* Posts by Macka

144 publicly visible posts • joined 2 Jun 2007


There's no Huawei Chinese chipmakers can fill Nvidia's shoes... anytime soon


Taiwan occupation?

I'm wondering if this could backfire. Hurting China like this must make invasion of Taiwan - if only to get their hands on advanced foundry technologies - a more tempting proposition.

Peace in that region is fragile and carefully balanced. Pushing China into a corner could tip that and Western tech companies are dangerously exposed to any instability involving Taiwan.

Eurocops shut down Exclu encrypted messaging app, arrest dozens


Re: Baffled

Oh I understand it -- far better than you it seems. Let me repeat what I said in simpler terms for you.

Each user device generates a public/private key pair.

The private keys are retained individually on each device.

The public keys are pushed to WhatsApp where they're stored in a repository.

If you want to message 3 people, WhatsApp sends you their public keys.

Your device encrypts 3 versions of your message using the 3 public keys.

Your device transmits each message to WhatsApp who forwards them to the users.

They can each decrypt their version of the message using their own private key.

Now, unknown to you WhatsApp actually sent you 4 public keys. 3 for your intended recipients and 1 for which they hold the private key. Your device generates and sends 4 versions of the message, one of which they keep to themselves and can read. You're none the wiser as their App knows to hide special/flagged public keys and doesn't tell you what it's done.

Is that any clearer now ?


Re: Baffled

"WhatsApp is as safe as you can get"


WhatsApp keep a copy all user public keys on their servers. When you open a chat with one or more person, they send those keys to your client so it can multiply encrypt your messages using those keys, a unique one for each correspondent. Sounds super secure except for one thing. The client app is closed source. You don't actually see what public keys are used to encrypted your message, or how many. What's to stop them from adding invisible users to your chats? User accounts that they control. You'd be none the wiser.

Boris Johnson's mad hydrogen for homes bubble bursts


Re: Capacity and pump issues

> I dont think you know your periodic table

I don't think you know your chemistry.



Re: Capacity

Fortunately new research from Princeton has developed a method of extracting Lithium (and Sodium) from brine that is cheaper, faster, more compact and environmentally friendly than the traditional method.

They're also experimenting to see if they can perform the extraction direct from seawater



Re: Capacity

White Hydrogen is just another unicorn. The largest deposit found so far is in France with an estimated volume of 46Mts - that's not enough to meet even 1 years worth of hydrogen demand at today's levels, never mind how much you'd need for an actual hydrogen economy.


Re: Capacity

You're talking about using huge amounts of renewable energy to create green hydrogen at scale. Then using more renewable energy to capture carbon from either industrial sources or from the atmosphere. Then using even more renewable energy to combine those to make methane and various synth fuels. There isn't going to be anything remotely low cost about the end products as the amount of energy required and energy lost due to inefficiencies will be colossal.

It's much smarter to use the renewable energy directly to power EVs and Heat Pumps and cut out all that faff.


Re: Capacity and pump issues

It's not just the unsuitable joints and valves that are the problem. Hydrogen doesn't have the volumetric density of natural gas so would have to be pumped much faster to maintain the same pressure (it's about 3 times faster). Our pumping stations just can't do that - they'd all have to be upgraded. Even then the energy delivered to the household would only be 88% that of a current natural gas supply.

You also get much higher NOx levels from burning hydrogen than for natural gas as hydrogen burns much hotter. So that's another downside as well.

OK, we know iPhones are expensive but... $11 a month for Twitter Blue on iOS?


"we can imagine"

You don't have to imagine, he's clearly set the price to drive his business away from the iOS App Store and onto the web. He gets his $8/m either way so no skin off his nose. Likewise, Apple won't care as they weren't making any money out of Twitter in the first place. However, if this idea spreads and other businesses follow suit, it might make them sit up and take notice.

The killing of CentOS Linux: 'The CentOS board doesn't get to decide what Red Hat engineering teams do'


Re: Debian all the way

You can't buy Debian. They're not a corporate entity.


Re: Debian all the way

You've a point. Debian is a solid contender for many use cases. If the hardware you have is well supported then why not. Choosing Debian you can't have the rug yanked out from under you by a commercial OS vendor who has a change of priorities or ownership.


Re: We are still in the "Decide where to go" process where I work.

