82 posts • joined Thursday 18th October 2007 16:21 GMT
Scot Adams has written about his own vocal problems and has speculated in the past that Page might have the same issue... seems he was right. And of course, Google can be used to find the information:
Re: A related idea...
Note to self: Google first and ask questions later....
It has already been patented and therefore, one must assume, isn't practical for some reason, or we'd all have free energy to power our hover boards and jet packs.
A related idea...
Has this ever been considered / tried? Mount a huge gyroscope on an equatorial bearing, and it will stay still in space as the Earth rotates. How much torque (and hence power) could you extract from the system?
BBC4 last night
There was an interesting science docco on BBC4 last night all about the interesting things you can do with bubbles, though they didn't mention this flugle-bugle thingy. Worth a look on iPlayer if you get the chance.
On starting a job a few years ago, I was given an RSA SerurID fob by someone from the IT department, who went on to explain that the contantly-changing six-digit numbers on the display were received from a satellite. I had to quickly suppress a smirk when I realised that they were serious.
We were in the basement of a three-storey building at the time...
Re: I have a Windows 8 laptop
Indeed, if he's using an external mouse, that's the most likely culprit. One would like to think that a Reg reader would have tried a different mouse and/or the trackpad before diving face-first onto the 'Win8 is shit' bandwagon, but then, it apparently it took him several weeks to find a Start button replacement so he's obviously not the sharpest tool in the box.
Re: I have a Windows 8 laptop
Sounds like your laptop is broken, not the OS. I have had no such problems with Win 8 on my machine.
Re: To further calms the nerves
My thoughts exactly - the fact that *completely unrelated* huge lump of hurtly rock death smashed into the Earth within a day or two of an even bigger one just missing us is hardly reassuring. Not that I'm misunderstanding the level of risk, just amused at the unreassuring reassurance.
The correct term of endearment for our cousins in the USA is 'septics', from the rhyming slang 'septic tank -> Yank'.
@Kobus Botes - I can't decide if your post is trolling, or if you could really have missed the joke so spectacularly. Entertaining stuff, either way.
Re: And todays Microsoft rep on a comments thread is...
No, if you already have your hand on the mouse, go to the bottom left corner and left-click - you know, like you do know to get to the Start menu (What? That glowing orb thing is a menu? How is anyone supposed to know that?).
You guys should really try using Win 8, it'll be quicker than me trying to train you all up myself.
Re: call me stupid but...
"More difficult than Windows 7."
That's true, at first, for some suitably small value of 'more'.
Re: And todays Microsoft rep on a comments thread is...
Errr... it does have a classic desktop mode... did you forget to press the Windows key? Are you one of these people who can't cope without the Start menu?
Not a Samsung, but yes, I bought a new desktop from Novatech in November, specified Windows 8, and haven't looked back. It's not perfect but it's a long, long way from being the disaster that various commentards round here would have you believe.
Re: "Ambitious" as synonym for "Awful"?
"The first problem I have is that the whole damn interface, aside from the crippled desktop, is designed for touch."
Well, that's wrong for a start. The Start screen and the Metro apps are designed to be touch-comaptible, but the rest of Windows (ie 99% of it) isn't. The main Windows 8 desktop is just like Windows 7 with no obvious concessions to touch-compatibility. Agreed, the Charms menu is 'different' in Windows terms but that kind of always-available 'home' menu is a pretty familiar concept to anyone with a smartphone.
Similarly re: closing apps. You're getting stressed about whether an app is really closed, like some OCD victim constantly checking that the front door's locked. It doesn't matter - it's a different paradigm. You don't need to close apps, you just switch away from them and don't worry about it - let the OS deal with it. (If you really want to close them, drag from the top of the screen to the bottom).
Re: call me stupid but...
"When you see Win 8 in the shops it has a touch screen UI"
"it's default interface, that cannot be switched off *within* windows 8, is a touch interface"
No, it has a *touch-compatible* UI, one which is equally usable both on touch screens and with mouse/trackpad/keyboard. Seriously, are you trying to say that it's impossible, or even difficult, to use Win 8 on a non-touch device?
Re: Touch interfaces are expensive
@I ain't Spartacus
Thanks for the detailed reply - most people haven't responded to my questions about what *specifically* they object to.
