2914 posts • joined Tuesday 25th March 2008 12:38 GMT
It's probably under PFI
"We can't provide the service for the price we agreed (without having to cut our bonuses), bung us more money."
And they will. The ridiculous profits will stand and the fact remains these laptops are not required and are nothing more than a bribe.
...It's about £1,100 per laptop.
If it is a base-spec lappy it should cost around £350 (probably less as a bulk-order, so let's say £250)
This leaves about £850.
From that remove the broadband cost (circa £35 per month, but this is a bulk order...so let's say £25 per month). That's £300 per year
This leave £550
From that, let's remove costs not already covered (e.g dispatch etc - say £50)
This leaves £500 clear profit PER LAPTOP.
What could that be for? Well bonuses to the directors of the companies involved. I wonder how many of them are MPs, spouses of MPs, relatives of MPs or good friends of MPs.
So not only is is a blatant bribe, but it is a money grabbing scheme by MPs and their cronies.
Labour disgust me.
Google have not opted out
I have decided to start a 24 hour service and have assumed that every IT company at Mountain View will want my service. It costs US$10,000 per hour for the service to be on stand-by and US$100,000 per hour if the service is used plus a US$1,000,000 bonus for every problem solved, not matter how small.
Google have not opted out of my service.
I have been running this service now for 3 years.
To whom should I address the bill?
A gubbermint IT project that went well? Surely you jest?
There should have been no MS products on their (unless they were the sole maker of something and I find that difficult to believe).
A child needs an education - and that comes from books. Not from a PC. Even IT pros don't use PCs to learn (PCs are for doing, or testing out what was learnt from a book), just ask O'Reilly et al.
So, in a nutshell, these laptops are not needed. They are just a bribe before the election.
They do not need laptops you thundering moron (well, not unless they are doing an IT-related subject, and even then...)
They need books.
They need encouragement.
And, most importantly, they need the will to learn.
If I (and I am sure most people reading this) can go through college and uni (pretty much) without a PC and certainly without an internet connection and still do well with nothing more than a few books and a bit of drive, then pretty much any idiot can.
This laptop scheme is try a ploy to buy votes. Books is where it is at, where is always was at and were it will continue to be at for quite some time. Books, books, books, reading and graft. That's it. Nothing fancy.
If they are so poor, who is going to pay for their net connection? Who will pay for repairs? For media? For software? For...for...for... I will. We will. The hard-working taxpayers once more. Wasn't bailing out the banks and paying all those bonuses last year to incompetent bankers enough?
Save the money, hire a few more teachers, save the playing fields and stop trying to bribe the public!
It should have been supplied with standards-compliant software and (as far as possible) free software. This would have reduced the cost and allowed many more bribes...err...laptops to be handed out.
Ubuntu (or similar)
Firefox (or Opera, or Konqueror)
OpenOffice (or ?)
Done. No need to reinforce the defacto monopoly.
I think someone tried this once, but it failed to take-off.
Why can't I pause any movie, click on any item I like and find out where to buy it (or close facsimiles)? Surely that's not too hard for the Overfiends at Borg Central? Revenue from sales could be split with the movie maker, so even pirated movies could end up generating revenue.
No nVidia card?
Eh? I've got one. When I ordered it, it was all "nVidia" this or that, no mention of any other manufacturer. The card itself only states "nVidia", all the drivers are "nVidia" and other rleated software is all "nVidia".
Also, unlike ATI, nVidia at least provides drivers and support for Linux. It may be proprietary, but at least they exist. Until ATI do likewise, I will not buy an ATI card.
"The bottom line is, every business has to do what's best for its customer"
Not quite. Every business has to do what's best for the *shareholders*.
That may, or may not, be what's best for the customer.
Just as the banks, insurance and endowment companies. They sure as hell do not do what is best for the customer.
Seems I was right
"Microsoft has once again questioned Google's mobile strategy, insisting that Mountain View will have trouble attracting - and keeping - OS partners now that the company is selling its very own Googlephone."
Translation: MS will use contract negotiations with OEMs to force them to ditch/bury Android or only sell it on sub-standard kit.
They have form for this - just ask Dell and a few others.
One wonders how long that will last. Dells last foray into non-MS OSs was beaten down hard by MS (you cans till find them, in the basement behind the sign saying "Beware of the leopard").
I applaud Dell for trying to break the shackles of MS, but I can't see them being allowed to get away with it. Shame really, innovation and competition is what this homogeneous IT market needs.
50p per unit?
