* Posts by SynnerCal

213 publicly visible posts • joined 28 Mar 2009


Asus Eee Pad Slider SL101

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You don't get it

the-it-slayer wrote: "If Apple stopped making iPads tomorrow, it's companies like Asus and co who would kill the concept.". Wrong, wrong, totally wrong! Apple are the in business of incremental upgrades - so iPad1->2 gave cameras and dual core, 2->3 looks like "even better" display. On the other hand Asus genuinely seem to want to explore what the form factor can do - so we have a tablet/netbook in the Transformer, a touchscreen netbook with the Slider, a phone/tablet with the Padfone. So they get kudos from me for that alone, although like all experiments, some will work, others not so much.

I can see what they're getting at with the Slider, but given the lack of advantages over the Transformer I think I'd stick with the latter. On the other hand, if they dropped the price, to say £250-300 then that'd make it a more attractive proposition.

Speaking of the Transformer, I'm pretty happy with mine - it's completely replaced a netbook, and I'm finding it more and more useful.

Call of Duty: Black Ops


Single players forgotten?

I'm with GhillieDhu on this - I'm also not a big MP player, mainly because you've only got the choices of deathmatch or clan-based. So if you aren't "clanned up" then you're pretty much stuck with deathmatch. Then, the matching systems don't seem to work that well - so if you're a n00b then you always seem to get matched with folks who live and breathe MP, in which case you're only there as cannon fodder.

Plus I can't help thinking that weak single player is indicative of a lack of effort by the developers. And while I appreciate that MW2 had a good MP, the single player campaign was at best "average" - Bad Company 2 was way better. In fact, I'd maybe go so far to say that MoH:Tier1's SP game was at least as enjoyable as MW2's - neither of which were as good as MW1's - although I've gone through Tier1's more times than MW2 so far.

Getting back to CoD:BO - it's frenetic, challenging and quite enjoyable so far. Well done Treyarch! I might even give the MP a go this week... ;)

OpenSolaris spork ready for Oracle challenge

Black Helicopters

And more experience

From what I've seen both Intel-based versions of Solaris were used as a first step to wean hard-pressed users from Oracle's SPARC "heroin" (And yes, I am comparing Oracle to drug dealers). Hopefully the OpenIndiana distro will still be usable for this.

Oracle are hypocrites of the first order as far as I'm concerned. FOSS when they want to use it (RHEL->OEL) is great, but the spawn of Lucifer when other folks want to use it (i.e. OpenSolaris). Personally, given the zeal with which they're forcing customers to buy _their_ (expensive!) support contracts and only run it on _their_ expensive kit - it'll be a long time before I recommend anyone to base a new project on Solaris, and I think I'll be looking for an "exit strategy" (Linux probably).

Strangely enough, I've noticed that my Solaris/Intel kit is running a lot worse after the latest round of patches. Then again I am using Dell rather than Oracle gear (hence the icon choice).

Hopefully, Hurd will be able to screw Oracle over the same way he did HP. :p

Netgear launches next-gen powerline Ethernet kit


Re: Reliability

James: I'm in a similar position - some wireless hardware (like my Canon printer) work fine. Other stuff, like the main Windows PC, kept dropping connection. So I went to PLE to get around this - and it worked fine for a while. Then I started get a problem where a particular client adaptor (one connected to the PC's, rather than the "server" adaptor connected to the router) would fail and I'd have to swap in a spare. Then, when after a couple of days the "spare" would fail, I could swap in the old adaptor which would work fine ... for a couple of days.

Eventually I got tired of this "musical chairs" and switched from Solwise PL-200's to Devolo AVsmart+ adapters, which have proven to be 100% reliable, although strangely enough, slightly slower than the Solwise ones. I wonder if these new Netgear adaptors have the musical chair "feature" or are Devolo-reliable?

But then again, someone's bound to point out that ALL PLE adaptors are the spawn of the devil because of the havoc they wreak on radio hobbyists.

Smartphone sales up 50%

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Re: Can you buy a "non-smart" phone nowadays?

My advice is either to look past the window display and go into the shop, or shop in your local supermarket. My works phone (very old Nokia 6310) packed up, so I replaced it with a Nokia 2330 - cost me £20 from the local Phones4U. I've also seen similar devices in the local Asda and Tesco stores.

Okay, the 2330 has got a camera, but apart from that it's a basic phone (and I'm sure that there was an even dumber/cheaper Nokia, but I needed one with Bluetooth), and quite good - I use it for about 30 minutes a day, the rest of the time it's on standby and it needs charged about once a week.

Vodafone issues real Froyo update for HTC Desire

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Re: ENOUGH of this..

Couldn't agree more. :)

As to Froyo on the X10, there's some fierce lobbying going on at the SE blog's comment section for this. Hopefully, Sony will listen and get things moving. Failing that there's http://www.petitiononline.com/froyo/petition.html

HP's Hurd quits quickly on sexual harassment probe

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Re: He was fired for a $200 dinner

AC said "It makes business sense to set an example of defrauding $200 for dinner and paying him $50 Million in severance.". Yes, that REALLY sticks in my craw. Heck, if it'd been Sam The Engineer from Podunk, you can bet your last cent that he'd be kicked out of the door with no pension etc, and certainly no golden handshake! So why the f**k can't they apply the same yardstick to someone that's supposed show the rest of us an example. Usual bl**dy HP double standards - one law for the board, and one for the rest of the "common herd".

Here's my advice/plea to the next CEO - stop firing people by the stadium-load (we're running out of people to actually DO the work!); reinstate the long-service awards (if people are the prime resource then do something to appreciate loyalty - and the l.s.a.'s didn't cost a lot anyway); bring back training across the board (a skill-current workforce is a useful one!)

