3025 posts • joined 25 Mar 2008
Re: Here's a question
"How likely is an Amazon catastrophe?"
Today, right now? Slim. Tomorrow? Well, did you hear about Pan Am? Big companies do fail y'know. And not only that, what if Amazon "upgrade" the DRM to something more active then they have an outage. "Kindle says 'No'" perhaps?
My point is, anyone buying a Kindle (or any similar device that can only read proprietary standards, let alone DRM'd ones) is an idiot. The competitors (e.g. Kobo Touch) can at least read ePubs without pissing around in "Calibre" or similar.
Here's a question
The Kindle et al are DRM'd, what happens to people's "books" if Amazon go out of business or have some kind of major infrastructure issue. Are the public able to get access to the key or otherwise retain the use of the media they have bought (e.g. by contacting the original publisher)?
Or do the public have to go out and buy their "books" again?
Re: Why so irrelevant Microsoft?
Picked at random: http://europe.nokia.com/find-products/devices/nokia-2720-fold (this predates the patent claim by about a year)
The e-ink screen is merely an implementation detail. If these are now patentable, then that is absurd.
Of course it's patentable. Yours was probably two LCD screens. This is e-Ink. Totally different.
And low power. Totally and utterly different.
It's even curved at the to. Totally, utterly and unbelievably different.
How dare you suggest the the professionals at the USPTO give out patents for nothing. Just how very dare you! Why, that if attacking a vital organ of the capitalist system. Are you some kind of commie terrorist?
"...backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, Google chairman Eric Schmidt, Google board member K.Ram Shriram..."
"...the company has a Facebook page..."
Proof, if it were needed, that G+ is a dead duck.
@Thad - Canonicals constant tinkering with desktop interfaces is irrelevant as onnly idiots run desktop interfaces on servers.
Which explains Windows Server I guess. Ba-dum-tish!
Re: I'm impressed
"ist gen Sandisk Sansa case back too. 2005/6 ish"
Whoa - I got me one of those! And I still prefer it to an iPod.
Re: New Web Designers
OMG! Deport him to Guantanamo! He's looking at the HTML!!!!!!!!!! (froth, seethe). And that quote is from Auntie who is supposed to be getting behind teaching kids to code. They need a boot in the balls. Then again, editing a URL is an offence in the UK (I shit you not - I remember just such a story from a few years ago).
What kind of utter moron does dev work on the PUBLIC server anyhoo?
Re: macros VB for apps?
"Is programming macros not programming?"
No - it is an abhorrence to all that is good an proper in the world.
"Do some fundamentals, i.e. core office skills for everybody"
Yes, teach the fundamentals. Not "How to push buttons in Word" but the actual fundamentals. "This is what a mail merge *is*", "This is what a database *is* and we use it to drive a mail merge" etc.
As Andrew said above, using Excel to do NPV or regression analysis is not the important bit. The NPV or regression analysis is.
There is far, far to much teaching of button-pushing and nothing about the actual fundamentals (and how to tinker).
Re: I did Latin
"Should Latin or computing be included - and if so at the expense of what?"
Children have parents and guardians. If they feel that Latin (or anything else) is important, and not provided by the school, then those parents and guardians can solve the problem themselves.
Kids are not afraid
Adults assume the kids are because the adults are afraid. Always.
In my experience, if you show a kid how anything works (be that code, an engine or martial arts technique) they almost immediately become fascinated and begin to want to tinker with it. This tinkering may or may not lead to a life-long obsession/career, but it is never met with fear.
Only adults know fear of the kind implied because adults are taught that failure is bad. Kids don't know that yet.
Should coding be compulsory? Maybe.
Should promoting an understanding of how things work that it's OK to tinker and how to tinker safely be compulsory? Yes. 100%. Utterly without reservation. In the IT world this has certain ramification though; i.e. no proprietary software (as you can't tinker with that).
In yer dreams, most IT policies are against it. And as others have said, if I was to use my device at work, I'd want some kind of compartmentalisation. I certainly would not want my personal mobile number known to work - I am not paid to be on-call 24/7.
