1483 posts • joined 18 Apr 2007
Ah, yes, Maplins...
"Of course this is a compatible IC, sir, it has the same number of legs..."
/me suddenly remembers...
that there's a Roomba hiding under one of the kitchen cupboards.
Hasn't been used for years, mind...
I was wondering
Where Amanfrommars worked. Now I know.
Bacon is a vegetable
Beer is a vitamin.
I now know where
to hang my coat.
On the other hand
The bracelet does provide an identity to a third party, helping a lost and possibly distressed Alzheimer's sufferer.
Not sure why it needs a smartphone to be around, though: put the squawk chip (it need only be an SMS message) into the watch, and a 'please contact' message on the screen thereof.
(Actually, as described: what happens if the patient picks up the phone with the wrong hand? And aren't you asking a distressed/confused/possibly incompetent patient to perform a fairly complex task?)
And perhaps, yellow and black diagonal stripes (NSA-friendly)?
Yesterday, upon the stair
I found a Coin that wasn't there
It wasn't there again today
I wish that coin would go away!
It wasn't us!
Now put down the rock and step away from the launcher...
Bitcoin cash machine
I thought one-arm bandits were already common.
While I can't argue with the conclusions in the article
I do wonder if Facebook is also engaging in a reflexive land-grab: here's a competitor, or something that might become a competitor, eat it before it becomes a problem.
But does it suggest based on age, sex, and current purchases?
As in, bloke, 25-35, petrol + baby food = sell nappies?
Or bloke, 25-35, petrol + tampax = sell fishing gear on the grounds that his weekend is stuffed?
Re: The crazy thing...
Well for a long time, it was. *I* was, for five or six years, until the BBC discovered that it cost them more to get what they could have had for free, and included Siemens out.
Re: The crazy thing...
You may have said it to me: I was in BBC Technology and then Siemens after it was sold.
I often asked myself the rhetorical question: who would I rather have on the security desk? Someone who has worked for the company, who has a pension with them, and history, and something to protect? Or some poor devil on minimal salary zero-hours contract, with no connection to the company at all? Or in the canteen, or cleaning the floors, or designing and installing a TV studio half way around the world in the middle of a revolution?
It is as you say a question of pride, and for whom one has that pride.
The crazy thing...
The thing that has never adequately been explained to me, even when it was happening to me, is just *how* the BBC (or indeed any other major company) expects to save money, using
- the same people
- sat at the same desks
- doing the same jobs
- at the same salaries and benefits
- with T&Cs that mean any change has to be paid for
- and with a third party collecting its profit.
Perhaps it's because I'm an engineer, not an MBA, but I'm pretty sure I can see that this is going to be more expensive than just keeping the staff you've already got and letting then continue to do the job they already know how to do.
And then the TFC runs out, and you have to negotiate it all again, and somehow, it doesn't turn out any cheaper the second time around...
It strikes me that outsourcing is perhaps the worst idea ever in the field of employee management; it costs more and removes any remaining vestige of good will; the staff have no interest in the success or ethos or values of the company their desks have been placed in.
Trebles all round!
I dunno, CJ - just that my preference is for plants which have been selected to grow in *my* locale and which breed true, chosen for taste over yield and machine pickability. Arranging things so that the planter has no option but to buy new seeds every year doesn't strike me as the best of all possible worlds.
My own objection to GM foods is less to do with any possible risks - which I suspect are a lot less than the anti lobby would have us fear - and more to do with the ethics of companies like Monsanto. Selling seeds for a food product which produce sterile offspring is all very well for the company producing them, but does leave us in a bit of a hole should they decide to stop.
So, Doktor Frankenspud, we meet again!
But this time, the advantage is mine!
(with acknowledgements to Gary Larson)
Re: @Neil Barnes - TV a necessity?
And read, sang, played musical instruments, discussed the situation of the day, drank beer...
This forum lacks a sarcasm flag.
Re: Vastly Overdue
<I'm not sure quite why I'm arguing so hard for the BBC: I worked for them twenty-six years and then they sold me off to Siemens, which I was less than amused by...>
I can see the point of your argument, but I wonder what happens to the common good if everyone follows the same logic? I use the roads, but I never use the A9 from Edinburgh to Aberdeen - should I pay for that bit? Yes, because others do and they help pay for the A505 that I do use. I like Marmite - and buy it - while you don't, and don't. Fair enough. But the only reason I *can* buy Marmite, and you can buy marmalade (other spreads are available) is not that some entrepreneur has spotted a gap in a market - it's because there *is* a market in which to have a gap. The infrastructure exists because the costs of that infrastructure are spread over a hundred thousand different products, suppliers, and purchasers. The common good is important.
The definition of 'good' TV will of course vary by the viewer's expectations and tastes. I will be the first to admit that the BBC produces some (to me) absolute and utter crap - yet, to my shock and horror, people watch it and seem to enjoy it. Must be good to them, then? It seems that my tastes and yours are unlikely to be congruent - but I suspect that we could both agree on whether a particular programme, irrespective of content and irrespective of whether we *liked* it or not, was 'good' or 'bad' in terms of production values, as vague and subjective as those terms are.
