121 posts • joined Wednesday 28th November 2007 10:05 GMT
Re: The sad thing about ID cards
while not keen on a national ID scheme(large database + government = disaster), I have been asked for ID many times without having to leave the country. CRB checks, opening bank accounts, changing money at tesco, etc.
Fortunately I drive and have a passport so this is not a problem. I don't know how someone who does not have either of these documents actually manages. The biggest problem is actually proof address. It used to be by the use of household bills, but with so many online it becomes a challenge.
In many ways I could see an advantage in a national ID card, but this was mollified with the fact it would be run by a government department.
Re: A long time but...
There is even some evidence you will soon be able to get a decent cup of tea on the other side of the Atlantic.
If that ever happens America will be instantly replaced by something equally inexplicable.
A long time but...
It could be argued that the park grass experiment (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Park_Grass_Experiment) running since 1856 is a longer running experiment.
No webcam however to watch that grass grow
The next big idea?
This is all tied into what GE sees as the growth of the "Industrial Internet", which is a bit of a nebulous term. One way of looking at it is that as sensors etc get more powerful as a natural result of Moores law, there abilities grow and the amount of data generated from increases as well.
The idea is that the data can be captured and analysed and services built on the data, which are then fed back to the customer. In many ways this is akin to what google does with search data, although in this case the primary source is from machines.
This is already done with things like Jet Engines and GE sees the whole industrial landscape as ripe for this sort of innovation.
Whether they will succeed of not of course is uncertain, but I like big ideas, and this is definitely one of the biggest
There is method to his madness...
The whole concept comes from large companies seeing services as the new cash cow. However whether this can be applied to consumer products is questionable.
if you are buying say a jet engine, there is a lot of value in the monitoring of that part so that you can analyse performance over time. You can use this information to advise on maintenance schedules, more efficiently schedule servicing, and better analyse potential failure modes. The idea here is that by using the same techniques used by companies such as google to analyse big data, you can better support your customer, producing a win-win scenario. This is already being done by companies like RR and GE
This makes sense with a big ticket item, but it is questionable about whether it scales. You could argue that it would work with cars, since these are big purchases and require constant maintenance. So you could argue that by constantly analyzing performance via the cloud, the customer can be given better servicing advice and advised on possible upcoming failures, before they actually occur(for example by measuring battery life-cycles you could predict when it was likely to fail) . Another possible usage would be AC units or Central heating boilers. Again it could be used to better schedule maintenance.
However would be of any use for something like a fridge or a TV? Seems unlikely. In these situations the benefits to the customer seem to be outweighed by the benefit accrued by the data collector. Here we have a situation akin to extended warranties, where customers would be made to pay for a service which they accrue very little net benefit.
The 4 stages of security response
First they ignore you
They they say there is no risk
Then they say there is a risk, but it is not exploitable
Then you are hacked.
The most worrying statement was "For more than 30 years now, the development of certifiable embedded software has been following strict guidance and best practices that include in particular robustness that is not present on ground-based simulation software."
Yes, for safety, but as anyone who has developed secure embedded systems will tell you a different mindset is needed compared for safety assured systems since with safety the faults are not actively trying to locate and exploit weaknesses(although it does feel like they do sometimes).
Probably there is no risk, but that is no excuse for trying to sweep these things under the carpet
Re: With regard to the 20:1 ratio between entrance and success
To be fair to the OU, the price rise was not by choice but was due to the government funding reduction meaning the OU had to pass the real cost of the course not the subsidised cost.
On the other hand you can now like any other degree take a loan out to cover the cost which is only paid back when you are earning X much.
It's not the great but for a 21 year old looking to carry on there higher education its an option. The big problem is the older students who are not interested in completing a degree, but only want to expand the knowledge. Then the cost of the courses become and issue and maybe MOOC's will become the only option
Showing my age but...
I don't remember this lean, privatised, competition centric BT the article alludes to. Must be my memory.
I do remember however a privatised monopoly, who did there best to hold back the implementation of fast broadband because it cut into there lucrative voice line and international call monopoly.
It also doesn't explain why our broadband speed is so behind some of our industrial competitors such as Sth Korea and Japan.
