* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Asus ZenBook UX305: With Windows 10, it suddenly makes perfect sense

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"The ZenBook UX305 is a machine you buy as much for style"

OK, now I understand the title.

Robots, schmobots. The Rise of the Machines won't leave humanity on the dole

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Re: Satisficers rather than Maximisers

"Give everyone a robot that they can contract out to companies?"

Maybe not quite this but...

Family history research shows that most of my male forbears were independent tradesmen, mostly clothiers. Until about the turn of the C19th it would have been unthinkable that cloth manufacture would be carried out in massive mills. Is the ever growing concentration of manufacturing in larger units the only way to organise manufacturing?

I'm sure Tim will be ready to tell us about Adam Smith and pin making to argue that this concentration in factories was inevitable because having workers concentrate on a single task in a process was more efficient. However Adam Smith's pin makers weren't using robots. There's no reason to think that a form of organisation which suits manual methods is necessarily one which suits robotic methods. What seems unthinkable as a way of organising work now need not be so in the future.

So might it be reasonable for individuals or small groups of individuals to buy their own robot installations and sub-contract work from larger corporations?

'To read this page, please turn off your ad blocker...'

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Suggestion

Those of you who work in businesses with substantial advertising budgets draw your marketing department's attention to this thread. Introduce them to the world outside their little bubble.

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Re: Another arms race

"So, someone simply builds an ad-blocker that mimics the behaviour the web site is expecting to see"etc

Actually there should be zero incentive to the ad-spewing industry to escalate this. They'd be sending what the advertiser wants them to send so they'd be getting paid for it. The content provider would get paid in turn. The advertiser would actually gain over the situation that would exist if the ads were shown because he wouldn't piss off potential customers. If the industry were to make a big song and dance over it the advertisers might realise that they're getting ripped off by paying to piss off those potential customers so the industry would be the eventual losers.

But yes, a farce indeed.

Actually the industry ought to shut up about the present situation. The more noise they make the more the chance that the message might get back to their customers that advertising can carry negative value.

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Re: So, Ad Age thinks I'm a "thief" who's "interfering with business"?

"I pay for unwanted advertising almost every time I buy something."

Alternative view. If advertising gets pushed in my face I won't be paying for it. Because the only effect it will have will be to ensure I avoid whatever it's advertising.

Tech turned on its head: 'Dislike' button in Facebook, pay Snapchat $1 to defuse self-destructing sexy selfies

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Re: Dislike what

What does it mean? It means that it's their problem, not yours so they'd best keep it to themselves. However I suppose people who use such crap don't think like that.

Sierra Nevada snow hasn't been this bad since 1500AD

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Re: science or opinion?

"Tree rings tell you about the growing season, which most definitely does not include winter."

Long winter = short growing season. By implication they do tell you about winters.

Also consider the possibility that water supply is melt of the previous winter's snow. If water supply is a limiting factor for growth then again there will be some information about the winter.

Journos to be spared replacement by robots, BBC claims

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Press photographers

OTOH press photographers are in trouble. Either some passer-by snaps an incident and puts it up on social meeja from where it gets grabbed or, if a general pic of the scene is needed that comes from Streetview.

Or in el Reg's case an irrelevant stock picture gets used.

FBI dumps on IoT security

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"Curiously, given that the Internet of Things is backed by some of the largest tech vendors in the world"

This is written as if there's something unexpected about this being the source of problems. Given that their practices over the last few years there's nothing curious at all about this.

Pro tip: Servers belong in dry server rooms, not wet cloakrooms

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Re: Backup

Onyx wasn't that a silicon graphics bit of kit?

Nope. Z8000 processor running Onix - Unix V7 ported by Interactive who, I think, went on to do AIX.

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Re: Backup

"How is it possible to not know that there is only one backup tape, and not be aware of what that means ?"

The story is a bit vague but as a new backup tape was bought every month it was used to replace the previous tape in the drive. The only way to know that there hadn't actually been a backup would be to check and it seems that until "Stuart" came along there'd been nobody near the machine with the knowledge to do that.

As to location of kit when the lab I worked in first acquired a server back in the early '80s (anybody remember the Onyx?) it was put in a cubbyhole next to the lift. Transients from the lift mechanism meant it reset at frequent intervals until we persuaded TPTB that this wasn't a good arrangement it got it moved.

Vanished global warming may not return – UK Met Office

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How far back do temperature measurements go? Temperature as measured by thermometer.

How long is the post-glacial?

Why are we arguing about statistical noise?

Storage device reported stolen from insurer RSA's data centre

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Don't overlook the obvious

A laptop is just as likely as a tape drive and more easily sold

PRIMITIVE TOOLS found near MICROSOFT headquarters

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Coat

"Now, if only they'd have had access to MS PowerPoint, too"

A Folsom point will do just as well.

