* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16449 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

We have no self-control: America's most powerful men explain why they're scared of email

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'Graham told a confused Bloomberg News: "I've tried not to have a system where I can just say the first dumb thing that comes to my mind."'

Maybe talking to the press is just that sort of system.

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Re: Luddite?

"I don't do Facebook/Twit/G+/Linkedin. At times I post on ElReg forums. I don't know what that makes me."

Intelligently selective.

Hated smart meters likely to be 'a costly failure' – MPs

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Re: Network Neutrality

No, it's a matter of praising a govt for doing the right thing and blaming them for doing the wrong thing. The only weird thing here is that you seem to be assuming govts are consistent.

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Re: It will tell me how much power an appliance is using...

"They dont seem to be particularly smart meters"

But they're still smarter than the politicos who were sold on the idea.

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Re: UK market specifics

"wasn't aware of the crapita angle though"

i would have been safe to assume it, however.

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Re: In the news over the weekend...

"If you want to know how much juice you using then use something like this:"

Even simpler - just read the specs of the stuff you've plugged in.

Sleepy eNom bombs websites in HUGE DNS OUTAGE – remains silent despite gripes

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Re: Maybe

One of the basics of customer service is that you ensure your customers are kept informed when problems like this happen. Even if you don't particularly care whether your customers are happy or not it helps you by keeping them off your back so you can get on with fire-fighting.

Scotland to get National ID system 'by the backdoor', campaigners mull challenge

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Re: Why the fuss?

" I really don't know what peoples problem is"

It's a point of principle.

OK, they're not ROBOT BUTLERS, but Internet of Home 'Things' are getting smarter

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Re: Automatic Video Recorder?

"There are several comforts I now appreciate."

Number zero: electricity.

Yes, it was in Yorkshire. How did you guess?

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Re: Ifttt

You're solving the wrong problem. http://dilbert.com/strip/1998-10-13

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Re: All your pizzas are ours

@Infernoz

My solution is simpler. I don't buy anything that shouldn't need to go online but wants to.

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Re: With a camera in the fridge...

"The light will have to come on whenever you access the image from the camera - at least, that's what they'll tell you - so you still won't truly know if the light goes out, and instead have to continue taking it on faith"

In Schroedinger's fridge the light is both off and on.

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Re: This is just stupid

"I suppose having a camera so you can see what's inside"

But just think of the advantage. You'll be able to check that the light actually does go off.

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Re: This is just stupid

"Anyone able to afford such fridge would have enough brain cells to estimate when he's going to run out of beer."

Given enough beer he might have run out of brain cells.

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All your pizzas are ours

You freezer has just been switched to defrost and all the controls disabled for 24 hours.

Normal operation will be restored on payment of {$CURRENCY UNITS}25. We think you'll find this represents good value for money as our estimate of the value of the freezer's current contents is at least 4 times this.

You can use the following link to make your payment.

The secret of Warren Buffett's success at Berkshire Hathaway

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"but it's really not all about their being perfect stock-pickers at al"

OTOH how much did they invest in Greek bonds?

Grab your pitchforks: Ubuntu to switch to systemd on Monday

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Re: It's a question of complexity vs democracy

Whilst I agree with you overall Firefox did start from a corporation: Netscape. And it was actually forked from the Netscape suite which has been continued in open source form as Seamonkey.

But let's be grateful to those who carried on with open source Unix in the form of BSD.

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Re: So Someone Please Tell Me...

"Why should I give half a shit about whether systemd is used on the distro I use for my home computers?"

Same answer as to previous similar questions. Not at all until something goes wrong at boot time. Then you find the logs are binary (unless you adopt the keeping-a-dog-and-barking-yourself option of exporting them to ASCII and unless the something wrong included that bit not working). And you find, as I did with Upstart which is similar in this regard, that there's nowhere to insert debugging statements.

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Re: Lucky us!

" in case the triad RedHat/Suse/Ubuntu falls victim to corporate interests. "

That triad are corporate interests. It's Debian that's fallen victim.

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"Plus, if you want to still use your init scripts within systemd, you can just configure to to use them."

Until someone decides that this is unnecessary & removes the facility. Can you guarantee that wouldn't happen?

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"the journal is stored in binary format with the configurable option to offload the logs to the current syslog system. it won't make any difference to someone who does not dabble in system start up."

What was wrong with ASCII? ASAICS this is obfuscation for the sake of obfuscation.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"they have init scripts"

Oops. ini files.

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Re: oh well

"But then, I knew it was coming, which is why I'm sending money to devuan."

