British Gas tried...
to tell me that I needed a smart meter. I asked them if things had moved on since this:
and copied them Chris's letter.
I've heard nothing since (that was six months ago).
172 posts • joined 23 Jan 2008
to tell me that I needed a smart meter. I asked them if things had moved on since this:
and copied them Chris's letter.
I've heard nothing since (that was six months ago).
Chris, don't worry yourself about what other folks are getting on just fine with (and at very small financial and time cost). You carry on using what suits you - it's that 'freedom' thing. No doubt you've heard of it.
here's my attempt at the logic, and it's advice us meat sacks often struggle to apply, but a bot should have no problems, simply this:
# Speed is a function of available data; always ensure the safe stopping distance is proportional to relevant data.
This means that if approaching a blind bend or a fog bank on a mountain road, where the human driver may well think, 'Got to push on; this is fun, what are the odds of meeting something coming the other way anyway. Yipee! <CRASH>
The bot will 'think': 'Can only see 7m ahead; slow to safe stopping speed within 7m'.
The bot coming the other way thinks the same. They both stop safely. It's what happens next that's interesting.
Boring, maybe. Safe, probably.
'@ "As for the God angle - really, why do non-religious people assume all religious people are narrow-minded, joyless and doctrinaire?"
Because they really are, by and large?'
OTOH, they really aren't, by and large. We could go on like this all day, couldn't we. My experience, which now stretches over several countries and more than 30 years of 'active faith', is that your experience, whilst possibly common, is by no means the norm.
So, 'religious people' are generally, in my experience, pretty much like all people, when it comes to the proportion who are 'narrow-minded, joyless and doctrinaire'---which may be about what we should expect, although I would hope, at least when it comes to Christian faith (which is what I know about) there would be a tendency for a lower frequency of those negative qualities, given what lies at the heart of Christian faith.
Anyhow, roll on the discoveries' out there' as well as 'down here'. It's exciting stuff.
'I'll still prefer to associate with people who don't voluntarily forego the use of their brains.' - well that goes for me too, and I'm a paid up Christian.
Funny how we can find 'brainless' people all over the place; or maybe it would be more accurate to say closed-minded, prejudiced, bigoted, self-righteous, etc. You know the type, they can only accept their own point of view, get all defensive if anybody suggests anything different, and are quick to pour scorn and mockery on the 'brain dead people who refuse to see things my way'.
You find them everywhere: in the blogosphere, on the TV, in the office, down the pub, in our own living rooms, and members of churches too. They sit alongside the ones who are interested in all sorts of possibilities, finding out what other folk think and believe, and seeing what we can do to make the most of the limited time we have to explore and make choices about what matters and how to put it into practice.
In my experience I have found those generous spirited, interested, curious, and thoughtful kinds of people everywhere as well. Regardless of the label pinned on them they are usually by far the more interesting and entertaining.
I no longer use Windows, but in my dying years with it I gave up using AV, for exactly the reasons BOFH so engagingly cites. For about two years a small group of machines went commando, relying simply on common sense (and threat of an unpleasant death for wayward users). There were no problems. Perhaps we were just lucky. Perhaps the whole thing is just a massive exercise in inflating a real, but relatively minor and manageable, risk into a massive source of fear and paranoia that has as its sole purpose the repeated emptying of wallets for all eternity. Rather like the whole Windows ecosystem upgrade cycle actually.
Now there's the rub, actually they are.
In the same way that no one is forced to buy electricity off the national grid, and no one is forced to be borged by Google if they use Android.
Ease of use != freedom.
not whether it is technically better than what has gone before, or whether the boot process could do with a good overhaul, but whether it philosophically fits with the GNU-Linux/*nix mentality and ethos, and where systemd is going?
Systemd may be everything its fans say it is, but if that means a 'my way or the highway' approach, where previously people have been able to choose without crippling their overall setup, or severely limiting their access to downstream software through dependency issues, that is a 'bad thing'.
Most of us like things that make life easier, but when easier means trading in choice, independence, and freedom then there are questions to be asked, decisions to be made, and consequences to be borne.
On the face of it systemd sucks, but if the majority support it for the sake of an easy life, and end up losing freedoms that GNU/Linux tried to stand for, then we'll all bear the consequences of learning to love Big Brother.
The systemd fiasco is just the latest and most high profile indication of a trend. Big money has grasped the value of Linux as a workable alternative to the Windows hegemony, but they cannot allow all and sundry free range over its inner workings.
