* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

The coming of DAB+: Stereo eluded the radio star

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Re: Todays Music just blows

"Yeah, that's right Grandad. It's all just Thump Thump Thump these days. And those bloody teddy boys"

Let's see, Teds in the mid 1950s, aged late teens to early 20s. How old are they now?

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Re: DAB killed the radio star

"a switch to mono"

It seems that DAB really missed its mark. It needed to match or exceed existing standards such as FM or CD in quality in order to find a place in stereo rigs. It didn't so AFAICS most DAB kit sold is the little portable mono radio spec. It's not surprising if broadcast channels switch to match the bulk of receivers in use.

Locally Integrated Menus back on Vivid Vervet’s menu

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Re: systemd compatible with init scripts

"from a marketing perspective they are not telling the truth"

Marketing not telling the truth? Standard operating procedure!

So where's all these digital services GDS promised us?

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Re: The Companies House site is now a worse experience

"CH.gov.uk → redirects to GDS front page → Find Company info → Start Now → old CH front page exactly as it was, with the useful search box right on the front page"

Which you then bookmark and continue to use. Isn't GDS wonderful? - it helped you to do that.

New dirt-cheap Chromebooks: Team Google keeps jackboot on throat of PC titans

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Re: I think you mean

"Can I wipe it and put a PROPER linux on there?"

Not necessarily. Choices include a PROPER Unix: BSD.

Prostrate yourself before the GNU, commands Indian DEITY

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Re: Would The Reg please stop

"If you want to run a successful commercial business, you need a professional partner who will have your back and ensure there are no potential legal threats. If you just want to run a toe-jam harvesting co-operative, then by all means use F/OSS."

This reminded me of the time when the client's invoicing run broke on the second successive Friday lunchtime (see icon) by blowing up the database engine. Although it was a proprietary application we had the source code to most of it so, after repairing the damage, I spent the rest of the afternoon going through the it & rung up the profession partner, i.e. vendor, to tell them how to write code that didn't cause to engine to keep taking bites of memory without releasing them. Free or not there's a benefit to having the source.

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Re: The DIETY has spoken!

+1 for EA

Encryption is the REAL threat – Head Europlod

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Re: freedom is nice to have, until it gets taken by a criminal who can not be found

"In many European countries the same ones opposing NSA style dragnet spying, also supported laws which forbid or restrict police to maintain databases with DNA and other information. If the police is allowed to keep DNA, fingerprint, voice recognition and facial recognition information of all registered citizens, crime fighting would be considerably easier, and perhaps the dragnet surveillance can be terminated."

You need to take a little care in stating your case. The objection to retaining DNA etc records is not to retention per se but in retaining records of people who have not been convicted. There is, in English law, a principle of presumption of innocence. That is one of the main protections against wrongful accusation.

With that correction made the reason why we oppose all these things is because they have one thing in common: abuse of due process of law. The notion of due process has been part of English law for 800 years this year; we like that. I think even David Cameron, were he to think about it, would baulk at celebrating the anniversary of Magna Carta by abolishing it.

Microsoft update mayhem delays German basketball game, costs team dear

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+1 for "a management type doing a corporate feasibility study for the Peter Principle"


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“Our calculation for what an observer on Earth could detect predicts a very unusual signature that is unlikely to be caused by any naturally occurring object in the known universe,"

But there are naturally occurring relativistic objects in the form of cosmic radiation. So why do we not detect such a signature?

Or is this how Raytheon were hoping to detect incoming aliens at UK borders?

Smart meters are a ‘costly mistake’ that'll add BILLIONS to bills

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Re: IT disasters...

3) Projects to solve a non-problem.

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This is all well and good until their recommendation:

"Abandon the whole programme and develop a smart phone app instead – look into developing a smart app which would convert a photo of their current mechanical meter into a meaningful number for the suppliers. This would cost tens of thousands of pounds rather than billions."

This could rapidly become "convert an edited photo of their current mechanical meter into a meaningless number" and "cost customers tens of pounds rather than hundreds".

Belgium to the rescue as UK consumers freeze after BST blunder

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Re: Oh, for goodness sake

"There is a case for moving to CET"

Really? The only sensible case for this is being in central Europe. And we're not.

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This moan comes up twice a year regularly.

People seem to think clock changes are somehow unique to the UK. They're not. On my laptop /usr/share/zoneinfo, the directory with the time zone rules, runs to 3.5M on account of the number of different countries that have to be covered.

