* Posts by Chz

225 posts • joined 15 Jul 2010

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Honor moving team out of India for 'obvious reasons,' says CEO

Chz

It's a pity what's happened to them. When they were a Huawei sub-brand they produced some of the best value for money phones in the market. (I've owned an Honor 8 and still use a View 20) The new Honor mostly makes things that aren't any better than the Xiaomi Redmi line, but at a significant price hike. Perhaps pulling out of the India market is a sign that they want to go more up-market now? The Indian market isn't terribly tolerant of higher-priced, premium devices. Of course, it could also mean business as usual, but since they were charging more than the competition they face-planted in India.

UK chemicals multinational to build hydrogen 'gigafactory'

Chz

Under which laws of thermodynamics are BEVs less efficient than H2 fuel cells?

You can have:

Sunlight --> solar cells --> electricity --> electrolysis --> wet, impure hydrogen --> purification --> dewatering --> compression --> storage --> transportation --> fuel cell --> electricity --> travel

or

Sunlight --> solar cells --> electricity --> power grid --> batteries --> electricity --> travel

All those conversion losses look even worse if your power source isn't green.

FYI: BMW puts heated seats, other features behind paywall

Chz

Re: I don't really see the problem

If it were a Kia Picanto, you'd have a point. But the sticker price of a BMW is, at best, only very loosely tied to the actual cost of manufacturing.

Chz
WTF?

I don't really see the problem

So long as they *are* offering a one-time fee for those inclined, how is it worse than having to order things specced from the factory? It allows the manufacturer to drastically reduce the number of models they have to produce, and it allows the consumer some modicum of choice. They're not taking previously free features and paywalling them - these are things that always had to be paid for in some way. In addition, it's become a rare thing over the years for people to custom order a new car - most now buy something off the lot that meets their requirements. In this way, the dealers don't need to keep so many different equipment variants in stock and so it's more likely you can find the car equipped the way you want on the lot. So it sounds like a good thing, even if it admittedly could be abused.

For new cars, anyhow. While I think it sounds like a win for those who buy new cars, it sounds like a minefield for user car buyers.

Tim Hortons collected location data constantly, without consent, report finds

Chz

Re: Also..

It's an interesting distinction that I make here.

Tim Horton's Coffee(tm), as coffee, is utterly detestable.

Tim Horton's Coffee(tm), as a warm, caffeinated beverage isn't half bad and I've been known to enjoy it on occasion. It tastes nothing whatsoever like coffee and shouldn't be considered as such. But as a hot drink to go with a bit of pep juice in it, there are worse things.

Fried dough is fried dough. I don't find them better or worse than any other company that specialises in such things, and far better than what the supermarkets turn out. It's basically a question of whether fried, sweet dough is appealing to you or not.

I haven't tried it in the UK because they're studiously avoiding London. And I suspect I know why - their MSP in their home country is that it's acceptable food for cheap. Since London and cheap are an impossible pairing, they've kept out because no-one is going to pay silly amounts for their food and drink. They also started out up in Scotland, presumably because if they couldn't sell fried dough to the Scots then their entire business plan would be null and void.

BMW looks to quantum computers to speed R&D

Chz

Re: They should bring back exciting cars

No, but they were the ultimate driving sedan that you could carry your family around in once upon a time. Not a patch on a real sports car, but decidedly more exciting than anything else with 4 doors.

Five Eyes turn spotlight on MSPs: Potential weak links in IT supply-chain security

Chz

Did anyone else read the headline and wonder what made Members of the Scottish Parliament so prone to leaking data vs. their Westminster kin?

Samsung updates its most popular smartphone range

Chz

Re: Dear Samsung.

I'd contend that they *are* replaceable, just not removable. I understand that doesn't make much logical sense, but I'm assigning "removable" to something that can easily be removed at any time (which no phone aligns to these days) and "replaceable" to something that can, with a little effort and a facility for dealing with fiddly things, be done in the home in half an hour.

The hardest part is waiting about while you heat the phone up with a hair dryer, try to prise the back up, realise it needs more heat and repeat. The actual battery replacement is not difficult if you have agile fingers. And if not, really, the cost is minimal (vs. buying a new phone) to have someone do it for you.

