Re: open source people universally hate Miguel.

"I think Java single-handedly destroyed thousands of good middle-class American jobs by allowing mass import of H-1B numpties"

It's not a story I've followed but I'd have thought that the problem would be the system by which H1-B numbers are controlled (sic) rather than the specific language used in the projects for which the visas were issued. The generic problem isn't unknown on this side of the Atlantic either.

Linux greybeards release beta of systemd-free Debian fork

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Re: Perhaps you were downvoted

"But that is the opposite of the truth. Ubuntu (as represented by Ian Jackson) wanted Debian to use upstart."

And the systemd promoters couldn't allow that to happen. Not that a choice between systemd and upstart is one I'd want.

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"The alternative would have been to say bye-bye to bluetooth in Slackware"

Pulseaudio incorporated Bluetooth?

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Re: Init freedom

"In short, some people didn't like a new feature so they used the free software to make a version they were comfortable with. This is perfect, however much you do or don't give a shite about systemd, you have to love that people have the tools to do what they want."

My concern is that although they've been able to achieve this now there'll be a time when so much of the GNU/Linux userland assumes systemd is there that it becomes impracticable to build a distro without it.

My other concern is that the whole approach of the systemd/opendesktop people is to gradually convert what was a Unix-like OS into one which won't be. So those of us who used Linux because of what it was will be looking elsewhere.

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"systemd is many things"

Too many.

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"Red Hat rules the Linux server market, and as much as you might dislike Poettering or systemd, Red Hat aren't going to start taking something as drastic from upstream as an init system change without it benefiting their core market."

That would be the core market which they can supply with the systemd-free RH6 and earlier. AFAIK pre-systemd SEL is coming to the end of support. That leaves Red Hat with the only commercially supported systemd-free product. Having your cake and eating it?

Windows 10 handcuffs Cortana web search to Bing and Edge browser

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"Microsoft has taken the attitude that it is better to apologize than ask for permission."

Have they ever apologised?

Intel loses its ARM wrestling match, kicks out Atom mobe chips

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"someone somewhere in Whitehall is working on a plan that will screw with it"

I thought developing something to the point where it was nearly production ready and then canning it without reaping the rewards because it had cost too much already was a British disease. But no, here's Intel doing it It may well be that they couldn't see production bringing in enough returns to justify the money they've spent on development but then zero returns doesn't do it either.

I suppose the reason is that they've got to cut employee numbers RIGHT NOW to meet unrealistic analysts' expectations. Analysts, of course, don't realise or care that it's the employees who create the returns in the long run. So we'll see yet another tech company hollowed out due to short-termism.

The best thing that financial regulation could do would be to forbid the publication of quarterly results, maybe even the publication of results at less than two year intervals, just to get these idiots from breathing down managements' necks.

The EU wants you to log into YouTube using your state-issued ID card

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Re: Brexit?

"But it's exactly things like this id card nonsense that drive people to want to get out of Europe."

You think the alternative wouldn't lead to worse? As things stand the European courts can slap down UK surveillance attempts and if we go through the legislate/slap down/legislate cycle enough times even governments might start to get embarrassed.

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"Faecebook have been demanding ID such as passports and driving license / ID cards."

Do they?

I wouldn't know & don't care. If you imagine you need it then you I wouldn't be surprised if you fall for that sort of stuff.

Switch survives three hours of beer spray, fails after twelve

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Re: A few splashes?

"Was the VAX still running?"

Several floors up in Eversholt street. The water never got that high ;)

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Re: A few splashes?

"Turned out that a 6bar mains head had sheared off in the basement"

Once upon a time a main ruptured in Melton St alongside the forecourt to Euston Station. It washed a huge crater in the road and got into the underground car park. Reportedly cars were floating.

We had a VAX admin on his way in by tube to start an afternoon shift. He said that the train stopped. The power went off. Then the water started coming up through the floor.

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Re: Sadly not beer

"How does one even get cooked spaghetti into a slot-loading drive?"

For a bet?

US govt quietly tweaks rules to let cops, Feds hack computers anywhere, anytime

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Re: One Possible Solution

"All Senator Ron Wyden has to point out is that with this simple change, law enforcement officials could easily be hacking into THEIR computers and perhaps dig up some dirty secrets."

Is that really the case? AIUI it obviates the need to know where the target is located when applying for a warrant. If that's the only change then providing that they know where the target is located then they could apply for the warrant they could hack into it under the existing rules.

Carl Icahn: Will someone rid my portfolio of this rotten Apple?

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'Icahn said he would buy Apple stock again if China "was basically steadied,"'

I suppose that for a moment they thought they'd got rid of him.

Dentist reps ship malware

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Was it trying to extract information or just fill their disks with malware?

Microsoft's Windows 10 nagware storms live TV weather forecast

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Re: Oh, yeah...

"You make a good Microsoft apologist though, have you considered working for their marketing dept?"

I'm sure a few people think he is. However I don't think they'd want him. He's doing a very good job of arguing that Windows isn't a good choice for businesses that are too small to employ specialist Windows admins. He'd make a very good salesman for Macs.

