* Posts by deadlockvictim

1186 posts • joined 19 Jun 2009


Microsoft extends 'outage mode' for Azure Active Directory to bake more resilience into cloudy services

deadlockvictim Silver badge

Outrage Mode

I just have to learn to handle Outrage Mode whenever Microsoft bombards me with e-mails telling me how wonderful Azure is and why we should be paying rent to Microsoft in perpetuity for every little thing we do.

Oh, and I'd like the certification exams for SQL Server back please.

Computer scientists at University of Edinburgh contemplate courses without 'Alice' and 'Bob'

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Good point

Good point.

Let me alter <western transliteration> to the transliteration appropriate to the language & writing system of the paper in question. So, if Japanese names are used and the paper is published in Russian, then Cyrillic transliteration and ordering are to be used. And conversely, if Russian names are to be used and the paper is in Japanese, then the names are written in Katakana and the kana-order of your choice is to be used.

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All that's really needed are names that match a sequence and once the sequence is known, it shouldn't be too hard to adapt from the old system to the new one.

We could use Russian names and the western transliteration of their alphabet: Anushka, Boris, Vlada and so on.

Or Japanese names and kana order (ah, but which one though?): Akiko, Ichiro, Ume...

If I knew more sequences (like Chinese names, Chilean names or names common in Botswana), I would use those, but I don't (alas).

Northern Ireland Water ready to take the plunge with HR and finance software, prepares to flush Oracle R12.2

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Arlene, Arlene, Arlene, don't leave us, just because you can

A present, no doubt, for your 100th birthday.

Congratulations Arlene, Princess of Ireland!

A worthy promotion.

Reg scribe spends week being watched by government Bluetooth wristband, emerges to more surveillance

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The government of Singapore wants its citizens to stay in Singapore, which is fair enough.

The author is right, what she & her family had to put up with (except the instant coffee, that was inhumane) is better than 2 weeks' quarantine in a hotel. It's also a sort of bureaucratic punishment which is mildly satisfying in a perverse way.

Still, I'd rather than the government of Singapore has my data than Google, Facebook et al. I'm fairly sure that the GoS will only use it to keep the spread of teh disease at bay, rather than sell it to advertisers to make a profit.

Give us your biometric data to get your lunch in 5 seconds, UK schools tell children

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Re: Really odd...

Eh no.

Look up Dunbar's Number. It has to do with the average max. no. of people one can interact with at a given time.

Here is the first line from Wikipedia:

Dunbar's number is a suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships—relationships in which an individual knows who each person is and how each person relates to every other person. More at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar%27s_number

Canon makes 'all-in-one' printers that refuse to scan when out of ink, lawsuit claims

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Re: Don't by canon ink

I have a simpler rule: don't buy ink.

Get a laser printer, preferably one that requires 4 cartridges.

Secondhand ones aren't bad if you don't print very often.

I picked up an OKI 321dn on a free ads website from a student finished with her studies. I had to replace 2 of the 4 toner cartridges and the generic ones work well. I print a few times a month and the print quality is good.

Fatal Attraction: Lovely collection, really, but it does not belong anywhere near magnetic storage media

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We had the opposite problem in the early nineties at our university library. We were used to handing our floppies to the guards at the entrance before walking through the presumably magnetic scanner so that they wouldn't be wiped.

However the guards weren't familiar with how CD-ROMs were encoded and insisted that he take these as well. In the end, the constant explanations got nowhere and it was just easier to give him the CD-ROMs.

Unable to test every tourist and unable to turn them away, Greece used ML to pick visitors for COVID-19 checks

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Re: May as well just use VB's Rnd() function

Eh no. the relevant piece of the article is here:

The code identified 1.85 times as many asymptomatic, infected travelers as random testing methods, "with up to 2-4 times as many during peak travel," according to the team. "To achieve the same effectiveness as Eva, random testing would have required 85 per cent more tests at each point of entry," their paper stated, regarding that first figure.

Yikes, tough crowd: Only 30% of German-speaking users are happy with SAP's cloud push

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But the Cloud isn't for them...

