2914 posts • joined Tuesday 25th March 2008 12:38 GMT
PFI - Epic fail
All PFI is, is a way to take money from the poor (via taxation) and hand it to the rich. It should no longer form any part of any state enterprise. And all these "private partners being paid by results" need to go to; it's the same kind of scam.
As for wind power...utterly useless (expect in a very few cases) and it will remain so until we have a way of storing the power for when the wind does not blow. Liquefying air, making fuel from H20 and CO2, pumping water uphill or whatever; unless we can store it, there's no point in having it.
Unless we want to be like Germany and have to import dirty coal power.
And, of course, wind power isn't very green; just ask the bats.
I was thinking of one of these...
...now I'm not. A battery life of 10 hours is utterly ludicrous. What is it with this obsession in making phones the size of monoliths? Have our hands and pockets trebled in size or something? The battery for these things has got to be measured in days, and weeks for standby. If it's not, then it's not fit for purpose.
I'm still looking for a new phone, but there is nothing on the market. It's like laptops - all 16:9 1366x786 glossy screens and thus utter shit. Wrong aspect ratio, dreadful DPI., wrong finish. 16:10 matte screens are the only sensible choice.
Why is technology racing forward on the one hand,but engaged full reverse in the other?
Re: Evil fuckwits
"to allow them to use FOSS software"
The article says "freeware". That may or may not be F/OSS.
Re: (km123) This is about Government POLICY overriding a PREFERENCE for Windows
That German FO switch was more about politics (as there was a power shift in Germany) than practicalities from what I understand, especially given this from the story you link:
"All that despite McKinsey confirming in 2009 that the German Foreign Office had splurged less cash on its individual IT workspaces then any other federal authority in the country while running a Linux desktop shop."
Although understanding anything a government does is difficult at the best of times.
We can cite stories back and forth, but that doesn't change anything. Whilst people use MS only formats (e.g. Office Open XML*) and MS only code (i.e. anything that only runs on Windows); then MS have you by the balls. If organisations spec open standards and portability, they have a much better bargaining position and can keep their costs down (even if they ultimately remain on Windows).
*Before some Windtard chimes in, yes; I do know that in theory Office Open XML is an ISO standard and in theory an open standard. The actuality of that is, however, rather different (e.g. the "openness" only applies to a specific version of ooxml). The only true open standards IMO are those spec'd by OASIS (e.g. odf).
By "portable" I mean you can take yer J2EE mega app running under JBoss on Windows and drop it on to JBoss on GNU/Linux and it will just work. Unless some ass-hat coder has made explicit assumptions about file-paths and other resources.
If have been that ass-hat coder.
(Sorry about that)
If you are a customer and you do not spec portability...then you are spec'ing "Please lock me into one specific vendor who can gouge me forever more."
J2EE is (well...should be...) portable, ASP.NET isn't.
Did a run in a Windows VM on a different PC (I had upgraded the host from FF 17 to FF 18 already). Host is almost the same as above, save it runs Windows 7 and has a 3.1GHz Core 2 Duo
FF 17 - 263ms
FF 18 - 312ms (18% slower)
I concur after trying Sunspider
Ubuntu 12.10 64bit, KDE 4.9, 4GB ram, Core 2 Duo 2.4Ghz
FF 17 - 293ms
FF 18 - 323ms
So based on the mighty evidence of one sample, I say that FF 18 is 10% slower and a regression.
I believe this comparison to be fair as the same add-ons were enabled in both runs.
If I get a computer...
...I hang up. If I get a human, I waste their time for as long as I can. Strangely enough, I don't really get any nuisance calls. Maybe I am on a "Don't call this number, the guy is on to us" list?
(WARNING: Incoming F-bombs)
What I want stopped, ***NOW*** are these fuckers texting me about PPI. Seriously, fuck off.
I hope someone does. I'd love to know how to set such a thing up, chuck the landline and have cheapy-cheap VOIP calls.
@Chris Miller - Yeah, one could save on licensing but I am going to bet that HMRC doesn't really use vanilla Office (if they use that at all for doing your taxes; the UK taxes managed in Excel? *shudder*); it will have custom apps (probably Windows only) and add-ons for Office (Windows only).
