1270 posts • joined 14 Nov 2007
Re: "banning cheese next, followed closely by nuts."
John G - I didn't mean to be dismissive of people with nut allergies, it's just that I think they are getting a raw deal - it's just a cop out of food manufacturers to put 'may contain nuts' on almost everything. What you really need is a label that tells you a food is nut free, but I bet nobody would dare ...
Re: "banning cheese next, followed closely by nuts."
Food has to include a nut warning, and this has saved lives.
Has it though? Everything has a nut warning on it. Could have been a good idea but the warnings are so ubiquitious that they are just noise - like Website cookie warnings have become.
... so what's the dilemma?
But I used to enjoy the various devious and imaginative ways in which some nutter in another country would try to fool me out of my credit card details through the medium of an electronic message full of blatant falsehoods that even a household pet could spot.
That used to puzzle me too, until I discovered it might be a deliberate strategy to automatically select the most gullible marks - a theory elegantly advanced in this pdf from Microsoft Research.
Will DBs have to follow suit?
The NHS Data Dictionary defines 2 sets ([gender at] Birth, [gender at] Registration) of four values (Unknown, Male, Female, Unspecified) leading to 16 combinations*. It looks like FB are extending this, although not in a formal way, to include 'current identification' which should lead to 64 combinations.
This seems overly complex to me: only medical records need to know what Gender you were born with, I can't see that FB needs anything more than your current self-identification; to me that seems to be a matter of M, F or Other (optional specification in text field). Maybe it's just the developer obsession with using drop-down lists, so you can select a pre-defined value. But I think it's quite likely that many people not wishing to chose M or F might want more freedom to describe their gender than a list gathered up by whichever developers have made a mini research project of it.
*Although, despite this all being known, some companies who shall remain nameless, think they can write medical software with straight M/F choice for a gender
Re: Kids who can think ...
:-) you don't need to sell Scratch to me - I've been in love with Smalltalk, Squeak, Seaside and Scratch for years and years and years !
Kids who can think ...
... can code if they want to.
Teaching children to think more effectively, however, has always appeared very low on the list of priorities of all governments - the conspiracy view might be that perhaps they prefer a more docile popuation; but I tend to subscribe to the cockup view: politicians just cannot leave education alone, so it continues to suffer the consequences of decades of misuse for partisan point scoring and electoral gambits, whilst those with any clue as to its improvement are sidelined and ridiculed.
Although I am very much in favour of teaching British kids to code, that is a view about eductation itself and applies equally to teaching them, say, history. I'm in two minds, however, about whether coding should be automatically considered an economically valuable skill. On the one hand it is probably the most offshorable skill set in the world; on the other hand much of the offshore code I have personally seen is suboptimal, and significant amounts of it comedically bad. Perhaps there really will be a market for British coders once the long-term impact of the current craze of cost-control-above-everything-else hoves into sharper focus.
How about ...
... some kind of bluetooth microwriter? A nice little hand-shaped device that can be held in one hand and used with four or five buttons in a chording fashion. Something like a fat gun handle made of soft plastic, big enough to hold a reasonable size battery, buttons with a tactile directly under where the fingertips rest?
Flappy Bird pre-installed = £stupid
Have you guys seen how much tablets & phones which have Flappy Bird installed are going for on eBay?
PS3 screen saver can be controlled in settings menu.
Re: what about over discharge ?
If you want a device that can provide high current at a reasonable voltage, it's going to capable of fireworks if you short it -- Don't Do That, Then.
Re: So much negativity.
... reminds me of the (probably apocryphal) story of John Heatherington's Top Hat:
"[he] appeared on the public highway wearing upon his head what he called a silk hat (which was shiny lustre and calculated to frighten timid people)" and the officers of the Crown stated that "several women fainted at the unusual sight, while children screamed, dogs yelped and a younger son of Cordwainer Thomas was thrown down by the crowd which collected and had his right arm broken"
--- Hatters' Gazette 1797
*NB: John Heatherington did not invent the Top Hat, and this story probably isn't true, even though that fact and this story was reported on QI.
Re: It's a people problem
"Access all areas" costume:
1) Dark suit, smart but not too sharp, with boring tie
3) Credit card sized photocard on lanyard
4) High Vis Jacket
5) Hard hat
I reckon you can get into anywhere if you have all 6.
When I read the introductory quote, I wondered ...
... if there's a market for drones which kill people by stealthily dropping tortoises on their head. Maybe only works for bald targets ...
"our priorities of cloud, big data, security and mobility"
Aren't everybody's? I have heard this mantra from a few companies. This is what it appears to mean:
cloud = any (rack in a) remote data centre hosting VMs
big data = any database too big to run under MS Access
security = the only staff who can get onto the servers are the penetration testers
mobile = apps are still the thing, aren't they?
Re: Their market -- agreed
I shall be sending my son to uni with a nice cheap, robust Thinkpad to do proper portable work on. With the money I save I shall buy a nice monitor he can use back at digs. And maybe a nice Thunderbolt external graphics box in case he fancies a spot of gaming.
