731 posts • joined Tuesday 10th April 2007 06:11 GMT
@kneedragon (suggestions list)
For better virtual machine XP mode, just use the (free) VM ware player. Much faster, more stable (crashing it doesn't toast the host OS), and much better integration support. Oh, and it also has copy and paste and hardware accelerated graphics as well.
It's not 100% perfect - interaction with some, doubtless ropey, USB device drivers, is a little problematic at times - the F3507 mobile broadband device, for example, but it generally works very well.
Excellent! We're beginning to start epic energy shortages and the snake oil salemen are producing new kit to waste even more energy than before. 4.5 to 6 is only wastes a full 1/3 more power for no benefit whatsoever.
As a previous poster has already noted, these kind of induction chargers are good when you want no exposed conductors, but bad otherwise.
Yep, I do this all the time as well. It's outstanding just how many buggers I've caught out when I start getting junk e-mails to very specific e-mail addresses...
MS Office... riddled with bugs, that have been in place since the '97 versions and earlier. Never fixed, just crappy new interfaces slapped on top of the same old code. Of course, there's the half baked "integration" with sharepoint and other junk to try to leverage more lock-in, but these features are barely used ever - partly because very few want them but also because they're invariably unstable and unusable as hell.
Not that OO is perfect, but it's come to the rescue on many occasions to recover a document that office has mangled beyond all recognition and is a less trying recovery tool for documents that wordpad (for .doc files)
Re: watch this
...now that was funny. Can't think of which airline they were basing their skit on?
Re: If only patches worked...
Ah, that'll be the magic of .net. 7 different versions, all DLL hell on overload.
To fix, largely ignore MS's KB articles about small in place tweaks and uninstall the lot. Reboot. Install them again from fresh (new download versions). That should fix the .not mess for a bit until the next screw themselves up.
£132 million? I presume they're starting with electricity first... then teaching the locals not to fear the "magic picture boxes".
Mine's the one with a Cornish Premier Pastie in the pocket...
Efficiency / low emissions...
I presume that a lot of the efficiency and low emissions come from the petrol driven generators being able to run at a steady rate, not having to rev up an down madly to keep up with a driver's requirements?
It's moronic "developers" who have the same "I love, it therefore you must do too" that trash applications and operating systems alike. Many applications and systems have been ruined by this kind of blinkered (lack of) thinking.
We're not all alike, we don't all have the same requirements and we don't all like to work the way that a random "developer" has arbitrarily decided that we must work.
Computers are tools, they're for our (human) use. We should not be slaves to how they happen to work - they should conform to our needs and requirements and not the other way round. If this requires multiple options or even multiple applications / environments then that's fair enough.
They've already tried that however had to abandon it as the barn broad sides kept on falling over (and not from getting hit).
What I don't understand...
"Mohammed Ali, 35, was sentenced last week for selling modified set-top boxes that can receive free channels."
They're free - what's the problem? Even if you stop paying for VM services, you can still receive free to air channels using the cable network. At least that was how it used to work. Receiving non-free channels, now that's a different matter...
"CY4OR, a digital forensics consultancy, compiled crucial evidence to prove the set-top boxes had been illegally modified."
It is NOT illegal to modify them, just against the Ts&Cs of connection. There is the problem of ownership of course, but (IIRC) the rules on abandonment comes into play here - if you have an old STB and tell inform Virgin Media that you have it and they need to arrange to recover it and don't, within a certain amount of time it's considered yours.
Re: I *think*
You're correct in this. Each eye can only record 2D images, the stereoscopic sight comes into action, as noted above by a previous poster, at only short distances. Generally within arms reach is considered to be the limit of really accurate 3D positioning - our eyes aren't far enough apart given the resolution to cope with much further.
It's rather more complicated that that of course, our eyes even when appearing still are always flicking slightly back and forth, this generates a little 3D information and a lot of edge information. The brain makes assumptions and remembers the details of objects, which is why objects appear to be in the correct colour even at periphary vision which is mostly light / movement based and not colour.
