955 posts • joined Wednesday 14th November 2007 11:44 GMT
My friends and family know what my ugly mug looks like but 'look what I'm looking at' is a real win. Probably not good enough for business docs and screenshots, but for personal use this is a great feature.
Child and Marriage 'benefits'
These so-called benefits exist because there are no tax allowances where, arguably, there should be some. If my salary were split 50:50 between me and my non-earning wife, we would be hundreds of pounds better off every month. If any reasonable allowance were made for the children, it would be much larger than 'child benefit'.
I don't mind paying the extra tax, but I do mind being told that the 'nuclear' family is supported, rather than taxed more heavily.
The joke about the pony groom was funny but, remember Tobias and Jocasta's benefit is only about 100 per month - less if they have an older sibling. That won't keep a pony in a stable for more than 2 weeks, let alone pay for a groom. In fact - it's just about enough to pay for school dinners at 2.50 a day. Ok, some people could do without it, but It would cost so much to make it means tested it would not be worth it.
I think a lot of bureaucratic waste goes into deciding who has what and managing overcomplex taxation and benefit systems. I'd be in favour of a radical approach - everyone gets a flat 'benefit' of x per week and every one pays tax of y percent on every single penny they earn. No poverty trap, no disincentive to earn - even just a few hours per week, no means testing, no benefits paid to non-citizens and best of all - hundreds of thousands of people moving from non-productive jobs - eventually - to ones which are worthwhile.
even if you were right ...
... I think you'd be wrong here. Your grassroots campaign could, perhaps, attempt to get the law changed. And then you could, perhaps, get that change to apply retrospectively. But are you really suggesting that we should just refrain from investigating possible breaches of existing laws because they are ones that we don't agree with?
... so I suppose you'd feel happy stealing my wine delivery whilst it is left outside my house? Or taking my horse, which is, let's face it - outside in a field?
Please, repeat after me - things do not magically become legal just because they are possible - even if they are easy to do. You are so fired up about poor old Google that here you are admitting to criminal behaviour on a public forum. But you seem to think that just because you don't respect the law, we shouldn't either.
"Plenty of idiots too leach off" --- honestly, I despair. You are basically saying, that this shouldn't be a crime because you do it. Sorry but it is. It is when you do it, and it is when Google do it. At least they are saying they did it accidentally.
Am I confused ...
... but isn't it incorrect to use 'pseudo' as the opposite of 'high-quality' when discussing random number generators? I thought there were such things as high-quality pseudo RNGs, and that the only RNGs that weren't 'pseudo' used a real source of randomness, like quantum effects (e.g. elecrical noise).
is he just doing ...
... one Lapp?
A lot of your spelling is our *old* spelling - for instance -ize endings. I also seem to recall that the unfortunate mm/dd/yy format is a 'throwback' as you put it. Having said that, I love the USA and its denizens and will be over there like a shot as soon as I get the chance :-)
That happened to me ...
... I soon snapped awake when they told me the price ... barely needed to drink the coffee itself
blue != red
... but it wasn't me who downvoted you
Remember the epidemic of the flesh eating bug?
A couple of years back UK papers got their knickers in a twist (US='panties in a bunch') about an epidemic of necrotizing fasciitis. Turned out, iirc, that there were actually fewer incidents of that very rare condition that year than normally occur on average.
Simple explanation - some journo hears about event 'x' and recalls hearing of a similar event 'x' in the tolerably recent past. So there's clearly an epidemic of 'x'. Each report then piles on top of the last in a vicious circle.
..... if only goods and services are taxed then that tax, and essentials like fuel are not exempt, such a system disproportionately taxes the poor. Of course, that may be what you want ...
In a country where the presence of certain material on your hard drive is (treated as) a strict liability offence, it IS a huge security problem.
Not sure you are qualified to comment on any science if you think that someone who disagrees with something using a similar argument to other people who disagree with it automatically renders their opinion worthless.
From my perspective - Genetics BSC, Biochem PhD - this is a technical tour-de-force but not very innovative. I remember the view of my PhD supervisor when Ventner first announced his intention to do stuff like this over 10 years ago - yes the DNA is amazing - but the biochemistry of the cell that translates it into life is the really amazing stuff. And we are nowhere near assembling that from scratch.
A decade or so ago Ventner said he wouldn't do this because it would be unethical - it would enable the creation of super-pathogens. Then and now this was sheer hyperbole.
Super pathogens are super because of highly evolved abilities to evade or combat host immune systems. Take a basic 'synthetic cell' and turn it into a pathogen and the immune system of any non-compromised host would rip it to shreds in seconds.
So the danger from super-pathogens STILL comes from finding, selecting and dispersing existing evolved pathogens, rather than assembling them from scratch.
Unless they are in big finance...