In my experience Stinkpads survive drops, spills and years of 'utilitarian' handling. They also don't attract attention. If he does break it, or loses it, I'll just buy him another. My stepdaughter's dad bought her a MacBook pro costing more than a good-enough laptop and a great gaming rig combined. It does look the bomb, but ... and I bet it's not insured.
Perfect timing ...
... as my son has just been moaning that he has inherited my square head. But I really think that if I had to look like a famous Scandinavian, SWIMBO would have prefered Alexander Skarsgård to Anders Breivik.
Re: A safe-for-work blog post?
... indeed, FB refused to accept a comment with that URL.
Re: Museum of bolted stable doors
What happens if BPT fails? Do some people make some money from selling the prime development land on which it sits, by any chance?
In the UK ...
... SAGA is a holiday company catering to a specific demographic. I think it is "Society for the Appreciation of the Golden Age" but most Brits think it stands for "Send a Granny Away"
@Vociferous Re: Of course they are safe.
Re: Are media companies *driving* piracy ?
Case in point: Breaking Bad. Widely considered one of the best things to ever appear on TV, it showed in the UK for two seasons on FX / C5 and then you had to subscribe to Netflix to watch the rest of it.
I have no idea as to current status but I know that the UK Netflix once compared very poorly to the US Netflix in terms of content. As someone with an everything-but-the-porn (I have the internet for that) SKY subscription, I was pretty annoyed not to be able to watch Seasons 3 to 5 except with a brand new subscription to a service I wanted nothing else from, or to buy - long after air dates (and therefore critics' spoilers), box sets of DVDs or Blurays.
Re: Sure smells like apple innovation in here
The trouble with your ideal lone-inventor situation is that it is now almost impossible to get a patent that will stand up by doing it yourself. If you can't afford tens of thousands of pounds for the work of patent lawyers etc there's almost no point applying for a patent.
I have/had what seems to be a patentable and profitable idea, but soon realized that I just cannot raise the the capital to bring it to fruition - and if I could raise it, I probably couldn't risk it.
The lone worker is much better off creating a work of art, at which point they can receive the full protection of the law by simply writing Copyright *Year* *Full Name* on it. Most patents are now little more than yet more gambling chips for big corporations, their investors and their lawyers.
Sensitivity to context ...
... the most important part of critical thinking; I suppose you object to the superb(ly titled) Antique Code Show, as well?
Is this the first time that ...
... the lessons from 'lessons learned' have actually been learned?
The real elephant in the room ...
... is the idea of prioritising teaching kids the most outsourceable skill in the entire world.
"I'm all for boffinery in any guise but..."
... I'm strangely uninterested in the somewhat counter-intuitive finding that it is an *increase* in head movement that may be responsible, or that using kinematics to quantify the effects of distraction on motor control might be interesting or even have future applications.
If I may comment on your own research proposal, I think it would be useful to determine the approximate probabililty of getting into an unpleasant fracas by shouting 'Oi, Muppet!" at someone looking at their phone.
Re: The University of West England?
I see what you mean ... but ... University and Polytechnic meant specific things. In particular, Polytechnics could not award their own degrees, these were certified by an external body (the CNAA, I think). I agree with you that university degrees seem to have become somewhat undervalued but I don't think we can blame that solely on the reclassification of Polytechnics (many of which were already highly regarded) to Universities.
I'm pretty sure we can't blame Labour, either - IIRC it was the Higher Eductation Act of 1992 that made Polytechnics into Universities (I was half way through a PhD at Oxford Poly when it became Oxford Brookes University, sarcastically referred to as Oxford "B"). So the change happened either under Thatcher or Major, can't remember which.
PS I was actually a bit annoyed - Oxford Polytechnic had a good reputation in my field - and the new name had no reputation at all :-)
Re: The University of West England?
It appears you don't know what research is: firstly, if you had done some of your own you would know UWE is actually fairly well regarded academically; secondly, you would know that good research can get done at poor institutions (or in a garden shed) and that bad research can still get done at highly regarded ones.
I have no affiliation with UWE. If I did, it would make it easier for those with a critical thinking deficit to disregard what I have said above, although it would not, of course, invalidate my argument.
Dvorak keymap helps ...
If I press the keys P-a-s-s-w-o-r-d on my keyboard, I get "Laoo,rpe". And if I switch back to Qwerty, "Password" comes out as "Ra;;,sho". Both of these pass muster as strong passwords on nearly every site I try.
It's also useful if you leave your computer momentarily whilst it is still logged in, it's pretty hard for your 'friends' or colleagues to do much of anything in a short time when only the A, M, and the number keys are in the same place!
... same old story, day in, day out. Is it not possible to sue EE for exposing one to such risks? There's got to be a project here for an enterprising law student, surely?
glad you mentioned that. I have played along with these a number of times to see if I can get any information that would assist in making a report. I have come to the conclusion that a lot of the staff think they are actually working for a legitimate company, and are just as much dupes as their targets.
I may be wrong, too trusting, etc, but that's how it seems to me - also explains how many of them can be so convincing.
Obvious choice missing ...
