* Posts by fireman sam

31 publicly visible posts • joined 16 Sep 2009

'Who knew in 1984 that Steve Jobs would be Big Brother?'

fireman sam

Re: Moore's Law has been dead for years.

I think you should read up on the actual definition of Moore's Law.

WhatsApp exec: Google takeover? It's news to me

fireman sam

I love WhatsApp but I'm not sure how good a business it is. With a one-off 79c purchase price it becomes a victim of its own success, supporting a larger and larger user base with no recurring revenue.

Somebody like Google could do a better job of monetizing the user base but at the risk of alienating them. Facebook has become a no-go for me since the ads turned up.

iPhone maker Foxconn hatching US factory expansion plan?

fireman sam

"Those aforementioned market watchers, however, say not to expect your next iPhone or iPad to be made in America – Apple products are too complex to be built by mere 'Mercans.

"Since the manufacturing of Apple's products is rather complicated," DigiTimes reports, "the market watchers expect the rumored plants to focus on LCD TV production, which can be highly automated and easier.""

In other words, the assembly of the iPhone and iPad can't be automated and they have to pay real people to do it. And it's a lot cheaper to pay people a pittance of a wage in China than in America, which has labour law.

Facebook IPO: Boom or bubble?

fireman sam

Here's my prediction... FB will launch on IPO and quickly gather close to the $100bn valuation they're looking for.

Soon after the initial furore settles, you'll see a large drop in share price, probably about 35%. Still massive for a company who doesn't sell anything and who's only source of revenue disappears with Ad Block Plus, unless you're the sort that likes spending real money for in-game items.

Compare to a valuation for AMD, one of the largest chip manufacturers in the world, at about $6bn and those numbers look a little crazy (or ARM at $13bn which is probably overvalued in itself).

British athlete puts self on eBay

fireman sam

"A new, unused item with absolutely no signs of wear. The item may be missing its original packaging, or the original packaging has been opened or is no longer sealed. The item may be a factory second, or a new and unused item with minor defects."

Hmmm - false advertising?

Spotify tethers future to Facebook

fireman sam

So, currently to avoid FB worms I have to take a copy of the link into another browser that doesn't hold my credentials. It now looks like I'll need to have a sandboxed browser for running FB (if I decide it's worth the hassle) and ensure that all cookies are deleted from that browser on restart.

I don't want my FB credentials being passed all over the place without my permission.

Windows 8: First contact with Microsoft Touch

fireman sam

Em... Silverlight and WPF have been on a convergent path for ages. It was always Microsoft's plan to merge the two codebases.

fireman sam

More confusion from MS

Microsoft really need to get a consistent story here... why did they not make Silverlight the default XAML based environment for Windows 8 - this would have provided consistency between W8 and WP7 and also helped ease developer concerns about the future of the platform.

It would have meant building a .NET runtime capable of running Silverlight on ARM but this would have provided an easy path for existing developers to develop for Windows on tablets.

Yet another development environment, more fragmentation, disrespect for their developers - one almost misses the sweaty Ballmer monkey jumping around a stage screaming developers, developers, developers. Almost.

Microsoft to release Windows thin PC in late June

fireman sam

RE: And the point is?

As it's built on top of WES7 and, as alluded to in the article, I'm guessing that this will come with EWF or HORM enabled so that subsequent writes to the OS partition won't be allowed.

YouTube to launch paid video-on-demand service

fireman sam


Frankly my dear, I don't give a.... buffering, buffering, buffering

Phone, car companies collaborate to connect cars, phones

fireman sam

RE: About bloody time

Actually Nokia were one of the worst at this. Their Series 60 phones won't share the phonebook properly with the phone system in my BMW, and I think Audis and Mercedes were the same.

Their series 40 phones worked fine however. Complaining to Nokia they claimed it was the car manufacturers fault and the car company blamed Nokia. No matter whose fault it's pretty obvious which one users will change. For all the complaining about their poor BT implementation the iPhone works perfectly with it.

Surfing while driving – that's multitasking

fireman sam

Re: Stupid Is

"I realise this is impossible, sadly but without it innocent people will continue to be killed by stupid people who insist on taking and making calls while driving and tweeting/updating their facebook status every few minutes."

