* Posts by BigRedS

42 publicly visible posts • joined 3 Mar 2010

Alpha.gov.uk preps for beta, prays for funding



I wondered that - isn't this precisely what OpenID was conceived for?

Apple in shock talks with Reg reader


I'm a PC...

... and iTunes 10 was my idea.

RHEL 6 - your sensible but lovable friend


enterprise != server

It's an enterprise OS, not just a server OS. It is for enterprise desktops as well as enterprise servers.

Google Latitude not dead despite Buzz

Dead Vulture


"Lee claiming that 10 per cent of all Android users are on the service. Which just goes to show you how many people don't care about privacy"

Or, perhaps, goes to show that Latitude is considered a useful service by some?

UK polling stations turn away 'hundreds' of voters


Busy in the day?

If only there was a way of voting without having to go to the polling station during work. Perhaps by post or something.

Apple-obsessed geeks launch fanboi dating site


Apple's idea of sharing...

I did love this line:

"Cupidtino will launch in June 2010 exclusively on Apple platforms – Safari, iPhone and iPad apps. It’s time to share the love."

DVLA off-road system seriously off-message

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Road tax?

Come on, it's got nothing at all to do with the roads. Why not call it "Broccoli tax"?

Or "car tax" maybe.

In mild seriousness, insisting on calling it 'road tax' perpetuates the myth that those who pay it somehow have a greater right to the road than those who don't. But you knew that.

Google tilts with windmills


News at 10

Windfarms have to be built *somewhere*.

Every time anyone's ever built any windfarm, some group of people have complained that it spoils a view that used to be amazing and that, really, the windfarm should have been built somewhere no-one would really mind the view being spoilt.

In fact, this is true for *every* building in an otherwise empty area (and many urban ones, too). Windfarms kinda need to be built in wide open spaces, so it's probably true that every windfarm has been opposed on aesthetic grounds, wheras you can hide nuclear plants in valleys and the like.

Microsoft defends death of free video in IE 9



I think it's mostly inarguable that, as far as video playback is concerned, H.264 is better than Flash, but the discussion is H.264 vs Ogg Theora, where the comparison seems to be much more arguable.

Ubuntu 10.04 triumphs over GRUB bug


I can't find a related bug

Perhaps you'd like to file one?


After all, if they don't know it's a problem, they can hardly be expected to fix it.


Users were never really meant to implement their own workaround

As far as I know, the options discussed were:

1) Delay release until migration-assistant is unborked. Maybe make it 10.0.5

2) Remove migration-assistant on shipping CD. Perhaps add in for 10.04.1 or something.

3) Ship broken CD, get something (anything) into the repos that'll force an update-grub to run on first upgrade. Hope everyone does this on first boot.

I don't think anyone (in any position to sway Canonical's decision) seriously suggested making all users run update-grub themselves.


Since your gripes are mostly as regards the support arrangements...

Where does one go for Windows support?

I've spent a while looking. Forum, mailing list or IRC channel, any (or ideally all) would be good, but there don't seem to be any that match what I can find for Linuxes, let alone beat them by the margin you infer the Windows ones do.


To be fair...

This was hours (well, days) *before* release and they pushed the release back until it was fixed.

And Ubuntu got pretty heavily slated for the buggyness of 9.10 post-release.


It wasn't a Grub bug

It was a bug in the migration assistant, which meant grub couldn't read data off the other partitions.

Ubuntu's Lucid Lynx: A (free) Mactastic experience


Because people *like* OSX

General opinion is that, whatever else they get wrong, Apple get design *right* (not necessarily UI, just design).

In general, Windows users see OSX as a step up in design, and OSX users see Windows as a step down, this has always been the case. If you're going to emulate one of those, it'd be the one held in the higher regard, which is not Windows.

The kind of users who need it to look like Windows in order to think it's usable will not like a "Please choose which OS you want me to look like" ballot screen on first boot.



"It's a small change, but an endlessly frustrating one if you're used to the old style."

Really? It took me well short of a day to stop expecting them on the right, and I spend my days switching between Ubuntu and Debian Gnome and WinXP.

Frustrating, yes. Endlessly? Not according to most of the (rational) people I've spoken to. In fact, all the _really_ annoyed people I've spoken to switched it back within half an hour.

Might also be worth noting the not-quite-complete absence of tooltips from the panel (gnome icons have no tooltips, other apps' ones often do). That's likely more irksome, particularly in the long term, than the buttons shifting to the left. Especially since you can't turn them back on again. And some of those panel icons have subtly changed in purpose.

Microsoft's FUD goes mobile


I _really_ don't see the point

If these claims are founded in genuine truth, surely the cost to hire the legal team required to get Microsoft to say which patents in particular are breached by which bits of code is likely to be substantially less than whatever they're paying MS through this agreement?

Confident though I am that there's no real patenty claims to Linux from MS (mostly based on MS not wanting to say which patents or which code), I can't help but wonder why all these otherwise reasonably intelligent companies are willing to pay MS for the right to not use MS.

Ubuntu's Lucid Lynx stalks PC and Mac converts



Personally, I don't think the UI looks like it was designed by a furry-toothed geek. That's not to say I particularly like it, but even normal people have commented that it looks quite nice. It's certainly not brown any more.