... then there's tonnes of them. People who think 'beating the market' is a big cause for Krug, expensive meals and trips to Gentlemen's clubs, because they have done 0.01% better than investing at random. People whose mathematical models - and their simplistic overreaching interpretation of them - are ridiculous, but whose stupid mistakes will always be bailed out by the unwilling taxpayer ... sigh
Whilst not condoning the actions of the illegal downloaders, I do feel the media industry's greed has been their downfall. They sold DVDs at more than the cost of VHS cassettes, when the latter cost more to manufacture. They sell BluRays at a huge and unjustifiable premium over DVDs.
So you are absolutely right. The PS3 video store seems to be approaching the right kind of price threshold - although even they are taking the Michael with their High Def premiums.
How about a useable risk rating? e.g. if there is a health effect of 'x' it is less than 0.1 cigarettes/month. Or 2 car-miles per year. This would stop all those idiots applying %ages to minute risks and getting silly sounding answers. Answers which not only discredit the scientists themselves, but also discredit science in the eyes of non-scientists, because the latter know, intuitively, that there is something wrong with the numbers, but are not able to determine what it is.
I think you may be wrong
You say "Face it, not 1 person in Britain would return a wallet full of cash", but it sounds a lot like "Face it, I would never return a wallet full of cash". My personal experience of losing stuff - lots - and getting it back - even when the finder had to go to significant lengths - tells me that you are wrong.
For EMPIRICAL evidence just look at the mountains of unclaimed gear that, eg. TFL, accumulate every year - it belongs to people who are so sure that everybody else is dishonest that they erroneously believe that there is no chance it would have been handed in.
Thankfully, people who keep easily returnable found valuables are in the minority, even though they excuse themselves by persisting in an unsupportable belief that everybody else behaves in the same manner - when, in fact, not even a majority do.
Boycotting search engines?
Don't over think it ... just type in terms :-) For instance 'how do i convert flac to mp3 on the fly' or 'transcoding media server' or 'store lossless audio play mp3' all produce likely candidates in the first page of search results with both the search engines I tried.
I keep all my ripped CDs as .flacs --- and the CDs in the loft unlike that blogger that recently outed himself as a pirate whilst extolling the virtues of big hard disks :-) --- and us ps3 media server to deliver it up to the PS3, which is connected to my amp by optical digital. Seems to work nicely.
You cannot use such entanglement to send information instantaneously anyway.
what the kin hell was he doing with the kin phone and why is everyone getting so kin worked up about it? it's only a kin laugh after all. Not like it's anything kin important and why did they kin call the phone a kin stupid name anyway? is that kin asking for kin trouble or kin what?
Please NEVER leave us. I have read the above 100+ comments as a lesson to myself. One of the best things about El Reg is the comments. It is now painfully clear that this fact is due largely to the way you do the unpleasant and difficult work you do.
I'll buy you one of these any day.
Took my kids out of school in Feb to see the "LAST" night-time launch of the space shuttle - went to Titusville (TWICE) at 4 in the morning to see it. This one also went at night in the end, at the much more civilized time of 6ish. Last year I bought Timeshare in Funchal, and you see what happened? So, if any of you want a company shorted, let me know and I'll buy some shares.
Seriously though, all the best to the crew. As for those who think space travel is a waste, I invite you to avoid doing everything that isn't strictly necessary. For most of you, that will include breathing. The invite stands.
two stage approach
As a self taught nixer from academia, I have made plenty of stupid mistakes. Sometimes you can almost excuse it ... i once removed all the code from a dev directory i was working on because my shift key got stuck, turning 'rm -rf *.o' into 'rm -rf *>O', which - of course - deleted everything and left me with a single file called O which, naturally, contained an empty line.
Fortunately I had a two stage approach even then ... I had written my own 'rm' which mv'd things to a .Trash in my home dir. But the admin here made a serious mistake. What he should have done was to run a find first ... and kept the output as evidence. Then run an rm on those results. A quick glance at the results of the find would tell you whether you were about to do the right thing or not.
Ashley Cole ...
... nuff said
DNA partial hash
Warning: hurried and possibly poorly thought out argument follows.
Why not just store a partial hash of EVERYONE's DNA? Hashy enough to ensure about 50-100 duplicates for any given sample.
No stigma about being on the database ... because everybody is. But the data is hashed enough, with enough duplicates, to prevent efficent use of the database for tracking or other privacy violations.
When a sample from a crime scene does get matches you can use REAL POLICE WORK to find the culprit, as you only have a few score of suspects. But you have too many suspects to just nail one of them on the grounds that 'this person is a match' so you need real evidence. Also you might have a quick way of eliminating people from suspicion.
I keep jumping on my little soapbox here, but we need a CAMPAIGN.... and el Reg is the place to start it.
Campaign: "Password expiry is a counterproductive strategy" (PECS).
It's not just unproductive, it is counter productive:
1) it engenders a false sense of security
2) it encourages weak passwords
3) it balloons 'password reset' requests, making social engineering easier
4) it causes people to write passwords down
5) it causes people to use a pattern to progress their passwords, making it much easier to guess a current password from a historic one.
6) it wastes huge amounts of everyone's time.
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