* Posts by Ben Burch

54 publicly visible posts • joined 5 Oct 2007


Mac shipments slump as Apple finally bitten by glum PC demand

Ben Burch

I don't see the value in them any more.

I started out in 1984 as a Mac guy and have owned like 17 Macs in that time (at one time I had a streaming farm of iMacs,) but my current iMac is failing and I am replacing it with a high end Dell machine in June.

I work with Windows 10 and Windows Server daily, and find no usability difference from OSX, and almost no software I need is without a Windows version. Equivalent Macs are several times the price, not really upgradable, not really repairable, OS revisions that gratuitously break software I already own, and even the Retina 5K screens are lesser in quality than a good 4K display because of ghosting and hot spots.

I still think the iPhone is great, and I like the iPad, but I cannot spend my money on a new Mac in good conscience. They need to cut prices significantly before I could.

Elon Musk yearns for AI devs to build 'anti-woke' rival ChatGPT bot

Ben Burch

"Reality has a well-known liberal bias."

Alternative search providers write letter to EU complaining that Google antitrust action achieved diddly-squat

Ben Burch

Re: Hmmm

AFAIK, DDG uses other search engines in the background, and anonymizes the accesses.

Ben Burch

Perhaps a "open search engine" is what is needed?

Could the open source community mount a search engine project?

Seems to me Google started out as a small project and only needed massive infrastructure as it grew. Perhaps that could still be done?

Google security engineer says she was fired for daring to remind Googlers they do indeed have labor rights

Ben Burch

"Don't be evil" - such a nice idea

Shame on you Alphabet guys. This *is* evil. You have enough money to treat people well, but you don't. Did you learn nothing from the NPM guys?

NPM apologizes for ham-fisted handling of recent staff layoffs

Ben Burch

Crocodile tears don't erase what you have been doing to people. At one time I thought I wanted to work for you. Glad I dodged that bullet.

Nice People Matter? NPM may stand for Not Politely Managed – job cuts leave staff sore

Ben Burch

Re: 55 People?

It’s a whole lot more complicated than that. Especially once you roll in infrastructure.

It was El Reg wot won it: Bing banishes bogus Brit bank banner ad

Ben Burch

Good job, lads!

CEO of shady ad site Backpage and owners arrested on human trafficking suspicions

Ben Burch

This is bloody ridiculous.

This is a vast overreach of the law not coincidentally tied to an election year.

Nobody's rights are safe in an election year.

Jeff Bezos' thrusting cylinder makes Elon Musk's look minuscule

Ben Burch

I'll believe it...

...when he flies it.

iOS update kills jailbreak

Ben Burch

Isn't this SOP?

Apple makes a habit of breaking Jailbreaks, and has since the iPod Touch was new.

Raspberry Pi 3 tops SBC poll for self-brew hackers and Linux folk

Ben Burch

I can't see, to hang on to any of my older ones... As soon as a new generation comes along I find a need to give the older ones away to children, nephews, and co-workers...

Ben Burch

And they are solid performers.

I mean, what's not to like? Multi-thread, enough RAM, HDMI, WiFi, Bluetooth, USB ports, I/O pins, small, and cheap!

There is very little you cannot do with it and it just plain works.

Hash-tag CompSci: FBI grooms pre-weed teens

Ben Burch

Time to stop caring about smoking weed.

The "Drug War" has almost destroyed this country.

Now it is getting in the way of finding law enforcement officers.

Simply end it.

It cannot be won under any conceivable circumstances, and it has no benefits to society whatsoever. Rather the opposite.

WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

Ben Burch

Welcome to the Genius Bar! Why yes, we at apple have a workplace diversity policy. Why do you ask?

128TB SSD by 2018? Toshiba promises much, delivers ... a little

Ben Burch

How long would such a drive take to fill?

Let's say we have 12GB/s SATA available, Depending on copying overhead, you could load up that drive in around 24 hours.

PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY

Ben Burch

Small machines...

iOS 8 on a iPhone 4 wouldn't be a great fit because of the amount of RAM it has available. But we recently upgraded to iPhone 5s machines, and it works just great on them.

FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on

Ben Burch

I think you'd be amazed at the crudeness of some of the safety critical systems in some factories.

Ben Burch

A. From an end-user's perspective, the process control system in his factory worked until this driver made it not work. That is damage.

B. A "computer system" is the whole works, including peripherals.

C. Again, to an end user of an embedded application, there is no easy way to fix this. And this failure could have caused additional damage, including harm to persons. And I say this because I have seen a number of factory floor systems that used USB->RS232 widgets, presumably from these folks.

