79 posts • joined 19 Nov 2007
I've noticed over the last couple of years that these sort of debates that have environmental impact are becoming increasingly more science led, from fracking to GM foods. This can only be a good thing, and I feel we have the internet and changing cultures on science to thank.
Echoes of Hot Coffee
I seem to recall the same odd view from the Americans regarding the Hot Coffee mod for Grand Theft Auto, if you remember the hoohah about that. It got the game switched to an R rating in the USA. When the BBFC were approached about it their paraphrased response was "We gave the game an 18 rating based on the drugs and violence aspects. A bit of consensual sex will not change that".
Its all topsy turvy when a bit of flesh (still attached I hasten to add) is censored more heavily than horrifying violence.
Its been on display for a while now...still quite cool in a geeky way though
Tea over coffee every time, its so much more civilised.
I like a Kenyan assam brew myself, milk and two sugars, with ginger nuts to dunk. This adds a touch of ginger to the tea and makes it wonderfully sharp.
Re: Some clarification
Gene therapy doesn't work by an oral route of administration, Rota Virus, at least not in an unencapsulated form. The plasmid requires a carrier of some sort. A number have been tried, for instance gold particles (fired into the skin), electroporation, or liposomal delivery methods. Liposomally can work intra-nasally, but will not survive the GI tract.
For the GMO crop to be toxic in itself, the molecule produced that confers herbicide protection would have to be shown to be toxic. To my knowledge this has not been done by any reputable source, at least not yet.
Its not the GM crop that is causing the alleged tumours, it is the Roundup, which is a chemical. All the genetic modification does is make the crop resistant to this herbicide, which assists in effective monoculture. Of course, as the DDT and numerous other past experiences tell us, using more Roundup is not necessarily a good thing but is not the genetic modification that is at fault.
Sorry to disagree with you drexciya, but promoter genes, or genetic material in general, will have absolutely no effect on an organism that consumes it. Potentially the promoter could promote the wrong gene, but that is unlikely as resistance markers are used to ensure it is correct.
As with all tech, its not the technology but how it is used. GMOs are used to produce insulin for diabetics as much as for GM crops. We need oversight of its use, not of the tech itself. The ignorance of vocal pressure groups, such as Greenpeace, does nothing but cloud the issue with misinformation.
For a large proportion of the non-tech savvy population the word "iPhone" is synonymous with the word "smartphone", and Apple's marketing does well to encourage this. A more interesting breakdown of this satisfaction survey would be how many iPhone users have used another smartphone? Not many I imagine, other than perhaps a work Blackberry which is hardly an optimum experience.
As for the Android users, exposure to the ubiquitous iPhone is likely, and also likely to have had another Android device in the past. They are therefore basing their satisfaction on what else is out there together with the pretty shiny thing in their hand.
I have a Galaxy Note and I must admit I have had no trouble fitting it into pockets. Maybe I just have huge man pockets. Although the phone has a lot of screen real estate, its actually quite thin and light - I find thicker phones more a problem for pockets than wide ones.
And yes, I do feel like a tit with it pressed against my ear, but I can live with that.
Hang on, so far I have seen no evidence that a storming of the Ecuadorian embassy is imminent. Apparently the Ecuadorian's have this in writing, but no one has seen it. Sounds rather far fetched, Assange isn't worth an international incident of this scale, no matter how much the Americans want him.
Re: Pharma industry
OK, my poor wording. From the point a patent is applied for (from molecule discovery) to when it is marketed and revenue rolls in, which can be way after approval, can easily be 15 years for biopharm. The clinical trials are only part of this process and clock is ticking from very early on. Bear in mind the Wikipedia value is an average, development times have extended greatly over the last decade due to enhanced regulatory scrutiny.
My point being this is a single patent on a huge amount of investment. Not lots of tiny patents on obvious design stuff that are used to block market entry to competition, and the judge was right to draw this distinction.
Pharmaceutical companies have usually a 20 year patent new drugs, 25 with an SPC for a biological. 15 to 20 at least is taken with the trials, leaving the company a maximum of 10 years to recoup the average of a billion dollars it takes to develop a new drug. Compared to "swipe to unlock".
So sir, your comparison is frankly horseshit. And the judge here has correctly recognised this.
We are trying to cut national spending and the Scottish "government" want this for their little darlings? I have seen toddlers successfully use iPads/tablets, they teach almost nothing about IT except how to consume media with fat fingers. Plus the kids will either nick them or break them. More hot air from clueless politicians.
While I sympathise with Apple slightly in that a credit card enabled phone given to a 9 year old is asking for trouble (would you give your kid your wallet and pin numbers? No, neither would I) Apple do operate a walled garden, and as such have some measure of resposibility for what goes on within that garden.
It's got a long way to go
Anyone who uses Office for real work with large files won't be doing it on an iPad. Maybe "creative" types might be a bit more legwork out of it, but those tend to use Macs already.
