* Posts by Pete H

153 posts • joined 26 Feb 2008

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Microsoft kills its Euro pane in the a**: The 'would you prefer Chrome?' window

Pete H

Re: Most people never had a choice . . .

> I think the argument against IE is relevant only in that it controls the complete stack and allows (allowed) MS to pretend (or insist) that IE is essential to the proper operation of the OS.

The real issue was that Microsoft deliberately did not follow the defined standards so only their browser worked for the majority of sites - it was an wilful abuse of a dominant market position, and made compatibility for other software difficult.

As a result of the legal ruling, and increased competition, Microsoft were basically forced to start paying more attention to the standards. Still not perfect, but a lot better than they were ...

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Google pushes 'go' on Android Studio

Pete H

Re: "the fact that it meshes in so well with bash and the command line"

> WHY THE FUCKING FUCKITY FUCK WOULD I WANT A COMMAND LINE!!!!?!?!?!!

TortoiseGIT for Windows?

EGit for Eclipse?

> And it has no Windows support.

I mean "Git Windows" on Google throws up about 3 or 4 different download sites at the first downloads. "No support", sure.

> with no documentation

http://git-scm.com/book/en/v2

Sometimes I think organizations roll out tools without teaching their staff the first thing about how to use them. WHAT THE FUCK HAS HAPPENED TO THE FUCKING WORLD???

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Pete H

Re: Yuck

> I do hope they come up with a new flavour of the month to replace git soon, as its a total stinking pile of shite.

Out of curiosity, what's wrong with it? I've used most of the "free" ones over the years (CVS, SVN, mercurial, GIT), and managed to avoid the uber systems (Perforce, etc), and TBH git seems to be the best of those that I have tried.

It's fast, flexible, and generally comes with a whole pile of features which I can't get in the others (although mercurial has some of them). Once I embraced the concept of a local repo with local commits for my working copy I suddenly became a whole load more productive. Just don't try to use it like a drop-in swap for a traditional CVS/SVN - it will drive you crazy and you'll never actually get any of the benefits.

Is it perfect? No - I miss having a global incrementing version for trunk (my only feature gripe - and one which I have "emulated" simply by tracking the hash history over time for each major branch I maintain), and it does have a learning curve, but it is one hell of a powerful tool.

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The future looks bright: Prepare to be dazzled by HDR telly tech

Pete H

Re: The fad now leaving from platform 4 ...

> Once your TV picture has a dynamic range that exceeds that of our eyes, without them dilating all the excess DR is wasted.

Not all the dynamic range in HDR needs to be "brighter" - you generally get more quantized levels available in the between the existing "LDR" min and max luma levels. In dark scenes where you eye is already dilated this allows the HDR scene to show subtle detail which is not visible in an LDR encoding.

Yes, ambient light doesn't help this (eye dilation isn't only determined by the scene), but TBH many people do watch films (the most likely HDR candidates people will actually care about) with the lights off ...

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Pete H

Re: I'll wait thanks

> So far their plan has been ... <snip> ... 4k ...

I'm not complaining about 4K, not because I want a better telly (hardly ever watch the one I have), but because it is finally meaning decent resolution panels being produced in volume, so it may finally kick 1080p out of PC and laptop displays. PC monitors have been static in terms of resolution for 10 years thanks to TV determining the "economics" and TV moving to something better is the only way to unblock that.

4k2k monitor - yes please. 4k2k TV - whooo ultra high definition HDR amplified compression artefacts on freeview - wonderful.

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Oculus Rift tech-specs 'MANY MONTHS away' from hitting the shelves

Pete H

Re: Spec creep?

> It's really a minority of people who have that though - otherwise they wouldn't be able to have darkened cinemas.

You generally don't move your head in a cinema - it's a different problem. If all the VR environments provide is a 3D scene without head tracking, then you'd be right, but IIRC half the point of the head-mounted display is that you can look around.

