139 posts • joined 19 Sep 2008
Re: Here's an idea. (Human power)
I would just like to point out a few home truths to Mr Paul and other haters, who probably hate 'greedy suppliers' in the same way that they are programmed to hate other large establishments that the Daily Mail tells them to hate.
And here are the facts....
1. The Suppliers operate to smaller profit margins than most other 'service providers' including your mobile phone network provider. It's around 4 or 5 per cent. Not a great deal really for the huge risks and responsibilities they face.
2. SMART metering is a government mandate, not some get-rich-scheme concocted by the suppliers.
3. Yes it does mean the end for traditional meter readers however the new meters are more sophisticated, and therefore they will break more frequently. Suppliers still have an obligation to visit and inspect on a regular basis so the workforce reduction will not be as great as you may think, and other costs (eg network, equipment, infrastructure) will actually be far higher.
I personally think that SMART meters are a bad idea as they only really deliver.....]
1. Real time information to tell you where your money is being burned (when you actually cannot do very much about a large proportion of that, unless you want to fit solar panels).
2. An end to estimated bills.
The former can be addressed with a much cheaper, simpler device which simply clamps around the main power cable going into the meter.
The latter is a total non-problem unless you are so lazy you can't be arsed to even provide a meter reading when you move house, in which case you get what you deserve. Most (not all, admittedly) people pay by monthly instalments which are worked out based on annual consumption, so who gives a monkey's about estimated bills anyway? Eveyone has the absolute right to alter their DD payments if they can provide evidence that they are not consuming as much energy as their Supplier thinks. Of course, if they are wrong they will have to face the consequences of that mistake - which may be a lump-sum payment demand if they switch supplier.
Other people on here like the idea of real-time supplier switching..... sure, great idea but it ruins the concept of payment by monthly DD. If you want that then you will also probably have to accept a future where all Suppliers run like mobile phone providers on a 'pay as you go' type arrangement... you know - pay first then get the energy to consume. As someone else already pointed out "be careful what you wish for".
How can anyone sue an 'app'?
I know I am being finicky here and splitting hairs to some extent but I find it both intersting and confusing to note that both El Reg and the BBC both reported this story in the same way - namely that someone was suing an app. In fact the Beeb's headline was open to further interpretation as one might have assumed that the plaintiff had actually been harassed BY the app. That made my brain flip when I also read that she was an ex-employee of the firm, and had had some kind of relationship with one of the founders.
Why on earth would you refer to the COMPANY or ONE OF THE INDIVUALS IN THE COMPANY as an 'app'? That's terribly inaccurate and, at best, a very confusing thing to do.
Phew. I feel better now - I'm just off to sue Sim City - not the publishers, but the ACTUAL FRIGGIN GAME ITSELF. Yep. After that it's Angry Birds.
No surprise really
At 55 I'm no spring chicken and have worked in IT for 32 years. I have helped a significant number of older friends/relatives/friends-of-friends to get online over a good number of years. The one thing they have all struggled with is the complexity of your average PC or laptop. The 56k dialup days were the worst, but things have improved a lot since then. They have all felt uncomfortable moving from Windows XP to newer versions, and I think none of them would find it easy to grasp Windows 8's split personality.
Suddenly, with the advent of cheap and fast tablets, they are all realising it is what they wanted all along - simple browsing, email and the like. So one by one they are abandoning their old PCs and laptops. Unfortunately for me they assume I will take them as some kind of reward/payment for my training sessions when more often than not they are so old they have to go straight to the local tip!
Pentium four with a CD re-writer, XP Home, 120GB HDD and 512mb RAM anyone? One careful owner from new!
Yes it will be a success!!
....as much of a success as OS/2 Warp, which I think, deperately tried to support both Windows and OS/2 applications on the same desktop. Mmmmm yes that went so swimingly well.
As an ex-IBMer who remembers those days very well, it is indeed pleasing to see Microshaft suffering from the same astounding lack of understanding of what the consumer really wants.
Keep guessing, Microshaft - I wonder how many tries it will take you to get it right. Don't think about talking to real users. Keep spewing out those dreadful ads which tell us we are really stupid and stubborn and that "honestly it has a familiar desktop". It doesn't. Fact.
