* Posts by Phil Miesle

30 posts • joined 13 Nov 2006

For the marketeer that has everything – except a CPU fan

Phil Miesle

and not even vPro…

Intel does like their vPro for this solution space, and you can often find DS with over-spec CPUs so that the network can remote manage out-of-band (as vPro is only in higher-end CPUs).

Alas. Another option is edge AI computing…

Facebook: Remember how we promised we weren’t tracking your location? Psych! Can't believe you fell for that

Phil Miesle

Microsoft OneDrive iOS does it too...

Try to allow OneDrive to sync new iOS photos automatically and you'll be forced to enable location services...ostensibly allowing the app "to detect when you've changed position so it can upload the new photos in a batch." Quite why it needs to do this in a batch, and only when you've changed positions...

At last, a kosher cryptocurrency: BitCoen

Phil Miesle

How orthodox?

Are computational nodes allowed to work on the Sabbath?

Lettuce-nibbling veggies menace Mother Earth

Phil Miesle

CH4 >> CO2

Setting aside resource use...is the measurement in CO2 (which I could believe) or does it also take into account the rather voluminous quantities of methane that cows and their ilk produce out both ends?

Mandatory data breach reporting rules finally agreed by EUrocrats

Phil Miesle

"to whom"...

If you're going to use "thou" you should at least use "whom" when it is an objective position :)

PHONE me if you feel DIRTY: Yanks and 'Nadians wave bye-bye to magstripe

Phil Miesle

chip and WTF

Slight nuance: Visa/Mastercard/etc are requiring terminals to do chip-and-signature. However, that does not preclude individual banks from supporting chip-and-pin ... and fortunately most terminal devices will support PIN signatures since EMV became standard throughout the civilised world quite some time ago.

Trick is that small businesses will just keep accepting only magstripe, since the change-over cost has been made too prohibitive for their margins.

And of course even here in the civilised world, our cards have magstripes with info on them as a "backup" entry method. We can of course only be saved by a Jobsian device.

Can Microsoft's U-turn stop the Xbox 360 becoming another XP?

Phil Miesle

Exception: the Ribbon

The (maligned) Ribbon was a huge improvement in Office 2007. Sure it took a little getting used to, but once you said "pretend I know nothing" everything became so much more intuitive, and I discovered features that had long-existed in Office but which were buried behind three menu layers.

So, while they got it terribly wrong in Win8 Metro, and XBOne was clearly not paying attention to their core market...sometimes the "slam it down their throats" approach works.

'Leccy price hike: Greens to blame as well as energy biz

Phil Miesle

@JonW is exactly right

Modern, high-efficiency gas plants achieve 55% efficiency (excluding thermal capture), and that's before grid loss. Other plants (such as oil and nuclear) operate far less efficiently.

While there may be some argument in the way ROCs work, FIT is exactly right. A microgenerator creating 1 kWh of energy prevents > 2 kWh of energy consumption...so IN REALITY their power company could pay a microgenerator 1 kWh worth of cost and still come out ahead financially.

Regardless of "renewable" versus "non-renewable", FIT makes sense. A micro-CHP boiler (for example) can electricity and heat with a MUCH higher efficiency than a power plant.

EC consults on low take-up of e-commerce

Phil Miesle

the inevitable consultant will conclude: shipping costs

Undoubtedly millions will be spent on consultants to study this...in-country practices are also a barrier. For example, try shipping something from the UK to Ireland...or even Northern Ireland. "Will ship to Mainland UK only".

Rogue knob could ground space shuttle Atlantis

Phil Miesle

only NASA - 4000 GB document!

Did anybody see down at the bottom of the linked document? And I quote:

"L2 members: Documentation - from which the above article has quoted snippets - is available in full in the related L2 sections, now over 4000 gbs in size."

Methinks somebody has a little too much time on their hand with a 25 Mpx camera...how in the *world* does one assemble a 4 TB document?!?

US wireless pioneer to carriers: Don't be European

Phil Miesle
Dead Vulture

market penetration?

Uh, Ireland and the UK are "over 100% market penetration" for mobile phones. How, exactly, that happens I don't quite know but suffice it to say that pretty much every teenager upwards has a mobile phone.

Could it (just could it) be that the US has not reached this saturation point and is simply working its way there with double-digit growth? Or that US mobile phone networks were basically under-developed until GSM carriers entered the market?

And this guy was a *successful* businessman?

Vodafone says termination rate clampdown would hit the poor

Phil Miesle

consider this...

Two lines, 1000 peak minutes, unlimited night/weekend minutes, unlimited anytime calls between the two lines, and unlimited calls to two sets of 5 numbers. $80/mo, with $10/mo for each of up to three additional lines. That's T-Mobile.