So, you haven't actually used Windows 8 properly - that's a key point. Your main concern is with the Start screen and the default file associations, on the basis of which you're writing off the entire OS.
Re: 1 - You're right, to start a new, non-pinned app, you tap the Windows key, start typing 'Exce...' and then click on the Excel icon ('tile') when Search finds it. Or, you can click directly on the Excel tile if you know where it is. I agree, this sounds like it's the recipe for a bad user experience, but you should try it first. Switching to the Start screen and back the Desktop are instantaneous operations, very smooth and not disruptive at all.
Re: 2 partially agree wit you - it's not inconsistent about individual file types, but the most annoying thing I found was that clicking a PDF link from Firefox would (out of the box) open the PDF full-screen in a Metro app, requiring a tap of the Windows key to get back to the desktop. I installed Foxit to remedy this. And really, it wasn't that bad anyway. A lot of non-techy users tend to run everything full-screen, and at least Win 8 comes with some sort of PDF reader, which it never did before.
Re: 3 - Clearly Microsoft is suffering a PR disaster, the question is whether it's justified. You're correct about the importance of techy opinions, but your criticisms are from a techy point of view - I think a normal user (running only a few applications, surfing, checking email) will have far less to complain about in Win 8 than most techies. Windows has never been designed primarily for techies.
I would genuinely recommend that you spend at least half a day using Win 8 for real work before condemning the entire OS as a disaster. It's mainly a perception thing. I've read many reviews saying that Win 8 'relegates' the desktop to the level of a 'mere app'. This is ridiculous. TIFKAM, the Start screen and Metro apps are a thin skin over the old and familiar Windows that we all know and love. If you just think of the Start screen as a full-screen Start menu, it doesn't seem so scary, does it?
Re: Touch interfaces are expensive
@I ain't Spartacus
TIFKAM is already very easy to 'remove', or at least to avoid. I assume that, like everyone else here, the thing you're complaining about under the title 'TIFKAM' is just the Start screen. What would you like to see in your updated Win 8? The machine boots straight into the Desktop without anyone having to click the 'Desktop' icon first? You can already do that very easily. Once in the Desktop, there's no need to go back to the Start screen for the rest of the session.
Your improved version of Windows 8 is virtually indistinguishable from the current version.
Possibly the first recorded case of a fool and his money not being parted.
Re: "Ambitious" as synonym for "Awful"?
"Windows 8 is an awful interface"
Please clarify. Which part of the interface is awful? The desktop mode, which is essentially identical to Win 7? The Start screen? Are you writing off the entire OS just because of the Start screen? What is it, exactly, that is 'awful' about the Start screen?
The Start screen is perfectly usable with a mouse and keyboard. Pro tip - the mouse scroll wheel will scroll the Start screen and various Metro apps left and right. It's like some sort of usability magic - how do they come up with these things? Using the scroll wheel for scrolling? MIND BLOWN.
Re: call me stupid but...
Ok, you're stupid.
For fuck's sake, people, try to understand. Windows 8 is NOT a touch-centric OS. The desktop mode is completely identical to Win 7 in usability terms. You run all your usual software, you don't need a touch screen, no-one's going to make you little arms all tired. If you're running on a standard desktop/laptop, you use it just like Win 7, with the mouse / trackpad / keyboard, and everything works just fine.
IF - please note, I'm saying "IF" - you're on a touch-enabled device, like a tablet or a convertible, then you can ALSO - please note, I'm saying "ALSO" - interact with the machine using touch. Is anyone here claiming that there's no place for a touch interface? No, of course not.
Windows 8 has both a regular interface and a touch interface, with no requirement to use either one in a context where it doesn't work. If you're some sort of idiot sitting in front of a 24" 1920x1200 touch screen and you keep reaching up to touch the screen instead of using the mouse, then you've only got yourself to blame.
Why would anyone in their right mind, running Win 8 on a desktop with a 24" screen, be using Metro apps anyway? Metro apps are optimised for use on relatively small, touch-enabled screens. Sure, you can use it on a big screen if you want, but don't complain if it's not ideal - it's not meant to be.
I read the El Reg review of the Lenovo Yoga the other day, and it included something to the effect of 'Windows 8 doesn't make sense with a mouse/keyboard'. Bullshit, you're just using it wrong.