If it did, why are so many major vendors bundling their own 'start button' apps on their laptops these days?
the only problem......
.... is that they won't have a CLUE how to do ANYTHING with it, once it boots up and the full horror of Windows 8.1 unveils itself ..... like a geriatric stripper with bedsores!
Doesn't work properly on my Motorola Xoom
The app updated itself without even asking me if I wanted it to. Then I got asked to select a theme, which I did. Now it takes quite a while to start, then I get to see my inbox. Progress of sorts I guess, however it doesn't seem to matter which email I select from my inbox, all I see on the right side is a little spinny icon going round and round. It still seems to be running (ie it responds to the touch and exits cleanly) but my emails simply won't open.
I have gone back to the web-based version in disgust. I won't be using the app until I know it is out of mass-beta-testing and shows signs of functioning.
Bit crap really but it's free so my expectations are low.
Grammar pedant alert
Oh joy it's my favourite howler again - one of the easiest to avoid in my opinion.
The egregious tract is as follows:-
<<Meanwhile, Scotland has been making it’s name as a technology start-up capital>>
IT'S is a contraction of "IT IS". When you substitute "IT IS" in the above sentence it makes no sense whatsoever. Therefore the correct word must be ITS, which is the posessive - ie something that belongs to an 'IT'.
I wonder who committed it - the "spokeswoman from CWJobs" or the author of this article. The latter I assume. See me afterwards.
Clever or stupid?
Someone is pulling the wool over someone's eyes here. I just can't tell who is the wool-puller and who now has obscured vision. Unfortunately I fear we will never actually find out and thus we may well end up being the only ones with an unclear view of things!
IT 'experts' grinding chips off mobos and graphics cards in front of security 'experts'? Futile, pointless, wasteful and totally unnecessary as anyone with a tiny amount of IT knowledge can tell you such things cannot possibly hold any data once the power is cut.
One can only ponder over which this was.
Apostrophe crime sighted....
And it's my favourite, which was explained to me when I was about 12 and somehow still remember 42 years later........
" Here's how Commissioner Richard N Chesterman describes it's work: "
The word "it's" is a contraction of "it is". In the context of the sentence above that makes no sense. Therefore it must be the word "its" which is the posessive - something belongin to "it" which I believe to be most apposite in this case.
Simple rule really.
I think Acer might be onto something here....
yes I can see it now.... small screen, fiddly keyboard, under-powered processor, awkward controls, nasty bundle of unwanted stuff, poor internet, limited connectivity, clumsy design..... cheap Windows Netbook anyone?
There goes the planet
Oh joy. Another provider caters for the most vacuous of the vacuous; the vainest of the vain, who are so short on attention span that they simply must have the latest 'must have' shiny thing within milliseconds of it being announced simply because it's so fashionable darling.
So now mobile phones are falling into the 'disposable commodity' category instead of being functional and useful, with a life-span that only ends when they are beyond repair or are genuinely based on redundant technology.
I give up. I'm going to launch my 'perpetual pet' company where you can have a puppy or a kitten which you simply return for a replacement every six months, so they stay forever cute and cuddly. Just don't ask what we do with the old ones..... but we will have some behind-the-scenes deals with glue facories, pie shops, luxury coat and handbag manufacurers etc etc. What the hell - give the consumer exactly what they want, regardless of the true cost!!!!
....I already got in first with my patent for a 'square thing with rounded corners and icons on the screen'. My final stroke of genius was adding the bit about it 'having a strap made of any kind of material, which attaches the device to the wearer's wrist'.
Mwahahahahaha soon all their revenuze are belong to me!!!!!!!!! Well it worked for Apple when they attached Samsung so it should work for me too......
Has anyone thought about roughage?
....err won't this make one rather constipated? I'm no expert on the human digestive system but I thought we needed plenty of roughage to 'help things through'. That looks like a gloopy milkshake to me. Has this been thought through? Will one need extra assistance or will it be quite the opposite? No doubt our intrepid reporter will keep us informed about his movements.......!
Same mistake, over and over
They never seemed to learn back then..... or do they still do the same thing now?
Step 1 - make loads of promises of something 'coming very soon'
Step 2 - keep slipping the date but reminding us why it will be so great when it finally arrives.