A brain is a massively parallel, very effective pattern matching computer. A conventional computer is procedural - there's a lot of difference :)
"On the "consistency" front, Microsoft says that whereas HTLM5 and CSS3 "have traditionally had a lot of issues with variation between browsers,""
Yes - mostly caused by Microsoft Internet Explorer not producing (obviously) consistent behaviour, let alone anything bordering on "correct".
"Silverlight gives you the same experience "everywhere". "
Everywhere running the latst versions of windows that is. As long as the correct versions of Internet Explorer and whatever myre of .net happen to be succesfully loaded and patched.
"Furthermore, there's a really big question over "why" you need Silverlight's 2D and 3D graphics when a talented developer or creative can work with SVG, CSS, or Canvas."
Laziness - pure and simple. If a half baked but pseudo-flashy application can be quickly but inefficiently knocked up using Visual Studio it will be rather than in any better way. But these are the pressures of business, get something out of the door and try to let the snake oilers persuade the customer that it isn't fundamentally broken in any way, and besides - "everybody" now expects the first version to never work properly so it doesn't matter right?
"Microsoft has delivered four versions of Silverlight in the time it has taken (so far) to build HTML5"
Is this meant to be a good thing? Four incompatible versions that still don't provide what developers are clamouring for? Admittedly, the latest version is startingly better and even useful compared to the first few, but there are still a lot of functional and head slapping holes if yoy don't want to be forced to link everything into the entire MS office play - sharepoint, office, sql server, etc. From experience customers are getting more and more annoyed about being railroaded and forced into deploying the "latest" versions of whatever MS happen to be selling just to support another, often trivial, application.
Not that competition for Flash is a bad thing - it might force Adobe to reduce the bloat, deal with some of the appalling security and resource problems and perhaps produce a better product.
Or even better...
Or even better... try one of the low overhead Distros. For example, VectorLinux (or any of the others of course) runs like the clappers on older or slower hardware where the likes of Ubuntu makes the system feel like you're running Vista.
Re: push is pull
Yep, that's exactly how it works - it's just a connection that remains open, usually with occasional heartbeat messages to keep the session active and to prevent it from timing out. Depending on the system, what's sent by the server to the client device is either the message itself or a simple notification that "a new message has arrived, contact me separately to get it".
It's called "push" because the client doesn't specifically request the notification / message, the client just establishes and keeps a connection open and accepts what's sent to it.
The alternative is for the client (phone) to connect and authenticate to the server and register an interest in receiving mails, the server will then have to store the address of this single client and any authentication required to connect back. When a new message comes in the server must then, attempt a connection to the remote client which, technically, now becomes a server as it has to listen for incoming connections.
Of course, this involves the client still listening, the mail server managing to authentice with the remote mail client and then the mail can be delivered. This is naturally, security hell as the client can change address, another system could be waiting instead, etc. Not impossible, just heavy, largely unnecessary and leaves the client system more open to attack.
Winmo? You're thinking blackberry. Where remote wipe, shutdown, etc is a standard part of the package. One of the reasons that they're so successful in business.
As for the rest of the patent BS - it's all pie in the sky stuff that's been suggested elsewhere or just included in case Apple ever figure out how to implement it - normal patent trolling really.
MS already tried to do this...
MS already tried to do this... it's called .net. It's secure, easy to manage, fast and extremely efficient. At least that's the marketing BS that MS released said anyway.
Back in the real world, it's DLL hell overload, bodged APIs layered on top of the old existing APIs, and is so inefficient it's comical. The first versions missed out half of what real developers actually required so struggling developers had to lever in place so many bodges and kludges to call normal APIs it was unfunny. There are now around 5 different versions of .net to download, install and maintain on every system and that's before MS start the shenanigans of certain versions only working on certain underlying OSes... Apparently all this is good.
The title pretty much sums up what I've experienced so far with "modern" computing courses... some things they really should consider but never do because they don't align neatly with incumbent monopoly practices and pointless government statistics:
* At least at school level, stop calling it "science". Yes, technically it is, but there's still far too much dogma regarding the word science and geekiness that this puts off some pupils. Sad but true.
