* Posts by Chz

189 posts • joined 15 Jul 2010


Android 11 will let users stop device-makers from killing background apps, says Google


Re: Kill all background apps

Huawei's been called out for aggressively killing background apps, but at least it is fully user-configurable. I've quite liked their phones in the past because of this feature. (I kinda want the Play Store, so I won't be buying any new ones unfortunately)

Keep it Together, Microsoft: New mode for vid-chat app Teams reminds everyone why Zoom rules the roost


Re: There are reasons

No mention of how Teams, being based on Chromium, has an unquenchable thirst for RAM when performing only basic tasks?

Ryzen shine, kids: Huawei buries AMD silicon in latest laptop, hopes to lure 'young professionals'


The problem is that the 3000-series mobile AMD chips still wasted a lot of power in idle. A bug that's only been fixed with the 4000-series. These laptops are competitive with Intel, but not better. If it was a 4000, then you'd be right.

HTC breaks with tradition to push out 2 phones someone might actually want to buy


Re: I'll take the "small" one

To be fair, phone size mostly peaked a few years ago. The larger screen sizes you see today come from shrinking the non-screen bits of the phone. That Dell phablet that was ridiculed several years back is still bigger than most phones today, despite a smaller screen size.

Yes, they're still a bit too big. But they're not really any bigger than a few years ago.

Huawei's latest smartphone for the UK market costs £1,299. And yes, that's without Google apps


Re: It's a marketing coup

Most of the Android makers have done this. As of some version of Android, you can only install apps to the SD card if it's formatted to be a part of the system. If you do this, you can install apps there freely but removing the SD card will crash the phone. And accidentally formatting the card once you've removed it does even Worse Things.

Rather than provide support for the inevitable, most vendors just disabled the feature. I'd blame Google. The SD card app support was always shonky. They never should have included it half-baked the way they did back in Android 2.2 (or whatever - it's at least that old). Never worked well on my HTC Desire or anything else I've had since.

Dell to unleash hybrid server/storage boxen that can run virtual machines


Is this an update to the VRTX, or something completely different? Previous employer used those as all-in-one ESX solutions before "hyperconverged" was on everyone's lips.

Buzz kill: Crook, 73, conned investors into shoveling millions into geek-friendly caffeine-loaded chocs that didn't exist. Now he's in jail


Re: Mercedes

I'm not going to defend the Americans' love of the automatic, but I will point out that very few Mercs in Europe sell with a stick shift either.

Irish eyes aren't smiling after govt blows €1m on mega-printer too big for parliament's doors


Re: This reminds me......

I remember some bloke selling his telly on Ebay not understanding why I was upset with him for the telly being larger than he said it was. (It was a 32" instead of the advertised 28"). The answer, of course, being that a 28" widescreen CRT is the largest thing that I can grab ahold of and move on my own. The 32" completely changed all the plans for moving it about. As it was, the TV stand bowed in the middle under the weight of the thing. It was well north of 60kg, IIRC.

The Outer Worlds: Ever wished Fallout 4 was more like New Vegas? Here ya go... in spaaace


CRPG reviews

Can we get a review of Disco Elysium for comparison?

Pushed around and kicked around, always a lonely boy: Run Huawei, Google Play, turns away, from Huawei... turns away


How long will this one last?

ZTE was barred for all of three months. Though they admittedly sell fewer phones outside of China than Huawei does, but it didn't seem to trouble them much.

Hey, those warrantless smartphone searches at the US border? Unconstitutional, yeah? Civil-rights warriors ask court to settle this

Thumb Up

The ACLU is an example for all countries

I'm not even American and I'm tempted to donate to the ACLU and EFF at times. I wish Liberty (the closest UK equivalent) was as prompt with their legal challenges. But I imagine they just don't have the funding.

Is that a stiffy disk in your drive... or something else entirely?


Re: Re. Zip disks

I remember that mainly because I had a Zip drive from the original run (external SCSI) and it was dead reliable. Couldn't for the life of me understand why everyone else's Zip drives had so many problems...

