* Posts by Gary F

394 publicly visible posts • joined 10 Mar 2008


Windows 8 Storage Spaces: Can you trust it with your delicates?

Gary F

Not sure of the purpose of Storage Spaces?

If anyone wants a reliable storage facility using multiple drives for redundancy then they should really be using a proper RAID solution. I've never found software RAIDs reliable. By providing these solutions, Win 8/2012 is encouraging people to use them. My advice is never to do storage on the cheap - not if you care about the safety of the data.

Microsoft RTMs final Windows 8 and Server 2012 code

Gary F

Re: Enthusiasm evades everyones expectations

People were generally enthusiastic about Vista in the run up to its launch because relatively few people got to play with it in advance - compared to the public releases that Win8 has gone through. After the Vista launch a wave of disappointment gushed over us.

With Win8 we had the opportunity in advance to find out for ourselves that it's disappointing, hence we are mostly unenthusiastic and looking forward to Win9 instead. Win9 will be the equivalent that Win7 was to Vista - Redmond effectively saying "sorry, this is what we meant to have released but it took us another year to listen to customers and realise we made some mistakes."

Let's just push the Fast Forward button, the outcome is too predictable. Along with massive financial losses this year, 2012 will be one that Microsoft will want to forget.

Twitter titsup: Our failover was actually just FAIL ALL OVER

Gary F

Have they not heard of load balancing?

Sounds like they're doing it all wrong if they don't have any "hot" redundancy. Our infrastructure is spread over multiple servers and if any server (web, database, file, mail, etc) goes down it doesn't matter because the other servers pick up the load. There is no single point of failure. Why the heck aren't Twitter at that level yet? Lack of investment? Or lack of knowledge?

Home Office doc 'not qualified' to assess McKinnon suicide risk

Gary F

I wish Gary well

Has he be banned from access to the Internet? That's a punishment in its own right.

Microsoft picks October 26 for Windows 8 launch

Gary F

Ready for a sales flop then, MS?

Maybe Win8 is designed to boost sales of Win7 with fear that the better OS will be made unavailable after a short while?

Did you know it's trendy to have a preference for the previous release? At long last, I'm one of the cool guys! ;-)

Fast forward summer 2013 when Microsoft release SP1 for Win8 which includes the option to enable the traditional START menu. Why do we have to wait? You know you've got it wrong already, Microsoft!

UK.gov proposes massive copyright land snatch

Gary F

One thing leads to another

What next? Government official or bank knocks at your door. No one is in so they leave a note saying we tried to contact you to make a compulsory purchase of your house, so we're just going to take it anyway and we don't have to pay you now. This is pretty much what this new copyright change is doing.

No way will the million creative people in Britain allow this to happen. It's another screw up policy that no doubt will come with a U-turn once everyone has been really angry about it.

I have millions of brain cells and I'm more than happy to lend one to the Govenrment.

Study: The more science you know, the less worried you are about climate

Gary F

Or to put it another way...

If you're thick you're more likely to believe what "experts" tell you. For everyone else who has a reasonable understanding or appreciation of the complexities of climate you're smart enough to come to your own conclusion. (Or if they're familiar with climate change through history or are natural skeptics!)

SpaceX joy as Space Station robo-arm grabs Dragon's tail

Gary F
Thumb Up

This calls for a spin-off computer game!

...or maybe an app. Hours of fun can be had playing grab that little space craft with the robo arm. ;-)

Britain has 10 million twits, tweets Twitter

Gary F

1/6th of the UK are twits

Yes, I'll believe that. Imagine if they focused their abundant spare time into doing something constructive, maybe something to help the economy or charities.

Ofcom: Now's your chance to make Local TV for Local People

Gary F

Poor quality content? Big gamble.

The cable/satelite/regional channels products a lot of poor quality content, so what are we expecting from even smaller channels with tiny budgets and big overheads? I remember community channels from the 1990's (Videotron cable TV for example) and while one or two programmes were good it wasn't sustainable and it had limited broadcasting hours because it's not possible to fill a whole day with content. If people channel hop and see the station in "shutdown mode" they probably won't stop there again when hopping.

The amount of work that needs to go into procuding good content is huge, but it can help a lot if the presenter is very gifted and can entertain an audience without a script... which would effectively turn the channel into a showcase for the individual and they'd be scooped up quickly by bigger channels leaving the community channel in the lurch.

