* Posts by Dave

65 publicly visible posts • joined 22 May 2007


HP loads PC with nonexistent web browser


So basically....

It's running in a chroot..... so whats new about that? You could also single serve the app from an isolated RDP/Citrix/SeamlessRDP/X11 server and just have it auto-format every night.

You could run your workstations on live CDs....or heaven forbid...thin clients!

Scottish gov OKs Europe's biggest onshore wind farm


How accurate...

"Scotland has a clear, competitive advantage in developing clean, green energy sources such as wind, wave and tidal power."

Isn't that just a thinly veiled way of saying "scotland's weather isn't brilliant" They're right to take advanrage of it though 548MW is nothing to be sniffed at, we need to do all we can to generate clean electric and save where we can - and by that i mean doing things like using energy saving lightbulbs - not by turning off servers or buying a smaller tv, efficiency is good but blindly removing the usage doesn't help.

Intel UMPC chip enters service as server CPU


Perfectly Adequate....

For a smallish hobbyist type site/development/experimental box.

I don't really understand why they've put it in such a huge box - those are verticle PCI slots i can see (perhaps half height i can't tell, but still it's big).

Given the size, in a normal 1U [server sized] area you could reasonably fit 4 of these systems, and therefore you could get 168 dedicated boxes into a single rack, each rack generating nearly £8,000 of income (minus running costs/bandwith/etc of course)

Shopper connects to Jesus via Denon link cable


Not a new idea....

Not a new idea to take the mick on things like this - i remember when ebuyer first introduced reviews on their products - the bog standard IEC lead ended up with hundreds of reviews all basically a discussion thread on why it didn't come with an instruction manual and why it wasn't linux compatible!

UK.gov plans central database for all your communications


Driving us back to the stone age

What with voice, internet, text, mail logging plus roadpricing/tracking and the other reg article today - mobile tracking in shopping centres it's getting silly.

More and more people will abandon technology just so they can have some privacy - driving the UK into an (technology) economic slump, the knock on effect of which is that fewer and fewer people will be required to run the technology industry, and therefore fewer people will wish to study it, putting us even further behind the rest of the world.

HP confesses love for Citrix with mobile thin client


Heres an idea

Make citrix work on the EEEPC/OLPC/any other sub notebook under the £200 mark.

Pair it with a 3G dongle and you're onto a RoadWarrior winner.

MS misses restart button on desktop auto-updates



Er...yes it does.

Many many times my system has been totalled by a dodgy update or updates which fix some minor thing I've never used and break something else quite major.

Kudos to MS for actually stopping this going out, you'd be complaining a lot more if you ran a business on this POS software and found it completely dead.

Not that i'd use an MS product to rely on in my business you understand....

Sysadmins get Quake tools



I came up with this idea over a year ago! I even blogged about it!

Intempo Rebel DJ and ad-zapping FM radio


One small step...

There is really very little difference between buying this and just downloading the tracks in the first place!

The adverts PAY for radio (or in the case of the BBC, your licence fee) if stations' ads are no longer heard they will lose revenue. From experience i know it costs a serious amount of money to run a radio station - even RSL and Community stations have to hand over thousands and thousands of pounds in licences and fees.

Same applies to DVR's - i watch everything on a 15-30min delay, so i can fast forward through all the ads, sure you could do this with VHS but it wasn't anywhere near as easy (like having to wait until the program had finished before you could watch it)

Red Hat scurries away from consumer desktop market


Normal users cope just fine as USERS

At the radio station i used to run, we had a Gentoo box with XFCE for presenters/guests to use to browse the web/check email.

Everyone coped fine with being able to find the web browser and email client and use the machine.

The problem with linux is ease of installation and configuration (X is still a nightmare to do multimonitor with even after all these years - that said, the new nVidia tools available now make it much easier).

You can't rush linux into the desktop market - its taking time, but it is getting there. Two years ago i'd never have been able to let go of windows on my desktop machine - now i can, it's reached a stage where most things work properly.

the EEPC ships with linux, the OLPC ships with linux, Dell are shipping Ubuntu. Major public services around the world are switching to linux desktops. It's only matter of time, but it's not going to happen quickly.