Only one Huawei? We pitted the P30 Pro against Samsung and Apple's best – and this is what we found


Re: manual mode...

But Samsung has decent software these days. The thing with Huawei is they've got this excellent imaging hardware and really shit software around it. Shooting raw takes that out the equation, but it means you're a bit stuck with what you can post immediately to hipstagram.

How'd your servers get that baby-smooth look? Dutch and Brit cool kids dunk Supermicro systems in synthetic oil


Re: Respect Your Elders

I was going to say that the Fluorinert couldn't be huge next to the total system cost, but then I looked it up and a Cray-2 was "only" $15M. Seems cheap next to today's massive clusters!

Still, a 750lb barrel of Fluorinet is "just" $35k. Old Seymour didn't believe in doing anything if it wasn't all-out. Bless him. His biography is fascinating.


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


Re: no no no no

Counter-point: My final firmware update for my Honor 8 came 2.5 years after release with the December 2019 patches. While it would be nice if they offered longer support than that, really only Apple (and, to some extent, Google) excel in that space. Even OnePlus, who have a great rep with the techies, has been hit and miss with their updates.

I will admit that Huawei are terrible with their release cycle for OTA updates. From what I can see, they seem to make a firmware update for every Google security update. They just don't release most of them to the public for some reason, but it's easy enough to get the betas.

I suppose I just chimed in to say "Everyone is shit. Bar Apple."

P30 pic pyrotechnics in Paris: That's one Huawei to set the smartphone world alight


"The P30 dispenses with the headphone jack"

I wasn't there personally, but most other sites are reporting that the P30 *does* have a headphone jack and it's the P30 Pro that doesn't.

Billionaire Buffett's Berkshire liquidates $2.1bn stake in Oracle – months after buying the shares


Re: I wait for the day ...

Microsoft, the modern entity, I have a hard time hating. I don't *like* them, but they've left their worst practices in the past. And they actually have some half-decent software and hardware lines. I was actually put out that they canned the Windows Phone, because it ran so well on low-end hardware and I wanted it to grab a toehold just for that.

Crypto crash leads to inventory pile-up at Nvidia, sales slaughtered


Re: Good

Why would they "fix" something that's entirely by design? Market segmentation is hardly new, and AMD still do it themselves. They just gimp consumer boards a bit less than Nvidia does.

Granddaddy of the DIY repair generation John Haynes has loosened his last nut



They did exist in North America, and I preferred the GM A-Body (Pontiac 6000, for my sins. Made a great winter beater though) Haynes manual to the Chiltern one.

My "baby" was a BMW E24, and the Bentley guide was the gold standard there.

Hungover this morning? Thought 'beer before wine and you'll be fine'? Boffins prove old adage just isn't true


JLV, from your own WIkipedia link:

"For chronic alcohol users, acute alcohol ingestion at the time of a paracetamol overdose may have a protective effect."

Paracetamol is dangerous. I'm not questioning that. However there is *no clinical proof* that alcohol worsens the effect, and as noted above the *opposite* can in fact be true. The only worrying effect is that drunken idiots may exceed the recommended dosage; and since the recommended dose to dangerous dose ratio is so low it creates a good chance of an overdose.

What it says on Canadian bottles of Tylenol is of no consequence whatsoever.


Tylenol/Paracetamol is bad for many reasons, but the interaction with alcohol malarkey was disproven years ago. Seems to only be on the American side of the Pond that the rumour persists, for some reason. Most "proofs" of this are people who've severely overdosed on the stuff, which is easy with that particular drug and why I'd avoid it irregardless of alcohol consumption.

See here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10759684

QNAP NAS user? You'd better check your hosts file for mystery anti-antivirus entries


Re: Source of the NAStiness?

I'll give them credit, my 7 year-old QNAP still gets regular updates. Or at least it did until recently - I rarely check for them. Such is the downfall of bits of kit that Just Work. I still don't have any compelling reason to replace it, though I'm tempted to upgrade to an x86 model just to run more things on it. But at that point it's no longer a simple enough device to just continue working flawlessly, so I hold back.