Jailed Brit con phishes prison, gets bail

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"A lot of criminal ingenuity harbours in the mind of Mr Moore"

I know it was a lawyer who said it but that's no excuse. Harbour is a transitive verb.

Exercising with chocolate: Festival and tours galore

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Re: Before anybody starts

"so it does have IT content"

Irrelevant. It has chocolate content and that is sufficient.

Forum chat is like Clarkson punching you repeatedly in the face

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Re: Poor Oisin

I doubt any of then will be out of a job. I expect a show looking remarkably like Top Gear to show up on some other channel with the same faces fronting it. OTOH Beeb executives will be several 10s of millions short to spend on executive lunches etc - or maybe they won't, they'll cut a few costs elsewhere to make up for the shortfall.

Home Office awards Raytheon £150m over e-borders cancellation

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Re: A drop in the ocean

"a Scot living in Yorkshire"

Here on a course of advanced study?

Mine's the one without pockets.

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Re: However, by 2010 it had terminated the contract, due to significant delays and missed targets.

"So why are we paying these buggers anything?"

Because it's the cheapest way of making them go away, otherwise they keep the case going through the courts for the duration of the next few parliaments.

El Reg uncages its truly demonic BOFH t-shirt

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Never mind BOFH t-shirts - what about BOFH-branded cattle prods?


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Re: And despite all

"And green peace et al will be against it"

Oddly enough there's an item on the Beeb news site saying that the Green party wants 1% of GDP spent on science. That really puzzles me seeing that they object to so many of its products.

Microsoft and Oracle are 'not your trusted friends', public sector bods

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Re: So give them the boot - use open source

@Gordon 10

Indeed so. But the current state of play is that they can. I've said here a couple of times that MS need to put in a clearer fire break, for instance by having the service run as a franchise in order to be sure.

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Re: So give them the boot - use open source

"Office365 is now the mail of choice - Google can't guarantee to keep the data within the EU apparently."

Neither can MS if a NY judge says otherwise.

Try again.

What is HPC actually good for? Just you wait and see

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I tried to follow the link at the bottom of the first page but quit at "illuminate the contra-Malthusianism worldview". Far too sesquipedalian for me.

No, really, the $17,000 Apple Watch IS all about getting your leg over

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Re: Was it bling or power?

Gold chain in the neolithic? Nope.

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Re: Not sure

Another possibility is that the successful males were those best at cattle stealing.

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Not sure

Now el Reg has sorted out the links so we can actually get through to the report Tim was quoting (all these comments & nobody noticed the links were screwed?) I'm not sure what was actually being said. The report isn't the actual paper. It isn't even a review of the original paper. It's a write-up of what's best described as publisher's blurb for the original paper from the University.

The researchers seem to have taken a geographically wide-spread series of samples. What's not clear is whether all the geographic areas show the same restriction which would seem unlikely; there would be little gene flow from the Western European neo to contemporary Oceania, for instance.

Maybe they said that restriction took place separately in each culture at the time that it developed agriculture but if so this doesn't come through clearly in the report.

The mechanism of the restriction must also be open to doubt. It could well be linked to the way in which agriculture spread. If the knowledge & skills were largely passed down from father to son then the spread of agriculture from an area in which it had developed would be the work of a relatively small number of male lines originating in that area. Because agriculture allowed cultures using it to support larger populations those male lines would proliferate faster than those of the hunter-gatherers into whose territory agriculture was spreading.

Ford: Our latest car gizmo will CHOKE OFF your FUEL if you're speeding

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Re: Don't worry

OTOH, unless it's clarified by legislation or a Statutory Instrument the only way for you or I to actually know whether it's illegal would be a ruling by a court.

In the meantime, consider what might happen if you were to stand with a placard saying "Slow down" just round the corner from a speed-trap. And the efficacy of a defence of "I was only warning drivers they had exceeded the set limit".

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Re: Why does the UK pander dangerous drivers?

"either trolling or an MP"

Or a spokesperson for Brake.

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Don't worry

If it cuts the income from speeding fines it'll soon be banned. In fact, it might already be illegal. Devices which detect speed-traps are illegal as is warning drivers about speed-traps. "Should travelling downhill cause the vehicle to exceed the legislated speed an alarm is sounded" - this would appear to fall into the same category.

Document Foundation pledges Office 365 and Google Docs challenger

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Re: A Hardware Alternative Too?

Any free OS would suffice as the basis.

YOUR DATA could be SOLD in RadioShack's bankruptcy auction

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Re: Customer data, no problem.

01625 545 745 is a good number to give in such circumstances.