* Teach the basics, not the high level specifics of particular OSes and applications - they can be farmed out to a later stage or a different course. Want to learn Word Processing? Take a business course - that's what they're there for. Oh, and teach Word Processing, don't teach Microsoft Word Processing.
* Start from fundamentals and engage the pupils in how things work, rather than rhetorical parrot speak "teaching". Once pupils understand the basics on how something works they find it much easier and less daunting to understand the later concepts. Details don't have to be gone into, just the concepts.
* Show the basic history of all computing, not just Wintel. There's a whole history of computing there and it's good to see progression, evolution of components and how we got to where we are now. This doesn't have to be dull, there are piles of old computers still around and even a history of consoles is interesting and informative in how they evolved to what they are now.
* Don't teach idiotic stuff that every kid has grown up with, i.e. how to use Internet Explorer to browse the web. Don't teach kids how to make web pages - leave that to a design course. Teach them the basics behind how they work, but having them fire up DreamWeaver (or worse, FrontPage) to knock up pointless pages doesn't help them at all - those interested would like to host their own content, and this is far beyond normal GCSE level computing.
- I know plenty of GCSE level kids that are interested in computing but are daunted and frustrated by how little they know and how little of it is useful. Most, even the most keen, are in reality capable of little more than clicking icons.
At least they're trying...
At least they're trying - it's better to try new things and see what value can be made from them than sticking with the same old crap and avoiding all forms of innovation. (i.e. MS Outlook - still featuring many of the same bugs and savage usability problems as it did 10 years ago)
So some things don't work out - lessons can be learnt, better plans made next time and anything useful in it may be useful in the future. This is much better than stagnation.
HTC is known for great build quality and outstanding usability?
"HTC is known for great build quality and outstanding usability"
Really. News to me and the scores of suffering users with HTC Touch Pros... which are horrible to use and have a nasty habit of falling apart of stopping working.
OK, to be fair to HTC, Windows Mobile is a huge factor of the unusability and somewhat behind the unreliability of the hardware (a narked user who hates their phone tends not to look after them well). However there have been other device based problems that in various versions have rather quietly required changed from a "there's no problem" stance to a quiet and no-further-questions-asked replacement policy.
Sale of Goods act
Next time just throw the "Sale of Goods act" at them. If it's not fit for purpose - i.e. doesn't do what it's meant to do or doesn't last a reasonable amount of time then the *seller* must replace it or recompense you. Note, this is the seller - it's not the original manufacturer, so when the store tells you that it's nothing to do with them and you have to go to the manufacturer, they are lying and breaking the law.
Naturally this applies to both XBOXen and PS3s...
It's very easy
Step by step
1) Present iPhone so you can see the signal strength bars
2) Hold it in your left hand, with the bottom left corner resting in the palm of your hand (or, more naturally, the lower part of your palm - i.e. so it's comfortable.
3) Unless you have odd (or just non-conductive / very dry) skin, your skin will electically bridge the two metal bands that, in the lower left of the iPhone, are separated by a small bit of black plastic.
4) Watch the signal strength bars plummet into nothingness.
It doesn't matter how the signal strength bars are displayed on screen - the antennas no longer work very well.
It did look a bit dated...
It did look a bit dated... well, very dated in places.
However now it looks *very* cluttered and is much harder to skim read. Which, after all, is what the majority of readers do when looking at a website.
Now we have 3 "main" menu bars, an annoying animated new ticker thingy, and everything else seems to be larger than before and still in a retarded fixed-width vertical band.
Dark stars... why is this kind of nonsense so common?
i.e. You can't see it, but it must be there - it's magic. As in "we can't think of a sensible or more plausible explanation and we don't know what is causing it so rather than admitting that we have no idea we'll instead make up something invisible to believe in instead".
Rings a bell in other fields of humanity as well.
...all that will happen is that road charging is added, there will be no drop in VED or tax on fuel and everybody will wind up paying more.