The D in SystemD stands for Dammmit... Security holes found in much-adored Linux toolkit


Re: Never trusted SystemD

Systemd started as a noble project to revise what is, I'm afraid, the utter shambles that is Linux system startup. And for that, it should be praised.

The fact that along the way it's suffered one of the worse cases of mission creep ever recorded in the annals of history shouldn't take that away from it. But yes, now that it's pretty much its own OS these sorts of things were bound to happen.

A year after Logitech screwed over Harmony users, it, um, screws over Harmony users: Device API killed off


Re: Went off of Logitech...

*joins the abandoned Squeezebox owners club*

Logitech consistently make good hardware. Then they either make abhorrent software for it, or once the software works, they kill the product entirely.

LG's beer-making bot singlehandedly sucks all fun, boffinry from home brewing


Re: Why?

" Small domestic machines heat the water and generate pressure 'ad-hoc' and so can fluctuate. Industrial espresso machines have individual boilers for steam generating the pressure to push the water to the coffee, and for the water itself, so that both are always at the optimal temperature / pressure."

While you're not incorrect, it's largely irrelevant if you're only making one or two coffees in a home system. The thermoblock and coil have more than enough thermal mass for that amount of work. You just can't serve up 8 straight at a party is all. Never mind the point of diminishing returns with all artisan gear - once you hit the £200-250 range for a basic DeLonghi Magnifica, everything past that costs quite a lot more for very little in return.

There's also the downside to having a decent machine - the beans get expensive. A cheap machine makes them all taste like muck, but once you're grinding fresh and using reasonable temps/pressure it's hard not to buy the expensive ones.

Doom at 25: The FPS that wowed players, gummed up servers, and enraged admins


Re: iddqd

And, of course, IDSPISPOPD.

I actually played Smashing Pumpkins Into Small Piles of Putrid Debris. It was kind of enjoyable, if only for the sound effects. I can't manage to dig up the USENET thread about it, but it was genius.

Qualcomm lifts lid on 7nm Arm-based octo-core Snapdragon 855 chip for next year's expensive 5G Androids


Interesting that they've gone with one higher clocked Big core, and three that are barely much slower. Huawei went with 2/2 and clocked the slower ones a fair bit less. Will be good to see the real world upshot of it, or whether there's even a noticeable difference to the Kirin chip.

Huawei MateBook Pro X: PC makers look out, the phone guys are here


Port Pedantry

" It includes two USB-C ports, one of which supports Thunderbolt, but still remembers to include a legacy USB 3.0 port."

USB 3.0 is a deprecated standard. There is USB 3.1(Gen 1 - previously known as USB 3.0) and USB3.1(Gen 2). I'd let that slide, except that is not what you meant. Even I think it's being too pedantic to bitch about 3.0 vs 3.1 Gen 1 because everyone knows what you mean. I'm pointing it out because I'm already posting about the bigger mistake in the picture here.

It has a USB-A port, as well as its two USB-C ports. USB 1, 2, 3, 3.1 are not physical port standards. It is perfectly possible (see most phones) to have a USB-C port that only provides the USB 2.0 protocol over it. No excuse for a publication like The Reg to get that incorrect. And naughty on Huawei, who should know better, for also calling it a USB 3.0 port.

Blighty: We spent £1bn on Galileo and all we got was this lousy T-shirt


Re: Trident

It's *one* reason, not a primary one. The Americans are fully aware that a nuclear deterrent that requires GPS is worthless. US doctrine assumes GPS in peacetime, but not in a hot war. To use Trident as an example, an SSBN will occasionally get a GPS fix to verify its own location. But it doesn't have to, and does so rarely. In wartime, it may *attempt* a GPS fix - because who doesn't like to triple-verify things like that - but a launch can take place without it. To-the-metre location is not required for a successful D5 launch. You get a decent rough estimate of launch location and the stellar navigation can handle the rest. I mean - seriously - they were launching nukes from submarines for *decades* before GPS was around. It helps with accuracy, but given that they quote D5's CEP at under 100m, it can be out an order of magnitude and make little difference to the end effect. (Unless it's a first strike at hardened targets - but then GPS would be available)

To sum - GPS is optional and nice to have, but not at all required for the nuclear deterrent. There are plenty of *conventional* weapons that are near-useless without it though.

