* Posts by gerryg

572 posts • joined 19 Aug 2009


Imagine surviving WW3, rebuilding computers, opening up GitHub's underground vault just to relive JavaScript


Re: Maybe not such a daft idea

The Domesday project suffered because the method of storage quickly suffered from the demise of devices capable of reading it? It wasn't a loss of data problem


Post apocalyptic visions of what?

I am trying to imagine a post apocalyptic world in which, e.g., power stations survived, networking infrastructures remained useful, and enough computers remained intact. This would suggest to me a lot of other infrastructure of developed societies also remained intact. I can't reconcile all that with a need for the deep frozen GitHub. Similarly if there were a "need" for the deep frozen GitHub, what would it be needed for? I don't think 7nm line width fab would be a priority in a world destroyed that comprehensively.

It's now safe to turn off your computer shop: Microsoft to shutter its bricks-and-mortar retail locations worldwide


Apple more like Prada

Apple have always made things that were considered beautiful and exclusive. Owning Apple was making a personal statement. They have never really gone for market dominance (lock-in, aside). Part of the "look" was the flagship store with one product per 3 square metres in the fashion quarter with the other statement brands. It has never been about technology and getting things serviced.

The clue is in the film "The Devil Wears Prada" when the vaguely techie newbie is delivering something to a client and has to be told why taking a taxi was "part of the brand" as although slower and vastly more expensive than using the subway, delivering by taxi was part of the customer experience.

It's bonkers money if you can pull it off but it is a complicated business. Microsoft has tried several times to get some of that but failed.

FWIW I use Linux on any old hardware

Former UK Labour deputy leader wants to know how the NHS's contact-tracing app will ensure user privacy



Daily Mirror interview with MP for Peckham and Camberwell...

Do you believe in compulsory ID cards?

There should be a national id register. But it should not be compulsory to carry the card and it should not cost too much.

What's that about privacy, again?

Machine-learning models trained on pre-COVID data are now completely out of whack, says Gartner


Those who don't learn from history...

In the 1950s RAND created "scenario planning" as a way of helping the US military develop "futures". This crept into MBA syllabuses as a tool for business strategy and corporate planning. If your AI cannot do scenario planning it's unclear to me why you are using it.

Barmy ban on businesses, Brits based in Blighty bearing or buying .eu domains is back: Cut-off date is Jan 1, 2021


Re: And will .co.uk domains be restricted to UK residents only?

I always felt Cyprus missed a trick by not creating a series of .cy TLDs

consultan, curren, ermergen and so forth

OTOH I wonder how many companies are regretting their Colombian registration as their customers blindly add an m, .uk .jp


Re: Lies, damn lies, and ...

Roughly 300,000 is roughly 10% of the total, not quite a drop in the ocean. And the domain is more of a puddle. I've never really understood the need for .eu which I've always seen as an attempt to aggrandise the miniscule rather like van owners describing themselves as a logistics company (got a mate somewhere else in the country = logistics group, got a shed = logistics and warehousing, your mate's back in Poland = .eu) Try searching for Siemens.eu or Philips.eu

Repair store faces hefty legal bill after losing David and Goliath fight with Apple over replacement iPhone screens


For lack of anything else to watch I watched the biopic of Steve Jobs recently, great (no idea if fact based) an exchange between Jobs and Woz regarding launch of Macintosh "I don't want open systems"


Case 2 - probably would fall foul of grey import restrictions.

Explained on a serendipitously named website


Lenovo certifies all desktop and mobile workstations for Linux – and will even upstream driver updates


Re: Vendor support is one thing...

Some of what you say is true, particularly about, e g., Broadcom and Nvidia. Some Blu-ray support is available under VLC, but my understanding is that MS Windows no longer provides a player either. I'm not sure why I would want to watch in 4K on a PC or laptop.

Linux doesn't need the latest hardware to give a fast and responsive performance: that is a feature not a bug. By analogy I'm sure some people require a Lamborghini to go to the supermarket but there is still an active market in second hand cars.

