127 posts • joined 3 Feb 2008
Re: Never mind fast food
Wasn't quite sure what the point of a QR code was on a electronic bill. I've not had a hard copy utility bill for several years so I was most surprised when something designed to interface between physical and electronic appeared on my electronic bill.
It's a good job our 19th century politicians are catching up with the 20th century... One day they may even understand the Internet...
There is no shortage of a whole range of elements, however lots of them are not economic at the moment to extract and process at the concentration that they currently exist at.
Unless you find an ultra cheap and reliable method of extracting something it will be cheaper to either extract it from something more concentrated or use an alternative.
Saying there is no shortage of lithium is like saying there is no shortage of oil, gas, gold or uranium. No one cares about the total reserves all that matters is the economically extractable reserves...
Allegedly the temple dogs were crossed with small European breeds that were popular with sailors of the time (small is useful on a ship). After the temples were broken up large packs of the pre-chihuahua dogs then roamed the country side hunting and living feral "as wolves" - though on a smaller scale. It's from these frisky chaps the modern breed is a alleged to have been developed...
I once mentioned this story to a friend in the US, who coined the phrase "Land Piranha" in a cheesy Mexican accent...
Is anyone but Steve surprised?
It's hardly surprising in the main.
I am surprised that tablet users aren't using touch more though. However if you've bought a Windows tablet then you are more likely to have a Windows "mindset" and legacy software, which isn't touch driven.
I don't really care, I don't use Windows at home and work have made it quite clear that the switch from XP to 7 was painful enough and we won't be upgrading to 8.
Have you got the right date?
I had the same date in a calendar file but the NCSA web site gives a different date for the 1.0 version of Mosaic for Windows. I'm not sure what the correct date of Mosaic's birth is or if it has a strict birth date given the different dates for each platform...
In the dim and distance past I remember several styles of teaching:
1) Stand at the front and speak, no visual aids or hand outs - generally terrible as you can't write as fast as they can speak. Sometimes brilliant but that's rare.
2) Repeating what your slides/overheads said. Again you can't keep up and anyway there is evidence you don't remember well if you have the same visual and audio input.
3) Handouts with some detail on and you have to full out the blanks and scribble round. You then listen to what is said and annotate your hand outs - GOOD, always my favourite as you get the detail and human interaction without having to worry about keeping up.
4) Complete handouts - why bother with the lecturer?
5) Dictated notes, not much difference from 4 except you have to write them yourself.
Creating good presentations and lectures requires skill as it involves multiple skills but I'd say that PowerPoint is probably the least useful of skills in the mix. So the article probably has some truth to it.
Some WIn8 users I know tried Classic Shell, it's free/open and made Win8 usable.
I don't run Windows myself so I'm not sure whet the differences between the two are.
Re: GPS for Dummies
Perhaps it's for Stephen Fry...?
Re: EPG, SchmeePG
The EPG on my Sony FreeView tuner and my father's Toshiba FreeView TV allows you to reorder and hide any channel you want. I wouldn't buy a TV or PVR that couldn't manage the same task. Without hiding and sorting it is as you suggest a nightmare.
A few hours a week perhaps?
I can see the value of a few hours a week of extra local news, and other local programming. I can't see it filling a whole channel though. The problem is that it is expensive and I can't see it being self funded from advertising alone - which means tax money needs to be supplied in.
I can't see why with all their channels of repeats the Beeb and ITV can't find a bit more space for extended local programming?
Would be useful
Jokes aside if you could take water, air (for CO2) and sunlight and make something useful (and burnable) at a higher efficiency than plants, and low enough capital cost then that is actually useful.
Re: Doctors caring & empathetic?
When I saw my surgeon in front of his team he was rude and very unfriendly. I'd never describe him as caring or empathetic. When he popped by the following day after my operation on his own he seemed like a normal chap - seemed friendly enough. I wouldn't say that the medical profession I've encountered were any different from everyone else: some were warm friendly people, some were rude...