Have you noticed how over the last four/five years Linux is gradually becoming harder to maintain as core software moves away from UNIX principles? Android is the model, where the only way to get access to the inner workings to to 'jail-break' the device. The word tells you all you need to know. Big money wants devices that are appliances, with a 'No user serviceable parts inside' sticker stuck on the back. Software must be one of those 'parts'.
It's all about power and ownership. The good consumer of product is a powerless consumer. Nothing, or as little as possible, must be allowed to impede the steady flow of money from the consumer to the corporation, preferably by direct debit.
Linux now has enough traction in the commercial world (albeit behind the scenes; as far as most people are concerned it is invisible), that big corporate players are now desperate to take control, to lock it down, and to monetise it according to their whims.
No one need ever know they are using Linux when they pick up their shiny device, and they certainly can't be allowed to go poking around and taking over control. Systemd is merely a symptom of a process of take-over and control. There's no need to see a conspiracy, from the corporate point of view it makes perfect sense. Follow the money.
What is it about this human passion for tyranny? Stifling diversity, stomping on creativity, putting the boot on the throat of others and crowing, "I own you, sucker! Now just be good and give me your wallet, your first-born, and your soul".
For some people all that matters is the letter of the law and their stash, and even then the letter of the law better be serving their stash.
feudal USA. But, in this case the peasants may have won.
A good point, up to a point, but would you take the same view over the quality of drinking water piped to your house, or the consistency of electric current?
'The market', much as politicians like to bow and scrape to it when it suits them (and/or suits their paymasters) is not the be all and end all of human society.
We are grown-ups(!?). We are quite capable of collectively choosing how our society will be run, and what we hold to be essential services that will be delivered to arbitrary standards.
The question really is: are communications/data infrastructure now on a par with drinking water, gas, and electricity as basic universal services?
when you have a quisling government that listens far too much to the interests of big business.
There's nothing to stop the government enacting that X amount of coverage is a statutory obligation, blah blah. If the ISPs don't like it they don't have to play---but they would play, because they would still make their money, just perhaps marginally less. But then laziness and greed are always a potent combination, both in commerce and government.
Man, you're really stuck in the dark ages, aren't you. Plenty of people of faith didn't think much of that literalist analysis when it was first made, let alone today.
Or maybe you're attempting a little troll.
more like a surprisingly restrained response to the seemingly unending catalogue of presumptuousness and arrogance from a large corporation as it seeks to entrench it's monopolistic dreams, and milk its customers, with a piece of software that first and foremost is intended to serve the interests of said corporation.
Word is a functional and ergonomic disaster, barely suitable for writing letters, let alone any serious document. The only reason it continues to thrive (if that is the right word) is because of Microsoft's success in persuading/bullying large institutions and corporate entities into using it as the default standard.
MS can't be blamed for that, it's a corporate entity itself---it's what they do. The problem is we're talking about a tool. And anyone who uses tools knows that the best kind are the ones you hardly notice you are using because their design functionality and aesthetics have been so well honed to performing the intended task that that is all the user is concious of doing---getting the job done, without having to wrestle the tool into submission, or worry whether it is going to let them down.
MS Word is not that kind of tool, it's the other kind---a cynical bit of money grubbing corporate w*nk.
Now some may say that the above is an over-reaction, but considering what Word could be, given the time MS have had to make it into something useful and usable, I would argue my response is proportionate and finely judged. Of course others may beg to differ.
gains resilience through diversity, i.e. monocultural tendencies are dangerous to long-term survivability.
While superficially attractive, the desire for the OS equivalent of a monoculture is wrong-headed. Windows OS is a real world demonstrator---albeit a pretty crap one---of the dangers of wanting everything to 'just work' by being 'the same'---it simply opens the door to large scale attacks and the rapid propagation of faults generally.
A highly diversified system where there is always an alternative way of getting something done is inconvenient and apparently 'inefficient', but only when taking a short term or localised view.
The old fashioned 'Unix' way of small open source tools doing one thing simply and well, that can be strung together in any number of arbitrary combinations is still one well worth hanging on to.
It allows anyone to sit down and craft the tools they need, if what is on offer commercially or in house isn't quite scratching the itch. And it keeps the ecosystem lively and diverse.
If that applies at the local level it applies just as much, and even more importantly on a global scale. We really don't want to make ourselves even more vulnerable to pwnage than we already are.
There are no panaceas, but I would put up with a fair degree of 'inconvenience' for the sake of a robust diverse application/OS ecosystem that actually inconveniences the state/criminal scum and assorted other ratbags by an order of magnitude.
'Something is happening, but you don't know what it is, do you, Microsoft?'
