* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16449 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

C For Hell – Day Two: Outage misery continues for furious C4L customers

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"I like the way Google has blurred the posts of the road sign"

And the sign on the ambulance.

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"its like an undertaker hanging around a hospital toting for business"

Not quite, but nearly:


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"Our senior teams have completed an emergency workshop"

They should start another. Anything to keep manglement out of the way while the techies get on with fixing it.

Krebs: I know who hacked Ashley Madison

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"The most popular password was "123456" (202 of the 4,000),... and 12345 (99)."

It's good to see that the need for longer passwords is getting through to users.

Windows 10 now on 75 million devices, says Microsoft

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"OK. you can stick with your Windows 2000."

For the VM I need to run a couple of elderly Windows programs I shall do just that as if I let the Win7 instance upgrade it'll presumably start bleating about upgrades & from the reports I've seen here it will also download "telemetry".

What Ashley Madison did and did NOT delete if you paid $19 – and why it may cost it $5m+

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Re: "... then complaining when telesales phone them up. Idiots."

"They get around regulations by claiming it's a market research call"

AFAIK market research calls come under TPS as well. And as I operate a zero tolerance policy they will be reported no matter how much they apologise. The real problem here is those who call because they think I'm a customer & that's allowed (by the Blair govt so that that excuse is akin to taking business advice from the experts who brought you the big housing bubble and its consequences); these are dealt with by the simple expedient of ceasing to be a customer.

"That's assuming they don't simply base their call centres outside the UK, or not give their number and/or company name so you can't even file a TPS complaint."

The few I receive get the long weight treatment. It seems to be pretty effective as I don't get many. However I did have a missed call the other day which on googling turns out to be a number used for calls from "Microsoft". And I missed it! Colour me disappointed.

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This is data they should no longer be holding. A belt and braces approach of holding it elsewhere is a breach of that. For all we know this could have been a dump of such a belt and braces copy.

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Re: Greasy

"Maybe the telesales are using the telephone directory. Should they delete you from that too?"

In the UK there is such a thing as the Telephone Preference Service. It's a list of phone numbers that shouldn't be called. If a telephone sales organisation is using the telephone book they should filter it against that list.. So in effect the answer to your question is "yes".

And a numbers not to be called list needs no other information than the numbers so your final statement, that they need to remember "you" is false; all they need to remember is a telephone number.

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Re: Greasy

"Your system is reasonable"

No it isn't. It appears to have been a response to complaints about his company pestering random people with random phone calls. If they didn't indulge in such anti-social behaviour a deletion should simply have been a deletion.

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Re: Greasy

"A surprising number of people still kept on going for Full Delete & then complaining when telesales phone them up. Idiots."

You were making unsolicited phone calls & think the recipients are idiots for complaining?

Is there no limit to the stupidity of marketroids?

Prof Hawking cracks riddle of black holes – which may be portals to other universes

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Re: There's only one bit of 'information' I want from another universe

OK, take your choice: 0 1

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I may be old-fashioned here but in my book a theory is a hypothesis that has been tested by some means which would be able to falsify it and has so far failed to be falsified. A hypothesis is a proposition that is testable in that way even if it hasn't been so tested. "Supposed to" is a long way from either.

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"matter's information about its physical state is supposed to be permanent"

Supposed to be? That sounds like an untested assumption in which case there may be no paradox at all.

Boffins promise file system that will NEVER lose data

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Do they have a name for this? If not let me offer Hubrisfs.

The good burghers of Palo Alto are entirely insane

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Re: Nimbyism

" Germany's lack of understanding of tea and the need for milk in it"

If you want milk in tea you need better tea.

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"One of which is the rise in the value of housing."

Do we actually mean value here? As opposed to market price?

The value of the house is in the shelter it provides for its inhabitants. House price inflation might push up the market price of the house but the shelter it provides is unchanged unless changes are made to the house itself, say by a developer splitting it into flats.

We really should have learned this by now. We've seen house price inflation put up "valuations" with loans taken out against the supposed new value but as soon as it becomes clear that the loans can't be serviced the prices collapse. Cue printing of money (under one name or another) to try to prop up the financial system. Maybe the "value" of that printed money should be included in the GDP, then the economy would really look efficient. Alternatively we should stop pretending that unsustainable house prices constitute wealth - but that would be really scary.

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Re: Ownership and liability

@Steve Knox

If you follow your own link you will see that E&W practice nowadays is that the if the state takes the land then it must provide compensation. If, therefore, the state wished to clear all existing debt by compulsorily acquiring sufficient property & reselling it it would have to raise an equivalent amount of new debt to do so leaving no reduction in the debt but a tidy profit to the solicitors who carried out the conveyancing.

