* Posts by Barry Rueger

734 posts • joined 20 Feb 2007

Page:

Audiophiles have really taken to the warm digital tone of streaming music

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Albums. Love 'Em

I've got tons of music in MP3 format sitting on my hard drive, but never seemed to spend much time listening to it. We finally got a stereo system in the living room again and have been working though all of our collected CDs. And yes, a turntable is next.

Listening to a full album of songs selected, recorded and sequenced to the satisfaction of the performer really is a superior experience. Using physical media eliminates the urge to click "next" and skip a song. And of course a CD or LP has album art, notes, and other tangible things that enhance the whole act of listening to music.

In the car though it's radio. Specifically FM, of the community or campus variety, where you find real music enthusiasts who have a deep knowledge of what they're playing and who revel in the chance to share their enthusiasm. Again, it's not random tunes, it's a collection of songs chosen to make a larger picture.

I'm sorry, but algorithms just won't do it.

James Keeleghan playing right now.

And a big shout out ot KFAI in Minneapolis and Vancouver Co-op Radio!

1
2

Reg writer Richard went to the cupboard, seeking a Windows Phone...

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Re: Apps

But my bank didn't have an app. Nor did my car, or my heating system, or my accountancy software...

Welcome to my world! (Says every BlackBerry OS user, ever.)

As much as I try to avoid apps in favour of mobile sites, sometimes you need a specific tool and an app is the only way to get it.

Yes, BlackBerry did eventually support Android apps, but it was too little, too late.

The sad thing is that most of what's in the Play store is pretty pathetic, and finding the one tool that actually works in the flood of crapware can be nearly impossible. I would (and do) happily pay for apps if there was some guarantee that they worked, but Google prefers to bury the truly good apps under a stinking pile of useless, malware ridden, half-baked offal.

5
1

BT pushes ahead with plans to switch off telephone network

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Land line usage?

Our local emergency planning people actually still encourage people to have a "land line," ignoring the reality that a significant number of homes either have had nothing but cel phones for years, or have a "home phone" provided as part of their cable or Internet service.

If emergency response is your priority the money is better spent on a robust and redundant wireless network.

Besides, we're paying $95 CDN for Internet and home phone, and another $90 for wireless service. There's no way I'm spending another $60 a month for POTS.

3
4

Productivity knocks: I've got 99 Slacks, but my work's not done

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Re: IRC and Usenet

, but in terms of market share they may as well not exist.

Somehow "Usenet" and "market share" were two things I never expected to see together.

1
0

Windows 10 Spring Creators Update team explains the hold-up: You little BSOD!

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Re: Windows insider Program

just to play devils advocate here, Its near enough impossible for Microsoft to test the build for every variant of machine that will run windows.

I know I'm repeating myself, but why don't common Linux distros have these problems? You can take a stable release of RedHat, Debian, or pretty much any popular Linux OS, install it on any non-exotic hardware (aka anything Dell) and it just works. You can update it and it just works. You can update the kernel and it just works.

The old "MS can't possibly test for every hardware combination" claim is just nonsensical.

11
8

Google to add extra Gmail security … by building a walled garden

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Sayonora

Yup. It's time to finally extract myself from Gmail. The one positive, ubiquity across multiple platforms, just isn't enough any more.

I truly dread the prospect. I'm sure that moving my Gmail archive will be a nightmare, but the time has come.

Oh well, it could be worse: Facebook could offer email.

10
2

Skype for Business has nasty habit of closing down… for business

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Suggestions?

This is timely indeed, with my SO heading off for two weeks at the Chetham's Piano Summer School.

My next project was figuring out the best way for me, on Linux in Vancouver, to "Skype" her on Win 10 in Britain.

Maybe I'll just write a letter. If I can find a postage stamp.

6
0

Modern life is rubbish – so why not take a trip down memory lane with Windows File Manager?

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Re: OMG can I say SQUEE?