It's interesting that elsewhere in this thread people have advocated both that TV is an absolute necessity and that it is unnecessary; that it should be provided for all and that it should be provided only for those who want/can pay for it. It's also been pointed out that the TV licence is not a tax and that it does not directly pay for the BBC. I'd add to that the point that although the independents in the UK regularly clamour for the licence fee to be removed, I suspect that as soon as the BBC started taking advertising, there would be such a cry for it to be forbidden - I know where I'd put my money if I were an advertiser; the BBC is a *very* strong brand.
But it does occur to me that the way do to what you're suggesting already exists: stop paying the 'BBC Tax' and do everything online, using paid services. The choice is there.
TV a necessity?
However did we manage before 1927?
Panem et circenses?
Re: Unfair Tax?
But that's because the tax is not 'to watch the BBC'. It's to receive and watch real-time TV. The grant the BBC receives from the government - and has to negotiate for every few years - while on the same general level as the expected tax take is not the exact value.
The tax from the independents is on every item you buy, whether you watch it or not. And when you add in a subscription as well... that's adding insult to injury.
Re: Vastly Overdue
@both codejunk and bigtimehustler: you're both saying that what the BBC produces is not necessarily to your taste. That's fine; the world would be a worrying place if we all liked and disliked the same stuff. But look at it the other way: the BBC produces material that appeals to a minority as well as to a majority audience.
To be sure the independents have learned this trick to some extent: they can make high production value (i.e. expensive) dramas, thrillers, and so on - but they do this because they get audience share, not for the passion of generating good TV. The good TV is an almost accidental byproduct... what you don't - as a rule - see on the independents are the depth and range of subjects covered by the Beeb - can you really see ITV doing 'favourite railway journeys' or 'six boats that made Britain great'? Never mind the range of political, financial, historic, musical, technical, scientific... and that doesn't even look at the light entertainment stuff.
Sure, there's plenty I don't watch on the Beeb but what I do watch is rarely bettered by advert-funded channels.
High viewing figures are not the be all and end all of good TV - unless you're funded by adverts.
Re: Vastly Overdue
Except for one small point: every TV company in the world funded by advertising (i.e. all of them except the BBC) is in the business of selling eyeballs to advertisers. The BBC is in the business of selling programmes to viewers.
It's *not* the same, and once you look past the populist drivel of soaps and game shows, you see the difference.
Re: BBC should adopt an airlines business model
Producer choice in at least one case (I have no reason to doubt this was the only one) in which I was involved ended up with with an external production company making programmes for the BBC using BBC facilities and staff for cheaper rates than would have been charged internally... a ridiculous conceit. It also ended up with meetings being held in hotel rooms and conference centres while BBC meeting rooms remained empty - because it was 'cheaper' and ignored the fact that internal costs went back to the BBC while external costs were real money out of the door.
Birt had a lot to answer for, but mostly I think because he listened to MBAs... people who know the cost of everything and the value of nothing, and think that if they have a report with numbers in it then they're controlling it.
Though it didn't help that government requirements to use external companies to make programmes just ended up with the predictable result of the programme makers inside the BBC moving outside in droves and continuing to make the same programmes the BBC was already paying them to...
Shakespeare was wrong about killing all the laywers: first, we start with the MBAs. The laywers can wait.
Cut my head off and it says 'BBC' through my neck
But the day the BBC starts accepting advertising is the day I sell the telly.
Subscriptions, yes - but to be honest I can't see any other UK channel that could have made e.g. last night's 'Inside No. 9' and I'll miss stuff like that. BBC2 and BBC4 and Radio 4 and Radio 2 and the rest can go hang.
Re: [B]asic maths and literacy...
Agreed, and to some extent I was exaggerating to make a point. But even the higher level paper doesn't really reach either the extent or the breadth of the O-level.
(Vaguely remembered statistic) O-levels were achieved by something like 10% of the cohort; my point that a single examination simply can't cover the range of student's abilities remains. And I'd still argue that the paper I cited - which is, after all, *labelled* as a GCSE - should be achievable at junior school, before secondary education and not after five years of it.
[B]asic maths and literacy...
Education in a nutshell. Until you have achieved this level you should not be leaving primary school. To consider leaving secondary school at the age of sixteen being unable to read, write, and perform basic arithmetic is an insult both to the student and the society which will have to support him.
In secondary education, the current fad for everyone sitting the same examination has dropped any meaning for the qualification to the lowest common denominator: compare and contrast a late sixties 'O' level (others are available but this was the first I found):
with a current GCSE, designed for innumerates to pass:
Like it or not, programming requires literate and numerate practitioners. The questions I see posted on so many fora seem to indicate that this condition is not being met.
