* Posts by Disco Dance Donkey

33 publicly visible posts • joined 25 Mar 2013

Behold the Lumia 535 NOTkia: Microsoft wipes Nokia brand from mobes

Disco Dance Donkey

Re: Meh

Crashes less than iOS and is as simple/straightforward to use. If I find I'm lacking an app I'll write it (although Rudy Huyn is doing a good job bettering other apps). Camera beats the spots off Samsung. Build quality is second to none.

What is interesting, having used both a 520 and a 925, is that a 520 is surprisingly good. Really, it is. The screen difference is ignorable, its performance is great and the only really discerning points are the cameras. Oh, and my technophobic partner can quite happily use one. My only issue is that when I force her to upgrade she'll be moving to an 8X0 for the camera button.


1) Swipe the screen down, hit all settings, scroll down 3/4 of the list, hit *ease of access* and you've got a slider, you can pick your own text size.

2) Click Store, type "Files", install to give you on phone access. Plug the phone in and it uses MTP which is even good enough for the car stereo in my economically priced car. Also, you have their touch sharing and beamer software...

New Development. Where do we go?

Disco Dance Donkey

Re: Some great suggestions here

Looks like a good plan.

If you make the whole front-end C# MVC(4+) Razor then you don't need to worry about the browser other than on Windows machines, where it may need to be forcibly upgraded to cope (yes, I know). This makes your server ONLY reliant on Windows - oh and the option in Tools > Compatibility Settings to force broken mode for intranet is flipping annoying. However you can probably get MVC happily running on Mono/Linux.

As for code, JS is very fast at computation, so anything that doesn't need securing but needs calculations, farm out to the client side JS. I can provide you with some test cases.

Licensing costs; MS SQL is expensive, but there are some niceties, most can be replicated with something like Postgre or My. I would advise writing T-SQL and using a factory and an interface with implementations for Postgre, MS and My. The reason for this is T SQL's use of [] as an identifier is easier to convert to other languages. You can also maintain SProcs easier. And, cope with @@IDENTITY. The cost of putting this effort in is minimal, and would allow you to profile usage and performance based on a test workload for you to select what is best for your customer.

Anatomy of a killer bug: How just 5 characters can murder iPhone, Mac apps

Disco Dance Donkey

I'm sure the bug could possibly be trigged by any uneven number of characters. Not had full chance to play, but my assumption is they're using the direction of the text to mess up the counter; two forwards, three back. Personally I'd compute LTR direction then char direction (i.e. for the backspace char).

BILLION-TONNE BELCH emitted from Sun to hit Earth this weekend

Disco Dance Donkey


I'm off to Oslo this evening, and massive CME.

ULTIMATE cuppa contenders prepare to go mug-to-mug

Disco Dance Donkey


What are the standard conditions, because if you're lauching up a mountain in Spain, all the tea will taste awful. I recommned the following. Making, tasting etc. at sea level, then filling insulated flasks and see which tastes best after being carried around for several hours.

Preferably the flasks shall be glass inside to prevent the contamination of flavour by plastics.

KingSpec's 2TB Multicore PCI-E SSD whopper vs the rest

Disco Dance Donkey

Am I missing something?

The LSI MegaRaid 9271-4i with four Crucial M4 512GB drives comes in at 1576.23 including delivery, with performance not far outside the KingSpec, having quoted the KingSpec secondary setup as the second best performer based on the ATTO benchmark.

Do the lower capacity KingSpec cards stay in the 8-up formation, or drop to 6-up and 4-up. At which point, for the 1TB is the performance comparative the the above specification?

Paypal makes man 1000x as rich as the ENTIRE HUMAN RACE

Disco Dance Donkey

Re: Are you telling me...

It's called the "World Series" after the now defunct newspaper "The World", which didn't have international news.

If you've watched baseball they have all these "made up statistics" yet the Americans don't watch cricket...

Disco Dance Donkey

Re: I wondered too

PayPal will just be using a standard variable type. int64 in cents makes some sense, just to not have to cast when reporting. However, for taxation and currency conversion reaons you would hope they used 3dp.

BT: Ofcom's planned wholesale price cap? Just a smidge too tight

Disco Dance Donkey

I live in a 6 year old house. This means my cabinet is 6 years old. BT refuse to upgrade our cabinet to FTTC as they can't depreciate the cost of a cabinet that quickly. It took me a good time on the phone to get the actual reason out of them.

UK Post Office admits false accusations after computer system cockup

Disco Dance Donkey

Re: just wishing

What's the punishment for providing false evidence?

Disco Dance Donkey

So, to follow up the previous, the system has 25,000 users (1) and the investigation looked at 10 accounts (2).

So, we now know that the Post Office don't know how many errors there are, just that of 10 cases enough were wrong to assume 76 accounts were wrong, which I believe to be all the ones they'd received complaints about. Now, here's the next question, how many more are there? One may assume there are people who've not come forward for 3 reasons: fear of losing the contract, acceptance of the system neing right, lack of understanding of the system. (I've seperated the last two, because whilst one may understand it, they may feel themselves to blame whereas one who didn't understand it may just accept willingly.