Ben Burch

Seems to me that this is in violation of the law.

18 U.S. Code § 1030 (a)(5)(A) "(a) Whoever— (5) (A) knowingly causes the transmission of a program, information, code, or command, and as a result of such conduct, intentionally causes damage without authorization, to a protected computer; ... shall be punished as provided in subsection (c) of this section"

Need a green traffic light all the way home? Easy with insecure street signals, say researchers

Ben Burch

There are strobe light systems too.

You can actually buy boxes with IR strobe lights that will trigger many traffic lights that look for a particular strobe pattern that emergency vehicles emit when they have their lights going.

Example; http://www.themirt.com/index.php

Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s

Ben Burch

My iPhone 4 isn't worn out yet!

I *had* to replace my iPhone 3 because the battery life had gotten really bad. My iPhone 4 is still turning in a reliable performance and until it needs replacing, it is not getting replaced. A former employer of mine, Zenith, found out what happens when you build consumer goods that do not wear out quickly; Your most loyal customers are those still using the TVs they bought 20 years ago. Not that, as a consumer, I am complaining, but that is the reality. The iPhone 4 is close to indestructible (at least in my hands) and this does not bode well for Apple selling me an iPhone 5 or an iPhone 6.

You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary

Ben Burch

Well, this will be a smashing success...

...or will be painted that way.

The reality is that piracy is going down all by itself, and they should have no trouble taking credit for that.

But what is really happening is that more and more content is becoming available from legitimate sources at fair prices online and that is really all people wanted in the first place.

SpaceX FINALLY lobs six sats into orbit (don't mention the landing)

Ben Burch

It's not a boat.

You have to remember that it was not designed to land in the water.

They are landing in water until they are certain enough of safety to risk bringing it to land.

And water can be amazingly hard as anybody who has done a belly flop off a high dive can tell you!

Cryptome pulled OFFLINE due to malware infection: Founder cries foul

Ben Burch

My provider does the same

When one of my users gets attacked and some malware gets on, they block the site until it is fixed.

How is this an attack???

I admit it is bloody annoying.

Microsoft walks into a bar. China screams: 'Eww is that Windows 8? GET OUT OF HERE'

Ben Burch

50% market penetration, but only 5% ever paid for.

I can see no reason for Microsoft to give them a thing; Most of those machines are running pirated copies anyway! Remember those cheap, cheap copies of XP that you could get in Hong Kong? The ones that looked exactly like the Redmond product but were 100% phony?

New Sammy patent trial: Apple seeks $40 PER 'infringing' handset

Ben Burch

Re: Odd strategy...

I agree; I have never seen that as a patent defense and in my engineer's understanding of patent law, that is simply not how it goes!

US-Russia Soyuz 'nauts STUCK IN SPACE after ISS dock fail

Ben Burch

All systems have failures.

What matters is whether there is a viable recovery from the failure. And there is.

Help a hack: What's in your ultimate Windows XP migration toolkit?

Ben Burch

Virtual Machine

Well, Windows 7 Professional has an XP virtual machine you can download. I've found it able to run any XP app I was unable to run in Windows 7 without having to take the risk of exposing XP to the network for general use. And as a virtual machine, you can save a copy and restore to that point at any time.

Other options are VMWare Workstation on windows, and Parallels or VMWare Fusion on OSX.

All do a competent job of running XP.

Your 'funny' cat pics are weighing down the web, so here's a better JPEG encoder from Mozilla

Ben Burch

ART encoding

AOL had a proprietary encoder they called ART which gave much better compression than JPEG for most things. Since the AOL app went away, so did any use of that encoder. I think that whomever owns AOL now (Huffington?) ought to just release that patent to the public domain and that w3c ought to adopt it into html.

PayPal row heats up as eBay chair calls Icahn claims 'false and misleading'

Ben Burch

Icahn is proof that only the good die young.

Netflix speed index shows further decline in Verizon quality

Ben Burch

If you are in a place where Wide Open West (WOW) cable can be had, it is the best ISP I have used. Really good customer service. They came out on a Sunday AM to fix my service drop when a squirrel ate the wire.

Thanks for suggesting eBay should flog PayPal. It's not happening, CEO tells Carl Icahn

Ben Burch

Icahn is a parasite. I wish he would get abducted by space aliens and returned in 1000 years.

Linksys's über-hackable WRT wireless router REBORN with 802.11ac

Ben Burch

Thank you, Linksys! Loved your WRT54G, and I'm sure I will love this one.