The Cloud isn't there to make the user-experience easier or better. It's there so that companies can have much greater control over their userbase, hold customers' data to ransom and charge whatever the hell they like, because they can. The cost of migration has become higher.

Is it any wonder that it is as profitable as hell and that companies are obliging users to, em, migrate to their Cloud platform rather than customers flocking to it? Just look at Adobe & Microsoft as perfect examples.

Cloud is fundamentally more profitable than on-prem, says Oracle's Safra Catz as revenue misses mark for investors

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Re: Moving money

Once you have them by the balls, hearts & minds follow quickly.

I don't know whom I should attribute it to but it does sum up cloud subscription model very nicely.

Lost in IKEA? So, it seems, is Windows

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Point taken.

I should have used the IPA.

My transcription was too vague.

I had intended it to be the Germanic 'i'-sound.

deadlockvictim Silver badge


My wife and I have an unspoken rule about IKEA — we go there separately and we don't comment on what the other bought.

My wife does sometimes bait me by asking me if she has spent too much (at IKEA) but I'm too clever to go down that road.

I just wait for the bills at the end of the month for an idea to see if too much money has actually been spent.

BTW people, it is pronounced 'ii-kay-ya', not 'ai-ki-ya' or 'oi-ki-ya'. You know who you are.

When the bits hit the fan: What to do when ransomware strikes

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Re: Opportunity

Surely the quality & experience of the sysadmins & DBAs running the hardware is more important than the software choice.

That is, I regard a system set up and run by experienced & capable Windows Server sysadmins to be safer than a Linux system run by less experienced or less capable Linux sysadmins to be more secure and vice versa. Windows Server can be made secure if you know what you are doing.

Now, you may very well be right that a well-run Linux network is more secure than a well-run Windows network, if all variables are equal bar the systems software.

It could simply be snobbery on my part but I suspect that Linux sysadmins tend to be more devoted to the cause of systems administration and deal with larger, more valuable networks than those of Windows Servers sysadmins and I am open to correction on this point.

Oh the humanity: McDonald's out of milkshakes across Great Britain

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HGV Drivers

I'm not sure I fully understand the causes of the problem.

The island of Great Britain produces a lot of milk. It is not in short supply.

Milk requires to be transported in special HGVs that are suited for the transport of milk.

These HGVs tend to be the property of the dairies and their drivers employees of the dairy.

Milk in HGVs, as a rule, is not driven very far, usually to the packaging or a food-processing plant.

The article states that drivers of HGVs are in short supply.

Does this mean that the dairies have been contracting out their HGV driving positions and that the aformentioned drivers have since found better work elsewhere?

Or that McDonalds have been getting their milk from the continent and now the drivers can't be found?

Is this the Gig-Economy at work?

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Re: My milkshake

And I counter with this.

Mario Rosenstock has done some very good parodies in the past and this one is also rather good: https://www.todayfm.com/podcasts/the-ian-dempsey-breakfast-show/gift-grub-farages-milkshake-brings-brexiteers-yard

Apple didn't engage with the infosec world on CSAM scanning – so get used to a slow drip feed of revelations

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AsuharietYgvar»...We cannot let Apple's famous 1984 ad become a reality. At least not without a fight.

I'm not sure what AsuharietYgvar is saying or, indeed, wants to say.

Apple's famous 1984 ad introduced the world to (a beta version) of the Macintosh computer. The ad itself was based on George Orwell's novel, '1984'.

Within the ad [1], a young shot-put-thrower runs into an auditorium of people listening to something akin to Big Brother, throws her hammer and in smashing the screen, shows the aforementioned people another way, in this case, an overpriced, uinder-spec'd computer with a revolutionary interface.

Does AsuharietYgvar want to prevent the young woman from doing what she did (although she *now* loves Big Brother)?

Maybe he/she meant the book, '1984' and is unaware that Steve Jobs was paying homage to it with this ad?

Or alternatively, perhaps the good poster is retrospectively trying to hinder the DTP-revolution that broke out in the mid-1980s. It's a nice try but I think that the dust has settled on this one.