Whilst it would be nice for HMRC to be out from under the yoke of MS, the savings from licensing etc. probably don't give a quick enough return over the re-implementation costs. I don't know, I don't have the figures. Picking any solution purely on dogma rather than prudent considerations is almost certainly going to cause one problems.
What, maybe, HMRC could threaten MS with is moving their back-end away from Windows. e.g. Samba 4 instead of Active Directory. Or CentOS rather than Windows Server (assuming they aren't using SQL Server, of course). HMRC could push this even further by still running Windows etc, but commissioning new applications/services that can be migrated from platform-to-platform (e.g. JBoss, Apache or whatever instead of IIS, Java, Mono, Python etc instead of .Net). In fact, I would strongly suggest that engaging new projects in such a manner is the correct decision, as it make future negotiations that much easier.
And thus, F/LOSS does its job. Maybe not directly, but it makes it harder for the monopoly incumbent to gouge the customer (and thus us, in this case).
Give it time
Windows 8 will be in almost every home and office. Not out of choice, but due to the fact it's pre-installed and you have no choice. You will have Windows, and you will like it. Unless of course you are rich, in which case buy an Apple and enjoy a different walled garden.
Thank you, I didn't know he was paying a "moral" tax level. I assumed, like all other large companies notionally based in the UK, he was engaging in tax efficiency.
Re: HDMI HiFi
To add to AC, I have a TV that works (but is not smart). I can afford £30 if I want smartness, I can't afford £500+ and I do not want to be locked into the restricted services provided by the OEM.
Also, my guess is that devices like this will be hacked to provide even more functionality than a TV OEM would ever want to give you.
"British knowledge is simply taken abroad."
Dyson products are made where, exactly? Clue: it's not in the UK.
Re: Two thirds of the country ?
Just because the Sudan is bad, does not mean Israel is also not bad. There isn't some finite amount of badness that can exist in the world, us humans have an infinite supply.
The Palestinians have committed acts that are repugnant. This is without question. And so has Israel, this is also without question. Recognising that Israel has committed such acts does not make one an anti-Semite, it makes one a realist.
I am sorry if people who do not view Israel with your pious view offend you.
Re: Round II promises to be very busy
"Copies of the electoral rolls compiled constituency-by-constituency would all be stored unedited with the credit referencing agencies."
This is my data, that I have provided under threat of legal sanction. Do I now have to pay these private companies £10+ a month to be able to check the veracity of my data? Screw that.
"GDS have appointed seven "identity providers", one of them being Mydex."
So we need to ensure compatibility, security and reliability by demanding that the data and protocols used be 100% open (and I mean, free & open; not the MS patent-infested idea of "open") up-to and including a private individual being able to host their own, personal identify service (this is perfectly feasible by going down to, say, a post office and submitting the various keys along with primary ID). A failure to provide this is to disempower the public and have them held hostage to private concerns.
Want to check you data? Pay up or shut up, bitch.
Oh and one last thing; should any of these private companies be compromised, I want to see the executives held personally and infinitely liable for all losses suffered by persons breached and all fines levied. In the exact same way banking professionals are not. Why so stringent? Simple. These people only understand money, so the only way to make them behave and not profiteer is to put their wallets on the firing line.
But wait! No business will agree to those terms and the service won't be provided! Well, I have no problem with that either. We truck along right now quite happily.
Re: Bite my...
I forgot one thing; all hail the DarkNet. Let me see you put that genie back in the bottle; bitch.
Re: ... eradicate terrorism and pedophilia.
Define "terrorism". Setting a bomb on the public street? Sure, we can all agree that that is terrorism. But our state goes much further than that and the laws pass (potentially) from protection into oppression. Sometimes that person saying the thing you don't like and don't want to hear is saying the thing you need to hear.
The Tories and Labour are cut from the same cloth; they want all the power for their rich Etonian friends, but none of the responsibility; is it any wonder the minor (and some rather repugnant) parties are gaining traction? The country is screwed because of Labour and Tory policies over the past 20 years (i.e. PFI), we know this; just be honest, swallow your party pride and fix the problem.