Mine's the one made out of deer hide sewn with sinew.

WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

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After Friday's beer o'clock Sid was completely legless.

As we all know, snark always comes before a fall. Mea culpa

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Re: Is this an admission that some markets shouldn't be free?

"it's the terms of a mortgage that we might regulate, not the houses themselves"

Hmm. I think it might be a good idea to regulate some aspects of the houses. Ensuring they have foundations is a good idea. Likewise DPCs etc.

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"nowhere in the nervous system are the objective value of consumable rewards encoded"

Clearly the man has never been sent out by a SWMBO with a shopping list. In connection with which, and to pick up the point of Aldi & Lidl having fewer SKUs my interpretation of "Lidl surprises" is going there & finding what was on the list.

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Re: A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

"Was that a cynic or an economist?"

No. An accountant.

Jeremy Corbyn wins Labour leadership election

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Re: Congratulations!

@ GitMeMyShootinIrons

Maybe a tad unfair to Heath given the fact that Wilson/unionism cronying had pushed a lot of power out of reach of government already. But otherwise spot on.

You want to DISRUPT my TECH? How about I DISRUPT your FACE?

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Sanity check

Disrupting your business will cost money to buy new stuff, waste everybody's time whilst you get the new stuff in place and pay the TNT. Do you have that money?

Yes: You're doing fine & don't need to be disrupted.

No: You can't afford to be disrupted.

Don't want to upgrade to Windows 10? You'll download it WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT

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Re: Sea change

"Not many MS shill type comments in here, what's up?"

Fear?

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Re: All praise the glorious prophet Eadon!

Maybe it's time to reinstate him here.

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Re: Metered Connections

One of the weaknesses of human mentality is to believe everyone is in the same situation as themselves. It comes in many forms.

One is that people who find foreign languages/maths/games/IT/music/whatever easy and interesting imagine everyone else must be the same and that those who don't are being wilfully obtuse. (My misfortune as a youngster was the number of such folk in the teaching profession.)

Another is to assume that the facilities available to them in their situation - geographical, financial or whatever - are available to all.

You, A/C seem to fall into the second categor - maybe the first as well but you haven't given us any evidence on that point.

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Re: FSF recommended distros

@cornz 1

I am and it works.

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Re: "Personal" computer no more

"least privilege is something *I* impose upon my user base"

There's a difference between you doing that & $vendor doing it. In your case the computers are owned by and operated on behalf of your company who's paying you to do this. It's like Dave123's PC situation writ large - the owner is making the decisions according to their needs and remaining, via you, in control. The problem with vendor-made decisions is the vendor taking control of kit they don't own.

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Re: "Personal" computer no more

"My biggest problem so far has been getting my copy of $application to run in it under WINE."

Assuming $application doesn't need you to go online then one solution is to set up a VM running an older version than W7 and run it under that. Alternatively a VM with W7 with updates off. Just keep it in its own little world.

Handing over emails in an Irish server to the FBI will spark a global free-for-all, warns Microsoft

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Re: DAT EXCEPTIONALISM!

"Microsoft EU is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft (mumble), based outside the USA, but with Microsoft USA being the only shareholder."

That's not the same as having a wholly separately owned franchise operation. If they really want a clear legal air-gap then they need a company with wholly non-US shareholders running a franchise under Irish law (or whatever the country of residence is) with the terms of the contract excluding any ability of any part of US to demand customer information.

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"The fact the authorities felt the need to hide the case from the public automatically screams that it was subversive and against the public interest."

Maybe but maybe they didn't want to alert their target. If so it didn't work out for them.

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Re: DAT EXCEPTIONALISM!

" this is an attempted end run around existing agreements coz some entitled bureaucrats think they shouldn't apply to Uncle Sam"

It could indeed be ignorance, arrogance or indolence that caused them not to choose the proper procedure. However, having thought about it some more I wonder if it's a fishing expedition and they don't have an adequate a priori case to present to the Irish. Or maybe they're a lot of secretive sods who can't bring themselves to present the case that they do have because somebody else.

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Re: What I don't understand is .....

"from a legal perspective, MS cannot be allowed to win as it creates a dangerous precedent,"

The precedent it would set would be that law enforcement would have to follow the due process which exists for this very purpose. There is an existing method for requesting this information & the authorities chose to ignore it.

Exactly what is wrong with a precedent that obliges the authorities to follow due process? This year we celebrated the 800th anniversary of the introduction of that concept into English and hence into US law. The US claims that Magna Carta is a valued part of its heritage. The prosecution in this case should be ashamed of themselves.

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Re: One word

Maybe there's a reasonable time limit to hold backups. If the data is stale so is the backup.

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Re: DAT EXCEPTIONALISM!