Let's see that tried out in a test market...say the bars in Westminster...and then rolled out nation wide if it is a success.
But that would mean MPs having to suffer and obey the law...never going to happen in the cesspit of corruption and deceit that passes for our Parliament.
And what about all the cheap booze MEPs can access (subsidised champagne etc), will they be putting a stop to that? No, thought not.
Make them all wear headcams so the audience really can "be" with the athletes.
Hmm...not such a bad idea really, if you give two shits about the Olympics and I don't. Complete waste of money for a second-rate country like the UK. We can't even keep roads open FFS.
Snow and ice? What're they? It's not like we get them every year. Oh, wait....
Was at a meeting and someone needed to get info from an email. iPhoner bring up web page (all smug) passes to other person who logs in. iPhone browser craps out when trying to access mail.
Out of curiosity (and for amusement) I got my crappy Nokia out and tried the same. I thought it would be funny yo see how hard the Nokia failed. If an iPhone can't hack it, what chance Nokia and the mini-Opera browser? Well blow me if it didn't actually work! OK, the mail layout was munged to hell (tiny screen) but you could at least read it and get the attached PDF it you wanted (what you'd do with it after is a good question).
But it worked. I was staggered.
Are you moaning about FF...
...or your add-ons? More often than not it's the add-ons that are at fault. I don't know how you determine which one is screwing your interwebs pleasures though.
I am running FF here with a bunch of add-ons (AdBlockPlus, NoScript, GreaseMonkey, CookieCutter, CustomizeGoogle, FireGrstures,TinyUrl, XMarks, WebDeveloper; to name a few) and FF is running with a lower memory and CPU footprint when active than Miro when inactive and minimised!
I agree that allowing an add-on to kill the browser (and not having an obvious way of monitoring add-ons) is pretty poor; but you can hardly blame Mozilla for the actions of others.
FF also wins in one other big way. IT IS NOT IE! It is also standards complaint (unlike any version of IE, including 8). For those reasons I would us FF, Opera, Safari or Konqueror before IE (I would not touch Chrome as I don't know [yet] what spyware it may contain).
It's just a shame that the corporate world demands IE support rather than standards support, forcing poor dweebs like me to code for the shit that is IE6.
What's the problem?
It's obviously part of the Labour anti-crime initiative to crack down on shoplifting.
It will also allow NHS operatives to check on on how fat customers are so they can be given advice in store.
If you have nothing to hid, you have nothing to fear and I for one welcome this new initiave to keep me safe with open arms.
(This post may contain trace of "lie").
Who needs a big SSD?
An entire OS (including all applications) can sit quite happily in under 4GB. So at most you'd need an 8GB SSD (allowing a lot of wiggle room and should still be fairly cheap). Data can then be held on a standard HDD and mounted transparently into the filesystem.
Unless your OS and apps are bloated to hell of course.
The number of people who cannot tell the time is staggering. "01-02-10" What date is that? Without context there's no way to know. The format should be YYYY-MM-DD. But that doesn't work in America as the Yanks are so staggeringly dumb they will assume it to be YYYY-DD-MM (I am not kidding, we tested it out).
Of course, even if you do that you still can't tell the time. Any time without a time zone is invalid. End of discussion. So the full format should be "YYYY-MM-DD hh:mm:ss Z". It's more data, but at least you can be bloody sure that the hell the time is.
When it comes to UI, display it any way you want; it is merely a view on to the internal data.
A datetime is like Unicode data without knowing what the encoding is; utterly useless and probably going to lead to trouble.
Google will know..
...where I go and when;
Who I call and when;
What I search for and when;
What I book/buy on the mobile and when;
Potentially who I associate with and when (assuming they also have a Borg-phone);
Pretty much everything about me.
And they expect me to want their phone?
Feck that. Feck that very much.
"Do no evil"? Too late Mr. Schmidt, way too late.
The failure of the major labels to provide a service that people want and to monetise the new media as it emerges is 100% the fault of those major labels. Not the file sharers, not the the ISP, not you are me; it's their own bloody fault.
"Free" (often illegal, but not always) only sprung up because people could not get what they wanted (or at a price they were willing to pay). "Free" is also usually DRM free, something anyone with half a brain wants. Idiotic licensing restrictions, artificial barriers to trade (region locking etc), aggressive and illegal DRM attacks (the rootkit fiasco) are all examples of how Big Labels just don't get it.
iPlayer is a good start, but not nearly enough. Spotify looks good, but I am nt sure how much longer it can last without running ads (got nothing against ads, so long as I don't have to pay).