What's wrong with web TV? There are no broadcasting overheads if you upload content to existing CDNs (YouTube and others). If the content is good then it will eventually attract viewers - and from further afield than the intended local city/town.

Using a Lenovo All-In-One? Grab a fire extinguisher!

Gary F

Re: Okay so...

The product shouldn't catch fire at all, period. What if you were one of the unlucky 1 in 50,000 owners and you'd left the laptop on while you're asleep or out, only for it to catch fire and, in a worst case scenario, burn your house down? I'm sure you would have a different opinion on product recalls if that had happened. If Lenovo thought it was a one-off event they wouldn't be spending $millions on product recalls and enduring the bad publicity the recall process triggers.

Recalls have nothing to do with the nanny state (which I don't like either) but is all about Lenovo taking its responsibilities seriously to make sure no one is injured because of a faulty product. If Toyota didn't recall 1000's of their cars 2 years ago then my family could have been in serious trouble if the brakes had chosen to pack up when we needed them to work. Product recalls are inconvenient but the consequences could be far worse. (BTW, this isn't a flame, just trying to get across some alternative points of view)

Cameron's F-35 U-turn: BAE Systems still calls the shots at No 10

Gary F

This stinks

Putting the defence of Britain first must always be the priority. Being chums with company bosses or supporting monopolies must never be allowed to come into the decision making process, so why does it feel like it has?

Why hasn't the Government questioned the cost of adding the electric catapults to the carriers? If the supplier says £125K but the ship builder says £2bn then tell BAE to shove off and hire the American suppliers to come and fit the catapults themselves. I'm sure they have enough expertise to do so. It will save a fortune and we'd get the attack and rader aircraft we need. The MoD owns the carriers, not BAE, right? Or was it done under PPI?

Why does the MoD/Gov always, always screw up procurement? Same with IT. Anything that relates to technology is mishandled. If private companies handled procurement like the Gov does there'd be people being fired on a daily basis - something that never seems to happen in the public sector. Jobs for life, zero accountability and generous pensions (yes, even with the cuts).

Over 1,200 dot-word bids flood ICANN at $180k a pop

Gary F

They are idiots, the buyers are idiots

I'm selling a fart in a jar for $180K. It might not be as ludicrously hilerious as buying a gTLD for $180K, but at least I'm not asking for $5K to register before I fill a jar for you.

Both products stink, are a load of hot air, and a waste of breath.

ICANN has gone one dot too far! They have done this to line the pockets of their directors, many own or have a stake in a domain registration business. They are not doing this to benefit the Internet, they're simply abusing their position and cashing in. :-(

NAO: Gov open data policy disorganised and costly

Gary F

The biggest Gov data sets are still ££££

Other countries have led the way, not the UK. Why not release the most useful data sets of all including PAF (the Royal Mail address database) and OS (much more than their token gesture). It would cost nothing to release the data because it already exists. Although I'm not sure how the maintenance of it would be funded if their revenue stream is culled.

iPad app that lets mute kids speak menaced by patent lawsuit

Gary F

Re: Toys out of the pram...

The app was created by qualified therapists I presume. Months of their time and expertise must have been spent working on this drawing on all of their experience. Is that worth nothing?

Likewise if anyone puts their own expertise into a project are they not entitled to make a living in return or does everyone have to work for free to satisfy the iPad/Android consumers who are far too used to paying nothing for 1000's of existing apps, or a few $ for other apps.

The speech app is a specialist program and is already 10x cheaper than the nearest thing. The therapists could have paid an experienced developer for several months of work to create the app, plus they could have taken 6 months off from their day job to produce it. So their investment could easily be $150,000. That will double/triple now they have to get a lawyer involved!

I say let them earn their money because it sounds like they deserve it. Just ask the parents who are no doubt overjoyed that their purchase (the price of a few speech therapy lessons) has effectively "unlocked" their children and given them new freedom to communicate - any ability that most people take for granted.

Software developers shouldn't have to work for free or a few quid. A lot of us are qualified and highly experienced professionals with mortgages and other loans to pay, children to feed and clothe, and many freelance or self-employed developers don't even have pensions, and sometimes there can be weeks or months of zero-income while waiting to see if they get another contract.

Yahoo! finally! adds! Do! Not! Track! tool!

Gary F

El! Reg! Stop! Tiresome! Yahoo! Headline! Joke!

...wishful thinking.

Does anyone still use Yahoo? I'm getting used to the idea of a Google monopoly. I'll suffer for it in the end.

