* Posts by RatX

16 publicly visible posts • joined 8 Jan 2010

Lenovo reveals smart specs that let you eyeball five virtual displays, with strings attached


Re: Mark can't see a use case so the tech is junk?

Good points, these appealed to me as well. Also, the only time I look at my keyboard is to admire the dazzling waves of RGB rippling beneath my fingertips. It seems a little short sighted (ha) to disqualify the product on this basis. Some products are not for everybody, but these are sometimes the interesting ones.

Soon Google will have more bit barns in Texas than you can shake a stick at: Second facility planned for Ellis County


Case in point.

DXC: We axed 10k staff, shut nine data centres, closed 4.6m sq ft of office space... and sales tumbled, funnily enough


Re: Another corporate sacking them off...

And was Sir happy?

Huawei's 2019 flagship smartphones: 'Things nobody else can do' but baby I swear it's déjà vu


Re: Deja vu

It's refreshing to see this expressed here, whilst the rest of the Internet's "tech news" increasingly devolves into poorly regurgitated press releases and other consumerist/marketing drivel. And just when the frenzy begins to subside, they'll boldly announce the Mate 30 Pro, which will be the shiney you actually want, and then the P40, and so on ad nauseum.

These release cycles are becoming so aggressive (and/or repetitious?) that I just can't muster anything beyond casual interest any more. My previous phone was a used S7 I picked up for a good price, which I loved and did everything I needed until it got nicked. I'm fond of the P20 Pro I got on contract as a replacement, and the camera is really good once you switch off the AI bollocks, but beyond that it doesn't really do anything groundbreaking beyond what the S7 could do.

There's was some point to this ramble, but I'm in too deep to abandon it now.

Vitamin Water gets massive publicity for new flavor: Utter BS


Imagine, if you will...

I was recently in hospital and a well meaning friend or relative brought me a couple of bottles of Vitamin Water to prevent me from perishing. I don't normally buy it on principal, so it was interesting to examine the bottle up close. Not only is the moniker deliberately misleading, but the packaging also resembles that of a medical product, with clear but densely packed text and simple panels of colour.

It does, however, show a certain amount of villainous chutzpah on the part of the corporate overlords. One can imagine their lawyer winning the case when they were sued for misrepresentation. No doubt being millimeters within the law, and probably exploiting some obscure technicality - he does a burnout in the parking lot in his Porsche whilst flipping the assembled press the bird, and goes on to make celebratory use of the facilities available at the nearest brothel with considerable enthusiasm.

BYOD might be a hipster honeypot but it's rarely worth the extra hassle


I'd like to expand on this - you can pretty much substantiate any view you like with Gartner data. Yet corporate fatheads lap up the results of their "studies" as if they are guaranteed the truth, rather than sponsored shilling.

Hard-pressed Juicero boss defends $400 IoT juicer after squeezing $120m from investors


Re: Easy juice? Sounds good to me.

Just sharing my own experience - I do agree that for every nutritional study out there, it's just as easy to find another with apparently opposite findings. However, without getting into a whole big thing, are you really trying to argue that there isn't evidence of useful nutrients being contained in vegetables?


Easy juice? Sounds good to me.

Donning my flameproof pants here, I'd sign up for this if I had the money. I think they've cocked up the marketing and put too much emphasis on the IoT bullshit, but the fundamental premise sounds valid and they have the potential to deliver a useful service. We know that we have to eat more veg, the more the better. You can maximise the benefits by juicing them, so that you're able to take in even more of the valuable nutrients, without eating a ton of spinach, for instance. This is a bit different to making a peach and ice cream smoothie in your hand-me-down blender.

For those of us that have the time to wander off to the market or grow their own - excellent, you've clearly made good decisions in your life - many of us don't have that kind of time readily available. I bought a juicer and try to periodically make myself a big bottle of "green juice" to have during the day - when I do, my energy levels are higher and I can think more clearly than usual. It makes me feel great, the effects are more tangible than any vitamins or supplements I've ever taken. I usually put in at least two bunches of spinach or kale, a cucumber, carrots, a whole broccoli, maybe green beans, and some ginger or apples to make it all palatable. I couldn't eat that much veg if I tried.

BUT(t) - it's a pain in the ass - you want the produce to be fairly fresh, so you need to be buying it every 2nd or 3rd day. It makes a mess and the machine is a hassle to clean (according to the reviews I read, my machine is one of the easier to clean). Here in my country there are one or two companies commercially producing and selling tiny bottles of pure veg and fruit juice, but they cost a fortune. From the CEO's letter, this crowd are working on the whole supply chain to make it easier to get the benefits of fresh juice in your home without the hassle. Power to them.