That comment about Ubuntu stability and enterprise offerings is just pure FUD. I've experience of Ubuntu, CentOS and RHEL and they're much of a muchness these days. A solid enterprise experience which ever one you choose. Ubuntu LTS is a sensible and safe alternative to CentOS.

Puppet is a poppet in the eyes of DevOps cash injectors: Automation upstart bags extra $42m


Having used Puppet for several years, and Ansible for about 3, given the choice I'd chose Ansible over puppet every time. Much faster and easier to learn, write, deploy, update, maintain and scale. Puppet infrastructure when you scale up to thousands of systems over distributed DCs is a nightmare to get right. When your catalogues mysteriously decide to take several+ minutes to compile you'll lose lots of hair trying to figure out where in the sprawling spread of Load Balancers, Puppetmasters, CA Server(s), Puppet DB servers (and Postgres DB servers) the bottleneck is coming from. Or perhaps the ENC is having an issue pulling from your CMDB. Plus you'll stand no chance what so ever of keeping up with puppet releases. Upgrading the infrastructure and code is such a ball ache you'll always be behind. In fact every place I've seen so far ends up creating new duplicate Infrastructure for later versions and slowly migrating across. At my current place of employment we have THREE of these and haven't even got to Puppet 4 yet. And don't get me started on Certificate management headaches. Puppet consumes a stupid amount of man hours to keep running. Avoid !!

Fork it! Google fined €4.34bn over Android, has 90 days to behave


Re: You can't fork Android

"I don't want any Google shite apps on the phone"

I have the opposite problem. I've a Samsung S6 Edge and they are constantly installing/updating Samsung versions of Google apps that I don't want and can't get rid of. Sick to death of it. Samsung make excellent hardware, but I won't buy them again because of this experience. That and the OS updates have dried up. I'm hanging on till October and am looking forward to a native Android experience on a Pixel 3.

People hate hot-desking. Google thinks they’ll love hot-Chromebooking


Re: lowest common denominator

"It's still crapware mostly written for a mobile phone though. In the enterprise people generally want proper computers, not close to useless toys."

An ignorant comment from someone who's obviously never used one. But if you really have to have native apps then you won't have to wait long:


Besides, if your workflow isn't mostly browser based (+extensions) then you're still stuck in the 90's and I feel sorry for you.

Chef and HP cook up partnership for infrastructure as code – even on Windows


Re: Ansible & Salt

Present circumstances are different to the past. That risk is well understood and has been tackled by the current team. We could re-write in puppet but why not look at what else is on offer? Alternative designs might suit us better. If the world followed your philosophy we'd all still be learning COBOL.


Ansible & Salt

We're a big puppet shop at the moment, but our code base has been badly managed for years, is bloated, old and in need of a complete overhaul. Before we embark on this and an upgrade to newer versions we decided to have a look at the competition: Chef, Ansible and Salt. Chef is no longer in the running, it doesn't offer any clear advantage over Puppet. Also feedback we've had from contacts in the know say that it encourages messy unreadable code, exactly what we want to avoid. We'll be trying out Ansible and Salt in the coming weeks to see how they stack up.

Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps


Re: Yet another layer?

No you're not the only one. I have zero interest in running Android apps on my Chromebook. It's lightweight, fast and secure and I want it to stay that way. If I want Android apps I'll buy a suitable phone or tablet.

HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers


Re: Phone?!

"If you're calling in issues then generally either you've set up the servers wrong or it's not a hardware issue"

Or your servers are in a firewalled subnet that doesn't have direct access to the internet.

Oracle revs up Sparc M6 chip for seriously big iron


Re: 256 socket Xeon

I have never worked with IBM kit so had to quickly learn what this architecture looked like.


That's not SMP. Processors only have direct access to local memory and I/O within their own "Processor Book". The books are then linked together using an "SMP Fabric". SMP in this context is a creative marketing phrase. That design, if you ignore the proprietary language and marketing, looks just like NUMA.

You won't find 32 processor systems that are true SMP because true SMP doesn't scale to that many processors without hitting serious performance bottlenecks. Read the "basic concept" section in this wiki. It explains the problem NUMA was designed to solve very well.



Re: 256 socket Xeon

"...But Linux scaled awfully bad on 64 cpus...."

That used to be the case several years ago, but is not the case today. That's old FUD.

