* Posts by Naselus

1429 posts • joined 26 Aug 2014

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Facebook scandal: EU politicians should aim for straight answers, not star witnesses

Naselus
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'New' obsession? Politicians have been doing this forever. For example, you may have heard of Joseph McCarthy?

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The true victims of Brexit are poor RuneScape players

Naselus
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Re: Lazy excuses

"These are big enough and ugly enough companies to defend themselves so could someone ask How a "not happened yet" event is linked to Jagex's price increase?"

You know, it says a lot about the mentality of the average Leave voter that the very concept of planning ahead for a foreseeable event occurring in the next twelve months seems absurd to them.

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NAND chips are going to stay too pricey for flash to slit disk's throat...

Naselus
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Re: Golf cart versus BMW

As long as any HDD tech maintains a lower $/GB price tag, then it'll still see use over SSD for performance-agnostic workloads.

And no, the power cost difference won't matter as long as the difference in up-front $/GB remains over 20:1 or so - in other words, SSD prices would need to fall to more than 5 times lower than predicted for 2021.

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Naselus
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Re: Cost per GB per IOP

"When taking IOPS into account the price per GB goes up massively with spinning rust."

IOPS are not relevant in all storage cases, just as $-per-GB is not relevant in all storage cases. You don't put your most intensive IO apps on spinning rust, but you also don't put archival workloads on SSD unless you are criminally bad at budget management.

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Naselus
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Re: Reliability of SSD vs spinning metal?

"So when will SSD reliability overtake spinning drive reliability?"

About 2007.

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Naselus
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Some of us have been saying that for years

Unlike Gartner, who change their mind about it every six months or so.

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Prez Trump's $60bn China tariff plan to hit tech, communications, aerospace industries

Naselus
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Putting tariffs on US-produced soya is not the same as putting tariffs on all foreign-produced soya. Other large soy bean exporters (Brazil, Argentina etc) will quickly take Chinese market share from the now non-competitive US producers, and will expand production to take advantage of it.

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Naselus
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Re: What Trump wants…

Doubt Bolton will last very long, tbh. He's very much an ideologue, with a short temper and incapable of playing nicely with others. In this administration, that means he's likely to get roasted by intrigues and quickly find that Trump strongly disagrees with him on a lot of issues very quickly. For example, Trump's current stance on the Iraq war ("I always said it was a mistake") is wildly at odds with Bolton, who still insists it was a roaring success.

And no, Bolton is not 'respected worldwide'. He's not even widely respected within the Republican party.

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Bad blood: Theranos CEO charged with massive fraud

Naselus
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Re: the only penalty is 'you can't do that again for 10 years'

"I think it was a scam for personal profit -- just one that didn't work. But even if I'm wrong, it's still a scam. Whether it was for personal profit or not isn't that important."

I'm not trying to absolve her - what she did was defraud a stunning amount of money off some incredibly stupid investors (like Rupert Murdoch, for instance). But Holmes has run profitable businesses previously, and had no real reason to dump those for Theranos. She could quite easily have dumped just 10% of her shares when the company was valued at $10 billion and done a runner; if it was a scam, it worked beyond the wildest dreams of most scammers and she never pulled the trigger.

The only way that her behaviour makes sense is if she hoped to achieve her claims and never really accepted that she couldn't do it, and so lied through her teeth to get more funding to piss away attempting the impossible. That's still wrong - she took people's cash, pissed it away, and then lied about having done so - but it's somewhat less reprehensible than taking other people's money and keeping as much of it as you can.

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Naselus
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Re: the only penalty is 'you can't do that again for 10 years'

"Somehow, I suspect that her financial resources are still far larger than those enjoyed by the VAST majority of people in the rest of the US."

IIRC, that's not actually the case. About a year or so ago she had to take a $25 million loan (from Theranos itself, since by that point no bank would touch her or regarded her substantial share holdings as worth a damn thing as collateral), since she's basically bankrupt. She has sizable bank loans from when she was considered a billionaire, but has no actual income to speak of, and has never offloaded any of her (non-preferential) Theranos shares so despite the epic scale of the fraud, she's not made a penny from all this.