I've not read the study but without a control group I'm highly dubious of the report.
Nildram was good until they became TalkTalk
I use to be a happy Nildram customer. Each take over degraded the service and reduced the cost (marginally). Eventually TalkTalk took them over and the standard was the worst, billing was no good and I switched to The Phone Coop. It took over 6 months, a complaint to Ofcom and an email to the CEO to get rid of them.
I'm glad they are getting better, but considering how terrible they were it should be impossible for them to get any worse!
A good agent or middle man (estate, job etc) is actually useful, however you are right in that 99% are useless and could be replaced by a small shell script.
"The truth is that users generally aren’t sat down in front a new installation of a new operating that someone has set up for them and just told to get on with it – that almost never happens in either a domestic or a business context."
Utter bollocks, people are dumped in front of a computer with no training or if training is given it's often worse than no training.
I make no comment about Windows 8, I've not seen or used it, but the idea that people are actually trained is madness.
Why just for the "old"?
I work at a computer all day and at home I have yet more computers. The only time I don't have at least one internet connected computer is when I'm out and then I don't want to be connected.
If I were to pick a mobile phone I'd want a simple one with good battery life, some of these seem perfectly useful for being a mobile phone. As it happens work provides me with a mobile phone so I don't actually own my. However if I did, I don't want or need a fancy iDroid thing with a few nano seconds of battery life....
I'm not old, or at least I don't think so...
There was even a Windows 3.1 port of bits
HP ported bits of their Visual User Environment to Windows 3.1 and I use to love that, it was so much better than the Microsoft Program Manager. I think the Windows port was sold on to Starfish software but it died a death after Windows 95 came out.
While it's good that it's now open, it's rather to late to make much of a difference. But you never know perhaps some of it's bit's may resurface somewhere...
Watch out for cheap LED lights
I've used their 200AV units for years. Mostly work great but lots of electrical noise isn't good for them obviously. Cheap CFL, dirty fridge compressors and surge suppressors make their life harder no doubt, but they are still usable.
I found that when I installed LED GU10 spot lights in the kitchen that killed the signal totally. I had to put the "strongest" ferrite round the cable in the light mount I could fit and even then it still hammers the performance.
I'd like to know how much power they use in use and when idle? and how good they are at dealing with line noise.
Waste is waste
Waste is waste and there is no point in paying for expensive electricity to heat your house when gas is a lot cheaper. However that being said I completely agree, we should target the big things first before we worry about the little things.
The whole standby vendetta is based on a few old inefficient appliances that used almost as much on standby as they did under full load. Regrettably a few tree-huggers have latched on to this and pushed it into the media and discredited the whole debate on efficiency.
I'm sure there was study done by IBM years ago that showed that most people need a resolution of about 300dpi to be able to comfortably read text for an extended period. Most printers, even silly cheap ones do more than that, yet screens have been stuck in the miserable 96dpi for ever.
While there will be some changes required - I, for one welcome our high resolution overlords.
They did shoot themselves in the foot
If you have released a new version of a program, and security flaw is detected in older versions it's a judgement call as to how far back you go to fix it. I think everyone agrees that something that is only two years old and 1.5 versions older than the current version and is still widely available in the market should be patched. It was very foolish of them not to fix it, it made them looks cheap and made Microsoft look very good on Slashdot.
They could have saved the pain and patched the older version and perhaps not going any further back would have been okay. Playing fast an loose with security flaws in an expensive piece of software is not he kind of publicity Adobe needs...
We're still on XP
Like many large companies were still mostly XP based. The Windows 7 migration is in full swing at the moment and I expect my desktop PC at work to be migrated to Windows 7 before the launch of Windows 8, but only just. Unless Windows 8 is a massive improvement on 7 I can't see it gaining much traction in corporates for a year or so. Most mid-sized to large companies have become so so slow to refresh because it's so damn expensive and complicated to do.