And if you are unfortunate enough to have a bought new hardware with a new operating system but have a stash of older peripherals that meet your needs but for the absence of drivers, then Linux will save you further expense

Embrace and kill? AppGet dev claims Microsoft reeled him in with talk of help and a job – then released remarkably similar package manager


Re: Never Change

Novell never sold Unix. See if Groklaw is archived somewhere. It was SCO v IBM and SCO were funded by both Microsoft and Sun if my memory serves. Novell also spent years on this and its sunset endgame was to protect Linux. As an aside Microsoft always alleged there were 57(?) unspecified patents that Linux infringed providing a dark cloud over commercial adoption. Unspecified because every time someone specified a patent someone else did a clean room replacement. Andrew Tridgell "Tridge" and NTFS for example.

Record-breaking Aussie boffins send 44.2 terabits a second screaming down 75km of fiber from single chip


Re: DWDM on a chip

You're missing the point. The fibre they're using is in the ground already. The cost of the system was never the cost of the fibre nor electronics, it was the cost of digging the trench. Everyone, forever, knew the potential bandwidth of single mode fibre but lasers, in 198x, were a bit rubbish and detectors were not amazing either. But back to the trench, stick a dozen fibres in the ground even though you don't need eleven of them, because you don't need to dig a second trench and leave dark fibre there because you didn't know how fast Tx/Rx was going to improve. Research on Wavelength Division Multiplexing was also going on in 198x, but in to give a comparison in those days line width on VLSI was in 10s of micrometres.

It wasn't just a few credit cards: Entire travel itineraries were stolen by hackers, Easyjet now tells victims


On this Michael O'Leary has a point

Passenger numbers show the success Ryanair had competing with the loss making dinosaurs but all for nothing if governments bail them out under the cover of Covid 19,


Never forget the Mandy Rice-Davies aphorism

They say no credit card or passport details were lost. I have no idea. Will the data they have lost be put in deep freeze until things calm down? The travel itinerary was largely irrelevant not least as the flights were cancelled so the burglar would have found me in. Reassuring messages from some bloke I have never heard of... "Well he would say that, wouldn't he?"

The longest card game in the world: Microsoft Solitaire is 30


Card Games

Years before the IBM PC, Hewlett-Packard provided a Poker card game, on the HP217 and similar possibly even the HP85 (HP87??) So long ago. Not the first, I'm sure but certainly prior art...

Linux desktop org GNOME Foundation settles lawsuit with patent troll

Big Brother

Re: A Rothschild bleeding a non-profit organisation dry?

Surely not anti-Semitism? I should report you to the Labour Party.

The Adobe Flash Farewell Tour 2020: LibreOffice to axe export support for .SWF in version 7


Re: Export to HTML5?

Well, it is open source so you really want it, you can add it yourself or find someone to add it for you

World's smallest violin to be played for opportunistic sellers banned from eBay and Amazon for price gouging



I don't think you read the article. The seller put the stuff on sale at 0.01 hardly a "scammer". That some twats bid it up to £210 doesn't mean it was sold to the highest bidder but to the highest bid that didn't renege.

Apollo astronaut Al Worden – once named most isolated human being of all time – dies aged 88


I suppose...

...a coronavirus joke would be in very poor taste.

More seriously I wonder what it must have felt like to have done what he did.

And they said IoT was trash: Sheffield 'smart' bins to start screaming when they haven't been emptied for a fortnight


Garbage in but no garbage out

This is technology disguised as a solution. The bins still need to be emptied. Modelling past bin usage on a spreadsheet seems adequate. At a guess a street bin in the city centre is going to need emptying several times a day on a weekend slightly fewer M-F. It being in the city centre this will be a relatively cheap operation.

A bin by a bench overlooking somewhere nice in a park or common will need emptying less often, be more expensive to empty but probably with higher amenity value. There's a policy decision to be made.

A sensor requires all the back end palaver but doesn't empty bins and suffers from the oil-pressure-warning-light-on-the-dashboard problem.

My local authority has a code on each lamppost with a request that concerned Joe Public report failure by SMS.

Westminster City Council used to operate a pothole patrol with a mobile number on the side of the lorry.

