798 posts • joined 26 Mar 2008
Re: How about a low-end DSLR ?
You might want to look at micro four thirds cameras, they are generally full featured DSLRs but relatively compact. A 'standard' slow zoom kit lens will give a realtively good range, but if you want really good low light performance (wide aperture) on any zoom lens they start to get expensive.
Re: Stress in my role is from not being allowed to tell the truth
"Could have been worse. I was usually told, "It's not working", with no indication of how to reproduce the failure, nor any indication of how they knew it was failing."
That is actually the norm, mostly it's split 50:50 between "it's not working" with no further explanation, and an error message that they are incredibly proud of having provided, but that gives no useful information on its own.
If the error hadn't been blindingly obvious I'd have had to go back and ask what environment they were using, and what code they were running.
Stress in my role is from not being allowed to tell the truth
I deal with 'developers' non-stop who have the sort of problems anyone with half a brain could sort out themselves. They haven't read the documentation, and aren't following standards so things don't work as they should, and just don't understand what they are doing. They also can't perform the most basic diganosis checks on things or understand simple coding concepts.
Trying to hold back my outrage that these people are allowed to develop production code and trying to stop it bleeding through in my replies to their problems is unbelieveably stressful. Trying not to swear and question their parentage isn't easy.
a recent example, i was asked to investigate and resolve an SSL error, could i check all the config, certificates, etc... The devs provided me with the error message they were seeing. After banging my head on the desk a few times i replied that 'Host not found' isn't exactly an SSL issue, and that their url was wrong.
Re: Age old problem
The problem is that a lot of big companies, banks, etc. don't live or die by the sexy new technologies, it's the unsexy stuff that they rely on. Which is why I got into middleware. You don't tend to get huge numbers of people who specialise and excel in the stuff that is effectively invisible, but gets everything working together, but the ones who do are usually older.
We do desperately need younger people who can come in, learn some of our systems before the experts retire in a couple of years, and commit to 5-10 years of support. you'd think that kind of job security would be tempting to a lot of people, but it's near impossible to get people who want to do that. Also until it becomes critical my company won't do anything serious about it. They'll leave it until the last second, panic, buy something off the shelf that doesn't work as well and throw money at a third party to get it all working in some semblance of what we already had.
Re: Those cheap bastards!
The one reason I might opt to get a Linux machine out of the box, sans Windows, is that it would save getting rid of all the crapware that comes with a new Windows machine from a major supplier..
Can't remember if it was dell or not, but I read a while ago about one of these suppliers charging extra to not install all the crapware.
Re: So what happened to the coder
If the OpenSSL team was in the financial sector or such, the coder would've normally been put on leave at the very least
That is really not a great idea, if you punish people badly for making coding errors, it doesn't exactly encourage them to come forward and admit them. That sort of reaction encourages people to sweep problems they notice under the capet and pretend they don't exist, rather than risk being punished.
Re: 9 to 5
I have a company phone and, unless i am explicitly rota'd on and being paid to support out of hours i choose whether to answer it or not. But then, from my contract, the moment i answer it i get a minimum of 2 hours of time and a half, or doubletime depending when the call is, so i do usually answer if it's someone in my team calling, rather than a manager.
I was really not expecting her to look like that at all.
Re: How exactly does this prevent counterfeiting?
When the £20 note was replaced, the new ones were visually very different and people were given 3 months before the old ones were no longer legal tender and accepted in shops. UK notes tend to be a lot more differentiated than US ones, so you can't really put a few in a stack after they have left general circulation without raising a few eyebrows.
With these also being clearly, visually, different I wouldn't be surprised if a similar thing happened and the old ones were given a sharp cutoff. I think only a month's notice is actually required, and should be plenty of time to swap a normal amount over. If you have buckets full of the things it might be harder, but most people don't tend to have more than a few before using notes.
Re: Risk Management?
In reality it will be many years before the old £1 goes out of circulation after the new one is introduced so the transition period will be quite long.
I've been trying to remember how long the 5, 10 and 50p hung around after the "new" ones came out, it didn't feel like too long a time, nor the £20 note. Change tends to end up in shops and machines in bulk and should get swapped out fairly quickly. While they will be around for a long time it shouldn't be too long before they are a novel rarity rather than something generally used.
Re: Windows 9?
Windows 9 since 8 is clearly today's Vista.