It couldn't be the need for government oversight and investment for large infrastructure projects, that are just to speculative for privatised industry, could it?
If FIfa think they have problems
Its nothing compared to the issues we had when the goals were a couple of jumpers.
Not only did we have to judge the goal line, but also whether the ball went through the posts and how high it was had to be judged.
Where's the technical solution for that eh?!
Yank's rewriting history again
Great article. It will be a great reference when I read another article claiming GE had the first commercial computer such as
Step in the right direction but...
hopefully you won't need that ID when your away from home.
Of course in the case of Mat Honan, the original authentication would of worked if they had used something other for authentication than the last 4 digits of his credit card address(which could be easily obtained from his amazon account) and the staff followed their own procedures in asking the authentication questions.
Not a surprise
I have always thought that windfarm 'sickness' was more psychosomatic than real. Partly because wind farms are not new things. They have been on the continent for years and no signs of vast numbers of Dutch, Danes and Germans coming down with it. So unless our European cousins have different ears than us, it seemed unlikely there is an issue there.
However I have every sympathy for those who feel they are suffering. Such conditions can feel very real. I remember once living next to some noisy neighbours and even when they were not there your mind would magnify every imagined sound. However it does not make a good reason to stop the implementation of renewable energy policy.
My most likely project would be a photo/video frame. Stuff you 10" digital photo frame. 14 inch LCD+one Pi and you should have a digital frame worthy of your content. Plus if you add wifi you will be able to easily access new content as well
It a crap shoot out there
Oracle had the bad luck to come in front of a judge who seemed to semi-computer literate, and could even write simple code.
However the American legal system is such that if you don't like the judgement you can keep paying your money and throwing the dice in the hope you get the result you want. This will go on for years, but you can't help wondering whether they would be better off spending there money on developers rather than lawyers
Re: XP Search Function
It's a disaster. I always resort to using inforapidsearch(http://www.inforapid.de/html/searchreplace.htm)
Problem with mergers
The problems with mergers is that Megacorps buys up a smallcorp company in an area it has limited expertise. Now the small company is doing well because it has a small management overhead, is agile and therefore adapt quickly to a new and expanding market. The only thing small corp hasn't got is the capital and resources to take advantage of the market, which of course Megacorp can provide
However as soon as the merger is completed, Megacorps puts a whole new management structure on top of it making less agile, it shoehorns it into its company management structure tying it to some part of the organisation which doesn't understand the new market. Meanwhile people who made the company successful in the first place leave because they get tired of the new bureaucratic structure, the lack of opportunity and are attracted by the outside possibilities in an expanding market. In the end a possible new industry player is strangled to death and then discarded by the Megacorp management with only a few patents to show for it.
What htey should of done is keep the 2 companies separate, Megacorp by a substantial shareholding in smallcorp and bank roll the company so smallcorp has the advantage of agility and access to Megacorps resources and capital. However managers would hate the lack of control so this is never considered
Another way of looking at it is say MegaCorp is a large company say making OS and servers whose markets are steadily shrinking. It may also have a very successful word processing division but this division is held back from taking advantage of all its opportunities by the OS division and corporate strategy. It would make more sense to separate the two parts so both can concentrate on making the most money without worrying about affecting the market share of each other. Of course this never happens because the management are scared of losing control so are willing to let both lifeboats sink together when untying them would save at least one.
Mobile phones are nothing new
My favorite book when I was a child was Tom Corbett Stand by for Mars. I must of read that book 30 times before I was 10. Despite being wrong on many aspects(Canals and breathable atmosphere on mars) two things I do remember were at the start when he has to give up his mobile phone before entering the space academy and complaining he couldn't use a shave mask to shave with.
Of course we are still waiting for shave masks, but they sound like a great idea, but the concept of a mobile phone was a good one for 1952. This may of had something to do with the great science writer Willy Ley providing the technical direction. Of course mobile video phones were foreseen in Dick Tracey before then.
One more thing. Despite Star Trek's good science predictions they constantly failed to foresee the advances in computers. Even their best computers seem slightly old fashioned compared to what w have today. For example I can never work out why the photon torpedoes are so dumb, often missing the target the size of a starship
Re: My mum loved her razr
My Wife still has hers. Keep suggesting she upgrade, but she loves it. I have to say as a piece of industrial art it knocks even the iPhone into a cocked hat.