Great Scott! Is nothing sacred? US movie-goers vote Back To The Future as most-wanted reboot


Re: Reboots

On the plus side, a reboot would (I assume) involve someone from today going back to the 1980s. I think there's plenty of material to be mined from that. Maybe with a few references to the original thrown in there. Even more fun if they set it in the UK!

Nvidia just can't grab a break. Revenues up, profit nearly doubles... and stock down 20%


Re: Oh please

"So in your little world, who decides what research is worthy of having access to computer time? Historically that was academics, now you seem to be saying the fattest pocketbook (i.e. whoever can pay NVIDIA enough to get attention) dictates what can or cannot be simulated or investigated."

Academia has always got discounts, and still does. What in the hell are you talking about? Universities have still always shelled out a LOT of money for that kit, even with the discounts. Do you really think money doesn't talk in academia? That's crazy.

And yes, it had ALWAYS been the case that researchers with the right friends can call up IBM, Nvidia, you name it and get this stuff for cost. Below cost, if it's headline-grabbing enough. It's purest fantasy to even suggest that academics actually get to decide research priorities when there's massive expenses involved.


Re: Oh please

"Yeah, I think they care immensely. Especially when they're doing months or years of calculations and need a stable base to run it on, a predictable and consistent interface to do so, to squeeze every inch out of their hardware, and to do so without unrelated gaming/media functions or driver bugs rearing their head."

Then they shouldn't use gaming cards and gaming drivers, maybe? Teslas and Quadros exist for a reason. If you're too cheap for them, then them's the breaks. Oh the horror, people charge more for enterprise-class hardware and software, never would have thought it.

Scumbag who phoned in a Call of Duty 'swatting' that ended in death pleads guilty to dozens of criminal charges


Re: Hostage situations...

There are some exceptions (someone mentioned the Dutch police), but it is generally true that once the decision has been made to apply deadly force, then the officers are instructed to do exactly that. The problem is with how liberally the decision to apply that force is taken in the United States.

Their northern neighbours need to fill out a small notebook worth of forms every time they so much as draw their firearm. This is to enforce the rule that you do not draw your firearm unless you fully intend to use it. And any situation that requires the use of deadly force should generate a lot of paperwork. This rolls back now to the issue of "shoot to wound" - abandoning such notions is to protect the officer. We have to assume that a trained officer of the law (well, outside of the US) will not draw their weapon unless it is needed, and if it is needed they must go for the shot that provides the greatest chance to disable, or indeed kill the threat. Shoot for the torso. It makes sense.


Re:Army vs Police training

"There is a massive difference between ARMY training and police training in all of the civilized world. ARMY training is how to kill first, do it more efficiently and it always presumes the other side combatant. It is to kill. Civilian police training is always to DEFUSE."

That's not even the case everywhere outside of the US. British forces are considered to be the best in the world at military police actions, precisely because of the lessons learned in Northern Ireland. They are most definitely trained to defuse a situation before shooting, when the opportunity presents itself. Canadian soldiers are most likely to find themselves on UN Peacekeeping duties and train in much the same way. I suspect it's also the case in many of the smaller European countries that play an active role in UN operations.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro: If you can stomach the nagware and price, it may be Droid of the Year


Getting there - Samsung had better watch out

So they're where Samsung was a few years ago - fantastic hardware, meh software. The software side has been a long, slow battle for Samsung, so it's going to be interesting to see how Huawei gets on.