Now, I will agree with the thrust of this article which seems to taking the position that Win 8 is actually fine, but that it was launched with too much emphasis on the touch features, leading various commentards to say "touch won't work on a big screen / desktop". Microsoft should have spent more effort highlighting the continuity offered in Win 8, whose Desktop is hardly changed at all from Win 7. Desktop users need have no fear of upgrading.
Note that this is all based on the fact that I use Win 8 every day, on a desktop machine with two large non-touch monitors, using nothing more than a normal keyboard and mouse. Do not rely on the opinions of commentards who say things like 'I don't know anyone who's got Win 8' or 'based on the reviews I've read', etc.
Re: Win 8 is a grower
If you know which program you want to use, hit 'Windows key + R' and start it from there. That's only the first time, then you pin it to the taskbar (or create a Desktop shortcut) and you're golden. If you regularly need to go to Metro to find yet another program whose name you've forgotten, which I accept is a bit jarring to the user experience, then you're probably doing something wrong.
Please stop referring to 'the Windows 8 UI'; if you're whinging specifically about Metro / the Start screen, please make that clear. If you've got a problem with the Windows 8 desktop, please explain what it is. The Start screen / Metro and the Desktop are two different, complementary ways to use the same machine.
Re: Win 8 with touchscreen device is a much different experience than non-touchscreen devices
"usability was poor and my colleagues experience was the same, productivity took a nosedive"
That's interesting - can you provide some examples of the issues that affected you and your colleagues? Specifically, were the issues with normal Windows desktop apps, or with Win 8 Metro apps? How long did the dip in productivity last?
Re: improvement not from windows 8
Perhaps you'll let me add:
"Problems not from Windows 8 either"
just to give a fully accurate summary.
This is me on starting Win 8 for the first time: "Hmm, a new Start screen, let's explore".
This is (apparently) most IT professionals on starting Win 8 for the first time: "Arrrgghhh what are all those little square things why are they moving what do I do know I don't understand cool wet grass cool wet grass NURSE!!!!!!!!!"
Re: Win 8 is a grower
"What critical life-changing computing tasks can you do with Win 8 that were impossible on Win 7?"
On a desktop - none. That's beside the point. I'm trying to offer an experienced opinion to counteract the myriad voices saying 'Win 8 is rubbish", "I'll never use Win 8 unless I'm forced", "Win 8's UI is horribly broken", etc etc. Once you get past the Start screen, which itself isn't as bad as people make out, it's just an incremental improvement over Win 7. Personally I much prefer the muted aesthetic in 8 - I moved to Win 8 when upgrading to a new machine in December and find it much easier on the eye than the awful visual bling that Vista (and 7, to some extent) was afflicted with ("16.7 million colours?! Really?! Let's use all of them!").
If you're using Win 7 on a desktop now, there's absolutely no rush to upgrade, carry on as long as you like. When/if you move to Win 8, you will NOT find the transition to be 'difficult' or 'painful' so long as you can remember how to press the Windows key on your keyboard (maybe write it on a Post-It if you have trouble with this).
Re: Win 8 is a grower
Agreed, I really can't believe that most/any of the Win8 haters have actually tried it. I keep reading comments implying that people are forced to use 'the touch interface' when using Win8 on a desktop, which is utter bollocks. If you're on a desktop, the only issue is that, when (after about 5 seconds from hitting the power button) the new and terrifying Start screen appears, you just have to suppress the rising panic long enough to click 'Desktop' and you're back to a completely normal Win7 desktop, fully mouse-/keyboard-controlled and with absolutely no requirement to use any special 'touch' interface at all.
This quote from the article:
"Even so, Norton remarks that most still use the device in clamshell mode, “because there’s an adjustment period until they get used to a new way of working and operating it in a slate form”."
gives the game away - any trouble the BT OpenReach people had was due to being required to switch to working in slate form. There was absolutely no need for OpenReach to make that switch just because they moved to Win8 - they could have carried on using the old XP apps (perhaps with a few minor tweaks) if they'd chosen that path, but they didn't.
My Win8 desktop is set up with VS2010, Firefox, Thunderbird, PaintShop Pro, Blender, Google Earth, FoxIt Reader, OpenOffice, Putty, Xming, all with absolutely no problems.
