* Posts by Sergiu Panaite

42 publicly visible posts • joined 24 May 2007

Giza geezers' muon-geyser visor reveals Great Pyramid's hidden void surpriser

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These scientist types don't seem to watch enough movies.

"To explore this further, the team are thinking about drilling a very small hole – measuring a few centimetres across – so that a tiny robot can fly inside to reveal the hidden details of the cavity."

...when they'll discover a no-longer-hidden army of nanobots / unknown deadly disease (or, why not, both) which will wipe out humanity.

We've had enough of listening to experts I tell you...

Fujitsu's Australian cloud suffers storage crash, outage

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Re: The reality of cloud

Looks like I was - hadn't had my first portion of crac... err, coffee for the day. Apologies.

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Re: The reality of cloud

The S3 outage that I think you're talking about shouldn't have been a problem if the people using it were aware they would need to set themselves up for potential relocation if (when..) it went down. As one may say, the cloud part was "working as designed".

This Fujitsu one though, it goes against what "cloud" is supposed to be, Shirley? I thought the whole point was that geographically different locations would ensure that even if your primary location fails, it all "evaporates" away and "condenses" in another location. So this wasn't really a "cloud" deployment, but more of a "hosted environment, single DC" deployment. Just because you use the same tech that would allow you to deploy a proper cloud doesn't mean you deployed a cloud, but merely a bunch of steam like you'd get from a kettle in an unvented kitchen when the kettle doesn't stop itself from boiling when it was suposed to (don't ask...)

Happy Friday: Busted Barracuda update borks corporate firewalls

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Re: Why even use hardware firewalls in the first place?

Quite so - unless you're looking at highly latency sensitive high rates of traffic, microbursts, want to avoid jitter in that scenario, etc. But yes, in all honesty that's not the kind of scenario that most people look at, so non-hardware firewalls are far better suited than most people give them credit. The real issue is that a lot of admins want something they can easily set up and requires very little maintenance, hence the success of brand-name software firewalls where you effectively buy peace of mind and the privilege of "not caring"; then again, they go ahead and do this kind of thing...

'Nigerian scammer' busted after he infected himself with malware

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Not quite a definitive solution, but just enable strict SPF / DKIM and mark all external mail by amending its subject, or something like that.

No technology (except completely disconnecting someone / something) can be foolproof, so this still requires the end users to have a tiny little itty bitty smidge of sense and not do things blindly without being a little careful...

I, for one, welcome the rise of the Infrastructure Endgame Machines

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I, for one, welcome our cloudy overlords

I tend to agree with most points - it's effectively unavoidable that the lower layers will be increasingly transparent and abstracted, that scalability and ease of relocation will increase massively, that all these things we're doing separately now are going to become far less intense and almost automated.

But at least for a fair few years, it will still go wrong, there will still be things which require human hand-holding, so I'm not too concerned. Plus, let's not forget that you will still need people capable of easing the migration in the first place.

I'm primarily a networks guy, with smaller Windows, UNIX and operational support hats; to pigeon hole myself in networking and stick my fingers in my ears shouting "lalalala!" when faced with anything else is not only short sighted (for the aforementioned reasons, and your article), but it would prevent me from doing my job well. If you look at some devs, you will probably find that a fair few of them also need to expand their own skillset into the networking and sysadmin universe - so yes, they'll be needed, but they also need to adapt.

I suppose the simple conclusion is that the pace of change will always inevitably speed up; if you're in or starting in IT now and will want a job for more than the next five years, expect to have to learn a lot of ever changing skills, otherwise you've made the wrong career choice.

How City IT is under attack from politicians, diesel bugs, HR

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Good Comment, I get the feeling that Mr Connor is mellowing a bit for some reason - less snappy (for lack of a better word right now) than previous articles.

I concur, it's frightening how much relies on old tech - whether that means old hardware, old code or just plain old ideas/processes that barely work nowadays, for whatever reason. The trouble however is exactly what you highlighted in your previous article about the RBS follow-on: you can of course start from scratch, but that will take a very long time, it's bound to hit numerous issues and it will require a lot of resources because you're still supporting your current stuff (as a side note, "stuff" and "it's f'd" should be officially made into acceptable technical terms).