Holmes actually lives a fairly cheap and unadorned lifestyle - she'd be able to manage her living expenses on an average salary without much trouble and doesn't really seem overly interested in taking money out of the company. I don't think this was a scam for personal profit, since she doesn't actually seem interested in cashing in; more just someone over-promising enormously and then desperately trying to keep the charade going long after it was clear that the original idea wasn't deliverable.

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Nest reveals the first truly connected home

Naselus
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Re: The question is...

I think the idea is that this replaces your A-lock rather than your mortis. An A-lock is not really secure, since it's not inside the door and can be jimmied. It's supposed to be a daytime lock - you use it for just-enough security while you're in the home and awake, and are supposed to lock a proper mortis when you want the building to be actually secured.

Of course, why I'd want to spend upwards of $200 for the sake of replacing a $10 lock I can only use when I'm at home is beyond me.

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Naselus
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Re: Did you ask Dave what he thought about that?

But it's in the cloud, and so therefore no-one understands it and it must be worth spending millions of pounds on.

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Facebook suspends account of Cambridge Analytica whistleblower

Naselus
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" you can't have one company having that much power with regards to elections and public opinion."

Except, traditionally, we generally do. William Randolph Hurst's newspaper empire was so powerful that he could make nations go to war with one another. Rupert Murdoch owns so much of the British press that his support has been required to win an election here for the last 25 years (and through Fox News, he has largely controlled the Republican nomination process in the USA from 2000-2015).

I do think FB is headed for regulation sooner rather than later, though.

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One in three Android Wear owners also uses ... an iPhone

Naselus
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Re: "...users aren’t buying into the whole Android ecosystem"

"It might just be that it is the Apple ecosystem that is losing out."

That was my first thought on this, tbh - anyone with an iPhone probably bought into the Apple ecosystem a long while back, so these are sales Apple has missed from it's own back yard rather than missed opportunities for Android sales.

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Patch LOSE-day: Microsoft secures servers of the world. By disconnecting them

Naselus
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Re: Fix

"It would help if MS didn't screw up *any* part of the TCP/IP stack or network configuration with a bloody routine patch."

Yeah, I've no idea why they keep doing this shit. There's really no reason for them to be poking around many of these systems, which have been working perfectly and to standard for twenty years, and which they're not showing any real sign of improving or changing for the better anyway.

For example, we found a couple of years ago that Win 10 breaks DNS subnet prioritization. Literally breaks it; it inverts the priority stack so that the last responding subnet is favoured rather than the first. Why? Why the hell would you need to poke around with that? It's been operating just fine since server 2003, and the mechanism by which it works hasn't changed and will never, ever need to change. The was no upgrade or change to the system planned or offered. But for some reason, some twat at MS was fiddling around in there and managed to screw it up.

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Naselus
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Really? Because mine keeps accepting incorrect root passwords.

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It's March 2018, and your Windows PC can be pwned by a web article (well, none of OURS)

Naselus
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"I'm not sure if you mean by Microsoft, but did you realise that Edge has far fewer CVEs than say Chrome since launch and that Windows 10 has had far fewer CVEs since launch than say a similar specced commercial Linux distro install or OS-X?"

I don't think this was a pissing contest question.

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Europe is living in the past (by nearly six minutes) thanks to Serbia and Kosovo

Naselus
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Re: Mains powered clock

"It's also important to have the correct time (or at least co-ordinated time) across any setup using Kerberos (such as Microsoft Active Directory). Oh, I vaguely recall rhere's a rather large slop in the specs for timing in all that."

Kerberos is fine as long as time difference is under 5 minutes.

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Pharma bro Martin Shkreli to miss 2024 Paris Olympics

Naselus
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Re: We should start a Go Fund Me campaign

"Shkreli seems to be a sociopath, possibly with psychopathic tendencies. There is obviously something missing in his brain. He simply does not see any reason not to do something which might benefit him personally, no matter who it hurts."

I honestly wondered sometimes whether he was engaged in some kind of performance art, pointing out the flaws of unrestricted capitalism running riot throughout society. He was just too much of a comic-book villain; he reveled in the hatred to the point where it was actually unrealistic that anyone could be that much of a shit. But then those kids developed a drug which did the same thing as his $750 one, which is exactly what ought to happen in a functional market system, and rather than applaud it he threw a hissy fit.

So yeah, just a sociopathic asshole.