You've *long* been able to install non-repo software without dropping to a shell. Just double-click the .deb file. ;)

That said, how often do people with fear of the command line want to install non-repo software? How to do it is not a common question in my experience. I don't think automating the building of software from source is a particularly safe thing to do - the PPAs are probably the best middleground.

But, yes, however pretty it looks now it's still mostly geeky at heart.

Microsoft's Office Web Apps - Google killing not included


I want to see the benefit...

But, much as I'm doing my best to not be the google fanboi that I keep getting told I'm becoming, Google docs doesn't require any plugins or runtimes, works well in every browser I've pointed it at and is perfectly capable of interacting with MSOffice by saving to, er, MSOffice file formats.

I can sort-of see the benefit if you're already entirely MSOffice, have some fear of non-MS-products and quite like overly complex situations. But, aside from the company I work for, I can't see why anyone would pick it over Google docs on any technical grounds.

Though the running-it-on-your-own hardware's nice, thinking about it. Saves relying on an internet connection, and removes the need to give Google all your data, which is always a good thing.

Acer Easystore H340 2TB Nas box


No raid support in WHS?

Seriously? Does it refuse to work on a hardware raid, or is it just lacking software raid support?

I'd always thought one major must-have feature of a big NAS was for it to appear as one big directory hierarchy which you can split as you wish. Is there some trickery for this in that box, or are you limited to four directories each of however-big-the-drive-in-the-caddy-is?

'course, the other that I thought they all had was built-in redundancy...

Ten free apps to install on every new PC

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OOo is excellent at fixing MS Office Borkings

We had an issue with a ~2MB spreadsheet that would slowly creep up to about 40MB with frequent opening-and-saving through Excel 03.

The only fix we could come up with was to every morning open it in OOo and save it again to bring the size down. Apparently OOo wasn't 'secure enough' to actually deploy it proper, so we went and got MS Office 07 where the file's just allowed to be ginormous.

Stick a fork in floppies - they're done


You can use a CD in place of the floppy

Well, I have done in the past on an apparently unmodified Server 03 install disc.

Sky punts 'truly unlimited' 20Mb/s broadband


You might want to reread the article...

The free one's capped, the unlimited one isn't.

Vodafone launches snooping service

Jobs Halo

So there is a plus point to the iPhone then?

Who would have thought it - the iPhone being the island of privacy...

Tories put ID cards, Contactpoint on manifesto hit list

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Who is this?

I got as far as the second paragraph before figuring the rest is likely to be equally pro-tory, but skipping to the end I still don't see any disclosure of what the author's interests are.

Who is it, and why is the reg suddenly so non-cynical about something?

BlackBerry sees iPhone shrink in rear view mirror


RE: Dazed and confused @14:16

No, it's an illustration of Nokia's presence (or lack thereof) in the US market. Presumably they have *some* presence, but they're a tiny player over there by all accounts.

Microsoft roasted for Office 2010 standards FAIL

IT Angle

In other news

Bear defecates on tree

IE doesn't comply with HTML standards

Pope admits 'catholic tendencies'

Seriously, this was so inevitable to make any reporting on the topic irrelevant. I don't think even whatever MS's equivalent of the Linux Zealot ever genuinely believed MS would cut off their Office incompatibility revenue stream.

Why is this news, and what's happened recently for everyone to suddenly start talking about it?

Reg readers feel the squeeze in 2010 IT budgets


Linuxy cost savings

"I do hope that business's realise the savings that can be made using Linux desktops, aside from the cost of the OS the savings in software is insane and the lack of downtime will increase savings."

The problem is that many many managers need cost savings *now*, and the way you do that is not to try a new technology that requires training.

Realistically, Windows costs us very little to keep going. We have ~900 seats which we've bought for XP and Office, and they don't cost any more. We've already paid for most of the Windows-specific support (900 antivirus seats, drive cloning, etc.) and the cheapest thing to do now really is to stick with what we've got and what we know.

Especially since along with saving money in software, everyone's doing it manpower too. Not a good time to have everyone need to learn an entirely new OS.

The downtime I do find amusing, though. I still haven't quite reconciled myself with the fact that Patch Tuesday guarantees 20mins of downtime every four weeks for our Windows boxes.

BCS turns down e-signature petition



Had the BCS just accepted an email with a list of 'signatories' at the bottom as a signed petition, surely they should expect to receive exactly the same ridicule ("don't understand computers" etc.)?

There *are* ways of signing electronic documents, the petition was apparently not signed so.

'The LHC will implode the Moon or PUT OUT THE SUN'


My word, they are delusional

"The venerable The Register just wrote a very favorable article on the interview.

'The LHC will implode the Moon or PUT OUT THE SUN'


Has appeared at the top of their article.

Very favorable?

Windows Phone 7: free tools, captive Marketplace


There's fantastic reason for the owner to own their device

"Making it incredibly easy to get root access is NOT a good thing. These days Smartphones are tiny computers"

These days PCs are mini computers...