The mystery is why they didn't keep the design and just improve the innards and UI
The plan is less about about connecting industrial systems to the internet, but more about integrating industrial systems with enterprise systems.
One of the reasons that industrial systems traditionally have such lousy security is that for many years they were considered isolated from other systems so didn't have to follow the same rules. Then someone stuck them on the internet for convenience and voila, all the insecurities were suddenly writ large.
Ironically by looking at industrial systems as part of a whole, security has to embedded from the outset rather than adding it on as an after thought. At the same time you vastly increase the services provided such as advanced prognostics, better robustness, and easier configuration.
The truth is industrial automation is no longer confined to small areas of a factory. Things like the next generation smart electrical grid which will require integration across a huge number of industrial and management devices require a rethink on how we access and control our devices. The advantages are to huge to be ignored, but it has to be done right from the outset using the latest techniques in both security and technology.
Sorry, bit of a boring comment really....
The reason why AC won over DC in Edison's day was more to do with generation than transmission, plus issues with stepping up the voltage. You can transfer HV DC a lot more efficiently than HV AC. This is why most power lines from off shore wind farms are DC.
With modern power electronics it is far more efficient to convert fro AC to DC and back again. Similarly renewables such as wind farms are moving to DC generators so removing another inefficiency in the chain. World wide energy transmission is more an element of cost and politics than technical issues.
You are welcome to your opinion as to the beauty of wind, personally I find them quite elegant. Certainly I would prefer living next to a wind farm than the local coal powered station I do now.
The Spartacus defence
All that is required to kill this law dead is for everyone in Japan who has ever downloaded anything to stand up and demand they be punished to the limit of the law.
Legal not technical
From what I understand from Groklaw et al is that the issue wasn't so much that the Jury did not understand the technical issues but instead the foreman of the jury instead decided to apply his own definition of prior art rather than the one laid down by the law. The real danger is(and why these things get appealed) is that the jury uses some sort of bias to make judgements contrary to the law.
While(in the UK anyway) judges ruling can set precedent and law, I'm not sure we want to get into the situation where juries do
Eagerly requested features on a new sat-nav
A favourite game in our car is annoy the sat-nav. Ignore the instructions and wait for the mandatory "u-turn when safe to do so". However it would be far more fun if the sat-nav voice got more and more frustrated, ending with "Oh please yourself"
A back seat nag mode. "your going too fast","mind the traffic at the next junction", etc. For those times when your normal co-pilot is not with you
Re: does that mean
Actually Mr Fry has already spent time at her majesties pleasure for stealing credit cards I believe in his early years
James Van Allen had similar issues
I was only reading recently that when James Van Allen(he who the radiation belts are named after) had similar problems getting his test "rockoon" to fire at altitude due to extreme cold he solved the problem by heating cans of orange juice, attaching it to the firing mechanism and then wrapping the whole lot in insulation.
Of course those mechanism's were clock work and we have progressed a long way since then. For instance we now have pot noodles
Re: AMERICA, F*CK YEAH!
I haven't checked it out but I'm willing to bet that it is the debate about the cost effectiveness of manned space station versus earth based or automated low orbit platforms.
It is a valid discussion, however even if you ignore the benefits of having a large configurable platform with plenty of power for doing space science that you couldn't place economically on a satellite, there is a more fundamental question as to what the long term goal of space exploration is.
As impressive as Curiosity is, at the end of the day it is no more relevant to the human experience than the early moon rovers sent by Russia in the 60's. Far more inspiration was achieved by physically sending men to the moon, however difficult that was, than a million robotic probes. For me it was one of my first memories and inspired me to go into science.
If you, as I, believe that manned exploration must be the end goal of any space program then we need a manned laboratory to develop technologies that make the long term habitation in space feasible. Not only in terms of human physiology, but the equipment and tools for long term exploration.
At the end of the day this only be achieved by having a viable manned orbiting laboratory such as the ISS.
Re: AMERICA, F*CK YEAH!
What are you smoking?