In the corporate cycle MS has reached 'Maturity, heading into Senescence' stage. Too big, too bloated, too arrogant, too late.
You do realise that this may simply be evidence supporting the old proverb about fools and their money being easily parted; or alternatively that there are always those who have more money than sense, etc.?
OTOH, it could just be great kit, and even after eight years they got good value for their money. I wouldn't know.
The logic might pass, but the premise is problematic, to say the least.
'The universe is infinite' - sounds cool, and in an abstract form it is cool, but what does it actually mean? Outside of a mathematical formula we actually have no idea what it means in practice because we still have such a meagre understanding of what is actually going on.
Rather like someone at the bottom of a very deep shaft claiming they know what it's like outside the shaft on the basis of what they can see through the hole way up there at the top. What they will see is a tiny bit of night sky, occasionally occluded by cloud. They may make some remarkably accurate deductions and assumptions, but until they manage to climb out they will never really 'know' what is there and how it all hangs together from a different, and much bigger, point of view.
Extrapolate and fantasize away, but please don't dress either up as 'fact' until you can plausibly demonstrate what is actually true.
Let the explorations and adventure continue...
'Military Grade' <=>'Windows OS': Does not compute!
that there seem to be so many people who apparently would not recognise Freedom, even if it came up and opened the door of their prison cell, and told them to go.
The prison has become their home and they are too frightened and too institutionalised to dare to leave, or even to want to.
Whatever the 'rights' and 'wrongs' of what Snowden has done, no one can complain that he has not lifted the lid on a can of worms that many have long known of or suspected, but been quite happy to leave unopened, and carefully filed in the 'Too difficult and embarrassing' tray.
It is less and less tenable to talk about 'patriotism' and 'nationhood' as the ultimate goals of human loyalty and identity---if they ever were---with any kind of intellectual credibility. Many today are more loyal to their global corporate employers than to any political expression of nationhood.
Snowden's expose really has less to do with any kind of patriotic allegiance to a nation state, than with seeing overweening 'state/corporate' power in relation to how ordinary human beings, in the conduct of normal day to day domestic relationships, can go about their affairs without being spied on as though they are the property/slaves of 'the state', or its equivalent corporate entity.
before anyone passes out with appleplexy over the wanton misrepresentation of facts by El Reg, it's worth bearing in mind all those fanbois and girls currently using their non-UK chargers in the UK by dint on a smaller converter plug.
Don't these sad cases deserve some love, and fair warning?
Sure, if you're in 'corporate drone' mode and forced to use what the man gives you, or you haven't a clue and just buy what the sales droid tells you, then Android (or the half eaten fruit thing) is likely to be your lot.
OTOH, this isn't 1993. There's far more scope for diversity in the ecosystem today, if people want it. Conformity to Google's way is really only an issue to those who are striving to make a living in the mass market. For those willing/wanting to serve niche markets you can still be talking about thousands, even hundreds of thousands of users, and an archtecture that is wide open to being able to scratch their itch. And allow them that smug glow of satisfaction in knowing that they are not part of the Goopleopoly. [sorry].
Turtle, your analysis is far too romantic. This isn't black hats v. white hats, it's shareholders, managment, and geeks all greedy for profit, fighting tooth and nail for any advantage they can get within the law, and sometimes overstepping the law if they think they can get away with it.
The scenario is much more like the Cold War where the big players fight each other through vicious proxy wars, and only occasionally come face to face---war, after all is very expensive and so best that others pay the price.
However, it seems that at present the war between the tech giants has no really effective MAD doctrine, and there is yet no real will/compulsion to stand down from the tit for tat sniping that everyone finds so wearisome, and such a drag on dynamic creativity across the field of play. Until either there is a certainty of 'mutually assured destruction' or various legal systems bang heads together the war of attrition will continue.
Yeah, it's weird that, isn't it? Except for me it's the other way round, and has been for years. My Linux desktops are graphically fantastic, but there's something off in the way Windows handles fonts on lots of installations. Maybe the problem lies in the way both systems don't always get setup with optimal graphics, or maybe you're just enjoying spreading a little FUD?
Either way, I have to say I've saved a sackload of money since I ditched the whole Windows + applications upgrade merry-go-round eight years ago.
about repairability and longevity the fact remains that if you buy from Apple you are being gouged blind. Rather less so by other manufacturers.
