* Posts by Sammy Smalls

93 posts • joined 1 Jul 2009


Chiptune to brighten your afternoon: Winning 8-bit throwback music revealed

Sammy Smalls

'Swedre' was something that a friend had in a ROM. Happy Days.

Not for children: Audacity fans drop the f-bomb after privacy agreement changes

Sammy Smalls

Re: Depressing

It's only because the overall user base was too small, that software hasn't been targeted like this at scale beforehand.

We've hit the L'oreal moment. Because you're worth it.

Turning the cynicism up to 11, you might find that someone has done the 'what if they fork?' calculation.

Just to depress you a little bit more.

Perseverance Mars rover sets off on its first mission, to boldly drill and return samples as no rover has drilled before

Sammy Smalls
Black Helicopters

So they're already spying on each other on another planet!

I'm not sure sharks with frikkin lasers are going to work very well on Mars.

Apple's macOS 12 adds improved virtualization though no sign of anything like Boot Camp on M1 silicon

Sammy Smalls

Re: No one needs Bootcamp anymore

Yup. Pretty funky.

Sammy Smalls

Re: No one needs Bootcamp anymore

I held off getting an M1 for until 6 weeks ago. I wish I'd jumped sooner. It's how a computer should be - invisible in daily use. No slowdowns or beach balling, no whirring fans (I've got the MBA M1 - 16GB if you're interested). There have been a couple of foibles (Excel in Rosetta for all features for example) but nothing that's cause me any issues.

It's funny, this is how Macs used to be 5 years ago. Not sure who to blame.

Sammy Smalls

Re: No one needs Bootcamp anymore

It will be interesting to see if there are any mainstream use cases for bootcamp, but I cant think of any off the top of my head.

I'm playing around with Parallels on an M1 with the Windows preview, and I've got to say that I'm impressed with the M1, Parallels and Windows on ARM. Not perfect, but pretty damned good. I've used it for demos and it worked just fine. I can also just leave it running and not even notice it's there.

My current challenge is to get COD4 running properly. It nearly does, and I've actually played a couple of games, but it's very flaky. It's actually got worse with the last couple of Windows updates... :(

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

Sammy Smalls

Re: Most significant upgrade in a decade

I shall be shamelessly stealing this, with no attribution. Muchos gracias.

Apple's macOS is sub-par for security, Apple exec Craig Federighi tells Epic trial

Sammy Smalls

I'd be annoyed if the walled garden is opened up.

Ok, I get it. Apple is absolutely gouging devs on this, and they could be much fairer - BUT I like the walled garden. I like that I dont have to think too hard about 'will this app rape my device'. I like that someone is curating the apps to make sure that I'll probably be ok. I very much like that they stick 2 fingers up at companies like Facebook.

If I didnt like it, I'd buy an Android device.

You could give users the choice to opt in or out of the walled garden, which is probably the best Epic can hope for. I think I know which way most people would go. (see FB privacy choices). Its then a balance of law suit cost vs how many people will opt out.

GitHub will no longer present a cookie notification banner – because it's scrapping non-essential cookies

Sammy Smalls

Re: s

Or into essential oils.

We spent way too long on this Microsoft, Intel, Adobe, SAP, Red Hat Patch Tuesday article. Just click on it, pretend to read it, apply updates

Sammy Smalls

If I were a cynic

I might suspect that these vulnerabilities are designed to keep people on the upgrade hamster wheel.

Apple was the only Fortune 50 company to foresee COVID-19 pandemic risk and properly insure against it – Forrester

Sammy Smalls

Re: Will any of this affect house prices

I suspect the Daily Fail will answer this for you, although you may have different answers on different pages and on different days.

Google: OK, OK, we pinky promise not to suck Fitbit health data into the borg. Now will you approve the sale?

Sammy Smalls

A shame

I liked my Fitbit and I found the service very good. The moment a Google came sniffing, I ditched the device and service.

No service is perfect or can be trusted but when you’ve got Google’s form, you’d better be happy having your bowel movements as public knowledge.