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Naselus
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Re: Justice is not always as blind as it should be

"If the judge had been influenced, why not give him the maximum sentence?"

In order to not appear influenced.

There's a genuine argument to be made that Shkreli's odious public persona may have helped him avoid the most serious sentence, since the judge will have compensated for his inevitable personal dislike of the little shit, and may have gone too far in the other direction. There's been a few studies that suggest this happens a fair bit, along with other studies that show the inverse - likable or personally charming people being given longer than average sentences for crimes.

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Server sales dead? No sir, not in Q4

Naselus
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Presumably everyone is gearing up in preparation for serverless, then

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Most IT contractors want employment benefits if clobbered with IR35

Naselus
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Re: Missing the point

"You are completely missing the point."

I rather think everyone is, since this thread has (maybe inevitably) descended into a contractor vs employee pissing contest.

The point here is that, due to various unintended tax loopholes caused by wildly different taxation regimes, contractors are underpriced.

A contractor ought to be something of a last resort, used for very short-term outsourced work. You shouldn't be hiring in a contractor for 9-5 work for over a year. The benefits of contractors from the employer's point of view should be that you can just drop them in and let them hit the ground running, and then get rid of them the moment the job is done with no messy entanglements. This ought to come at a slight premium over permanent employees, so that for long-term work a permie is preferred.

Unfortunately, the way the tax code has shaken out, this is not how the market pricing works. Despite the healthy premium that contractors can enjoy in take-home pay, from the employers point of view it is often cheaper to take in contractors for long-term work they ought not to be doing. I've worked in IT deepartments where literally everyone aside from management was a contractor, from the helpdesk on up. Those kids weren't doing it for the tax benefits, and weren't setting up ltds to get paid through - they were just contractors so that the employer didn't have to offer them the benefits that they ought to have.

Contractors should do exactly what any other business does when an expense like this crops up. Pass it on to your clients. They've been employing you at some 20% or so less than they should have been, because tax loopholes allowed the contractor market to compete more aggressively than it should.

To be honest, I think that this should really be more up to the contractor, so that if he only works for one client, who he works for for over 35 hours a week, for a period of over a year, he can elect to make the business start paying the employer share of NI. I suspect that the number of contractors would drop by about 40% overnight if that were permitted, since a lot of them aren't the high-paid consultant types, but rather kids who can't get a permanent job due to dubious employer practices.

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Naselus
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Re: All very well

"Permies generally COST about 40% more than they are PAID as a rule of thumb which quickly brings things far closer to parity, at least for normal freelancers (as opposed to $$$$'day for big software house guys)."

Not really relevant from the employee/contractor's point of view, though, is it? I've done both at one time or another, so I'm not trying to cast some envious judgement on how super-overpaid contractors are. But let's just lay it out accurately.

As a sysadmin in Manchester UK, you can get about 35k a year plus benefits (actual figures from actual job sites, right now). This works out around 3 grand a month before tax; about 2k a month in your pocket.

As a contractor, the identical skillset will get you £250 a day, which is 5k a month before tax. That's a 40% higher pay rate for the same work. Tax takes a bigger bite, since you're paying higher-rate on about a quarter of the money, but you're still taking home a lot more money at the end. And this extends a fairly long way down - when I started out in IT on the helpdesk as a contractor, my hourly rate was very nearly 50% more than the permanent staff were getting.

That's meant to be the benefit of contracting. Not 'you can pay less tax than you are actually supposed to on your income level'. Loopholes are a bug in the tax code, not a feature, and if contractors have been relying on the difference to make it worthwhile then they should do what every other business in the world does - shift the additional cost onto the customer, rather than taking it from the exchequer.

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Naselus
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In fairness, tax efficiency is not the only reason to go contracting. Contractors tend to be on a markedly higher hourly rate than employees anyway, so even if they're taxed as employees rather than a ltd, contracting will generally pay a lot better (though obviously will lack benefits, which at the higher-end are worth a fortune).

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A smartphone recession is coming and animated poo emojis can't stop it

Naselus
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Re: Who knew...

Screw that, we've seen this before WITH PHONES. The pre-2006 market was in the same state - the hot new features of 2005's feature phones were 'better emoticons' and 'higher camera pixel density', more or less the exact same 'hot new features' that the S9 has over the S8 (or the iPhone X has over... well, over an S6, tbh).