For the record, my ideal OS would be as follows:

Ease of use and hardware support of windows

Filesystem and RAID management of Solaris

Software availability of Linux (packages etc)

Multimedia support for high end audio and video production of OSX

I don't have a clear favourite, i run all 4 :)

Intel CEO confronts OEM grumbling around direct chip sales


They have no right to whinge

They're whinging because they're missing out on big orders to a company higher up the chain? Well thats how supply/distribution works!

If i wanted...say... a pallet of paper, i don't buy 320 individual reams from Staples do i? (based on pallet packed in 5 ream boxes in 4x4x4 configuration), i go to a wholesaler who will sell it at less than the 320 invidual ream prices.

Likewise google arn't gonna pop down to PC World and buy 2,000 CPUs

A distributors job is to place one large order to a company, then sell on lots of smaller orders to multiple customers, there are often several distributors in the chain.

Ofcom slaps Beeb for Live Earth swearing


Bleeping a live show with musicians - kidding right?

Unless you have a delay edit in - like big brother it can't be done. Having had the misfortune to work with live musicians in radio it's absolutely impossible to get them not to swear - all we could do was apologise then kick them off the air/out of the competition we were running.

By now the BBC should have a none-swearing clause in the contracts for performers/presenters (live) - swear and you'll be fined. Simple. If its none-live, its up to the editors to make sure it's censored appropriately for the time of day.

BBC vs ISPs: Bandwidth row escalates as Tiscali wades in


The BBC are already paying for it.....

The BBC have to pay their ISP (well, more like an internet peering - but im sure charges do apply) for transfer of all this data in the first place.

The ISPs have absolutely no grounds for complaint - can't handle the data rate? deal with it. (ie go bust until you come up with a better business model)

That said, the BBC should not dictate that the ISP cannot traffic shape etc, let them do that, let ISPs cut off the BBC - you'd soon see it's obviously many fans move to another ISP. (Regardless of your own opinion, the service is obviously popular with the mass market).

I will be saddened if the BBC have to pay ISPs.

London Olympics drives dash for terrestrial HDTV


People like this hinder progress

I say bring it on!

You have to keep pushing the boundaries and quickly too, otherwise you get 'comfortable' and get stuck with somthing which is 'adequate' and suddenly you turn around and the rest of the world is far far ahead.

Britain used to lead the world in broadcasting - but where are we now?

OnDigital failed because the encryption system was easy to break, added to too many expensive channels and low take up due to bad coverage.

Bring on competitors both in telecoms and satellite, we need it.

Final beta of Firefox 3 available now


Not a huge improvement...

FF3 is good...but annoying!

It's gone like IE7....too many "are you sure" type situations - yes im bloody sure i want to accept the unsigned security certificate - its on my local network!

Also why in gods name did they remove the 'home' button by default - took me ages to find that again!

I do like the 'search bookmarks' thing though when typing into the address bar that's nice.

Plugins wise, Adblock+ has worked for a month or so at least, i can't get my bookmark syncroniser to work though :( I'm refusing to use a 3rd party service (hate relying on other systems - my internet is a wires only service)

Ofcom wins pirate radio components case


Easy to solve

This one's easy - on receipt of an order, ring ofcom > does this station have a licence? yes >ok, no > get lost.


My experience of broadcast hire and sales companies have been that they've been pretty tight with staff at ofcom - more often than not they go direct for the tech details before programming up the Tx's (RDS codes, Tx power, carrier frequencies etc), details like that are often mis-communicated.

As for contractors/resellers, all they need to do is indicate the intended installed site and the same process applies.

Modern technology killing seaside postcards


Maybe for the masses...

But i'm sure as any good techy knows that if you're going on holiday you have to be incommunicado....

Whatever *needs* doing right this ultimate second at work can wait until you get back, plus a week to get out of the holiday mood!

Whenever i get away, i turn my phone off too, no phone, no internet, no nothing, just pure silence.

Transgender man prepares to give birth


Sorry but this just isn't news...

I read the headline (also heard it on the radio) "man pregnant...etc"

Erm.. no

Just because (s)he is legally a man they were not born so and still obviously have all the organs to become pregnant (as (s)he has) So infact its not a man about to give birth its a woman who had a semi-sex change who is about to give birth. Who cares.

Apart from the fact that that child is going to have the hardest life ever.

