* Posts by Dave Coventry

43 publicly visible posts • joined 11 May 2007

We're all doooooomed: Gloomy Brit workforce really isn't coping well with impending Brexit

Dave Coventry

Re: When to move abroad

As somebody that hasn't lived in the UK for 17 years, I watched the results of the referendum with disbelief.

That a Nation could collectively hold it's future prosperity to ransom over thinly veiled xenophobia and rampant nationalism seemed perverse.

That you should double down on this mistake, even in the face of the mounting evidence which suggests the disruption arising from Brexit because of the perception that "arrogant remainders" were "so smug and satisfied" merely manages to prove his point.

Banhammer Republic: Trump declares national emergency, starts ball rolling to boot Huawei out of ALL US networks

Dave Coventry

What is the risk?

I've asked this question before and had it answered on here, but is there a source that I can quote in conversation with all the know-it-all twenty-somethings who confidently state that Chinese tech cannot be trusted because of a proliferation of backdoors which can turn it into a weapon at the touch of a button in Beijing? An article by Vulture Central analysing this and setting out what is possible and what is not would be helpful.

May Day! PM sacks UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson for Huawei 5G green-light 'leak'

Dave Coventry

Re: What is the risk?


Much as I thought. Trump just being a spacker again.

Dave Coventry

What is the risk?

What is the risk of using Hauwei to implement 5G? Is it technically possible for them to install a backdoor for the Chinese Government to harvest intel? or to take down as required?

A fine vintage: Wine has run Microsoft Solitaire on Linux for 25 years

Dave Coventry
Thumb Up

Re: !Linux can and does offer applications to perform the same task"

Nice rant.

CAD software is one area where it would be nice to have some compatibility through wine. I use and have used Linux for the last 20 years or so and I would love to get rid of the Virtualbox running an XP guest that my CAD application runs on.

Hipsters hacking on PostgreSQL

Dave Coventry
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Having used Postgres for over a decade and MySQL for five or six years (Drupal), I can tell you that the Postgres User mailing list is extremely helpful and patient, unlike the flippant, sarcastic responses one gets from the MySQL community.

Google sued over mobile Chrome by patent firm

Dave Coventry
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Re: 'mercans will allow anything to be patented

Seems to me approval (by anybody) is superfluous.

Microsoft, Motorola legal bickering sparks judicial disgust

Dave Coventry

Re: It's just business

I wasn't aware that was the purpose of patents.

But I accept that their use is considered a huge success in the US (for the major patent trolls, anyway) which is why they want to extend it into Europe and the rest of the World.

Anonymous hacktivists fire ion cannons at Zimbabwe

Dave Coventry


Mugabe has the pathological hatred of gays that often betrays a lack of confidence in his own heterosexuality.

Not that it would have the slightest impact on his political strategies, mind you.

And ridicule does seem to get under his skin a bit.

Google: Oracle doctored that 'copied Java code'

Dave Coventry

Stone Age

If Kernighan and Ritchie (or whoever it was) had bothered to patent the 'for' loop and the 'while' loop among others, then programming would now be the sole preserve of the mega-corporates.

Makes you wonder.

Personally a pox on both their houses, and on software patents (and Microsoft, too)

Psion founder retires

Dave Coventry

What a waste x 2

I agree with Chronos.

Having known some of the early crew in Harcourt Street when they were producing the PSION ll and the series 3 and 5 PDA's I always felt that the move to Symbian which swamped the company was not all that well advised.

The fact that Sean Timarco Baggaley appears to feel that the ZX81 and Spectrum games were what defined PSION and appears to be completely unaware of some of the revolutionary work done in those years in no way detracts from the mind-blowing work that they were doing at the time.

They were a BRITISH company producing revolutionary BRITISH designed hardware in BRITAIN with very little support.

Good luck on your retirement, David.

British TV firm dumps Silverlight

Dave Coventry
Big Brother

Microsoft would have planned for this

Microsoft will not give up on this, the potential rewards are too great.

Microsoft's attempts to lock out users of competing OS's might have hit a little bit of a hurdle, but I'm pretty sure that this would not have been unexpected at Redmond.

In the end, I'm pretty sure that Microsoft will triumph in this.

Disney sued over Pixar lamp 'copy'

Dave Coventry

I dunno

I remember seeing the Luxo Jnr short at school, which ain't yesterday.

Disney must feel that they have a very good case for the name to be deemed to be associated with Pixar rather than Luxo (who?).