"...BTW, the SGI Altix and SU servers are clusters. They are using NUMA. And NUMA is regarded as a cluster. NUMA is the same thing as Cluster. Read here if you dont believe me:..."

No it's not. When the author of that article says "One can view NUMA as a tightly coupled form of cluster computing" he's making an analogy. He's not saying the two are the same. In a cluster, each system runs its own instance of an operating system and can boot / shutdown separately to the others. That's the litmus test.


Re: 256 socket Xeon

"...But earlier SPARC servers was also SMP, for instance the Sun M9000 with 64 cpus. So, yes, I know the difference between SMP and NUMA, I am talking about it, am I not?..."

Yes you're talking about it, but no I'm afraid you don't know the difference between SMP and NUMA. Lets drill a bit deeper into your example, the M9000.


Actually, we can start with the diagram on page 22 of the M5000, and the following sentence that says:

"SPARC Enterprise M8000 and M9000 servers feature multiple system boards that connect to a common crossbar."

If you have a design where sockets on a system board only have access to limited local memory, and must traverse an interconnect, like a crossbar, to access memory on another system board, then that is a NUMA, or NUMA derived design. It's most certainly not SMP. An SMP design is where all CPUs have equal access to to all memory. The problem with that is it doesn't scale well, hence the reason why NUMA was invented.

Thumb Down

Re: 256 socket Xeon

It's not a cluster, it's a single system image (SSI) server. i.e. it is running just one copy of the Linux kernel. Read the overview properly.


You also need to learn the difference between NUMA and SMP. You won't find anything anywhere that's SMP at 32 sockets, they are all ( various flavours of ) NUMA. Current SMP designs hit a brick wall at 8 sockets and the M6 is no exception, as this article clearly states.

Top tools for junior Linux admins


Re: my list

If you're going to learn puppet or chef then you should invest your time to learn ruby instead of python. It's mandatory anyway for chef, and puppet is written with it. Puppet templates can contain embedded ruby, and its also useful when writing your own (facter) facts. It's incredibly easy and quick to use for general purpose scripting tasks too.

Hasbro sues Asus over Transformer Prime moniker


I would agree with that assessment. If Asus had just used "Transformer" on its own they could have got away with this, as they could (rightly) argue that "transformer" is a verb - a doing word that describes an action or state. But "Transformer Prime" evokes a very different mental image. Hasbro have got every right to get pissed off about this.

iPhone 4S is for failures who work in coffee shops - Samsung


The iPhone 4S is for...

.. people who don't want their very personal data snitched by one of the many Android root kits and scattered to the 4 winds.

Apple's iPad not so shiny once you get it home


Me too

I'm surprised too. I have one (3G) and get loads of use out of it. I check email, catch up on news (MobileRSS) and read books & PDFs on the way into work in the morning; use OmniFocus heavily during the work day to manage my projects and work load; and it's perfect for a bit of light browsing, catching up on FaceBook and the occasional game when I get a spare hour or so in the evenings (N.O.V.A, GroundEffect, Nanosaur 2, RiseOfGlory, etc). It's even handy for calming down my son when he gets a bit hyper .. he loves SoundTouch and AlphaBaby. It's size, weight, portability and (best of all) amazing battery life make it a must have item for me. My other computers hardly get a look in these days,

Comet can't sell anything, including itself


Agree with JimmyPage

Except that we went to Comet et al first to eyeball the products we were interested in and get their prices; then went home and researched online to compare specs and find the cheapest online places to buy from. We replaced our fridge, washing machine and added a tumble drier (with all Miele products) purchased online and saved over £500 from the street price. No problems and no complaints.

Comet are just too expensive now compared to buying from the Internet. They need to lower their costs and drive down their prices to tempt their customers back.

HP-UX stretches over new Superdome 2


some clarification

Actually, Compaq had already stated their intent to drop Alpha and move to Itanium prior to the HP buy out. At the point of sale Tru64 had already been successfully ported to Itanium and was running in the labs. HP could have used it, or portions of it. AdvFS, the cam scsi layer and TruCluster were all offered. In the end it came down to numbers. At the time there were ~600K Tru64 customers world wide .vs. 1.6M for HP-UX. Dropping the Veritas filesystem and cluster suite to foist something new and unknown on the HP-UX customer base was considered too risky. A customer poll indicated they didn't want it, and Veritas offered some sweeteners to make sure the decision went their way. So it had nothing to do with technology benefits/limitations; it was a business decision.