The use of tablets as a medium for education material is going to happen, and I agree with many of the posters that dead tree media forms for higher education are massively over-priced. What I would take umbrage with however is a lock-in to the iPad. Digital text books are fine, but not in a format which will only work on a single company's device.
Its a little vague without some market segmentation. Are these figures consumer or corporate? Laptop or desktop, or both? Does it include tablet sales? You need at least three quarters of financial information to draw any conclusion. I agree with Torben though, the traditional upgrade cycle is changing and may well have plateaued.
Chrome for the common man?
Chrome is a favourite for non-tech savvy users. Whatever it is sending to Google (and it probably sends a lot) it also happens to be minimalistic, quick and easy to use, all things the average techno-pleb will like. FF is doing a Netscape, getting fat, bloated and slow via feature creep; IE has such a bad rep anyone with an ounce of computer nous will remove it immediately. Which leaves Chrome.
Rheumatism? Folk medicine
The term rheumatism hasn't been used in decades by the medical profession, which raises some concern about the medical qualifications of those involved in EULAR. Unless there is an underlying genetic or autoimmune condition it is mostly likely RSI giving the kiddies the joints of an 80 year old.
Saying that, RSI (and carpal tunnel) is no joke. My trashed thumbs can't use in a console controller at all now, just as well I only game on the PC.
Very good article
Shows how an important debate gets warped by ideologies and the folly of big economic decisions being made on such terms. The energy debate desperately needs a practical viewpoint rather than a political one.
I think any of Richard Morgan's Takieshi Kovac novels would be excellent, not sure the rather extreme content would get past the censors though.
Market Forces, by the same author, would also be excellent and was originally written as a screenplay. Only near future though, does that count as sci-fi?
Thank you for this article, very timely and very much needed
I have to admit, I have never switched on my HTC Desire by accident, but mine doesn't light up until the top hard button is pressed (I assume by soft button you mean one on the touchscreen). Plus its capacitive, so it requires bare skin, a trousered leg won't do, then you have to sweep it down to switch it on, then hit phone, then hit a contact. And anyway, scraping anything down the screen when its in your pocket is asking for scratches. Just how much wiggling do you hands do in your pockets?
Not just fires
Its not just the fires, you are probably correct that only a few dozen have occurred and been serious enough to warrant publicity. But the problem of the adaptor overheating and melting , as shown on the Apple forums, is very widespread and there are obviously fundamental design flaws with the MagSafe adaptors.
I know Apple likes to think it can do no wrong, but this is not a case of faulty antennae or something minor - people could have been killed. A recall is the least they could do.
Sounding like a stuck record here, but I will add my pudgy hand to the ones raised for the Sansa. A fantastic device, very usable and robust with great sound.
I will also voice my concern over the fixation with maximum volume, I have permanent hearing loss from abuse of headphones in my teen years. It really should only be flagged if its far too low (like the Sony) rather than commended that the whole bus can hear it from your ear buds. A decent pair of in-ear Sennheiser's will neatly solve the issue I find.
Understand the foam flecked
I'm glad that some people are passionate about opposing organised religions trampling on freedoms, whether their discourse is a cutting argument or a little less controlled. Accusing someone who opposes your view of hysteria is rather low, look through the hysteria and respond to what they are saying.
The core of this argument is that a religious group lobbied against a festival due to the content being distasteful to themselves. In reverse, black metal fans would not be able to shut down a church service for the same reasons, however much they oppose the antiquated bigotry found within. This religious privilege of a vocal minority is unjustifiable and wrong in a Western democracy in the 21st century, and I sincerely hope the festival proves via legal challenge so it is unlikely to happen again.
I think comparative theology is a perfectly fine subject for schools, and this includes the modern druid sects we refer to as pagans. However, with the rise of single faith schools no one could be trusted to teach this impartially, so it should be scrapped. Education? Indoctrination more like.
Won't mount as an USB?
One of the biggest downsides of buying into the Apple empire is the fat, bloated toad which is iTunes. Insisting on the use of Zune in the same capacity is a massive mistake in my opinion - you are not going to out-Apple Apple in the walled garden approach.
Some interesting approaches Microsoft, but I think you are barking up the wrong tree and targeting a converted market. A shame really, more competition in the mobile OS market is always good.
I am quite fond of the term boffin and as a research scientist I fall into that category. Its not the term itself thats the problem, its how people use it. El Reg use it in a tongue in cheek way which is fine, a chav uses in a disparaging way which stems from their own intellectual inferiority and is meant to be offensive.
I am on the fence about climate change, but the slightly hysterical responses from green activists when pressed on these important scientific issues does them, and their cause, no credit.
I have to add my voice that I was duped when it came up as well, just after a fresh OS install. Which made it obvious it was a scam, even Windows doesn't get infected that fast, but I looked twice and I have been in this game for years. A sad state of affairs indeed and beneath a company that has done such sterling work with their firewalls in the past.
I appear to have unintentionally triggered a flame war with a tongue in cheek comment. My apologies. Anyway, keep it up, it makes fun reading.