Apache rules web server landscape


Not that accurate a survey

As the article points out, some people change the headers for security, in fact, netcraft up www.ebuyer.com and you'll see that one of their servers is reported as:

"Apache 2.0.59 ZX Spectrum 48k Rubber Keys"

"Apache 2.0.59 MSX Toshiba HX-10"

"Apache 2.0.59 CBM PET"

There used to be others (like a Cray II), but they must have been replaced as they are all now reporting as

"A Webserver running on A Machine"

Free voice and video firm plans April 1 UK launch


This is better!

A reason for adverts! I find it perfectly acceptable to hand over personal data (i lie when filling in forms anyway) for a FREE server.

No problem, adverts to subsidise a service? No problem.

Adverts on a pay for service where there were no adverts before (*Cough* Phorm) no way.

Anyone remember LibertySurf in the UK? (plus other similar ISPs) £20 for a year of unlimite off-peak dialup with ad-banner on the screen, it was great.

Digital TV sales soar as Brits flock to Freeview


Clarification on Whitehaven

Given that i live there i'm in the best position to whinge :p

There is no analog signal whatsoever - BBC2 INCLUDED. We have *never* been able to recieve Channel 5 analog.

The switch over to digital, thank god did not require any new aerials - the one that's been in the loft for the last 25 years is perfectly adequate, simply a set top box for where we needed them and away we went...

Only... we only get 3 of the 6 channel muxes, with no plans to increase that. As such the *good* channels we don't really get - no E4, More4, Film4, Five US, Dave and others. BBC1-4, ITV1-4, Ch4, five, (some) radio and news.

It's an improvement i suppose, the picture quality is improved (ish, compression artifacts are introduced but 'watchability' is better) but we don't get as much as what you'd get in a city.

Has your shifty foreign neighbour got 16 mobes?


What a joke

Multiple mobile phones makes you a terrorist these days?

OK - i see their point, but to target it specifically as part of a campaign is a bit silly.

I for one had two PAYG phones for quite some time - one profressional and one personal. Many many MANY other people have to do this sometimes up to as many as maybe 3 or 4 for different things.

Now, if operators/handset manufacturers could make a way for one phone to use multiple sims/accounts (without swapping them out/turning them off - yes i remember the nokia 3310/30 dual sim batteries) then that would be pretty sweet....

O2's Companion halted


Don't get me started...

"its not like Landline where they might have reconnect the wires!!"

Well, not even that in my case - picked up the landline phone in my new flat - fantastic i thought - dial tone, test facility, speaking clock, alarm, emergency services - no problem ring up 're-activate' be done in a jiffy...

Like hell...

According to BT there was no line present at my property.... £124.99 New line installation fee please.

So eventually i agreed to let an engineer come out who looked at the line and said to me "why did they send me?", i refused to give them the £124.99 instead sending them a letter to the head of customer services (faster than being on hold!) And i was called back by the chairmans office. They agreed to cancel the £124.99 charge and reduce my minimum contract to 3 months.

Bottom line? Agree to the work then refuse to pay. 99% of the time they will just drop it as it's not worth chasing over.

Ofcom scuppered 61 pirate broadcasters in 2007


Some missed points really...

As someone who has working in RSL and Community radio (From a technical and management standpoint) i feel the need to point out that the OFCOM broadcast licence does not make up the bulk of the cost - It's the licences required from PPL, PRS and MCPS which really hit you hard.

If pirates had more sense and used properly setup kit (the arguement about it interfereing with emergency services really is comeplete nonsense - if you are able to pick it up at all then its working), there is quite a lot of space in the spectrum (on relatively low power) to get themselves in place.

It's the unstable carrier generators and other things which cause problems - such as wide band of the spectrum being chunked out for what only requires a 0.2Mhz seperation to be valid.

Ofcom are generally good sports, money is not an excuse for pirate stations - there are too many successful Community and RSL stations springing up now for that excuse to fly.

Microsoft launches student Java and LAMP challenge


Not entirely true..

At least not for me,

At university i had to learn both Visual Basic.NET (2003 and 2005 derivative) and VC++, this was on top of learning MATLAB for analysis and design (acoustics and algorithmic simulation)

At work i use Borland C++ builder and i also code quite a lot in PHP.

I didn't do a computer science course, those i know who did only seem to play with Java - ever. I disagree with that, you should be able to know the basics in all of the common languages and then specialise in one.