EnterpriseDB comforts HP-UX shops with PostgreSQL


Re: Why buy Red Hat?

TPM regularly throws this suggestion around and I suspected he's just trolling. It's nonsense; completely undervalues what Red Hat is all about and would be a terrible move for Red Hat customers (like my employer). One of the reasons we dumped our proprietary unix systems and moved everything onto Red Hat was platform neutrality.

HP sues Oracle over Itanic withdrawal


Mythical plan or not

It doesn't matter. Every time this story airs it plants or re-enforces doubt in Itanium's future. This will damage HP's Itanium business, and its customer list isn't that big in the first place. As you've pointed out previously Matt, HP gets more $$'s per Itanium sale than your average server, so even a small dent in their installed base is going to smart. After that, it's a rolling stone gathering moss.

YouTube to launch paid video-on-demand service


That's ok for now.

It would be useless over here anyway unless Google bundled it with a broadband package of their own, where the content didn't contribute to your month's "fair use" limits.

Intel on Itanium: 'It's all about the OS'


It's all about the apps

I used to be involved in quite a few Itanium installations years ago. With the exception of one customer build, all the others either ran an Oracle product, or JBoss. HP-UX is no longer listed as a certified operating system for JBoss and now Oracle has pulled the plug. It doesn't matter what noises Intel and HP make at this point. I fail to see how they're going to generate enough customer interest in Itanium from this point to justify continued investment in the future. If I were a betting man I'd wager that Poulson will be the last hurrah for Itanium, and Kittson will never see the light of day. By 2015 the relentless pace of Xeon performance and RAS development will make Itanium look even less attractive.

Oracle's Itanium gambit: A play for HP's checkbook


Red Hat + HP = bad

HP buying Red Hat would be the death of Red Hat as we know it. Red Hat Linux thrives in part because, like Microsoft, it's a hardware vendor neutral platform. That's a big part of its appeal; an insurance policy against the machinations and/or failure of any one of the big hardware vendors. If it were owned by HP, IBM and Dell would cease certifying their hardware for Red Hat; sales would drop off and a significant slice of their subscription revenue would disappear along with it. No one who uses Red Hat - except for a few journalist rooting for the next story - want this to happen; certainly not Red Hat customers, employees and share holders. It would also send a very negative message to HP-UX customers and send ripples of confusion through HP's sales force, who've had it drilled into them to push HP-UX and Itanium over competing solutions at every opportunity.

Apple iPad 2 said to sport über speaker


Rear camera

While I welcome the addition of a front facing camera I hope they don't add a rear facing camera. Who in their right might would want to use something the size of an iPad to take photos with. It would be a complete waste and add unnecessary cost to the device.

RHEL 6: how much for your package?


Re: CentOS

--"That's our decision to go with CentOS justified. It works very well at the barginous price of free"--

Depends on what you're using it for. If you put critical systems into production with no support and down the line things go wrong, who are you going to turn to? The CentOS guys will doubtless offer free advise when they have a spare minute, but often problems require code changes to fix. Who's going to do that for you, in a timely manner, when your customers are taking their business elsewhere and your senior management are demanding a fix? Maybe you've never had to use a Red Hat hotfix kernel to get you out of a jam. I have, and in those circumstances they earn every penny they're paid.

CentOS is a fantastic resource, and is good for many use cases. But it's the wrong choice if your business depends on it. I don't think even the CentOS guys would argue with that.

Ubuntu demotes Gnome for Unity netbook look


I think you're right

Shuttleworth is no fool: he's already looking ahead to a future where desktop PCs are less and less relevant. Apple have announced they're doing a facelift on OS X for 10.7 next year to blend it with the iOS interface. Plus ex-Microsoft Chief Software Architect, Ray Ozzie, warned as he walked out the door that Microsoft need to close their eyes, think hard about what the post PC future is going to look like, and the kind of devices and interfaces their competitors will be using. Shuttleworth gets this, and is aiming to position Ubuntu so it's a class leader for the future. The GNOME Shell developers, for all the good work they're doing, are really just re-inventing the wheel instead of designing something that doesn't need wheels. Of cause many Gnome die-hards who just want a better wheel today will whine loudly about this. But it's Shuttleworth's job to have longer vision than that and to plan for where he thinks we'll need be 3-5 years from now. Even some people in the Fedora project have recently started talking about shifting focus away from the Desktop and more to building a platform that people can better use to build cloud and web apps with. The writing is on the wall people.