I'm going to be contravertial and disagree with that, windows 8 is actually really good under the covers, it was just lumbered with a UI that is rubbish. From my experience, most of the stuff that made me want to punch someone was sorted out in 8.1, which is at least a free upgrade... unlike Vista to 7 :)
There are still annoyances, and I have to rely on the search to find options instead of just going to a sensible place, but it certainly now a usable interface on top of a pretty slick underlying OS.
Cards on the table, i do have a touch screen laptop, but i rarely use it for more than swiping the side menu on. I boot directly to desktop and don't use any 'modern' apps. Occasionally I still press the start menu by mistake, expecting it to do something useful, but the side menu/search has pretty much replaced that and i'm almost used to it.
I can't imagine anyone intentionally using it on windows, other than via iTunes. It doesn't look or act like windows software and is incredibly unresponsive, probably due to not using standard windows stuff.
Re: "Undesirable nudity"...
just picture all those 'silver surfers'
or maybe not in this case
Any stray email that is going to an @facebook address will be diverted to folks' primary address associated with their account
I don't actually want anyone discerning whatever my facebook email was and using it to send spam to my real address, that I actually use.
what data are they sharing?
I haven't had a leaflet but I'm not that surprised
Last time I went to the doctors a few months ago they had an address 3 years out of date, and the doctor asked me about my asthma, which i don't and never have had.
I went to A&E around the same time, due to bad luck, and the address they had for me there, 10 mins walk from the doctors, was over 10 years out of date, and they didn't think I had asthma.
I really don't want the TV here to become like America
I don't enjoy paying the licence, but I have seen some American shows and they can be obscene in the amount of blatant advertising. If you want a funny example watch an episode of Top Chef!
All the kitchen equipment is name checked by manufaturer, the cameras linger on the logos all the time. The contestents don't just go and get ingredients, they take the Toyota Rav4 to Wholefoods. They have to include Philadelphia cream cheese in the recipe for this challenge, etc.
I realise it's how the show is funded though, these companies are providing the equipment and prizes because there's no other way of funding it
Don't you just write a normal word document and 'save as webpage'
Re: Schol Reform
1: Daily PE rather than weekly, with no BS excuses to get out of it.
If that were to happen, they would also need to make sure it was real PE, and not just an hour of running around a field kicking a football, which is what mine were. Actually include some education bits, although maybe that was just my school.
Re: Few CIOs or VP ITs can code
@ Mark 65
This is why you keep all of your emails and you challenge it as soon as you are asked to deliver the impossible. If it falls on you, you can pull an email to your manager out that shows you immediately (ie weeks or months before the problem happened) said that it can't be done in this timeframe, with the usual caveats ie "I need x number of people to meet that deadline". It soon goes back up to your manager.
It's a sad position, but arse covering is a huge part of a developers job, especially as your name could be stamped be all over that 1 line of code that went wrong and cost the company millions.
Any Idiot can write code
And many of them frequently make a living as coders.
You teach can everyone English in school but not everyone who is taught can use it to write something intelligible, programming is exactly the same. You can teach the fundamentals of programming langauges, but it doesn't mean that a lot of the people will actually be able to create anything decent afterwards.
The main thing isn't teaching people, even kids, how to use a language, it's teaching them to think about what they are actually writing.
I had to downgrade windows 8.1 from windows 8's 'painful' to a 'mildly annoying'. Once set to boot to desktop and you have your files associated with decent applications it's pretty good, very similar to 7, but faster. I love the 5-10 second boot.
A proper start menu would make it great, but the search seems to work quite well. I just hate having to use the search for everything when logically laid out menus would make it easier to just go straight to things.
I do have a touchscreen laptop, but i still hate the 'start' screen.
Re: A happy customer?
I'm a very happy Virgin media customer it's an excellent broadband service. The problems only start when something goes wrong and you have to deal with their customer service. If you get really lucky and get through to the UK somewhere they are really good, but the majority of the time you get somone who sends some 'signals' to you, tells you to reboot your router then books in an engineer for a weeks time when that fails. I can only assume that the majority of the time, whatever was wrong with the network has been fixed by then and the appointments get cancelled.
I had a problem for ages in my old flat, it would drop out for hours at a time, but was always working when the engineers came, it affected the whole building. Eventually, after months of this, someone managed to get hold of a number they shouldn't have and speak to an actual techie, they came out that day and rewired the cabinet in the street and everything was fine after that. The serivce is good, the people are good if you can get them, but the actual interface with the customers is painful and obstructive.