Both ideas seem to contain a germ of a solution based on emptying the bin rather than throwing technology into the rubbish.

Startup Mycroft AI declares it will fight 'patent troll' tooth and nail after its Linux voice-assistant attracts lawsuit


SCO contacted said lawyer ...

...and reminded them they have Copyright on this sort of lawsuit.

Report on AI in UK public sector: Some transparency on how government uses it to govern us would be nice


GIGO still matters

No system is perfect. Show me the error-free caring, sharing, sensitive, and responsive manual system and there's a conversation to be had. Note: I even left out "cost-effective"

It's probably easier to bury the mistakes in the system that I describe above. The audit trail in an AI system, not so much. Since whenever, c.f., MYCIN and Eliza, "professionals" have contained about AI. AI shouldn't get a free pass but Luddites shouldn't get a free ride.

Apple: EU can't make us use your stinking common charging standard


Re: Gold plated cables

Single ended amplifiers, however "esoteric" are rubbish for more reasons than sensitivity to PSU noise.

There must be a DC offset in the output to enable a sinusoidal waveform.

So a big fat capacitor is needed in the signal path to remove that DC offset and preserve low frequencies. And big fat capacitors introduce their own signal degradations because they are not perfect devices. It's why real designers developed symmetric output stages with automatic beneficial side effects such as better power supply noise rejection (with potential for other problems too but let's stay focused)

But when you've spent £10,000 on a poorly engineered but fancy looking piece of kit it must be a joy to spend eye-watering sums on mains conditioners because your golden ears deserve it.

Sure, you can keep Grandpa Windows 7 snug in the old code home – for a price


Re: Why is Windows monolithic?

"On the other hand lack of coherence in Linux ensures that developing desktop applications is much more difficult because of distro and GUI fragmentation - hence the 4% market share."

What is this "lack of coherence" you speak of? Hands up anyone who has an application that doesn't run on all flavours. SUSE (so I assume "everyone one else too") have some tool or other that installs applications packaged for e.g., Debian, can be installed without conversion.

And then there is Steam

My other half cannot not use Windows because it's the only client that can access her school systems.

If you are as old as me you will remember not being able to book flights on BA or buy groceries from Tesco unless you were using Internet Explorer on Windows.

I'm sure the 4% (as much as that?) can be partially explained by that and partially explained by no-one gets paid to offer you alternatives and so on.

Been on SUSE since 6.3 and KDE since 1.something. All seems fine to me

The grand-plus iPhone is the new normal – this is no place for paupers


Rolex != Apple because of tax avoidance

A Rolex or any other such "hand crafted mechanical device" benefit from a capital gains tax exemption .

HM Revenue & Customs regards them as “wasting assets” and does not charge Capital Gains Tax on the profits made when they are sold, provided they have not been used in the course of business.

Assuming they are over fifty years old or treated as long term investments they have become instruments of tax avoidance

UK.gov told data-sharing plans need vendor buy-in


here we go again, talking is so much more fun than doing anytthing.

In 2012 the Open Source Consortium published a report and the Policy Exchange ran a seminar saying much the same thing about interoperability and open standards

In 2002 Cabinet Office published research from Sapient with similar case studies.

No doubt in 2024 we'll be reading yet another study.

Off down the Amazon: DCMS confirms UK national tech advisor Maxwell has resigned


What one needs here is a long memory

Let's go back to 2009 and a Centre for Policy Studies pamphet about data, written by a Councillor and the Lead Member for Policy and Performance at the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead - yes, that will be Liam Maxwell

In "It's Ours" (pdf) he argued that the Government should give people back their ability to control their data (such as medical records) that the government traditionally holds.

However, it seems, when offered the chance to work in government (he started in Cabinet Office and then the Government Digital Service) these were just the first steps in his Damscene conversion to "It's not ours - it's not even government's - it's any bloody multinational with a cloud"

Mohawks fling patent infringement sueball at Microsoft and Amazon



..has no-one asked Apache if they want to join the litigation?