The comment about paying for the roads already through the usage of fuel is a good, but as noted, damn unpopular one.
Also, comparing the UK other countries by way of simple metrics when it comes to road building just isn't possible / sensible. The UK has a much higher population density than most other countries in the "top road" list therefore the stresses on the road network and the availability of land to build roads on is very different.
Why simulate the sex? After all dear, just lie back and think of your country...
@AC @AC who is wrong
Competition isn't stupid. It drives change and improvements.
Whatever anybody may feel about Apple, iPhones and the nutters who fanatically support them (compared to normal users) is that they have substantially changed the mobile market for the better.
What I'd like...
Performance killers in windows:
The registry. A diabolical idea in the first place, badly implemented, insecure, prone to write-through problems and an absolute bugger to support when a system fails. Which they do. The continual growth and fragmentation of the registry rapidly hoses a system's performance. An OS provided standard way of storing settings in sensible locations, now that would have been a good idea, as long as the files generated are small, efficient, text based and independently accessible just in case a user with a death with (or a techie) needs to make manual changes.
The file system. Already mentioned to death, but there should be no need to tie an operating system so tightly to a given file system that they cripple each other. Even a proper journalled file system would be a nice start and would help to reduce the large number of spuriously failing machines that have a small but important file knackered on the disk.
App store. Reasonable idea, but in the real world - (a) many users don't want to pay the "Microsoft Tax" and get tied in even further into inexplicablly crippled yet intermingled applications from a single supplier and (b) from the corporate point of view - forget it. Completely. Unless it's "done right". An open, *sensibly* documented and designed app-store interface that can link to multiple stores, controllably centrally on a domain if necessary, now that could be useful for an IT shop. This way a corporate IT department could easily list the applications possible, with easy install, re-install, un-install and accounting. Except this kind of thing has been possible for years but now has to be called an "app store" for the public.
.Net. .NET is the worst DLL hell possible. MS took the existing borked DLL scheme, added a ridiculously inefficient dlocument exchange technology, renamed it a few times, updated it a couple of times more, made the repository even slower and more prone to problems than conveivably though possible and then called it .net. We are now on version 4 of this monstrosity. Running a .net application is a "quick" way to lose huge numbers of CPU cycles doing nothing much useful. What ever happened to releasing new applications that were more efficiently coded and faster, rather than only happening to be marginally faster or often the same speed if the user upgrades their hardware to something twice as fast as previous kit.
Bugs. Would be nice if Microsoft fixed bugs in the existing OSes rather than release a new version with the same bugs and more "features".
Hardware. The installation hardware really must be optimised so unnecessary drivers and support can be easily removed from a system, never to clutter and slow it down. There's a reason that VMs (not MS-VM of course) tend to boot so much faster than hardware based PCs. This is because the legacy junk is not present and therefore a PC doesn't have to wait 4 seconds for a response from a "possibly installed" old Compaq ISA raid card thingy that was most likely uncommon in the decade that it was released.
Shell. Not drawing things twice on the screen would make the OS run rather faster than before (themes). Disable the naff animation effects that's sole purpose is to make a rather fast respond as slowly as any other slower computer. We don't need fading menus, scrolling or zooming windows or other inane fluff that slows the user down when it comes to getting to the information that they want to see. There are ways of putting in tarty effects that don't make a system slow.
..and that's just what I can think of for now.
So much work for nothing...
So much work for nothing: the ruskies could have just offered chocolate bars to the administration staff who work for the target company or departments and they'd have gladly given them their passwords. Simples.
They were a bit lack in their procedures though. If the laptop was configured as a standard vanilla windows system, it would have been open to the world and that's an easy defence of "I had no idea what windows was doing". The contact taking the info should have used a different MAC address rather than a fixed one or just passively recorded to the communications rather than establishing a connection. Amateurs.
So now we know what google was doing with their street-view wi-fi spy scanning global network!
Re: I changed my mind
You've missed the point slightly:
A CV is a very important document therefore it should treated as such and the writer must ensure that to the best of their abilities and theire resources it is, as much as possible correct.