Lastly the article said "A 25-year veteran of NCR, Hurd cultivated a reputation of efficient execution while keeping a low personal profile."

Aye, he managed to execute a lot of career's very efficiently - the git. I guess Wall St will miss him, although I'm very sure that any of the folks 'at the coalface' below middle management level will be dancing jigs around the offices worldwide, slightly tempered perhaps in the sure knowledge that we'll probably get someone worse.

signed, Another "EDSer keeping a low profile as I work on the outsourced IBM gear for a Fortune 100."

BCS Linux-baiting sparks flame war

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Eye opening

I've had a pretty low opinion of the BCS when I last looked to possibly join - looked too much like a stuffy club for academics, rather than something useful. Nice to hear that a lot of Reg readers are still of a similar opinion.

Personally, I came away thinking that putting my membership dosh into other orgs was better. After all, it's not like there's a shortage - IEEE, ACM, IAP, ACCU to name four are all pretty good (and I've been, or still am, a member of two of those).

Can't comment on the article itself, but it sounds pretty damned stupid. However, no matter how mindbendingly dumb it was, then there's really no need for an expletive-laden reply.

Sony Walkman NWZ-A845 media player


Re: bought it a few days ago

"no wireless" - surely that's not a deal killer. Besides, the screen's so small that you're not going to get a heck of a lot done.

"no video support" - rubbish. I've been using video rips that were designed for the iPod (either directly or via the Sony-supplied convertor) with no problems at all.

"picture viewer features" - erm, it's a picture _viewer_ so apart from being able to rotate pics, what more do you need?

"have to use the Sony software" - rubbish. If you use WMP then the MTP mode of the player means there's no need to use the Sony convertor. Do you actually _own_ one of these?

And I don't understand the comment about missing left/right arrows. The rest are personal preference.

@Tricky Dicky "Sony docks?" - yes, you need a WM-PORT one, check out Amazon for the BCRNWU7 "cradle" - sorry, this is just like the Apple one, so it's just a way to connect to a hi-fi.

@wondermouse "Deal with the Disc ID3 tag" - sorry it's the same as the other players - so disk 1's track 8 is followed by disk 2's track 8. This is a drawback in my book too.

@Simon Hayes "volume cap thread on AVforums" - not sure what they're complaining about. The volume is plenty loud enough for me - e.g. Feuer Frei! by Rammstein (used at the start of the film XXX) is plenty loud enough at level 20, at 30 (the top) it distorts and is very uncomfortable. Don't forget you've got a pretty good noise-cancelling setup, so you can use less volume.

@Al Taylor "volume level with other headphones" - my Beyerdynamic DT660s seemed also to be the same volume level as the bundled phones, but the DT660's needed some EQ settings because they were "tinny". (Same as an iPod Touch 1G, although an older iPod was fine).

@Tom38 "why buy this when a mobile will do the same job". Because the sound on the Sony is better than that on a mobile. See also the comment from M. Anton

I'm really not sure what folks are expecting from this Sony - I think it's being pitched at the high-end iPod Nano. In which case the Sony's probably got the edge - okay the iPod's got a diddy camera, but the Sony has better phones; screen (size AND quality); battery life and sound quality, plus it'll work quite happily with Mac OS, Windows or Linux, whereas the Apple won't work with Linux properly. Heck, when I bought my Sony it was actually cheaper than the equivalent iPod.

I'm not claiming it's perfect (there's definitely scope for some improvement - like the Disk ID3 support) but imho it rates a benchmark score 5-10% higher than the iPod Nano. And before I'm accused of being a Sony fanboi - I'm definitely not.

Government goes after outsourced staff T&Cs



AC wrote: "How long before the DWP is staffed from Mumbai?"

Why the f**k do you think that Champagne Dave is over in India, on yet another tax-payer-supplied free holiday?

"Maude claimed that scrapping of the code would make it easier for small and medium sized firms to bid for government work."

Ooo, that's so much bulls**t. What he actually means is that we'll give the work to the folks with the lowest bid irrespective of the quality of service. Or it'll go to our friends who'll screw the workforce over royally while pocketing our big bonuses, (think about the banks if you don't believe me).

I laughed when someone said the other day that they were getting nostalgic for Broon and Lieboor, now I'm not so sure.

Terror data handover seriously flawed


Re: Hmmm again (brain bypass?)

>"Too right, if it doesn't apply to me, then why should I worry."

Because it _does_ apply to you - take off the UKIP-flavoured spec's for one moment and read the damned article!!! As described therein the US can just grab a block of data and go on what the local nick term a "fishing expedition".

So - just for the sake of argument - you contributed £20 towards the humanitarian relief efforts in Gaza. That makes you anti-Israeli, therefore pro-Palestinian, and consequentially obviously a supporter of Hamas, Al-Queda etc (said with sarcasm) => a terrorist. See how the reasoning can go... (Remember these are the same US "justice" organisations responsible for Gitmo, rendition, etc).

>"Also nobody has quantified why it's in the US's favour, unless the accusation you are levelling is that US citizens are exempt from this act also. "

Doh! US citizens aren't exempt - but if (as a member of the EU plod) you want to check on Mahmoud from Ploughkeepsie then you've got to approach the US authorities and say you want his records (or a subset thereof). On the other hand, your FBI guy can just say "gimme all the records for folks in Peterborough" and get them. Or at least that's my reading of the information given in the article.