BBC vans are coming for you


Re: Regressive tax

Retailers are no longer obliged to inform TVLA of any of your purchases, full details somewhere on this informative site.

I used to watch one programme on iPlayer, once a week, but TBH never really understood why it was legal. If I recall correctly, the original strategy of the BBC was to try to extend its bandwidth grab under the Blair administration to include the internet but the only reference to those intentions I ban find is a 2009 FOI request (so we should remain grateful for small mercies...)

EU verdict: Apple received €13bn in illegal tax benefits from Ireland


that I should ever say anything in support of Apple...

They either broke the law or they didn't. I find it difficult to believe that they did anything other than get advice on how to sail as close to the wind as possible, as all corporations do.

Many people dislike international tax policies in the same way that many people are always keen for rich people, defined as anyone that earns more than they do, to pay more tax.

Is this about the EU flexing its muscles on weaker EU states or is there a genuine issue? All answers would seem to have to start with the word "Luxembourg"

Apple's view

Other views include Guido Fawkes Irexit

Apple is making life terrible in its factories – labor rights warriors



I was commenting within the context of the article. I was not expressing a world view nor pretending anything.

While, broadly, I agree with everything you say, your use of a "straw man" rhetorical fallacy was unnecessary.


Re: If you own an Apple product, then you are the problem.

The OP is absolutely spot on, it's not Apple, it's their customers

A few years ago, a right-on journal "New Internationalist" tag line "People, Ideas and Action for Global Justice" ran an issue complaining about four first world issues affecting the developing world:

exploitative Intellectual Property practice, environmental pollution, workers rights and the other one (copyright Monty Python) - tax?

natch all four of these can be laid at the door of Apple

On the back page they were proud to announce that the journal was now available as an Apple app

A letter to the editor calling them out (published, in all fairness) elicited the response "customer demand"

A further letter asking if they had evaluated whether the total effect of what they were doing (tag line v promoting poor first world practice) was positive or negative went unanswered

Having offended everyone else in the world, Linus Torvalds calls own lawyers a 'nasty festering disease'


Re: So, to sum up...

"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers"

Henry VI, part 2: Act 4, Scene 2

Forget security training, it's never going to solve Layer 8 (aka people)


@Walter Bishop

"link"? Are you having a bubble? Is this a secret test analysing the gullibility of "El Reg" readers?

Fork YOU! Sure, take the code. Then what?


Re: @ gerryg - The fork model...

From the FAQ

Is Google Summer of Code (GSoC) a recruiting program?

No. If you are interested in working for Google, please visit the Google jobs website.

Is GSoC considered an internship, a job, or any form of employment?

No. GSoC is an activity that the student performs as an independent developer for which he/she is paid a stipend.

Are mentoring organizations required to use the code produced by students?

No. While we hope that all the code that comes out of this program will find a happy home, we don’t require organizations to use the student's' code.

Do I get paid for participating in GSoC?

Yes! Google will provide a total stipend of $5500 to those students who successfully complete the program


Re: The fork model...

"Why do you think Google love the Apache licence, and hate the GPL"

Remind me again which kernel underpins Android and which licence it is released under?

Let's look at the Google Summer of Code,

"a global program focused on introducing students to open source software development. Since its inception in 2005, the program has brought together almost 11,000 student participants and 10,000 mentors from over 113 countries worldwide."

Here are the projects that have benefited.

Linux letting go: 32-bit builds on the way out


Check TDE for a way forward

When KDE abandoned KDE 3, Timothy Pearson took all the code and created TDE*

Since about 1997 I have been a parasite on openSUSE infrastructure (bought a couple of boxed sets, back in the day). I remember them abandoning 16 bit.

It seems to me, that if <pick your distro>'s commercial model finds supporting 32 bit too expensive then that is not their problem.

Get together, do it yourself. Pick Gentoo

That is the flipside of freedom. Don't want to do it yourself? Accept that you are a parasite and move on

*from the website

Contribute to the TDE Project

Creating TDE requires significant computing resources and bandwidth. Please consider helping to keep us online with a donation on our donations page. Without your financial assistance, TDE would not be possible!