CD: The indestructible music format that REFUSES TO DIE

Gary F

Plastic forever - reasons why CDs won't die

A lot of people like to collect albums on CD because it's physical, you can actually see and thumb through your collection, admire the artwork and inlay or read the lyrics if they're included.

If you want to give music as a birthday, Christmas or Valentines gift to someone then a physical CD comes across as more personal and thoughful than a download voucher or USB stick with a few files on it.

If you download your music then how safe is it if your hard drive crashes or your MP3 player gets stolen? Some download stores limit the number of times you can re-download. What if the store closes down? I bought some tunes from Microsoft 10 years ago but the site closed and I lost DRM access to the files. :-(

Maybe you burn your downloads to CD as a backup? Well, you could buy the original CD which is more collectable and then rip the tracks to your MP3 player. Pressed CDs shold last for many years longer than burnt ones. Viva CDs!

Microsoft stamps on HTTP 2.0's pedal, races to mobileville

Gary F

About time. Now how about...

SMTP is way overdue an overhaul. It's 30 years old, despite a few additions to the protocol made 4 years ago, is completely open to abuse and relies on after-thoughts such as Domain Keys and SPF in an attempt to check sender authenticity. Those and the SMTP extensions aren't mandatory for most servers to send, relay or receive email. It needs a complete overhaul to enforce sender authentication and other security/encryption features into the protocol itself with a kill date for SMTP v1.

Rovio: Actually there will be Angry Birds Space on Windows Phone

Gary F

Obviously Microsoft are paying for it

It's not worth a developer investing a lot of time and money porting to an OS that accounts for no more than 1.5% of the market. Unless someone is paying for your time. Otherwise your time is far more valuable spent on the continuing development of your products for 95% of the smartphone market. Simple business logic and economics really.

Robotics breakthrough blasts crud from that bit behind the lav

Gary F

Toilet humour...

So it shouldn't have any problem disposing of unexploded bombs dropped in the lavatory? I think it would be more effective if it was fitted with a full size water canon, it looks a bit puny.

Sony to ship passive 3D, OLED TVs in 2013

Gary F

3D. Give up. Please.

A gimmick from the start and it's not going to get any better using the current technologies. 3D films have such an artificial 3D look with an exaggerated foreground against a background and not much in between. It detracts from the artistic direction and sometimes the narrative. Not to mention a slightly blurry image that I personally experience.

Metro breakdown! Windows 8 UI is little gain for lots of pain

Gary F
Thumb Down

It's sh*t. It's Vista all over again!

I hate the new UI. Why do I need the entire screen to turn into a jumbled wall of tiles?

Why can't I press the Windows key and start typing the name of the app or executable and then press enter to run it? Give me the Win7 Start menu any day.

The UI is massively disappointing and unproductive for power users. This is another Vista in the making. I pay anually for Windows licenses and there's no way I'll be "upgrading" any of my machines.

Powerful, wallet-sized Raspberry Pi computer sells out in SECONDS

Gary F

I'm holding out for the Model C

I heard it will have dual floppy disc drives and bundled with a copy of Elite. ;-)

Seriously though, the Pi is cool and can't wait to see what people are doing with it. The GPU looks very impressive. Shame it can't be made in the UK for the same price though. That would have been the icing on the cake.

Microsoft drops 'risky' Windows 8 preview on World

Gary F

Hate it - I have a 24" monitor not a 10" tablet!

Can the tile rubbish be disabled? Just give me the Windows 7 desktop and start menu, plus the hidden technology improvements of 8. That's all.

The server version better not have this stupid interface otherwise Microsoft have shot themselves in the nuts.

It's game over for pinball pioneer

Gary F

The game that crossed 3 generations

There aren't many fun and furious arcade games that 3 generations can play happily without confusion or an 18 certificate. Grandpa grew up playing pinball and it's just as exciting for son and even granddaughter to play. There's something about a bare-metal game like this that can't be matched by video games.

Huawei pitches 'first ever' 10in quad-core tablet

Gary F

Better screen than most desktop PCs

It will have 384,000 more pixels than the most common 22" to 24" desktop monitors on sale! These days most monitors are 1920x1024 with the choice of finding 1920x1200 models being comparatively limited and sold at a premium price. It's crazy-good to put that many pixels in a 10" tablet. Can you really tell the difference in quality between this new tablet's display and the current high res tablets with half the resolution? I mean, it's just 10" big, not 24". But I image an HDMI feed from it into a big TV will look phenomenal!