IANAL, but is it not the case that the trademarked lamp has been in the public domain for some years (decades)? and given that the patent-holder has not hitherto objected, I would say that Disney are probably going to win it.

Rather like a right of way at the foot of your garden that people have used for years. Technically, it's still your property (I think), but you can't put a gate across it.

Dell and HP sing Microsoft tune on Word injunction

Dave Coventry

Prior art

Although I am not in favour of software patents, it would appear that, in this case, the patent holders had a product that they thought was protected by the patent. Microsoft employed them to collate data from the 911 attacks, got to the point where they understood how the patent holder's software worked, incorporated that methodology into Word and then stole the patent holder's customer base.

It's important to note 2 things here; firstly the implication is that the methodology was non-trivial to the point that Microsoft were not able to incorporate it into Word without studying the patent-holder's methods.

And secondly, it is only Word which has been litigated against; the other elements of the Office suite, which use the same XML formatting and data storage model were not affected.

So it seems that rather than just being a simple patent troll seeking to extract maximum monetary recompense from Microsoft, the patent holders are simply asking for a wrong to be righted.

But from what I understand, the patent is horribly loose and merely describes a system of mapping data and formatting information separately by using metacodes: a description that surely applies to most formatted data files, from HTML through to Words own .doc format and which should probably fail on prior art.

So, much as I believe that Microsoft have knowingly and cynically swindled their erstwhile partners, it seems difficult to believe that this patent has any merit at all.

In which case, not only was the money spent on the patent completely wasted, but worse, it probably gave the patent holders a false sense of security in the face of their business partnership with Microsoft.

If I have misunderstood what has happened here, I'm very happy to have it explained to...

Hacked flight sim site in catastrophic crash and burn

Dave Coventry


This week Microsoft pulled the plug on their Flightsim and then this happens....


Mine's the one with the plastic epaulettes and 4 bars.

Microsoft’s Silverlight 3 delivers decent alternative to Adobe

Dave Coventry

@ Mark


How many times do I have to explain it?

It is not a question of using shady business tactics, although it's a moot point whether a company like Microsoft is behaving entirely legally, given the strength of it's monopoly.

What I find irritating is the amount of people who support them in this. A significant section of web users risk having their access curtailed for no other reason than one bloated, greedy and dysfunctional Multinational is trying to force up it's profits, and all you can do is applaud?

Dave Coventry


You wilfully miss my point.

This is not about Microsoft producing a better product.

This is about Microsoft using shady business tactics to take the web away from a significant portion of Users. But, to be honest, shady business practices are what defines Microsoft, so I guess we should expect nothing less.

What I find irritating is this craven sycophantic article which carefully skirts around this issue in an effort to more effectively kiss the Microsoft backside.

Dave Coventry
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Can't see the point

I don't care how good this Microsoft product is, the objective is clearly to force Linux users away from their OS and back into the MS fold.

Currently the MS shills say "You can't run <insert random MS software here> on Linux".

In six months they'll say 'You can't browse the web with Linux because Linux doesn't have a Silverlight client'.

This is a blatant and transparently shady and underhand business ploy and it stinks.

The only thing that can possibly prevent it from working is if the web community at large refuse to implement it.

And that's not likely to happen when the media put out arse-licking articles like this which completely fail to address it.

OpenOffice 3.1 ready to lick Microsoft's suite?

Dave Coventry


To be honest I am less interested in speed and new features than I am in compatibility.

It's a lot cheaper than MS Office ( :) ), so I don't expect it to be faster or to have additional features. What I DO want is to be able to open a .DOC file and have the bullets in the correct places and in the correct size and shape and the graphics correctly positioned on the page as the original author intended.

Without that, I will probably have to shell out for the Microsoft product.

Which desktop Linux distribution?

Dave Coventry


I have Gentoo, Ubuntu 8.10, and Vector on various boxes, but slax is the lightest, quickest disrto I've found. Wireless is a bit of a pain but not insurmountable, installing to hard drive likewise.

Microsoft 24 hours late with IE8 pwn protection

Dave Coventry

Troll Fodder

@Psymon, if you honestly believe that the only reason that Macs and *nix machines have only a handful of viruses compared to the huge Windows malware database is because of the numbers involved, then a little research is in order. And not merely from Steve Balmer-approved sources.

I suspect, however, that you already know that your claims are facile and that you are simply being a Troll.

Patent app reveals Microsoft's smart smartphone cradle

Dave Coventry
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What Patents are for.