Most of us seldom seem to keep our phones much beyond the contract period. There seems good reason to imagine that most people won't keep their slabs for much longer than two or three years either; assuming they haven't already dropped it down the bog, or had it trodden on by a stampeding heard of children, or written off by whoever is intent on finding some plausible excuse for replacing it with the latest shiny.
great fun---toys for the boys. On almost every other level: O dear. One day the US of A might get over itself. Hubris is very cruel, and as usual it's the weakest and most vulnerable who bear the brunt of the consequences. Perhaps the US has better things to be doing with its brightest minds and ever growing national debt.
in a city far far away, two floors underground in the dead files archive: switching off the lights and hunting each other in the pitch black, with 200x15mm rubber bands, in the maze of shelving and collapsing piles of old patient notes. Some preferred the silence of an ambush while others crept up on their prey. Either way you could smell the fear.
I think what posters above are looking for is the term 'laminar flow'. Not my field of expertise, but it can certainly make a huge difference to the 'slipperiness' of an object moving through a medium (liquid or gas).
However, from what I recall, it is a bit if a black art when it comes to getting it right. So, whether the degree of roughness of LOHAN's surface will increase or decrease the drag experienced at a given air density and velocity would require the expertise of someone who actually knows what they are talking about. Either way I doubt it would make a significant difference, unless the team's objective to to extract every possible bit of performance out of LOHAN. Still, it may be a conversation worth having as a genuinely shiny paint job will certainly add weight.
Metrognome, I'm sorry you have such unlucky friends. Can't say in all the scratch builds I have put together over the years (getting on for a dozen), I have never had any major problem installing Linux. Wifi cards have caused a few issues, not recently, but that's about it.
No they wouldn't. Most people don't care what OS they are using, and even if they did they wouldn't have the nerve to change it themselves.
In fact many Linux distros can be installed 'non-destructively' as you put it, and uninstalled if not wanted, no big deal. But, the user still has to have the interest to give it a go, whether it's Windows, Linux, OSX, or anything else---most do not.
You're really on a FUD offensive, aren't you. Well go, keep us all entertained.
Funnily enough, when I need to change my screen resolution I click on 'Settings' on the toolbar; then 'Display'; adjust the screen resolution, and click 'Okay'---this is Linux BTW.
Are you calling from 1996 or something?
Nope, sorry. I've owned reasonably decent compact cassette kit, and as far as I'm concerned the format had only one redeeming feature---portability. Apart from that from the consumer's [and I use the word deliberately] point of view it was crap. From a capitalist seller's point of view, however, it was a wet dream as people had to regularly replace ruined tapes---perfect 'disposable/limited lifespan' product with a high profit margin.
One of the worst bits of consumer technology of the 20th Century; I should know, I spent a large amount of my tiny teenage and student disposable income through the 70s and 80s on useless tape-mangling pieces of electronic crap. Good riddance.
[is led away from the soapbox with flecks of foam dripping from mouth and a deranged look in the eyes]
one they still haven't really let go of: believing they have the RIGHT to own desktop computing---and not just at the point of sale, but throughout the lifetime of the user's experience.
"What we really want, what we really really want, is to own you, or more specifically, your wallet. It's about developing the user as a money stream that never dries up, and can never escape. Not that we are alone in this dream of capitalist kleptocratic nirvana, but we have been, and to some extent still are, one of the most powerful players in this game."
"User's rights to own their own computing power and their own data? Pah! What idiotic dream is that? No, folks we'll look after all of the nasty complicated technology, all you need to do is just keep on paying us, over and over and over again; while at the same time we will ensure you have less and less control over every aspect of what you are paying for. Have a nice day suckers [ahem] customers."
"You're not recording this are you?"
Just for the record, I'm fairly agnostic about nuclear power as a viable source of energy when set against the other options; and certainly in the near term (next twenty to fifty years), it may well be critical, BUT there remain huge unanswered questions which are more to do with poilitcs and economics than technology.
There also remains the underlying and huge assumptions about 'human progress'---it is by no means a given. Civilizations rise and fall, but the decay rate of nuclear waste remains immutable.
NP is NOT cheap, neither are most other forms of generation, but to act as though somehow NP is a panacea is just foolishness, no different to the wind power advocates who cannot seem to grasp the fundamental weaknesses of that particular method, and so on...
Philosophically, if we can guarantee the ongoing 'progress' of humanity into some technological wonderland then NP is a jolly good bet. If we can't then it's just another bit of nest fouling, along with all the other shit we are dumping on the future. Like bacteria, maybe we're just accelerating towards that day when the resources in the petri dish run out and that's it---it was fun while it lasted, well for some at least.