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Bots don't spread fake news on Twitter, people do, say MIT eggheads

Naselus
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Re: The truth is usually complex

"The Guardian is as far to the left as Fox News is to the right."

It's really not. While both sides have their ecosphere of bullshit, it's more prevalent on the right, and also penetrates futher into the right's mainstream. So, for example, while OccupyDemocrats is roughly akin to Breitbart, in that both will happy report complete bullshit, Fox is not akin to MSNBC, in that Fox will also report complete bullshit while MSNBC will merely put a liberal spin on actual news, and the raving moonbats reading OccupyDemocrats are not considered sensible by the mainstream left while Brietbart is a major right-wing news source. Drawing a false equivalence between the two is actually used by the right to try and cover the fact that they've gone completely down the rabbit hole.

Interestingly, Fox News isn't homogenous in this respect - while the actual News parts of Fox News probably can be compared to the Guardian (it's actual news, but with a right-wing spin), the 'opinion' parts (ie, 90% of the channel's actual output, like Hannity or Tucker Carlson) are way out in dipsy-la-la land. It's notable that the actual news portions of Fox are not remotely as popular as the crazy bullshit opinion muppets are.

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Oracle UK's profits have more than halved

Naselus
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Re: You can only get away with a screw you attitude...

I'd blame this on Hurd'n Catz, tbh. Hurd has followed his HP "cut everything now so next quarter looks great and we're fucked in 3 years" approach, and Catz appears to have no qualities that balance out Hurd's obsessive short-termism. Plus, they're pissing most of the budget into Oracle's dire cloud offering, not recognizing that they're half a decade behind the competition and no longer capable of scaling to be anything more than a bit player.

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For all we know, aliens could be as careless with space junk as us

Naselus
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Re: just a little rant...

"in other words, bullsh%t artists and muppets..."

Gartner?

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FBI chief asks tech industry to build crypto-busting not-a-backdoor

Naselus
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"It is then up to people and the media to explain the problems to the law makers etc in a succinct manner."

I've yet to see a single journalism major in the media who understands why what Wray is asking for isn't possible.

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Installing disks is basically LEGO, right? This admin failed LEGO

Naselus
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Re: Not a PC

"Unusual perhaps, but in no way dangerous of itself, unless the connector under the sink was open to the elements?"

Good back and re-read the voltages again.

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Shock poll finds £999 X too expensive for happy iPhone owners

Naselus
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Re: Planned Failure?

"Btw, what happened to all those tablets? "

Replaced with e-readers and phones for people who want to read/watch stuff, and laptops for people who want to work. Which was fairly predictable from the get-go, since tablets are actually kinda shit at, well... everything.

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Wearables are now a two-horse race and Google lost very badly

Naselus
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Still no genuine use-case

Smartwatches have yet to find any niche worth talking about, tbh. There's vanishingly few things that a smartwatch can do that a phone can't, and a huge list of things a phone can do that a smartwatch can't. And even those few things that a smartwatch is better for than a phone, like heart rate monitoring etc, the watch tends to be fairly terrible at - I've yet to see any evidence of a smartwatch with a remotely accurate heart rate monitoring function, and my gf's fitbit is regularly wildly wrong.

And it doesn't seem like manufacturers try to improve these relatively few USPs, instead adding phone features which the smartwatch is genuinely horrible for instead. Even if I could get apps to work as quickly on a watch as they do on the phone, the tiny screen of a watch isn't a great input device for most of the apps I want to use on a day to day basis.

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Google: Class search results as journalism so we can dodge Right To Be Forgotten

Naselus
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Re: Show me...

No, allow it. Class Google search results as journalism.

And then allow everyone who has any false statement shown in a search result of their name to sue google for libel. Because, y'know, they'r performing journalism, and so their old excuse of being a neutral platform and not responsible for content can't apply.

Seems an entirely fair trade-off to me.

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Samsung's Galaxy 9s debut, with not much other than new cameras

Naselus
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Competition clearly over

With Apple mostly playing catch-up to older features (wireless charging, facial recog, curved screen etc), clearly Samsung felt that they didn't need to do much in the way of innovation this year.