"NASA can order up a Saturn V type rocket, with the latest tech anytime they want"
NASA don't even have the blueprints for the Saturn V anymore. Anyway why upgrade 1960's technology instead of creating something more efficient and cheaper. Saturn V was impressive, but it was brute force technology. Effective but expensive. The mars rover was launched on a Atlas V which has no relationship with the Saturn V. In fact the main engine is the RD-180 which is Russian designed and built.
The ISS is still doing great science and space science has come a long way from the Skylab days. Understanding how to combat the long term effects of space travel is our ticket off this rock pile. But there is a lot of fundamental science being done there as well which could only be achieved in a manned lab.
I am sure NASA would like there manned launch system, but the truth is NASA and congress dropped the ball on this one. It was not by choice or design.
As for making the Titan IV heavy human rated. This is a little bit more difficult than ticking some boxes. If it had been that easy ISS astronauts would not be riding on Soyuz rockets these days. It is also not being made anymore.
Whichever way you cut it, NASA and America blew there lead in manned space flight and no amount of sticking your head in the sand and shouting" well we never wanted to do it anyway" hides that fact.
Why go to the moon, when you can go to mars?
What a coincidence, I only recently received this email from Nigeria...
I am happy to offer you an exclusive return trips to Mars. We have recently obtained a fleet of secret North Korean spacecraft fitted with a FTL drive personally designed by the dear leader himself.
A deposit of $100 million will guarantee a place on the priority short list for the first launch in 2030
Please send the money to P.O Box Lagos 124567
We use it in our company and it has been probably the most successful attempt to introduce social networking concepts into the business. However that is not saying a lot since most previous attempts died quickly through lack of interest.
Yammer itself is quite slick and the interface is not bad, especially compared to our internal tools. However I think its success in our case has as much to do that it has bee set-up, used and supported outside the company sanction and our IT dept. and therefore users do not feel quite as restrained in using it as an internal company product. Saying that we have been surprised that it has not been blocked by the company firewall yet.
Truth is data security is a concern and how the company will feel if all the internal company discussions are being piped through Microsoft is an interesting area.
Re: for our Euro friends
Having a gun owning culture didn't do much to stop the Columbine school massacre either did it.
The fact is if someone wants to do something like this enough there is very little we can do to stop it. However the reason that Breivik stands out is that it is so unusual for a society like Norway to suffer such a tragedy, while in the gun-lovin states there seems to a new event every couple of years and public institutions such as schools have to be more like armed camps than place of learning, with armed security, metal detectors, sniffer dogs etc.
The fact is gun ownership is not the only cause of these tragedies. As previous posters have said other countries have a liberal gun ownership and do not suffer the same issues(Switzerland, Canada, etc). However what is a problem is a toxic mix of general fascination with gun culture, acceptance that it is perfectly right to use guns to defend yourself and carry guns in public(i.e stand your ground laws) and large scale inequality in the society which alienates a large part of it.
I've given up with dixons.
I noticed recently a camera I was interested in at a sale price so I asked for one and was told they did not have any stock, but was told there was some in a store 20 miles away. When I got there I found the same camera, but a £100 more. When I eventually managed to grab a member of staff to inquire, they said the price was wrong, but they had no stock either only the the grubby display model which they very kindly offered to sell me for the same price I could get on the internet.
So apart from poor service and stock control, they appear to be advertising the display model price as a new price. What a waste of my time
Never again will I go to dixons. They staff are unhelpful and have no knowledge of the products they sell, there price is not competitive compared to the internet and they have no idea of customer service.
They have plans ??!!!!
I thought the development plan was to see what Apple does and then copy it
Its not about the hardware
Its the software that sells games consoles and the Wii's software in recent years has been lack lustre. I am pretty sure if you polled most present Wii owners you would find the games they own are all pretty old. I have a Wii, but I haven't bought a new game for 2 years, just dragging out Mario Carts for the kids(why has there never been an update for that game?).
Problem is the market Wii once owned, the casual family gamer, has now been taken by the XBOX360 kinnect and to a lesser extent the PS3 move. If I was buying a console today I would be looking at those because I know I could have a family console and play battlefield 3 when the kids are in bed.
If Nintendo can't get the big game manufacturers on board the new console will be dead in the water.
I think we need some rules...