It makes me laugh a bit when I read comments to the effect that these Reg articles are just thinly-veiled Microsoft marketing. It must be very confusing to be inside the hater's heads... "Microsoft is an evil, stupid, hopeless dinosaur of a company with no future... what have they done to my lovely Windows 7, that was a beautiful, wonderful, fantastic OS, the work of the most noble geniuses... oh, wait."
Re: Perfect for business use
I take your point, absolutely, I just don't think it's such a major fail as people are making out, and I specifically think that about the loss of the Start menu. XP to Vista also changed the look of lots of aspects of the UI, as did the Ribbon, etc. I remember being sent on a training course many years ago when my company introduced Win95 where they explained what the funny little 'X' at the top-right of each window was for. No company is going to roll out Win8 without that sort of basic familiarity training, and I doubt any company would roll out Win8 in the next two years regardless of the UI changes, by which time many users will have learnt how to use it outside of their work environment. There are only four or five new things that a basic user needs to know, after all - how to get to the Start screen and back to the desktop, how to shut down/hibernate, how to change passwords, how to use the search box - half a day's training at most?
Re: Perfect for business use
@K, re: "removing the "Desktop" features such as Start Menu"... since starting to use Win8 as my home desktop OS a couple of months ago, I've started to take note of how often I use the Start menu when using my Vista/7 work desktops. The answer is - not very much at all, actually. The only time I go into the Start menu most days is (ironically) when I'm shutting down. Once the machine is set up with Desktop shortcuts, the Quick Launch bit of the toolbar, etc, what do you (or 'the average user', if you're not average) really need the Start menu for?
Like a lot of people have said already, the lack of a Start menu was a bit disconcerting to start(!) with, but I soon got used to it. One has to suppose that a Microsoft spent at least an afternoon or two on usability testing, so perhaps they came to the same conclusion.
Re: You don't appear to have read the linked research
You're still attacking a straw man. Neither Lewis nor I claimed that there has been no rise in global temps since 1880, nor did he or I claim that there has been no net rise over the last 25, 30 or 40 years. The article is about the FACT that there has been no net rise over the last 20 years, and the implications for the current theories explaining the rise since 1880 which do not explain how or why this plateau could have occurred.
You don't appear to have read the article
The lengthy quote you chose does not in any way contradict what Lewis wrote - perhaps you need to read it again. Yes, the last 20 years have had most of the hottest years on record - Lewis's article repeats that quite explicitly. However, Lewis's article is about the fact that temperatures have stopped rising over the last 15-20 years. The fact that they DID rise BEFORE that is completely irrelevant to the point of the article. Note that a rise in temperatures to a record high 20 years ago followed by a 15-20 year plateau is totally consistent with your NOAA quote about the distribution of hot years in the record.
What Lewis didn't spell out explicitly, but perhaps should have done given the reading comprehension on display here, is that all the climate change / global warming theory and models predict that temperatures should have continued to rise, because CO2 emissions have continued to rise and the theories don't (yet) include any non-CO2 forcings that can account for the observed temperatures. Observation does not agree with the theory, and that is a problem for the theory, not for the observations, and not for Lewis.
I like it
I've just upgraded from Win XP to Win 8 for my main desktop machine and am extremely happy to have done so. I use a Win 7 laptop occasionally and a remote Win 7 desktop for work; Win 8 is essentially exactly the same as Win 7 to use, in all but a few minor details, and many of the changes are positive. Yes, losing the Start menu felt like a minor loss - but just pin all your regular apps to the Taskbar, use the bottom-left-corner-right-click menu for access to Control Panel and other maintenance functions, and (once a week) use the Start screen and/or Search for anything else. I've set my Folder Options to 'Re-open Explorer windows on re-start' and this automatically bypasses the Metro start screen and takes me straight to a plain old Windows desktop, without needing any third-party tweaks. If you don't like the Start screen, don't use it and stop whinging.
Performance is excellent, start-up and shut-down times are in the 5-10 second range.
I can see that Microsoft have taken a gamble, and it will take time for people to come round, but few people can doubt that 'touch' is here to stay and having the 'touch' philosophy built into the world's most significant OS in 2012/2013 may well turn out to have been a masterstroke. Time will tell.