I did get some comments saying I was using the Fitbit incorrectly. Hey ho.

Don't panic: An asteroid larger than the Empire State Building is flying past Earth this weekend but we're just fine

Sammy Smalls

Re: "Don't panic..."

It would soak up the goo though.

Who's still using Webex? Not even Cisco: Judge orders IT giant to use rival Zoom for virtual patent trial

Sammy Smalls

Re: used webex twice recently

There is no single 'Webex meetings'. Broadly there's Webex Meetings on-prem, Webex Meetings cloud 'Legacy' (multiple versions thereof) and Webex Meetings cloud 'New'. Financial institutions usually have on-prem because they've had it for years (frequently 10+) for compliance and archiving.

They are all rock solid in terms of stability, but if you're on the first 2, then yes, they can be a bit dated for look/feel and user experience. The new cloud version (around for a couple of years now) is a much better experience. Modern even. ;)

I'll bet you were using the 'new' Webex first and then the on-prem for the second. Very different things.

Full disclosure - yes, I work with this stuff as a partner.

Royal Navy nuclear submarine captain rapped for letting crew throw shoreside BBQ party

Sammy Smalls

What do you burn apart from heretics?

More heretics!

How does Monzo keep 1,600 microservices spinning? Go, clean code, and a strong team

Sammy Smalls

Re: You don't need to know how 1,600 services work

Nothing that couldn't have been done in a monolith of course. Perhaps the real change is the understanding of the detailed metrics and reporting required to maintain something like a banking system over a long period of time.

Don't Xiaomi pics of other people's places! Chinese kitmaker fingers dodgy Boxing Day cache update after Google banishes it from Home

Sammy Smalls

Why use this stuff?

Aren’t there enough stories of privacy ‘mishaps’ happening with sensitive devices like this to make them generally a bad idea?

Happy new year, readers. Yes, we have threaded comments, an image-lite mode, and more...

Sammy Smalls

One of the 4000..... :(

The post is required, and must contain letters.

Where's my opt-out link gone?

Sammy Smalls

Thank you. I must have missed it in all that white space....

I'm trying hard to overcome my inertia, but I'm really not liking it, even with the options.

Ah well. All things end.

Sammy Smalls

Where's my opt-out link gone?

I liked the old format. Not full of white space, could browse quickly. What is this Vice.com?

Bah, humbug.

Serverless is awesome (if you overlook inflated costs, dislike distributed computing, love vendor lock-in), say boffins

Sammy Smalls

Caveat emptor

As always.

Official: Voyager 2 is now an interstellar spacecraft

Sammy Smalls

Really quite uplifting.

After a crappy day with a crappy cold and crappy news. Well, it made me smile.

Not API: Third parties scrape your Gmail for marketing insights

Sammy Smalls

Well colour me surprised.

Use something for 'free'? Expect to pay somehow.

However, what I didn't see in the article was anything about paid for accounts. Now that would be a shitstorm.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich quits biz after fling with coworker rumbled

Sammy Smalls

Re: non-fraternization policy

I wonder if he made the Intel chime at the critical moment...

Microsoft commits: We're buying GitHub for $7.5 beeeeeeellion

Sammy Smalls

Re: Shite

As much as anything, it's the negative feeling that it engenders. Unless they do something really stupid like making private repos accessible to M$ 'for usage statistics' etc then there's not much they can do.

Maybe I answered my own question....

'I knew the company was doomed after managers brawled in a biker bar'

Sammy Smalls

'gloves were forbidden'

Ah yes. Happened to me whilst measuring the 'magnetic screening properties of a high temperature superconductor'. High Temp, in this case, meant liquid nitrogen. Being undergrads, the kit was all a bit Heath Robinson, including the clamp holding the sample in place. As you might suspect, it fell off once or twice. Only once did I put my hand in (with glove). There was a hole in the thumb (Dear Liza) which promptly filled up. Cue spilled liquid nitrogen all over the desk/floor.