>It’s too early to tell if Microsoft plans to

>mass produce its smart cradle anytime soon.

I doubt it.

The purpose of this patent is to prevent any of their competitors from producing such a device.

Or, if they do, Microsoft are probably hoping to skim a percentage.

Rather than encouraging innovation and invention patents are now used to block the development of technology.

As an example, when PSION first produced their Organiser, they had to pay a percentage to an American lawyer who had patented the general term 'electronic diary', obviously without any idea of how such a device might be implemented but in the reasonably certain knowledge that someone would build such a device and they could then cash in.

I think Microsoft's intentions here are similar.

Microsoft boasts 'out of box' IE8 clickjack protection

Dave Coventry

@adnim, Re: Clickjacking

Thanks for the clarification.

Presumably the web page itself needs to carry the required Javascript redirection function? In which case, surely whoever inserts the Javascript into the webpage can ensure that the tags needed for the clickjack protection mechanism employed by this fiendishly clever plan are turned off?

Or am I missing something?

SA copper thieves bid for Darwin glory

Dave Coventry


On South Africa's East Coast they replaced the copper telephone cables with fibre-optic (doesn't work so good for electricity, though) precisely because of the theft problem.

The problem was that the farmers burnt the sugar cane fields melted the fibre-optics.

BBC, ITV propose 'open' TV-over-net platform

Dave Coventry

I concur.

Living in a country without a quality broadcaster like the BBC, I feel that the British Public badly underestimate the importance of the BBC.

As an institution it is that rare thing: a trusted conglomerate and as such it allows Britain to have influence where it would otherwise have none.

Unfortunately, though, it needs to be funded from somewhere, and to me it make sense to do it through a license fee which means that the revenue raised cannot be channeled by politicians into their own pet projects. Nor can the ruling party of the day force it to compromise by injudicious control of the purse strings.

Pub toilet todger tiff ends in bloodbath

Dave Coventry

Gun ownership irrelevant...

Just a couple of points.

I know it's a week or so on, but this story is continuing.

Firstly, the guys who went to get their guns were Policemen. Therefore the issue of gun ownership is irrelevant.

Secondly, because this IS South Africa, the shooters are claiming that they were defending themselves from racial slurs.

Virgin Media taps Microsoft in lengthy email outage

Dave Coventry

@Stu Reeves

Linux is an OS.

However, you make a damn good point; even a bog-standard Linux distribution will come complete with Apache2, Squid and various other server-specific items such as a SMTP mail transport agent and Pop3 and IMAP services.

I'm not really sure how the EU would view this....

The penguin, because they're from the Southern Hemisphere.

Former contractor sues Google for $25m

Dave Coventry


Unless you have a pretty unequivocal paper trail starting (and ending) before (or after) the contract period, you will be pretty hard-pressed to make a convincing case that said invention process occurred in *your own time*.

Sorry buddy, I tend to go with the majority here. This myth is busted.

Rebit: This is your grandmother's data backup

Dave Coventry

Packard Bell

Try buying a Packard Bell.

If you repartition it, then you void the warranty.


It apparently has a non-visible partition (FAT12, if I'm not mistaken) on which software (called "The Tattoo") resides which validates yer Microsoft Winders.

I would guess that this machine would be less use than a chocolate teapot for a Packard Bell owner.

Most home routers 'vulnerable to remote take-over'

Dave Coventry

I turned mine off..

on my SMC Barricade router, and now I can no longer control it. Typing in my browser reports a 404. Niether can I telnet or ssh it.

In order to change anythong in the configuration I will have to use a paperclip to clear take it back to it's defaults. If I can remember my ISP user name and password.

Secret Crush widget spreads adware on Facebook

Dave Coventry

@Robert Steadman

Maybe she has a crush on you!

There one way to find out...

Seagoing satellite launch stymied by La Nina

Dave Coventry

Sea Launch

@Ever hear of an anchor.

I worked on the design of the Command Ship and the conversion of the Ocean Oddesey from oil drilling rig in Aberdeen, Scotland.

The point about launching from the middle of the ocean, rather than anchored off an island is that you don't have to worry too much about the hospital bills should the rocket explode over said island.

They light the blue touch paper and hop aboard the Command Ship to retire just over the horizon where they can safely watch the show from the various hospitality suites on board.

CompuServe France headed for the knacker's yard

Dave Coventry

I think I can remember mine

1024.3067, I think.