Children are most at risk from relatives. Children should not have families. THINK OF THE CHILDREN!
May is a fool.
Re: The national ID debacle - round II coming up.
The system should be federated and public so that if I want to, I can host/provide my own ID verification system. I probably won't (I do have something that vaguely passes for a life), but the only way to keep the bastards honest is to ensure that at any time you can yank the rug from below them.
I agree with the main thrust; if the state wants me to be open with it, then it must be open with me. That means that I can authenticate (via OpenID or whatever) and view all the information the government holds on me, and all MP/civili servant interests and expenses etc.
I'm happy to accept some restrictions for national security (e.g. active police investigations) but not one heck of a lot. I said it below - I want to see my MPs and MEPS leads by example; not engage in hypocrisy,
Godwin. You ruin an otherwise good point.
A public action can still be private (I go to the toilet, that is public knowledge, the action remains private) and it is often by acting in public that we are at our most free and anonymous. The state wishes to remove this - why?
Not for the children; that is the systematic failure of outdated, superstitious organisations that (for whatever reason) still get special treatment. Also, if our own MPs and MEPs divulged their information publicly (you know, to their employers) then I would have more sympathy. Until then, in the words of that great philosopher, "eat my shorts".
...asymmetric crypto, VPS, VPN and multiple accounts; bitch.
The government can handle my data in via the private sector the same day they engage in full disclosure of all expenses, all gratuities, all benefits, all share-holdings/directorships etc. In other words, the day they lead by example is the day I follow.
Until then the government will be treated like the clear and present danger they are and get the minimum information they require to function.
What is worse for children? The (small) risk of being interfered with physically or the very real risk of their state regime systematically mining their personal information. And every regime that follows. The state is elected to obey and to serve the people, not the other way around. We forget this at our peril.
Petraeus now makes sense
He gave out his CIA login? He didn't just use a public system like mail.com etc?
Surely giving out such sensitive details is not just worthy or firing, but of jail time, dishonourable discharge, and goodness knows what else? He gave unfettered access to his CIA email, and not happens, yet Manning rots in a military prison.
Seems in the USA (like in the UK) justice is no longer blind and actively favours the rich.
Re: I Call Bullshit
I think you miss the point. A lot. See that spec on the horizon? That's the sign post telling you where the point is.
"Your Macbook HD with its 2-3 warranty is more reliable than multiple server farms spread across continents?"
Of course not. Not HDD is. That's why we have RAID and multiple back-ups (with at least one off-site).
"Techies will steal your music?
No. But they may mine the information and report yo to the authorities. Heck, the authorties could even compel them to do so. Also, your data comes under the jurisdiction of the hosting country which could land you in some very hot water if you are unlucky.
"Cloud server administrators cannot and absolutely will not deliberately delete your files."
Unless compelled to by law or other threats (see above). Imagine the MPAA issuing takedowns for movies/music you have uploaded for personal use. Heck, just doing that could be a criminal offence.
"So be circumspect with what you store and where you store it."
Oh, you did get the point after all.
Me - I will store my data locally, keep back-ups and use the cloud only for information I need to share with other and, for whatever reason, don't wish to host it locally. When in the cloud, most of that data will be encrypted/locked by me to ensure that only the people I want have accees
"the default Gnome desktop UI was primitive and -awful-. Reminded me of Win95. Which, you know, was 17 years ago."
What utter cobblers. In fact this is clearly a lie or a very, very old distro. Maybe 17 years old?
The default Gnome UI (called Gnome Shell) looks nothing like Win95 and behave nothing like Win95. It might not be your cup of tea (it isn't mine), but it is way ahead of anything Win95 could offer and not quite as crippled as the Win8 Tiles.
The other thing one could do is, y'know, try a different distro or desktop. That is the thing with GNU/Linux, choice. Not all distros are equal. Some are highly focused/optimised for a particular job.
"I'm not interested in spending the next 3 months tinkering with GTK scripts to enhance it."