"Someone like Samsung makes (IMHO) makes pretty mundane, plastic products"
Strange, I've just bought a fantastic aluminium samsung ultrabook, it's pretty much one of the slickest windows machines I've ever seen. Prior to finding it i was expecting to have to buy a mackbook pro for a decent 13inch machine, which would have been twice the price and not have spec or the touchscreen.
Admittedly is had windows 8 on it, but the upgrade to 8.1 is actually pretty good.
Re: @Code Monkey
never been called candy in any part of the UK I've been to either, always sweets
...or spogs where i'm from.
same experience here, the main issues seem to be the hierarcy though. I have been in meetings where the actual developers wouldn't speak directly to me, everything was relayed from dev to an offshore coordinator to an onshore coordinator to me.
No developers would raise any issues or problems either, or would admit they didn't know something, so things just got pushed to one side and ignored, rather than say I don't know this I need to find it out... So we got into the suituatuion of a weekly progress meeting where everything was fine, and on schedule, no issues whatsoever, every week, right up until the deadline and they couldn't deliver.
Or, at least, it would have been if we hadn't been monitoring it closely. The people doing the planning, monitoring and reviewing the output from the oceans of devs were confident that they could have delivered the work themselves, to a much higher standard, in a shorter timeframe, but it was 'cheaper' somehow to not have them do that.
Re: Maltitol is evil incarnate." EEEEVULL
My local tesco has an import section, it had a stupidly expensive box of Pepsi Classic, proudly displaying 'made with real sugar'... I assume whoever ordered it didn't realise that the entire shelf of 'normal' pepsi was also made with real sugar.
It's likley cheaper to use real sugar than HFCS over here.
Re: Doesn't look good
I know how you feel, none of the launch games have jumped out at me as being interesting, maybe there'll be a must have game at some point, but not yet.
For me, it's not about the specifc console, it's about the games, and i have loads already for both ps4 and 360
Ironically if either the ps4 or Xbox were backwards compatible with anything, games/peripherals, I'd have got one or the other straight away. There is potentially hope for my Fanatec racing wheel working on the ps4, maybe, at some point in the future, but no chance on xbox by the looks of it.
Re: Does it really matter?
I got fed up with every episode of mythbusters consisting of about 5 mins of actual content, the rest is
what we are about to do
what we've just done,
what we'll do after the break
what we did before the break
blow something up!
Re: More programmers?
Most of the professional programmers, developers, software engineers, I've worked with over the years are no longer allowed to do it, they sneak around cobbling little tools and utilities together in their spare time to keep their hand in as the bulk of it has moved to somewhere cheaper. I'm not sure that teaching a new generation programming just so that they can supervise a sea of offshore coders and review some shocking quality stuff is that worth it.
I like the idea of everyone being familiar with programming, especially if theyar e familar with doing it properly, but I'm not sure it will be the saviour of british computing when so few of the already qualified and experienced coders are actually allowed to do it as a job anymore.
He's very lucky
as a 17year old, in the Uk he'd likely be in prison, and on the sex offenders register for life, for the creation and distribution of child pornography, even if it is himself.
Re: Almost unsolvable problem.
if you want a horror story look at what Ken Thompson did inside Bell Labs, and this is probably childs play compard to what is possible now, 30+ years later.
An early unix C compiler contained code that would recognize when the login command was being recompiled and insert some code recognizing a specific password allowing him in.
He also made the compiler recognise when it was compiling a version of itself, and automatically insert the code to do all this again. Having done this once, he was then able to recompile the compiler from the original sources; the hack perpetuated itself invisibly, leaving the back door in place and active but with no trace in any of the source code.
details are published in “Reflections on Trusting Trust”, Communications of the ACM 27, 8 (August 1984), pp. 761--763 (text available at http://www.acm.org/classics/)
a handier use, if you dont make international calls
"Hackers quickly produced a wrapper which would pass through all communications except the request for a network identity, to which it would respond "AT&T" without alerting the underlying SIM."
If I understand this correctly, then this technique could be used to produce a 'sticker' that you put on your sim, that would let it work in exactly the same way as it always did, but when your network locked phone queries it it returns whatever network the phone is locked to.
I used safari
For about 10 mins before going in search of a replacement.
I'd love to know what idiot though it would be a clever idea to completely hide the full URL. Maybe it's because I'm a techie, but I actually want to know exactly where I am on the net, not just get the gist of it.