Moment of realisation
Of *course* it's going to be close to the sun; from Mars, Earth has much the same relationship as Venus does to Earth. It's always going to be a morning/evening star from Mars.
I wonder if it's as bright as Venus has been this last week?
Nice planet. We'll take it.
But in this day and age, why should I have to go to a library?
If they want the drivers out of the cabs
why did they build cabs on them?
#3 - terminal blocks
It turns out that in Brazil, they *don't* call them 'choc blocks'...
Re: Design question
Another paraglider pilot here - also concerned about needing the helmet and having all that hardware attached... really impressive work, though.
Although... all the best paragliding videos are when something really unpleasant is happening, and I guess this thing's going to handle a collapse/cravat/spin/reserve throw by pointing serenely at the horizon!
 Ideally, to someone else. I've *had* my accident, thanks.
Heads won't roll
Apart from John Linwood's... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-25886417 and http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/jan/24/bbc-boss-dmi-project-payoff
This from two years ago is interesting reading: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/assets/files/pdf/review_report_research/vfm/digital_media_initiative.pdf
that the web site for the computing museum mentions two or three times that it is not necessary to purchase a Bletchley Park ticket to visit the museum...
Has anyone done the energy budget calculations?
I can't see this as being useful for anything more than battery trickle charge: on the back of a laptop - say 0.2 * 0.3 metres, is a maximum incident insolation of around 60W... pointing directly at the sun, at noon, near the equator. Solar cell efficiency is what, 30%?
If you actually want to open the laptop and *use* it, that's going to reduce rather severely, I feel.
It's not just IT professionals; it's project management in all fields.
I suspect more projects have gone tits up simply because no-one sat down before it started and worked out what it was the client actually wanted than for any other reason...
It doesn't matter whether the project is spending a hundred grand or a hundred million: if no-one knows *exactly* what they want when the project starts, the project risks are automatically through the roof; you're almost certainly doomed before you start.
The problem is, thought, as James Anderson points out, that this up-front research costs money. If the PM budgets for a research phase it makes a small project look twice as expensive; it makes a big project more expensive, too, but big projects are meant to be expensive, right? And yet - sooner or later, the project will end up spending the necessary money anyway. It can't avoid it. Spending it sooner might perhaps keep more projects from failing by stopping them before they start.
Whenever communication is primarily aimed at <...> manipulating others,
we are dealing with a form of violent aggression
And once a week the local vicar stands in his shoes for the sermon, with the purpose of what exactly? Obviously not manipulating others, since that would be a form of violent aggression.
Ah yes, I remember. We're speaking of religion here. Think as I tell you to or I will kill you. Suffer in life that you may have paradise after your death. Accept as sensible that half the human race is inferior by definition, and that the other half also have to do as they're told, on pain of eternal damnation.
Crawl back under the stone age rock you came from, Religion.
Bit close, maybe.
Perhaps 'Sweety Squish'?
So this patent won't apply in, say, vacuum? Or underwater?
(Feverishly starts planning the world's first orbiting supermarket...)
Re: " ... Z80 machine coding by hand, ..."
I still do. sometimes, you just need the bug-compatibility...
Of course, it could all be double-bluff
The NSA doesn't necessarily *have* the technology, but arranges via Snowden to leak that it has, causing its putative foes to either revert to paper and mechanical typewriters (as it has been reported the Russians have done) or to develop their own computer hardware from the chips up...
Re: Stereo sound
Stereo sound still arrives on time even as you move your head. The stereo image that your brain builds becomes less precise and moves somewhat with you, but I think phase is not the only thing informing you of position.
However, the problem here is, I assume, nothing to do with stereo phase and everything to do with the delay between different rooms. 400ms is a serious echochochochocho... you can quite easily hear a 25ms delay as a discrete echo, but at a millisecond or less then you're more likely to hear the effect as colouration in the frequency response.
So it's *nice* to have the sound coming out of the speakers synchronously. How often anyone stands in the doorway listening to two rooms at once I have no data on - although the issue may be leakage from adjacent rooms. It can be achieved far more cheaply and simply by using either signal level cabling with local amplifiers, or speaker level (15A mains cable works well) for a single amplifier.
But I suppose actually using wire is just so last century, darlings.
There's a missing option on the list:
(o) All of the above.
Re: What can you say about chocolate covered manhole covers
Oh, kudos, sir.
And remember what happened to the chocolate covered manhole cover?
It may well be simply
that there are fewer and fewer people for whom the advantages of a dedicated ebook reader - long battery life, better display, and light weight - outweigh the disadvantages of carrying a phone *and* a reader.
I suspect that the number of people who read whenever they have a moment, rather than diving into social media or games, and who don't already have a smartphone or slab, are decreasing daily.
I may be the only one...
"you need great content"
'Nuff said, really.
I'm beginning to get the feeling that Mr Orlowski...
is not a fan of DAB.
Mind you, I'm having a hard time seeing what this offers over the staple of R4 (on DAB or FM) and a memory stick full of a CD collection.
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