The bottomless pit interface broke both those functions

Here's what baffles me. If disappearing scroll bars made it easier to navigate never-ending Web pages I could (somewhat) understand them.

But they don't. I really, sincerely want someone to explain what problem they solve.

4
0
Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Re: OMG can I say SQUEE?

I do not understand disappearing scroll bars. What is the point! (I'm thinking Gnome but...?)

Since something like 1975 scrollbars have done two things well:

a) At a glance they tell you how long a page or document is (a skinny slider means the document is long) and where you are within the document. (If the slider is one third of the way down the scrollbar, you're about one third of the way down the page or document.)

b) It makes it easy to navigate within the document - click above or below the slider and you move one page up or down. Grab the slider and move it to navigate greater amounts up or down.

What the disappearing scrollbars (in Gnome) do is:

a) Remove the visual cues that tell you how long the page is and where you're located.

b) Make it impossible to navigate using the mouse in any sensible fashion. It is literally impossible to move up or down one page at time without moving your hand off of the mouse to the keyboard.

Once you've done this I can't see any practical reason to have any sort of scrollbar.

What is the impulse to break established UI conventions?

19
0

My PC makes ‘negative energy waves’, said user, then demanded fix

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

OB Kelly's Heros

Nominally a Clint Eastwood film, but my money's on Donald Sutherland.

https://youtu.be/ncbEucjsNFU"

Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?

2
0

My Tibetan digital detox lasted one morning, how about yours?

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Re: When "off duty" and out & about with the Wife ...

> YELLING YOUR HEAD OFF OVER AND OVER AGAIN

You'll find that is a nice way to annoy the crap out of people yelling into their phones...

FTFY

3
1
Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Re: Facetimers

^ This, while hiking on a forest trail! (Usually after discarding a Starbucks cup in the bushes.) (Because God knows you can't possibly enjoy "nature" without a frappacino and a chat with your BFF.)

7
0

We put Huawei's P20 triple-lens snapper through its paces

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Please, I don't want your cool hack

Engineers like to do clever hacks and show them off. Over the decades this gave us remote control for DVDs with a dedicated button for 1/32nd speed playback, the same size as the button for Play.

I am truly weary of products stuffed to the brim with gimmicky features that offer no utility but appear because some guy thought it was cool. Just because you can do it does not make it a good idea.

Smartphones are surely the worst. My current pet peeve is my LG G4, that can only be answered by swiping a green button across the screen. This is almost impossible if you're using the phone one handed, and generally takes three attempts if you're using two.

The rational way to design this is the simplest: tap the button to answer. But no, some clever clog at LG (Google? I'm never sure.) decided he had to IMPROVE it.

Consequently people across the globe are cursing every time they miss a call, and swearing they will never buy another LG product.

1
0

Mad March Meltdown! Microsoft's patch for a patch for a patch may need another patch

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Meanwhile in Penguin land...

OK, I'm just an end user, with couple of small websites, and I don't run hundreds of servers, but I have to ask why Linux seems to able to be updated without running into these kinds of problems.

In years of running various distros, and accepting any update offered, I think there might have been one problem one time.

Seriously, how come Linus and all of the downstream developers can make this work, but Microsoft seems unable?

16
2

Here's the list of Chinese kit facing extra US import tariffs: Hard disk drives, optic fiber, PCB making equipment, etc

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Hats off!

Great. Now I'm tempted to spend an hour on Google to find out just how many hat making machines are imported from China each year.

84490050 ........... Machinery for making felt hats; blocks for making hats; parts thereof

21
0

User fired IT support company for a 'typo' that was actually a real word

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Re: Re McLinux

Hot Damn McLinux - that's a porn star name if ever there was one.

Silly me, immediately went to Linny McLinuxFace.

5
0

'Tis the season: Verizon first in line to flog Palm phone resurrection

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Great Stuff!

Every time that I use my Android for a calendar or to find a contact I'm reminded, sadly, of how well, and how simply, the Palm Pilots did these things. Plus they backed up onto my PC, not to "the cloud."

