* Posts by Portent

72 publicly visible posts • joined 5 Jan 2009


The Post Office systems scandal demands a critical response


Re: It's still happening

Ye gods, that example looks like VB :(

Also where does the variable o come from? I think it should be a zero but it looks like a lowercase letter o to me. It wasn't passed into the function so if it is indeed a variable called o then it must be a global.

Logitech's Wave Keys tries to bend ergonomics without breaking tradition


Re: The absence of backlighting

When I bought my Topre Realforce I solved the poor eyesight with no backlighting issue by simply buying a cream keyboard instead. It's far more legible.

Last rites for the UK's Online Safety Bill, an idea too stupid to notice it's dead


Re: Computer MOT

Haha. Genuinely had me laughing.

Google launches $99 a night Hotel Mountain View for hybrid workers


No thanks

No thanks. I will continue to work from home where I can crawl out of bed to my desk in the morning.

Another redesign on the cards for iPhone as EU rules call for removable batteries


Samsung Galaxy Tab Active series

I have a Samsung Galaxy Tab Active8, an 8" rugged tablet. Admittedly it isn't the prettiest tablet in the country. But it still manages to be dust and waterproof even with a removable battery, external SIM and sdcard tray, and a headphone jack.

I'm sure Apple will work out a way.


Does that cover any device?

Including earbuds? If so, then how is that going to work?

Can noise-cancelling buds beat headphones? We spent 20 hours flying to find out


Jabra Elite 75t Actives are where it's at

I've yet to find anything that works better for me that the Jabra Elite 75t Active's. I've had mine a while and originally got them on a deal, although they are now quite cheap as they have been replaced with newer models. The case is small in the pocket, it won't break the bank if I lose them, they sound fantastic with a lot of base, clear but not overly bright high's, all the software bugs have were ironed out years ago, they have great battery life, have good multipoint connection, they had noise cancellation added in software, even after newer models came out, and the Active version is IP57 so waterproof. The only two downsides are the lack of wireless charging and that they run in a master/slave configuration so you can't have only the left earbud in. I think those two issues were resolved with the Jabra Elite 7 Pro's so I might try those when they come down in price, although I have heard that the sound quality isn't quite as good for some reason.

Why make games for Linux if they don't sell? Because the nerds are just grateful to get something that works


Re: SteamOS

I think you are confused. Steam is in the Ubuntu repository (and probably most Linux distro repositories). It's a couple of clicks to install. It's actually easier to install on Ubuntu than on Windows. I use it on both.

Cats: Not a fan favourite when the critters are draped around an office packed with tech


Re: Heat detector

Mine goes absolutely mad for Webbox Lick-e-Lix. She's almost climbing up me to get to it when I'm opening the packet.

The GIMP turns 25 and promises to carry on being the FOSS not-Photoshop


Re: I found the learning curve

I use Krita for the simpler stuff. It's great.

Apple's T2 custom secure boot chip is not only insecure, it cannot be fixed without replacing the silicon


I need your clothes, boots and your motorcycle

Listen, and understand. That T2 is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not be patched, ever, until your Macbook is dead.

BoJo looks to jumpstart UK economy with £6k taxpayer-funded incentive for Brits to buy electric cars – report


I have an old diesel car, used for local journeys, which I would normally be interested in swapping for an EV. But with the world economy in ruins there is no way I'm swapping for something that means I have to spend more. No new cars for me until the world recovers.

India allows half of IT services workers back to the office next week


Re: Look forward to daily chats

Do you want free ringdings with your internet service providings?

Open-source, cross-platform and people seem to like it: PowerShell 7 has landed


Re: What's the point of it on *nix?

I'm not sure I agree, One of the main Unix ethos is to "do one thing and do it well". The use of multiple small utilities, each feeding data to the next, is a deliberate design choice so that each utility is small, concise, reliable and works with each other. Personally I think I like that design choice.

EA boots Linux gamers out of multiplayer Battlefield V, Penguinistas respond by demanding crippling boycott


Well judging by the Ubuntu subsystem for Windows I think they already noticed Linux is massively popular among some users.

Having trouble finding a job in your 40s? Study shows some bosses like job applicants... up until they see dates of birth


Re: I gave up 10 years ago at 38!

I'm 50 now and worked in IT since I left school. I didn't go to university and have luckily never found it held me back (it was a different world back then). Like you I learned on home computers in the 1980's and 1990's (VIC 20, C64, Amiga). The difference with people who learned during that era was that we did it because we LOVED it and not because of the money (the money definitely came later and was definitely good). I'm probably in the minority nowadays but when interviewing people I don't care about their level of education. I look for that genuine passion for the subject. I look for the person who is self taught because they want to be in IT. Sadly most people nowadays seem to get into IT because it's a well paid job. But I look for the real enthusiast who still teaches themselves new stuff as a hobby.

Hell hath GNOME fury: Linux desktop org swings ax at patent troll's infringement claim


Re: I'll have to donate

Same. Not a gnome user but will be donating. Strength in numbers. Supporting FOSS.