Like most posters on this topic, I'm all in favour of exchange of financial information EU-US - providing it's on an equal footing, and justified to some independent authority (the judiciary). The currently proposed very _un_equal arrangement, where it would appear that data can be sought "on a whim" is not one I would feel even slightly comfortable with. And I'm willing to bet that most American's would feel the same - certainly the one's I speak to are getting uneasy with the amount of "big brother" going on over there.

I dare say that they'll be a flood of the usual apologists claiming that "you've nothing to fear, if you've nothing to hide" and welcoming this latest travesty. Yet I'm willing to bet those same folks would object to a government CCTV installation in their house - double standards!

Apple bans competing ads from the iPhone


Apple and ads (AC 11:11)

AC wrote "With iAds on the iPhone I am assuming (hoping? expecting?) that they will only feature in free versions of the apps, and will not be in paid-for versions"

That's a question I've seen asked many times elsewhere. The consensus seems to be that developers have free reign to remove ads from paid versions if they want to, but there will be "encouragement" from Apple to use iAds the same way that some paid websites still show ads.

Of course, Apple themselves are excluded from the restrictions, so they'll free to "ad enable" all the core apps in iOS as they see fit. Remember you don't own your iPhone, iPad, iPod, you just "lease" it from Apple. ;)

As regards Apple not being prosecuted for having a monopoly - whilst it's correct that they don't have a monopoly on (smart)phones (thank the maker!) do they not now have an effective monopoly on ads on the iOS platform. In which case, surely Google et al _do_ have a legitimate complaint? (I'm not a lawyer, so I realise I might be well off beam here).

Unix in the UK: Mission critical!

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You hate Solaris...

pan2008 wrote: "Would be glad to see that dinosaur called Solaris extinguished to the history cupboard"

You'll get your way pretty soon, based on how Oracle are royally screwing up - it's actually kind of funny to see how utterly clueless they are. Shame, because there's a lot in Solaris - like ZFS - which is pretty good from a technical point of view.

then pan2008 wrote: "I have no idea why but solaris has always been my slowest and most useless environment. I don't know if it's the rubbish hardware specs that cost a million or the operating system itself. "

It's the hardware - I'm running a couple of Solaris on Intel installations (actually via VMware) and while it takes a while to startup and shutdown, when it's running it's quite speedy.

finally, pan2008 wrote: "No comment about HP-UX never used it. I like windows servers, AIX reminds me of RPG but again no comment."

Windows servers - okay I suppose, but there's better options (like ANY version of Linux).

AIX is actually pretty good for sysadmin stuff - once you get into their vibe. The IBM hardware is ruinously expensive, but their big iron is very sweeeet.

HP/UX - so-so OS (imho), great for security, but the hardware is - to be polite - not the best. The sooner HP wise up and port from Itantic to Xeon, the better as far as I'm concerned. And yes, I realise that there's folks out there who really like HP/UX - fair enough says I, live and let live (but you're still wrong! <grin>)

6Music: Dead man walking?



James Dunmore wrote: "Sorry - but axe 6music. XFM used to offer everything 6 does "

Erm, no it doesn't/didn't. Can I get the Huey Morgan show, or the Bruce Dickinson Rock Show? No - thought not!

then he wrote: "If it got he audience, XFM could easily do what 6 does."

But then again, if the silly sods in the BBC did, as someone above suggests, and migrated 1Xtra's content to Radio1 (why should m.o.b.o. be on a "minority" station - ghettoism to me) and then put the good stuff off of 6Music to 1Xtra.

"In fact, the BBC license fee should go towards commercial bodies trying to create stations such as XFM"

No, no, that's the stupidest suggestion since the one about making teapots from chocolate. If you do that for XFM, then within a minute you'll have that Aussie a-hole Murdoch coming round for some tax money for Sky.

My opinion? The icon says it all.

'Steve Jobs' switches to Android

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@John M

"Surely power management is far more important than all the bells and whistles which seem to be the buyer benchmark for most people these days?"

Well that makes two-Nokia owning Android prospects who are concerned about power management. I can't see much point in ditching my current N95 for any device that needs charged more often, (3 times in 2 weeks for my N95 - unless I start using it to watch 30 minute cartoons).

Maybe what's needed is less focus on "look, very thin shiny-shinies" and more on letting some "pork" be added to the form-factor to incorporate a larger battery. I'd be quite happy to have a 1-1.5cm thick device if it only needed charged once a week.

User-changeable battery, memory expandability and freedom to install apps are the features I'm looking for, and it seems I'd get those with Android, but not iPhone. Yes, I know iPhone has that massive iTMS advantage, but it's lessened if - as has happened with the iPod I've got - that I'm going to purchase an app, only to find that it's been voided by Apple the following month with no reason given, nor refund offered.

Oh, and surely HTC's, Motorola's, SonyEricsson's technical support can't be any worse than Apple's? "Genius Bar" - ha!

I'd love to stay with Nokia, since all the phones I've liked best have been from them, but the software support for Android means I'm going to have to look elsewhere. Unless Nokia decided to do an Android phone too ... nice idea in theory perhaps, but I can't see it happening.

Freebie Spotify is back, also £5 no-ads option


They're getting there ... slowly

Nice to see that they're continuing to "develop" the product - although at the moment the Unlimited option looks good value (to me at least) - sort of a "digital radio" substitute, (although not a replacement for the soon-to-be axed BBC 6Music).

If they really want it to take off then I'd suggest that Spotify have a word with the teleco providers. Problem at the moment that most mobile internet access is set with low caps - 500MB/month being typical before you get into the very expensive out-of-band charge rates.