I didn't like the Ribbon UI at first, or numerous other modifications, but (perhaps paradoxically) I find that as I get older I'm realising that overcoming that sort of mental inertia can actually be well worth the effort; don't allow yourself a knee-jerk 'I hate it' reaction - try it out and make up your mind after a week or two.
Whilst looking in vain on their website for any scrap of information as to what the fudge had happened to my sites, I enjoyed* the irony of finding this press release:
How nice of them, I thought, to be blowing their own trumpets whilst quite literally in the middle of the biggest clusterfudge a hosting company could hope to experience. Surely, I wondered, the PR person pimping this press release could instead be informing customers as to when their sites might re-appear? But apparently not.
* did not enjoy
Maybe you don't need a pump... fill the tube with steam, seal the top, then stick it in the dry ice etc. I've no idea how low a vacuum this will generate, and the humidity may not help matters. I suppose you could use the same approach with a large separate vessel - reduce the pressure via condensation of steam, then connect the low-pressure vessel to REHAB in the same way that you currently propose to connect the vacumm pump.
I vote for...
...a scale model of Scaled Composites' SpaceShipOne, complete with feathering mechanism. That would be cool.
Or, a scale model of the recently-retired Space Shuttle / Orbiter / whatever it's called. That would also be cool.
I was among the first to suggest vectored thrust and completely agree with everyone who said that it will be very hard to achieve, particularly if Vulture 2 has a similar flight-testing program to Vulture 1 (ie none at all). However, it would be cool to try.
Mount the rocket motor on gimbals and attach it to the same servos controlling pitch and yaw. Launch horizontally (or even down) but program the autopilot to pitch to vertical after launch.
The autopilot will clearly need different goals during different phases of the 'flight' (remember that it won't in any real sense be 'flying' when above 80k feet, not unless its doing SR-71 speeds).
What they said ^^^
This is basically stealing energy from the water company; I suspect it's already illegal or else soon will be. Otherwise, as someone said above, why not install a micro-turbine in the main cold water feed to all houses and generate 'free' power from them? Would the water companies allow that? I THINK NOT.
I'll stand up for Lewis. What a lot of scaredy-cats you are, people. Sure, no-one wants a nuclear plant to blow up, but the actual health impacts of this have been, and likely will be, minimal.
Intimate exposure to radiation is bad, of course, but so is intimate exposure to steam, molten steel, acid, carbon monoxide, etc. Radiation should not be in a separate league of scariness, though its invisibility and long term effects tend to make it so.
I like this idea. I want to see the entire crossbar filled with LEDs that flash green when a goal is scored, or red if the ball gets within, say, 5cm of the line but doesn't cross it.
You could also have each player wearing an LED-adorned hat, with the hat flashing red if the player's off-side or green if they're on-side (presumably the ball will know when it's been kicked).
I think that would be excellent.
I'd just like to add my congratulations... an epic adventure which justly rewarded all the effort.
I was a bit negative on earlier stories, mainly because I'm more interested in aircraft than high-altitude ballooning - I was looking forward to PARIS's flight tests and finding out what her glide ratio was, etc, but your priorities were obviously elswhere.
The photos and video are superb - good job.
Looks nice but...
...quite a low aspect-ratio wing. I would have expected something looking a bit more like a U2 in terms of aspect ratio. What's the wing loading? Will it actually fly in any meaningful sense at 100mb range air pressures? Or maybe you're hoping that it will just fall in a controlled manner and automatically start gliding straight-and-level when the air density is high enough for it to generate sufficient lift? An X-plane simulation would have been interesting, not that I know enough about X-plane to have done it myself.
On terminology - the rudder and elevators are the flappy bits of the tail surfaces, on aircraft that have them - as yours are fixed, they're more properly called the fin (or vertical stabiliser) and horizontal stabiliser.
Interesting project, I look forward to the results!
All about the parents
The more I read about this type of research (rich vs poor), the more I realise that the researchers are (probably willingly) confusing correlation with causation. Yes, children of wealthy parents do better in life, but that's just a correlation.
A perfectly reasonable hypothesis would be that committed, intelligent, hard-working people tend to be both wealthier and better parents, while lazy, selfish, unintelligent people tend to be both poorer and worse parents.