This is when I learned that liquid nitrogen is cheap, so the easiest way was was to pour it out, salvage the sample and start again.

My first encounter with liquid nitrogen was during an open weekend at the Physics dept in Exeter. A group of us walked into one lab, where some prof decided it was fun to pour it all over our feet.

Hardware has never been better, but it isn't a licence for code bloat

Sammy Smalls

Years ago, I was a network admin who had a running battle with the developers when the file I/O moved from local disk to the network. 'But it's so slow' they cried. I tried to convince them that reading one byte at a time wasn't perhaps the best approach.

Eventually one dev relented and wrote a program to test file I/O with variable length requests.

Guess what? A 10 byte request was 10 times faster.....

Tezos crypto and $232m initial coin offering risks implosion – reports

Sammy Smalls

Re: Variant on a theme....

'maybe get in early, make my fortune....'

If you can see a bandwagon, you've already missed it.

EasyJet: We'll have electric airliners within the next decade

Sammy Smalls


What they need is planes with flywheels. Big ones. Like the one at Jet (insert pun as appropriate).

Plug, in spin up, and off you go.

Admittedly the gyroscopic forces would make takeoff, cruise and landing a tad difficult, but other than that what could possibly go wrong?

Hotter than the Sun: JET – Earth’s biggest fusion reactor, in Culham

Sammy Smalls

Re: Didn't they used to have a flywheel?

I remember being told about the flywheel at a school talk.

IIRC we were told it took a couple of days to get up to speed and if it ever came away from it's bearings it would go all the way to Reading, smash through the centre and keep going.

Not all bad then....

Avaya files for bankruptcy

Sammy Smalls


from a CUCM monkey. What is it that leaves you unimpressed? As you say, no product is perfect, but I am always interested in CUCM opinions from people with cross platform experience.

Microsoft's Cognitive Toolkit on GitHub in all its speech-recognising glory

Sammy Smalls

Except it's not. Is it?

It's the documentation.

Which is a bit of an odd mix. 'Here's some open source documentation for our 'open' (closed source) web service'.

More accurately, this is 'Please, please PLEASE use Bing. Someone? Anyone?'

I was initially genuinely excited, only to come crashing down to earth. Ah well.....

SpaceX blast kills Zuck's sat

Sammy Smalls

A partial success?

Most of it will have landed back on the pad.

Microsoft buys LinkedIn for the price of 36 Instagrams

Sammy Smalls

Re: LinkedIn shareholders must be very happy

That made me smile. I want to go to an interview for the sole purpose of using that line. Pictures of Spuds interview in Transporting.

Sammy Smalls

In terms of a strategy, why is it that my first thought was of Napoleon invading Russia in the winter? Or better still - buying Nokia.

Maybe I'm wrong, but there must be something better to spend $26B on.

Microsoft has crafted a switch OS on Debian Linux. Repeat, a switch OS on Debian Linux

Sammy Smalls

Re: Right, here's the catch

Fork or get forked is what I think you mean.

Yelp-for-people app Peeple is back – so we rated Julia, its cofounder

Sammy Smalls

Please remove this from appearing as a splash.

It's like their vile faces are trying to crush your soul with inane faux happiness from across the interweb. In the race to the bottom, surely these two amoeba are in the lead.

Has Voyager 1 escaped the Sun yet? Yes, but also no, say boffins

Sammy Smalls

That's what happens when you can't observe it any more.

Only a matter of time before someone starts worshipping 'Vger' as a new deity.

Cant see it? - check

Lots of people get excited when referring to it and look skywards with reverence? - check

All the whales dead? - getting there.

We're doomed.

Arctic summer ice cover is 31st highest ever recorded

Sammy Smalls

Re: Do you think that we can endlessly pollute?

Ah, play the man if you cant play the facts Mr AC....

Yes, CO2 is part of the life cycle of the planet. However, that doesnt mean it isn't a pollutant. Any substance that occurs in a concentration or form that adversely effects the environment into which it is introduced is a pollutant. CO2 has even been shown to adversely effect photosynthesis in concentrations that could exist atmostpherically.