It seems to me to define the worst film ever we could do with some constraints. One I would suggest is the films budget. While there are many many low budget films which are bad, you sort of expect that when the total film budget is less than Tom Cruise's catering outlay.
Therefore I would suggest that we only consider films with a budget of 50 mill or more or have two categories, worst budget, straight to videio/dvd and worst ' they spent how much on that pile of crap!!!' film.
On that basis can anyone say whether John Carter is really that bad
Pearl Harbour - Its not difficult to make a bad film, but to spend so much money on this stinker takes real genius.
Closely followed by Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Never in history has a film been anticipated by so many, yet satisfied so few.
Oh and Judge Dredd, if only for Sly Stallone totally missing the point(although we could add get Carter to that long list). Hopefully the forthcoming remake will fix that though
However a couple of points. Firstly I'm sure that RIM would argue there are in fact 3 mobile eco systems out there and while not a major player in all markets, in some markets such as business they are important. This provides another obstacle to an area MS would normally see as a strength i.e exchange support
Also if they increased Skype prices to non windows mobile devices wouldn't that just push people to look at alternatives such as google talk?
One important omission
Elop admitted that Symbian phones are being undercut by cheap android smart phones. In the short term that should be a bigger worry since it means they have less time to move to the new platform than they thought.
Not a great surprise when you publicly execute your main OS.
Anyone could see this coming
The problem with Nintendo is that they have sat on their laurels for too long. The Wii was great when it came out, but they have waited to long for an update while at the same time keeping their prices relatively high. In the same time Sony and Microsoft have improved functionality and dropped prices. Also while MS and Sony have moved their consoles to become media centres, the Wii has remained a one trick pony.
Not only that but the number of games you can get is still poor, with only little support from the major game manufacturers. I think I have about 5 games, and 3 of those I bought with the console and while games like Mario Carts was great, a sensible company would of bought out a replacement years ago.
In the handheld market they are being really hurt by smart phones. Even kids now days have these devices so there is little incentive for other game devices(especially with the high cost of the game cartridges). The 3ds was a gimmick which had fail all over it.
Basically they have not been aggressive enough and are now paying the price. Its possible the wii replacement will reverse the trend but it feels like a company that has run out of ideas.
I had £500 to spend ...
and I plumped for the ASUS transformer. Now don't get me wrong the iPad is a nice piece of kit but the price, no SD card expansion and you have to buy into the Apple walled garden put me off.
I have been totally satisfied with my purchase and i believe there is little I would of gained by having a Ipad. The only thing I think is missing is better apps. Yes there lots around for android, but there doesn't seem to be the same level of innovation and quality in the iPad. Saying that most of the functions I use are built into android anyway so it is not a big issue.
Actually its pretty goodThe open university chose it as there beginners programming language. I was very doubtful, but after seeing the results its pretty good. Its tied to some boards and allow simple I/O such as light detection motors etc. The real question is whether some learning scratch can then go on to learn a 'real' programming language
I don't believe I saying this but...I agree with Gove(I Feel so unclean). From seeing my 12 year old daughter ICT lessons they are banal. Doing powerpoint presentations(My 5 year old can do those already) and little serious programming. The Open university does a very good beginners course based around a ardino processor based on Scratch programming language. It provides a really good introduction. So why not that or lego mindstorms even and enthuse the programmers of tomorrow
I don't Intel has much future hereI could be wrong here, but the issue is not so much how power hungry the Intel chip is but the power of the whole package. The advantage ARM has is that you can take the ARM core and integrate it with all the other components needed to make a phone on the same chip. i.e add the graphics engine, wireless chippery etc. This provides an advantage not only in in reduced footprint but reduced power consumption. One of the problems with Intel chips has been not such the power consumption of the chip itself , but of the north/south bridge. The lack of manufacturer customisation is more likely to kill intel on mobile rather than power/performance
This camera and the J1 has all the symptoms of a company fighting within itself. It wants people to keep buying its money cow SLR's, however people looking to upgrade from a compact are going to the 4/3 choice rather than DSLR's. Solution make a 4/3 compact but don't give it the features of your DSLR.
This feels like a choice by marketing dressed up as a technology choice. History has show this to be a short sighted decision. For a camera this price it should have had every technology that Nikon has going.
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