Wolfram's new equation: Mathematica+RPi=child geniuses everywhere

Ben Burch

I'm happy with this!

I will be trying this out over the holidays.

Dr Wolfram touts coding language to revolutionise mankind ... just like Wolfram Alpha did

Ben Burch

It is never "trivial" to write the correct program, no matter how many SDL compilers or whatnot you throw at the problem, you still need to actually understand the problem you intend to solve, and the consequences of actions you take to solve it!

Icahn to Cook: 'Buy back $150bn of Apple's stock, or tell me why you won't'

Ben Burch

Icahn is a parasite.

WD: Enjoying our $630m, Seagate? Let's ruin your day with our results

Ben Burch

Terrible WD "quality"

I've had absolutely terrible results with WD drives. Some failing in as little as 6 months online.

They honored their warranty but the hassle of replacing drives all the time was bad enough that I no longer will buy a WD drive.

This was a few years ago, and maybe they have improved, but I can't take the risk.

I'm probably going Seagate until I finally go Sandisk 100%.

Apple files patent for refrigerator-magnet iPads

Ben Burch

SNL was there first!

There was a fake Apple ad on Saturday Night Live around 1995 for "Macintosh Post-it Notes";


Windows 8.1: So it's, er, half-speed ahead for Microsoft's Plan A

Ben Burch

They never tested this with real users as far as I can tell

Do they even use it themselves? This thing is a mess.

Ecuador: Let's talk about not having Julian Assange on our sofa

Ben Burch

I hope he dies of old age in that little embassy room.

He is a prisoner of his own faults. He has put himself where he is, and he is the only one who can end it (unless Ecuador kicks him to the curb) and I am enjoying every single day of his life sentence.

PEAK iPHONE? Apple mobe growth slumps to ‘lowest in its history’

Ben Burch

I can tell you why I still have my iPhone 4.

It still works.

And if I replaced it, I'd need a new alarm clock and a new TV dock and new charging cables in my car and office. The change from the dock connector is a big deal to me.

Judge scolds Apple, Motorola for using court as 'business strategy'

Ben Burch

A lack of federal judges too

The GOP has been preventing Obama from filling any vacancies hoping they can then fill them ALL in 2017.


Ben Burch

Can we just put the hackers in a gibbet?

I think we should not JAIL these guys when we catch them. We should re-instate the Gibbet.

Gnome cofounder: Desktop Linux is a CHERNOBYL of FAIL

Ben Burch

I've been using Linux since the mid-90s

And I have been using Macs since 1984.

And I have been using Windows since Windows 2.0 (ick)

And I have to say he is right.

I don't want to be able to agree with him.

I really don't.

I make my living with Linux and for what we use it for, its hard to beat, but we develop on a Windows desktop because it is far less hassle, and at home I use both Mac and Windows for desktop environments, but I favor the Mac because it can run so much of my OSS (fink project) and because it is so simple to launch Linux VMs.

I kept hoping the Apple's MkLinux would develop into the next Mac platform, but the acquisition of Next ended that.

AssangeTM spins Oz Senate candidacy again

Ben Burch

He can bugger off now.

He is a rape suspect pure and simple.

And one who is a fugitive from justice.

This will end when he dies of old age in that little room or when he is finally given up for extradition to Sweden for trial (and I expect, for conviction.)

LHC CMS yields unexpected 'new stuff'

Ben Burch

Actually, glass does not flow.

At normal temperatures, silicate glasses do not flow on ANY time scale.

Liquefied-air silos touted as enormo green 'leccy batteries

Ben Burch

Why the exotic working fluid?

Heat is a better choice than cold.

When you compress air, you heat it. That heat is lost, typically, and is the huge reason for the 75% losses.

Build a huge underground water cistern and simply heat the water.

Water has the highest specific heat of any ordinary substance, and that heat can be recovered quite efficiently with a Stirling-cycle engine.

No need to get the water to boil, in fact, you'd avoid that.

Compressed air as a storage medium has a long history. Usually it is found that you need to ADD energy to the compressed air as it expands to get it warm enough to use, a simple heat exchange with the environment is usually insufficient. And in the case of liquid air storage you have the phase-change energy to add back in before you get any gas evolved at all.

Steve Jobs' 'private Apple spaceship' seeks public love

Ben Burch

If they don't approve...

... we'd love to see them in the Chicago area!

Americans resort to padlocking their dumb meters

Ben Burch

I'm sorry my fellow Americans are so stupid.

Sometimes I am quite ashamed of the ignorance here.