I feel the same way about Windows. It takes me far to long to hack it around until it works.
@AndrueC - Which brings me back to code review. Before hitting trunk it should be reviewed (and this includes comments). I know that is an ideal case and not always reality.
Code and comments go hand-in-hand. IMHO you need both.
Re: I try to write clear code
Oh FFS. "foo" (and "bar") are standard names used by just about everyone for basic examples of syntax etc. Of course I don't call things in real code "foo" or "bar".
Unless of course that do actually happen to be a "foo" or a "bar".
Re: I try to write clear code
This. Which is why I doc the living hell out of my code so that people reading it (or the API) know what I mean by "foo" and how I expect it to behave. If they contact me to ask a question, either they haven't read the docs (in which case I give them short shrift for wasting my time*) or the docs were inadequate (in which case I update them).
And if coders don't understand a ternary operator, you need better coders.
*That may seem a bit harsh, and I don't actually mind answering sensible questions. But it's not a case of just one person asking, it's the next and the next and the next and the...so I make them read the docs and come back with a sensible answer. I know some folks always do check the docs, so I know from the get-go they are asking something sensible. Other folks? Not so much.
"Even if they start out accurate they get out of date because there's nothing to enforce change in them as the code changes."
Yes there is, it's called a "Code Review". All code should be reviewed by the team, and preferably by some not involved in the actual project. Of course, time needs to be allowed for this and it seldom is.
"Every time you think of writing a comment, don't! Call a function or method or instantiate an object and put the comment in the name of the identifier."
That's good up to a point, and well named object/methods/params/members are a big help; but nothing, nothing beats proper docs and comments. It also means the APIs can be spat out and handed over to other teams fully doc'd, with behaviours, expected responses etc all done. No need to keep secondary documentation in sync. One line of code docs/comments per line of code (ish, depends on the language).
If you change the code, change the comments. Simple.
It starts out well...
...but then decays.
"I'll just shim this minor edge case in here...it's easier than re-architecting a bunch of classes" [repeat a few hundred times]
"Oh crap, this condition was never envisaged...I'll hard code in an if-else block to cope." [repeat a few hundred times]
"I really should update the docs, but there's no documentation time in the schedule, and I have 100 tasks to do before the end of the week."
"Unity test? Yeah, I should, but there's no time in the schedule."
"This code is obvious, I don't need comments."
"Code review? No time, no time...everyone is too busy."
"Hmm...fixing this minor UI glitch properly is going to mean re-writing loads of code to provide proper abstraction...the manager won't believe me that such a small change on the UI will take two weeks...better hack it than get into an argument." [repeat a few hundred times]
[Two years pass]
"HOLY JAYSUZ! What is this shit? What does that mean? WTF is that branch meant to be doing? Oh dear gawd! Who wrote this piece of shit? Oh, wait....oops"
You need to allow 3 to 5 times the coding duration if you expect to get quality.
Re: Typical knee-jerk reaction to technology
So there should be no problem with running the tests and publishing the results.
....out of the frying pan and into the fire, eh?
I do not express personal opinions at work, only professional ones (if you see what I mean). I will do my utmost to make sure projects work and are delivered on time, even if I personally think the focus is totally wrong e.g. Surface is going to outsell all other tablets - so only worry about that, forget Android, OS X, iOS etc.
My professional opinion is: we should stick to standards where possible and maintain portability to ease client migrations; we have to deploy on their current equipment after all.
My personal opinion is: Surface? WTF? Are you high? Have you actually used that vomit? You do know RT is a crippled POS, don't you? Are you paying attention to the real world at all?
One of these I will express at work, the other not so much. And as the professional opinion does not appear to be dissent, it actually gets listened to without giving them any clue as to what I really think.
Patent me this,
Patent me that,
Who's afraid of the Redmond....<insert nawty word here>.
MS grabs $5 per handset.
Google gargles $100 mill or whatever for H264.
Apple slurps X for Y
The money goes around and around, time is lost, courts choked up and in the end it is zero sum (except for the lawyers). It's almost as if the world would be better off without this patent garbage on software; then folks would just get on with stuff.