(1) "Over the past 10 years, many millions of branch reconciliations have been carried out with transactions and balances accurately recorded by more than 25,000 different sub-postmasters. [...]"

(2) The Post Office has instructed a firm of forensic accountants, 2nd Sight Limited, to conduct an independent review of 10 existing cases raised by a number of MPs and the law firm Shoosmiths.

Disco Dance Donkey

The problem I see here is that they have found 76 problems, across 11,500 post offices (note they released the 68,000 user figure to make it seem like an even smaller percentage). Do you think for one second they have gone through and matched the accounts to the actual paperwork for every post office? I think not. So how many DID they sample? 100, 200, 500? That 76 is starting to look like a lot higher percentage. Did they just find a single bug and find every place it might have occured, have they fixed it, are there other bugs, how was this not even found? It's a shame the Post Office is privatised as we could just Freedom of Information Request the report.

Fedora back on track with Schrödinger's cat

Disco Dance Donkey

So, I decided to use FedUp.

I'm now running F19 LXDE, in a Hyper-V VM (Win 8 Pro) on a Mac Mini. It took probably 30 mins to reboot (it's a 5400RPM HDD, with other processes sharing access. I have to say it worked a treat, although the Fed Up documentation needed a small tweak.

Disco Dance Donkey

Re: There is nothing wrong with KDE

I'm currently running F18 LXDE spin (uses slightly less resources than XFCE from what I could tell) basic, but I do enough in terminal.

Nokia Lumia 925: The best Windows Phone yet

Disco Dance Donkey

Re: I love mine but..

Here you go, this should leave my anonymity intact too.

This one:


However my wife prefers this:


Disco Dance Donkey

Re: I love mine but..

I find that strange, mine has survived a good "beasting" of driving around the Scottish Highlands as my primary navigation device from Saturday - Wednesday. Apart from some interesting routes (chosen as they were much shorter, and graded an A road, but were a single track through a cow field, more on that later) that you can't blame on the GIS software. So I'm two weeks in to having the phone. Apart from the odd camera related restart (Swapchat), which I can live with it's not doing anything bad.

Now, to that cow field. Some background: I'm a semi-pro photographer, in the fact I've had photos published in design related publications in the UK, Netherlands and Holland. I have a nice array of cameras, D SLR, to Prosumer, to Compact and in this cow field the Lumia took the best picture I feel I've ever taken. Saturation is far higher than my Sony Alpha, but as we only have my Lumix and phone to hand (we weren't getting the SLR out of the boot with horned cows brushing our car), the Nokia was bounds ahead of a dedicated camera, the light conditions were challenging and it just performed. I'm quite happy to provide a picture if Mr Orlowski wants to put it up?

Nokia, Microsoft put on brave face as Lumia 925s parachute into Blighty

Disco Dance Donkey

Re: Mine arrived today

I've had mine, in my sweaty hands for 24 hours. I've come from iOS (and have a seed of iOS7)

I have a 32GB Black, bought from Vodafone, as O2 are arsewipes.

First thing, the box: small, well packaged, recycled. You open it and even the SIM ejector is pristine. One hits the power button by accident, and the touch screen works through the cellophane.

So, SIM card in, the tray is very neat. The phone is solid, thin and feels great, it fits my unusually large hands. My thumb rests against the power button, this is useful. So, on and in, a few swipes and I'm navigating about, adding the apps I have on iOS.

OS wise, I like how the apps work and the back button. Took me a while to work out the Smartcam, but 24 hours down and I'm happy.

Now, the important mark, I handed it to my wife on the way home. She's a technophobe, and has been an Apple user since it was uncool: "Oh, this is easy to use"

What Nokia have done here is done something really well. It feels right, but you don't notice it really.

Groundbreaking Camino browser digs grave, jumps in

Disco Dance Donkey


I've been with Camino since I moved to Macs, and there's still no other browser quite so well rounded. Streamlined, ad-blocked and using keychain, it was perfect for me. I'll have to admit I did miss the abilities of Firebug et al. but then the rest of my experience was the best of any browser I've used. I even migrated my wife to Camino from Netscape.

Proud to have been part of this, if only as a bug hunter.

At least Camino spawned Safari (see who Apple took from Camino to make Safari).

Fare thee well, you shall be missed.

Android device? Ooohhhh, you mean a Samsung phone

Disco Dance Donkey


Aside from all the perjoratives about manufacturers above, we have an interesting business point.

Nokia my have made a smart decision, they know and make good devices, they market smartly (watch Hollyoaks and take note of the phones on it). What we now have is a phone vendor in a strong position with an OS manufacturer, not a minnow who can essentially have their portfolio rubbished overnight by a shift in code and no voice large enough to save themselves.