One would expect a certain amount of so-called 'social mobility' from the children of the occasional committed, hard-working but poorly-educated parents, but many children are just doomed to repeat the mistakes of their own parents and remain stuck at the bottom. Giving them a free computer won't fix that.
It's an unavoidable corrolary of the welfare state's provision of free services (like education) that some people will abdicate their own responsibilities to their children, believing that it's all taken care of. Schools should be continually reminding parents that their kids are learning all the time, only 30 hours per week of which is spent at school - for the other 138 hours, they're learning from their parents.
Of course, teachers aren't allowed to say that to obviously-bad parents for fear of offending them.
Another possibly obvious thought - the air bladder doesn't need to be made of elastic material so if rubber does go 'bad' in any way at low temps (further research needed) then just use any non-elastic flexible airtight material - whatever hot air balloons are made of would do fine.
I think the precision of a (properly-sealed) syringe-based mechanism should be hard to beat, though.
Why is Cameron having a go at Primark for marketing these things, and not having a go at the people that (presumably) bought them? Primark would only have invested money into this product if they were confident that their customer would buy them - it's the parents that are 'prematurely sexualising' their children, not some faceless Primark buyer in an office somewhere.
It seems to be a serious problem for modern democracy that politicians are shit-scared of ever blaming the voters for anything.
Slightly worrying that his calls list shows that he's been calling Roy Batty - maybe that's what made Roy want to return to Earth. It can only be a matter of time until Google changes its name to Tyrell Corporation.
They're being a bit ambitious though - if the Nexus One is only a phone, it seems unlikely that they'll only be up to version 6 by the time that they're fully autonomous off-world killer androids.
This seems to be a common problem, but I really find it hard to believe that the fashion / clothing industry is deliberately promoting and catering for some mythical average body shape which doesn't exist at the expense of their own profits. Is it not possible that you're just an unusual size and shape?
I'm slightly above average height (only slightly - 6'0") and generally struggle to fit into seats on airliners and buses, but I fully understand why and don't really blame the manufacturers for their decisions.
What a load of nonsense
I get a bit tired of men trying to outcompete each other with the 'I like curvy women' declarations. No shit, well, that's great, but we're all individuals and people like different things. Personally I prefer the athletic figure (triathletes in particular) and I completely reject the idea that this means that I secretly like boys.
Some catwalk models may well look 'too bony' (whatever that means) in swimsuits or lingerie, but again, no shit, they're (generally) paid megabucks because they look good *in* clothes, not out of them. As for the earlier comment that all catalogs feature stick insects as models, bollocks, I have the Next 2009 Spring/Summer catalog right here and the models (particularly in the lingerie section) are not stick insects by any stretch of the imagination.
Again, as for porn stars shaving etc, this is not to make them look pre-pubescent or 'like boys', it's so that you can actually see their genitalia - look up the definition of 'pornography' if you still need a clue. Check out the hideously inflated and unnatural-looking breasts on those shaven porn stars and see how that squares with the 'all men are secretly paedos' meme.
The earlier 'sex therapist' comment made the right point - look at the covers of the magazines in your local newsagent. The ones aimed at women have slim models, the ones aimed at men have curvy models. That tells you all you need to know - despite any protestations to the contrary, *most* women like images of slim women (for whatever reason), *most* men like images of curvy women (for largely obvious reasons).
As for that Dawn Porter prog where she nearly killed herself trying to diet down to size zero - no shit, again - if you were born sturdy and try to diet down to 6 stone you're going to make yourself ill - it doesn't follow that all, or even some, catwalk models are deliberately endangering their health to stay slim.
I would have thought that the women posting here would have been apoplectic at the suggestion that slim or flat-chested women were somehow less feminine or less attractive... stand up for your sisters, curvy girls! And look up some photos of Hedy Lamarr, Bette Davis and Lauren Bacall in their prime to see exactly how much the image of a desirable female has changed in the last fifty years.
Anyway, I'll try to calm down now...
Guess the missing word
I'm guessing 'less'.
And another thing
Has anyone discussed the aerodynamic problems yet? It'll be tricky to design something that can 'fly' in any meaningful sense at both 100,000ft and 0ft - the air is just too thin at that altitude. I suspect that the plane will drop like a stone and reach quite a high speed, before needing to decelerate and transition to a more normal flight mode.
I don't know enough to suggest a solution but I suspect it won't be easy......