So, take your £25/month contract and offer a bundle deal for £35 with Spotify client access being "free" (not included in the internet quota) the same way that Three give MSN or Twitter access for "free".

Failing that - maybe get the telco providers to be a little more realistic - sure 500MB/month is great for email and a little IM'ing, but for anything else it's useless. Just think of the ability to "up-sell" folks from PAYG to contracts if you were to start offering something a bit more realistic - say 2GB/month.

Cops back in on BT/Phorm case


Not on my watch

"The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has called in City of London Police to assist as it decides whether to go to court over BT's covert trials of Phorm's web interception and profiling system."

Dear CPS - here's a hint - "YES, YOU STUPID BOZO'S!"

"In a statement they argued that no criminal offence had been committed because they perceived no criminal intent by the two firms."

Sorry, I don't understand this. Are they saying that because BT/Phorm conveniently "forgot" ;) that what they were doing was wiretapping, and therefore ILLEGAL under RIPA, that they get a "free pass"?

If so, can I go tanking down the M1 at 100mph+ then get off scot-free because there's no signs saying it's a 70 limit, and I've - equally conveniently - "forgot" that the UK doesn't have unrestricted motorways? I also have no criminal intent - I just want to get to my destination quicker - so I should be equally immune to prosecution.

No? Thought not ...

It'd be nice to think that losing the DarkLord M would mean that BT and Phorm would finally get their come-uppance, but given the Tories very close links with BT in the past I hold out no hope of justice finally being delivered. So it still falls on Ms Reading to deliver what our elected officials can't - or won't!

What can Google's tablet deliver?


Re: Android future

Google doesn't need to make money from Android licensing - they can instead make money by licensing to manufacturers (I was sure that or (and since I've not accessed it) from taking a percentage from Android Marketplace sales. Or there's always the licensing to software vendors to allow them to use the Android logo etc on their products.

But remember that the whole raison d'etre of Android phones are to seduce folks to browse the web where, not surprisingly, they'll see Google ads. And that's dollars into the pockets of Google - why do you think that Apple are trying to muscle in on ads (although in true Apple-ist Stalinist mentality they'll be difficult to ignore/bypass).

Sheffield hospitals pay thousands for dodgy software


I must read these more carefully

"Sheffield hospitals pay thousands for dodgy software" - oh no - I thought - not another Office 2007 installation!

Seriously though - £13k for a terminal emulator. - WTF? There's plenty of free ones available that are script supported. Heck even the global megacorp that I work for (disparaged by many of the previous posters) are quite happy to use PuTTy - it's low-cost (free!), scriptable easy-to-use, reliable and stable (none of those last three descriptions applicable to Office2007 of course).

Depressingly enough I doubt that any new government will do anything other than increase this kind of stupidity.

Virgin Media deletes customers

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NTHell rides again

A VM spokesdroid said "...however due to incomplete records inherited from previous guises of the company..."

Translation - NTL was about as good at record keeping as they were at customer service. Bozos!

Maybe it's a coincidence but my VM 10Mb/s connection seems to have speeded up recently - it used to drop off post-midday, but I'm getting 8.0-9.9Mb/s in the afternoon too at the moment. (Not that I'm complaining).

Apple demands public apology for iPhone parody


Profits for Logitech up

Me with coffee + description of the iPad maker as "Appholes" = one ruined keyboard.

Seriously, that's just class in a glass.

-1 for Apple, like the article says - they're happy to dish it out, but can't take it. Isn't that always the case with the school bully?

Shame, because Apple's got some killer products (I'd have a Mac if it was more affordable, not convinced by iPad and current iPod's) ... ruined by Stalinist policies.

Oh and a reluctant -1 for The Register - a UK site that tries to show a video that can't be seen in the UK? Poor show old chap!

Boffins turn Bunsen burners on Frank Skinner


Powerpoint isn't a computer modelling tool

STB wrote: "computer models are the scientist's equivalent of a pretty explanatory diagram and do not constitute any kind of proof".

Sorry - to be rude - that "Big Brother Contestant" type thinking. Computer models are just that - a different way to express theorems. Any decent computer model _has_ to be proven by comparison with real world experiments, or else it is merely a "unproven theory" and just as valid as any other. You run the model with a known set of conditions, then check to see if it squares with what happens in real life! Certainly that's what we did (when I was a computer modeller - although not climate change thankfully).

Are you saying that the computer models that Boeing, Ford, Hyundai Shipbuilders, architects etc use are invalid (although I will admit that this is more CAE than the scientific stuff that's being discussed here)? No! To me at least the problem with the climate scandal was that the bozo's involved got caught fiddling the empirical data to fit their theory, (rather than the proper way, which is change theory to fit data) - the fact that this theory was being modelled digital isn't that relevant. What's the old saying - garbage in, garbage out?

(By the way, in the 80's I was a Thatcherite, now I'm an advocate of FLOSS - in RegSpeak - a "freetard" although I hate the practise of adding "tard" to everything with a passion).

Nokia and Intel defensive on MeeGo Linux patents

Big Brother

Confusion reigns

Hmm, the "Microsoft persecuting HTC to save them from Apple" is an aspect I hadn't considered before ... very interesting. Although I bet there's few out there who wouldn't just love to see the Redmond Collective go up against the Cupertino National Socialists.

Thumbs up from me for Intel/Nokia being bullish about defending their latest Linux respin (I've got an old Nokia 770 tablet which is really quite good). But am I the only person wondering why the Googleplex couldn't also putting up a shield like this around Android? (Especially since I'm giving an HTC Desire serious consideration to replace my venerable Nokia N95)

What does HP want with Palm?