Seriously, if I buy a device, I want it to be *my* device. This whole idea of whoever happened to make the device maintaining control over what I can and can't do with it petrifies me almost as much as the idea that this model appears to be generally accepted as the right norm.

Virgin contractors grip up for more cuts


Hit 400 staff?

After my last experience with VM, I'm not convinced they have 400 tech staff to affect.

Blighty surrenders to Street View


Cripes! Freedom to take and publish photos!

Whoda thunk it?

Personally, my issues with privacy in this country are less that Google's allowed to take photos of public spaces and more that Phorm's allowed to watch me download them.

Employers call for end to Mickey Mouse degrees


No, A* at GCSE

If she's going to uni open days, she's probably not sat her A-Levels yet, and might not have sat her ASs.

Most universities take GCSEs into account, now that you can't tell much about a student from their A-level grades.

Patchy Windows patching leaves users insecure


I'd presumed this was by design

It's long been pretty obvious that no-one on a windows box patches everything. Even those who religiously do Windows Updates, and installed Microsoft Update and respond when Java asks for updates and when YouTube tells them that they need to upgrade to Flash10 probably don't update Acrobat Reader or Firefox very often. There's just so many different sources, each needing individual updating that it doesn't happen.

On the plus side for the industry, we've recently shelled out Lord-knows-how-much for a box to stick in our rack that, amongst other things, can push out pretty much whatever software updates we can give it.

<standard comment about how *nixy repositories make it easier>

Microsoft sends flowers to IE6 funeral


Web monkeys taking a stand

Heh. If they were in a position to make that kind of decision, they'd not be 'web monkeys'.

Unfortunately, they'd also not be too likely to actually make that particular decision, since they'd also be responsible for generating revenue.

Israeli raid scrubbed after errant Facebook post


Predictably, I'd disagree with that...

"Even in this country (uk) the media is far too pro Isreal."


They seem to be mostly apathetic at the minute. But even when they did last bother, when Israeli tanks rolled into the West Bank, there was much decrying of disproportionate force and talking about human rights abuses and the like. Didn't the BBC get in trouble for taking sides?

"I don't support the military strikes of Hamas on Isreali citizens but a quick tally of casualties in virtually any time period (within the last 20 years) shows how laughable it is to call such attempted genocide a war."

I do find this an interesting prospect.

Let's say Israel decided that it would rather these be seen as 'war' than 'genocide'. What should they do differently? I know ideally they'd stop doing anything, but I'm just intrigued as to exactly which bit of this means it's attempted genocide rather than plain old war.

Also, surely if it was genocide the population would be decreasing? I'd have thought that if Israel were to actively attempt genocide they'd be rather more efficient than they have been - your complaint is, after all, that the Israelis are too efficient.

Either way, I've been in too many of these. Generally, once someone's picked a side there's not a lot you can do to make them see the other. Which is at least an honest re-enactment of what's actually going on.


I'm not convinced they want it

I think they'd just rather that whatever munitions are in the West Bank would kindly stay there.

Seriously, there's nothing remotely appealing to Israel about the West Bank. Letting the population of the West Bank vote in Israel would create another Arab state, which would mostly defeat the point of the country.


RE: Will we know the next time?

"As far as the general public know, the Palestinians started the fighting and so there will be more support for the Israelis."

Seriously, this isn't how it's been for a while. Israel is quite routinely condemned in the media for what it's doing. No more so than the Palestinians are, but since it's just 60 years of retaliations, really they're each as bad as the other.

When the Palestinians react and it gets reported on, generally what they're reacting to is mentioned. The big problem is that there's so bloody much of it that people generally ignore both. Palestinian bombers rarely make the news, and neither do Israeli incursions tend to.

Of course, you can find mindlessly pro-Israeli media, but the same's pretty prevalent for the Palestinians, too.

Anti-binge drinking ads add to binge drinking


Unfortunate tagline.

"Binge drinking can lead to .... sex"

Street View threatens to throw Eurostrop


I quite like it

I use it when planning routes to avoid having to take maps - I can see what it is that's at that right turn I need to take. I can check parking restrictions, and see what the place I'm looking for actually looks like. Further, I can confirm that it is actually where the postcode/door number combination infers it is.

I find it really quite useful, and would miss it if it went.

I'd also like to be able to look forward to resurrecting the imagery in 30 years or so to see how much has changed, but it appears there's privacy concerns there (which appear to not exist for the photos of 1930s Hendon that used to be all over my doctor's waiting room).

Intel: Just 3,000 employees run Windows 7


because it's easier to

We define PCs as obsolete when we can't get the manufacturer to come and replace bits of them for free any more, which is typically 3years.

The cost of support does rise with age, especially for a company where time counts, too. More stuff goes wrong, more stuff slows down (most of what we bought ~4yrs ago wont run XP SP3 and Office 07) and the users complain more. Replacing hardware gets more difficult (DDR ram's not easy to buy now, and AGP graphics cards are shockingly expensive), especially for laptops. Quite a bit of this is the obsolescence built into Windows, but I'm sure someone somewhere's worked out what the benefit of that is.

You can buy better quality kit and keep it longer, but people prefer two £400 PCs to one £800 one, they feel more looked after.