* Posts by James

30 posts • joined 15 Apr 2008

Best Buy leaked memo spills Windows 7 upgrade details

James Silver badge

Re: Why switch now?

"I have had VISTA home Pro since it came out... and have had ZERO issues"

You should try switching those machines on sometime...

Microsoft's software vision chief embraces future horror

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@Charles Manning

"The major lock-in for Windows in private PCs is games."

And Microsoft are doing all they can to get us to migrate those to C# and .Net over the next couple of years.

Any native apps still around in 10 years time (and I'm being extremely generous here) will be running sandboxed in virtual machines.

Data-sniffing trojans burrow into Eastern European ATMs

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Re: Here's why ATMs shouldn't run Windows

If you have physical access to the machine, it doesn't matter which OS you're using. Any person qualified to service an ATM would more than likely know any passwords required to modify/repair the system.

Welsh mum amazed by Marmite Messiah

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Re: marmite is ok

I always found vegemite to have a horribly artificial after taste. Marmite is much nicer in my opinion.

And you can even buy it up here in Norway, so it can't be *that* bad.

Rambus pitches XDR2 for future memory

James Silver badge


"Cell and the PS3 were designed to be used in a system that had XDR memory."

I doubt the Cell was designed with that in mind. Forcing processor elements to only be allowed to access their local caches directly greatly simplifies the design of the processor. It makes a lot of sense from both power and cost perspectives.

The fact that RDRAM has such high bandwidth does make it the logical choice for Cell based systems with such a high SPU to PPC ratio, which could have been one of the guiding factors in the design of the PS3.

James Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Re: Oh not you again

"I don't need data in packets of 2KB. I need it in cacheline-sized chunks."

No, you don't. You used to - back in the days when the world was grey and men walked quickly. These days, however, it is far better to design your data structures to be cache friendly and copy large amounts of data into the L2 cache, work on it there (where you will then get cache-line sized transfer to and from the L1 cache) and then copy the results back out to system memory. And, unsurprisingly, this is exactly how the SPUs on your PS3's Cell processor are designed to work. (And in fact it's the only way they work.)

Assuming the architecture will solve everything for you and stalling while you wait for the next cache line to be fetched is soooo last century. I bet you think letting threads run on any available core is still a good idea too.

Paris, because she likes large packets too.

Unsafe at any speed: Memcpy() banished in Redmond

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@sed gawk

Except sizeof( dest ) in your example would equal sizeof( FOO* ), and not sizeof( FOO ). So maybe you really meant sizeof( *dest ).

And even when you get that right, if sizeof( FOO ) is greater than sizeof( BAR ) you'll be reading off the end of your source which could still crash if your source is located towards the end of your currently mapped address space.

So portable (check), pure ANSI (check), poorly thought though (check), bugged implemented (check), and about as safe as a cross-channel ferry made from tissue paper. Great, let's ship it before anyone in QA hits that edge case and notices.

The only real solution to real code stability and security is to stop using insecure languages and ensure people you employ are competent enough to fully understand the implications of *every* line of code they write.

Windows 7 gets built in XP mode

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Re: @INI vs Registry

"Many programs waste tons of CPU cycles reading the same registry keys over and over again."

Again, that's a result of lazy programmers. Reading the same registry key over and over again is a complete waste of time - I totally agree. Which is why RegNotifyChangeKeyValue exists. Read the registry keys you're interested in on startup and watch for changes.

"You can't add security to an insecure API without breaking old apps."

And so you forcibly ensure the machine is as insecure as possible by running as Admin all the time. Nice... Which applications do you work on, btw? Just so I know which ones to avoid...

James Silver badge

Re: There are reasons we programmers don't use the registry...

If your applications are so unstable you need to regularly back up parts of the registry to ensure that they function correctly then maybe you have other problems to take care of. If you have a genuine reason for end users to be messing around in the registry, write a utility that extracts the parts of the registry you need to be saved to a file.

Either way you have no excuse to be dicking around with .ini files as if we're all still living in 1987. And if you must persist on doing so, learn that the correct place to write them to is NOT in the program's directory, but under one of the user's application data folders designed for exactly that purpose. Go read up on SHGetFolderPath and move to the 21st century.

The Pirate Bay loads cannon with official appeal

James Silver badge

Re: Paytards and Freetards are both equally good at missing the point.

"Obviously the cost of server space and CD imprinting will be minimal if they have made 1,000,000 physical copies @ 50p per CD and case then we're looking at £2,500,000 which sounds a lot, but I am probably over pricing the manufacturing costs (anyone know better?)."

I think if you're manufacturing 1,000,000+ CDs you're probably looking at a couple of pence per disc. Which brings those costs down to well under 50,000 notes.

Mr. and Mrs. Boring lose Google Street View tilt

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they should have invested in a gate instead.

The A-Team flies into Hollywood

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Re: I may be interested

if they cast Jim Carrey off a very tall cliff.

Even a cliff made out of odds and ends in a tool shed would suffice.

US mulls clicks for cameraphones

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Re: Errm..

My N73 (bought it in Norway) has *never* made any noise when taking photos.