[1] https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=youtube.com+1984+apple&qpvt=youtube.com+1984+apple&FORM=VDRE

China warns game devs not to mess with history

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Castle Wolfenstein & Hitler

I agree.

You can imagine my shock when I learnt that Hitler didn't actually have machine-gun arms...

84-year-old fined €250,000 for keeping Nazi war machines – including tank – in basement

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If he had just kept the tank

El Reg» The defendant ... was ordered to sell or donate the tank and flak cannon to a museum or collector within two years, as reported by AP News.

If he had just kept the tank, he might have been able to make a good case for nostalgia and garner some sympathy, but enough ammunition and weaponry to make a terrorist outfit/criminal gang wet their pants is a much, much harder case to justify.

Besides, if it was no secret that he had a tank, why was nothing done about it until now? That he has to either sell it or give it away for free does seem rather vindictive of the court.

Chinese state media describes gaming as 'spiritual opium' that stunts education and destroys families

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Re: It didn't help my studies much either

To be fair, you were a programmer who happened to make games rather than a gamer per se (well, as far as I can tell from post). Although D&D can be played with a computer, it is a game played with friends rather than a solitary game. That being said, I had to be told to stop playing AD&D when I was 15, my marks before the Inter Cert were beginning to suffer on account of the amount of time I was putting into it.

Smartphones are incredibly addictive and should be treated as such. Children shouldn't have access to them and be allowed only to adults (and, even then, the populace as a whole needs a lot of education about them). Once you've given a child a smartphone, even with parental controls (that are often not so great although Apple's aren't bad), getting them off it is hard.

You could try not giving them a smartphone and then they are the only teen in their class without one. Who wants to be the child in the class who isn't allowed to eat meat because their parents are strict vegetarians? Who wants to be the only child in the class not on Instagram, SnapChat & WhatsApp?

To the critics above, personal responsibility is always the argument trotted out with dealing with dangerously addictive things. It is *your* fault, but not the industry's fault. In your opinion, the Food Industry shares none of the blame for the stuff it puts into the food that you can't help buying. The oil companies share no blame in destroying the climate because you chose to drive to work or you chose to heat your home. Too many regulations eh? You probably pine for the good old days when Reagan was president.

Yes, personal responsibility has a role to play as does the role the government has to protect us from dangerously addictive substances as does the industry in question a duty of care towards its end-users. Think about Oxycontin and what should have been done to prevent all of those poor people becoming addicted to opioids.

deadlockvictim Silver badge


To be fair to the Chinese government, they aren't actually wrong and I'm glad that they are pointing out an obvious elephant in the room.

I also approve of the requirement to game with your real name. There is much to much nastiness hidden by anonymity.

A lot of people simply spend too much time gaming and need help and I was no different when I discovered Civilization back in 1993. It didn't help my studies much either.

If weren't for the fact that it was run by the Chinese government, I'd even welcome the idea of Internet detox camps.

Unfortunately, given that it is the Chinese government, I can't say I'm happy with how it will be/is being implemented: permanent scars on your Personal Record (and all Chinese have one) which will live on to haunt long into your future, God knows what happens in the Internet detox camps given what happens at teh re-education centres. The article didn't explicitly state this, but we know how the Chinese government operates.

Activision Blizzard accused by California watchdog of fostering 'frat boy' culture, fatally toxic atmosphere

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Let me get this right

Let me get this right, a company whose products involves trolls (the real ones not the Internet variety), ganging up with superior weapons on a majority group that is less able to defend itself as well as orchestrating the killing of as many things as possible fosters an attitude that involves dehumanising a large chunk of the population for their own amusement?

And we wonder why women don't want to work in IT? Why would they?

Medicine is also stressful but at least women who work there are paid well and given the respect they deserve (unless there are massive abuses there that I haven't yet heard about).

Everyone cites that 'bugs are 100x more expensive to fix in production' research, but the study might not even exist

deadlockvictim Silver badge

Fixing things long after they have gone live

Fixing things long after they have gone live can be an expensive process partly because of our modern bureaucratic way we develop software.

During development, the people writing the code, the people writing user stories, the project managers, management and the testers are all available and willing to iron out problems discovered during development. Funding is available, expertise is available as are the people who understand and codify the business logic. Releases are made frequently and sometimes regularly.