I've done my own twice, and I'm really not a DIY sort of person and I have fat fingers. What worries me more - and is likely the reason I've done it twice - is the flood of cheap crap masquerading as OEM parts.

Cloudflare, Akamai: Why we're not pulling out of Russia

Chz

Plenty of sites rely completely on CloudFlare/Akamai though. Witness how the internet explodes when one of them goes down.

Perhaps a poor example, as no-one in Russia needs better access to gambling, but I used to work for an online gaming company where the back end was connected by a 10Mb line. Every update had an hour's work of refreshing everything into CloudFlare first because if punters started to hit the back end directly it would choke and die in short order.

Users sound off as new Google Workspace for Education storage limits near

Chz

Re: Eligibility

Speaking from a UK institute of higher learning...

We give the students 1GB off an internal NAS and staff 10GB, but encourage them to use OneDrive instead. Once enough of them are on that, the plan is to get rid of the on-site NAS and associated antivirus and ancillary kit around it. The disk itself isn't all that expensive, it's running it. The NAS is also used for everything that should have moved to SharePoint years ago and hasn't, so I suspect it's going to hang around for some time.

Individual departments generally handle their own storage for research and whatnot. There's zero central planning around it. Some of them may be using Google for all I know; I don't really care. I do know the CS school has its own proper NAS, as does the AV department because they host it in our DC like they should. Anything else is out there on its own in a closet or something.

Chromebook sales in recession: Market saturation blamed as shipments collapse more than 63% in Q4

Chz

I have to disagree. The 2GB/16GB (RAM/storage) models are long gone, and from personal experience with them an Atom processor and 4GB of RAM is perfectly adequate for all primary and most secondary school needs. Does the occasional thing run slowly? Of course. But that's an application problem - the same thing would run slowly on a better specced, twice the price Windows machine as well.

Apple Mac sales break records amid ex-86-odus to Arm-compatible M1 silicon

Chz

As a University, we have plenty of Macs around. I just don't see those things in reality. My associates and students manage to crash, bog down to useless speeds, and get malware on Macs just as effectively as they do on Windows. If you're talking about clued in users, then it's the same story except none of the above happen to Windows or Mac users.

Chz

Never been a fan of the Apple ecosystem or OSX, but even I have to admit the M1-based machines are pretty damned nice. Especially after Macbook development seemed to have hit a pothole the past few years, looking a bit sad next to an XPS. So good on them, and it's going to be a really difficult decision between the Spectre and Macbook I'm being offered at the corporate refresh. (Specs wise, the Macbook is all over it. But then I'd have to get used to OSX again after 10+ years away, and I'm not sure it's worth the bother.)

Tesla driver charged with vehicular manslaughter after deadly Autopilot crash

Chz

I have to disagree with "ANY silicon chip".

Electronic Fuel Injection is a godsend over carbs and mechanical fuel injection. And there's no way in hell a car could get anywhere near modern emissions requirements without it.

Canon: Chip supplies are so bad that our ink cartridges will look as though they're fakes

Chz

Re: Interesting ...

Brothers are popular with techies because they don't do that kind of bullshit. They may not be the *best* printers, but they're solid, they take 3rd party toners without fuss, and said toners are cheap.

There's something to be said for delayed gratification when Windows 11 is this full of bugs

Chz

Re: Well...

I'd missed the checkbox to opt for Windows 10 instead of 11 when I bought the Mrs a new Dell (they had a pricing oopsie, and to my great surprise they honoured it). The nicest thing I can say about Win11 is that it hasn't yet pissed my wife off. Win7->10 did. WinXP->7 did. So they must be doing something... if not right, then less wrong.

BOFH: You drive me crazy... and I can't help myself

Chz
Pint

A Welcome Friday Treat

Personally, I lost it at:

"Does this carpet pull up?" I ask.

Though I'm admittedly surprised the BOFH was in such a hurry that he didn't bring his own.

Is that a meteor crashing to Earth? No, it's Chromebook makers coming back to reality

Chz

Re: Wot no Wi-Fi?

My 10 year-old managed to remove (and lose) a key off the keyboard of his Lenovo CB. Which has proved impossible to source short of buying a new keyboard, so he's learned to live with it. ("Why did you do that?" "I dunno.")