Nokia N79 smartphone

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"Nokia's impressive range of pre- and post-pic adjustments and options are provided in full."

Have they included an option to disable (or change) the JPEG compression quality yet? I've had an N73 since they came out and the picture quality from the camera is piss poor because all photos are compressed to hell with no option to lower the compression ratio of the files.

US woman says Ubuntu can't access internet

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Paris Hilton

Re: All the linux lovers

This is exactly why Linux will never amount to anything other than a fringe system loved by nerds (read: technically competent people who love dicking around with configuration scripts/files) and misunderstood by everyone else. (At least for another 10 years.)

People learn how to use computers with Windows, use Windows applications such as Office and the like all the time and have the idea that 'that's how computers work'. As much as I hate to say it, and as much as you hate to read it, for 99.99% of people in the world Windows does actually work. We can bitch and complain with our superior technical knowledge about how bad we think it is (and I do more than my fair share of that) but at the end of the day for the average consumer it's far more simple to use than any other system out there. Doubly so because it's what you learn to use when you first get a computer.

Paris, because she likes dicking around.

Unofficial fix issued for Vista networking flaw

James Silver badge

Re: Absurd

You're forgetting about all the legitimate Microsoft services running in the background that are explicitly using this 'feature'.

Visual Studio 2010 - reading the Redmond runes

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"...Visual Studio 2010 is slow and not entirely stable..."

So, not entirely unlike Visual Studio .Net, 2003, 2005, and 2008 then.

Nissan: buy our electric cars... rent our batteries

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Why is it all electric car design contracts seem to be being picked up by Stevie Wonder these days?

Microsoft marks Windows' anniversary with Windows 7

James Silver badge

Re: Interesting screenshot, but not very inspiring.

"This is something that the Mac definitely got right... There can only be one active application, so there need only be one menu bar on display, and it is not hard to merge it with the caption bar."

And it apparently wasn't too hard to patent that idea either.

Hubble's 486 back-up springs into life

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The 486-based computers in the HST weren't installed until december 1999.

The original computers were based on a DF-224 (whatever the hell that is). A 386 co-processor was added to these during the first servicing mission.

Jacqui Smith resurrects 42-days after Lords rejection

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Re: "They don't like it up 'em!"

I, for one, welcome our undemocratic gaggle of hereditary inbred overlor... oh hang about...

Finns develop mobe sleep-cycle alarm app

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Re: Cycle?

You can already get wristwatch alarm clocks that do this. Generally you set a rough time you would like to wake up in and the monitor only sounds the alarm during this time. (Or I guess the end of the specified period if you still haven't finished dreaming about Paris.)

Chrysler plans electric car production model

James Silver badge

Re: The car is missing something...

Obviously you don't need door handles - or doors for that matter. You just slide in through the space where the side windows should have been Dukes of Hazzard style.

Cloned US ATM cards: Can they fool Brit self-service checkouts?

James Silver badge

Re: Furrin parts != easy pickings

"...but in Spain the supermarkets require either chip/pin or sight of your passport..."

Actually, in Spain everyone over the age of 14 is required to carry some form of ID with a photo at all times. For spanish citizens this is in the form of a national identity card issued by the national police. For tourists and other visitors a passport is usually requested instead.

Long before C&P cards were issued you always had to show ID when using a credit/debit card.

Intel does SSD flash dance

James Silver badge

Re: How Much

FDMs are not the same as SSDs. They're based on much cheaper (and far far slower) chip technology.

A quick search throws up transfer rates of around 10-20Mb for a typical 40-pin FDM. That's around five to 10 times slower than current SATA II SSD drives.

US Congress to vote on in-flight mobile ban

James Silver badge

Re: Airplane noise?

"But these people who want to ban "noise" on planes really need to focus on getting rid of those jet engine things."

Unfortunately most external noise on a plane cruising at altitude comes from the outside air hitting the fuselage. So obviously planes just aren't flying high enough.

Is Apple readying a MacBook redesign?

James Silver badge

One piece of aluminium...

...and several hundred pieces of plastic.

Seriously though, who says it has to open? Maybe the next MacBook will just be a 15" touch screen.

UK gov announces Road Pricing 2.0 - Managed Motorway

James Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Here's an idea...

Why not try and persuade people to actually give up their cars and use public transport instead? Perhaps preventing transport companies from ripping people off with rediculously high prices during rush hour might be a start. (Crazy idea, I know.)

Admittedly that might have been easier if there still was a usable public transport system in the UK.

Paris, because she likes riding in public.

Dutch boffin, astronaut in space-sickness breakthrough

James Silver badge

Re: Obedience over intelligence

"As for space sickness - if space travel is ever going to be a big part of our future, nailing the problem of space sickness is a top priority."

Yeah, and maybe boats will become more popular once we solve sea sickness. It would probably be better to just fix the gravity (or lack thereof) in the craft we fling into space.

New York lawmakers approve 'Amazon Tax'

James Silver badge


...moving to Norway where VAT is 25% for most things and over 100% for new cars.

I used to complain about how bad prices were when I lived in the UK, but believe me, you don't have the worst of it.


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