I get the feeling that this will be more or less how it plays out from here on in, until the flagship market dies off completely. Despite their endless 'gamechanger!' claims, Apple aren't really pushing the envelope anymore, which removes the pressure on Samsung to do so as well... resulting in both companies producing ridiculously marginal upgrades for absurd price tags.

The result looks a lot like the phone market in 2004, tbh - lots of companies massively improving the resolution of cameras and fiddling with emoticions(then)/emojis (now), and doing nothing else remotely useful.

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Huawei guns for Apple with Mac-alike Matebook X

Naselus
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Re: Maybe one day the Chinese will design a product that's not a rip-off of something in the West

....or more or less every product designed prior to about 1750?

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Real talk: Why are you hanging on to that non-performant disk?

Naselus
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Re: ...and with protocols such as FCoE

I think he'd more or less lost credibility when he started a conversation about tiered storage without ever identifying the performance vs capacity dichotomy that sits right at the heart of storage architecture.

So really, he failed to understand why storage bods exist, and in doing so underlined why they have to.

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Naselus
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Re: Really?

All this, of course, makes it doubly ironic that the author's bio includes the following:

"His main pastime is shouting at people who try to install technology without considering whether it actually fits the business or the requirement".

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Naselus
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Re: "If you can afford a new car then you’re not going to buy a beaten up second hand vehicle..."

Exactly. The author's point is basically rubbish, since he believes that performance is the only metric which matters for storage. It isn't.

If I have 4 terabytes of WORN data, then the only metric I care about for it is price per gigabyte. I couldn't care less about it's performance. If I recommended buying a 4TB of flash disks to store it on, then I'd be wasting thousands of pounds of budget that would be better spent elsewhere.

This isn't even a new discussion. It's long been settled, in fact; only a neophyte stampedes for the fastest possible storage without reference to the workloads.

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Venezuela floats its own oily cryptocurrency to save the world economy

Naselus
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"asserts it will fix long-standing problems caused by the USA's 1933 abandonment of the gold standard and restore order to the world economy."

Pretty sure you're referring to Nixon's 1971 suspension of dollar-gold convertability rather than 1933, tbh.

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Worldwide smartphone shipments DOWN for first time ever

Naselus
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Flagship sales have been falling for years, even as the market as a whole has been growing.

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Windows slithers on to Arm, legless?

Naselus
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Satnad remains the problem

This'll be abandoned, just like everything else that doesn't fit into his 3 main products. Literally everything aside from Azure, Office365 and Win10 x86/x64 is constantly on notice and can be cancelled at any moment, which means buying into any of them is impossible.

SatNad has done well on the core 3 - Azure is in a strong position, even if AWS still overshadows it, Win10 is growing fairly well and is on course to become the world's default desktop OS over the next 2-3 years as businesses undergo hardware refreshes, and Office 365 is doing surprisingly well considering that there are free products which perform all the same functions. But his ruthless disregard for everything else (seems to be a 2-strikes-and-you're-axed policy for all and everything) is causing MS to drop even competitive offerings after one or two bad years.

It's a policy of permanent retrenchment, and it's hampering Microsoft's ability to grow or innovate, leaving them mostly just iterating yesterdays cash cows rather than pushing forward with new ideas.

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iPhone X 'slump' is real, whisper supply chain moles

Naselus
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Re: Samsung needs to find Android buyers?

"I suppose they could sell them to Chinese companies that want to create iPhone knockoffs, unless they are shipped without the notch..."

Samsung aren't sitting on 20 million notched OLEDs. They're sitting on unused production capacity for 20 million OLEDs. That's a key difference, which means it's relatively easy for them to convert the capacity to produce a non-notched version to shop around to 'Droid makers.

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Naselus
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Re: Doesn't make sense

"Imagine launching three new flagship iPhones at the highest prices ever asked, while also introducing the widest array of new, cheaper options, and then "envisaging" that the vast majority of customers would all buy just one of those models: the most expensive iPhone X."

No, this does sound pretty much like Apple's whole business model.

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Naselus
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Re: Maybe Apple

"If you're unaware of how much teenage girls and young women use their phones on an hourly basis compared to the rest of us, I would not employ you to sell phones."