And I don't recall Palm hoovering up my data to inflict ads on me. If you can get me a Palm Pilot with GPS, phone, and email I'm sold.

13
0

What the @#$%&!? Microsoft bans nudity, swearing in Skype, emails, Office 365 docs

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Some of us saw this coming.

Which is why my software, and my documents, remain on the computer in front of me, not in the "cloud."

I don't know how anyone, especially a business, thought it a good idea to use Microsoft's or Google's servers and services for anything that mattered. Surely by now we all should realize that these companies will change their T&C, and even just shut down services, with no warning.

Beyond which, when the FBI or NSA comes knocking with a search warrant I'll know about it immediately instead of whenever the Feds tell Microsoft or Google that they're allowed to tell me.

4
0

Huawei joins Android elite with pricey, nocturnal 40MP flagship

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Points to Huawei though for placing the camera lens in a place that won't always be under a sticky finger. My LG G4 has the lens right on top of the power and up down buttons, middle of the back of the phone. It's impossible to use without mucking up the lens.

1
0

Fleeing Facebook app users realise what they agreed to in apps years ago – total slurpage

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Read the fine print

I'm not obsessed with such things (or have just given up) but the first time I went to install a Facebook app was the last time. I couldn't believe the breadth of the permissions they demanded.

Seriously, your average malware laden phishing app is less intrusive. Facebook's apps more or less want complete control of your phone - and we know that only Apple and Google are allowed that!

33
0

YouTube banned many gun vids, so some moved to smut site

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Simple solution

How about the gun nuts just pony up some cash and launch their own web site, on their own servers?

Somehow any solution that involves money and effort always seems unreasonable to the "Free speech" brigade.

2
0

Guns, audio and eye-tracking: VR nearly ready for prime time

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

"Mainstream?"

pretty much every barrier to mainstream adoption has been solved by one of the companies in the Moscone Center's enormous rooms. It's just a matter of time before it all comes together.

And what "mainstream" is that, aside from the subset of the market that includes young geeks playing videogames in their parent's basements? (OK, that was harsh.) Unless, and until, VR (AR, whatever other R they're using these days) happens without headsets, without headaches, and without fiddling with hardware, and offers something so incredibly wonderful that it's an order of magnitude better than just watching a big screen TV or theatre screen, VR is going to be exactly as popular as 3D TV.

A handful of gee whiz novelty showcase products aren't enough to drive a "mainstream" acceptance. You need to come up with something that will encompass most of the existing media consumption universe, improving all forms of content in a significant way. Novelty pales awful fast, and novelty that demands technical doodads fades even faster.

My guess is that VR/AR etc will remain a novelty item until many years after I'm no longer virtual or augmented in any way.

1
1

User asked why CTRL-ALT-DEL restarted PC instead of opening apps

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Re: Feeling Old...

You also had to buy a card specifically if you wanted any I/O ports (serial or parallel), a network card, a floppy drive, a hard drive, or a picture on a screen.

It still pleases me no end that I can just buy a motherboard, CPU, and RAM, and know that everything I need is either on-board or plugs into USB, and "Just Works."

And that in most cases I can take a USB stick with just about any Linux distro and have a fully functioning system in about 15 minutes.

Yes, I recall the days when setting up a new PC was a multiple day project with several dozen floppies.

11
0

Five things you need to know about Microsoft's looming Windows 10 Spring Creators Update

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Re: Firefox and Google Chrome should stand their ground...

> And the defaults are not hidden - there is a control panel option to change them.

This assumes you have time to figure out where MS has hidden the settings in whatever "improved" version of Control Panel they've foisted on you.

5
0
Barry Rueger
Silver badge

> There are plenty of options to control windows update reboots such as time windows and you always get a warning before a reboot with an option to postpone.

My spouse begs to differ. We've tried everything suggested to wrestle updates into submission and they still invariably wind up rebooting at the worst possible moment, and or disabling things like alarms. And of course invariably break stuff.