Google's tentacles stretch into the EU as well as the US



Of course, to a certain extent one is free to be "anti-anything".

But if one were just venting one's spleen about a particular organisation (e.g., there is a long history of some FOSS-types foaming at the mouth at the mere mention of particular companies/practices) it would be more honest and quicker to write "I hate X, they're shit" (or whatever)

But if the article (as I assume) is about revolving doors then if all other companies are doing it then any one company would be stupid not to follow suit. The open question is whether Google are disproportionately engaged in revolving door practices.



I'm not sure I'm too keen on the revolving door, (does business experience easily or usefully transfer, what about propriety, governance and accountability)

However I wonder how these figures compare (absolutely, by number of staff, turnover) with, e.g., law firms, accountancy firms, management consultants, <name your hated sector here> or even IBM and Microsoft.

Without this information it could just look a bit anti-Google

UK Home Office is creating mega database by stitching together ALL its gov records


Re: Brazil


we could ask the de Menezes family

Big Brother


Choose your answer:

a) at least it will be safe to get on the tube at Stockwell

b) it still won't be safe to get on the tube at Stockwell

c) it definitely won't be safe to get on the tube at Stockwell as they'll be able to justify actions

HMRC Verify is '2nd class'

Big Brother

"verify" yeah, right

This farago has been elaborated in all its gory detail over many months by D Moss Esq

Inflatable space podule set for orbital trial


International Space Station?

Are these air bags from Bulgaria?

It's OK, I'm not here very often these days

Furious English villagers force council climbdown over Satan's stone booty


In my world

Motorists crash into lamp posts, illuminated keep left signs (other types of illuminated street signage equally vulnerable) bridges, each other, pedestrians, cyclists (I know, I've weakened my case)

We could paint everything yellow and erect barriers around it but that still wouldn't solve the problem that 99% of motorists think they are above average drivers

What do we do about a problem like Uber? Tom Slee speaks his brains


more to the argument than this...

I don't know enough about the rest of the world, so I'll stick to London.

Uber seems to meet a need, AirBnB similarly. I have used neither of them. A few years ago Taxi Drivers were up in arms about those bicycle rickshaw things claiming they would bring the end the world as we know it. Doesn't seem to have happened. No incumbent welcomes competition.

The argument here seems to hinge on the "community" theme, we are all in this together, etc. So what will Uber/Air do to undermine that? Well, if we all agree with one definition of community: nothing at all. Personally I don't care about the schools I don't need, the public libraries I don't use and so forth. Of course I live in a Local Authority that seems to be efficient in both collecting and administering local taxes, so they are low and I am quite happy. YMMV

Those that argue for mechanisms other than competition highlight the accompanying evils but underplay the resulting choice and diversity. Don't like the wages? Do something about it. Don't like the prices? Don't buy it then. But what are the options in the absence of competiton?

Remind me again, why the tube drivers are taking strike action and what alternatives I have?

The Grauniad says it's about working patterns - OK but is that every tube driver*? (in the same way some shops are happy to open on Christmas day) and what about the user demand for a 24 hour service?

The world was going to end, according to some, when buses went cashless - doesn't seem to have happened.

Sure society needs some oversight, but always beware of special pleading and always ask "qui bono?"

* I'm grateful as ever for the Daily Mash view no thanks, we're paid enough

We're all really excited about new smartphones, laptops, tablets – said no one ever


Re: I could be excited

...and I didn't pay for it when I didn't use it

Isn't that called "a taxi"?

Coffee fixes the damage booze did to your liver, study finds


Re: Fatty livers getting more prevelant?

Drinking "Waterloo Sunset" cocktails?

Oh dear, Microsoft: UK.gov signs deal with LibreOffice


Re: The economics just don't stack up

It wasn't five years ago that the London School of Economics published an extensive study on the TCO comparison and the Open Source Consortium published an extensive study on everything else.

Google watchers react furiously to ad flinger’s competition case defence


no, they're not

If they were, they'd be out there competing

Camera-carrying DOLPHIN SPY caught off Gaza



"Flipper" reference



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