I will *pay* to get the content I want. Really, I will. If you are smart enough to make it available to me. Why can't I watch Hulu? Some pen-pushing accountant-cum-lawyer with no brain said so. Same reason I can't watch Adult Swim. Just idiocy. I will pay for access (advert free - a la BBC) or they can cut the feed with adverts (free access to me). Either way, I don't mind.
But will they do this? No. Too busy throwing money at lawyers and chasing a business model that has died, often forcing those of us who missed an episode of <whatever> on to the illegal sites just to get a hold of it. Or because some piece lawyer-turdling has decreed that USA-ians can see a thing but the rest of the world is not allowed.
Stupid, just bloody stupid.
"The Police Federation said it was surprised the figures were so high and suggested forces should be doing more to inform staff of what the rules were."
"The Police Federation said it was surprised the figures were so high and suggested forces should stop looking for staff who were breaching the rules."
Why? Because that's what will now happen in order to make the figures look better.
The police - would you trust them?
The price of peace
If the price of peace, the halting of terrorist acts and the saving of many innocent lives is letting a few terrorist scum walk free; then that is a price I pay willingly.
The alternative is martyrdom and continued killing.
Which do you prefer?
", only if you are going where the train or metro is headed is it convenient"
I see. So you just ask the captain to divert the plane to where you want to go? Most people call that "hijacking"!
Trains, where properly funded and run (i.e. not the UK or USA) are much better for inter-city travel than aircraft. They are also better for freight, but again this relies on proper management and funding.
Meanwhile the UK throws millions in subsidy and our piss-poor rail companies and still pisses money away on a runway at Heathrow that we wouldn't need IF said (heavily subsidised) rail companies actually pulled their finger out and did their jobs properly.
...and a return on a budget airline is about on third the price and takes half as long.
Way to go British railways! Woo! Remind me, how much subsidy does a budget airline gets from my pocket and how much do those incompetent morons who run our railways get?
When I get get on a train in (say) Newcastle and be in (say) London in around two hours, with a seat, not pay any more than a budget air-ticket and not pay any subsidy to the rail operator; then we can begin to think about considering them "acceptable". Not "good", not "excellent"; just "acceptable".
Thinking about - just fire the lot of them and hire the Swiss. Oh wait, didn't the Swiss said they wouldn't touch our rail system with a barge-pole due to massive under funding, ineptitude and corruption?
How do the Beeb keep getting it right*?
Say what you like about the Beeb programmes, but their delivery is spot-on. iPlayer is simply superb and being able to use in on the PC, (old) xBox and Wii is just great. That alone is worth the £11 a month to me!
As for Sky; big, fat "Meh, who cares?" Why people want to pay £30+ a month to watch 100 channels of utter shite and still get bombarded with ads beats me. There's more than enough on the free-to-air gogglebox to not need Sky and with services like the iPlayer you can keep up on anything you happen to miss.
Like MS, Sky is seeing the writing on the wall and beginning to panic. They don't have the talent or skill to innovate, so now they are lashing out and trying to kill off emerging initiatives that threaten them. Tough luck, the world moves on Mr. Murdoch.
Adapt or die.
*Their phone system excepted, of course.
There's a YouTube with of a guy doing this with a Wiimote (maybe that's the one ElReg linked to?)
Anyway, isn't that prior art?
Isn't any other method of tracking the head simple evolution of the same idea? Cameras have had face recognition for a while.
Are Apple going to be allowed to get away with 2+2=iOwnYerFeckinArse?
And what happens if two people look at the screen? PC has an epileptic fit?
You have simply proved that your face matches a card and given a name (it's a local check*). For verification you will still be taken to a station for an on-line check. But that merely verifies your ID, not that you are not a terrorist.
To prove that will require interrogation and further check by the security services.
Once you are proved innocent of being a terrorist, you will them be charged with causing a public disturbance and wasting police time. You will also be billed for the cost of the checks.
Future Britain, powered by Labour, burning your privacy.
*This is why ID cards CANNOT work, the checks are local, no real-time connection the central DB *and* all intelligence DBs.
Or whatever they call it. Cava is pretty much the same stuff (and more often than not vastly superior at the same price point) but can't be labelled "champagne" as it is not from the Champagne region. Simples.
There's a slew of things that are region specific as well (Harris Tweed is another example, I think), so it's not just the French being arsey.
No ID? She could be anyone.
Other forms of ID are not acceptable as they could be fake.