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Nvidia's screaming new Maxwell GPUs bring 4K gaming to notebooks

Pete H

Re: What ... you mean your notebook doesn't have a 4K screen?

I'd be happy with a full 1080p screen in a notebook ... 1376x768 is still all too common ...

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'Apple Watch' sapphire glass maker files for bankruptcy protection

Pete H

Re: bankruptcy

Money owed > Money in bank.

Chapter 11 is designed to let companies restructure before they implode into an unrecoverable mess. If you only try it when you have $0 in the bank then you're unlikely to have enough time to recover anything.

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ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7

Pete H

Re: Coincidence or by Design?

> And gosh they are tiny chips, 0.1mm square is nothing for such a useful chip.

Worth noting that's just the CPU area _in_ the chip - not the whole chip. Someone will have to bolt on peripherals, bus, internal memories, pin out pads, etc to form the whole chip which an end developer would buy.

That said, in reality at the "small end" the logic gate area is significantly smaller than the area needed for pin out (I think the smallest I've seen is 2mm x 2mm, which was achieved by eschewing packaging and just dipping the silicon in a ceramic paint to insulate and protect it).

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Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack

Pete H

Re: What industry do these guys work in ? Clearly not a tech one.

> A process that could be easily devolved to a 3D Printer - which are hardly like rocking horse shit.

Most 3D printers I've seen can't capture the level of detail required for a finger print - not the mass-market squirty plastic kind anyway.

As above - on many sensors blutack or plasticine works just fine. Low tech and far easier ...

> If there's an incentive, things will be made simple. Look at the grunts who skim cards, using quite high tech.

True, but that's a create once and use many kind of operation. Getting one fingerprint of one guy unlocks one phone - it's not scalable to quite the same extent.

That said, if you really really want to get into one guys phone hacking is a lot of bother - just threaten to hit him with a wrench until he gives you the pin number, or cut off his finger. Attack the fleshy part - not the technology - it's normally simpler.

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Google recommends pronounceable passwords

Pete H

> attackers shouldn't be able to determine the password even if they know what method you use to create it

Yes, if every user applies a cryptographically sound key generation technique this is indeed the theory. I think Bruce's general point is that if you ask the average punter to string 3 words together the amount of entropy is far from what it looks like, and so the algorithm is not cryptographically sound - you either need longer key lengths (more words), or a new algorithm.

> Why, that's less than a week!

I assumed that he's talking about rainbow table attacks working backwards from a website which has leaked a hash, the issue is not processing time (you only have to generate the rainbow table once per salt), but the amount of space it takes to store the tables.

Assuming most users pick from a relatively small pool of words in common use, it's not an insurmountable search space. Yes, the total search space in theory is pretty enormous but, I suspect many people have a password with "Cat" in, and many more with "Dog", and more than a few with "Password". Hackers only have to skim off the 1% of the easiest passwords to get into a system- not the 1% of the geeks with the uber difficult ones which are hard to remember ;P

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Scared of brute force password attacks? Just 'GIVE UP' says Microsoft

Pete H

Re: Interesting

I read more as "there is no point investing in really expensive locks (long passwords) if everyone makes the safe out paper (i.e. the other security is implemented wrong)".

That said their approach is a race to the bottom - lets make everything as weak as the weakest part - rather than trying to improve industry best practise to reduce the number of "implemented wrong" instances in the wild.

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iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms

Pete H

Re: Drop in Ipad sales / saturated market?

Bang on.

I'm still using my iPad 1 - it gets used daily on my commute, and basically is as good a new and still has a week-long battery life.

The only reason I may consider an upgrade is that they's stopped providing iOS updates for it, so some new apps don't work if they require iOS-latest. However, given the price of a new one I really can't justify it, and I don't want to encourage companies to stop supporting perfectly functional hardware =) Given that most apps work on the current one just fine and the hardware is basically in perfect condition, an upgrade just seems like spending for the sake of it.