BT commences trials of copper-to-the-home G.fast broadband tech

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Re: I'm skeptical

Calling Mr Worstall.

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Re: I wonder...

Such poor reading skills.

From the article:

"Openreach is working with eight communications partners, which will then provide retail services to consumers. The trial is open to all communications providers on equal terms. This means people will have a choice of service provider and any technological developments will benefit the wider industry."

Twenty years since Windows 95, and we still love our Start buttons

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Re: 95 was crap

"you realise that you hadn't saved the file"

And whose fault was that?

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Re: Actually...

Some people are opposed to learning something new because it's inferior to what they've got.

BIG CLUE: If it's not broken don't fix it.

BIGGER CLUE: If marketing think it's broken because they want something new to sell that doesn't mean it's really broken.

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Re: Windows 95

"4) The first version had no USB.

Not surprising. USB was a comparatively new technology back then and not that much hardware supported it."

IIRC neither did NT4.

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Re: YOU feel, old, I'm cattle-trucked then...

"I remember the 'joy' of using Windows 286...."

So did I. It came as a package from VisionWare which also included an Ethernet board with a BNC connector and an X-server which was, of course, the raison d'etre of the package. And on the other end of the net was an HP running HP Vue desktop which contributed to the subsequent CDE desktop.

Many of the ideas which went to W95 were in there*. Notably there was the start of the menu system but it was a bar with several pop-up menus. The major contribution of W95 was to condense these into a single button with cascading menus. As has been said elsewhere CUA principles were also followed - that's the File Edit etc menus. Those could be implemented in pure text as well as in GUI form.

What MS achieved was to combine a lot of what was already about in such a way that it hit a sweet spot. I've no idea whether this was good luck or good management but they did it. It offered some scope for refinement in implementation and a few features - auto-hide menu bars and multiple desktops for instance. But on the whole it was a feature set that was easier to bugger up than improve as a good many interface designers have proven in the last couple of decades.

*HP New Wave which was an interface revision dropped on top of W3.x also contributed to W95. It introduced the idea of an OO interface, namely that by clicking on a data file the OS would recognise the associated application and start that to open the file. And its text editor had a spill chucker. W95 copyright statements included HP along with the Regents of UCB.

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Re: while enabling ... the Windows Store

@Terry 6

Ah diddums!

Oddly enough my strictly non-IT cousin-in-law Terry has no problems with Linux. He can do just what he did with his old XP.

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Re: The public accepted Windows 95

@John 104

I just tried that. It does nothing. But then I'm using KDE on Debian. I don't recall it doing anything with SCO either. Why on earth did H/W manufacturers let themselves get talked into wasting keyboard real estate for a key whose use is limited to one particular OS?

Shadow minister for Fun calls for Openreach separation

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Re: Governance...

It goes further than this. It's not just a matter of setting targets, it's use of resources. The profitability of a project depends on the number of customers who can be connected for the cost of that project. If resources are fixed then to carry out projects in non-profitable areas means diverting resources from profitable areas. That would mean that fewer people overall would get connected.

Living in a rural area myself I'm quite sensitive to the needs of rural areas but there has to be either a balance. If OR had concentrated on getting the far-flung premises online most people hereabouts would have been/might still be waiting for a connection.

If there is to be a universal service requirement then more resources are needed. That means either taxpayers money or raising prices so those living in easily serviced areas subsidise those who don't - and for the latter to work that would be the wholesale prices; if just BT end-user prices were to be raised the other providers would just cash in and nothing extra would become available. Cue more complaints about subsidies.

And just a reminder - any extra cash wouldn't go as far as might be naively expected as it would be being spent where the costs of connecting customers is highest.

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Re: Back in the real world

"FTTP is a clear investment in the future"

And a remarkably expensive one compared to FTTC. One cabinet enables connection to a whole bunch of premises. FTTP would require each of those premises to have a fibre connection laid. In some cases there may be existing ducting, in others new ground works would be needed. How many premises could be provisioned in this way for the cost of one cabinet? Do you think any of the companies currently offering FTTP will ever offer services to the sorts of rural customers Bryant was concerned about?

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Back in the real world

I wonder exactly how much more effective a separated Openreach would be in rolling out FTTC in rural areas without BT's financial resources behind it. And as for the companies listed as offering FTTP it wasn't clear just what areas AQL & Gigaclear are operating in whilst Hyperoptic does show a map of S England the areas where it's registering interest seem considerably greater than those where it's actually taking orders.