Palm, an HP company

Bill Ray wrote: "Palm, which defined mobile computing, has been bought by HP, which pissed away its stake in the same industry. So can HP do any better this time around?"

Short answer ... not a chance. HP is too deep in the pocket of Microsoft to be looking at Palm as anything other than a short-term gain - maybe get those Windows 7 Mobile prices down to a level that's more profit-friendly. But I'm probably being unfair, and we'll see a couple of niche products "escaping" their clutches using WebOS.

BR also wrote: "HotSync didn't just copy over diary appointments and contacts: during the process every installed application is offered the opportunity to backup data, or be connected to a desktop equivalent which would be triggered by the desktop HotSync application."

Thumbs up for pointing this out - as a long term Palm user I was _really_ shocked when I got an iPod and found that iTunes doesn't do this. So when I had to "rebuild" my latest iPod (Touch 1st Gen) after Apples latest firmware had bricked it, (again!), I was less than impressed to find that while the core apps were back to normal and my ITMS app purchases were there, the configuration files for those apps were lost forever.

Good article, I just hope that the head-cases in HP realise the potential of their latest purchase rather than asset stripping it. Oh, and if they want to do a budget priced WebOS PDA with wireless etc, then put me down for one, I could do with a replacement for the Palm T3 that's sitting on my desk.

'Snowmageddon' on Saturn snapped by amateur stargazers


Snowstorm on Saturn...

... so what train/plane services in the South of England are going to be cancelled as a result?

Companies form an orderly queue for "compensation" here

Ubuntu 10.04 triumphs over GRUB bug


No chance = no brain

You're a Windows troll. Or to use a Brownism - an ignorant bigot.

From my experience (and given it's popularity, it's one shared by many) Ubuntu IS stable and usable for business. Heck, I'm a software developer and my main system is a 64bit Ubuntu that I use for development natively and also as a host for a number of VMware VM's. It was installed two years ago and has crashed on me less than half a dozen times - and the majority of those were early on in the life cycle. Okay, that doesn't sound that good on the face of it, until you realise that I use that system day-in, day-out and it's also used for some desktop type work - watching DVD's etc. I push it hard, and it copes admirably.

My worst Ubuntu experience has been with my little netbook - good in itself, but then a disk crash hosed the OS. Funnily enough a couple of fsck's in the failsafe session got enough of it back to be usable, and certainly good enough for me to be able to get my data and configs off of.

I'm not going to stoop to your level, I don't like OpenSuse that much, but I'd still say it's a good distro - horses for courses, As to Ubuntu, maybe "the fault lies therein yourself"?


Re: Tux with devil horns

AC wrote "Why should millions of users have to spend tens of millions of man-hours putting band-aids on bugs on their own when you could f ix it yourselves in a few man-hours and pass the fix down to all of us??"

Because the bug only effects dual-booting systems, which means that anyone who isn't sharing their system with Windows/MacOS won't see it. And last time I installed Windows on a box with Ubuntu on it I am very sure that the only boot option on offer post-install was Windows only. :p

Personally I think Ubuntu played this one totally correctly - they found a problem, so held back the release while they fixed it, and "fessed up" to why there was the delay. Certainly nothing to warrant demonising the folks concerned.

Ubuntu's Lucid Lynx stalks PC and Mac converts


It's about freedom dummy

MacOS GUI is nice - I'm pretty sure most people will agree. The problem is that to use MacOS _legally_ then you can't just go out an buy a Dell, HP, Acer "beige box" and install it. You _can_ do this with Windows and Ubuntu.

So if you really believe that "i don't see the point in user friendly unix beyond cheap licences for large installations." then you've missed the point.

I got a cheap Dell D620 laptop off of eBay with WindowXP, got a copy of Ubuntu8.04 and installed that instead. Then later I bought an Acer netbook with Linpus, again that got zapped in favour of Ubuntu UNR.

Could I do that legally with MacOS? Nope! And before any Mac fanbois start flaming, I'll quite happily admit to being envious of the Mac front end. Heck if I could do it legally then I'd probably be quite happy to pony up to buy a copy.

(A second plus of not using MacOS is that I don't have to deal with anyone in Apple - which has always been an exercise in hair-tearing frustration in the past)

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Re: I have an Ubuntu partition

Couldn't agree more with the sentiments in this post - to be accepted Linux definitely needs more closed source products (and yes I realise that in some quarters this is a very unpopular point-of-view). In fact, I'll go further - I'll believe that Linux-on-the-desktop is really here once Activision/EA/Ubisoft etc launch on it as a platform.

My Windows box has been more or less replaced by a combination of Linux and a games console. In fact if it wasn't for needing iPod firmware upload (so need iTunes) and Photoshop Elements then I could just ignore Windows altogether. Certainly for the usual Web/media/office stuff Linux is very usable day-in, day-out. And the big pluses are that it's quick to boot-up and shtudown, very stable, plus easy to admin.

Software makers fall in behind Lucid Lynx

Jobs Horns

Maybe Shuttleworth is right

Good article, but the point about the Ubuntu Software Centre got me thinking - allowing it to divert (slightly?) into an iTunes Music Store clone might not be a bad idea. I'm guessing that the USC would be the opposite of ITMS in that the latter has mainly paid-for content, whereas USC would be mainly free content.

I'm thinking that most people would probably welcome an "easier" way to buy closed-source software for Ubuntu - heck it might even act as a catalyst to get more apps out. After all, people seem to like ITMS, so a version without the stalinist actvities of Apple and more "open" as a result has to be good - right? And I'm guessing that vendors would also like a quick/easy/cheap way of getting their code out there.

Interesting times beckon.