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Everyone can and should learn to code? RUBBISH, says Torvalds

Pete H

Re: Economics 101 - accounting using spreadsheets

> You never had an economics class did you?

Yep I did GCSE economics - a long time time ago ...

Modern macro-economics is all about macro-scale models, and data mining - would have made it far more interesting =) Micro economics (i.e. business level) is pretty much accounting, albeit not spun that way, but the basic principles are the same.

If you can't find some means to get some "computing" in to at least one aspect of an economics course you're not trying hard enough - there are lots of applicabilities to "big data" and statistical trend and correlation analysis in many real world applications of economics (insurance, crime, risk analysis, etc - it's all data mining).

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Pete H

I'd much rather that "coding" was to some extent introduced as part of the syllabus for other subjects.

Welcome to biology - today we're going to data mine some gene sequence information from a database. Welcome to chemistry - we're going to use some image processing tools to look at some slow-motion reaction images, or to automate some process. Economics 101 - accounting using spreadsheets, and setting up some monthly report generation scripts.

You teach coding to kids who don't like computers (who would normally hate CS on principle), and you teach some non-coding skills to the guys who love to code (who would hate subject X on principle). Done right it should be "win-win". You obviously can't do this in every lesson - but it teaches what coding is really for in industry - and how that CS is a tool which solves problems in other subjects, and not a solution in its own right (in general).

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Pete H

> Teaching how to break down a problem into ever smaller parts until each becomes manageable is a skill that I dare say should be valuable for *everyone*. I believe that coding is a very good vehicle for that.

The entirety of the education system _should_ be geared towards that. What's the point of all of the "knowledge" which all of the existing subjects are trying to cram in our students' heads, if they can't actually apply it to a problem and do something useful with it.

Unfortunately we have politicians who seem to equate "education" with learning as much general knowledge trivia as possible, followed by a testing methodology which is to regurgitate as much of it verbatim in 2 hours as possible. Very little of our education system encourages application of existing knowledge to new problems - indeed most of the time any "outside of the box" thinking is actively punished because the answers are not on the proscribed list of tick boxes which give marks.

You don't need to teach coding to teach "original thought" and "problem solving". My nephew "likes computers" (i.e. he plays games) - but he's not interested in coding - it's too abstract. If you want to teach something in schools, and teach it to everyone, you need to make it widely accessible to > 80% of the class. Coding won't give that, unless you wrap it up so much (logo turtles anyone) that it isn't really coding any more - so don't pretend that it is (or that it needs to be).

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Pete H

Re: Good Lord, we are all doomed

> who don't let you get away with submitting half-baked papers and essays.

What, you mean, actually _fail_ a student? ... but, but, ... that would ruin the statistics.

My Dad ran his own company for years - ran a very similar "aptitude" test which wasn't particularly sensitive to what course you did at university, etc. He was basically looking for the one skill you can't teach per-se - common sense - and the right attitude - a work ethic. Unless you are working in a very "top right" industry - you can teach most of the "skills "people needs on the job, but they have to want to learn it, which can be a harder thing to find.

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ARM tests: Intel flops on Android compatibility, Windows power

Pete H

Not Cortex-A15 ...

> The Qualcomm Snapdraqon, based on an ARM Cortex-A15,

It's not based on Cortex-A15. Krait is Qualcomm's own CPU implementation (instruction set compatible, different microarchitecture).

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OpenBSD founder wants to bin buggy OpenSSL library, launches fork

Pete H

Right, so ...

> and the programmer whose error caused all the ruckus says there just aren't enough people scrutinizing the OpenSSL code to spot difficult-to-find bugs

... and forking it and making it OpenBSD-only is going to improve number of eyes looking at the code how?

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Nvidia unveils Titan Z: An 8TFLOPS off-the-shelf supercomputer disguised as a gfx card

Pete H

Re: Yowser (info needed)

> At 3Ghz that's about 30 flop/cycle. How? If that was a multiply-accumulate (fmac) heavily pipelined over 2 vectors of effectively infinite length then that's 2 cycles/flop, say you have 2 such units that's 4...