Do you have actual figures for the number of people killed by drivers who are browsing the web? Or is it just more of the "SOMETHING MUST BE DONE! BEFORE THESE MANIACS KILL US ALL!" hysteria?

I'm sure people check their phones at traffic lights. Some may even Google while driving. The thing is people always did things that distract them while driving; be it eating, smoking, taking something out of the glove compartment, reaching behind the passenger seat for a map, smacking the kids in the back seat, etc.

We also have plenty of legislation around dangerous, careless, and reckless driving so I could never understand this concentration on phone use specifically.

iPhone crashes car stereos, Toyota warns

fireman sam


As my car increases stereo volume proportionally with driving speed (really not a good idea which can lead to 'spirited' driving on empty motorways with good music), I'm guessing it has already been integrated into the CAN bus.

Facebook defends security strategy

fireman sam

Facebook scams

The Facebook app model is broken. Daily I see loads of posts that have been created from images and iframes causing users to unknowingly 'like' some spam page.

Getting app developers to sign up for a app key with a small fee and limiting the connections for a particular app key to a web server would limit the number of these apps and cost the spammers money as every time one of these pages is detected the developer account could be closed.

Of course, this might also limit the number of fb app developers.

I never allow access to any application that requests permission to post on my or my friends wall. The 'like' problem is more difficult to solve but it's not as if fb doesn't have the resources, my feeling is that facebook don't actually respect user privacy at all and the internal culture has evolved to allow an amount of collateral damage in terms of security breaches.

Rash of Facebook 'likejacks' still flaring

fireman sam

RE: I have noticed

Then you're doing exactly what Facebook wants. They don't want you to click 'Like' indiscriminately. They want to build a profile of exactly what you like and don't like so they can sell more targeted ads. That's the theory anyway; with all the tat on Facebook I imagine the data will be mostly meaningless.

Visual Studio 2010 - your chunky new friend dissected

fireman sam
Thumb Down

RE: Code Gen

Surely that's a feature of the .NET 4.0 SDK and therefore completely irrelevant in a discussion about VS2010?

DoH tells NHS to dump IE6

fireman sam

IE and NHS

At a guess, I'd say their Spine app and who knows what other internal apps require ActiveX in the browser or are written in such a way so as to only work with IE. Upgrading to anything else would require a re-write or at least a lot or work to coax all the application back into working.

That's a hard sell for an IT manager.

Nokia Booklet 3G

fireman sam

Only oddity...

Why, oh, why do manufacturers insist on messing with the keyboard layout. Having the Fn key where Ctrl should be would be a deal breaker for me. I use Ctrl constantly for copy and paste and for numerous other VS shortcuts. I use Fn to change the brightness of the display and turn off wireless when I want to conserve battery power or when I plug in an external monitor - in other words, not in normal usage but for a very specific action.

If I want to use one of these devices I have to break years of muscle memory - I think I'd decide it's not worth the hassle.

Recession forces software escrow releases to jump by 150%

fireman sam

Dubious value

First of all, open source doesn't work for large scale custom development because there's nothing out there to satisfy the requirements. Secondly, the cost model for the developers often requires that they will try to find more customers to make back their money after the first sale. Open-sourcing the code removes that revenue stream.

You have to ask how much value is in the source code alone though. Any system of reasonable complexity would require more than just source code, unless they have been very diligent in code comments (which most developers are not). Also, if the company had a staff capable of understanding the source code, why didn't they just build it themselves?

The Googlephone - there's more where that came from

fireman sam

RE: Thank you Register

Greasemonkey + "TheRegister Multi-page Printer Friendly Articles" script.


The Avatar storage effect

fireman sam

Nothing groundbreaking

Interesting to read about the engineering obstacles but the data transfer problem is nothing new. TCP works very well as designed but comes with a large overhead.

I've written a distributed content delivery system not a million miles from this that uses a lightweight protocol, can zip files on the fly (if their content type suggests they might benefit from it), automatically adjusts bandwidth based on periodical sampling of lost packets, uses UDP and provides a means of resending lost packets either over TCP or UDP, it also can take advantage of multicast UDP if there are many parties receiving the same data.

As the quote goes however: "never underestimate the bandwidth of a truck load of tapes". For one off or infrequent transfers delivery by sneaker net would be a lot faster.