I'd bought it to help with school things, and then 4 months later the school bought every child a Chromebook! Granted, ours is nicer and he gets to not have to carry the school's one back and forth but still...

84-year-old fined €250,000 for keeping Nazi war machines – including tank – in basement

Chz

Re: WTF?

Obsolete? The second-best medium tank of the war, and the only one available in numbers.

Yes, the T-54 entered service in 1947 and made *all* other tanks obsolete (the Centurion never came into its own until it mounted the 105mm) but the Panther was still quite a credible opponent at war's end.

I've got a broken combine harvester – but the manufacturer won't give me the software key

Chz

Re: Only half the story

For £229, you can buy a perfectly good brand new dishwasher (even Which recommends Beko if you can't afford a Miele) which is probably quite a lot more efficient than your old one.

It will almost certainly break down after 5-6 years, though. At least ours did. Repair cost was quite similar to a new one, naturally. These things are a tough call - you cannot predict the reliability of a new machine, no matter what it costs. Even Mieles break down, and they don't offer a 10 year warranty on everything. (If you look closely at their prices, you can see that you're paying for just the extended warranty on some devices) So we have another Beko. Knock wood, it's been fine for 5 years and the drain pump that failed on the last one is an improved design.

Remember the bloke who was told by Zen Internet to contact his MP about crap service? Yeah, it's still not fixed

Chz

Re: Write your MP

The real pity is that people have generally stopped voting for their MP and vote party lines the majority of the time. Our LD MP represented a party I generally view with distaste, but he was an *excellent* local MP. Always visible, responded to emails promptly, and at least put enough effort in to look like he gave a shit.

Replaced by a Con MP who only responds to communications that toe the party line. (Which, as a freshman MP, is all he does) Though I admit it's hard to judge his public presence given the events since the last election.

Chromebook boom won’t outlive COVID-19 pandemic, says IDC

Chz

I can't comment on secondary level education, but all the primaries in our London Borough have bought a huge number of Chromebooks in case of another closure. They're real bottom of the barrel stuff, though. The one I'd already bought my wee'un was all of £50 more, but at the prices these things sell at that represents a lot of functionality.

Amazon puts an $8.5bn MGM in its shopping cart, clicks on checkout

Chz

The rights to nearly everything from before 1986 was sold to Ted Turner. Unless you're referencing the rebooted Pink Panther films.

In YouTube's world, parental supervision means: 'Everyone sign in to Google, click once, and trust we get it right'

Chz

Re: What is filtered?

It's already the case that YT Kids allows all sorts of fluffy alt-right, borderline fash stuff through the holes. I just removed all YT access when the Boy started calling someone "Soy Boy" while using YT Kids.

Windows' cloudy future: That Chrome OS advantage is Google's to lose

Chz

Re: Chromebook is particularly good at fulfilling its promise of looking after itself.

Our (then) teenager had a Chromebook for a few years, until he broke it. He bought himself a similarly-priced Win10 machine to replace it and regretted it utterly.

I believe he's now moved on to an expensive Win10 machine, but he'd be the first to say that ChromeOS was a vastly better budget option.

Honor has flown the nest: Announces first phone as an independent firm, inks deals with supply chain big dogs

Chz

Hopefully support starts rolling again.

I have a View 20, and I received regular security patches until the spin-off operation started. The last one I had was for September's security patches and I've seen nothing since. I find it worrying that the new phone is China-only; might the rest of the world's Honor phones now be screwed for updates?

Laptops given to British schools came preloaded with remote-access worm

Chz

Re: I wonder what sort of machine you get for less then £200 per unit.

Teachers I've spoken to paint them as singularly awful devices. The eMMC is of such a low spec, Office takes around 45 minutes to install.

This spec as a Chromebook would've been fine. As a Windows 10 machine, it's severely lacking. I don't even understand why the government has specced Win10 when most of the schools that can afford their own limited IT program have gone with Chromebooks. (as have I for my 10 year-old)

Apple appears to be charging Brits £309 to replace AirPods Max batteries, while Americans need only stump up $79

Chz

Re: This is a crime against the planet

"2015 Macbooks still supported by latest iOS and MacOS"

My 2009 Lenovo is supported by the latest Windows 10 version *and* the battery is fully user-serviceable. After swapping to an SSD, it's still fine for lightweight work as well. Your argument works for the iPhone because Google is a bit shit, but there's nothing especially durable about Mac hardware vs. similarly specced PC hardware. The reason most laptops get tossed in less than 5 years is because they're sub-£400 trash.