Oracle spins own Linux for mega hardware


Getting smart

It's about time they did this. I've seen lots of places running Oracle DBs on Linux, and always on Red Hat. There has never been a really compelling reason not to. Now they're diffrenciating themselves from Red Hat while still leveraging the established skills base in Red Hat Linux technology. They might actually sell more OEL licenses and support now. It'll be interesting to revisit this in 12 months to see what difference its made, if any, and how Red Hat respond to it.

Critical Flash vuln under active attack, Adobe warns

Jobs Halo

All your comps are belong to us

Ha, you mean sent from a computer someone else now owns and controls.

BBC news apps squeeze onto iPhone, iPad

Thumb Up

I like it

I used it for the first time last night on the train in an area where 3G reception is spotty and loading web pages is typically slow. It's very quick, easy to use and makes much better use of available bandwidth because it cuts out most of the HTML cruft. Back home, I found I can now see embedded video clips that I would not normally have access to due to lack of flash on iOS. So it gets a big thumbs up from me. I will be using this regularly from now on. Thanks Auntie!

Oracle spikes HP's Solaris OEM contract


Re: hp-ux on x64?

--"Wrong! There are a wealth of common applications for all three on Itanium, such as Oracle or SAP applications"--

Not as many proprietary vendor apps for RHEL on Itanium as HP-UX. Plus, most top vendor apps on RHEL x86 are Tier 1, that was never the same situation for RHEL IA64. There was just no incentive for vendors to invest in it. A classic chicken and egg situation.

--"I have benched solutions on Superdome using all three OS so that the board could see which offered the best performance and bang-for-the-buck with a particular app stack"--

Is that supposed to fill us with a sense of even handedness and fair competition? You are after all potentially the UKs biggest HP-UX fanboi ;)

--"So the idea that hp pushed out RH and MS on Itanium by just pushing hp-ux solutions misses the fact that hp weren't leading the sale on most deals, it was the resellers"--

I have a long history of mixing it with resellers, and my experience has _always_ been that when a reseller pitches an Itanium solution they _always_ pitch HP-UX unless the customer specifies otherwise. There is always more money in it for them, and you don't bite the hand that feeds you. You're being deliberately disingenuous Matt.

--"This is where hp-ux beat RHEL on Itanium - hp was simply able to fund more developers and thus gave us customers more app options at an earlier date"--

Ah, so at last you agree with me: that there was never a truly competitive market on IA64 between RHEL and HP-UX, because HP stacked the application deck in their favour by funding more development themselves. RH don't do this -- their pockets are not deep enough to spend money like that chasing proprietary apps on a platform where there are hardly any players representing their interests in front of the customer. HP had to because for their Unix business it was a matter of survival.

--"Webserving and fileserving, whch is not really an hp-ux on Itanium market"--

Rubbish. I know of several large $1M+ bids involving Telco, Biotech and Finance customers where proprietary Unix on proprietary hardware have lost out to RHEL x86. I only see a tiny fraction of what's going on out there, but there are lots of big business success stories for RH.

--"and if they decided there was money there for hp-ux on x64 then you can be sure they would be using hp's rep, marketing clout and cash to push hp-ux in a manner RH or Novell can't match."--

You forget two things. 1) RH don't have that hill to climb, they've already done it. hp-ux on x86 would have a competitor that is already in its prime. 2) Do you seriously think any amount of marketing money is going to make a proprietary unix with the licensing costs HP-UX is encumbered with competitive with RHEL? HP would have to completely rethink how they finance development and expect to retain a profit. Seriously, proprietary unix only makes business sense on proprietary hardware sold at proprietary prices to rich customers prepared to buy into the belief that they are getting something special. It cannot survive in the commodity system market. Sun tried and failed to make a profit despite having a bigger customer base than HP-UX and more ISVs in their pocket. HP-UX would do no better.