I don't have a solution, for two main reasons: I don't have anywhere near enough experience and I'm not paid anywhere near enough to have that kind of weight on my shoulders. Whichever way it goes however, it keeps me busy.

Microsoft to unveil new Xbox console on May 21

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Most importantly...

All these new consoles seem to be spun around an x86 architecture - that's quite possibly the biggest win all-round since devs should find it much easier to port games from one console to another and to PC. Win!

ASA says 'unlimited' broadband can have 'moderate' limits on it

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None of the big ISPs are better than the others. Virgin are very good in areas where high contention ratios aren't a problem (I'm on 60Mbps and I get 60Mbps pretty much all the time, and I've been in two different cable areas).

BT Infinity does quite well too as long as you're reasonably close to the cabinet - I could get 70+Mbps and I believe it'd work at that speed.

Sky are okay, but they're only estimating 40Mbps where I am so they're already off to a worse start. If however you don't really care about the speed and you want the TV packages, then Sky broadband would be a no-brainer.

If you can only get ADSL2+ or Virgin (fibre), then Virgin would probably win straight away based on speeds. It's not a black-and-white game, a lot of it is down to what each house can actually get.

What a Liberty: Virgin Media in buyout talks with telecoms giant

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They're following me!

I used to work for an LGI subsidiary in Eastern Europe for about a year and a half, now they're following me to the UK too?

Joking aside, in general LGI seem to be good enough at what they do, and if this were to go ahead I wouldn't expect anything to become worse; okay, maybe the pricing...

Ten... Valentine's Day gifts for him

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Yeah but...

no. I don't really find any of thsese that exciting, and I'm a sucker for gadgets and general shiny-ness...

Elite UK police agency website downed by Lulzsec

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..they thought it was a good idea to slightly annoy the law enforcement agencies? How clever..

T-Mobile imposes swingeing cuts on fair use data limits

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re: The tale of T-mobile and the big nasty Oranges

Richard Moat was CEO of Orange Romania for a few years - when I saw he quit and came to T-Mobile UK, I did get a funny feeling that something was going to happen. I refused to believe that he would Orangeise the network though, stupid me..

Currys punts cut-price 3D TV pack for Xmas

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Monster House 3D has been out for a couple of days now.

From iPhone to iOS – Apple nabs (another) Cisco handle

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Jobs Horns

What about...

..the obvious one, the iPlayer from auntie? And I suppose the Internet is now no longer safe either, since even though it begins with a capital I, Apple has already taken over IOS to make it iOS... Oh God, they're EVERYWHERE! AAARGH!!!

Freeview HD sacrifices surround sound for World Cup scramble

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You missed...

...the centre speaker.

T-Mobile UK earmarks two tariffs for scrappage

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Boo :(

I'm due to upgrade after their alleged tariff change, and I would hate to not be able to get a 12 month contract again... Yes, I'm a gadget addict, so I change my phone every 12 months - not anymore, apparently. Looks like I'll be going down the sim-only route from now on.

O2 and Be customers suffer network congestion

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Better than others..

It's not nice to have congestion issues, but Be's been better in my experience than many other providers - and for £17.50 a month, quite cheap, too. We did have an issue a few months ago with slow speeds and frequent disconnections, but that was sorted by bringing up a fault with BT and having them replace some damaged cabling outside the house (went from 3.5Mbps to 6Mbps as a result, and it's much more stable now).

Go Be!, please don't ruin it like most other ISP's do...

European manned spaceflight plan proposed

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...an idea: send up a rather large wheel-type thing that would sit somewhere further out than the ISS (or even further out than any artificial satellite), and once a JV is used, send it off and dock it to that. That way, you create a huge, mostly pointless but maybe somewhat useful in the future storage area.

Not "why?", but "why not?"

There's no way Ballmer survives Yahoo! disaster scenario

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When and where in London? No good saying "I'll be there" if we don't know where "there" is really.

Gates teases bankers with Windows 7 dates

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Are you serious...?

All the *nix fanbois out there, do you really mean it? If so, wow..