Jihadis are never very bright, no matter their technical skills. I hope it didn't cost Belvoir Castle too much to fix their site, or they can bill the local mosque.
Blame the instigator
The CPS get a lot of stick here (and it is well deserved) but we mustn't forget why they could even prosecute in the first place - the law was brought in by the 70s feminist dinosaurs Harriet Harman and Jacqui Smith as part of the previous government. It was a ridiculous law from a ridiculous home secretary and has been shown, is completely unenforceable.
My knowledge of legislation is limited, but can this law be redacted?
re: Tasers illegal in your area ?
I can confirm that disposable cameras make excellent tasers. I have zapped myself with them many times when I used to develop photos for a living, its extremely powerful for its size.
Reading Your Email, the stimulant effects (and its effect on heart rate) of coffee and caffeine were not disputed, its whether this increases "alertness", whatever that means.
As far as I'm concerned, decaffeinated coffee is like non-adhesive glue. Bean me!
The larger picture
I think the fixation on Islam here is a moot point, its more of an expression of distaste at censorship. The drawing of Mohammed has just been used to bring it to the fore as its so controversial, particularly with the Danish cartoons and the fact there is no good reason for it to be banned in a western, non-islamic country.
I respect the ideal, if not the methods.
The pirate symbol looks a bit like a dead Mohammed with his well used scimitars by his side...its how he would have wanted to go. I take this as my contribution to the drawing debate.
After leaving work at 7.30pm with still lots of machines down and critical deadlines approaching, I think I can join in the movement to hang McAfee from the nearest tree. If it was free, or even cheap, it could be forgiven. But its not. Bugger them all to hell.
Duration of security
To be perfectly frank these scanners are fine, an addition to security arsenal rather than replacement. You will just walk into the thing and out the other end; the majority of people will go right through - unlike metal detectors that result in considerable delay due to change in pockets or metal buckles. Whether these scanners are actually effective remains to be seen of course, but there should be no resistance in principle.
I have no pity for the privacy queens - you don't like it, don't fly. I won't have my security compromised by your over-delicate sensibilities.
No matter how good the AV or anti-malware the user will be a weak point. This will continue to be an issue because if you make something idiot-proof nature will come up with a better class of idiot. I stripped off my resource hogging AV a while ago and use third party firewalls for protection, been fine ever since.
And how much will they be charging for this fashion-statement bit of techno-frippery? It looks frighteningly breakable to me for a mobile device.
Either way, good luck to 'em.
Although the bill has been structured to make it difficult to implement, it is a very worrying trend indeed. It was said of affirmative action in the US, 500 places on a university course. Affirmative action kicks in, one white person is removed and a ethnic minority with lower grades is put in. The ethnic minority would have been refused the place on poor grades. The white person lost the place simply because of the colour of their skin. Its racism, just fashionable and politically allowable racism. This bill is one step away from quotas and that is a disaster.
I always put on ethnic monitoring forms for jobs that I am black disabled lesbian. If they question it my answer is "Why is the form still attached to my application?" and secondly "would I have go the interview otherwise?"
Harman needs to go, shes a man hating feminist dinosaur and does the government no favours.
Eddy Ito - switch off "malware and phishing detection" in the options of Chrome and it stops the thrashing of the disc. Not sure about Safari, but I imagine its something similar.
I use Chrome for speed and Firefox for plugin options. Both suit me fine, haven't used IE in years. Does anyone use IE who knows how to download another browser?
And how do the ISPs feel about all this? A great deal of burden is on their shoulders. And it wouldn't surprise me, using the UK government as an example, if the definition of RC material starts to slip with future governments, leading to the blocking of political or run of the mill pornographic sites. Very worrying indeed.
Legislation based on proclivity is extremely dangerous, bordering on thought crime. The current laws, as explained in the article, do make sense as a child would have to be abused for the picture to be produced. But by criminalising the production of someone's mind is very difficult to justify. What if I doodle a cartoon of me killing someone? Does that give me proclivity to murder?
What if I tell them my favourite film is Care Bears - The Movie? Can I work anywhere then?
Seriously though, this is widespread profiling and its neither justifiable to feasible.
Going to need a high-res screen to compete I feel, and I hope it doesn't only come in white. The Magic looks like a mutated shiny iPod and I for one don't appreciate tacky white plastic.
When to stop
As sensible as this decision is, lets hope they know where to stop. Its all to easy to foresee a "creep" of censorship.
So how do you download a browser?
So, with no browser pre-installed on a system, how do you download one? Via some obtuse FTP system? Thats really going to help non-technical users. And I notice Apple is barely mentioned, don't they do the same with Safari? The EU are being idiotic.
Tase me bro'!
At last some statistical sense on tasers. I would prefer to get zapped than take a kicking from a set of size 9s or shot in the head several times. Injury and damage from tasers is very rare but tend to get picked on.
of things to come. Pride comes before the fall.
As much as I hate to agree with anything Jackboot Smith says, this retard deserves to stay in the US.
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