Dual issue vec4 SSE = 8 per core per clock, add in a couple of non-SSE fp32 instructions = 10 per core per clock. 4 cores = 40 per clock.

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NatWest 'spam' email cockup got me slapped with late payment fee, says angry Reg reader

Pete H

Re: more lessons

> Good advice: my only improvement on that is to get a cashback credit card if you can. You can easily make 3 figures a year just from funnelling payment for things you buy anyway through the card(s).

Oh dear, another one who thinks this money grows on trees.

What really happens is that the CC company screws the merchant via transaction fees, who then increases the price of goods you were buying in the first place to cover it. Nothing banks do is ever designed to actually give you money which they haven't managed to screw out of someone else first.

Personally I'd rather the world banned these "freebies" and actually forced banks to compete on their ability to deliver a banking service, and nothing else, in particular for credit cards where the actual cost is invisible to the punter (and therefore these not-so-freebies actually look "free", unless you understand how the model actually works).

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Microsoft buries Sinofsky Era... then jumps on the coffin lid

Pete H

Re: Using Sinofsky As A Scapegoat

... and in principle there is nothing wrong with that goal, and from their business point of view it seems to make sense. They just made a mess of execution - the devil was in the detail for both.

I don't agree with the point that they should have started with "a new OS". In general people were happy with the old OS (it was faster than the old one, more stable than ever before, finally fixed their driver model, and generally worked). Not liking a few aspects of the UI is not a reason to bin the whole operating system ...

What it needed was continued incremental improvement on performance, memory, and stability, with _optional_ compatibility with RT/Phone, not a whole sale crammed down your face for compatibility when it wasn't actually compatible at all ...

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UK 'copyright czar' Edmund Quilty quits as Blighty's Director of Copyright Enforcement

Pete H

Re: Excessive copyright term

> Big companies (DISNEY and others) get the copyright term extended whenever one of their moneymakers is nearing the end of its copyright period (the 1936 Mickey Mouse film is still in copyright!!

On think I never understood is why people thing this is this such a "bad thing"?

There is little public good (it's not a cure for cancer), it's hardly a cultural game changer which will change the world, and nothing is stopping people developing another mouse-alike cartoon, provided they don't slavishly copy it or infringe trademarks.

Why should people have a right to copy (i.e. get for free) what someone else spent time producing, just because it is digital?

We seem to be entering an age where youngsters are far more interested in getting other people's old stuff for free rather than learning how to create something themselves - cultural stagnation starts here ...

P

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Submerged Navy submarine successfully launches drone from missile tubes

Pete H

Re: Wolfpack, anyone?

> Once they go feet dry, though, some sort of self-destruct/auto-immolation might be desired, but might conflict with safe handling and storage/stowage aboard a sub.

As opposed to the warheads in a MK48, or a cruise missile? A small auto-destruct on the electronics of a drone is no problem to stow ...

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Xbox One FAILS to beat PS3 - yes, PS 3 - week one sales

Pete H

It's actually quite good

I've bought one and TBH it's a really nice console. Sure, there are a few teething bugs (random UI elements like dropdown menus lose all text, and a couple of system reboots playing Ryse), but after a weekend gaming on it it seems like a nice improvement over the XBox 360.

The most noticeable change for me is noise - it's practically silent, making it a viable platform for watching films - on the 360 you had to increase the volume to drown out fans.

Is it the best thing ever - no, of course not. A big enough improvement to justify moving over - probably not at its current price point for most people. However, I just like toys, and I'm happy ...

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The Raspberry Pi: Is it REALLY the saviour of British computing?

Pete H

I have a couple of these ...

http://mbed.org/

... CPU's not as powerful (only an ARM Cortex-M microcontroller) but it is trivial to whack in a breadboard and hack together some fun projects interacting with the "real world" - no soldering required.

