* Posts by disorder

23 posts • joined 23 Jan 2015

Windows slithers on to Arm, legless?

disorder

They could have had desktop apps on RT; they chose, specifically - to disallow that.

I won't belittle those that accomplished it, by suggesting it is as trivial as a mere recompile, but the existence of a completely functional Quake 3 on RT (when in a semi-death jailbroken SW state), and MS's own version of Office RT (2013) shows a pretty full selection of API's all present and functional, including USB mouse/audio drivers.

Office on RT - implicitly already acknowledged desktop apps as important - which shipped on-device. But oh - no. noone /else's/ software is important. make a store version (so we can have 30% of your sale).

Would Adobe/whatever have ported their suites; probably not. They never had to decide.

Oh the irony: Government Digital Services can't pay staff because of tech problems

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Re: Logic

I believe the government to be entirely satisfied with outsourcing bosses, at least 'industry' bosses, just look at trains (e.g. arriva - deutsch bahn), planes (BA = International Airways Group (Spain)) and automobiles - (surely nothing needs to be said, but the best may be say, Nissan; calling up the week after for a special, unspecified insurance over any incurred brexit costs).

Not to mention ARM to Softbank (immediately after the £ crash/discount), Thames Water; any electricity supplier, etc. I may indeed find additional examples to go on with, but it's already depressing so I'll instead find some article in the mail hating on poor people to make me feel better. Dragging us down. Yeah that's got to be it.

I wonder what will happen when there's nothing left to sell. Maybe that time is already here.

Lockheed, USAF hold breath as F-35 pilots report hypoxia

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As the US withdraws from Paris over carbon dioxide, it risks that it may pull out over oxygen too? Are there other gases at which it does not consider itself responsible to appropriately limit, perhaps methane?

Google to give 6 months' warning for 2018 Chrome adblockalypse – report

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Fox publishes mission statement to improve security and quality life within chicken pens.

To anyone except foxes; and because noone, in the chicken utilization-nonvoluntary transacting industry should find it in their interest for their chickens have /too/ much egregious cause for objection to living in pens, because surely, that's detrimental for all concerned parties that matter.

The modern web is pretty much broken by design, especially when a lot of it doesn't work when javascript is default blocked and yet there's a core truth - content we value, needs paying for somehow.

I'll only whitelist so much - I'd genuinely prefer an alternative to being a post-webdev site-unscrewer, but that doesn't, however mean via ##% going to google along with the browsing history you actually paid for, and somehow, I just don't think this will improve this web much for me either.

Conviction by computer is go, confirms UK Ministry of Justice

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Re: Prosecution Costs?!

Don't discount the hundred million £ development cost of an insecure, barely functional (and only on IE, at that) website by the favoured contractor of the month.

AMD's had a horrible 2016: Never mind, it lost slightly less than half a billion this time

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There's so many cards stacked against them, even if everything goes unrealistically right.

With a little honest scepticism borne from that fact there's still not yet public comparison available, it would be fantastic for AMD to be back in the performance space. If we assume a hypothetical (and it does seem to be being taken as a given) that this will be true, AMD's problem is still that on empirical grounds I, at least won't actually feel directly compelled to upgrade from a haswell; and won't, for as long as possible.

I'm not sufficiently 'ryzentful' to buy one just because I can bemuse myself it's socially responsible.

They'll have to create the space for that, because intel sure haven't been. It doesn't mean they can't; but I have to wonder if even 50% per core faster* would even be a game changer for those not calculating their FLOPS per rack; the market has changed since 5-10yr ago (draw your own line) when they were last a contender.

It's the latter that seems to me like their best hope of an end customer. With mobile everything on the business end, any performance desktop part - like my melted 21264 - seems almost boutique. How much can AMD make from this? And from consumers?

I'm sure the tier 1's OEM's will still just cram them in dog-food grade product, and that's their other access to real volume. And I'd not be surprised if intel schedule a release the day after/before and upstage them.

