* Posts by Doctor Syntax

24694 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

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What you need to know about Microsoft Windows 11: It will run Android apps

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Windows 11 has a new KDE-esque user-interface"

They've caught up!

"Win32, .NET, UWP, Xamarin, Electron, React Native, Java and Progressive Web Apps"

The really sneaky thing would have been to add iOS and/or MacOS to that list.

Treaty of Roam finally in ashes: O2 cracks, joins rivals, adds data roaming charges for heavy users in EU

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Re: Another Brexit bonus

"except people holidaying to Bangor in N Ireland who will presumably now pay roaming"

Bangor, Co Down, is far enough from the border to not accidentally switch to a mast in the Republic.

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Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

In order to become a saint he needs to be responsible for two miracles. Does getting people to trust him count as one?

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Re: As Soon As They Could...

Do you really expect your UK only prices to go down? If so you've just missed an opportunity for a couple of S African brothers to look after your Bitcoins.

UK urged to choo-choo-choose hydrogen-powered trains in pursuit of carbon-neutral economic growth

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"I think we should just put a wind turbine on top of the train."

Sorry, they wouldn't fit in the tunnels. Fit them in front or behind instead.

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Re: Huh

You could produce the steam by converting the hydrogen into oxygen dihydride.

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Re: No all electric

Could the catenary be lowered and raised quickly enough for momentum to carry the train past a bridge? That would mean that a 3rd rail would only be required in tunnels where the risk would be less?

UK watchdog fines biz £130k for 900,000+ direct marketing calls to folk who had opted out

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Said it before, I'll say it again. What's needed is legislation to enable recipients to be able to dial a code, say in the 147x range to register a spam call. Once sufficient complaints have been made their telephone account is credited with a fee - more if the number is TPS registered, which is charged to the caller plus a handling fee. The call arrives from a different network - that network gets charged and can pass on its own handling fee and tough on them if they don't keep tabs on where the call comes from. Abuse would be limited PDQ by credit control of the caller's telecoms provider.

In practice the threat of this and the cost of developing the systems to set it up would be such that suddenly the insoluble problem of controlling it by the telecoms industry would suddenly be solved.

Pyjama bottoms crew, listen up: In 2022 we'll still be at home

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Dammit. Their!!!

Next thing I'll be putting in grocers' apostrophe's.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"People say we do most of our collaboration by the watercooler"

Looking back on my time in offices I have vague recollections of their being water coolers but I certainly don't recollect anyone congregating around them.

Stupid things anyway - just the opposite of what you need to make tea.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Workday

I suppose their products are aimed at supporting in-office working. Follow the money.

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Re: Be careful what you wish for

I suppose for those companies who want to get rid of staff without the cost of pay-offs it'll be a good investment. IBM are likely to be a big customer.

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Re: Thing of the past

In due course there'll be money in doing what was done to C18th & 19th cottages - buying up two or three and knocking them through into one.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Thing of the past

"I think we may be looking at a hybrid situation, where employers will be renting out offices closer to workers or we may see more co-working spaces (shared with many companies) where employees would go instead of their company main office."

Where I live it would appear to have been a no-brainer to turn redundant mills into such facilities. Mills and housing were built in close proximity. But those with no brains, the planners, set their faces against such ideas and for decades the policy has been to separate homes from workplaces so now the surviving mill buildings are brownfield sites to be demolished and turned into more homes for people who won't live near their workplaces unless they actually work at home.

There's no 'Skype' in Teams: Microsoft lets signing key for its Debian Skype repository slip gently into the night

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"We sense the dead hand of a bot at work."

Not necessarily. I've encountered (possibly) human customer disservice agents with about the same level of usefulness.

UK health secretary Matt Hancock follows delay to GP data grab with campaign called 'Data saves lives'

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Re: Politicians talk bollocks

And for most other reports about politicians.

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Re: Fix the existing problems before making a profit

Yes but which nation. As Wales & Scotland are both to be treated as separate nations we have separate Welsh & Scottish (& N Irish) National Health Services so by default the remaining NHS is the English National Health Service.