The whole toolchain is web-based and you download over USB from the browser (just drag and drop the program to the flashdisk). Not as flexible as some of its bigger brothers, but for teaching kids it hides all of the grotty bits they don't need to know about (yet) and lets them focus on the fun stuff.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook v Microsoft's Ballmer: Seconds out, round two!

Pete H

Re: "Who remembers netbooks?"

> i5, 8gb ram, 128gb ssd and a 9inch screen. No fancy graphics, just a portable workhorse. Few usb 3 ports, an SD slot and hdmi out(and in?) Oh, and not stupidly expensive!

So basically you want everything a laptop has - except the optical drive and GPU - but smaller? The cost of a higher density battery to give the same battery life in a smaller form factor probably costs as much as the bits you ripped out.

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Lumia 2520: Our Vulture gets his claws on Nokia's first Windows RT slab

Pete H

Re: Serious?

... because on iOS the file management is a complete cluster fuck* which means that I have to plug my tablet into a PC if I want to move files or to or off it it. If you want to transfer from tablet to tablet then you probably can't if you don't also have a laptop. This makes it a bit of pain by itself ...

The ability to push files to a USB key natively without needing iTunes from the device (or pull from a key) would be "really useful". I mean hell, its got a normal USB port and I can plug in a printer - sweet =)

* Caveat - it may have improved since I last tried - I gave up on my iPad for anything involving more than 1 or 2 files and switched to my laptop, as it was generally a much less painful experience. Nothing has yet convinced me to try again ...

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Price rises and power cuts by 2016? Thank the EU's energy policy

Pete H

Oh no, it will be worse than that ...

The energy companies will send some toughs around in really badly fitting suits, and make comments along the lines of "gee, it would be a real shame if the lights started going out around here", and good old tax payer will somehow end up subsidizing them too.

We are already paying subsidies for "green" sources and nuclear, so why not those to ...

Yes, that last comment was in <sarc> tags ...

P

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Brazil's anti-NSA prez urged to SNATCH keys to the internet from America

Pete H

Re: Equal footing with Uncle Sam

> in a neutral country

A what?

"Neutral country" is simply a transient state of politics and their current economics. You get one crazy bastard in power who thinks he could use this as a lever for political/economic/personal gain and then you're screwed.

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Two years after Steve Jobs' death, how's that new CEO working out?

Pete H

Re: I'll give him a B- grade

> It is not helped the despite the best attempts of the apple spin doctors, the 5C is already seen as the lesser cheap phone

It _is_ the lesser cheap phone. That's because it had less features, sightly less expensive materials, and well, it's cheaper. It's just not lesser-cheap enough to keep the reviewers happy. Apple can't win on this one it seems (too cheap and I predict they would have gotten kicked for producing a crap phone which too few features, and too expensive they get kicked for not cheap enough).

The interesting data seems to be that rather than buying the 5C punters are buying the 5S. Far from buying a competitor product and abandoning Apple, the 5S shipments are looping excellent. My only complaint is the psychedelic icons and the parallax gimmic - it's pointless, just like window animations on Ubuntu. At least you can turn (most) of it off.

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Down with Unicode! Why 16 bits per character is a right pain in the ASCII

Pete H

Looking forward to the next one ...

I'm looking forward to the next post on timezones. If you can handle strings then you are, possibly, ready to handle world time. Any computer structure as fundamental as time (in most real-world systems anyway) which can be screwed by politicans deciding they want to do it differently this year, is always good for a giggle.

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Pete H

Re: Stuck in the past

My RAM does feel exploited ...

... oh ...

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Atomic clocks come to your wrist

Pete H

Re: Am I the only one

Yes,

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Silicon daddy: Moore's Law about to be repealed, but don't blame physics

Pete H

Re: He is effectively predicting 3D won't work out

There is a big difference between flash memory and logic gates though (density, manufacturing process, clock speeds, etc). A flash die puts out a lot less heat than a CPU die.