Fairly sure the teenage-to-twenty-something-girl market has not been crying out for the opportunity to easily make their face look like a shit.

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Apple Macs, iThings, smart watches choke on tiny Indian delicacy

Naselus
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Re: Perfect example of why the re-focus on stability/performance for iOS 12 was necessary

"Hopefully they will get back that attitude, that's one of the reasons I've owned iPhones since 2009."

I don't see why they would, tbh. Jobs was obsessive about his vision - he wasn't much of an engineer, and didn't really understand the tech, but he knew what it ought to be like from a user point of view. And he would scream blue murder at engineers for failing to deliver what he had in mind.

Cook simply isn't like that. I'm not entirely convinced he has anything much in mind when it comes to a new product, aside from possibly just a string of dollar signs; he seems to have very little in the way of taste when it comes to tech products, and very little ability to judge what's a good idea and what's a non-starter. His hit rate on new product lines is basically zero, limited to the most raving fanbois only, while the company coasts along on iterating the iPhone ad infinitum.

Seems to me, as long as Cook's in charge, there's no incentive for Apple engineers to look for perfectionism, since the top isn't interested either.

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Apple to devs: Code for the iPhone X or nothing from April onwards

Naselus
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Re: We develop for Apple and Android

Suspect this doesn't really tell us much about the X itself, tbh, but rather than all iPhones will be adopting the notch in future.

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Ubuntu wants to slurp PCs' vital statistics – even location – with new desktop installs

Naselus
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"Canonical is meant to be UK. They should now about EU privacy rules and GDPR."

I've yet to encounter a single UK company where anyone outside the IT department (who it was inevitably dumped upon) knows a damn thing about GDPR.

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Six things I learned from using the iPad Pro for Real Work™

Naselus
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Nonetheless, there's actually relatively few jobs that an iPad Pro would be useful for.

It's essentially limited to more or less (MS, Libre or Google) Office-centric workloads. Anyone needing custom-built software (say, a fat-client CRM system)? No. Anyone needing CAD (Architects, most engineering roles?) No. IT? Not much use for anyone until the File Manager is better.

Ultimately, Andrew saying that he was able to do a full days work on an iPad Pro and not be overly inconvenienced means that Andrew's relatively lightweight software requirements (basically just email and a word processor) are still not as useful on the iPad as they are on MacOS or Windows.

And the real problem is, most of those tasks can already be performed to an equally inferior standard on the normal iPad, at half the price.

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Naselus
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Re: blast away

"But the entry level you have chosen isn't the entry level. The entry level is the MacBook Air or the new MacBook."

He's literally using the processor named in the linked article. The one that actually says the exact opposite of what Orlowski says it does.

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Apple's HomePod beams you up into new audio dimensions

Naselus
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Re: @SuccessCase:Love the Picture (with the Hacksaw)

"Actually that's incorrect, the interface is Airplay (a lossless format), so anything that can be played over Airplay, which includes to give some examples, Spotify on iOS, any music from Android devices with some extra software, anything on a Mac, anything on a PC (again with extra software or with iTunes)."

I stand corrected, then, but really only just. It's still a very good speaker that doesn't natively connect to most people's kit, but, through jumping through a bunch of complex hoops that most home users won't understand, or buying a new Mac or phone, you can finally manage to get it to perform the very, very basic function it is allegedly designed to do.

So I'd say my original diagnosis and wider point still stand; this is a great speaker that insists on not letting you use it as a speaker, and a behind-market home assistant priced absurdly high because it has an over-engineered speaker built into it. It's as big a goof as taking away the headphone jack - in fact, it's the exact same goof.

Ultimately, I'm left wondering which market this thing was supposed to be for. Music lovers aren't going to be able to connect their cherished 40-year old vinyl turntable, thousand-pound amplifier and half-dozen additional carefully-placed speakers to it to benefit from the speaker's excellent sound quality. Anyone who isn't that bothered about sound quality won't see a $350 speaker as a serious purchase option. And people who want a home assistant will get one of the ones that actually integrates with stuff they do around the home (smart switches, smart lights, voice-ordering from Amazon etc), rather than the seriously pitiful option Apple has put together.

It's two different products mashed into one, and the good product has been artificially gimped to a point that makes it even harder to compensate for the needless presence (and added cost) of bad one.

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