But keeping those happy thoughts.

*I'd be impressed if 5% * 8 cores, but again, that doesn't buy /me/ a lot more frames a second.

Smoking hole found on Mars where Schiaparelli lander, er, 'landed'

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http://exploration.esa.int/mars/58425-preparing-to-land-on-mars/

"At the base of the module is a crushable structure"

I think it can be argued that, as a technology test it has in fact over-achieved and exceeded 100% success.

Google gives ringing endorsement to US VPN providers with 'right to be forgotten' expansion

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Re: Down and down the rabbit hole we go

Yep because allowing huge and insidious multinationals to rig the game in their favour for now and forever is totally something we should leave alone.

Italians to spend €150m ... snooping on PS4 jabber

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Indeed surely it'd be easier, cheaper and more effective simply to offer terrorists^Wcitizens the bounty of 'achievements' for reporting each other.

Cash injection fuels SABRE spaceplane engine

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Re: Why is it curved?

The top part was made with ESA funding and is measured in meters, the bottom in yards but if you push hard enough it still fits.

disorder

The problem is less the ambition of getting to mars than the cost of doing so. Assuming the concept works, it's an ambitious enough project to engage that. One that the US doesn't really grapple with either. Note Boeing/Lockheed don't even compete on rockets, they conglomerated into United Launch Alliance instead; one of spacex's complaints being they weren't even allowed to bid, at one point. Of course BAE could probably lecture any of them on the conglomerate game; I'm sure it will be messed up, or made sufficiently expensive that there's no ultimate advantage (or like jets in the first place, given away).

The question is why the government put cash to the project now. It's not a chinese reactor, german rail company or korean/spanish investor and/or water company, and not even a bank. What's their angle?

What upgrade cycle? Tablet sales crater for fourth straight quarter

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Like plenty of people at the other end of the phone when someone's IT breaks or the icon moved some other place, I had trouble finding a real use case myself for tablets. And also alike, about the best I've been able to really come up with is watching videos (in bed, naturally), occasional web use and books/documents, or a remote monitor. I tried to find better ones. Still looking.

However I do interact with plenty of people to whom the tablet 'is' IT. Once they've got one (for friendface or something or other as I heard it), they really don't need to upgrade it all that much ever. There's a few light bits of software I've seen used, essentially in the context of a light laptop that's (apple's anyway; sorry but it's true) a bit more resilient than general pc laptops.

What do any of these uses require an upgrade for? When they have a screen you can't see the pixels on already, and other than maybe being lighter (£350 lighter? mmm), or oh - I know - more battery?

Or anyway a *new* battery. Luckily they're all glued in, and that Lithium Ion degrades on-the-shelf even whether it's being cycled or not. That was some good forward thinking. Thank job there's been no meaningful progress in that regard in 15 years. Somehow, I think it'll stabilise.

Microsoft now awfully pushy with Windows 10 on Win 7, 8 PCs – Reg readers hit back

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I guess I have little to add after all of this. I've rather been finding myself bemused that, for once it's not just me this time that finds all this rolling software/spyware-as-operating-system to be conceptually offensive.

My experience; disable windows update. I never trusted it in the first place but, eventually (in ~2013 or so) relented at home (it's amazing how few viruses you even get exposed to with blocked javascript/flash). I caught that again when the redmond music started sounding bad. Off, staying off, because I don't need my operating system to be the new Ask Toolbar*.

GWX; the most pernicious worm since nimda. Infection via the vector which, in theory we are supposed to avoid getting them.

*(it is of course, much worse than that)

Sony PC owners to get Windows 10 upgrade as early Christmas present

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Re: My VAIO working ok so far

Surely it only needs Excel for that, and this doesn't press the iGPU into all *that* much work. Regardless, a smoother patch process than CCP's I'd suggest.

Two weeks of Windows 10: Just how is Microsoft doing?