Or consider AT&T pre-paid plans. [$0.25/min] or [$1/day-of-usage and $0.10/min to non-ATT numbers plus unlimited calls to ATT numbers].

And need I mention that these are national plans...doesn't matter if I'm making calls between New York and San Francisco, doesn't matter where I am.

And don't get me started on data rates...AT&T's iPhone data transfer is uncapped.

Sorry, I've been on US plans and Irish plans, and I'd take the US "pay to receive calls" any day of the week.

In fairness, I'd really just welcome some actual competition between carriers...but of course European carriers paid billions for their 3G licenses. (At auction, so you can hardly fault the governments there...)

Red rag, meet bull: The software resilience gamble

Phil Miesle


More components = more likely any one component will fail. The concept is that simple, though the math is a bit more complex...

How, then, is it surprising that as businesses incorporate more and more software they have more and more software failures?

EU wants RFID tags turned off

Phil Miesle
Jobs Halo

what's in a tag...

Generally retailers are simply encoding the equivalent of a SKU in tags. This definitely causes privacy problems...even if I rip off the tag and throw it away some enterprising person will scan the rubbish to discover what I've just bought.

Fundamentally, the problem is encoding information in the tag rather than associating a random identifier with lookup information in a database. So long as there is no info encoded in the tag, privacy concerns can be address.

Trick is that computationally, that's going to be expensive for quite a while...that's a whole lot of lookups...

Former beauty queen cuffed for torturing ex

Phil Miesle
Paris Hilton

here's your Paris angle...

From the Sydney Morning Herald:


Were you male, gay, and a member of the NRA you just might consider switching sides...

US flight authorities tighten rules on gadget battery storage

Phil Miesle

did anybody do the math?

A Li-metal battery with over 2g of Li is "forbidden", but then they talk about "8 grams equivalent". Presumably "g-equiv" is the "100 Wh = 8 g-equiv" ratio so the "aggregate value" of 25 g-equiv is the 300 Wh.

It would seem that so long as I have them in carry-on I can carry an "unlimited" amount of spares that are below the 8 g-equiv rating, but can only carry two that are over 8 g-equiv (and the sum of those two must be under 25 g-equiv).

Could someone at El Reg get the TSA to comment on this or perhaps clarify what in the heck they're on about?

Microsoft squeezes out early release of 2007 Office SP1

Phil Miesle

okay, so to speed deployment...

All you need to do is release SP1, because what's really the barrier to marketplace takeup is the ".0" at the end of the release number. So here's a cunning idea for everyone: release a ".0" product that doesn't require a patch bundle to work properly! Might've been good for Vista (which came and quickly went on my system).

3 Ireland's broadband stumbles to its knees

Phil Miesle

a joke...

Well, I got a blazing speed of 36 kbps (you'll note that is about 60% of a modem) at home which is 1 mile from the centre of a town of 25,000 people (Ennis).

And even at that, the connection was up and down like a yo-yo and completely unusable for web browsing, let alone FTP, VPN, or any other network task...heck, even ping timed out...

Device returned within 12 hours of purchase, 3 can spend the money to "refurb" my modem before passing it along to the next sucker...

Imagine if everybody did this though...might hurt them a bit more than media complaints?

Will VMware's sales double forever?

Phil Miesle

Sun, and...

IBM and HP all have very good virtualization technologies that are tightly coupled with the operating system.

HP puts customers to another Itanium test with aging gear

Phil Miesle

what choice does HP have?

PA-RISC is dead...were HP to try to revive it they'd be years behind Sun in R&D...who are themselves effectively years behind IBM (yeah yeah, depends on the workload etc, but in single-thread performance you'd do well to beat a Power6).

HP is stuck with Itanium, and I'm sure they wish they weren't...Their only hope is software.

NetApp shares shocked by profit warning

Phil Miesle

stop innovating, see what happens!

Seth is spot on: NetApp has had a huge pile of innovative products, but as EMC, IBM, and HP start to emulate much of their functionality this innovation advantage is decreasing.

NetApp needs to get back onto the innovation curve or else start cutting prices!

Gmail: a short, sharp rant

Phil Miesle

what an idiot

1) it's free

2) Google makes money by displaying ads to users

3) you don't see those ads with POP

So how does our intrepid "reporter" figure that Google is at all incented to solve this? They've already made it easy to archive/delete when you're using POP.

I swear, sometimes the editors here are as thick as the authors.

And the winner is...the laptop!

Phil Miesle

virtualization isn't just for servers you know...