Apple will wring out $18bn by upselling NAND to fanbois – analyst


Re: think sports stadiums, train stations

I'm surprised such venues haven't yet started upselling WiFi or localised 4G/5G hotspots, with surge pricing pushing it through the roof.

Grav-wave eggheads come closer to nailing down Hubble's Constant – the universe's speedy rate of expansion


What if the universe expands at different rates over time?

What if the universe is indeed inside a black hole? As matter falls into that parent black hole the amount of matter inside it increases. As matter inside increases then it causes expansion of our universe. If this is the case then the rate of expansion will vary depending how much matter is falling into it. Clues that this is happening would be a very rapid rate of expansion at the start of our universe and then a difficulty over time to precisely measure the rate of expansion.

Metropolitan Police's facial recognition tech not only crap, but also of dubious legality – report


Re: It's in its infancy, but it will improve

Yes you do have a tracking device in your pocket. Google has previously been found to track you based on mapping all the wifi routers in your area. Based on the strength of each signal it is able to position you surprisingly accurately. That's why, whenever you turn on GPS on an Android phone, it asks if it can track wifi to make it 'more accurate'.

Bill G on Microsoft's biggest blunder... Was it Bing, Internet Explorer, Vista, the antitrust row?


Microsoft is an interesting company but not one that sees the future very often. It did predict the massive adoption of DOS, BASIC and Windows (all of which were licensed from other companies or the idea copied). But since the early days they seem to have failed to predict the next big trend.

Internet - Spent years trying to catch up

Games - Had to buy DirectX to compete with other API's such as Glide (3Dfx) and PowrerVR. Then had to throw money at XBox to make it successful.

Languages - Had to copy Java to create C# (after losing a battle for Visual J++)

Smart phones and tablets - Too little, too late

Irish data cops are shoving a probe right into Google's ads

IT Angle

Option 1: Buy it directly from the credit card company.

Option 2: Buy it from the shop directly. If the shop has an online presence which you have previously used, then it can easily link your shop and online sales (and therefore your identity) if you use the same card for both.


Nvidia keeping mum on outlook for year as data centre slows, channel chokes on crypto crap


Re: Gaming revenue dived

Same here. I went with a Vega 64 last year and have no need to upgrade any time soon. But if I did then I'd stick with AMD because of their support for open architectures (freesync, although I know NV now support that too) and open source drivers in the Linux kernel.

Wanted: Big iron geeks to help restore IBM 360 mainframe rescued from defunct German factory by other big iron geeks


I bet Gordon Clark could put that back together...

How much open source is too much when it's in Microsoft's clutches? Eclipse Foundation boss sounds note of alarm


Re: "if you followed the path of evolution you saw the market choices shrink"

My bank (or at least the one I work in) has started to use MariaDB for a few smaller projects.

The Year Of Linux On The Desktop – at last! Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 brings the Linux kernel into Windows


Re: It has to be said

Two major factors in this are:

1) MS has a lot of money it can throw at the problem. The WINE project is primarily a volunteer effort with some corporate support such as, more recently, Valve.

2) MS can look at open documentation and even look at the source code for Linux. But WINE developers have to blindly guess and try to reverse engineer Windows API's (which MS can and do change over time).

TalkTalk kept my email account active for 8 years after I left – now it's spamming my mates


I once had fun with Talk Talk...

A number of years ago my broadband provider was taken over by Talk Talk. I received a nice letter from them welcoming me. They then managed to completely forget I was a customer. I wasn't billed for two years but I was stuck on a really slow connection. I couldn't upgrade it to a faster line because Talk Talk said I wasn't their customer. I couldn't leave Talk Talk because whenever I tried the new ISP said there was a Talk Talk marker on my line and I would need the leaving code. Talk Talk wouldn't give me a leaving code because they said I wasn't their customer. I was stuck on 2mbit for years. While many would say it was great not being billed I needed the line for work and it would stop working randomly several times a week. Of course Talk Talk ignored me when I reported the problem because they said I wasn't a customer.

I only managed to get it sorted when I raised a complaint with OFCOM.

Lenovo kicks down door of MWC, dumps a stack of sexy new ThinkPads


The chiclet style keyboard also had several keys removed and rearranged, as well as different key caps.

The TP25 wasn't available for non-US keyboard layouts.

Thumb Up

Re: Gained?

The T480 has the bridge battery system; an internal battery and a hot swappable external.

How do you like them Apples? Tim Cook's iPhones sitting in the tree, feeling unloved by the Chinese


It's not just phones either. Take a look around next time you're in Starbucks and you'll notice that the sea of Macbooks has diminished to a small puddle. The number of Windows laptops is increasing.

Congrats, Satya Nadella. In just five years, you've turned Microsoft from Neutral Evil to, er, merely True Neutral


Re: "GPL is cancer"

No way to make money selling software on Linux? Well I pay around £200 a year for a personal Jetbrains All Products license to run on Linux. That's more than I spent on Windows wmsoftware when I did run Windows.

Sorry, Samsung. Seems nobody is immune to peak smartphone


Re: "All I really need now is a lot better battery life."