If the work environment was hosted as virtual image (or "in the cloud" as the PR wonks would have it) then almost any device could connect via SSH or similar and work carried out using that. Devices could even be swapped and work continue (if using SCREEN, MOSH etc). Maybe that's the way to go?
The main stumbling block would be open standards (or lack thereof). Far too many things would still be tied to proprietary crap.
Vodafone should suggest Dave Hartnett as a mediator. I hear he has a lot of experience in dealing with massive corporate tax liabilities.
MS blocked the use of Open Stanards...
...as proposed by the UK government ("FRAND" is not open in any sense of the word).
MS lobbies against open standards across Europe.
MS attempted to destroy web interoperability (IE6 et al).
MS forced the ISO to allow a standard that is not open and infected with patents (OOXML).
MS constantly attacks open projects (namely Linux).
MS is not open in any shape or form nor does it support free/open standards/projects except when forced to do so by rule of law (i.e. they breach the GPL or the EU regulator kicks them in the ass).
This new venture is simply part of Operation Extend.
Re: Don't panic Mr Mainwaring!
I make all the best typos. *sniff*
Re: Don't panic Mr Mainwaring!
Cadbury's is USA-ian and only every really produced a low-grade sugar carrier in a vegetable-fat base.
British chocolatiers that (and there are still some, such as Coca Mountain andHotel Chocolat) do do decent chocolate; but just like a decent beer (not mass-produced crap), they need to be sought out and can rarely be bought on high-street shops.
It's these smaller producers who will suffer, but the producers of low-grade junk will weather the storm (as it will be hard to spot the quality dropping further).
Re: Just a shame...
I've not been a Virgin customer for log (so you'd be better off checking with them directly) but AIUI you *must* use their SuperHub for cable broadband (i.e. 30meg+).
Just a shame...
...that the likes of Virgin do not permit you you connect your own router to the network. Yes, I know about "modem mode" but that means having to run two devices when one would do the job.
I've also done @Semaj's trick of having a separate switch, although in my case it's just for the office.
Re: MADE IN CHINA
They said "American" not "USA". So they would be happy to buy from Canada, Mexico, Brazil etc.
Very egalitarian of them.
Re: MADE IN CHINA
Obvious troll is obvious.
None of the above
Trine 2 - all desktop platforms (if it's not out now, it soon will be)
Shadowrun Returns - (hopefully) all desktop platforms
I'd love to see a sequel to World of Goo.
Take your £50+ majors titles and stick 'em.
Re: Bit pricey
Buy Sennheiser. You can get some decent ones for about £30 (e.g. PMX 200). Of course, if you want the big "DJ" type ones so you can look like a total tube walking down the street, they do cost more.
My g/f has some in-ear SkullCandy ones she says are really good too.
Spending £50+ on 'phones is only for the audiophile, professional or hipster-with-more-money-than-sense.
Money is no object when you get given your stuff for free, as El Reg does.
Re: £1250 for a Comfy Chair ...
Get a styrofoam box, place ice pack in bottom, add beer. *POW* instance fridge. Cost? Maybe £15? Add some covering and *POW* fits with your decor.
I saw pictures of a home theatre system with the seating made from old pallets and cushions. I'd be much more interested in doing something like that. Still cost less that £1,250 and seats about 9.
What the hell does this have to do with home automation (which is how it is linked on the front page)?
Re: Vested interests feeling "threatened"
Also look at the revelations coming out from the USA over their scanners and cack-handed "security theatre".
More and more it seems like the main objective is to instil a sense of fear in the public. And if anyone dares questions it, well by-golly-gosh they must be a terrorist!
Why would automation be favoured by the workers?
"Dear Border Check Underlings,
It has come to our attention that some of you think the automation of your jobs is a bad thing. Nothing could be further from the truth. Automating your job means that my pals make many millions from selling us crap...err...hi-tech machinery.
With these machines we can then fire...err...engage in personnel efficiencies and thus my pals who own the airports can make many more millions.