I have to say, I don't LIKE Windows as such, in fact it's a pretty poor excuse for a cutting-edge OS (and I'm talking about XP - my current install has lasted me about four years, through two complete hardware changes). Sure, it's starting to get slow and has inexplicable bugs, but at least I can fix most of them. On top of that, I can play games. And if I would be an ordinary user, I would surely appreciate how relatively easy it is to use/install/etc. Of course a lot of this is so because M$ have people firmly by the b@lls, there's no denying that.

I tried Ubuntu 7.10 recently, and it just didn't satisfy me. Sure, it was free, it did things well, the package manager actually works, and there's plenty of free software for it - but I still can't play my games on it, and it won't recognise some of my more "special" hardware unless I'm willing to really get my hands dirty (which I am, but I'm not a "normal" user).

So honestly, please stop trying to shove *nix (or even MacOS) down people's throats when they're still not suitable for a large chunk of the audience. I'm sure they'll get there, it'll just take a wee bit longer - say, maybe until mid-2009?

Asus 8.9in Eee PC surfaces

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Bigger model...

I'd hope that people complained that Asus were encouraging people to eat poorly with their current advert model, so a bigger model was obviously imminent.

Mika - Big Girl (You Are Beautiful) ? Can we have a new Eee photo too?

Panasonic preps Wiimote-proof TV

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@Steve re: Lazer

I know, it would just make it easier though. Just like eliminating oral GCSE exams, and all the other wonderful initiatives that people seem to be having recently.

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I heard...

...that Boeing were developing some sort of projectile-intercepting laser (why isn't laser spelt lazer in the US, just to be consistent?).

Surely, mass-market adoption as a Wiimote countermeasure would be great for everyone involved?

Suicidal moose descends on Alaska

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I'm waiting...

...for the eBay auction.

"One stiff moose, some cosmetic damage, doesn't bounce, edible. Sold as seen, delivery by air drop."

(flak jacket, please)

Big Blue talks up 45nm PlayStation 3 processor possibilities

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"More likely, Sony would use the 45nm Call"

I would like a Call that small too, imagine the savings I could make on my international Calls!

The one that's got its pockets full of heatsinks please.

Knock, knock: Cisco is banging at your door

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It's another Borg-inspired initiative! Let's see... we've got MS, Google and Cisco. Or rather, in about 10 years (I'm being optimistic here, we've probably got far less), everything(ish) technical will have one of those three brands. That's it.

By then we would've started colonising other planets, and then each corporation gets a religion (where's Jobs when you need him?), and interplanetary wars follow.

Heck, bring it on!

DARPA whirly-wing jet gyrocraft hits noise snags

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Oh look...

..it's Eurostar-like times, tens of years before the Eurostar! And no sodding infrastructure to build and maintain!

The human race is never going to learn, are we?

NASA delays space station repair to ponder tear

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So... they would jettison an entire solar panel because of a tear. Sorry, but.. what?

At least be a bit more specific and explain why exactly it poses such great danger to have it only partially deployed, otherwise all you'll get it silly comments (like this one).

3 UK brings VoIP to cheapskates

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Oops! + Correction

"2MB camera"? Awesome, that means I can store hundreds of cameras on my W950i - who said it wasn't a camera phone?

Also, I don't think 3 offer 'true' Skype/VoIP, as their data network (like any mobile data network IIRC) has horrible latencies for real-time uses. Instead, the handset calls a 3-network number (the "Skype Service", or something), and all the translation to VoIP is done at the network operator's end, like.

The handset looks nice too - would Paris Hilton use one? :o

Removable hard disks make a come-backup

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Oh yeah!!

Definitely a good idea!

...or so I thought a few months ago, when I was getting annoyed with a really bad batch of *brand new* HP SDLT tapes which would refuse to work in any drive. But shortly afterwards I was reminded about the tape delivery guy - and how hard drives wouldn't really appreciate being thrown around like the tapes are.

Asus launches tiny PC

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Nice model!

Where can I get one?

I'm still thinking about the tiny laptop/PC though, I'd rather upgrade my desktop first.


Microsoft delivers critical fixes for Windows, IE and Excel

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Just stop it...