--"I agree in that hp really doesn't want to go head-to-head with Linux on x64 "--

So what are you arguing for then? ;)

--"As I've said before, the real crunch could be if UNIX goes 128-bit"--

There's no market or reason for that to happen in our working life time. The move from 32bit to 64bit was a no brainer as the 4GB limit is easy to hit. But there's a ton of leg room left in 64bit.


RE: HP-UX on x86

--"For a start, hp-ux has always been in direct competiton with Linux on Itanium"--

Correction: Red Hat was only ported to Itanium in the first place because like everyone else at the time Red Hat believed Intel's marketing message that Itanium was going to be the volume server chip in the 64bit space. Microsoft also believed this message and did the same. Neither Red Hat or Windows have ever been in real competition with HP-UX on Itanium for the simple reason that the majority of Itanium systems sales over the years come in proprietary packages to enterprise customers via proprietary vendors. The majority share of those sales come from HP, so by default are HP-UX solutions. The customer has to explicitly ask for something else (OpenVMS, Non-Stop, Windows, Red Hat) or (s)he gets HP-UX, and you know as well as I that most customers will take what HP recommends. So don't try and pretend there has ever been a competitive marketplace on Itanium, because we all know that's rubbish.

--"The problem for Macka here is that us customers chose hp-ux over Linux to such a degree that companies like Red Hat gave up and went back to x86/64"--

Correction: Red Hat gave up on Itanium because like Microsoft they made a sound business decision not to throw good money after bad and waste resources propping up an architecture that does not return a profit (for them). SGI was probably the only good reason for Red Hat to continue and when they abandoned Itanium and moved to an x86 roadmap what was the point? None.

--"And Macka has this strange idea that it hp-ux couldn't face Linux on x86 due to "a wealth of apps" - one of the reasons I had such a hard time getting management to look at Red Hat on Itanium was because hp-ux had a much better range of fully-supported applications"--

Nice try at obfuscation, but I'm not comparing Red Hat apps to HP-UX apps on Itanium, I'm talking about the x86 market. If HP-UX were ported to x86 its starting app portfolio would be zip, nada, nothing. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that none of its IA64 apps would run without a port and recompile, or perhaps a Transitive style emulation wrapper. What app vendor in their right mind is going to waste time and money on that unless HP paid them to do it. Solaris on x86 had a much better chance at cracking the x86 market and taking on Linux, but hasn't been a big success, and certainly hasn't slowed the Linux juggernaut one jot.

--"Moan about M$ all you like"--

Are you trying to put words in my mouth? I haven't moaned about MS or even mentioned them. They're the biggest player in the x86 game, what else is there to say.

--"If hp did port hp-ux to x64, their biggest opponent would be Windows, not Linux"--

Maybe. Some of the previously loyal HP-UX customers would use the opportunity of an architecture change to switch to MS, but look at the history of Linux: where has it gained most of its market share from? Some of is has been at the expense of MS, but it's been far more damaging to proprietary Unix. Either way, your point just re-enforces my point: whether its competition from MS or Linux, an HP-UX port to x86 will never be in HP's best interests for HP-UX or Itanium.

--"Whilst it's always good fun having a laugh at Macka's anti-hp FUD"--

Just to put you straight I'm not anti-HP, I really like their products and the company. I'm just a realist. I don't see any performance, cost or productivity advantage in choosing an HP-UX Itanium solution over Red Hat and x86. Quite the opposite in fact, as Red Hat on x86 is cheaper, faster and offers customers a larger choice of solutions. Plus if I were to bet which one has the best chance of still being actively developed in 5 years I know where I'd put my money.


HP-UX on x86

--"Pity HP-UX doesn't run on x64 iron, though"--

It's a good job it doesn't. Apart from tempting some of it's customer base off Itanium, which would be very bad for HP, that would bring it into direct competition with Linux and the BSDs where it would get eaten alive. Red Hat for example is already a far more capable o/s with a wealth of apps and vendor support that no proprietary unix can match today. And the gap is soon to get even wider with RHEL6. HP need HP-UX Itanium exclusivity to promote it's Itanium sales message.

Ubuntu v iTunes: the music playoff for Applephobes


Don't believe you

Lets assume 4MB per track and 20 tracks per CD -- 2TB would be 25.000 CDs worth of music. Either you're lying, or your friend has one biggest collections of illegal music I've ever heard of.