Most Linux users complain that Debian has a slow release cycle but by corporate standards it's actually quick. I can see Microsoft having a difficult time pushing this into companies at tough times, especially as many will have only just migrated onto Windows 7.
If I were a Microsoft exec I'd be worried about Apple though, their iPads and iPhones are pushing out everything else amounts the managers. For years getting anything other than standard Windows at work was nigh on impossible, now the CIO talks about bring your own device to work (which he means iPad).
Yes there is a conflict between the two idea of fast/new and slow/old here and I know Microsoft wants to catch the fast/new wave but I can't see this helping.
She has a point
Ignoring global warming it's self, what she is say is:
1) There is something bad that is going to happen but it hasn't happened yet (e.g. death from lung cancer)
2) You will have to change your behaviour now and you will not like it (e.g. giving up smoking)
3) There are powerful vested interests who don't want you to change and are putting our messages that tell you that you do not want to change (e.g. tobacco companies)
4) It is easier to hear and believe the story that say you don't have to change than it is to believe the story that you do have to change.
Ignoring the rights and wrongs of the argument, it's much easier to convince people they don't need to change their behaviour because nothing bad will happen than it is to convince people that they need to change their behaviour because something bad will happen.
So if you do think something bad will happen you have to work much harder than the camp that thinks nothing bad will happen. If you want to change people's behaviour on mass you have to work at a different level than just rational arguments because it's not going to work.
All software has bugs!
All software has bugs!
No matter what you have you need to patch and regularly and even then you may still be vulnerable, so be careful out there.
Good that Google have patched already.
Low CO2 electricity isn't cheap
We need to remember that anything other than burning coal is going to be expensive. All the alternatives have problems, hidden agendas and crap.
The cheapest thing to do is waste less, insulate more and use more efficient kit etc. Even so we will end up with an expensive mix of solutions and none of them will be a magic silver bullet.
How we keep cars moving and aeroplanes up in the air is another problem altogether, as so far we haven't found a viable alternative to burning petroleum derivatives. But peak oil is another story altogether...
Does they come with nagware?
I use to use RealPlayer until the nagging got too much.
I didn't know that they still existed?
I got my C64 about a year after my friends got their computers. At my school a few rich kids had Beebs and no significant software, most people had Speccies and a few of us had C64s. On balance we may not have had the number of friends to exchange ideas with, but we had the better mix of games and features.
Later on I got a third part disk drive, and used GEOS on my C64. I even used GeoWrite in preference for Word for Windows when I wrote my final year report as an undergraduate.
My C64 still works perfectly and lives in the loft. I just need to make up the right cable to use it on my TV, it' uses s-video which gives good picture quality but it uses an unusual large DIN sockets...
They don't know what they want...
Intel don't know what they want to do. They can see ARM systems nipping at them in the ultra-portable space and soon the server space and they don't know how to respond. Intel have been so tied to MS that when ARM/Linux systems started to appear they couldn't respond, now that MS have committed to ARM Intel are in a real panic.
What is the difference between an ultra-portable laptop and a netbook? a lot of money, both are small laptops but one is expensive the other is cheap. Why buy the expensive one when the cheap one will do? Intel didn't like the netbook segment it was robbing them of margin.
The problem is that the iPad is popular and with all the ARM pads on the market they aren't even running Intel CPUs so Intel like that even less. Intel need the netbook to fight the iPad and clones while they also need the higher margin ultra-portables to do well.
Intel wants to go back to a market of Intel servers, Intel desktops, Intel laptops and eventually Intel pads/netbooks. The problem is that at the moment it's not cheap AMDs that Intel are worrying about, it's really-cheap and really cool and really light on power ARMs that Intel are worrying about. If ARM get a good chipset out that is powerful and cheap enough to run a portable device for most of a day in one go then who isn't going to want it. Once ARM are there, it's the thin end of the wedge..
Seen an ad but not a phone
In Boringstoke there were huge banners in "Festival Place" with Nokia Lumina on them. If it wasn't for the names Nokia and Microsoft on the advert I wouldn't have known it was for a phone - it just looked like a large poster with coloured blocks on them with logos in the middle of the blocks.