She utterly hates Windows 10. If it were possible to install XP on her brand new touchscreen HP laptop she would do it in a flash.

6
0

US cops go all Minority Report: Google told to cough up info on anyone near a crime scene

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Re: Protect Yourself

2) Difficult one this as I cannot stop using (anti)social media since I never started its use in the first place.

I'm always amused by the people who post claims like this to an on-line forum.

Or think that posting AC will necessarily prevent them from being identified.

2
0

Bitcoin's blockchain: Potentially a hazardous waste dump of child abuse, malware, etc

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Re: "inter-poll" ?

You have a problem with trying to stop international crime ?

That depends on how you define "crime." Crimes under USian law? Chinese law? Russian law? EU regulations?

Crimes covered by international treaties? Trade deals like TPP? UN conventions?

9
2

CEO of smartmobe outfit Phantom Secure cuffed after cocaine sting, boast of murder-by-GPS

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Re: "Spot the criminal" -game here

Basically the Police tells us here that if you have a phone like this, you are a professional drug dealer and then they invent lot of claims to support that, but no actual proof.

This. It always amazes me when otherwise intelligent readers accept whatever police say as being honest or accurate. I'm assuming that large parts of the article merely repeat what was in the cops' Press Release. Most of what's there can't be relied on until it's been corroborated by someone outside of law enforcement.

Beyond that this should terrify people: the US cops are now saying that anyone, anywhere in the world, that provides some kind of "secure" communication tool is open to prosecution unless they can "prove" that most of their customers are "non-criminal."

0
0

There's more to blockchain than dodgy cryptocurrencies

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Re: Of course there is, until

For one thing, it will take at the very least a system for keeping private keys that is private and understandable to the below-average citizen.

No, the goal is not to make it understandable to some kind of "ordinary person," it's to integrate it in such a way that they don't need to think about it.

Cryptocurrencies right now are on par with PGP type encryption - about five steps too complicated for most people to be bothered. Unless either has a truly compelling case for its use, or is easy enough that it doesn't add to your effort, neither will ever really take off with the general public.

A good comparison is encryption using HTTPS. It's now pretty much ubiquitous, not because Joe Public decided that they really needed it, but because a large proportion of the industry as a whole decided to implement it, and eventually make it a default.

Blockchains right now are still largely a solution in search of a problem. Aside from edge cases where they are immediately needed I doubt that they'll really take off until the technology is rolled into other things so that it's more or less invisible. That won't happen until there's a really, really compelling reason to abandon what is in use now.

0
0

Good news: Apple designs a notebook keyboard that doesn't suck

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Re: Or just make a proper keyboard and stop making everything so thin...

Typing? On a *computer*? How terribly 1990's, darlings!

Well, if by "typing" you mean "selecting the perfect emoji" for that corporate prospectus.

Oh, sorry, it's an Apple product - Animoji.

7
0

Got some broken tech? Super Cali's trinket fix-it law brought into focus

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Not just phones and tractors

Breville kettle lasted about a year when the connector between the kettle and base failed. Replaced under warranty with new kettle, with beefier connector.

Two year later, that one failed. It's actually repairable but Breville won't sell me the part.

I like Breville, and their support people are very nice, but 40% off a new kettle (retail c $120) is not the same as $5 + shipping for a 20 minute repair.

0
0

Android P will hear no evil, see no evil, support evil notches

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Pistachio

OK, not candy, but.....

2
0

Suspected drug dealer who refused to poo for 46 DAYS released... on bail

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Re: London gang nominal?

"WTF is a 'London gang nominal'?

In Canada it's "Known to police."

A clever euphemism for "he's never been arrested, charged, or convicted of any crime, but trust us, we know he's a criminal."

Surely having yourself described this way in the media would never influence your likelihood of a fair trial?