Chuck Yeager, sound barrier pioneer pilot, dies at 97

Chz

Re: To boldly go where no man has gone before

My only memory of that is Chuck's smug voice telling me "Good thing this is just a simulator" as I crashed against unbeatable odds. I hated him for that! :)

Amazon’s cloudy Macs cost $25.99 a day. 77 days of usage would buy you your own Mac

Chz

M1 Equivalent

" an M1-powered Mac Mini with comparable spec costs $1,099."

I don't think that 16GB and 32GB are "comparable" when the likely use is software development.

If there were an M1-powered Mac with 32GB of RAM, we'd have already bought a dozen. But there isn't, and that's quite possibly why Amazon is still using the Intel-powered models.

It's been an Honor serving with you but you're our 'competitors' now, Huawei tells its sawn-off mobile limb

Chz

Given the usual cuts that go with that...

I suppose I can kiss my chances of an Android 11 update for my Honor V20 good-bye. Pity, because it's been a truly excellent device, and until recently got regular updates.

The Nord N10 is OnePlus's cheapest 5G handset and, boy, does it show

Chz

Panel

"Sadly, OnePlus immediately loses those points by opting for an LCD panel"

How many sub-£300 phones have an OLED panel? I'm pretty sure it's just the low-end Samsung, which is gimped in other ways to make up for it.

HP: That print-free-for-life deal we promised you? Well, now it's pay-per-month to continue using your printer ink

Chz

Re: Time bombs?

OKI and Brother are the only brands I ever recommend. You can get a colour laser for under £150 and never worry about all the bullshit that comes with inkjets.

Yes, I have to go to Costco for photos, but the economics of home photo printing were never really compelling given the downsides of home ink printing.

Uber allowed to continue operating in English capital after winning appeal against Transport for London

Chz

I agree whole-heartedly, but none of that means that Uber is a good company and well-managed. Anything but. It just means that the black cabs are worse!

Putting the B's in bargain basement, Xiaomi staggers into sunlight clutching Poco X3

Chz

As the owner of a Redmi Note 9 Pro, there is nothing vanilla about MIUI. It's certainly a step back from what I was used to with Huawei, as well. It's the most aggravating skin I've used in a while. But it's tolerable. Just.

The launch pricing seems odd - they're undercutting their own Redmi Note 9 Pro (which was the value leader up 'til now), with better specs. Maybe phasing out the Redmi name for mid-range devices in favour of Poco?

So... just 'Good' then? KFC pulls Finger Lickin' slogan while pandemic rumbles on

Chz

Re: Stats

I wouldn't rate KFC with McDonalds, for two reasons:

1 - Quality control. McD's is famous for this. A Big Mac is a Big Mac, everywhere. Franchisees who don't keep the standard are quickly disposed of. KFC is horrific for this. They can't even manage to keep their franchisees in line with 5 ratings for food safety. A McD's with a food safety rating of 3 is put into emergency measures, while it's quite normal for KFC.

2 - The actual food. See this is the thing, and it relates to the quality control. KFC, when it's good, is really, really good. Unfortunately, it's rarely so and frequently quite awful. McD's food is so-so, but at least consistently so.

Side note: I grew up in southern Ontario, where we had our own KFC. Officially known as "Scott's Chicken Villa" in tiny letters, but "Kentucky Fried Chicken" in giant ones, it was set up by Col. Sanders himself when he fled the States to Canada for tax reasons. We famously had the best KFC in North America because of it. Sadly merged back into the PepsiCo empire after the Colonel's death. When I visit home, I still miss when you could get a loaf of warm, buttered bread with your chicken.

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

Chz

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

Chz

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'

Chz

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

Chz

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

Chz

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

Chz

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

Chz

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

Chz

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

Chz

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

Chz

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

Chz
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?

Chz

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

Chz

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

Chz

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.

https://www.chemworld.com/Novec-FC-770-Fluorinert-Electronic-Liquid-p/novec-fc-770.htm

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