There is no need to worry about public safety, I certainly don't, and there is no profit in public contentment for my pals. They need the public in a state of fear so we can justify buying more stuff.
So please support this programme of making my pals loads of money so I can get a nice fat directorship and maybe the odd bungs.
Yours in aloofness,
A. N. Other (MP)"
Was interested until I saw the OS. Epic fail is epic.
Re: I hope they have good lawyers
To respond to @John in seriousness
"First they have to demonstrate loss of earnings. As someone already mentioned, lego may "lose" some sale to Lego users but may gain sale to other toy user."
You simply apply MPAA/RIAA maths. You only count the losses, assume that you are only counting a fraction of the losses and that all drops in sales are caused by copyright infringement. You are claiming that (say) sharing season 1 of a series is a promotion for season 2 and that the increase in sales of 2 make up for the loses in 1. The MPAA/RIAA does not see it that way (despite, time and again, reports showing that sharing has no impact on sales).
I actually think this project is a great idea and show what we in IT face day-in day-out. I was trying to apply the logic in reverse; what if we applied IT practices in reverse with the draconian copyright/patent laws? Hopefully to highlight just how stupid most of the stuff in copyright/patent law is (when applied to IT at any rate).
If the companies have any sense (which the probably don't) they should run a competition; who can make the maddest thing by combining specific sets/features?
Maybe I am wrong, but I would expect the companies to lawyer-up and "protect their IP for the good of the stakeholders".
Re: I hope they have good lawyers
Err...I would have thought my prose would have been been vitriolic enough.
I hope they have good lawyers
All the affected companies would have every right in the world to take them to the cleaners. And that includes suing for loss of earnings.
Where the MAFIAA showed the way, the toy-makers will follow. It hurts industry, their shareholders and thus you, if there is a free alternative to their products (or in this case, free interoperability).
And that's the levy? US$5,000 per infringement or something? Just how many lost sales can Lego calculate because kids can now use their K'nex with it? Make that good lawyers and deep pockets.
Really. I find this outbreak of socialist multi-toyism repugnant and disgusting. Teaching children that things from different vendors should work together is disingenuous to modern business. I really don't understand why a pro-MS site like El Reg has mentioned such a cancerous little project. I bet these sandal-wearing beardies even used a copyleft license.
Get Andrew O. on the case - he'll soon tell them why their attempt to express a free culture for the benefit of mankind rather than the bottom line is an affront to all that is wholesome and worthy.
This project is a prime example of why all the plans to have standards that are not protected and validated by patents are fundamentally wrong.
Think of the children! Do you want them to grow up penniless? You can't eat toys!
...how many kidneys an iPhone 5 will cost?
Eh? How is this law in anyway reasonable? Oh wait, it's to "Protect the children". Perhaps the Sun et al should be moved to the top shelf and proof of age required?
Those page 3 fun-bags will obviously ruin many childhoods.
THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!!
Re: A few things on this
@Gareth. I thought was the whole point of them using a Flash player (it provides the DRM).
Not looked into Couchpotato or Sickbeard yet, but it is retarded in the extreme that I pay for a service and then have to go pirate to actually use the service. I wonder if that is a good defence in court?
Re: A few things on this
@Robert Ramsay: Dunno about PS3s as I don't own one, I just know that I can't use their catch-up or on-demand services because I am not on Windows or OS X. I've read in the forums that Android is barred too.
I am no web expert, but I can't see any reason for blocking; all the other catch-up sites work fine and dandy.
I am paying for legal access to content, but the pirates provide a better service to a better price. Irony.
Re: A few things on this
If you qualitf (i.e. are paying for) Virgin Media Player I suggest you try and use it.
You are in for a very nasty surprise.
Re: A few things on this
6) They can't even do a simple null check in the OS detection code.
(I have been trying to get around their moronic OS block so I can use the site I am paying them for).
A few things on this
1) I use VMedia for home-working. I am always in one shell or another (usually RDP) so probably do use a fair bit of bandwidth.
2) Their router is, frankly, shit. Not only is the firmware crap, but the hardware itself was clearly designed by a moron. Just a shame you can't connect your won router (yes, I know about modem mode).