Mozilla opens the doors on Messaging subsidiary


Feature Wish List

I'd like to see:

Exchange Server support with calander and contacts (evolution does this but the windows port is worse than awful)

Writable LDAP contacts - currently does not support adding new contacts to the remote DB

And finally, the annoying bug i have - list all contacts in an LDAP DB (when not searching) and not just what you've searched for.

BBC commercial tentacle confirms iTunes store push


PVR Anyone?

What exactly is wrong with a decent PVR? PC-Based or otherwise?

I set series record on about 20 programmes, so that whenever they are on, even repeats the get recorded and i may or may not watch them (they get auto deleted after a couple of days)

If theres a programme i've never seen, i hit search, find it, set series record and then i can see it next time its on - between BBC1-4 all of the progs are repeated quite often (although it seems at the moment not Dr Who or Dad's Army)

As for the linux bashing folks - yes media should be platform independant, however, no *one* system is ever going to be sufficient - at work, at home and elsewhere i run a mixture of platforms to be sure i can use everything.

I'm sure iTunes will run under wine or VMWare or Virtualbox anyway.

Virgin Media dishes out free bandwidth boost


Virgin are annoying me too

I'm soon to be moving into a house share with 3 other friends, we are all computing people - lots of downloads of even legit things like linux ISOs, windows updates, big apps and i will probably have a technet licence by then so i will be downloading entire windows ISOs too.

This is on top of any bittorrenting we may or may not encounter, plus we all host various things from home!

Virgin block port 80 and 25 (or so i am told) so that rules out them as an ISP, plus 20meg between 4 doesn't get far - even when it is running at max.

More than likely we'll end up with Be*, on about 16meg or so (i currently have 18meg from them), and we can each have a static IP with no blocked i/o ports.

Cambridge University dials up VoIP


RE: Halls of residence phone systems

At the university of Salford, we still have a 'keycom' phone system, which is a pre pay system by which you dial a 5 digit number, dial your id, dial your pin (so far about 30 digits, then if you're lucky you can dial the number of the person you want to talk to.

Apart from being *really* expensive - more than pre-pay mobile phones, the incoming number was at national rate - so it was expensive for anyone to call you back!

The ONLY use they have is that internal calls are free - although it is a different network to the campus academic one so you cant call the office/tutor/etc.

Our internet connection is limited to 1meg each - piss poor really, i am moving off campus next year and for LESS money i will have a rather nice house, decent mates, and 20meg cable or 24 meg Be* - all in it does actually cost less, even after bills.

*i have Be* now and service has been rock solid at 18meg for the last 6 months at £22 for the pro version with free static IP and properly unlimited data (i have shifted over 200gig of ISOs and so on in one week before now) this is nothing short of a bargain.

Sling reschedules, redesigns SlingCatcher


Why do they all require special software?

Every single one of these type of devices (remote media playback for tv/radio) requires you to install the special (usually windows only, mac if you're lucky) software on a PC before it can access any media.

Why can't they log onto a samba or NFS share, is it really that hard? Not all of us have windows based servers that they wish to leave on and logged in all the time.

Met plan moves police to out of town megabases


Why not spread them out?

Instead of having maybe a hundred or so people working in once police station, take a normal house in a street/estate and have 2 or 3 coppers basing themselves there - then people can just pop round if they have a problem, they're nearby.

In this day, communicating with the central office wouldn't be a problem so they can still go about their day to day jobs, admin staff and whatnot, plus probably booking and cells could remain cetralled somewhere.

Vodafone sends Manchester back to the 90s


Bad service

Bad call success rate? going straight to voice mail? dropping the call straight away? 3G absolutely awful?

Welcome to a day in the life of a T-Mobile customer - the server really is quite shocking, but i put up with it as i get 2gb of data for £5 a month

UK punters lose faith in phished brands



One to do - NEVER click links in e-mail you're not expecting, always open a browser and type in where you've been told to go and log in normally - if theres nothing to be said there then its a scam. (although that only works if you haven't had a DNS/hosts file attack beforehand)

Secondly, i always forward scam, and spam somtimes e-mails will full headers to abuse@domain.com (where domain.com is where the email was pretending to be from, or in the case of normal spam, the originating ISP for the originating IP in the header)

Lost HMRC discs pop up on eBay


An obvious joke

An obvious joke by that ebay user, but amusing nonetheless - i wonder what the finder of the listing was searching for at the time to come across it...