I cancelled it a couple of years back when I left the UK.

IIRC it cost me an initial 'joining' fee of 300 quid.

Ballmer nails Founder to Windows mast

Dave Coventry


The idea appeals hugely.

There is something riveting about stacking up all the ingredients of a complete disaster and lighting blue touch paper.

Thailand menaces YouTube - again

Dave Coventry

@Peter Fry

In Zimbabwe President Mugabe has made criticism of himself illegal and at least one Zimbabwean has been imprisoned for 7 days for being found in possession of an email critical of Mugabe last week.

I presume that you would applaud this?

Telecel Zimbabwe to lose its licence

Dave Coventry


Yes, and Angola is another 5 star example.

Angola is incredibly wealthy with massive oil reserves and is widely predicted to out-produce Saudi Arabia soon.

However, the country is controlled by a clique of generals and the citizens themselves are dirt poor.

"according to a recent World Bank report, 70 percent of the population lives on the equivalent of less than $2 a day, the majority lack access to basic health care and about one in four children die before their fifth birthday."

The generals are extremely jealous of their control and do not allow anyone to tread on their turf.

The Generals operate an air transport company, for example (road travel is not recommended because of the landmines). There are other air transport companies (or there were), but if you use these, you can expect a visit from the secret police.

Dave Coventry


The white farmers were perfectly entitled to work their farms under President Mugabe.

However, in 1999, the President organised a referendum to change the constitution to allow himself to be President-for-life, without having to go through the tedium of re-election.

The white farmers made the mistake of organising their workers to vote against this and what has happened since is justifiable retribution for the treachery of these whites.

Robert Mugabe said that they could stay and work their farms; he did not give them permission to be politically active.

Dave Coventry

President Mugabe should be praised

It is surprising that London University is not making a lot more of the fact that President Mugabe has his MSc in Business Economics from their August Institution.

The fact is that His Excellency has been conducting a ground breaking study in the dynamics of hyperinflation, and, in the process confounding so-called 'experts' in this field across the World.

As such he should be hailed as the true genius he is and revered.

Seven years ago these experts said that Zimbabwe was 'finished' and the end-game had begun for his excellency's exit from power. Where are these so-called experts now?

Zimbabwe has the most dynamic stock market in the world, the balance of trade figures are 10% in the black, Bush would just love to have a fraction of that.

The fact is that the official exchange rate is $1.00 US to $250.00 Zim (source Yahoo! finance). The parallel rate is $1.00:$200,000.00. This means that if a Zimbabwean in the US sends $1 home to his family, it buys $200,000Zim. The Government gives 250 of that to his family and keeps $199,750 or 99.875%.

Now you tell me that that isn't a successful economy.

Who needs Farms? Who needs Agriculture? Who needs Industry?

And the best bit is that the more uncomfortable life is for the general populace, the more they join the diaspora abroad; the bigger the payoff!

Why is Hotmail so bad at spam?

Dave Coventry

runt of the litter?

I signed up for a hotmail account in the mid-ninetys when it was about the only way that you could send or receive email for free without spending 200 quid to join CIX or Compuserve.

That was before Microsoft bought them.

I suggest that Hotmail is not so much the runt of the litter, but the mother.

Google Maps aids terrorists, NY lawmaker warns

Dave Coventry

That would be a nice start!

"""What is it that "our" politicians want; the entire population in chains?"""


Humane Society gets firmer with Amazon's cocks

Dave Coventry


I read the thing on the 'Swindle' and, for me at least, it indicates a degree of duplicity from the makers of the film which borders on the fraudulent.

Master Baker seems to require proof beyond any element of doubt before he would accept that the film is little more than propaganda.

Surely, just this evidence of 'one scientist' undermines the credibility of the film as a whole?

South Africa mulls reining in roaming

Dave Coventry


Currently you can buy a pre-pay sim for under 5 Rand (about 30p), so all you need to do is hold a gun to a tourist's head and you're in business.

Still, like most legislative action of this kind, it will not hinder the criminals, merely inconvenience the law abiding citizen.

The bulk of South Africans have no way of proving their address and the identity document system here is a shambles with duplicate numbers common and the issuing of such documents routinely taking several years to process.

But, yes, as TFA states, a great way for the telkom companies to make money....

Paris takes on Ubuntu in techno celebrity clash

Dave Coventry

Please remind Lorne....

.... that 'neighbours' is spelt with a 'u'.

Except in America. Obviously.