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Re: Oh, yeah...

"I laughed at them and then concluded their interview."

They never knew how lucky they were.

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Re: What else to expect from Microsoft

"the severe consequences of their poor choice in software technology use"

They will have been sold a working system that has met their requirements for some time so whether you or I would have thought it had the best technical underpinnings it would be difficult to argue that it was a poor choice. They should be entitled to expect that the system on which they've spent money should continue to meet their requirements, assuming the requirements don't change.

It amazes me that commentators seem to think that the customer should be blamed because a reasonable purchasing decision has been invalidated by a post-sale action of the vendor with the implied assumption that such post-sale actions are acceptable.

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"There is. The current mitigating softwares out there, GWX Control Panel and Never 10"

I doubt Microsoft consider these as official.

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Re: Poor IT Standards at this outfit

"There are some good reasons for buying a Linux PC - all the drivers will be supplied and tested."

Which would stop them switching to an unsupported Wifi card in the middle of a production run.

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Re: Oh, yeah...

"This. Its pretty obvious Microsoft don't see it that way, they see the your desktop as their advertising space and its steadily getting worse."

Just because that's the way they see it doesn't make it excusable.

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Selection bias?

A good many commentators here seem to work in large businesses, or even medium-sized businesses that are able to run specialised IT departments or market to such businesses.

For smaller businesses, and even some middle-sized businesses, this would be an inconceivable luxury. In such businesses the "IT guy", even if there is one, might be doing the job part time. He might simply be an application specialist. He might even be the business owner running routine backups along with all his other tasks (had this as a client). This is life in a large number of businesses. Just because the big-business-only group haven't experienced it they would be wrong to assume it doesn't happen.

For such businesses PCs are simply tools for staff to do their jobs, just as typewriters were in their day. They may be buying them one at a time as they need them so "enterprise" discounts don't apply, even if the eventual totals might suggest otherwise. In some instances they (and larger businesses) may be buying the PC and its operating system as an integral component of some larger bundle where specialist software is tied to the OS*. They may be buying a mixture of Windows and Macs for different purposes.

They have paid good money for such tools, just as they did for typewriters, just as they do for office furniture. As such they should be entitled to expect those tools to just get on with being used and not have minds of their own. If maintenance is required it should be able to fit the users' schedule and not the vendors. Nobody would, for example, expect the manufacturer to flag down a company car in the middle of a journey because an oil-filter change was due.

If the vendor that supplied those tools can't get them to work that way it's the vendor, that has failed and not the customer. And a vendor that not only fails in this way but is so arrogant as to continue blaming the customer is one that shouldn't expect to survive.

*I've seen this in a business which had its own large IT department. Processors were embedded in industrial printers and enveloping lines and their maintenance was outside the scope of the IT department. (For the enveloping lines, IIRC, the take-it-or-leave-it choice was a real-time Unix variant.) Similar considerations apply to laboratory equipment, scanners etc in the medical world and, no doubt to all manner of process control equipment.

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Re: Poor IT Standards at this outfit

"Computers have been a basic component of damned near ALL businesses for well over a generation now. There's no excuse for skimping on an IT department"

Chairs and desks have been basic components of damned near ALL businesses for well over a generation now. Is it your contention that they should all have a chair and desk department to make sure they're all working OK, set to the correct heights & so on?

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Re: Poor IT Standards at this outfit

"My parents and the rest of their 70-year old peer group have a problem with it"

You should help them out, install something better.

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Re: Oh, yeah...

"That was embarrassing. But it's a good way to learn for the future"

Yup. Microsoft, read and learn.

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Re: Oh, yeah...

"have what looks to be just under 150 members of staff. Deploying and maintaining the professional version of Windows Vista or 7 would be, in my opinion, the wrong choice in terms of administration and cost for an organisation of this size."

What size does an organisation have to be before, in your opinion, it takes on the extra overhead of specialised staff to run its IT system? Not that it matters, their finance department is likely to have the say over this.

"I would imagine that who ever is in charge of their IT function would have (or in this case should have) made use of Microsoft's volume licensing deals in order to get the best value out of the software that they are clearly using"

Whoever is in charge of their IT function might well have been told to keep their hands off studio kit. In fact, it may well have been bought in completely separately from any other IT in the business as a specialised hardware/software bundle for this purpose.

In any event there is no excuse whatsoever, zero, zilch, nil for a vendor overriding what the user is doing to display messages or initiate updates at arbitrary times. None.

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Re: Oh, yeah...

"That just doesn't make any sense to man nor beast."

We're talking about Microsoft here - oh, I see what you mean: beast.

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Re: @James 51 - Poor IT Standards at this outfit

"I periodically have a walk around Currys and spend a few seconds rebooting the systems from an USB stick with a live Linux distro."

You shouldn't do that. What happens when the customer gets home & finds that all he's bought is another W10 box?

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Last week a lecturer at the local Civic Society said that recently he'd been told that there was a PC available in a hall where he was to speak so he turned up with just his Powerpoint (probably on a thumb drive!). The PC spent 55 minutes downloading updates.