We're completing a successful pilot of VMWare ACE as a replacement for our company desktop standard. No longer will we care about the hardware and operating system running on that hardware...so long as it can be a VMWare host OS, we're happy.

This actually makes our support a lot easier...one image, no need to adjust drivers here and there, or deal with obsoleted machine lines. In my previous company we had probably one image to manage for every 40-50 employees...and that was just to deal with the different hardware.

We'll now have a handful of images, depending on the employees role. Much more scaleable. (Now if only I could get someone to OEM the images...)

This will make our desktop management MUCH easier...and while we're not planning to take the next step, it seems pretty logical to have the employee bring their own (supported) hardware to the table.

Tradesmen bring their own tools to the job and pay for the maintenance/replacement of those tools. Do we really not expect information workers in 10-15 years time to follow this paradigm?

Eircom injects €5m in Northern Ireland network

Phil Miesle

can't sort out broadband in RoI, so they go to NI?

Okay, so Eircom has failed to roll out broadband services to lots of places here in the Republic, which means that other carriers (e.g. BT, Imagine, Perlico) can not get access to lots of customers.

But instead of spending money to get these customers, they've decided to chase customers in the North, where broadband penetration is higher.

I only hope that Eircom's absoultely shite customer service further hobbles their business. They don't belong in business, period.

Google flirts with online OS

Phil Miesle

OS != Filesystem

Being on the bridge between "tagging" and "hierarchical filesystem" I can happily play in both worlds. But both of these are really metadata that organize information (documents) made visible and editable in applications.

Google is making an attempt to make the "operating system" utterly irrelevant to end users where documents are concerned. The way the article reads, all an operating system really does for the end user is allow them to manage documents and view them in applications.

Except of course it doesn't do *just* that. Do you print? Use audio/video devices? Connect to a network? Display things on monitors?

So you see, until Google figures out a way to manage all my necessarily proximal hardware, their "operating system" will remain limited to documents and applications.

Hardly a full-featured "operating system", now is it?

Waste computer edict finally hits UK

Phil Miesle

send your old, inefficient kit to Africa?!?!

Rob Morley makes my first point: it seems like a lot of broken, useless kit is going to posion African soil instead of European soil in the interests of "helping the poor of the world." Global NIMBYism at its best.

But surely while the Africans are using this "manna from heaven" they're going to increase their electical consumption. I don't know about you, but I don't see a lot of carbon-friendly power plants on the continent (or any continent for that matter).

Seems that Africans might be better-served by building and buying their own kit. Western meddling in the form of philanthropy seems to have done little more than suppress economic development on a continent full of bright and eager people.

Dell pitches XPS laptops at the mainstream

Phil Miesle

exchange rate error in your favour!

--> US prices start at $1299. In the UK, prices kick off at £699

At current exchange rates, £699 = $1394. Considering that £699 is inclusive of VAT and that quoted US prices don't include sales tax, the ex-VAT price is £595 / $1190...which is cheaper than the US price!?!?

I suspect that the person setting prices at Dell won't be getting a job offer from Microsoft any time soon...

Ambitious Evergrid to conquer VMware, Oracle and whatever else

Phil Miesle

...makes a nice cuppa...

...and makes sure your gran is looked after

Europe wants to civilise US terror war

Phil Miesle

PNR have been around for a long time

To say that the Patriot Act brought about PNR is completely wrong...PNR have been around for a very long time. That six number/letter code you're asked for when looking up a reservation (QX5JL7)? That's the unique-key lookup for your PNR.

The PNR has recently been expanded to include more information...you could legitmately say the Patriot Act has brought about 'an expanded PNR'...but airlines have been keeping personal data on us for a very long time, including name and credit card details.

To Jalapeño or to Hibernate the data...

Phil Miesle

Nice toy...

Jalapeño is a tool to abstract your developer from the persistence layer in a Caché database. Hibernate is a tool to abstract your developer from the persistence layer in a (general) relational database. Comparing these two is a bit like comparing apples and oranges...

Object databases are a good choice for a limited set of applications, relational databases are a good choice for a broader set of applications (and give you *way* more opportunity to shoot yourself in the foot).

No matter what "abstraction" tool you choose, if you choose the wrong persistence model, you'll be in a world of pain.

Ultimately, *ANY* tool that keeps your developer from understanding how data is persisted is a tool that will only cause grief at scale. The more abstracted the persistence, the bigger pain in solving the inevitable problems.

Nay, give me a human developer with a brain on his shoulder and some actual experience building large-scale systems. That person can do code reviews and teach solid techniques.

Spend more time up-front in development, spend less time "post-release" chasing fires. Sadly, deadline-driven development doesn't accept this.


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