Microsoft's FUD goes mobile


Like the icon says

Way to go HTC - support MS's FUD campaign. :(

That said, I was expecting something like this when Win7Mob was announced, although it would have been better (arguably) for MS to try going for the iPhone rather than the easier (?) option of Android.

If Google have any sense at all then they MUST deal with this threat to Android as a matter of priority, or else it's destined to fail.

Nokia's lost weekend ends with N8?


Close, but no cigar

Like the looks, but a non-removable battery makes it a non-starter as far as I'm concerned - leave that kind of stupidity to the People's Democratic Republic of Apple.

Plus I really would have preferred Android 2.1 over Symbian (despite having an old S60r3 phone at the moment) - but I realise that this is an impossibility given Nokia's current OS line-up.

Not sure about the camera too - 12MP sounds too much like marketing-led fluff. Less megapix's and more quality (although my current n95 can turn out a reasonable snap).

Pentagon looks to revive Nazi space-bomber plan


Neat engineering stands the test of time

Yep, put me down as another admirer of the audacity of the Sanger "Silver Bird". Although I find it interesting that the "Luftwaffe '46" documentary that's shown on the various Discovery channels implies that Dr Sanger knew that his proposal wasn't feasible at the time, but was willing to grossly "upsell" it to get the research funding.

Still with the way that the current US administration are treating space research, all the "Silver Bird II" would have to drop as payload is a big hunk of pig iron (imported of course!)

BT loses on termination fee back payment


Damn I'm confused

I can see BT's point, and I think the mobile companies are being a bit mendacious - I'm sure that there's some way to get the money back, e.g. use it as a subsidy to get some rural places upgraded; split it up and give it back to BT's domestic customers as a bill credit.

Certainly I think at the minimum the mobile companies should pay ALL of BT's costs - ideally off their own back, but if the poor customer isn't going to see any money then how about taking the costs out of the refund?

Notice that Three isn't in the list of offenders - maybe because they were lobbying against the high termination rates. (good on them)

Icon because it confuses me to be siding with BT apparently on the side of good for once. (And I've no connection with BT - not even as a customer post-Phorm).

Apple leaves profits on table for 'huge' iPad future


Re: you forgot

Prag Fest wrote "In one corner you have an atom powered device running Windows XP, in the other you have something that is a pleasure to use..."

... an Atom-powered device running a suitable Linux distro (Ubuntu UNR in my case)

(Cheaper than the iPad, full range of software, and no lock in to the Church of Jobs)

Ubuntu Server primed for the bigtime

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Awaiting with interest

My home server runs on 8.04 LTS (64bit) and it's been very stable and reliable (those two characteristics being key imho to a "server" OS) - so as you can imagine I await the end of the month with eagerness. Heck, 8.04 has been good enough to use as a general desktop OS as well.- and this is on a "server" that gets used pretty much every working day (it's a VM host for web and software development).

I'm running the beta (in a VM hosted on the 8.04 system) and I've seen a couple of bits to be concerned about - hopefully these are just aspects of being a beta and production Lucid will be as stable as Hardy's proven to be (for me at least - but YMMV)

Yes, RHEL/Centos or Suse probably are better pure server OS's - deployed in rack upon rack of servers - but I prefer Ubuntu Server because it does manage to do "desktop" pretty reasonably. Just don't mention OEL - I refuse to use this because of Oracle's attempts to kill Solaris...

I'm not so bothered about the KVM stuff because I use VMware (extensively!) and the cloud stuff is also a big "meh" as far as I'm concerned, but I guess there will be be folks out there that need it, or want to use it.

Oracle murders free OpenSolaris CD shipping

Paris Hilton

Re: Brains...

You're obviously not someone who subscribes to the theorem that the first hit of any drug is free, because they'll recoup their costs on the subsequent 'fixes' - same as with tech, give you a taster and then hit you when you try and continue or upgrade.

Sorry, but I couldn't let the following go unanswered:

"You open-source twits do little to help any enterprise level company. They don't care about you. They shouldn't care about you since you NEVER really contributed to any of their bottom lines."

Ooh, that's just such a load of trash - are HP, IBM, Intel, RedHat, Novell, Nokia "enterprise level companies"? I would argue that would be the case, and yet ALL of them have got some payback from their open source efforts - okay some (like Nokia/Novell/Redhat) more than others, but the principal holds water.

Heck, I know this for a fact because I work for one of companies named, and yet spend most of my day working on Python (open source!), RedHat (open source), Ubuntu (open source), Perl (guess what - open source!) and Solaris (who knows?). All (apart from Solaris) are open source and yet all are contributing to my companies "bottom line". And I'm willing to bet that there's a good few folks out there in The Reg readership are in a similar position. Unless this was a poor attempt at Redmondesque trollage (in which case I apologise for rising to the bait)

PH icon because it's Friday and Ysean's argument sounds like something she'd agree with


Oracle schmoracle

Oracle's plan to f**k up Solaris:

1. Kill Solaris as a free/low-cost entity - no hobbyist is (a) going to pay the prices that Oracle want for "support" for Solaris (support - ha!); (b) want to deal with the clueless airheads that pass for Oracle sales;


2. Make OpenSolaris (the only alternative to 'proper' Solaris) more difficult to get.

Doing it!

3. Kill OpenSolaris - probably the easiest way to do this is via some IP/license chicanery.

4. Make sure that proper Solaris can only be bought as a part of some overpriced, overblown "suite" comprising of a load of extra baggage that you don't want.

Nice to see that Oracle have totally failed to understand why Sun "gave away" Solaris in the first place.