Compare that to the time when a bug is discovered. The team who did the work originally may very well not be working on the project anymore (or even be in the company). Depending on who is pushing to get the bug fixed, it may not get the weight it deserves from management. If there is a new team working on this product, they will all have to read up on how it should have been, on how the code is at the moment, what consequences might arise from this change. The testers will have to get to work on getting up to date on the changed functionality, if convenient or nicely-written test-cases are not available.

Now, to be sure, this extra work to push against the bureaucratic flow is not 100x more expensive, but it *is* more expensive than getting it done right while the original team were in full development mode.

Former ad exec sticks Steve Jobs' 1973 job application in a scanner for physical-versus-digital NFT auction

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The Americans use the word 'architect' as a verb, for $DEITY's sake, so I think that penning something can be understood in that context. I must try that with other professions/trades: I was plumbering with the database yesterday and in the end I had to quantity surveyor it for 4 hours.

To quote Bill Watterson, 'Verbing weirds language'.

I no longer have a burning hatred for Jewish people, says Googler now suddenly no longer at Google

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Re: Anti-woke

Is that Free as in the right to march on the Capitol whenever elections are, ahem, being stolen from you?

Did you ever find that stolen election, btw?

Malaysian Police crush crypto-mining kit to punish electricity thieves

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Better mask needed

The first thought that came to mind is that they needed much, much better masks. There are much worse things for your body in the air once all of the rigs have been pulverised. Breathable metals that body can't rid off? Maybe the Malaysian police ought to take a course on toxicology and what some metals can do to your kidneys.

Nuclear cloud: UK's reactor cleanup crew awards Softcat reseller deal for Microsoft licences, Azure services

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Hopefully none of these nuclear facilities will be so reliant on Azure, that when Azure has its one-day hickup sometime in the not-too-distant fture, that nothing untoward happens. Because, if there is something that we all have learnt, is that Microsoft likes companies being dependant on its services.

SQL Server beta for Windows Server Containers terminated 'with immediate effect'

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Microsoft are actively ignoring all what is not Azure

SQL Server certifications for SQL Server have gone, if you want a database certification form Microsoft, it will have to be one of the Azure ones.

Look at how much information Microsoft is giving about the next version of SQL Server. I assume that there will be one. Normally, Microsoft release a new version of SQL Server every 18-24 months.

Look at all of the marketing coming out of Microsoft: *everything* is about Azure. It is almost as if Microsoft will punish anyone publicly mentioning SQL Server.

And if you want to learn Azure, you will have to pay, because Azure is a service to be rented.

Sure, the first hit is free:

-- from the PDF 'The Developer's Guide to Azure' [1]

You don’t need to do much—just sign up for an Azure free account. This includes 12 months of free services, including $200 in credits for 30 days, enabling you to explore paid Azure services, and over 25 services that you can use for free ad infinitum.

But after that, it costs and you have to pay to learn. Microsoft wins both ways.

Now, don't get me wrong, Azure *is* great and it allows one to do a lot of things that on-premises make hard. If you need a server with 64 cores and 512GB RAM for a project, it's available and much, cheaper than buying the hardware for on-premises. The AI and IoT services look particularly good too.

But, it is not the be-all-and-end-all of databases in Microsoftland.

And, AWS is super for cloud-based servers and short projects with massive resource requirments too.

And Microsoft is actively discouraging SQL Server on-premises as well as online. I wonder how long SQL Server as we know has to live? One more version maybe?

I expect that I, and the company I work for, will have to make hard decisions in the coming years. If we want to stay on-premises, when do we need to start getting the DBAs & developers up to scratch on PostgreSQL, or do we take the less hard road and surrender our security, freedom & data to the Microsoft Cloud.

[1] https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/campaigns/developer-guide/?cdn=disable

Hubble Space Telescope sails serenely on in safe mode after efforts to switch to backup memory modules fail

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Re: Wishful thinking...

I had to look up EVA suits to find out if they were what I thought they were (and they were).