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I can accept a few things with this Windows 10 rollout not all being perfect. On the whole, given the range of configurations it has actually worked with I'd probably say on balance it's gone rather well. Technically. It's not like tens of thousands of people are calling me to get it fixed, or removed.

As a "Windows 8.2" on the whole it also seems to be a "success" in that it's not terrible, perhaps even a solidly decent evolution and is partially at least back in the business of addressing desktop users' needs. If it stopped there, I'd probably call it a good release.

But look closer. I see an MS that must be seething. In pure, nuclear-waste grade envy - at apple's app store. Enough to try (first in Win8) and foist the windows store on everyone, because that's what suited their needs. Everyone said no. At that, and other things. But that plan hasn't changed, and it's only become more insidious.

Insidious like basically forcing it on people with the GWX self-reinstalling updater. I'm not the first to comment that it does act exactly like malware, and it does because it's raison d'etre is just the same as that of the malware malefactors themselves (if only they'd patented it); in this case, to shovel people onto a platform they really; /really really/ want to monetise (on $10 solitaire, say; then everything else).

I can only really offer a visual metaphor of this, as MS being like a crack addict (for the ulitimate form of course - money). And they'll do anything to get it. Because that's what their needs are. Not ours. And Win 10 represents a land grab on my system for their needs. Not mine.

How about No.

I've always tolerably kept my own desktop (at home, anyway) on windows despite being *nix competent. If you're happy with it, well fine for you. If you trust settings you turned off, to remain set as off (if you're not careful, they won't; just like all software that ships with shovelware), and further trust that's all it does without there being even more invasive stuff they didn't include a setting slider for.

I'm not sure what made people OK with this kind of thing*, or if everyone else became really that retarded or if I've just become naive. It's probably both.

I'll never use Win 10 in this condition, where I can't actually trust it; and quite possibly never will. Do MS care? Surely not. Should you?

*Andoid/iOS obviously, and years of turning up the heat on the frog soup, but that doesn't make it ok to extend philosophically to my desktop, nor any other infrastructure. On windows, there's no choice to opt out short of staying on Win7. That's no choice.

Microsoft vacates moral high ground for the data slurpers' cesspit

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Why even patch when privacy invasion itself has become the feature.

Debian Project holds Sparc port's hand, switches off life support

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Re: No surprise there

I have to almost completely agree. There's no exotic toys to drift down and play with anymore; I ran an Ultra 10 (debian) server for not much less than ten years. It was not powerful (especially not with ohgod sparcv7 binaries). But it satisfied my can't-walk-on-the-same-path gene long after I had any programming reason to be curious about it, and it had the decency not to ever reboot, or die without asking. I replaced it with something more (but not) normal that fit under a 30W envelope.

Its bigger friends, Ultra 60 (Solaris), B1000 (HPUX aaah), Octane (Irix, and my god so heavy. At least the ppc mac came with an alu case). None of which have been up to it (really) for a long time, especially when used in combination with a wall energy meter. These are dinosaurs, majestic and grand; but extinct. And it's sad these different flavours have gone.

Why linux on any of these (Solaris worked reasonably politely for a long time, as well as having some ideas of its own); but naturally it was more expeditious to get software running. I think that idea itself is not-so gradually (systemd) floating away, because why wouldn't it, by 2015.

ARM of course didn't politely die (as of yet). I'd say the Pi 2 probably /could/ handle being a desktop, which is itself quite a weak statement even if technically you can get other SFF ARM PC's if you try unrealistically hard. Yet even then it's more like macguvyer'ing something cheap to rough it with, not evidence of the paleocene mouse inheriting the earth. But then, it wouldn't be exotic either.

YOU! DEGRASSE! It's time to make Pluto a proper planet again, says NASA boffin

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Flame

I rather don't explicitly care whether it is, or isn't. I just want a decision not made by 'the public'. (The moronic kind; that legislate that it's a planet, or that PI=3 (really)) Because they can't (consistently) have Pluto and not Eris. And Quaoar. And several others they won't be able to pronounce with any more credulity, than when they ask to see pictures of Uranus.