Kubuntu is niche

Ubuntu is main stream, kubuntu is niche. Seems like an obvious and sensible choice to me. And it sounds to me like you've not looked at Gnome in some time. It used to be the case that KDE was streets ahead of Gnome years ago but that's not the case now. I switched and tried using KDE 4.3 for a whole month to give myself plenty of time to get to grips with it, but was glad to go back to Gnome at the end. It's just too buggy, I don't like the look and feel, and I hated using Amarok, kmail and Dolphin.

You need to take your blinkers off. Amarok is bloody awful. It has the worst playlist implementation I've ever seen; the way controls and options are layed out is very unintuitive, and it's design wastes lots of screen real estate. Kmail (like most things KDE) doesn't bother to differentiate between ordinary functions people use every day and advanced functions, and just packs its menus full of crap that would fill an 'ordinary' PC user with confusion and fear. It doesn't integrate all that well with gmail (a must for me) and mail account setup is way too complicated for a non-techie to grasp. If you want to see an MUA done right, take a look at Thunderbird. Setup is a breeze. For example just give it a gmail/yahoo/hotmail email address and it knows what needs to be done.

I like to use multi-column views for file management where it's available, and navigate around using the keypad more than the mouse. Implemented properly its a fast way to work. Dolphin is badly broken here and doesn't work the same as every other file manager I've ever used. It was just impossible for me to be productive with it. Nautilus just blows it out of the water.

So in summary, you can keep your KDE. If it works for you then I'm happy for you, and maybe The Reg authors will do an article for you one day. In the mean time this series is for the rest of us, and I look forward to the next one.

New wave of superphones poised to challenge iPhone 4


Battery life

--"The Galaxy S is rated at 576 hours of 3G standby while the iPhone 4 is rated at 300 hours"--

This was said in the context of comparing the AMOLED screen on the Galaxy to the iPhone 4, but what has the standby time got to do with screen power consumption? Standby time is when the device is inactive, not being used, it has nothing at all to do with screen power efficiency. The only thing we can deduce from this statement is that the Galaxy will have a bigger battery than the iPhone, so it will probably be a bigger and heavier device. I'm sure Apple could build a bigger phone with a longer battery life if they wanted to, but they don't because they always look to balance form with function. Making a new phone thats 24% thinner than it's predecessor is something they're proud of.

Adobe unveils emag maker for Apple iPad


I'm Gobsmacked!

Haha, hold on there Quick Draw. It's a lot more interactive than a boring old PDF file. Don't believe me, take a look for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBIitccr7bw

Mac spyware infiltrates popular download sites


Wrong focus

The first thing to note is that this isn't a virus it's a Trojan; and you're right, any OS can get infected with one of these. The real story here is not that someone's written a nasty Trojan, but its method of delivery. If Intego are to be believed then Softpedia, MacUpdate, and VersionTracker are inserting malware into downloads of otherwise sane and safe software. So either they've been hacked, or they have become hives of scum and villainy who will sell your systems down the river for a silver penny or three from a dodgy sponsor. THAT is the real story. Not that Intego want you to think about that, they just want you to get frightened into buying their product.

Bing on iPhone rumor returns to boil


Troll Bait

Nothing to get excited or het up about folks. Cade is just jerking your chain. If Bing makes it onto the iPhone in the next incarnation it will just be a.n.other search option and there's nothing wrong with more choice.

Fedora 13 – Linux for Applephobes


Re: Upgrad path for 3.0?

Yes it does. You upgrade to FC 4, then 5, 6, etc until you get to the release you want. Or did you want to do that in one hit? Name me one operating system that allows you to upgrade 10 major versions in a single upgrade. No, how about 5 versions, or maybe 3? Still no? Well what does that tell you then!

It's your own stupid fault for letting your system fall so behind. Never ever let important systems that you rely on get that out of date again. An FC 3 build in this day and age must have more security holes than a Swiss cheese.

If you absolutely have to keep this, then how about using your head and going for a sensible solution. Your ancient FC 3 build that you left to languish must be running on very old hardware by now. I assume you're running something you just can't transplant onto a more modern build (can't imagine what). So do what everyone else does that need a modern supported OS and hardware platform: go virtual. Get a nice fast modern system and run your FC 3 build inside a VM.

Honestly I can't believe the number of ignorant twits and trolls that have crawled out from under their rocks to throw mud at this article.