4
0

La, la, la, I can't hear you! Apple to challenge Bose's noise-proof cans

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Re: Fact or opinion

statement that Sony and Sennheiser both boast of superior audio quality

Of course, much depends on whether you listening to Vinyl or CD, or (God help us), MP3.

And whether you use mono-directional, oxygen free Monster cables.

8
0

Paul Allen's research vessel finds wreck of WWII US aircraft carrier

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Re: Creepy...

You do know there's history other than WWII?

Not if "history" is defined as "wars that the Americans think that they won."

10
10

'Repeatable sanitization' is a feature of PCs now

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Snake oil? I think it's brilliant to be able to wipe down a laptop without shutting off. This should be standard issue.

12
0

WordPress is now 30 per cent of the web, daylight second

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Re: So many negative waves!

I'll follow up a bit. When I referenced people "hand-coding" web sites I was imagining someone sitting down with a text editor, a blank screen, and typing <html> and going from there. Obviously, and I've dealt with projects like this, there's heavy duty coding happening on any moderately large site.

However, and this was my point, I'm pretty sure that no-one, except for a few edge cases, ever starts from zero and builds a site from nothing. I'd wager that 98% of web projects begin with an existing, well-tested, well understood, well supported platform or framework, and builds on that structure. I can't imagine many cases where you won't take something "off the shelf" and then adapt it to suit a specific project. If a large part of the work has already been done it would be foolish to not use it.

I can't be bothered getting all pedantic about whether WordPress (or any other tool) is a "real CMS." The point of the exercise is to have something on-line that lets people add, subtract, and change content elements at will. In other words, Manage your Content.

If a nice little WordPress install is the right tool for a small job, that's what should be used. It's ridiculous to foist some gigantic, complex software package on someone just because WordPress is cool enough for you.

The success of WordPress rests on one thing: one heck of a lot of people and companies don't want to have the expense of an in-house tech developer just to have a little web site. WordPress, and lately things like SquareSpace, give them what they need with minimal expense and minimal hassle. That's not a bad thing.

And honestly, WordPress has come a long, long way from the days when it was just a blogging platform. It's more than powerful and flexible enough for a lot of small projects, is well enough supported that you can solve problems pretty quickly, and out of the box gives you something that looks not too bad on most devices.

2
1
Barry Rueger
Silver badge

So many negative waves!

Wow. Such venom. Would I choose WordPress to build Amazon.com? Of course not. Would I use it for a static ten page site for a Dogwalker company? You bet.

I've hand coded sites, back in pre CSS days, in notepad. And relied happily for years on Dreamweaver in the pre-mobile age, then early WordPress, abandoned it for several years for Joomla and Drupal, only to return to WordPress this year for a small project.

Anyone who claims to be hand-coding contemporary sites today is a liar, or a fool, or has a client who is one.

Joomla, Drupal, and large CMS are fine for people who use them day in and day out, but for anyone else they're ridiculous, over-complex, unintuitive, and break easily.

For someone who just needs something that is small, quick to set up, easy to maintain, looks decent on laptops and mobile devices, and most importantly doesn't require a four week hands-on training course to use, Wordpress is a good choice.

Yes you need to stay on top of security, but that's true of any software.

7
8

OK, who is shooting at Apple staff buses in California? Knock it off

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Does any of the buses carry a W Tell Jnr on them ?

Google failed to tell me who W Tell Jnr is. Someone connected to Will.I.am?

4
0

Mobile World Congress: 5 buzzwords, an homage to Windows XP and a smartphone snorefest

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Re: It is true that 5G will change everything?

Trust me, no-one in Canada is going to be downloading 15 gigs on a regular basis. The data charges would very quickly exceed the price of the phone.

3
0

Google powers up latest app it'll cancel in two years: Hangouts Chat

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Re: ...but why?

So if you are anyone besides an organisation who is already running G-Suite, then why would you move off Slack or Teams?

Surely for the seamless integration with your Google+ accounts.