UK-French drone aircraft blueprints nicked at Paris station

Gary F

What an idiot

The man should resign or have any defence contracts taken away because he has little concept of security. Whether there were important secrets in his case or just a sandwich, the point is he can't be trusted to keep things safe. In his line of work you'd think that would be one of the key requirements.

Never, ever put a bag or case down in a public place and turn your back on it, even for a second. Assume everyone wants to steal your belongings.

iPad lifts Apple to top of mobile PC maker chart

Gary F

What happened to the recession and economic downturn?

Okay, so there are 20 million people in the world who are not impacted by austerity measures, pay cuts, ballooning energy bills, etc.Or were they just willing to make an extra sacrafice to buy an Apple branded tablet rather than an Acer, HP or Samsung one?

Met Office wants better supercomputer to predict extreme weather

Gary F

Upgrade the software, not the hardware

I agree that their models are unreliable and proves that long term weather predication is not an exact science. Just how much computing power do they need to get the weather right? Surely they're not suggesting if they had, say, 10x more processing power their predictions would be more accurate?

If they improved their science and enhanced their models and formulas it would make a significantly greater improvement on predictions than simply making their current software produce poor predictions more quickly! I don't trust the Met Office predictions for periods greater than 48 hours.

Panasonic outs dual-core Euro-centric Android phone

Gary F

Do Europeans go swimming a lot with their phones?

Can't think why a phone needs to be able to be submerged in water. Splashproof would be good enough to cope with occasional use in the rain.

Maybe Panasonic want the Olympic swimmers to pose underwater using this new phone?

I guess people who go boating or yachting might appreciate a phone that's waterproof straight out of the box. No awkward 3rd party cases to faff around with if you want a slim touch screen phone.

Samsung shows third-gen Galaxy Tab

Gary F

Why the thick borders still?

Would be stylish and innovative if they could reduce the size of the screen borders. The S2's borders are 1/4 (or less) of that. Maybe the thickness is required to give it some strength?

Sinofsky shows off Windows 8 on ARM and Office15

Gary F

Clock speed is meaningless

Clock speed (i.e. Ghz) is a meaningless measurement of processing speed when comparing different architectures. Some CPUs perform more calculatations per clock cycle than others, so a 3Ghz chip could perform less calculations than a 2Ghz one within the same timeframe. This is true even within Intel's own family of chips over the years.

Google goggles with Terminator HUD 'coming soon'

Gary F

Easy takings for street robbers

Unless there's going to be a dorky looking headband option, it will be so easy for robbers to run past and snatch them off people's faces.

With that in mind, such technology might be better suited to professional environments where no one nearby is likely to be a thief.

An IR and UV display mode will be most useful to a few professions I can think of, and even more if it has a 12MP camera and LCD with zoom mode.

I think a bluetooth remote control would be most useful - something small that you wear like a fingerless glove or an inward facing ring worn on your index finger and controlled with your thumb. Could be quicker to use than awkward voice or head movements. (Remember where you heard this first!)

Five ways Microsoft can rescue Windows Phone

Gary F

That's what Win Mob 6.x was for

That's probably why Windows Mobile 6.1 and 6.5 is still being used by some businesses. If Microsoft kept compatability for legacy software then maybe SMEs and large corporates could have retained or chosen the Windows platform. WM6.x had many business focused apps and integration with corporate networks, and 6.5 could have been the start of something that merges the old style GUI with modern expectations, but MS threw out the baby with the bath water IMHO.

Facebook preps for public showtime with $100bn price tag

Gary F


Haha, no. :-) I don't like Twitter and wouldn't have thought of something that can get as chaotic as that.

Gary F

Very dubious

1) It's just a web site and a (long) fad. It will be over in a few years when something better arrives.

2) I'm sure they count "users" as accounts that haven't been closed. e.g. my mum set up an account a year ago to see what the fuss was about and hasn't logged in since.

3) $100bn is stupid money for something that doesn't have a fraction of that in assets or revenue.

4) It's a bubble and many people will get their fingers burnt (again).

5) Maybe I'm a little green because I came up with a similar idea years earlier in 1998 but decided I couldn't afford to risk the £20K start-up cost for the servers at launch. My second most regrettable decision ever!

Stab victim protected by Bulgarian airbag

Gary F

Oh I don't know...

Might be more fun than playing with Angry Birds to pass the time. :-)

Archos 35 Smart Home Phone

Gary F

Surely an overkill?