If I thought it stood a chance I would too. But I think more & more package developers are simply going to assume that systemd & friends are there & use some of their APIs. Eventually so many packages will need adapting to run in a systemd-free environment that it won't be possible to cope unless, of course, devuan succeeds to the point where it becomes the main Linux distro. I think those of us who want to keep using a Unix-like environment will migrate to one of the BSDs so I doubt that that would happen.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"if you're not running a desktop and you want to tightly control the services on a server, their runlevels, and their start order, then that binary configuration will, at least initially, have a higher learning curve than the older, more comfortable init scripts."

I thought that was the reverse of the case. The init scripts (using a Turing-complete programming language) are too much like hard work for the windows-trained admins so they have init scripts. And it's all dependency based so start order is automatically looked after. Don't tell me it's not really like that.

If, of course, you have some arbitrarily complex processes to run at boot the init scripting option is still there. For the present. Until somebody potters about and removes it. Then what started out as an open source Unix-like system finally becomes an open source Windows-like system.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"what's going on in the background as long as it does what it's supposed to"

When it's doing what it's supposed to, fine. When it doesn't it'll take a hell of a lot more effort to find out why.

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More research needed

"Debian uses it"

At present only in testing. Anyone who is using the current Debian is still using SysV.

The difference between upstart & systemd might not be reckoned as big as that between SYsV & upstart depending on what you're trying to do. I recall trying to work out why a Ubuntu box I was setting up to run MythTV worked fine on a monitor but went into extreme letter box mode to display live & recorded TV on my real TV. I wanted to put debugging statements into the graphics start-up script to find out what the hell was happening but due to upstart the entire script was removed. It's one of the reasons why I left Ubuntu for Debian.

Bad news: Robo-cars will make you work billions more hours. Good news: In 2040

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Re: Packet collisions first, real collisions next

"The farther away another vehicle is the less you would need to know about it.... forming a mesh network"

Here's part of the problem. If you have a mesh network at least some vehicles will retransmit messages. How does a vehicle decide whether the source is sufficiently far away that it can afford to not retransmit some particular message? If there's a long chain of vehicles a message might need to be passed back to all the vehicles which need to brake ASAP after the lead vehicle. OTOH messages from the opposite carriageway are presumably of no interest to anyone.

And "at least some vehicles" in the previous paragraph raises another part of the problem. Just some? If so, how should it be decided which should retransmit and which should stay silent? Once large numbers start to be involved strange emergent behaviour could be exhibited - all retransmission ceases, everything tries to retransmit or maybe the whole collection flips between these modes.

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Packet collisions first, real collisions next

If all the cars were driverless and in communication with adjacent cars would there be sufficient bandwidth for all the inter-car communication?

Imagine a road with four lanes per carriageway, maybe crossing over a similar road, with traffic joining from slip roads, say the M1/M25 junction, all lanes and slip roads working to capacity. The number of vehicles within range would be many time the total number of such cars built to date. How fast would they be generating data?

I see what you've done, there, twiiter.com: Tweet troops tackle tech twin

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Re: All these came after they started

"Not to mention variants like nitwitter.com.

That was the name they should have adopted in the first place."

Or the simpler twits.com

Bank of America wants to shove its IT into an OpenCompute cloud. What could go wrong?

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"I worry that some of the partners that we work closely with won't be able to make this journey,"

I wonder how many of those partners have big banking accounts with BoA. Maybe they'll make their journey elsewhere.

United Nations: For pity's sake don't use your iPhone in your car

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If you really need to give it your full attention all the time either you're doing it wrong or you spend all your time in really horrendous traffic.

Remember learning to drive? Remember how much mental effort it took at first just to keep the thing pointing where you wanted it to go? You were probably completely shattered after each lesson. That level of attention can't be sustained over a journey of any length and you shouldn't need to.

Fortunately the stuff which takes so much effort initially gradually becomes automatic. If, in clear weather and free-flowing traffic you find you have to devote conscious thought to just maintaining lane position you really shouldn't be driving. Likewise maintaining distance to the vehicle in front.

The guy who's tailgating and looking for chances to get by two or three vehicles in one go or overtaking into a blind corner probably is giving it all his attention. But he's not doing it right.

Pentagon 'network intruder', dozens more cuffed in British cops' cyber 'strike week'

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Re: Why so many arrests all at once?

@ chivo243

Yes, that's why I said I could understand it in the case of a joint enterprise. But the way the article is written suggests that these were independent operations.