5
0

US Supremes take a look at Microsoft's Irish email slurp battle, and yeah, not a great start

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

A Minor Quibble

Surely, even if American courts chose not to acknowledge it, the article should have addressed the very real question of what a corporation should do if the American law conflicts with data protection law in the country hosting the server.

36
0

BBC Telly Tax heavies got pat on the head from snoopers' overseers

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Of course you're already funding the CBC to the tune of a little bit less than $50 each year, so it's not "free." There has been a suggestion that CBC TV drop advertising, which would increase that funding. On average, government funding of public broadcasting in western democracies is around $80 per citizen per year.

0
0
Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Yes, we watch TV. Even the BBC.

And we're honest enough to admit it. And sometimes we even buy products that advertise on TV.

The operative word in that paragraph is "honest." As far as I can tell the phrase "I never watch TV" is code for "I torrent lots of crappy American sitcoms, so I'm cool."

In all honesty you people complaining about the BBC or Channel 4 have no concept of how good they are compared to the wasteland that is North American TV. For every "Sopranos" there are literally a thousand shows like "The Bachelor" and "Peoples' Court." And of course Fox News.

We happily pay for a VPN to watch the BBC from Canada (as well as the excellent BFI player) and would probably even buy a TV licence if they would let us.

4
10

TigerGraph emerges from undergrowth with 2.0 release in its jaws

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Re: 'Scuse my ignorance of buzzwords

Without Wikipedia I would never keep up on my buzzwords!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graph_database

In computing, a graph database is a database that uses graph structures for semantic queries with nodes, edges and properties to represent and store data. A key concept of the system is the graph (or edge or relationship), which directly relates data items in the store. The relationships allow data in the store to be linked together directly, and in many cases retrieved with one operation.

1
0

4G found on Moon

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

My hopes and dreams, dashed.

Am I alone in feeling very sad that god-damned cel phones are considered to be the first thing you need to colonize space?

21
8

The phone OS that muggers wouldn't touch is back from the dead

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Leave Android? YES!

With every iteration Android (like most Google products) becomes less useful and more encumbered with stuff I neither need nor want. And let's face it, 98% of apps are less than useful.

Once you've got email, text messaging, maps, and a browser I'm pretty much covered. Not being tied into the stifling Google omniverse is very appealing, as is "less is more."

My preference for Linux is rested firmly on my ability to have only what I want and need on a computer, and I would love that my phone, which many days is my primary computing device, could be the same.

16
2

Huawei guns for Apple with Mac-alike Matebook X

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Awaiting evidence of reality

The company reckons you'll go from cold to a functioning Windows 10 desktop in 7.8 seconds.

Uh huh. Admittedly the wife's HP Envy laptop is a year and a bit old, but given the ridiculously long boot times I find this claim highly unlikely. Has there ever been a version of Windows that booted that fast? I can't recall one.

(OK, I suppose it might be possible, but that assumes that you're not booting after or during a software or OS upgrade. Which it seems is every single time the thing is booted.)

(Hmph. my guess is that the camera under a key thingy will give up the ghost pretty fast.)

3
1

Google gives mobile operators a reason to love it, and opens rich chat up for business

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

Re: Cool

We run a commercial dog walking business, one of about fifty companies in our locale. For nearly a decade operators relied on group text messaging in emergencies.

Open text message app, select "dog walkers" group from Contacts, send message.

Somewhere around Honeycomb Google introduced a hard coded limit to the number of recipients of a text message.

One text to sixty people became multiple texts to ten or fifteen member groups.

Bug reports ensued, answered only with "because spam."

Which is why everyone now uses WhatsApp.

Well, except for the lone BlackBerry user....

Trust me, this will NOT end well.

9
0

Here's how we made a no-fuss RSS vulture app using trendy Electron

Barry Rueger
Silver badge

TinyTinyRSS

Been using it for years. Easy to set up (some hosting providers even include auto-installers) and thus far has never stumbled.

https://tt-rss.org

0
0

Page:

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018