Give it to hobbyists and you get people talking about it, and more importantly - using it. The users then encourage developers to get on board.

The developers make products, and in doing so, buy stuff like servers, support and software tools. All without you having to advertise.

Then businesses see the developers "products", want them, and then buy the servers and support to use that product. Again, sales without much need to advertise.

Best of all, you get a reputation as being a "good guy", which helps with sales, and also gives you some "wiggle room" for when you make a faux-pas (e.g. security hole) - people still point at you, but at least they also say "but they're open with it, so hey we'll cut 'em some slack".

What annoys me most is that Solaris _is_ actually quite a nice OS, not the easiest to admin, but pretty solid and predictable. Be a long time before I think of Oracle (and their products) with any degree of affection.

Wii Fit fall woman turns into nympho

IT Angle

Interesting difference

Shows the difference between UK and USA - in the latter I'm sure Ms Flowers would be reaching for that attorney, whereas here in Blighty it's more likely a call to Max Clifford.

That said, checking the instructions for my Wii-Fit (too many sodas/beers/pizzas to work off) and it does quite clearly warn you about losing balance. Slippery rugs are definite no-no.

Stupid question - but if it's a knocked nerve isn't there something that the medics can do? Joking/sniggering apart - this is bound to be somewhat of a disability.

Nintendo beats Wii patent infringement rap


Congratulations Ninty

This is a good day for common-sense as far as I'm concerned. So that's one patent troll smacked down (shame Ninty can't sue for the trouble caused) unfortunately there's apparently a never-ending list of others out there.

I'm a little confused however, how the troll was permitted to extend their patent, and especially when there was demonstrable "prior art".

IBM debuts new Power7 iron this week

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asdf wrote: "Not breaking driver apis every two weeks ala linux were nice also"

Nope - been using my Ubuntu 8.04LTS for about two years now quite happily and haven't had to replace drivers, other than for the normal bug fixes and feature upgrades (same as Windows).

asdf wrote: "Too bad Solaris was unbearably slow (expecially on Sparc), expensive and will soon be a memory"

Partially right. Solaris is expensive and I'm pretty sure that Horracle will make damned sure that "proper" Solaris (on SPARC) dies a long and painful death. Then again, OpenSolaris seems to be running a treat, and everyone I've heard has a good feeling about Solaris10 on Intel processors. As to the speed, I'm not sure what systems you've been using (maybe one's that you've setup - badly!) but Sol boxes I've always found to be acceptably speedy, and I've been Solaris-ing from 2.4 through 2.10, sorry "10" on both SPARC and Intel. Okay, I'll admit that the startup and shutdown times aren't exactly rapid, but then again the uptimes on our Solaris boxes are such that this isn't really an issue.


Flame on dude

asdf wrote: "Watch the POWER line will only last as long as IBM is able to get game console contracts with it. That is the only way they can get the volume to justify ever increasing costs for each new generation."

To misquote Monty Python - Life of Brian:

What has Power ever done for us - apart from servers?

Games consoles.

Okay, apart from servers and games consoles, what has it ever done for us?

Printer controllers

Okay, servers, games consoles and printer controllers ...

And NAS boxes

Okay servers, consoles, printer controllers, NAS boxes ...

Dont forget robotics

Okay, servers, consoles, printer controllers, NAS boxes, robotics

Etc, etc, etc

Seriously, if you think Power will die off just because XBox720, PS4, Wii+ don't use it then you're fooling yourself. Apart from the small matter that IBM sell a _LOT_ of servers with Power, you've also got all the embedded processor spin-offs.

On the other hand we've got Microsoft going very cool on Itantium, RedHat saying that RHEL6 won't support it, and others playing a "wait and see" on it. You've also got Xeon's looking better and better performance-wise, and since they _do_ have the software support, you've got to wonder what the heck Itanium is good for? That being the case I really see Intel keeping the Itanium fabs going just to feed HP with processors for HP/UX and OpenVMS ... NOT!


Supposed to be wrong

Matt Bryant (HP/UX apologist wrote):

"Insert faux surprise here that the IBMers aren't keen to admit an upgrade to Power7 is pointless unless you revalidate/upgrade your whole software stack. Just like it as from Power5 to Power6."

Naughty Matt, don't know how many customers you've had to deal with, but I can't think of many - sorry any - of mine that have had to validate the software stack moving from P5 -> P5+ -> P6. Yes, there has been an APAR (patch) or two to support the new processor better - but that's it. It's pretty painless! On the other hand, am I the only one wondering if IBM will make a better job of AIX7 than they did with AIX6 - so many faults, with so many patches! I bet there were a few banged tables and red faces there...

Anyway MB, if you trot out this kind of marketing droid spiel (the quoted bit) then you end up looking like a clueless marketing droid yourself, (see icon for details). It certainly doesn't help persuade folks to move from AIX-on-Power to Linux-on-Xeon, (notice that I didn't say HP/UX-on-Itanium because I still remain to be convinced of the overall technical benefits of EITHER of those - but then again I came originally from OpenVMS, so you can maybe understand my bias against the young pretender HPUX*).

(*and HP/UX's virtualization is pretty poor v's AIX's - but then again IBM can get a hardware assist from the processor, HP/UX has to rely on what Intel deigns to provide)

PS Not all HPers have "HP/UX" and "Itanium" tattooed on each knuckle - some of us are actually quite sensible! :D

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Hi Matt!

Nice to see you back - it's been too quiet ...