2009's Top Solid-State Drives

fireman sam

Waiting to join the SSD revolution

Have had two Crucial X32 SSD drives die in a whiff of smoke now. Both have been RMA'd. Can't help feeling that the SSD technology still has some way to go.

Nokia E72 smartphone

fireman sam

Nokia Fail

Nice phone and I'm a fan of Nokia. They've gotten a bit lost recently but I've always liked their phones for being good at phone-type stuff.

Unfortunately, Nokia have lost me as a customer because their series 60 phones won't pair properly with my car kit. Their series 40 phones pair and share contacts fine but Nokia broke something (or stopped supporting something) in their series 60 bluetooth stack which means that their phones no longer fully work with some of the biggest car manufacturers in the world.

Nokia's refusal to fix this has meant that I've been tempted by the serpent's round, tree-dwelling fruit.

Mozilla hits FF button with second Firefox 3.6 beta

fireman sam


That was the first thing I tried. It bugs me too when people install software left right and centre and then wonder why things run slow. Firefox's problems run deeper than that I fear. It's rendering engine feels like it's gotten fat and with complicated JS it suffers - not as badly as IE mind but still a lot worse than it felt in FireFox 2.

fireman sam

FireFox have lost me

I was a huge fan of Firefox. I've been using it since 1.0. Recently though I've had huge memory usage; rogue instances that don't die when I close them needing a Task Manager kill before I can open a new window; complete slow-down to the point where the entire app becomes unresponsive for about 30 seconds; and random crashes.

This isn't the FireFox I feel in love with that took me from IE's hands. I'm now running Chrome as of three days ago and it's fast and clean and feels lightweight.

If I could just bring over my essential Firefox plug-ins (DownThemAll and Greasemonkey) I'd be set.

Firefox 3.6 beta promises speed injection

fireman sam

Drag and drop files

The drag and drop files from Windows Explorer to the browser is a nice feature. Google wave does this using Google gears but having it built natively into the browser is nice. It's just a pity it couldn't be done in a web standard (such as HTML 5) instead of in a non-standard way. No developer can write code just for Firefox that doesn't work in IE. The numbers don't support it.

MS plasters Ballmer's signature on Windows 7 special edition

fireman sam
Gates Halo

RE: Drivers

I've been running Windows 7 for over a month now on my work PC and on two home PC's. Everyone else in my office is on it as well. There have been no issues with drivers so far and it's proven itself to be a very stable, responsive OS.

Wales adopts mobile average speed cameras

fireman sam

41, 42, 43, uh oh, 37, 38

Great, now let's wait for the inevitable pile-ups of vehicles where everyone is staring at their speedo instead of at the road ahead.

I think these are a really, really, bad idea.

Google Wave search poisoned by scareware scammers

fireman sam

@ Myself

Fair enough. I actually just watched the promo video and yes, they are going to open source the protocol. That's pretty impressive. If the community tasked with building on this protocol and future enhancements to it are opened up then this is really something special.

fireman sam


I got an invitation to Wave and tested it out earlier. There is a lot to like but it's clear that the reason they've restricted the invites is because the whole thing is seriously buggy. There's a lot of kinks for them to get out before opening it out.

I love the idea and think that there is a lot to improve on email, IM and current collaboration tools. This won't work though unless it was an open standard and everyone could build a client or host a server. I can't see Google allowing that. It's a pity because I do really like what they've done.

Dell pays $4m to settle NY 'deceptive practices' claim

fireman sam

@ all

I'm surprised at the responses here. Ok, sure, maybe Auntie May is going to be a little distraught when asked to find a screwdriver and start opening up her shiny Dell but for the majority of users I think this is the preferable outcome.

1) Spend 5 minutes removing the back cover to the RAM, check the clips, remove and re-insert, check all the cables are connected and after this time and the phone call you're back up and running.

2) Wait for an engineer to call the next day, during which time you're out of action. Take a day off work to be there when they call. Let them into the house (after checking ID and making sure they're a scam artist come to rob you). A cup of tea and 10 minutes later and your video cable is reattached and they're back in their van and heading off. You've also just pushed the price of warranty up for every person buying a PC because of the time wasted.

I think it makes perfect sense to go through a few common, fairly basic, steps to resolve the problem first.