Thermals provide the end constraint of these systems - how do you get heat out of the middle layers? Sure you could drop the frequency to reduce the heat output, but that kind defeats the point of adding more transistors in the first place, as there are limits to how well you can parallelise so slow and wide isn't always a win.

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Tiny fireball exoplanet completes one year in 8.5 hours

Pete H

Re: hang on...

One footnote -> if it isn't entirely in a 1:1 orbital tidal lock then the friction of the tide through any rock will itself generate vast amounts of heat. At least one of the moons in our solar system (one of Jupiter's IIRC) has a molten cores long after it should have cooled, and that's entirely down to tidal effects though rock.

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Pete H

Re: hang on...

Tidal locking - yes, I would have thought so to some degree, although it does't have to be a 1:1 lock. A lot depends on orbit shape. Mercury for example is "sort of tidally locked" - it has a stable 3 rotations for every 2 solar orbits; due to it's eccentric orbit this is a stable gravitational resonance point.

Baking vs Frozen - stick a nice thick frozen burger under a grill and tell me if the underside is frozen after 20 minutes. That close to the star convection through the surface from the light side should outweigh radiant losses from the dark side. The star will be dumping a _lot_ of energy into it and it has to go somewhere.

Presumably that close to the star it never cooled that much and has stayed pretty close to molten all the way along ...

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Blighty street has hottest Wi-Fi hotspot hottie in Europe: We reveal where

Pete H

> Passpoint also identifies the user, so the operator can provide value-added services such as additional content without having to resort to a cellular connection, but that's of unknown value for the moment at least.

Unknown value to the user, but "quite a lot of value" to the passport providing company. They'll know who you are, what you are buying (you were on a Starbucks WiFi, right?), and pretty much exactly where you are all day as your devices hop from hotspot to hotspot. Marketing gold mine, and ever so slightly creepy.

Tin foil phone covers anyone?

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Hundreds of UK CSC staff face chop, told to train Indian replacements

Pete H

Re: @Rol - vote (with your wallet)

> So you did not study geography. Britain has rather a lot, still, including mineral, agricultural, marine and geographical.

Agricultural: Really? Land area per head of population we have less than Germany, France, and Spain. Much of the UK land is hilly and hard to work and/or gets less sun each year than mainland Europe. Increasingly the only way for a farm to be commercially successful is to make larger and larger flat fields which can be worked by fewer people and bigger machines. UK planning law and geography make this difficult, so instead we pay tax (cost on the rest of the economy) to pay farmers to maintain empty fields and keep the hedgerows looking nice. We may get less than France but British agriculture is still subsidised, so not exactly a shining beacon of successful economics.

Marine. I'll ignore the fact that most of European fisheries have had reducing quotas, and fishing fleets in port for more and more weeks of the year. Yep, gotcha, huge reserves. Not. Or were you talking about North Sea gas, a supply so plentiful and abundant than in the last few years we have become a net importer of gas.

Mineral. UK coal production peaked in the late 1940s, years before competition from gas, nuclear, etc. Seams became harder to work, and so cost to extract went up. Assorted Tin, Lead, and Silver mines have existed on commercial scale, but mostly exhausted by the early 1900s. Scotland had aluminium with the Baco reservoir at Blacklake to power the hydro power, similarly exhausted in the first half of the 20th century.

Geographical. Well about the only thing "geography" is good for in the absence of minerals is walking holidays. If you think you can convince the rest of Europe to come here to go walking, and thus save your economy, then good luck.

In the absence of facts in your post, I suspect I know a lot more about geography than you do. The only way to commercially extract the minerals in this nation and make them competitive is either to pay the workers less, mass-scale automation (and so not employ people anyway), or subsidize them with money from other parts of the economy. I welcome counter arguments ...