Phones are "good enough" now. The problem is that batteries degrade. So last year I bought one of the last premium phones with a battery (and headphone jack!) - an LG V20. I even bought that used so it was very cheap, and bought a couple of new batteries for it. I now don't plan to change my phone for two or three years unless I break it, it fails or 5G becomes available, cheap and desirable. I'm now out of the new phone market for a while and I suspect many people are.

Oz cops investigating screams of 'why don't you die?' find bloke in battle with spider


This story has legs...

Ding dong merrily on high. In Berkeley, the bots are singeing: Self-driving college cooler droid goes up in flames


I have a bad feeling about this Chewey

These are not the droids you are cooking for...

Who's watching you from an unmarked van while you shop in London? Cops with facial recog tech


Business opportunity

I'm gonna make a fortune selling balaclavas :)

Windows 10 can carry on slurping even when you're sure you yelled STOP!


No trust

2018 was the year I finally lost trust in Windows and moved to Linux full time for everything except a few small Windows only games (and frankly I haven't used those in months). I'd dabbled in Linux for years but earlier this year I'd just had enough of not feeling like my PC was actually mine. I'm now happily running Kubuntu with Firefox and am looking to reduce my footprint on anything Google too. The only area I don't think I can replace Google from is youtube.

Supernovae may explain mass extinctions of marine animals 2.6 million years ago


Douglas Adams knew all about it

So long and thanks for all the fish.

Open the pod bay doors: Voice of HAL 9000 Douglas Rain dies at 90



Sad times :(

Macs to Linux fans: Stop right there, Penguinista scum, that's not macOS. Go on, git outta here


Think Different. ThinkPad.

'nuff said.

Microsoft points to a golden future where you can make Windows 10 your own


Re: What about the stuff that we really don't want...

That's exactly what I did. Also running Kubuntu and also not looking back. I genuinely now prefer it to Windows for everything except games (and many of those now run under Steam's Proton).

The last phablet? 6.4in Samsung Galaxy Note 9 leaves you $1k lighter, needs 'water cooling'


I'm out

Top end smartphones are just too expensive nowadays. I just buy a sim only deal and either a mid range phone (Lenovo P2 was my previous one for £199 with 5000mah battery) or a used previous generation top end phone (LG V20 for £160). The V20 is an interesting prospect. I can swap batteries for use days away from a charger, the DAC is amazing on headphones, a huge screen and it still has infra red for controlling my TV. Yet is was cheap enough that if it fails tomorrow, or if I drop it, lose it on a night out, or whatever, that I can just go and buy something else without worrying too much about it.

When I compare that to a £1000 iphone X or £1250 S9 it's just obvious to me that buying a new top end phone is for poor people. It even sends the message that you care what people think of your phone rather than how you can use money to improve your life. It's nuts.

Also no notch :)

ZX Spectrum Vega+ blows a FUSE: It runs open-source emulator


Better build quality than the original ZX81.

HTC U12+: You said we should wait and review the retail product. Hate to break it to you, but...


I'm the same... I strongly prefer a phone without a removable battery. My last phone as a Lenovo P2 which has a fantastic battery. But I just grabbed a used LG V20 and a few new batteries instead. That should last me a few years until battery technology improves enough.

Happy birthday, you lumbering MS-DOS-based mess: Windows 98 turns 20 today


At least it was better than...

Windows ME

Microsoft says Windows 10 April update is fit for business rollout


Hahahahaha. The Win 10 April update was what finally pushed me over the edge to move to Linux full time. There are loads of issues with it.

Microsoft wants serious, non-gaming developers to make more money


If you're a a non-gaming application developer you seem to have choices:

1) Self host it. Charge what you like. Keep 100% but spend a little on advertising it.

3) Put it on the Windows Store. Pay MS a percentage. you'll still need to advertise it.

What's the advantage of having it in the Windows Store? What do you get for handing over a percentage, however small or large, to MS?

Folks are shocked – shocked – that CIA-backed Amazon is selling face-recog tech to US snoops, cops


Zero Wrong

All your face are belong to us...

There will be blood: BT to axe 13,000 employees


No people skills whatsovever

' Speaking of the latest job-shedding, chief exec Gavin Patterson, said: “I am really excited to be delivering the next stage of BT’s transformation and have put in place the team that will support me in achieving these objectives.” '

--- This shows a complete lack of people skills and empathy at the affect his decision will have on thousands of lives. It's a completely inappropriate comment. What a ******.

HP Ink to compensate punters for bricking third-party ink cartridges


My HP printer rejected a third party cartridge. When it dies I won't be buying from them again. I'll probably get Epsom.

Shock poll finds £999 X too expensive for happy iPhone owners


I used to be an early adopter of technology. Nowadays most budget phones are good enough. I last upgrades when my phone finally died. I bought a £200 Lenovo P2 SIM free. It's never going to beat an S8/S9 or iPhone 8/X for most features. But it has a two to three day battery and is 80% as good for everything compared to them. I just don't see the point spending £800 to £1000 on a phone.