A few comments on the company's efforts, as I own an Honor 8:

Patches have been... patchy. They've put out what is probably their final Oreo update, but it is more than 2 years after the phone's release. So +1 there. -1 for how long Oreo took in the first place (I think it was August it was released), but that's been common from most manufacturers for phones that launched on Marshmallow. I can see their beta channel, and they've consistently produced monthly patch updates. But as to who they're releasing these to, it's a total mystery. You'll get an OTA update every 4-5 months.

The hardware is fairly bulletproof. The H8 is a double-glass phone and I've dropped mine repeatedly (partly because the back surface is some sort of zero-friction prototype) and banged it up but good. No cracks. Performance is much the same as on Day One. Some of that is specific to my H8, but it does sum up Huawei hardware in general.

The software. Step one is to turn off the power-saving option for everything and only re-enable it for apps that you know are a bit thuggish in the background. Step two is to install launcher of your choice. Neither is difficult, and it makes life a lot easier on you. Once you've done that, there are some Huawei quirks (control panel especially, as noted) but it's over all quite usable and if you use the Google Launcher, you'd think it was a fairly stock Android 95% of the time.

As someone's already said, if you want a Kirin 980 for a lot less, just wait for the Honor (Magic 2, I think?) launch. Though the camera will certainly not be quite as nice.

If you have inner peace, it's probably 'cos your broadband works: Zen Internet least whinged-about Brit ISP – survey


Re: I've had no problem with BT

When I moved to BT in 2010, they were the only option other than (*hack* *spit*) Virgin for a fast service. I could bemoan the price of Infinity 2, but I've had the full 76Mbps from day one, Inf2 is unthrottled, and outages have been quite rare. I've zero doubts that Zen would provide better customer service, but I haven't needed customer service and so I stay where I am.

I think it would be a bit different were I to switch today. The VDSL2 modem is now built into the HomeHub, which would make running my own OpenWRT router slightly more complex. I'm sure it's still doable, but just more annoying to actually have to deal with the HH instead of having it in a box in a locked filing cabinet in the basement where it belongs.

Huawei Mate 20 series: China's best phone, but a pricey proposition


Re: nope. not ever again...

Maybe someone can explain how these companies do their firmware updates to us?

There's an app out there called "Firmware Finder" that supports most Huawei (and Honor, natch) phones. Fire it up, and you can see that every month, like clockwork, there's an internal build with the latest Google security patches. Some lucky users even get to try them! But for the vast majority, these builds are never pushed out over the air. This even applies to my Honor 8, which is now past its second birthday.

So why are these never released? I don't accept that the standard 10-50MB Google security patches are going to break anything. Besides which, for a while FF would allow you to actually *install* these firmware updates, so I know for a fact that they're stable and bug-free. I can understand major version upgrades do take quite some time to sort out, but the security patches shouldn't be withheld like that.

FWIW, when Huawei saw what FF was doing they cut it off (you can still see them, just can't install them now). And now I'm in firmware no man's land on a firmware version that's not supposed to exist and so I can't get any updates at all any more.

Does Google make hardware just so nobody buys it?


Re: Why does ChromeOS still exist? It should have just been replaced with android.

Yes, but you do have to hand it to them - outside of the engineered in slurpage, ChromeOS is really quite excellent. It's a huge boon for the majority who couldn't give two figs about who's spying on them. I wouldn't (yet) recommend it as a primary device, but as a secondary one I think it's quite superior to all the other options for a portable device.

With sorry Soyuz stuffed, who's going to run NASA's space station taxi service now?


Only a problem for crew...

"All of which leaves NASA with zero options for resupplying the ISS with crew and supplies until the Russians work out what went wrong on Thursday."

They could send a remote-controlled Soyuz up with some supplies if they don't want to leave the ISS empty. AIUI, the problem is that the current return pod on the ISS has a "use before" date on it. Normally they'd send a Progress up for resupply, but no reason they can't use a Soyuz capsule (outside of cost and smaller cargo capacity) with no crew.

Obviously, they'd prefer to finish their investigation first. But if it came to risking an unmanned flight or abandoning the ISS, I think it's quite reasonable.