"another IBM Power upgrade means another new version of the OS to actually get the benefits of the new CPU"

No actually, Power7 needs either AIX7 (when it appears) or AIX6 with an appropriately modern patch level. If this wasn't the case, then since even El Reg has been saying that the P7 kit has been out there for a while but AIX7 isn't out, what have those early-adopters been using? <grin>

It's the same deal as in the past - e.g. running AIX5.3 on Power6 - you get most of the benefits with an 'old' OS, and the remaining one or two features if you use the 'new' version of AIX.

Got to say that - even as an HPer - I'm quite impressed with what our neighbours in Austin have come up with this time.

Guy Kewney, pioneer, guru, friend - RIP


Echoing sentiments

I've been reading Guy's pieces since I was at school, so I guess he was one of the folks that was key at getting me into computing in the first place. I definitely didn't agree with everything he wrote, but that didn't lessen my respect for him. So if anyone is collecting tributes to this great technical journalist, then I'd have no hesitation in adding mine, along with my condolences to his familiy/friends. I never had the honour of meeting with him, but it speaks volumes that his was one of the few names that you could see and have a good idea of the quality of the attached article. It also didn't hurt that he bore a striking resemblence to the computer department manager at my first IT job...

As an aside, I'm heartened to see how many of his ex-PersonalComputerWorld colleagues have written in here. It's only a shame that this august publication pre-deceased Mr Kewney as I've no doubt that the magazine would have generated a worthy and interesting tribute, making others aware of the breadth and depth of his contribution. I just wish someone would have the courage to bring back PCW, as I really miss it.

AOL to sell or shutter Bebo


Save Bebo .. no sell it

If AOL are looking for a buyer for Bebo, have they approached this Thompson geezer at the BBC? You know, the guy who's cancelling Asian Network and 6Music (which I'm listening to at the moment) and seems hell-bent on taking the Beeb's content down the age range.

Put another way, from what I understand the "clueless 40-watters" that are Beboista's are the target audience that they're after with Radio 1 and BBC3.

Signed, grumpy ole fella.

Microsoft roasted for Office 2010 standards FAIL


MS= fire, load, buy gun

TeeCee said:

"everyone would have been happy apart from a few diehard standards nazis."

Nope, I'm reasonably sure that offering doc and ODF would have pleased everyone, apart from MS Marketing and El Chair Chucker Grande.

"if anyone out there reading this is using a newer Office version, do the world a favour and turn off the "x" format output as it's shit."

Oh, I couldn't agree more and second (third, fourth,...) that recommendation wholeheartedly.

Glad to see also that I'm not the only one that disparages the docx convertor that MS supply. Some dork sent me a docx last week (unfortunately my employer's are moving to it as a standard) and I fed it into the convertor, which produced a lovely surreal collection of boxes and characters in various fonts. Art? Maybe. Useful? Nope.

So I fed the same docx into OpenOffice, which gave me a pair of warnings, but seemed to do a very acceptable job of converting into good old .doc. I also tried using a borrowed copy of Office 2007, which worked fine, but produced a .doc that was 4x the size of the source .docx.

Here's a question - if MS won't properly implement the OOXML "standard" that _they_ were pushing for, then do we really need OOXML as a standard at all? Maybe the folks (govt/businesses) that were pushing for it should stand back and pick something else - like plain old doc and/or ODF?

How a Tory gov will be the most tech-savvy in history


So if he's Open Source...

Are we going to see forks of the Tories, a la Linux:

Socialist-OS - spends a lot of time in boot up administration, uses a Windows3.1 theme on top of Xfce. Might be usable sometime next decade.

UKIP-OS - no language or timezone choice, after all if you're not using English and GMT then you really shouldn't be using a computer.

BNP-OS - falls over a lot, recasting KDE to use white icons and text on a white background makes it less easy to use than would otherwise be the case. New version (coming soon) may allow a user to have the vowels in screen prompts in black, brown or yellow.

MonsterRavingLooney-OS - runs on anything larger than a digital watch, but no-one's that bothered about it. Window environment looks like Windows, but with dock on the side and randomly launches applications when system is idle (keeps the user interested).

GreyParty-OS - no real GUI, command line only - terminal apps resemble IBM 3270 or Dec VT100 terminals.

LibDem-OS - got a great spec sheet, but so resource hungry that even Microsoft would do a double take. More of a "thought experiment" than an actual OS.

and of course

Labour-OS - ah wait a minute isn't that just ToryOS with a couple of loading screens and backgrounds changed? Has major "security" software installed that raids your bank account at intervals and will call the cops if you have a "bad thought". Right thinking _must_ be enforced!

Joke icon for obvious reasons, although NuLab really deserve the Big Brother one.


Re: (re: Excellent)

Got a fix for that

while true; do

kill -9 mandelson

echo "Die"


Don't forget that - as one of then undead - that the Dark Lord won't be that easy to kill - it'll take more than one attempt.

Anyone want to do an equivalent in VBScript?

Shuttleworth goes Maverick with Ubuntu's 'Perfect 10'


Still not sure about this naming scheme

"Meerkat" - hmm, okay I'll buy it - as long as they keep it "simples" ;) (and we don't get any loud fat bloke in a tux-edo turning up unexpectedly).

"Maverick" - um, not sure about this - you really want an OS that "writes cheques your body can't cash" ? Or goes flying off at great speed before blowing up (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AGM-65_Maverick) - let's leave that kind of behaviour to Windows. :D

I'd have voted for "Majestic Meerkat" as a better choice - if anyone had asked.

I'll look forward to 10.10 (as long as they don't frak up 10.04 this month) because 9.04 and 9.10 UNE have been pretty darned good on my little Acer netbook - certainly a quantum leap over the shoddy excuse for a Linux OS that was shipped with it.