This was, more or less the reason for the (contrived) definition that IAU got, and in fact I think it's fine; that it means 'planet' tells you something about the /solar system/ because of the implied orbital dynamics (Kuiper Belt - is not the same region as where a few trojans are hanging around - neptune shaped it). Not just that it's a ball of whatever (or literally, just a ball). Whether or not that definition makes sense for any other solar system (and IAU already said it doesn't), being something else entirely.

Pluto is clearly a world more fascinating than we could have hoped for (and Triton set a few expectations has Pluto roundly beat). And there's more than just it out there, that is even within our reach.

I don't think the classification degrades it (many seem to). I think it's solveable, as a matter of emphasis.

'The public' let's be realistic after all has no appreciation of what these bodies are, or if they do, it's as those nice pictures that are all more or less the uniformly biggest sphere that could fit on the page, or from bad (or less bad) TV sci fi shot in studios at 1G.

But (as I'm sure many here actually know) ref: http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/files/2013/11/Solid-Solar-System-Planets-Compared.png - they are - severely - not the same size. At all.

What is _your_ minimum cut off going to be? Every grain of dust?

There are arguably only two 'major' terrestrial planets in the solar system, based on what it'd mean to us to try to run on it (rather than hop) without faceplanting. I'm not saying that's what I'd pick. But in PR terms there'd then be 7 rocky planets - two major ones. and 4 giants (2 gas, 2 ice) and you can call that 11 if you want, and a lot of dwarves.

Sooner or later each press place with only humanities grads trying to figure it out will use a different number, and people (americans) will stop caring. While highlighting at the same time, that the amazing thing, is that these bodies are *nothing* alike and thus worthy of a lot more space flybys and orbiters.

Most (all?) other astronomical classifications get away with not changing, and noone cares (see supernovae, star spectral class, etc). But WIMPS still can get on with finding their MACHOS regardless.

The Register's resident space boffin: All you need to know about the Pluto mission

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I have some umbrage to take at various reportage of 'initial survey complete', from various places. Without meaning to pick on this one in particular. Yes this is the planet/not planet thing but whichever way you fall on that fence it's wrong to say so.

I being pragmatic fall on whatever side of the fence gets another grand piano-probe sent to the basically as-large (and heavier) Eris, and you can call that 10 planets, or 8 and two biggish-but-not-really ones.

I don't plan on being alive at Sedna periapsis but you could throw that in too.

Naturally the answer is to pool the tritium from reg keyrings to make a nuclear power supply for a future LOHAN derivative. With the added bonus, for outer solar system being that it has its own lights?

Pray for AMD

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Intel have had the best fabs for 15, even 20 years and that has _always_ given them an advantage. Semiconductor economics being what they are, it'd take a revolution for AMD to leapfrog.

When Intel were making a 'misstep' with P4 and AMD had a solid K8 and were pushing the technology on with x86-64 while intel were determined not to, was one such time they got ahead. The one time.

And yet, yes they still largely got(get) put into crap boxes by OEMs. I agree exactly what was already said about perception on this.

Intel are surprisingly well run (consider for comparison, practically any other tech manufacturer). They have moved aggressively into low power and they have it locked up on three angles; OEM, architecture and manufacturing. Their blind spot seems to have been ARM, and that, just from looking at their press releases since at least 2011 you can probably figure out what they themselves figured their main competitor has become.

AMD chips are not bad. But tell me, at this point as a company they're not being kept on life support, by intel to preventively fend off antitrust. There's been little pressure to improve IPC, and we, coincidentally, haven't seen much. I'm not saying they're sitting on their laurels but they have the headroom to pursue other performance targets (power consumption). How long were AMD stuck on 28nm?.

(and to be specific as regards the article for the only time in this post, they have no mobile presence either, and that's the only growth area. Qualcomm, Samsung, a dozen others make money here, but AMD don't)

As far as what we used to think of CPU's being for, I hoped HSA (as it's called now) would be a new revolution, which sounded much more progressive in 2006 when they bought ATI. It's 2015 and it's still not a flagship, but just some on-chip chew toy for at best mid range laptops.