Checking a CV for grammar and spelling mistakes and rejecting those that have bad mistakes weeds out those candidates that are either (a) too stupid or lazy to use a spell checker or (b) don't care enough about their CV to ensure that it is correct. Friends, family and professionals are all available to check a CV prior to submission, failing to do this is a good indication that the candidate is not serious enough about working.
Re: I always find it funny....
A CV is a candidates first opportunity to make a good impression on a potential employer. If they can't manage to get this very important document right, what does this say about the quality of their work or attention to detail.
Of course it doesn't mean that they are unemployable, but it does mean that they do not take the level of due care and attention that is required for an important document.
Me? I've rejected CVs because I don't like the look of them. For example, if a candidate has just found that they have 15 fonts and 40 available colours in their word processor, there's no need to try to use as many of them as possible in a single document such as a CV. My rationale on this was that if their CV annoyed me, then their work probably would as well. I admit that this isn't a perfect way to filter candidates but when you have 50 CVs a day to wade through, you have to start somewhere. One thing I always made a point of doing was to provide feedback on every single one. There's little ruder than never receiving a reply, even if it's "no".
Appalling. That's generally the level of literacy I come across from the so called best educated and most successful exam passing generation.
Not that they've dumbed the examination questions down or made it easier... never! Thoughts such as these are not to be entertained as it might pyschologically impact our highly stresed school children who are proud to have the better results than the previous year, and the year before that, and so on.
Any mention of the fact that A-Level questions now cover topics no more taxing than those that used to be found at GCSE / GCE-O level is strictly not permitted either. Won't somebody think of the children? Belittling a child's achievements because they're rewards are the same for less effort is something that is not permitted.
Aside from the dumbing down of the examinations, the further problem is that all schools do now is teach children how to pass the next test/examination. They are no longer there to provide a rounded education or a broad general knowledge to give the child a good start in life and the foundation for further study.
The situation's so bad, there are now a growing number of schools that don't do examinations as they're frequently not worth the paper that they're printed on. These schools instead pride themselves on providing children with a good education and knowledge.
Just wait... Silverlight will soon be "required" for windows updates, msdn access, hotmail or cunningly mingled (mangled) into office so office won't quite work correctly without it...
Who'd have thought that may happen?
I did hear a story a while back that one woman had "cracked" the enigma code before the computers at Bletchley Park did. However the establishment didn't believe her or persue the matter because it didn't believe that cracking the code could be so simple that one woman could do it.
Can't find anything on this... anybody know if it's true or not?
Problem with old system not patching, or not being allowed to patch?
Disable EVERYTHING that is not required for it to operate. And that specifcally includes all the "features" in "file and printer sharing" that MS commingled together in a splendid effort to make their systems as insecure as possible. This may not utterly prevent infections, but it reduces the chances hugely.
LitePC... a good tool of choice for disabling everything that isn't required.
Just install FlashBlock add on in FireFox. That way you have the choice to run some useless advert / flashing media thingy or just browse in peace.
...back to the topic.
A 64 bit FF scares me - the 32 bit one chews up enough resources without giving it the option of taking even more... still nicer and safer to use than IE though.
What is this country coming to?
What is this country coming to? What next?
Next a nationwide gambling scheme will be proposed, tendered and given to friends of the government officials who will change to law to allow more gullable people to take part. Such as changing the minimum age of gambling down to 16. Could it ever happen?
...was wondering what had become of Captain Cyborg.
I'm still amazed (shouldn't be really), just how much pointless cash they've already spunked up against the wall for these olympics. All in the name of the greased-palms and committees of course.
The millions wasted on the logo when they could have just used this one instead: http://blog.case.edu/james.chang/2007/06/07/favorite_2012_logo.jpg is just staggering (IMHO it's definitely the best alternative produced)
And now some naff rendered characters that appear to have no charm or personality at all? I hope they transfer better when animated because at the moment all I see is 1980s quality raytraced images... all they need is a black and white checked tile floor and the look will be complete.
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