Beer set to hit four quid a pint


Well, i'll be ok

Round where i come from, a decent pint of the local brew will cost you around £1.80 or so, i can't see it hitting £4..ever

Facebook faces UK data probe


Re: MySpace

I had to threaten them with legal action TWICE before they got off their fat a*** and deleted it. I reckon its only a matter of time before there is a proper clampdown on the data protection of these sites - what if you are trying to delete your childs account or what if your account is hijacked?

Google builds very own Ethernet switches


No real surprise

Google have reached the cost or technical limitations of off the shelf hardware - many years ago lots of companies R&D'd their own kit - the BBC, BT and AT&T to name a few, these days they buy in more and more off the shelf components, pushing the R&D back down into another company.

Google seem to have the approach of "it doesn't do what we want, let's make somthing which does" and i like that, it's the way i've always approached a problem, rather than just throwing money (and other resources, like power for example) at it.

Tories call for mobile phone ban in schools


@Simon Painter

How well did you know your teachers at school? by the time i left i knew mine very well, even to this day i call by to say hello and catch up to see how things were.

All of them worked extremely hard, often above and beyond what they were paid for to put something extra into the school and into their teaching. More than once during my GCSEs and A-Levels staff would come into school during the holidays, along with the students to go over extra revision classes before exams and when there were high coursework levels.

They also went to great lengths to run after-school activities and events - none of which they are paid to do.

Perhaps i wasn't clear in my original comment - an outright ban is a bit pointless - as pointed out mobile phones can be quite useful (although at my school if you *needed* to use the phone you could pop into your head of years office and use theirs - when i was ringing round universities on results day they had no problems with me using it) If your phone rings during a lesson then you should face the consequences - keep it on silent, in your pocket/bag then there shouldn't be a problem.

As it happens, i'm only 21 and i managed fine - i didn't have a mobile phone until i was 16 - we didn't even have a landline at home until sometime after that.


Someone forgot to tell my school....

QUOTE: "Under current government policy, teachers do not have the legal authority to confiscate mobile phones from school kids."

I think someone forgot to tell my school this - teachers would happily confiscate mobile phones from the students during classes - they would be returned at the end of the class, or occasionally not until the end of the day.

In some cases, which were quite funny, the teacher would answer the phone... although this mostly only happened during 6th form - where teaching was more relaxed and if your phone rang you'd just be told to turn it off rather than being shouted at/otherwise punished.

Bring it on i say, kids today have no respect.

iPhone to get 3G in May 2008


Ah that reminds me...

I must call T-Mobile and arrange my upgrade to the Vario III (TyTn II) with the 3G and GPS and windows mobile 6 (so i can run all of the useful apps i take around with me like putty and openvpn).....

Californian sues Comcast over BitTorrent throttling


It's not just linux..

How were the legal free betas of Vista and Server 2k8 distributed? By none other than BitTorrent - i'm a developer so i like to have these things to play with in VMs - if i could max my bandwidth i could be able to download the 4.5gig DVD image in around 50 minutes, a CD iso takes around 7 minutes (Based on max 1.5mb/s - which i DO get on fast servers, not busy, HTTP connections)

It's only fair they supply what you pay for (like my ISP do) there are plenty of legitimate uses for BitTorrent and other P2P networks (these video on demand systems are P2P, or some are at least)

Rackspace flattened by Texas trucker


System Uptime

I work in broadcast and my working ethic is "if the listener/viewer can tell that somthing is wrong i have failed in my task"

The studio can be on fire but as long as we're still transmitting a programme then its OK. Broadcast systems CANNOT ever have downtime, in this instance it's not RackSpace's fault, but power cuts are a problem and obiously although their backup generators kicked in, the systems did not start up correctly, which im sure they will fix.

Syncing sites is an expensive (but good) way to go, if they're to compete in the hosting market then they have to tradeoff the cost of the second redundancy against how much they can charge.

Controversial Russian Business Network drops offline



On reading this i checked my spam box - and lo and behold i havn't had 'your account was accessed/blocked' emails from natwest bank/(royal) bank of scotland today - normally i get about 15-20 of them.