Stop bashing Windows - yes it sucks at times, yes Microsoft do make an obscene amount of money out of it, but do you honestly expect people who have barely just got used to where the "New Message" button in Outlook is (and a few other buttons) to pick up Linux/MacOS/etc that easily in order to make the switch feasible? Windows mostly just works out of the box, even if it does need patching regularly (with the exception of Vista, IMHO).

Every year (more or less) I try to dig myself into Linux, and every year I get frustrated and give up. Why? Because it doesn't work as well from a layman's point of view, because unless you're prepared to spend a long time getting used to it, things work differently in different distros, because it doesn't have the same hardware compatibility and similar applications, etc - the list really could go on for a long time, but all it would cause would be a flame war. And Microsoft also happens to be pretty much stuck with a lot of backward-compatibility baggage - not that they're making much of an effort to get rid of it, mind you (unless breaking Creative's sound cards in Vista can be considered progress).

And I'm not really computer illiterate either, so that argument won't work. Yes there are indeed other better OS's out there - they're just not made with the end-user clearly in mind and they won't offer the same experience.

I guess if the open-source community would stop bickering and throwing handbags around and then started collaborating and working to consolidate the existing knowledge and distros into a few clear products, then it might be possible to put them side by side and compare apples with apples.

I can't wait for the fan-boyz and gurlz...

Public internet threatened by private telcos

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"real browser to get real search results on the real internet"

Um... I'm not exactly all-knowing, but haven't we had various Symbian and WM platforms for a long time now which have been able to do this since before the iPhone was even a public thing?

Ah c***, I feel the reality distorsion field overwhelming me... help..! Heee...iWaaaant... iAnythiiing...

Half of European calls to be mobile by 2008

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Another bleedin' obvious discovery by researchers: "People prefer to make calls from wherever they are, as opposed to using fixed phones - shock horror!"

Helped along by aggressive pricing by the mobile operators, I really can't see why they wouldn't...

Crazed NZ fanboy mows down churchgoer

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Rob: "Well, as soon as someone defines "we" and comes up with a suitably catchy group name." - How about Cider Makers (geddit, Apple bashers.... where's my coat gone!)

Has to be something more sinister... how about al-Saidr? I'll start on the underground bunkers.

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wish... no wait, wrong one.

...just hate religious fanatics? Can we please declare holy war on Apple now? Well, as soon as someone defines "we" and comes up with a suitably catchy group name.

Derbyshire cops get into deep water

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that's what you get for running full-speed into a big, big puddle. At least they tried, most people would panic and keep well away!

Sony says no to Euro PS3 price cut

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Well, why the heck not?

Considering how far up the USofA's ass some people get and how anti-European some (other?) people are, England might as well just become a US state - that way we get stuff so much cheaper . It's definitely worth it, I'd say. Who's with me?

O2 gets UK iPhone deal

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So nice..

..but for how much? It's still early days, but unless O2/Apple choose to heavily subsidise the handset, I can't really imagine that many people shelling out £300 to get one (or more like £500 after you're-in-England taxes). People in the UK aren't used to spending money up-front on a phone, it's not the US here (duh!).

Of course some people will get one, it's an iLife essential after all, and some people will just go for it. The other opportunity would be corporate clients - but there are so many things missing from it that make it inappropriate for corporate use that I just can't imagine a CIO with half a brain opting for them. But hey, we've seen stranger things happen...

Roll on the iChristmas I say!

Killer Wi-Fi panics London's chattering classes

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While they're at it...

May I suggest they move away from any area which has TV or radio coverage, any satellite radiation, any history of volcanic eruptions, and live without electricity (which would also damage them because, funnily enough, involves EM fields), have no volcanic rocks nearby or as part of the house, and (why not) attempt to dodge all the cosmic radiation around too. No? Didn't think so.

(please do add to the non-exhaustive list)

Abbey online banking takes 24-hour lie down

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That's bad?

If that's bad, then what about Barclays' online service, which dies pretty much every evening, and at least once a week for about half a day? And they want to break it even more with the new chip & pin @home machines - but hey, at least you'd have plenty of time to think whether you REALLY want to put that new expensive gadget on your credit card.