Favicons used to update world's 'most dangerous' malware

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Re: What will the stooopid do?

"So how do they mastermind all this shit?"

I thought that had been explained by now. If you have to be stupid to reply then the scammers know the replies are from suitably stupid suckers.

"And what's a Ph: ?"

A doctorate that's been doctored?

Assange™ lawyers demand Swedish prosecution files or no London interview

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Re: Statute of limitations ...

"Surely the Swedish system would be the same. I can't believe they have a fugitives charter ...."

Do they have provision for trial in absentia as a last resort?

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"Of course if the ambassador is fed up with Assange and allows the Swedish police to arrest and remove him"

The ambassador doesn't have to allow the Swedish police to arrest him. All he has to do is to decide that Assange no longer qualifies for asylum. If the Swedish & Ecuadoran authorities are in agreement that the proposed interview is an acceptable procedure and he refuses to be interviewed then maybe that would provide the basis for terminating asylum.

Standard General bids to save RadioShack from oblivion

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"In February, the company issued a release, which said:


To effectuate this transaction..."

Remedial English lessons needed..

Millions of voters are missing: It’s another #GovtDigiShambles

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Not surprising

I think this is a problem that's been brewing for years. How do you define and then establish identity?

If I produce a birth certificate and claim to be the person named on it does it prove that I am? No, in fact the certificates specifically say that they are not a proof of identity?

What about National Insurance Number? That is also not a proof of identity.

Some businesses want a recent utility bill or bank statement to prove your identity; the utilities and banks want to go paperless. And such documents would be fairly easy to forge. I had a couple of gigs at one time, one with a real security printer where all waste had to be securely destroyed on site with records kept and the other printing utility bills where waste was overflowing from a skip in the car park.

The identity card would have solved this wouldn't it? More likely it would have brought these problems to light a few years earlier.

Lots of organisations want verified identity but want to throw the problem of verification over the wall for someone else to deal with.

UK.gov shovels £15m into training new quantum engineers

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"There's a PM who's mouthing platitudes"

This is Vince Cable, not the PM. Former lecturer at LSE (London School of Economics).

It looks like someone has been at work with both smoke, through which cameras might or might not see, and mirrors.

More than 260 suspects charged in UK child abuse crackdown

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Re: What does this mean?

"care homes that haven't yet been linked to paedophile celebrities"

Celebrities are irrelevant, both in the specific context and generally. Google Kincora Boy's Home. There were no celebrities there as far as could be determined.

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@ Mine's a Guinness

As far as I can make out from the article this is current and from the reports on Dolphin Sq that seems to be historical. Different objectives, different enquiries. Trying to combine them wouldn't help.

‘Digital by default’ agricultural payments halted: Farmers start smirking

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As any farmer will tell you

Bracken is an invasive weed.

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Re: Oh Dear

I've got two pieces of news for you.

1. Whoever you vote for you still end up with a politician.

2. Whoever you vote for you still end up with the same Civil Service.

Another GDS cockup: Rural Payments Agency cans £154m IT system

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There's an effective way to ensure these systems get delivered working on time.

On the due date senior staff in the govt agency/ministry or whatever stop getting paid. They only get paid again when the farmers or whoever get paid.

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"So any chance we can take the real lessons stop this crap before we do the same to HMRC and destroy our nation's ability to collect tax?"

I think HMRC opted out of using GDS. Of course what happens when they go fully on-line remains to be seen.

Blighty's 12-sided quid to feature schoolboy's posterior

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Re: And how long will the "old" coins be valid?

"Six months"

Sad, really. Pre-decimal coins could remain in circulation for a long time. In the mid-50s a pocket-full of change could include coins from 5 different reigns.

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Re: This is a lovely story

Are there any metal-bashing shops in your area. If so maybe that's what they're bashing out.

Not in the Budget: Spooks beg UK.gov for £111m brown envelope

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Re: £111m doesn't buy much surveillance hardware

It's just the extra they needed when they realised some people have two fridges to monitor. They'd only budgeted for one each.

We need copyright reform so Belgians can watch cricket, says MEP

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Re: A simple solution?


What part of the word "if" didn't you understand?

Vince Cable opens hipster-friendly London tech creche

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"why...are so many of our cities lagging behind the rest of the country in terms of growth?"

Let me rephrase that: "Why is the rest of the country lagging behind London in terms of growth?" and the answer "because you keep putting all the money into London."

Internet Explorer LIVES ON, cackle sneaky Microsoft engineers

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Re: Less is more, not

'the word should have been "fewer"?'

No, "worse".

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