UK set for 'adequacy' status on data sharing with EU, but it all depends on how much post-Brexit law diverges

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Re: You will collect my personal data over my dead body

I doubt it's a matter of getting smart, more a matter of not being greedy because a slurp of personal data will be much more valuable in their eyes then temperature records of Nazeby. What's needed is sufficient enforcement of the DPA to make such data a liability instead of an asset and that's just the opposite of what IDS & co want.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

I'd like to think that a denial of adequacy would have been the better option here to act as a wake up call. Unfortunately the only actual result would be much frothing at the mouth by all the Brexiteers.

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"Any attempt to retain or use personal data without permission of the subject is plain theft."

You were doing well up to here but however often theft is used in this context it isn't theft in legal terms because you haven't been deprived of it. Maybe a breach of copyright would be closer. We do need a legally defined simple term to use in this context, however.

EU court rules in Telenet copyright case: ISPs can be forced to hand over some customer data use details

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Add Prenda Law to that list.

Windows 11: Meet the new OS, same as the old OS (or close enough)

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"Icons are supposed to look visually distinctive so you can tell them apart at a glance."

And also indicate their function. True a "Save" icon that looks like a floppy is meaningless in terms of a current visual reference but it had become part of the visual language. Replacing the existing visual language with something else is like replacing your English prompts with Elbonian.

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Re: Windows 10 is so much better

"Put back all the GUI stuff removed in Home (most crippled) Edition."

But how could they up-sell if your default version wasn't crippled?

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Re: Sirius Cybernetics Corporation's Marketing Division

What task bar news feed? I see no task bar news feed. KDE.

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Re: Bloatware

"I wouldn't even mind the telemetry so much if they'd just be honest about exactly what the hell they're collecting"

If you knew you might be even more upset.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

I'd contest XP as being included with the zenith. Isn't that when phoning home for (re)activation started?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

I get updates coming through regularly (today, so far, they've been about sound) but having to reboot to install them is very rare. Just as well, as I use Linux and don't have the simple, intuitive solution of "open RegEdit.

Browse to: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsUpdate\UX\Settings

Change PauseFeatureUpdatesEndTime, PauseQualityUpdatesEndTime, and PauseUpdatesExpiryTime to a future time of your choosing."

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"I'd like MS to spend some time focusing purely on the user experience"

User interfaces on software in general have gone downhill ever since developers marketroids started focussing on "user experience". The more they focus the worse it gets.

"User experience" is shorthand for breaking what works. Interface, including user interface, is shorthand for presenting a consistent view of a mechanism even when the implementation behind it changes.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: What is an OS for?

Those of family and friends who ask me are told that if it's W10 I don't know.

If it's Linux I don't care - I use KDE but for those I set up with Zorin it's something else (Gnome IIRC) but it just really, really doesn't matter.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: What is an OS for?

"markting has to justify its existence every once in a while"

Does not compute.

'Lots of failed startups came out of Campus': Google axes London hub because startup scene 'doesn't need' another 7 floors of workspace

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Re: Accelerators

Some cheap cubical farm space you share etc

And make that somewhere near where your can afford to live.

Final guidance on Schrems II ruling: Data from EU could be held up if a third country lets authorities access it

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"The goal of the EDPB Recommendations is to guide exporters in lawfully transferring personal data to third countries while guaranteeing that the data transferred is afforded a level of protection essentially equivalent to that guaranteed within the European Economic Area,"

It should also be important guidance for would-be importers - IDS please note.

Systemd 249 release candidate includes better support for immutable OSes and provisioning images

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Re: Thinks I like about systemd

"/var/tmp is for stuff that should survive a reboot."

Do not rely in this

I'd never done an install without reformatting the partition holding /var until the other day when I decided to test this notion. It failed due to a permission error citing a non-existent user name. In Debian-based systems at least, /var includes a lot of stuff relating to the installation. Admittedly the error came with an explanation that it may be a packaging error but the fact remains that the installation process is likely to have been designed assuming an empty directory.

If, by intent or bad luck, your reboot involves a reinstall your vital stuff in /var/tmp or anything else in /var cannot rely on its survival. Given that Apache and MySQL default to placing user data there it's safest to make their directories symlinks to real directories elsewhere such as /srv. Assume /var is for system stuff only.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

And they were totally pissed off by being able to develop and de-bug a start-up script in the shelll - including stepping through it if necessary - and then just drop it into /etc/init.d.

Tolerating failure: From happy accidents to serious screwups … Time to look at getting it wrong, er, correctly

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Learning from somebody else's mistakes is far better than learning from your own.