I doubt that separating Openreach or bringing more companies into the field would help Chris Bryant's constituents. What's more likely is to find them all fighting like rats over the 10% most profitable areas.

Samsung smart fridge leaves Gmail logins open to attack

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everything includes blue LEDs


Windows 10 market share growth slows to just ten per cent

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"If 10%/week is sustained"

That's a big if you've got there. The whole point of the article, conveniently summarised in the headline, is that the growth rate has shrunk.

Sysadmin ignores 25 THOUSAND patches, among other sins

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Re: 2 Years

"You were lucky."

It may not be luck. See the Rules post above. If you have documented what the current situation is, what's wrong (& what's right) and WHY (compare with currently accepted good practice) and what needs to be done to recover, complete with priorities, then it becomes difficult for them to argue. Difficult as in not having a legal leg to stand on if it turns nasty.

'Unexpected item in baggage area' assigned to rubbish area

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Re: Hate the things

"I admire your courage in walking away."

I wouldn't usually walk away, I've invested too much time in picking the stuff in the first place. What I do is scoop it all back into the trolley & go to a manned till. But 3 items is about the max for a self-service till, more than that and the cumulative probability of one being queried gets too close to 1. And if you dump all the loose advertising crap out of a magazine before scanning it will fail to recognise it.

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"There's no mention of global warming"

There is now.

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I can't help thinking that the entire retail industry is engaged in some private competition to discover who can treat their customers the worst. Either that or they want to drive everybody to online shopping so that they can do away with all this expensive real estate. If it's the latter they're clearly following the example of the banks.

As far as I'm concerned Tesco & Ikea both earn the never-again-set-foot prize years ago with the latter in a slight lead with a particularly ingenious twist.

They're bad enough by insisting you run a long maze even if you know exactly what you want and are simply trying to get to the stock area to get it. But the very last time I went there I was without the assistance of SWMBO. The car park is a 2 storey affair & naturally I ended up on the upper story. The loading bay has room for about 3 cars.

With a full trolley & nobody to guard it I'm expected to leave it for some toe-rag to load into his own car whilst I go and get my car & then join a queue of about 20 others waiting to load up? No, I'll put the trolley in the lift, take it to the car, load up & bring the trolley back down like any public spirited bloke.

I found the lift had a notice saying "No trolleys". I took the trolley up to the top floor and left it there.

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"competitors such as Morrisons, which even ran an ad campaign promising it would provide more humans on tills"

I can remember Tesco advertising the same thing.

Get whimsical and win a Western Digital Black 6TB hard drive

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It's not working. I'll stick a handful of shit on it and hand it back.

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Select ringtone music:

Also sprach Zarathustra

The Blue Danube

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The cattle prod has hair-raising effects.

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The PFY's latest acne cream has striking side effects.

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Oobee doo I wanna get O2

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Steve Bong checks some of his 5,000 daily texts. Although he's given up shaving his hipster beard isn't coming on as well as he hoped.

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I own copyright on this selfie and any lawyer that thinks different can take it up with me personally.

Win8 inventory glut? Yep, it's all Microsoft's fault, says HP

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Re: Windows 10 is a success

Much the same except I used Zorin. It offers to set up dual boot which is set up with Linux as the default. This retains all their original files with the Windows partition appearing as another drive which Linux can then access. I found that it was quite quick to partition if you accepted the split it suggested but if you set the Linux partition larger it had to do a defrag which took hours on an old box.

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"Everyone knew Windows 10 was coming. We may not have known the exact release date"

The release date was trailed well enough in advance. The only uncertainty, I suppose, was that they may have delayed. But the point is well made.

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Re: Glutten Free?

Is that gluten or glutton?

Collective noun search for security vulns moves into beta testing

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How about a flop? After all, the number of vulnerabilities seems to increase in proportion to processor speed.

Whilst we're on the subject can I offer another collective noun. A one-time colleague of mine (himself an accountant) remarked "this business has a surplus of accountants". It seemed appropriate on several different levels.

Forget Big Data hype, says Gartner as it cans its hype cycle

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In other words, they reckon they've made as much money out of it as was there to be made.

Microsoft will explain only 'significant' Windows 10 updates

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Re: Trust nothing? Too late for that!

"you will find cases where an update borks something ... but that *is* (tin-foil hats notwithstanding) accidental"

It's also something that can happen to other OSs too. If you don't like living on the bleeding edge choosing a variant that has the most conservative update policy you can find.

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Re: "Darling, it was a moment of madness"

"the generation who know no different"

I think they're starting to find out. And as a consequence we can hopefully look forward to the following generation being better educated.

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