How did this take so long to go so short a distance? (I'd guess because 10bn transistors in a 300w package would melt the heatsink, let alone the chip, but let's move on). AMD would need a change of this sort of magnitude, only it would also have to pay off.

And I'm stealing the last thought from I can't remember where, but as intel get slower on process nodes, maybe globalfoundries get somewhere nearer parity (but probably not). I think AMD make solid products (Fiji is near enough nv's 980 I'm going to award them the point), but if they can't fab them they might as well draw circuits with the graphite pencils for all their hope of getting ahead.

National Grid's new designer pylon is 'too white and boring' – Pylon Appreciation Society

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Re: Nice website

If they look like wind turbines already you could think it may make sense to actually put a wind turbine on top too. If they can still claim land to plant pylons through eminent domain then surely, the only people that'd be offended by fixing our renewables obligations would be greens?

Apple's 13-incher will STILL cost you a bomb: MacBook Air 2015

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I shopped for a ultrabook last in late 2013. Given the MBA basically invented the category of course I considered it, with much respect. The trouble then, was it both didn't have 1080p as an option and the no-touchscreen was at least a negative point (that seems to be philosophical and/or more realistically, about market segmentation.. ). And that bezel /is/ starting to look particularly oversize. For the price point I picked something else. I don't particularly regret it.

Notwithstanding the incremental intel chip improvements everyone gets, the MBA is a standing target. I find its life cycle quite interesting (from 2008's quirky high end, down to the defacto budget runt-of-litter) but as far ahead as it was, (and if you're OS agnostic - ) others have caught up, even if it retains some outstanding features of its own. Though PC makers can definitely be charged with fluffing useless specs, what I'm /looking at/ in use, is not one of those.

I wish they'd changed that, at least, because the 'new macbook' doesn't push my butterfly buttons so if I were shopping, which I'm not - the 2015 MBA still wouldn't be it, anymore than the 2013 one - the platform as-is still seems like it needs a half-refresh and I don't think it's a stretch to say the same for plenty of people. If it doesn't for you, that's just fine.

Is Windows RT not invited to the Windows 10 upgrade party?

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Re: Windows RT didn't fail because of ARM

I more or less entirely agree with this. The surface is/was a fine tablet on hardware terms but the software didn't exist at launch, and still doesn't - because noone is really using the windows app store at all, even for full-fat windows 8, and why would they.

When the distinguishing feature as a user between RT and 8 is lacking desktop apps, for a while when RT was still "8.0-like" there was a functional jailbreak that made this possible. MS stepped on that with the 8.1-like patch, without which it'd have been remaining quite interesting because it otherwise 'is' ARM Windows 8. The difference is only the name MS give it, and that they took the car keys back after they caught you joyriding.

Asides from the bundled (non-commercial) Office "2013" (sans scripting - and called it Office RT, so as to build the RT brand as 'restricted technology') then - the software just wasn't there for it. Tiny x86 8.1 tablets then still have access to desktop software, but it's through MS's choices this is so whereas ARM got shut down, and the fact this is leveraged on them now shows just fine this could have been a vector to build out surface on ARM if they'd wanted to. I'd point out, a range of software had been recompiled for ARM/RT even just for a jailbreak. It worked.

At least it enough, that it could have shored up the gaps to quite a few people but seems like MS didn't want it to succeed without the app store model behind it (I'd be concerned, if it were possible for such concentrated envy of apple's store margins, to congeal into a black hole - we'd be in big trouble) - a model with W10 they're still pushing because, after all, £90 for x86 tablet, and no licence but hoping for a %age on app sales is still a model, even if it's wishful at this stage.

Let's all wish that remains so.

Surface stillborn - maybe - but it was because MS's decisions. ARM all too clearly works for everyone else as a source of profit (slim as that became), not loss.

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