3) To continue with how shit the router is, it provides no method of traffic shaping or monitoring. Guess I'll have to learn how to do my own.
4) It was very nice of VMedia to send me a letter/email telling me about this change and showing me how I can check my usage against their measures. Oh wait, there was no letter and they provide no way of checking!
5) Add to that the fact they block non-Windows/OS X users from their services (and that includes Android!) despite VMedia selling Android phones, being an Ubuntu mirror AND shipping set top boxes that run a Linux. MORONS! They are no offering executable downloads (or something like that) they have no reason to block based on OS.
Think of the children?
I do think of the children. I want the children to grow up in a society that respects freedom, where the public are free to question their the government and hold it to account, where it is hard (nay, impossible) for the state to prevent corruption being brought to the fore, where freedom of speech (by any means), and movement are sacrosanct.
And instead of this we are allowing a world to be created where every aspect of a child's life is indexed, monitored, controlled and a request for privacy taken as an admission of guilt.
A corrupt, secretive and snooping government is of more threat to children than all the paedos and terrorists in the world multiplied together.
And, as others have said, all this will do is cause those of us with some level of technical prowess to engage in active encryption/blocking, educate others on how to do so and create the tools to make it even easier so that everyone can protect their privacy. Tools which, unfortunately, could be used by others with less noble goals.
This law will CREATE even more of the problems it seeks to solve.
This law is wrong.
Theresa May is wrong.
The ConDems are wrong, Labour was wrong.
Our entire government and the EU are wrong; they are no longer fit-for-purpose.
Kick the people hard and often enough, they will kick back in time; it is never a clean fight, regardless of who triumphs. Read some history.
...and in every way, I come to fear my own "elected" government than the terrorists.
I say "elected" as almost all the MPs come from the same morally bankrupt, public-school educated, elitist, holier-than-thou social class. They have no concept of the real world.
Freedom is a weapon. A weapon of the people against a corrupt regime. This is why our government wished to remove it from our grasp.
Very believable too as I think some Oz chappie managed to patent the wheel (or was it the circle)?
Re: Prior art?
Never mind those, there has been ways to create "you" all the way back to basic GIF.
Just because it is "3D" does not make any more "new" or "innovative".
FFS - things like "Fuzzy Felt" have been doing this since the 1970s!
Apple - take your patent and ram it!
Savings or no...
...it does prove that a GNU/Linux system can compete with MS on the desktop, this means some level of competition and competition is good for the consumer.
Whether or not GNU/Linux is better is beside the point, reducing the near Communist-style stranglehold MS holds on the desktop can only make things better for the purchasers of such systems.
Furthermore, the promotion of Open Standards (and by my definition, that means patent-free) such as ODF can only be a good thing for interoperability.
Really, whether or not you are a Penguin-lover or a freedom-hater; there is no downside to this that I can see. Unless you are an MS shareholder because your monopoly fuelled gravy-train may just be beginning to run out of steam.
Three minor points
1) MS will not permit OEMs to ship ARM mobos that can run anything other than Windows. How far they can push OEMs is a question, but one would imagine that certain...advice may be offered "We have varied the terms of your OEM agreement, pray we do not vary them further."
MS has more than enough of a desktop monopoly to restrict the availability of the other devices, which is why the regulators need to stamp on the "Win8-only" clause.
2) MS rakes it in from Android over various patent claims. You can question the validity of those claims, but the "loss" of market to Android devices might actually improve MS's bottom line.
3) MS is, and has always been, utterly hostile to F/OSS and has only released stuff into the F/OSS ecosystem after threat of suit or to entrench it's non-F/OSS stack. I am sure they will concoct further plans to try and keep F/OSS in check.
The year of the Linux-a-like desktop!
Re: Quite innocuous, everyday items can be used.
You know what I am waiting for next?
"Are you now, or have you at any time in the past, taken martial arts training attaining a rank equal to or greater than first black?"
"I am sorry, you are too dangerous to fly. Kindly step into the bin."