So, not pejorative really is it? Bigot? Prejudiced? Give me some facts and I'll consider them.

Do you really think we can just pump out CO2 and everything will be just fine? Why dont you try 1% CO2 in a sealed room for a few days, and see how you feel? Maybe you already have.

Sammy Smalls

Yeah yeah. We get it. No smoking gun. Again.

The science is constantly being refined, but we have to work with what we have. We may also have to accept there may not be a smoking gun moment within a timeframe that allows the science to catch up and for us to not have broken things irrevocably in the mean time.

Do you think that we can endlessly pollute (with whatever the pollutant may be, CO2 for the sake of argument) with no consequence? Is it worth taking the chance?

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Chopstick-collapsing Spam musubi

Sammy Smalls

Re: Spam in Scotland

I used to look forward to Spam fritter Tuesday. Made a change from sausage beans and chips. Happy days.

Carry On Computing: Ten stylish laptop bags for him

Sammy Smalls

look great but....

....only a rucksack is versatile enough for a one bag option. As soon as you put any weight in a man-bag it either slips from your shoulder or garrottes you (depending on how you wear it).

Not forgetting of course, that you cant use a man-bag to barge tourists out of the way on the tube.

Tough Banana Pi: a Raspberry Pi for colour-blind diehards

Sammy Smalls

Dodgy piece of code

If you couldn't guarantee it's provenience + authenticity, then it was a dodgy piece of code. This isn't a PI. A PI has robust development with specific goal - education. This is a cheap, generic board piggy backing off the PI brand.

Put my backups on it. Not a chance. Your mileage may vary of course.

Microsoft: It's TIME at LAST. Yes - .NET is going OPEN and X-PLATFORM

Sammy Smalls

Another tool in the kitbag

Could be very useful, the problem may come if MS decide that this doesnt work for them any more. Ok, they can't 'un-open source' but they can close off any potential development routes that might conflict for them. That may hurt someone who has gone wholesale into .net because of this.

Another option opens up, which is a good thing.

FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for

Sammy Smalls
Big Brother


The 3 of them are as bad as each other (MS, Google, Apple) but I'm just finding all a bit tedious with Apple. Yes, the hardware is better then other mainstream manufacturers. Yes the OS works well and generally stays out of your way. Yes there are native apps that let you be productive. Yes I like the battery life. However If you want to send my data somewhere other than my computer then bloody well have the manners to ask (in a clear, non sneaky way). I might even say yes if I think it benefits in a 'larger' non direct sense.

I thought Little Snitch was trying to tell me something....I guess I should have paid more attention.

While I'm in rant mode. Stop soldering RAM. It's unnecessary, makes more landfill and makes you look cheap. I get that the standard soddim connector takes quite a bit of space, but soldering as solution. How very 1986.

I guess I'll start toying with Linux again to see if there's a setup I can work with, but I really dont want to have to. Any suggestions on comparable hardware to a MBP 13" that can take 16GB of RAM? I'll probably fail and continue as I was.

"You! Yes! You behind the bikesheds! Stand still, laddie!" Get back in line and stop complaining.

Edit - Oh, and dont worry, your fingerprints are safe with us.....

NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)

Sammy Smalls

It's not a problem.

We'll all be killed by Ebola soon so why bother patching?

Ellison: Sparc M7 is Oracle's most important silicon EVER

Sammy Smalls

Thats not the only thing that will be 'baked-in'. So will your goolies to the license agreement.

Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer

Sammy Smalls

Re: They are making profits of over £100m...

Absolutely. This is the last hurrah of the original licensing and regulation back in the 80's when the networks were split from service provision the end users. This led to a whole raft of independents which did very well while it lasted. When the regulations were changed in the mid 90's all of the independents were essentially doomed. The networks brought the service providers back in house and made it the primary route to market (Vodafone/Vodac for instance). You only have to look at the number of network owned retail outlets vs the independents to realise that the writing is on the wall.



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