(I'm not a customer of either bank which makes it slightly amusing)

Camelot pulls scratchcard amid numerical anarchy


You have to be F*** kidding me!

This is ludicrous!

Number 1: If your maths isn't that good and you got embarrassed in the shop by being proved wrong - keep it quiet! Don't go to the press and get your name splashed about as its obviously you are completely thick

Number 2: Leave this card in play i say! This will show up the idiots who should be sent back to school!

Hospital radio station struggles with Yahoo! email 'blockade'


Sounds about right...

I first noticed this when i rebuilt the mailserver at the office and asked a collegue to test it from an external (his Yahoo as it turned out) account - the message queue showed a failed message/deferred, which eventually went through.

We have a static IP, fully properly resolvable DNS on the mailserver (a common spam testing trick is if the email originated from an SMTP server which is on a dynamic IP or if it's HELO is not its actually internet resolvable hostname) and it still does this.

Yahoo seem to operate an 'guilty unless we say-so policy' This is why i operate an independant-from-provider email address/server (both at home and at work).

My home server is setup so that if i change ISP everything will still 'just work' as long as i update the public DNS record (i didn't even have to do this before when i was on a dynamic IP)

One solution you could try is use your ISPs outgoing mailserver instead of your own for sending mail - this worked a treat for me, my local SMTP server simply relays all of the allowed outgoing mail through my ISPs server instead of attempting direct delivery, this then just looks like you have sent the mail normally from a client.

Phoenix hijacks Windows boot with instant-on


RE: broken hibernate/standby

Maybe you should try configuring your machines correctly then?

Both my desktop and laptop work flawlessly when hibernating (until the domain session times out after a couple of weeks and you have to do a logout and login before you can access resources again) and my mediacentre goes into and out of standby perfectly from the remote control!

I remember LOGO too....

Anyone for the RM Nimbus?

Lost CD may put pension holders in peril


Maybe they should stop using ParcelForce?

They have a reputation for losing parcels as do CityLink...

Toshiba DVR dumps HD to HD DVD


MPEG2, living in the past aren't we...

Really HD broadcasts should be MPEG4 in this day and age, MPEG2 has been around far too long.

You cannot solve a problem by simply throwing more bandwidth/storage/people/money at it, if we were using MPEG4 for HD broadcasts we could have as many channels as we do now in the same bandwidth!

MySpace opens up to developers


Bah Applications!

The whole niceness of facebook was that it wasn't bogged down with applications/things to put on your profile which make it take a month to load like MySpazz does, now they've gone and ruined it, not a day goes by that at least one of my friends has added every single application they can find and i have to suffer the invites which i can only turn off after the first time i've had one to that particular application!

Oh and another thing, potentially very big -


Nor can other people i know, the 'confirmation' e-mail where you have to click a link to confirm to delete your profile never arrives.

This raises huge questions over data protection and whatnot - people may think they are unregistering then forget about the e-mail, all the while your profile is stil up there.

Digital Switchover: town to lose BBC 2 tomorrow


I live in Whitehaven

Given that i actually live there i'm in a better position to tell you that freeview is a load of cobblers.

As for sky/virgin - some people don't want to pay extra for their TV! We cannot get virgin in any form and any cut-price bundled package because the phone and internet are LLU is completely out of the question.

We're stuck with full price for the lot.

I suspect they won't bother increasing the digital signal power by saying it is 'good enough' and we require an 'atenna upgrade' - even though the one thats been on the roof for the last 30 years has been more than good enough to provide a rock solid perfect picture analog signal - i am willing to bet that digital won't 'just work' but will require lots of things to be done just to recieve our NORMAL tv!

We can't even get Channel 5 even though many years ago they send a block round to 're-tune' the VCR so that it wouldn't interfere as apparently we would be able to recieve it!

The problem is because Whitehaven is only fed from a relay type transmitter, the main transmitter at Caldbeck already has digital and i suspect we will be told we have to use that.

We won't even get all the freeview channels, not that any of them are any good since the entire spectrum is filled up with shopping channels and +1 channels!

+1 channels have their place but not in the bandwidth limited envrionment that is freeview - why won't these tv companies simply stream them online an hour later? What revenue will they lose if its the same as what was broadcast?