Updating in production, like a boss

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No backups? It should have been possible to restore everything except any transactions in the last logical logs.

Perhaps it's safest to do these things through onmonitor. You can look around and see what's happening & maybe notice you're on the production instance.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"the database in question had nearly 100 tables, none of which were linked"

I've dealt with a product of that scale although it had a decent schema and worked well. The only issue was that, running on Informix, it had been written in the pre-cost-based optimiser days and the vendor wished to stay there so they forbade customers from running UPDATE STATISTICS. The SQL was written to hint the query path to the engine. I recognised the technique because I also go back to the pre-cost-based optimiser days. Step outside the limits of what could be done with that approach and the performance was a disaster.

When I arrived there were a few home-written reports that they couldn't run - if allowed to complete they'd have taken well over 24 hours. In my second - or maybe even late in my first week - I took a look at them and found the query plan generated took absolutely the worst route it could, index searching almost the entirety of small tables and joining large tables to them with a sequential search. Temp tables to the rescue.

Eventually the vendor decided that as the cost-based optimiser had been around for over a decade and probably worked they'd allow it.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

We can use Excel as a database so we don't need all that complexity....

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"The sense of trepidation"

That's because you have a suitable degree of paranoia, the first requirement of any DBA. Unfortunately it's not part of the certifications that HR check at recruitment.

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"Because I say so"

Wanted: Brexit grand fromage. £120k a year. Perks? Hmmmm…

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BOO sounds appropriate; here's one sector that's goosed https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-57518910

Open standard but not open access: Schematron author complains about ISO paywall

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

The best solution would be to fork it from the previous free version, perhaps with an announcement that the ISO version is deprecated. Ultimately the standard that matters is the one everyone follows. If the free version is regarded as definitive then ISO can charge whatever they want for their text and it won't matter.

An alternative aspect Jelliffe could consider is to whether ISO has the right to refer to the standard as implementing Schematron. The licence is MIT which does allow ISO to change, re-licence and charge for it but does the licence cover the name?

South Korea bans 1700 tech products for using forged test reports

This post has been deleted by a moderator

A hotline to His Billness? Or a guard having a bit of a giggle?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Hunt Groups

Very likely. The mere mention of it raised memories.

One of the problems with over-escalating them was the realisation that if you picked up on the hunt-group ring (all the phones ringing simultaneously* is the big clue) it might well have been escalated from some group for which you couldn't possibly substitute. That made it a good personal policy not to answer any hunt group calls.

* That might not necessarily be the case. The unanswered phone on the builders' merchants counter yesterday started passing the call round several extensions in succession so that it could be serially ignored.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

ceoemail.com is a useful resource. Usually the issue gets referred to an escalation team. Sometimes the escalation teams work and sometimes they're utterly useless. An example of the latter is one of the major courier companies that insists on their drivers using GPS coordinates instead of addresses and after extensive correspondence have still failed to correct those for our house.

I discovered the power of chairman/CEO complaints the wrong way. We used to send out work orders by fax modem (IIRC we shared the queue berween 3 of them). The fax numbers were in the database so there was no chance of fat fingering the number. Or so we thought. One of the recipients had two faxes and for some reason set up call forwarding at night. Manually. So one night the fax we were sending to was forwarded to not quite the same number which was a private line. The next morning I was trying to work out why the fax queue had failed when the rocket from HQ arrived.

What job title would YOU want carved on your gravestone? 'Beloved father, Slayer of Dragons, Register of Domains'

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Re: Exploring cemetries

St Just in Roseland.

Yes, it's a place.

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Re: Sir Christopher Wren's epitaph

This looks pretty reasonable: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-57496005

It's a pity it's going to be built in one of the least accessible town centres in the country. I lived about 20 miles away for a few years and never ventured into it more than twice.

BOFH: When the Sun rises in the West and sets in the East, only then will the UPS cease to supply uninterrupted voltage

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Call the ambulance? Whatever's happening to them? It's usually an unmarked van, carpet and quicklime or a concrete delivery.

Your spacesuit ran into a problem and needs to restart

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Could be worse: a blue screen....

Hubble Space Telescope to switch to backup memory module after instrument computer halts

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It's entirely possible...

Yes, but it's also entirely possible that the other modules have also sustained similar damage unless they're better shielded. Mark's question was a good one. We don't know and it's going to take experiment to find out. Meanwhile we just have to hope for the best.

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