Avaya files for bankruptcy


Re: Sympathy? Not a lot here

@Brian Miller - Asterisk is amazing, and I've heard good things about the scalability of FreeSWITCH. However, I'm in a very traditional corporate environment, and anything open source is an immediate non-flyer. My views on this stance are irrelevant, it's carved in stone...


Re: Sympathy? Not a lot here

This is sadly still the case. I've enjoyed working with their voice products for the past 20 years and witnessed the transition of the core architecture across a number of platforms, with increasingly elaborate "glue" included to maintain integration with newer components. The core product has not been updated to keep up with the times, and there's now as much glue as there is actual product.

In terms of simple traditional models, their reputation for scalability and reliability is well earned and they do deserve credit there, but that's unfortunately one of the few remaining positives. The current product stack is a mishmash of Avaya and Nortel technologies, licensing is a mess, you're bound to expensive old school annual maintenance contracts and from a corporate perspective there doesn't seem to be much interest in making a change. There's marketing hoopla, but when push comes to shove it's always the same old stuff that's been polished up or given a new name.

A complete re-write from the bottom up is required in order to be able to offer the modular, integrated architecture which competitors are able to provide, and I don't think they've got the remaining capability to undertake such a mammoth task + nobody would buy a .0 release of a full rebuild anyway.

They make a lot of noise about their networking division, but the most unstable network switched I ever worked with was an elaborate Avaya Cajun P882, I would never consider them for networking ever again. The commodity 3COM's I replaced the Avaya with were a fraction of the cost, faster, more reliable and didn't require extravagant support charges in order to be entitled for firmware upgrades.

So yeah, this is quite probably the beginning of the end - their products are deeply entrenched within my employer's global environment, but the writing is on the wall and I'm actively looking for another specialty to put on my CV...

Sysadmin told to spend 20+ hours changing user names, for no reason


Push back and automate

Only the rinky dinkiest of operations I've worked at have used names, initials or any permutation thereof for logins. Everywhere else it's always been based on some kind of unique identifier, be it staff code or employee ID or whatever you choose to call it.

I'd suggest that the author push back and recommend that mechanism instead, as it rules out the possibility of duplicates. If staff codes are not in place yet, make it HR's problem to cook up such a scheme - that should put the project on the back burner for at least a month.

Also, those 20 hours could certainly be spent more productively developing scripts to make the relevant changes - this might also lead to the development of tools to significantly automate user management workflow in future.

Is this the worst Blockchain idea you've ever heard?


Life Imitates Art

Anybody watching Silicon Valley will surely find the latter idea eerily familiar?

Windows 10 Anniversary on a Raspberry Pi: Another look at IoT Core



I'm by no means a developer, but "Microsoft has also added Store integration, though it is not what you are used to on desktop Windows 10. Installing an application from the Store is a multi-step process involving the Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer, creating a package, and then copying it to a special folder on the device before rebooting.",

doesn't seem to be able to compete with

$ sudo apt-get install python

in terms of elegance or efficiency? I've been looking forward to this, but it seems to be mired in Microsoft's notoriously complex and layered development methodology. It's all well and good, but once you've gone and learnt it all they'll just ditch the whole thing and move on to the next thing the marketing department has latched on to. Probably a sound strategy in terms of shareholders, but just never seems to be quite worth the effort to me.

Boffins shake up smartphone with motion-sensor as microphone


In other news, "researchers" have found a way of stealthily using a smartphone's light sensor as a 1x1 pixel monochrome spy cam! Provided they're given unrestricted physical access to your phone for a few hours in their lab... I'm reasonably sure there are much greater threats to our privacy we need to be made aware of than this twaddle.

Biltong, braais, being an 'IT bitch': A UK woman on working in Africa


She has only positive things to say, and she's working towards the improvement of the technological footprint in Africa. She makes the most of all the good things which are on offer, and doesn't harp on ad nauseum about Eskom, the ANC or etolls. What a pleasant breath of fresh air!

Packard Bell oneTwo M


Intel gfx boo hiss

I know that they're meant to have gotten better in recent years, but I've been lumped with too many machines in the past with Intel graphics which just couldn't do much of anything in the gaming department. This machine looks really nice, but for 600 squids it's not really an "all in one" if you can't fire up a bit of the online 3D rumpety pumpety every now and then, is it?