"US law governs companies in US jurisdiction, If Microsoft et al do not want to be subject to US law, they should move out of the US"

Sigh. I've said this here a couple of times. Looks like I'll have to say it again.

All they have to do is arrange for a franchisee to operate the business outside the US. They can then go to the US court & truthfully say they have no access, it has to be done through the franchisee which operates under the law of the country where the franchisee is located.

It's not like US business don't have lawyers capable of setting up franchises( for tax purposes).

You're also missing the point that it's not Microsoft et al who want to be not subject to US law. It's their non-US customers. Why should we be so subject?

When the IT department is 'just another supplier'

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Re: Fix the real issues

"Someone read it then..."

Certainly. A first class rant.

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You're doing it wrong

If IT is just another supplier someone, somewhere is doing it wrong. And it might be IT.

If you're working in IT within a business you should be taking advantage of that to learn about how the business works and what it needs. You should have better knowledge of those needs which should let you meet them better and even be proactive in suggesting better uses of IT to the rest of the business. These are advantages which no external supplier should have. You are part of the business and the rest of the business should be aware that you have common interests with them.

'Major' outage at Plusnet borks Brits' browsing, irate folk finger DNS

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Seems to be OK for me & has been for at least the last half hour or so.

Tech, telcos, and digital crusties gang up against the EU's Digital Single Market

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Re: Lies, Lies and Politicians

OTOH I don't want to see anybody's football anywhere.

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Does not compute

"Ashworth pointed out that according to 2012 research by the EU, only 3.5 per cent of consumers wanted to access AV material across borders and only one per cent want to buy it across national borders."

If the demand is so low why go to the trouble of geoblocking? It must cost money to put in place. Is that a rat I can smell?

Windows 10 to grow up, turn extra enterprise-y beginning this month

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Re: Just working would be fine .....

ISTR reading somewhere, probably here, that Lenovo wouldn't be pre-loading W10 yet because of driver issues or something like that.

And the moral is: never be the first to jump.

End mass snooping and protect whistleblowers, MEPs yell at EU

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Re: Reality theater

For some negative value of damage.

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Good news but...

...there's still 293 who haven't got the message.

Roll up, roll up: Microsoft, those Irish emails and angry Feds

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"I'm just surprised no one form the US Gov has stepped in to quietly talk in the ear of the court"

The ear of the court should be inappropriate. A word in the ear of the prosecution would be a different matter.

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'This is the "Justice" Department, how ironic.'

Not necessarily ironic. It's just an example of the Yes Minister theory of govt. departments as tombstones.

Well, what d'you know: Raising e-book prices doesn't raise sales

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Re: Sample of 1

"Personally I prefer the ebook as it takes much less physical space which means I can take a couple of hundred books with me on holiday"

I've never been on a holiday which prompted me to take even one hundred books.

Right, opt out everybody! Hated Care.data paused again

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Re: Is it time to put down this terminally ill scheme?

"All staff with access need to attend privacy training and be aware it's a sackable offense to breach data protection."

There are a couple of prerequisites for this. One is that it has to be a sackable offence and the other is that the employers need the balls to do the sacking.

Laminate this: Inside Argos' ongoing online (r)evolution

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"last time I was looking for something I could pick up *that day* and was checking the stores in reasonable travel distance they had really obfuscated whether they were actually carrying what I needed or not."

Same problem the other day with Screwfix - surely they can't all be on collect next day for a Dremel disk.

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" We want to get to a point where we are adding to that range of products and making it more specific to customers.”

And we know what that means. Buy a camera, for instance, and every time you visit the site the muppets offer you more and more cameras ignoring the fact that that's the item you're least likely to be looking for this time.

US gov to Apple: COUGH UP iMessages or FEEL our FEDERAL FROWN

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The strong encryption genie has been out of the bottle this last couple of decades.

Assuming we can be confident of at least some of the cipher schemes in the libraries (and there are a good many non-government eyeballs looking at them nowadays) it's not beyond the capabilities of any organised group whom TPTB consider bad actors to roll their own applications. It would have no effect making that illegal: you don't stop people who are already breaking laws by furnishing them with more laws to break. The only effect would be to piss off those people who wish to use encryption for legitimate purposes - the name for those people is spelled V O T E R S.

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Microsoft

It's a pity their "telemetry" is eroding the kudos they've been getting from their stance on server sovereignty.

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Coffee/keyboard

"And with a bit of clever redirection of lava floes they could probably get the island to resemble a giant Apple logo."

Oi!

British killer robot takes out two Britons in Syria strike

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Re: OK, mixed feelings about this...

"Clearly, the simple reason for this operation is to show other half-wits with British passports that going to that dusty shithole and making a video about yourself killing infidels will eventually get you killed too."

It tends not to work that way. They see that fate as glorious martyrdom, as glamorous. Yes, we may view that attitude as irrational but that doesn't stop people thinking irrationally.

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