What first came to mind, however, were angsty 14 year old Japanese children controlling massive mechs fighting Angels, as in here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTrYkdZo90Y

Doggy DNA database adopted by Gloucestershire cops to bring crims to heel

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I wonder what the business model for CellMark here is. Genomes require quite an amount of disk space per genome (1.5GB was the size I was told) and the databases have generous amounts of RAM, CPUs and DBAs to keep them happy.

Gloucestershire is surely a case to show to the world - look it can be done and not too inexpensively. Is the plan to use this to go to every municipality in the First World and find the 0.1% of dog-owners (my estimate) willing to pay up? Or is the real money in the genomic data, which can be sold as training set data to universities and multi-nationals.

To CAPTCHA or not to CAPTCHA? Gartner analyst says OK — but don’t be robotic about it

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I don't mind mind captchas per se, what is annoying is that they feed Google ever more information and they are ubiquitous.

Developers! Use captchas none of whose purposes is to hoard data. There surely must be some out there that are actually there just for Turing test purposes that can be used.

I don't even mid training algorithms either. It is a clever idea but because Google's purpose to hoard as much data on everyone, I avoid them when I can.

Windows 11: Meet the new OS, same as the old OS (or close enough)

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"Windows 10 is so much better than its antecedents that it has stopped being a problem."

You need 32GB free space on your C:drive so that you can download the latest massive update? No thank you. Ubuntu does it daily and while a tad annoying, I live with the 30s needed to run the update.

Windows, imho, reached its zenith with Windows 2000. NT4 & XP (after SP2) weren't bad and Win2K3 was a nice little server and its desktop version (Win XP 64-bit edition) was well in use on my work machine until it went of support. And if the glossy UI is your thing, then Windows 7 wasn't too bad either.

Ireland warned it could face 'rolling blackouts' if it doesn't address data centres' demand for electricity

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Re: Lucky Ireland

That thought had also come to mind. It is time to re-visit the Carnsore Point plan.

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Re: Lucky Ireland

This is Ireland. The wind *is* blowing all of the time.

It is with a heavy heart that we must tell you America's richest continue to pay not quite as much tax as you do

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Save the Rich

Garfunkel & Oates have a tribute to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ej7dfPL7Kho

Generous Alibaba to scatter 0.9% of annual revenue over Southeast Asia to develop tech talent and infrastructure

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Article» Malaysia will get Alibaba's first international innovation centre where small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), startups, and developers will receive cloud technology and business leadership trainings, subsidized office space, mentorships, and venture capital networking.

This is not at all bad, even if you are working with Alibaba technologies. Do any of the tech giants in the West do this? Microsoft are pushing Azure very hard but starting out in Azure becomes pricey over time. I can't see Microsoft, Google or SAP offering venture capital and subsidised office space as a way of pushing their platform.

Can a 21.5-inch iMac beat the latest-and-greatest M1 model in performance? Kinda

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This has happened before

The PPC/Intel switch has been mentioned above.

Back in 1994 when Apple brought out the first PowerMacs, they were generally faster running (emulated) 68K code, but not always. Some software was faster on the 33MHz (Quadra 950 & 650) or 40MHzs (Quadra 840AV) 68040s than the same software was on the new PPCs. Now, to be sure, the same versions of code written in PPC code were much faster on PPCs than the 68K code on 68K macs.

Nowadays, these end of the line 68K macs are more valuable than the macs succeeded them and I expect that the end-of-the-line Intel-macs will become quite pricey (as secondhand macs go) in the recent future.

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Re: Leopards...

If you have a use/grá for software that ran on the macs up to Mac OS 9, then the mac mini makes a super Mac OS 9 machine.

Apple's iPad Pro on a stick, um, we mean M1 iMac scores 2 out of 10 for repairability

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Apple Jobs/Woz dynamic

Jobs & Woz are the two poles of Apple.

Jobs wanted appliances and those machines built with guidelines are hard to repair, hard to upgrade not intended for either. Think of the original Macintosh, PowerBooks, and every non-high-end Mac since the Second Coming™.

Woz is a tinkerer and wanted expandability & customisation. Those machines built in his philosophy are the Apple IIs and most of the high-end Macs.