Forgetting your ID card is no excuse (it's a bit like claiming you were ignorant of a law).
There is no excuse, she should be held under arrest until her identity can be verified.
If MPs were treated in the same way as members of the public WILL be treated, then perhaps this whole ID business can be scrapped.
Do people still buy this bull-crap? ID cards, when they come in, will be 100% compulsory and always have been; no matter what any MP or mandarin may say.
If you are too hard of thinking to understand why a "voluntary" card is compulsory, I'll type this slowly.
1) it's not the card, it's the database.
2) As cards will be accepted as "strong" ID, banks and other institutions will get twitchy if you don't have one.
3) Bureaucracy will "streamline" around the card and life will become difficult/hell if you don't have one.
Ergo - they are compulsory.
Of course, we don't need these cards and we have never needed these cards. All they will do is foster a counter-culture designed to protect our privacy. And good luck to them! The people of Britain now need to protect themselves from their own government (never mind the unelected asshats in Brussels).
You really like GreaseMonkey, but you wouldn't want to pay for it? How the hell do you square that circle?
I am sure some add-ons would remain "free", either because it is a hobby/learning exercise for the dev, it's a loss-leader for something else or they get enough voluntary donations. But some will cost, and quite right too.
Developing takes time and money. Depending on how much of both are used up, the dev may have no choice but to charge, even if it is a trifling amount just to help cover costs.
If you like something, you should support it. That's how FOSS works. If you can't afford time to help (test, find bugs, offer fixes, write documentation...) then reach into your pocket had help the cause. Because if YOU don't help and the person beside doesn't help and the one beside them doesn't...that thing you love may not be round for much longer.
Free Software does not always equal "zero cost" software.
"You will lose out on £11bn because you don't know who owes you!"
"OK, we will buy and new IT system at a cost of £2bn"
"Your new IT system has actually cost £8bn and lead to £20bn in lost revenue!"
"OK, we will buy and new IT system at a cost of £4bn"
<rinse and repeat>
If MPs are so worried about lost revenue, perhaps they should hire back all the tax inspectors they let go? But then that would raise costs, mean cost-saving targets are missed (even though a tax inspector 'earns' more than they cost) and the senior civil servants would not get their fat bonuses. Can't have that.
This is merely another ruse by our corrupt MPs to score directorships/perks for grateful IT companies.
It makes me sick.
On minor point
Until they test the substance, how do they know it's not illegal to possess?
I agree with the tone of the article, the explicit threat from the police is very worrying and something anyone with a brain could have seen coming. I can't help but think that the police are caught in a legal though (perhaps deliberately).
If they let people out whilst the substances are tested, there will be stories all over the press about drug-dealers being set free.
If the police take a harder stance, you get stories like this.
I am not not sure what the actual answer is (and I doubt we'll get one from Labour or the Tories), but continually kicking plod doesn't strike me as being it.
"Are the Linux and Mac operating systems going to be next, not a chance."
No need, they are NOT A MONOPOLY. Linux isn't even an OS, it's a Kernel. You do know what one of those is, right? Not all Linux Distros use the same browser. It is also possible in Linux to TOTALLY REMOVE the browser if that is your wish.
(I can't speak for Macs, as a lowly programmer I am too poor to own one, but they are still not in a monopoly position).
"Microsoft make Windows therefore they should be able to do what they want to it."
Unless they are a monopoly.
"Lets not forget their are alternatives to Windows so they don't have a monopoly!"
When you control 95% of the OS market, that is a monopoly in anyone's book. Which is why MS have been facing fines for abusing their monopoly position. (And it's "Let's", by the way)
"This is just another case of the socialist EU looking for easy money"
Why do Yanks think socialist is a bad thing? Anyhoo, the EU is capitalist last time I checked.
And which country went after MS first? The USA! ZOMG! Socialist USA looking for easy money!
What a fucking tool
If I start looking up (say) STDs I have nothing to hide; but it's still private.
If I look up divorce law, there's nothing to hide it's just private.
Privacy != criminal activity
"Do no evil"? Really? Could have fooled me.
Thank goodness for TrackMeNot, AdBlock, CookieCuller and NoScript.
Did you know: it only takes 3 pieces of data to uniquely identity an individual in the USA? So much for anonymity.
I am not sure I like Google optimizing my search for me. The reason a search egnine is because I could not find the information in the places I would usually look.
Google (or SEOs) poisoning the results it pretty retarded. Google's will not help as I will have already looked in the places I normally goo; SEO's will not help as their efforts are going to be largely irrelevant to my search.