Samsung Galaxy A9: Mid-range bruiser that takes the fight to Huawei


Re: 6 gigabytes

From personal experience, 3 is minimum to see no lag in switching apps, 4 is better. 6 is definitely OTT, I think it will be quite some time before that's necessary. But even a Nexus 5 running stock Android was a bit slow on 2GB when it came to app switching. (This is not the same as its in-app slowness of being damned old)


Re: Four cameras?

Five cameras, if you count the front. And with a headphone jack, unlike the Huawei P20 and its "five cameras, no headphone jack" nonsense.

Oracle? On my server? I must have been hacked! *Penny drops* Oh sh-


Re: 1200 baud down, 75 baud up

You had zeros? We had to use the letter "O".

Buried in the hype, one little detail: Amazon's Alexa-on-a-chip could steal smart home market


Re: I would refuse to buy ANYTHING with built in Alexa

"Some microwave ovens provide superb examples of very bad UI design."

Some? How about most?

I swear there's a secret cabal somewhere, dedicated to ensuring that microwave UIs get progressively worse over the years. The technology itself has barely changed in decades, and yet every time I get a new one it's more difficult to use than the one it replaced. They've come up with *one* good idea in that time (press the start button multiple times to add +1 minute), and destroyed that benefit with several steps back elsewhere.

I used to be able to punch a power level with a dedicated button (one keypress), then key in the time I want and press Go.

Now I have to press power, twist a knob to the power level I want, press power again, twist the stupid fucking knob (GODDAMNIT I HATE THAT KNOB) to the amount of time I want, hopefully not anything over 3 minutes so I don't have to sit there spinning the damned thing, and then press start. And if I want to add time, it's only in increments of a minute - which is easily the difference between lukewarm and charcoal for some foods.

Garbage collection – in SPAAACE: Net snaffles junk in first step to clean up Earth's orbiting litter


I suppose it's better than by hand...

...but I really liked the anime series "Planates", which focused entirely on a orbital garbage collection crew on a knackered space station. 'Twould be cool to see it as reality.

Highly recommended, by the way.

First it was hashtags – now Amber Rudd gives us Brits knowledge on national ID cards


Re: Joined-up databases

I wish that, once a month/quarter, we could do an Upvote x 25 for posts like that.

Exactly my own concerns (*most* countries have ID cards, their simple existence is not an issue), but put much more eloquently than I could manage on my own.

Huawei first to preview its 7nm phone SoC – the HiSilicon Kirin 980


Mediatek's presence in the phone market is as a minor player, even if they're quite dominant in other markets. I think they power an outright majority of Android tablets, but that's not saying a lot given the state of them.

Three more data-leaking security holes found in Intel chips as designers swap security for speed


It's a problem for their lucrative datacentre business, for sure. But from what I've heard from people who should know, virtualisation and multi-threading have both been regarded as security risks since their inception. (OoO not so much, admittedly) Most business customers are simply happy with "good enough" security, and I'd say that if you roll your own systems then Intel's processors still are just that. The problem, as emphasised in the article, is what will become of cloud computing.

I'm not sure any of it is relevant in the consumer space, though. This sort of attack is wildly improbable in the wild. There are much easier ways to hack things than that.

The last phablet? 6.4in Samsung Galaxy Note 9 leaves you $1k lighter, needs 'water cooling'


Re: High performance tablet

Except it's not 845, it's last year's 835. For $650. They're mad.

LG G7 ThinkQ: Ropey AI, but a feast for sore eyes and ears


Re: Still far too expensive

Also, the article claims "Leave that to one side and you've got a strong phone, checking in at £599, considerably below rivals from Huawei, HTC and Samsung."

I would consider Huawei's regular P20 to be suitably competitive and while it may have started at the same price, it's now available for £480 most places.

That being said, Xiaomi's Android One offerings clock in around £200 and are more than enough for most uses.

HTC U12+: You said we should wait and review the retail product. Hate to break it to you, but...


It's 2018. The phone market has moved to sealed phones being the standard. Is there is a removable battery, as some phones still have, it would be pointed out as a USP.



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