To forestall what seem to be usual comments: just a PC in a hall, no WSUS, no IT department to run a single PC. Yes, I know the organisers shouldn't have connected it to the net but they probably weren't Register readers who'd have known that.

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Re: @James 51 - Poor IT Standards at this outfit

"I periodically have a walk around Currys"

If you walk round Currys hoping to find Linux in any guise other than Android you must have time to waste.

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Re: Poor IT Standards at this outfit

"Any Computer running in a corporate environment that sees this message is an immediate red flag that your IT is not being managed correctly."

For some values of corporate. There are very many medium-sized businesses that can't afford a team of BOFHs to look after their systems.

They have been sold the idea of a small network of computers running Windows Professional as a cheap and simple way of meeting their computing needs. Maybe they should have known better. Maybe they should have known the salesman was lying because they could see his lips moving. Nevertheless they have bought this stuff in good faith and are now finding that faith misplaced. They are businesses in their own fields, not in computing; they should not be required to run the overhead of an IT department to deal with what they've been sold.

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"Win7 Professional certainly is home software if you choose to use it at home."

And by the same token it's professional software if you choose to use it professionally. As per my comment above, they've probably been using a set-up that's worked well for them over the years. Why should they be expected to have had the foresight to set it up differently so that their vendor couldn't do this to them years in the future?

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Re: GWX Control Panel might help here

"There are reasons not to?"

Yes, if you're just running on a VM for some occasional requirement W2K might do just as well.

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Re: Do what I've done

"Windows 7 at SP1 level only. No Internet access allowed (Network adapter disabled in Control Panel)."

They probably needed a connection to get the forecast maps onto the PC in the first place. One doesn't just install a PC nor install an OS on it just for the sake of it. One does it to perform a job and the job will have other requirements beyond the hardware & OS.

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Re: Oh, yeah...

"So, if this news station had been running an enterprise version of what looks like either Vista or 7, the popup would never have ruined their lovely weather report."

Disregarding for a moment the post which says your assumption isn't true, let's examine the implications a little further. At some point in the past, probably several years ago, they set up this system. They used what would at that time have been a perfectly appropriate version of Windows, Vista or 7, probably Professional. Now you're saying that they should have spent extra on Enterprise, even if they had no other reason to do so, because they should have predicted that Microsoft would do this and they should have protected themselves. They may be doing weather forecasting but that doesn't extend so far into the future.

Galileo in spaaace: France's 'equivalence principle' satellite

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Re: No experimentation required

"So... Technically a "heavier" (larger mass) object would be pulled towards the Earth with a larger force than a smaller mass, yes?"


But the theory goes on to say that the inertia of the heavier mass is also greater and needs a larger force to experience the same acceleration as the smaller mass with its smaller force and smaller inertia. According to theory the difference in inertia exactly counters the increase in force, hence the large and small mass have the same acceleration. But is the theory true? So far all experiments have produced results consistent with the theory. The purpose of this experiment is to see if the theory holds with a more sensitive method.

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"all objects ... should fall at the same speed"

Exhibit the same acceleration?

Neo4j CEO: We're at 'a huge inflection point for graph databases'

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"Relational databases are king. Except when your schema changes frequently (common in applications these days) - don't let RDBMS DBAs fool you by telling you ALTER TABLE can support these use cases; in most databases it can't."

That's why we have all these non-relational databases these days. For the Agile developers who can't get it right first time. Or second. Or third....

And, lo, we have .............. DevOps.

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Re: What goes around, comes around

"I am an old codger"

As one old codger to another - I can't remember a time when there were only four databases (presumably he means products). Can you?

The Internet of Things edges toward a practical reality

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Re: "number one biggest problem: standards"

"The 17 million shipping containers I can't imagine because he can't even imagine what kind of sensor they should be fitted with never mind what use they would be."

That's a use I can think of. Finding out where they've got to.

My brother in law used to be a mechanic for a skip hire company. The drivers each had their own locations up and down the county where they'd stash skips that had gone AWOL from the main business so they could do a few jobs on the side. I wouldn't be surprised if the same thing happened to containers.

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"One part of the solution is the launch of Artik Cloud"

Somebody else's computer. What happens when somebody else loses interest and wanders off to do something else? How do you Resolv that problem?

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Re: "There are countless problems" ... Indeed.

"[3] Standards"


America edges closer to get-a-proper-warrant-to-read-my-email law

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"Not sure that applies as US law is rather big on exercising any leverage they can find."


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Presumably the TLAs will argue that because it's US legislation it won't apply to email held on servers in Ireland.

Dyson hair dryer

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Re: Measuring isn't controlling

"Thankfully common sense has triumphed and they've been ripped out and replaced with towels."

I saw a report recently how much more effective those high speed driers were at spreading bacteria - several orders of magnitude higher, in fact. Assuming your towels are disposable as opposed to being bits of cloth hung on the wall*, they're the best solution.

*Lab assignment from student days ($HOW_LONG??-ago). Take towel hanging above lab WHB. Press onto surface of nutrient agar. Close Petri dish lid. Incubate. Observe technicolour growth a few days later.

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