Re: Will someone please tell me...
This simply means that Heathrow does not trust the security at all feed-in airports. Quite sensible really. If a nutter wanted to get air-side with a real naughty, they would pick a soft-target to begin from and then get to the real one via a transfer.
The scanners are useless
One does not need metal objects to carry a weapon. Quite innocuous, everyday items can be used (or combined with others to make) weapons. Whilst these would not be ballistic or explosive in nature, with enough of them on board (and trained nutters to wield them) it would be quite possible to compromise the aircraft (i.e. take, and potentially execute, hostages).
If the security agency does not already know who the terrorists are whilst they are on their way to the airport in a taxi, then that agency has failed. A simple scanner is not going to save you.
Then we have the other risks. Let's say the scanners do work - how many lives does that save (Na)? How many lives do they ruin from cancer (Nb)? Unless Na >>> Nb then the scanners are more dangerous than what they try to prevent.
This also brings the whole ID thing into question. If the agency is doing its job, it already knows which Joe Schmoe is a plumber and which one is a terrorist. They don't need biometrics, ID cards, RFID passports or any other crap. All those do is instil fear in the populace and allow the state to exercise more control.
I for one am glad that I do not have to travel to the USA, although more and more places are using these useless devices.
How long before the lawsuits start?
"My client passed away at 55. Being in IT they were required to sit long hours in front of a screen attempting to meet impossible deadlines. The stress of this, and the threats of outsourcing hanging over their head, brought on heart arrhythmia; the only late-night food the company would order was pizza or curry, leading to my client's obesity; and it was the blood clot from sitting for 12 hours straight they finally killed them, robbing their children of a loving parent. We are seeking £10 million in lost pay, compensation for stress/suffering and expenses."
What about a tax break for companies that hire trainers/subsidise gyms or something? Or organise pre-work callisthenics? Although given the condition of some of my colleagues, seeing them mince around in gym-shorts is likely to induce nausea.
The call centre will be UK, but the engines will be dispatched from the Dehil depot for tax reasons.
And you will have to pay their road toll bill when they arrive.
How this will go
"999 Emergency, which service please?"
"This is the fire service, your call may be recorded to help improve our service to you. Please listen to the following options: Press 1 if you are a member of out Conflagration Super-Savers Club, Press 2 if you wish to friend us on Facebook, Press 3 to hear our latest offers, Press 4 for billing information, Press 5 if you or a family member are currently burning to death"
"So you are burning to death. Press 1 if you can pay by credit card, Press 2 to speak to a colleague"
"Hello, I will be your advisor today. What is your problem?"
"Oh dear god help us! The house is on fire and the babies are stuck on the top floor. HELP US!"
"Please do not shout at me, or I will cancel this call and report you to the police for verbal abuse. What is your problem?"
"Our house is on fire."
"OK, you house is on fire. Have you tried turning the house on and off?"
"No...I can't turn the fire off. If I could, I wouldn't need to call. My babies are burning!"
"I've warned you before, do not shout at me. We are following a specially design script that has been proven to increase our sales. Now, what version of fire do you have?"
"That question makes no sense. Just send a fire engine already."
"Ok, you cannot turn the fire off and do not know what version. How do you intend to pay for the call out?"
"Yes, we don't have your phone number as a registered account. How you wish to pay for the home visit from our engineers?"
"What? Look, this is an emergency. People are dying."
"I appreciate that this is a stressful time for you, but our engineers are highly trained and will resolve your issue as quickly as they can. Can you pay by credit card."
"Ok, debit, 123456789, expires 01/2014"
"Thank you, I have entered your support request into the system. An engineer will be with you within 48 hours. Is there anything else I can help you with today?"
- One HUNDRED FAMOUS LADIES exposed NUDE online
- Twitter: La la la, we have not heard of any NUDE JLaw, Upton SELFIES
- China: You, Microsoft. Office-Windows 'compatibility'. You have 20 days to explain
- Apple to devs: NO slurping users' HEALTH for sale to Dark Powers
- Rubbish WPS config sees WiFi router keys popped in seconds