Of the people at work with smart phones they are mostly Android and the rich people have Apples. I don't know anyone with a Windows phone of any kind or a Blackberry (except the ones given by corporate).
I've only ever seen one Windows phone which was given to Uni students to develop on (they hate it) and compared with the near identical Android HTC I can say that the new Windows phone platform was terrible. It is possible that the Nokia is better but I've never seen one to comment - there aren't any in the four mobile phone shops I walk past every day.
I think it's good that Oracle have not been allowed to murder OpenOffice, however the end of the Sun period and the time it was will Oracle have done it an awful lot of damage.
One the one hand it's good to have two separate teams working to help diversity and allow ideas to be tested but on the other it also divides limited resources which could be a waste. Only time will tell if it is worth the effort...
I don't think OO.o is dead yet but it's probably mortally wounded and I think LO has won this round if not the bout.
While it would be a climb down, it is probably best that Apache/IBM/Oracle give the trademarks to LO and be done with it, even though IBM want a "proprietary friendly" licence that LO does not provide and OO.o does.
Could be good news for MS or not
I can't stand BillG but it is clear that softly spoken Balmer hasn't been good for the share price and the company though still pretty much a monopoly seems to lurch from one disaster to another one. Could be time for a glorious return...!
Salary Acceleration Program - for the people qualified to deliver it...
I believe it officially stands for nothing these days, though it did many years ago... When it did stand for something it was in German and use to mean "Systeme, Anwendungen, Produkte in der Datenverarbeitung" - in English that's Systems, Applications and Products in Data Processing.
Isn't Silverlight dead?
Haven't MS given up on Silverlight for HTML5?
Lots of stink in the Twitterverse about this... Can't be good news for LoveFilm.
The Beeb was just for rich kids
Please stop this absurd idea that the BBC "B" mattered.
There was the Spectrum and there was the Commodore-64, the Beeb along with the Tandy, Oric etc was just a peripheral machine, if it hadn't been for the BBC supporting it or some schools buying them no one would even remember them.
Nobody denies that the BBC "B" had some good things in it, like proper BASIC and a wide range of quality accessories and was a good bit of kit, but it was absurdly expensive and even many schools didn't buy them (mine didn't).
Perhaps the dog ran away from it's mad owner?
Much as I hate chihuahuas (my parents had one), perhaps the puppy just wanted to be free and ran away? Plus any owner who uses a psychic must be mad and you're probably better off somewhere else....
I borrowed my local borough's thermal imaging camera and surveyed a house a night for a fortnight in my village.
The people who volunteered for the survey were a self-selecting group so they had done a lot of things already - however in most houses I found something that could be improved - there were leaky doors, windows and loft hatches everywhere.
It was really good fun and I got to meet lots of non-geeky people.
Most people can save some money, some people can save shed loads...
Three faliures is must be stronger as one..
Three failing companies can clearly do better together than on their own....
History is full of the losers coming together and winning... NOT!!!!!!!!!
Monopolies don't innovate
If you are sitting on a monopoly you don't do anything innovative or disruptive, or your whole empire comes crashing in on you, as your new innovation has just levelled the playing field.
You slowly add features as required to fend off competition and protector your monopoly. It's not in Microsoft's interest to promote any kind of computing device that isn't basically a fat client PC running Windows and fat windows binaries connected to a Windows server. All this web stuff and mobile device stuff isn't very good for them...
Other than Monkey Boy's kids does anyone care?
Other than family of MS top brass who were told to use a Zune, does anyone else have one or care?
Market is stupid
Poor old Steve knew he wasn't well, and company knew he wasn't well, in fact world plus dog knew he wasn't well.
Why were the idiots in the stock markets surprised...?
Does anyone in the real world care?
While I do use G+ I'm not 100% convinced of it's use.