There maybe an option to disable it, but I can't find it anywhere.
Re: British or not British
this is in reference to the numerical value "British billion", which is IMHO much more logical and sensible than the system adopted in the 70's, as you only add a new description when you need it, not just every three 0's
a billion is 1,000,000,000
a british billion is 1,000,000,000,000 - ie you have 1 hundred thousand million before going to the billion.
Re: How many programmers?
Oh please, it will be nothing like 60% for coders.
I'd be surprised if more than 20% of the budget went on actual design and build. There are all those management layers, possibly some time on the now old fashioned and mostly non-existent 'requirements gathering phase', all the bunfighting, the red tape. Lets face it some project has to pay for all those motivational conference calls, telling you that "we understand that you are stressed by being forced to work 60-70 hour weeks and we are dealing with it... we have stress management courses you can attend", your annual training has to be charged to some project, same with filling in your 'balanced scorecard'.
If it's not called Elerium, I'll be very dissapointed with the scientific community.
I am dissapointed with el reg though, for mentioning call of duty and tomb raider, but not the classic game that revolvd around it.
>“You’d be surprised to see how many unknown genders there are. That’s interesting.” says Cole
The majority of things companies do have no need to know someone's gender for the service they provide, and so they aren't supposed to collect it.
as someone who does support
This is an essential tool.
automatically analyse emails to the support mailbox, assign a stupidity value, and set a threshold. if the stupidity is over the threshold, the idiot gets a shock.
Re: Poor guy @ Sooty
>Nah mate, I am definitley hung, its my one redeeming feature ;)
I did clarify that meat is hung ;)
Re: Poor guy
>He'll be found hung in his cell within 11 weeks
it's hanged. Meat is hung, people are hanged
Why a thumb drive? Although i know they can be small, i have one on my keyring that is barely bigger than the USB prongs, a micro SD card would be better.
Given how tiny they are, you could very easily hide them. Eitehr about your person where even the most invasive body cavity search would be unlikely to reveal them, or even in your luggage. Unless everything you are carrying is going to be cut into 1cm square chunks it'd be hard to find a well hidden one.
I have a large mobile phone, in the best possible case I have to charge it up every few days. In a prison I'm sure there must be some way to stop anyone who smuggles a phone in to stop them getting at anything that would let them charge it.
Although, if they do manage to smuggle in a charger as well, that makes it a bit harder, especially with a uk plug!
They can be a symbol, but it goes both ways, a flashy gold rolex that could be used to club a seal to death, will elicit a response of "what a t**t" but similarly, if you are sporting a plastic, pound shop style, digital watch you also won't be taken very seriously either.
Re: Not eveyone can code
in a lot of cases automation can contribute towards badly written code. It does so much for you, people who barely know what they are doing can be let loose on the systems and you'd be amazed at what sort of damage they can do.
no mariokart yet
is a big mistake
This is the fallback party game for my group of friends, and a lot of people i know. It should have been a launch title.
all the recent crud that has been spouted abont the net, suggests we should move towards segregation of the internet, set up a separate kiddynet, with no porn, no swearing, etc and let them loose.
Then leave the existing net as-is for adults. Provide some simple way of selecting which net you want to access, so your kids only get acess to kiddynet, and you can access the grown up net in all it's perverse glory.
Re: Electricity bill
I used to leave my gaming pc on all the time, my wake up call was when I had a problem with it, and basically slotted a netbook into its role as a server temporarily. My quarterly electricity bill was over £100 less due to this one change.
A gaming PC with a 1200 watt supply, to a netbook with a 40 watt charger, 24/7 it adds up!
Re: Maybe they needed a reason to upgrade to a Nokia
There seem to be two schools of thought around someone producing a tougher form of glass.
The 1st is that it will make the phone tougher and more resilient
The second is that it can be made much thinner without being weaker.
This second one is what apple seem to go for.
good to know
It's not just me having issues with an iPad 2 and X-Com, i was a bit concerned intiially about how it was going to handle it, but it was listed as compatible, and the constant crashing after i got it didn't sell me. It did get past the worst of it though, possibly after a reset.
Re: How does it gauge effort?
> If it had a GPS tracker I might be slightly interested
If you have a smartphone, with GPS, there are free apps out there that will act as a GPS tracker/fitness monitor. I use one if I go out walking as it will take account of hills and give a calorie count.
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