Crudely put - they are both pissing in the pot they drink from.
Now...CookieCuller....how's that work.....
I cna see the future
"Right, the Smith's power use just dipped, they've gone out. I'll just switch off their alarm...done...OK Fred, it's safe to go. I get 10%, right?"
And other things of that nature.
So not content with forcing us of have ID cards, Labour want to watch us in our homes now? What a bunch of twunts.
Nothing to hide...
...nothing to fear, eh?
"Done nothing wrong, no need to look"?
"Quite frankly, it's none of your sodding business"?
I think all MPs, MSPs and senior civil servants should be forced to have these cards first. Nice, small population to test things out and see what happens.
And if it's one lot of corrupt sods that need a close watch, it's that lot!
It always depresses me...
...the way organisations like PETA and donkey sanctuaries get more support and media coverage that human-focused charities. They appear to have forgotten that humans are also animals (stemming from the same common ancestor that gave us chimps and gorillas etc - had to put that in to wind up the Catholics! :o) )
It's a bribe
That's all it is. A bribe to vote Labour and keep this corrupt lot in power.
Not that the Tories would be much better (they're also corrupt scum).
The LibDems are a joke (spineless)
Forward the Monster Raving Loonies!
...the fact that he should never have been deported under this one-side and deeply dangerous treaty in the first place. No ones should.
The USA should be forced to prove that they have a valid case before a UK judge (just as the UK has to do).
And in this case, they USA should be asked to explain why such secretive information was (basically) unsecured.
I'm not a supported of McKinnon, but I do not think their extradition treaty should received any support. Our government are a spineless bunch of wankers only interested in their next expenses claim and cushy directorship.
If only the argument was so easy. Please either show your counter-data and argument, your differing analysis of the raw data or hold your tongue (well, fingers in this case).
Linux penetration remains at 1% (basically a rounding error) and it will continue to do so for a long, long time. This is, if I understand things correctly, because the Linux world is not focused on the desktop, but on the back-end (serves, clouds etc) and more "embedded" systems (set-top boxes, sat navs erc).
This explains a few things
1) Why Linux does so poorly on web state
2) Why basic features are missing/run poorly on a Linux distro (e.g. Flash, VPN, multi-head...)*
This may well change if Droid gains traction, but you can bet that Droid will be separated out and not counted as Linux (just as OSX is not counted as Unix).
*Yes, fanbois, I know these things *can* be done, but support is no where near as ubiquitous as it is on Windows and it is all hit-and-miss. I know - I've tried.**
**Yes, you may now say I'm too dumb to use Linux and I should go back to Windoze. Thank you for continuing to be the problem in the Linux community. You know where you can shove your pocket protector, don't you?
...that MS would allow this, surely they have a clause in their terms and conditions to prevent an OEM selling a competing OS, and if MS do permit it expect the hardware to be under-powered and generally a bit crap.
Or maybe Acer will still have to pay for a Windows license on every non-MS unit sold (just like Dell have to do).
...is why you hack/mod. If I am not using MS's network, I don't see why I should pay MS anything. It's *my* xBox and I will do with it as *I* see fit. Unless MS want to supply it for "free" on some kind of Sky-like subscription service...
iPlayer on the Wii was something I'd forgotten about, but seeing as how poorly Flash runs inside the Wii's version of Opera, I don't hold out much hope of it being usable.
It's pot luck
Lexmark printers won't work on Linux (OK, that's a bit over an over-generalisation, but the support really sucks).
Multi-head is a bit pot-luck. You might be lucky, you might just have to fiddle a bit with xrandr or you may enter the pain zone (gnome+intel graphics+multi-head = nightmare; that's been my experience anyway, yours may vary).
The way the corporate firewall is set up, it will only let in a CheckPoint client, and CheckPoint does not support Linux. OpenSwan etc are no-go (I'd be summarily dismissed if I tried).
I know all these things *can* be done, but it still hit-and-miss I'm afraid. I'm just hoping that the fanboi rush to droid will force companies to up their game (or open their code up so it can be ported).
- Xmas Round-up Ten top tech toys to interface with a techie’s Christmas stocking
- Xmas Round-up Ghosts of Christmas Past: Ten tech treats from yesteryear
- Review Hey Linux newbie: If you've never had a taste, try perfect Petra ... mmm, smells like Mint 16
- Analysis Microsoft's licence riddles give Linux and pals a free ride to virtual domination
- NSFW Oz couple get jiggy in pharmacy in 'banned' condom ad