But wait! Where would the investment go if it couldn't be protected? Well, they are already wasting sky-fairy knows much on lawyers and lost suits; perhaps than money would cover these mythical loses that would be incurred.
Re: How much did this article cost Tapad?
Surely if this was a pad-for puff (i.e. an ad) then would El Reg be required to declare it as such? Just like puff articles in papers are require to state "Marketing bullcrap" or something at the top?
It would be nice to whitelist non-annoying ads on some sites; but I went for the nuclear option:
dnsmasq and an ad blocking config; kill the wee fuckers network wide.
Actually, I wonder if blocking ads means I'm breaching copyright? A bit like how the ad skippers in pVRs were done over.
Pretty soon sites will test for the actual presence of their ads before they show content; I've seen this already. Can't blame the sites trying to protect revenue, but rather than engage in an arms race; wy not just use nice, static ads that aren't migraine inducing?
Re: Lost Audience
Simple answer: block FB at work, except for those who need it for business purposes (i.e. marketing and PR).
Same for Twitter, Flickr and all the rest.
But not El Reg, that would be inhuman.
Re: Good luck with that
Maybe that's the plan. Make the ads annoying and just before people start to flee offer them a deal "£5 to look at content your friends have given us for free and without ads!"
Can you id the "sponsored crap"? You might be able to set up a GreaseMonkey script (or similar) to remove the crap.
I must admit, I feel a bit guilty at the level of ad blocking I employ as i know sites need money. I drop it every now and again to see if things have improved, but it has only got worse. Even on this very site, some floating puff for the latest MS sack of crap deigned to hover over the comments the other day (just like MS, still trying to catch up with last decade) and the length of time is takes to load all this junk (never mind the insidious tracking and profiling) caused me to raise shields again.
If the ads didn't flash and didn't jar with the content, I could tolerate them.
And the rest
With the to-do over orphaned works and the land-grab being made by some to profit off the sweat of others without having to offer them any remunerations; is this any surprise?
By all means use social media; but always tag your pictures and only upload reduced quality. If people think your work is good, get them to come and pay you.
Make your bloody minds up!
So this lady is apparently trying to buy up the entire USA stock of iPhone 5s to meet the staggering demand in China? But according to El Reg, 14th Dec there is Chinese indifference to the iPhone 5.
So which is it, El Reg?
As for the lady being tasered, I find it staggering that a fully trained police officer could not restrain her and decided to use potentially lethal force. Are USA officers not taught locks and holds? It is perfectly possible to hold some immobile and compliant with a joint lock (especially given the extra leverage cuffs allow for). Back-up was coming, why not just restrain her? And as there no other mall security closer?
Aww, diddums. How nasty it is of the big Googly beast to make you pay for the labour of others.
Actually, it's not nasty at all.
"You're right - why are simple and common standard calendar functions so difficult to provide [for free]?"
I added the bit you missed. If you want a calendar service, why not pay for one (e.g. Outlook/Exchange) or help out/donate to the Lightning devs (Kewisch et al)?
Make your bloody mind up!
And now you claim they are ramping production to meet demand from the slavering Winbois. Which is it?
Or is this PR twaddle: they cut production, wait a fortnight and then 'ramp' production back to normal so they can crow about this mythical insatiable demand. Which, of course, it utter twaddle.
@Chet Mannly - Market economics and price elasticity of demand. Let's say corporate tax did go up 10%. Let's further say that 100% of that tax bill was passed on to the customer (which doesn't necessarily equate to a 10% price rise). The company has two problems:
They may not sell enough at the new, higher price (demand is highly elastic) and so have to lower it again; or
Their biggest competitor might know the above already and simply fire a few bodies to recoup the cost, or simply suck it up meaning that out fictional company cannot raise prices.
This, of course, does assume a near-perfect market with no monopoly player and no price fixing.
@AC - Top two hits for me are both xerox.com, and if you know you want xerox.com why not just add "site:xerox.com"?
"That is what the end user wants - a search engine clever enough to return the correct result just by typing a few words."
Which is why I use DDG.
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