Whilst I'm not saying it's the right move, being the big fish in a small pond can be preferable.

Retro-tech fan seeks cash for Commodore 64 clones

Disco Dance Donkey
Thumb Up

Re: "Something seems amiss."

Stupidly, there is a good business idea in this, i.e. Raspberry Pi case seller (potentially one that supplied ISOs). Plug, play, job done. I believe Cherry* will even manufacture custom keyboards - although it depends on the minimum run. I might get a rough plan done and try and get an estimate on it.

One can run the VICE C64 emulator on a Pi**, so a business would just have to create an ISO that boots in to a game selection. There is also BeebEm*** for anyone who thinks the BBC Micro should be first.




Disco Dance Donkey

Raspberry Pi in an oversized case?

You read the Indiegogo project and he doesn't know about electronics, or tooling, but has picked a price. Something seems amiss.

One could however look at tooling a box, with keyboard, etc. that a Raspberry Pi just plugs in to. The only issue is then an OS.

Another negative climate feedback: Warmer plants cool the planet

Disco Dance Donkey

Time to troll

Off to find some Greenpeacers and talk about Gaia. This shall be fun.

Pirate Bay docks in Iceland

Disco Dance Donkey

Let's see how this plays out.

The Icelandic don't like being told what to do by external entities. This'll be interesting...

StreetView spots possible roadside nookie down under

Disco Dance Donkey
Paris Hilton

Manchester Style

All beaten by this, in Ardwick, Manchester. Prozzie tosses someone off while smoking:


The ten SEXIEST computers of ALL TIME

Disco Dance Donkey

The MacBook air was quite clearly based on the Portégé range, albeit Apple made a far better looking unit.

Leaked memo: Apple's iMessage crypto has DEA outfoxed

Disco Dance Donkey

Re: Wahh wah

"A 256-bit AES key that’s burned into each processor at manufacture. It cannot be read

by firmware or software, and is used only by the processor’s hardware AES engine."

All well and good, but that suggests the hardware AES only uses a UID that the device itself can only access. Which means it isn't that which is shared for messaging. From watching an iPhone's behaviour it seems to act in the following way when you start a conversation with a new contact:

Query Apple's servers to see if the details you have exist in their list of known devices. (your message button turns blue when it comes back)

Apple's server returns a UUID for the other phone's messaging path, this will then be stored against the contact.

On typing a message Apple checks if the other device has notified the server of its online status recently.

The message is sent and encrypted by two keys only known to each device, this I may have incorrectly assumed would be 3DES above.

If the hardware AES can take supplied keys they have a variety of options (and we can select as many as we like from the menu, as long as the CPU is able to keep up with our consumption) as a UUID is 128bits, the AES takes 256 bits, we have two UUIDs.:

Multiple encryption - similar to 3DES, encrypt with key A, decrypt with key B, encrypt with key A

Generated key - splice the two keys in your chosen recipe


Whilst working with Mifare cards there was a solution forwarded about using the UID of the card, and a cheap processing algorithm to generate the key, thus to render an attack you would need to know how to create the key.

Disco Dance Donkey

Re: At a guess

Whether it has been broken or not bears no mark on whether the DEA can break it.

As stated 3DES is used for NFC, notably the DESFire standard that replaces Mifare. Apple are most likely to implement a standard that has actual use.

The one thing that would interest me is whether they have a compression algorithm tied in with the encryption (pre or post) to lower their network traffic.

Disco Dance Donkey

At a guess

I'd assume 3DES, using the iPhone UUIDs in an ABA arrangement. 3DES is used for RFID and would be a sensible base for any firm planning on NFC.

Would be quite easy to find out with a virgin iPhone and some packet inspection. I doubt the NSA, or GCHQ for that matter,would take long to work this out, just proves that the DEA are morons.

Google forks WebKit, promises faster, leaner Chrome engine

Disco Dance Donkey

V8 may be computationally fast...

A while ago I was playing with a prime number generator, dull I know, on my then new Aluminium MacBook. All it did was spew out a load of numbers in to a text box using DOM access, adding each new prime as it was found. Safari was hands down the fastest browser, about 50% faster than Chrome. On a hunch, I altered the script so that it only spewed the primes at script end, Chrome was the only browser to perform notably different, surpassing Safari by a margin of 20%.

Looking at their statement, you see a reason of DOM access given yet it is Google's own JS enginge giving the lacklustre performance in the Webkit world.

Mobile location data identifies individuals

Disco Dance Donkey

Anonymised mass, not units

No one would argue that it takes little data to identify someone; what may be of use is averaged data showing streams/clouds of signals to calculate traffic.

Dell buy: Icahn puts more cash on table than Blackstone or Mike D

Disco Dance Donkey

Re: activist investor

I like this moniker, and having moved to an environment for which a suit and tie is de rigueur I shall appropriate it for my job title. I wonder how well it will go down on LinkedIn.