That the iMac was designed to be all but impregnable is not at all surprise. It is actually to be expected and avoided unless you want to play Apple^s very expensive game.

If you want an affordable, well-designed Mac that can easily upgraded, wait for the Mac Pros to go out of support, then they can be gotten on eBay for much less than £100.

Some years ago, I bought a 2008 Mac Pro for £30. I rarely go online with it and I use it for Photoshop and light video-editing work. It supports 64GB RAM, has 8x 2.8GHz Xeon cores and runs very nicely on SATA III SSDs in a RAID-I configuration. It is true that it could be faster and have a faster bus & RAM but for what I am using it for, it is more than fast enough. There is also a lot of software available from that period on the Macintosh Garden. And there is a lot of software there.

I have Ubuntu for Internet work (and to connect to the VM at work) and there is surely a version of Linux that'll run very nicely on that Mac Pro.

I am not a fan of Apple but I do like Macs and I don't mind waiting 10 years. The Macs, the Mac OS and the software that ran on them weren't too bad 10 years' ago.

Microsoft: Behold, at some later date, the next generation of Windows

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Re: and I’m incredibly excited

It will lower your TCO as well.

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You can see what is coming

SatNad» That's Nadella's vision for the world of 2030, for better or worse. In the near term, he promised "the next generation of Windows," without getting into the specifics of what that means.

Office 365, Exchange Online, Azure... I'm sure that you can see where this is heading. My guess is that the new Windows will be a simple [1] thin client that allows you to access your Windows VM. You will never have to install updates again for they will be automatically done for you. You will always have the latest and greatest version of Windows. And it will only cost $10 per month (or £10 if you are in the UK).

[1] It will, however, require at least 16GB RAM, 4 cores and 64GB SSD space.

Japan to send ‘transforming robot’ to the Moon in 2022

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Since watching WALL-E some 12 years' ago, I have occasionally wondered how difficult it would be to build & send a good many single-function solar-powered robots to the moon to build components for a future space station, although what exactly they could actually do is probably more the pertinent question.

Is this just a matter of the lack of political will and billions required to fund it or are there are real engineering problems that can't be gotten around?

Apple sent my data to the FBI, says boss of controversial research paper trove Sci-Hub

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El Reg» ..., has claimed that Apple informed her it has handed over information about her account to the FBI.

What's not mentioned is whether the FBI used a warrant or not. If they did, fair enough. That is how the system is supposed to work.

If not, then she has a good point.

‘Staggering’ cost of vintage Sun workstations sees OpenSolaris-fork Illumos drop SPARC support

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Re: Old stuff

Check them for batteries and remove them if you find any.

I know from old Macs that the PRAM batteries explode and damage nearby traces and ICs.

The same may also apply to capacitors.

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I thought Foo was barred?

China to enforce social distancing on peak of Mount Everest

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Re: Repaired to 8300M

Not to mention that it's a long way down the road to the chemist's.

Microsoft reveals what a growth mindset does to the letter ‘A’

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Azure: Pay us monthly

As well as, we have your data.

Title says it all really.

Basecamp CEO issues apology after 'no political discussions at work' edict blows up in his face

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AC» and if the transactional replication was organizing deliveries of Sarin stocks to North Korea - would you think it political?

That is at a company level and I have deliberately chosen not to work for such companies, even though the recompense is surely much greater.

Besides this example is probably illegal as well as being in contravention of international law and then whistleblowing comes into play. Whistleblowers are courageous in the Sir Humphrey sense of the word [1] and necessary and I am not sure that I am that courageous.

[1] a controversial policy will lose him votes, whilst a courageous one will lose [him] the election

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I am paid to think, just not about politics. When transactional replication in one of the database servers is generating sp_replcmds error-message, that is what I am there for (although, to be fair, I am sometimes the cause of said error-messages).

Visual Basic 6 returns: You've been a good developer all year. You have social distanced, you have helped your mom. Here's your reward

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Horse manure

To be fair, horse manure is great stuff and really useful when it comes to fertilising plants outdoors (probably indoors too).



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