P.S. In general I agree with your arguments - in an "ideal economy" (i.e. theoretical communism) everyone works for the greater good and everything is wonderful. Apart from the fact that it doesn't work, we don't live in a communist society, and companies are competitive little buggers.

The only thing "GB PLC" can do to work out of this is to make ourselves more attractive to outside investment, either through lower wages, lower taxes, ease of doing business, or more skilled and motivated workers. The evidence to date is that this is not happening, outside of cases where we do have established expertise (specialty steel, for example). Discussion welcome - but I see nothing in your post which is actually trying to propose a solution.

> A country is made up of its people, rich, poor, hopeless, retired, vigorous, productive.

The same buggers who bitch a lot and then refuse the buy British because it costs a few quid more?

... and for the previous posts w.r.t. unions in Germany and how come they still have a manufacturing base. Unions in Germany for the most part seem to be sensible. For example, there have been multiple instances in the last few years of the unions actually talking to the companies (car companies in this case) and negotiating when a site move was threatened. Cheaper to run a factory in Hungary you say, well how about we cut wages by a few percent and work a few extra hours?

British unions still seem to have the "our way or death, never surrender to the bastards" mentality, which both kills the existing businesses (hello Royal Mail) and is a huge discouragement for any large multinational looking at the UK.

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Pete H

Re: @Rol - vote (with your wallet)

P.S. I agree outsourcing IT is a terrible idea, and almost never works unless you co-locate a lot of your own team in "off shore". But this has very little to do with manufacturing ...

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Pete H
WTF?

Re: @Rol - vote (with your wallet)

> Mrs T <snip> hated manufacturing because it was "smoky and dirty"

I think you'll generally hated it because she should see the way the future was going. Britain doesn't have any natural resources so everything must be shipped in, a small customer base so everything must be shipped out, and workers who are generally expensive to employ (for multiple reasons). It hardly stacks up to a competitive position v.s. most of the Asian economies ...

If you were in heavy industry and looking to open a factory, and had a choice of anywhere in the world, would you honestly open a factory in Britain?

It may come as a surprise but "the government" doesn't run the factories. Companies too. Companies also vote with their feet, and so far the message is "you lose". The only influence the government has over employment is (1) taxes and (2) cost of employment. Successive governments have been trying very hard to raise both, either directly via taxes or via additional costs (Health and Safety, increased red tape, mandatory pensions, minimum wage, etc) often at the behest of the masses. You can't have both great employment and all of the welfare tick boxes you want.

Choose.

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Only 1 in 5 Americans believe in pure evolution – and that's an upswing

Pete H

Re: Only 87% of atheists?

> If 'Darwinian evolution' is taken to mean that changes are entirely random and consciousness isn't then

Um, nothing in Darwinian evolution states "random". It simply says survival of the fittest, where fittest is defined by the environment.

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BT slammed for FAILING to explain why its broadband investment has shrunk

Pete H

Re: Not a monopoly - don't talk bollocks

> Not actually true. I can't be arsed to do the research but there are all sorts of regulatory barriers to laying stuff under roads and pavements.

The usual "regulatory" power is $$$. No company has successfully done any major underground cable laying on a national scale without going bust (effectively) in the process.

Cost of digging up roads => huge

Cost of setting up new exchanges and cabinets => huge

Margins => Low

Customer demand for broadband => mostly satisfied already unless you download a lot of porn, illegal music, etc. Willing to have if, but only at small incremental cost to existing solution.

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US public hate Snowden - but sexpot spy Anna Chapman LOVES him

Pete H
Holmes

NEWS FLASH

Real world not black and white ...

Shocking ...

Who'da thunk it ...

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Are driverless cars the death knell of the motor biz?

Pete H

Re: So what the author is suggesting is...

>> How much to insure a teenager - 3-4K IRO

> Given they are the highest risk group it's no wonder.

Any it's nothing to do with them getting fleeced by the insurance industry, no sir move along, nothing to see here.