Some domestic electronics should be left alone, keep them as simple devices that just do 1 thing. I don't want Android built into my toaster either. I will not be installing apps on it or playing games on it. I just want the toaster to make me some smegging toast. (Cue Red Dwarf talkie toaster scene)

Surely you only need 1 all-singing all-dancing personal device, and that tends to be your mobile phone. I would just like my DECT phone to be cheap, reliable, and to have 2 or 3 handsets around the house. Does the Arcos one support multiple handsets? Probably not. And at £140 each it's not very economical. Apart from all that it looks like a nice device.

Google+ funny numbers mask falling growth

Gary F

Follow the sheep

If sheep are grazing happily in a pasture why would they bother to move to another pasture? Given that there's ample of grass in the first pasture and all their sheep friends are there too, if any sheep were to move they'd no longer be part of the flock.

Unless Google can think of a totally different kind of social networking that's as different as Twitter is to Facebook then they should stick to what they're best at - search, maps, email, analytics, Chrome and Android. Why do they feel they have to move in on everything else?

Gov.uk loses 2 top techies, needs some new ones

Gary F

I agree!

This job is for a seasoned pen pusher and manager. No proven technical skills are requried. The most IT literate people are the ones on significantly lower salaries at the bottom of the org chart. The higher up the org chart someone sits, the less they know about modern IT and even less about how to impliment and operate it! (I speak with 25 years of observation!)

The more you know about IT the less chance you have of getting a gov CIO job. They're looking for blaggers in senior management who have done lots of decision making in big companies.

NASA close to approving first sci-fi flick shot in space

Gary F

I understand NASA's POV

With such poor production and acting is it no wonder NASA's initial reaction was to not allow it to be released? Such mockery will set the manned Mars mission back another 20 years! ;-)

NASA shuts off Voyager 1's central heating

Gary F

If only...

If only Voyager's cameras were still working. Imagine what the images would show. My gran had a spin dryer that lasted 40+ years with the original motor. Beat that, Voyagers.

NHS trust to digitise millions of patient records

Gary F

Did they OCR the records?

A human has trouble reading notes written by doctors so I doubt they have been successfully OCR'ed. In this case they have a network full of a million unsearchable PDFs or JPEGs. Unless the records were transcribed by hand?

Data centers to cut LAN cord?

Gary F


We used 10GbE for "east and west" traffic. It outperforms WiGi and is limited to the confines of our cables. i.e. no chance of wireless hacks. 10GbE has a higher initial cost but it's seriously fast and means you never have to worry about internal traffic saturation for the life of your architecture. (We redesign the architecture and replace everything every 3-4 years.) In fact we bonded 2x 10GbE together to give up to 20GbE of bandwidth.

Nuclear Mars tank thrusts hard into perfect position

Gary F

Don't worry, the NASA boffins have programmed a handbrake parking manoeuvre macro to a hotkey - F12 I think. Press... skid, spin round, swish neatly into the atmosphere. Then it's Ctrl+E to release its cargo. Hopefully someone remembered to print out a keyboard overlay just in case. I wonder if the Russians realise it's Ctrl+R to restart? ;-)


Gary F

If it were in space there would be no air and therefore...

The shreds of balloon wouldn't have flapped around immediately after it burst if it were in space because there would be no air to cause turbulence.

Microsoft's RemoteFX is fab - but will it play Crysis?

Gary F

Major limitation for RemoteFX

If you're connecting to a virtual desktop it must be running Windows 7 Ultimate or Enterprise according to Microsoft tech requirements, which explains why I wasted an hour trying to get it working on Win7 Pro. Major bummer. :-(

BTW, OnLive is amazing. It sucks on a mobile device but on a desktop with a good network connection it's fast and very convenient. The picture quality isn't good enough for full HD but looks okay played in a window on an HD desktop. Very clever, impressive response times given what's actually happening behind the scenes.

LG to show 55in, 4mm-thick OLED TV at CES

Gary F

Seriously hot, thigh rubbing TV tech

I've really got to get one of these. I'm a huge fan of OLED and borderless screens are pretty much the holy grail for both technology and chic. So this has gone onto my Christmas list for 2015 because I don't think I could afford one until they're common place like the current crop of LCD screens.

Area 51 to host sci-fi knocking shop

Gary F

The girls should dress up as Leela from Futurama. There's no better looking cyclops in the universe. I was momentarily considering the 3 breasted alien from Total Recall.