... Justine or anything else by de Sade.
Police above the law ...
... it can go the other way ...
A former Warwickshire magistrate, Alan Marks, drove off a Stratford-upon-Avon roundabout into people drinking coffee at Costa's pavement tables, injuring several people including himself in April last year. Police decided not to charge anyone due to 'insufficient evidence'. Seems to everybody here that there's plenty of evidence the driver lost control of the car and there's a case to answer. Sure he may be found not guilty for a number of reasons, but the fact there won't even be a trial (and apparently at the decision of the police, rather than the CPS) is pretty incredible.
** Edit: after a public outcry, and a second investigation, the case has finally come to court
Guys, the use of the short scale for pounds sterling is not only standard but official ...
Re: Most pointless leak and breach ever
Piro: "It's like leaving your door open, telling people you left your door open, then being surprised when someone nicks your TV."
... not so much your TV, but all your clients' property that you were storing for them.
Wouldn't it be better if solar panels were ...
... less shiny?
That turned down $3bn ...
... is fading into the distance.
Honest answer ...
I don't know, because I don't know if you consider me one of the drooling masses :-)
I live four miles outside Stratford-upon-Avon. Driving into 'town' (and parking) costs more than having most items delivered to the house next day, even if I valued my time at 0/hr (which I don't). I work mainly from home so delivery is not a problem and even when I am out during working hours I have completely trustworthy neighbours (and live in a place where all but the highest value items can be safely left outside the house anyway).
Online retail in the UK often undercuts retail prices very significantly, which is another factor: I bought three 1m HDMI leads through Amazon for less than the price of a single one from our local consumer electronics outlet. Outside big cities, local retailers have limited stock - I can buy e-cigarette liquid locally, but not the brand my wife uses.
Being in the UK, I have a lot of additional rights when I buy online, the key one is the ability to return items uncontested if I change my mind for any reason. I don't worry too much about ID theft, having taken a few basic precautions, and if the worst came to the worst I'm not worth that much anyway.
I suspect a lot of people find themselves in the same circumstances; does that answer your question?
Edit: I do, however, support my local shop and non-chain and small-chain local businesses.
DAB vs 3G
I have tried DAB in the car, it's horrible. FM has become pretty bad too - I can't help feeling an earlier post suggesting they've powered down some FM stations must be correct.
The big surprise is that a phone on '3' on an all-you-can-eat data plan gives more continuous coverage than DAB - and sounds much better too, not to mention having almost infinitely more choice - even before you count the replay services such as iPlayer radio.
Re: Hard-learned lesson
I always install some kind of remote desktop on computers belonging to friends and family the very first time they ask for help. Principally because the 'non-technical' seem to think it's ok to revert to utterly helpless mode when they ask for assistance. People who correctly realise that phoning their garage to tell them "my car doesn't work" would be ridiculously vague still seem to think that's all they need to tell you about a PC, tablet, etc.
Re: Fuck Off!
Live DVD as an ISO image, VM with no disk device boots from that. Open the browser, snapshot the VM.
Everytime you want to browse, run the snapshot.
Re: 350 squid, lol
Not sure it would be that easy. From what I've heard of this screen you'd need to spend 150 to equal it, and 20 to get reasonable speakers. That leaves you 159 for your (presumably linux) PC.
Even if you could beat it, you'd end up with the standard ugly box, kb, mouse and screen. I think HP have hit a real sweet spot with this price.
Re: A fine line between Vision and Arrogance
" There are principles of User Interface discoverability which TIFKAM drives a horse & cart through."
Absolutely. I know fine that the charms menu slides in from the middle right when I go to the top right or bottom right corners, but i still find myself putting the mouse in the middle of the right hand edge momentarily, before remembering that its origin is not its trigger.
Doesn't using click-and-collect immediately divest one of ones rights under the Distance Selling Regulations?
If I buy something online I can return it if I don't like it. I cannot be charged a 're-stocking fee' regardless of the T&Cs of the seller. The return cannot be refused because it has been 'used' or 'is not in its original packaging', despite the efforts of many big corporates to hide these rights from their customers.
But I think actually going to collect it from the shop counts as buying in the shop, albeit with online 'reservation' and the DSRs no longer apply. Or do they only cease if you *pay* in the shop, whereas you are covered if you pay online and just collect the goods from the shop? Any lawyers able to comment?
Re: Not the same as the real thing
Actually there are cig-type e-cigs that *are* quite good, although they are more expensive. My wife is happy with V2s for smoking outdoors and a tank-type thing for smoking at home. She is a previously moderate-to-heavy smoker who hasn't smoked cigs since her brain told her to stop in Feb 2010 (by having a stroke).
Re: How long did he do it?
"... something like 20 minutes for lunch with 10 of them taken up by going through security to get to somewhere..."
This is probably the only really unfair thing here. Company security needs to be done on company time. But as for the walking - plenty of people do that - binmen for example. In fact, I'd love to have a non-sedentary job, but the pay tends to suck.
- Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
- 14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
- Feature Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
- Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
- FTC to mobile carriers: If you could stop text scammers being jerks that'd be just great