Some (horribly rough) finger in the air approximations stats:

UK population: 70M

Average life expectance: 70 (or there abouts, for sake of easy computation - it's really closer to 80 IIRC)

Assuming even distribution of people to age bins (untrue, but it helps correct for the under shoot above) ...

Roughly 3M 17-19 year olds.

Let's say 30% drive - 1 M people.

1M * 4K => 4 BILLION pounds.

Do teenagers crashing cars really cost that much every year, or are they just a very high margin group who are easy to get money out of because many have no choice but to have a car for work, and all the companies are price fixing ^H^H charging what they can get away with.

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BBC abandons 3D TV, cites 'disappointing' results

Pete H

Re: Avatar...

> Avatar had a good plot, good action scenes, and great scifi 'world' .. the 3D was only a bonus!

We can debate on the "good plot" part, but I really did enjoy the film.

The one standout thing with Avatar was the quality of the implementation of the 3D, and the maturity with which it was used. The filmed parts were filmed "properly" in 3D, not post-processed, and where used in the CGI parts it was done relatively subtly*. *Apart from the flying mountains, but they were cool =)

For most "other" content the 3D seems to be done on the cheap and it shows. But they still want to charge you an extra £1.50 (cinema), £5 (a "3D" blueray), £100s (TV + glasses) for the privilege of getting a headache. The only other good 3D film I have seen is Prometheus, and well, shame about the plot, action, and sci-fi world in that case =)

The TV industry saw dropping sales (everyone had upgraded to HD, freeview, digital) and we hit a recession. They saw a possible golden goose and all started running towards it so they could put another "tick box" on the boxoffice / tv schedule / TV item ticket in the shop, and then gouge all of the customers for a significant increase in content price. For many films on DVD / BlueRay the DVD was £4 and the re-release 3D BlueRay was £17. Were they surprised no-one buys them?

9
0

Microsoft's murder most foul: TechNet is dead

Pete H
WTF?

Re: SBS

I suspect they are losing the plot. Small business is not profitable they say. Where do they think all those "Big businesses" came from? Umbrella Megacorp not not simply pop up over night, and then turn around and ask for 5K licenses for each product. They all start small and grow.

If you make it harder for your software to get in at the ground floor then in 25 years time all of the new sexy big business will have a background in other platforms - probably Linux given Macs are too expensive to roll out in volume. Once that happens you are truely shafted. All of your existing "big business" will be paying out high margin to MS, if they go the Oracle model, and all of these not-so-small businesses will be coining it with Linux not paying out to MSFT every year. Once a few big businesses prove you can make Linux work, and save a lot of money into the bargain, then a lot of the "risk averse" companies will start to think seriously.

6
0

YES, Xbox One DOES need internet, DOES restrict game trading

Pete H

Re: Eighth generation

> I just cannot fathom how they're better than PCs if they're just technically PCs

They never were "better than PCs", and not really designed to be. Consoles always have been relatively low spec machines (roughly equivalent to a mid-level gaming PC when they are introduced with obvious ranking-rot over 5 year lifespan). The £250 price point for the base version should have given away the fact that it isn't exactly a high spec machine ...

Their main advantage is a fixed hardware spec so the game developers know exactly what they are targeting, and therefore what they are optimizing for. And because of "fixed spec" it usually "just works" for the technically inept (or kids) ...

10
1

Kim Dotcom claims invention of two-factor authentication

Pete H

Re: @Neil 8 (was: @asdf (was: This plonker claims to have invented the common or garden padlock?))

> It's the knowing of where the lock is,

Not in any sane security system it's not. That's commonly called security through obscurity.

Rule #1: always assume the bad guys know where your stash is, and what algorithms you are using to protect it.

6
0

COLD FUSION is BACK with 'anomalous heat' claim

Pete H

Re: Patentts trump trade secrets

He could even keep it secret and just have a decent experimental setup; it would be enough to convince the naysayers. Patent or trade secret is just how you commercialize it, but that's not excuse for sloppy science.

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