Even in the case of overlapping group memberships there has to be a case for taking out one group once the investigation of that is sufficiently advanced. The logical consequence of doing otherwise is that only loners ever get arrested & everyone else is left to continue.

At the best of times it can be a complex strategic decision but this one has an air of publicity-seeking about it.

Another factor is whether there's sufficient evidence to charge those arrested or whether they need forensic examination of seized equipment first. If the latter I can imagine the reactions of those examiners having several cases dumped on them all at once, all urgent. I can imagine it because in my time I've been in that situation, albeit with more conventional aspects of forensic science; I've done my share of working into the night & weekends. Fortunately nobody was so stupid as to do that with a whole lot of cases at once.

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Why so many arrests all at once?

Some of these offences go back a few years. I can understand that there might be a delay in handling a joint enterprise in order to identify all the participants; a premature arrest of some might alert the others and make pursuit more difficult. But some are said to be unrelated. Were these arrests being saved up to make a big headline? If so how do they justify the possibility of allowing the perpetrator to continue unchecked on the one hand or make a fair trial more difficult on the other?

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Re: Blah Blah Blah.....

"Not heresay."

No, definitely not heresay. Were you trying to write "heresy" or "hearsay"?

BILLION email address spam scam: Feds collar two blokes, hunt another

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Re: Spammers stealing from spammers

"All that usually happens when you hit the 'unsubscribe' link on spam is that you are verifying that the email address is correct"

Alternatively you might just have installed something you really didn't want.

Google wins fight to keep Adwords FBI drug sting docs secret

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CDA

If, as the article says, the CDA was struck down how is it that Google is able to use it? What does "struck down" mean in this context?

Bite my shiny metal Ask: Java for OS X crapware storm brewing

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Re: Bah!

"Just associate .pdf with Chrome..."

I prefer Okular. But there are a few times when AR does a better job, such as copying text from an OCRd multicolumn layout.

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Re: I believe Java is still necessary for the hapless Libre/OpenOffice suites

"two of the most unresponsive dev teams of all time"

Citation needed. Or do you just mean they haven't changed the interface to a ribbon?

US watchdog: Anthem snubbed our security audits before and after enormous hack attack

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"Frankly, the sooner that such breaches result in massive financial loss and wholesale bankruptcy of a company or corporation, the better."

Whilst I agree with the sentiment if this were to happen to an insurance company it would leave a lot of innocent customers without the insurance cover they'd paid for. Massive financial loss & wholesale bankruptcy of the senior management team and board of directors would be perfectly acceptable, however.

US Senators hope to crack down on the trade of private information

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Re: Sounds interesting, but....

'So in this case, I'm fairly sure that D stands for "Don't think this bill is going anywhere".'

OTOH look at it this way: it's an indication that some politicos are starting to get the message. That's progress.

Australia threatens to pull buckets of astronomy funding

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Is there any gummint...

...that doesn't play silly buggers with sci/tech & then go whining about lack of STEM workers?

World’s oldest IT dining society breaks into the House of Lords

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Re: Lord Lucas of Crudwell and Dingwall...

How many of us read that as Lord Lucan?

Canadian bloke refuses to hand over phone password, gets cuffed

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This could run and run

Providing he can afford it - and I suspect there'll be support from elsewhere if he can't - it seems unlikely that this will be settled at the first court as whoever wins the initial judgement it seems likely to be appealed on a point of law.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Okay, so they ask to see my laptop.

And, of course, it can have as many login IDs as you wish.

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Happy

Re: Hidden TrueCrypt volumes

For the benefit of the majority of ElReg readers: Tesco is a UK supermarket business.

Upper house of Parliament joins the drone debate

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Re: 2050 You Say?

"This coming from the bunch who don't know what is going to happen on 8 May 2015"

And you do?

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Happy

Re: What's the difference...

"Ban them? Sledge hammer approach...."

You're new here; maybe you don't realise we do irony.

'Hi, I'm from Microsoft and I am GOING TO KILL YOU'

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Re: Problem with my windows

"I tried to tell him that my widows were all working fine."

That opens up another possible wind-up line. You misheard him & assure him you don't have any widows. You'd have to be dead for that & if you were dead you wouldn't be talking to him...

Mummy, what's the point of Evgeny Morozov's tedious columns?

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Re: Evgeny Who?

"Or I suppose not knowing what both Socialist and Marxist mean."

Or PBCAK

'Security, privacy' main barrier to 'government cloud' rollout in EU

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At a government level

For cloud = sombody else's computer say cloud = some other country's computer.

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