Then again, who knows what may happen?
a severe downvoting, it's worth remembering that the 'safety' of nuclear power is largely a product of neurotic attention to what could happen if it all goes seriously pear shaped. The 'safety' isn't intrinsic to the process, it comes at a phenomenal cost, as does the power produced.
Whether, in the long term, NP is significantly more 'dangerous' to overall human health when compared with other forms of generation is probably moot. But of all the means we have of generating electricity nuclear power is probably easily the most dependant on there being stable and reasonably affluent societies to maintain the systems that prevent NP from becoming a very long term problem to those who may lack the money, technology, or even the understanding, to keep the NP show on the road, let alone safe.
NP is a positivist technological gamble, it may pay off, but there are no guarantees.
I trust that as a scholar in medieval literature and literature critic CS Lewis may be able to express himself with more 'class' and acuity than I, and many others, are able to. ;-)
...the Star Chamber.
As noted by others: secret justice is no justice at all.
Or, to put it with a little more class and depth, courtesy of CS Lewis: "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
FWIW it seems that Oracle were caught out: it was the Measuring Committee that discovered the discrepancy, and only after several days of behind the scenes work did Oracle finally have to come clean in public having already asked for the whole matter to be kept quiet.
A small amount of lead (2.3kg) had been inserted in a short downward pointing spar attached to the outer section of the bowsprit (hence it's name 'dolphin striker'). It is a support strut for the cabling that stiffens the bowsprit against the upward pull of the forestay cable running from the end of the bowsprit to near the top of the wingsail.
2.3kg isn't a lot, but with the amount of leverage it exerts that far from the boat's centre of gravity it isn't insignificant. In fact it's purpose as a 'cheat' is irrelevant. The AC45s are built to a 'strict one design' rule so any tamperng with the setup that is not strictly permitted is strictly illegal and therefore subject to major penalties.
This story, in true America's Cup fashion, will run and run.
...to have rattled the cage labelled 'Sneering Haters', though I'm sure they could do better than that if they were really trying. But then the Edge doesn't really matter, does it, except to the people who are actually interested in joining in the experiment; and the sneering haters who just can't help themselves. Poor things.
...a lot of glass half empty miserablists on the loose today. Maybe they, like me, can't spare the cash to try this out. Cry me a river, if the Ubuntu phone is a flaming turkey and everyone loses their money, the glass half empty miserablists will have their world-view confirmed; if it soars like a vulture looking out for well rotted carrion, don't worry, there will be something else along directly to be miserable about.
That is all.
Facebook doesn't use me, because I don't use Facebook. Who needs FB to have a life? FB doesn't actually matter.
And all in the best possible taste!!!!
...the Exchange Server at work pwned my phone (well all the bits that really mattered to me) I swore `never again'. BYOD is one of those shiny glittery concepts that turns out to be dangling in front of an enormous mouth full of snaggy teeth. No thanks.
...to stake a pint on the majority of users for the majority of the time being able to get by fine on nothing more sophisticated than .rtf. It's only the constant pushing of 'upgraded' default document formats that result in people creating their documents in formats that are complete overkill for writing a letter/essay, etc. i.e. a bog standard text document with maybe some bold and/or italic styling.
In other words, if push ever comes to shove, the dominance/necessity of .docx could suddenly fade like the morning mist, and become just another specialist format for those who actually need it.
Already millions of words are traded online via email and web pages which never see a 'Word' processor, let alone file format. History show that monopolies are almost always fleeting, however desperately the monopolist tries to sustain their stranglehold.
I'm not about to make any firm predictions, but I do believe it won't actually take very much in practice to end the idea that we somehow 'need' .doc/.docx.
Upvoted to counter an apparently gratuitous downvote---too many of us do indeed lead sad lives, with far too much time on our hands.
...is that it's lumbered with hundreds of 'apps' that do something trivial, but still doesn't really have a core of applications that do something substantial. As a productivity OS Android still doesn't really have much to boast about and as long as that remains the case spending $500+ on hardware is simply giving a generous donation to needy hardware retailers and manufacturers <cough>.
Anyone needing to get work done and willing to pony up is better off dumping Android and getting a full-fat Linux on board.
"Intel has pinned the "sweet spot" for Android notebook pricing at around $500... Intel has specified that they should accommodate detachable keyboards, allowing them to work as either notebooks or tablets."
Roll up, suckers. You too can have your very own bit of cynical marketing driven fail. No doubt Intel has done extensive research finding out what people out here in 'the real world' actually want/need from their lightweight power stingy laptop devices---or, are they just taking a punt that the great unwashed will buy whatever shiny is put in front of their ignorant faces as long as it has the magic word 'Android' stuck on it?