In the real world does anyone care if one social site dies and another one takes over? In fact if MySpace were to die would anyone notice?
I have a 10 year old Epson, and the cartridges do dry out if you don't print much.
I gave up using 3rd party cartridges, genuine cartridges, dry out slower, are less prone to smudging, do tend to last longer and give better results. They key thing to do is buy them at a better price you can easily save more than £10 per genuine cartridge depending on where you buy them.
When the printer does eventually die I'll get a cheap laser printer with wired network and good PCL/ps support.
Good engineering and design is important.
"The test of the goodness of a thing is its fitness for use. If it fails on this first test, no amount of ornamentation or finish will make it any better, it will only make it more expensive and foolish."
-- Frank Pick, lecture to the Design and Industries Assoc, 1916
It's all due to a bad and old business design
When BT was privatised it was a stupid design, creating a private monopoly. BT has never played fair with anyone and constantly needs regulating to make it play at all. The only logical solution is and always has been to break up BT into an infrastructure company that puts wires and fibre in and a retail business that sells a service.
When the cable monopolies were created, the same mistake was made, now we have one company Virgin that has the same strangle hold that BT has. Again separate companies should have been created.
It is clearly commercial suicide for any company to try and cable up the UK. Which is why the tax payer paid for BT (then the GPO) to do it and why all the cable firms went bust. You can't blame TalkTalk for not doing this.
Personally I'd separate Virgin and BT into infrastructure companies forbidden from selling their service directly, and retail operations. Then TalkTalk and anyone else can buy the last mile directly from either infrastructure company that want and there is no longer a conflict from BT or Virgin.
Obviously this isn't going to happen and BT and Virgin will continue to exercise their monopolies and exclude competition. Ofcom are essentially powerless to do anything about this - as the many stories on this and other sites demonstrate.....
Is there anything else for HP to screw up?
Is there anything left for them to screw up?
I know the PC business isn't glamorous but it is profitable. HP are the largest PC firm I believe.
The webOS stuff is cute but they should have put more money and effort into it if they really want to make it work. Buying a company only to dump it is just plain stupid.
Itanium is dead in the water so even their Unix business can't have much life left in it.
I suppose they'll just be expensive suited consultants, some dodgy software and the printer business left..
Who checks facts?
Even when a study isn't flawed, it's often misquoted or misinterpreted by journalists, and then the story grows and gets embellished so over time it takes on a life of it's own.
Far too many news organisations are lazy and don't check their stories. By the time the Beeb got round to reporting the store someone should have noticed, but no one was paying any attention.
Read the MMR section in Ben Goldacre's Bad Science.
It's quite shocking how a medical story took on a life of it's own.
And the UK arrets a teenager?
Obviously it's far more important in the UK to arrest teenagers who demonstrate how crap our systems are rather than deal with serious industrial scale cracking.
I believe that the salary of the top people at John Lewis is capped at a multiple of the lowest paid at John Lewis. While I believe its a big multiple, it still means that the CEO of John Lewis isn't paid anything like the same as the CEO of Dixons.
Interestingly John Lewis is doing quite a lot better than Dixons and has for many years.
Good and Bad
The good news is that it's the end of the that nasty, buggy crap that Adobe call software.
The bad news is that lots of idiots use it and there often isn't an alternative.
While I don't hold out for HTML5 fixing everything real soon now, it is possible that it may help in the medium term - but only if the number of viable platforms continues to grow. Platform diversity is good for you if you aren't running the dominant system.
What is new?
Big company (Microsoft in this case but it could be anyone) creates a technology goes on about it, but then abandons it without so much a by or leave. Microsoft have done this many times before as have lots of other companies, what's new?
- Nokia: Read our Maps, Samsung – we're HERE for the Gear
- Ofcom will not probe lesbian lizard snog in new Dr Who series
- Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
- Episode 9 BOFH: The current value of our IT ASSets? Minus eleventy-seven...
- Too slow with that iPhone refresh, Apple: Android is GOBBLING up US mobile market