Step 3 - keep changing the spec (in a retrograde way) as reality and practicality start to bite
Step 4 - release something badly cobbled together (but remind us how great it is) but AT THE SAME TIME (or a few days earlier) announce the follow-on product and tell us how much greater that will be when it comes out in a few months' time.
Step 5 go to 1
Sound familiar at all......................? I am now 54 years old. I've been a games/consoles/computers/gadgets geek since I was about fourteen but that same formula still keeps being churned out. How gullible we must be!
I think it's a complex and lethal combination of factors.
There is no one specific culprit if you ask me, so I am going to combine the best bits of other people's posts to create my own. For me the main one is that we are reaching a saturation point where everyone that wants/needs a computer has one. People no longer get a new one until their old one breaks.
The economic downturn hasn't helped so now because of belt-tightening and less disposable income we simply cannot justify that impulse purchase any more when our existing device stil works OK.
Also the technology has peaked - we how have powerful, fast multi-core processors, loads of RAM and large hard drives. Most come computers and laptops are way too highly specced when you consider their main use. I know plenty of people with powerful graphics capability in their PC or laptop and yet they don't play a single game. So may people browsing pr0n and watching kitteh videoz on multi-core powerhouses.
Then we have the tablet effect - a lot of non-technical users are so happy not to get into the nuts and bolts of the hardware and the OS; they just press the button and it works just like the TV and the microwave. Once they have a tablet they realise it's all they ever really needed and they won't go back to a PC, even if it has nice simple colourful squares of stuff on the main screen. It takes about 5 seconds to realise that it's the same old Windows underneath, with drivers, patches, BSODs etc etc.
Finally we have new versions of Windows that don't need a massive hardware upgrade to run. No longer a compelling need to replace or upgrade when a new OS comes out.
Until we the next big technology jump (and who knows what that might be..... the wearable computer?) things are in stasis because of the above factors.
I too miss Steve Jobs....
...for all the wrong reasons.
I think it would have been nice to see him eat his words as sales of smaller ("dead on arrival") tablets continue to increase, along with Samsung's share of the tablet and mobile phone market place.
Go on.....vote me down.... you know you want to!
Where am I going to buy my tacky 'Angry Birds' tat now? What's that.....? ebay? oh that's OK then.
If I had the choice.....
....I'd prefer to be killed by a human being every time. Oh yes none of that robotic killing for me. I just love that human touch associated with a fleshy-but-lean, mean, killing person-machine. Trained in indiscriminate murder and over-zealous, racist, xenophobic extermination techniques. So much nicer every time than being murdered by a drone or a robot of some kind.
Oh yes, for the discering dead person, the distinction is really important.
Is any computer safe......?
This is very worrying and depressing. Does this stuff work on ANY platform? If the answer is no, which platforms are safe? What about my android tablet using the Dolphin browser? What about that cute little 'android on a stick' gadget I've just bought and plugged into my TV? More than ever before this stuff has got me seriously considering a machine with no hard drive and a Linux variant booting live from a DVD...... sure, it's slow to boot up but just try infecting that!
@Sean Tomato Buggerme
You are a geek, potentially with Asperger's or similar. Your patience for other, normal human beings is non-existent and you fail to accept that GUIs were principally invented to make things easier for normal humans. Now be a good boy, put your Red Bull down, stop eating those crisps, step outside and have a look. That yellow thing in the sky is called 'The Sun'. Try and get more of it. Tell Mum and Dad you are off out somewhere, and try to spend less time hating people who are clearly inferior to you with your clever keypress combos and command line shennanigans. I have used various computers with different GUIs for a very long time (Atari, Amiga, PC, Archimedes, etc) and still believe that shortcuts like that should not be necessary. It's OK anyway I have created shortcuts on the desktop for the most useful stuff but still feel that shouldn't be necessary and I'm fu**ed if I'm going to try remembering those keyboard shortcuts, so there. Troll.
I recently set up a shiny new Win8 laptop for two OAPs who were used to XP on an old desktop machine.
For them TIFKAM gives them easy access to everyting they need. It sure as hell got in the way of what I needed to do though. How are you supposed to get into the Control Panel or 'My Computer'? The biggest embarrassment came when we inserted a CD that had some simple card games on it. A message appeared for about three seconds that said "click here for more options" but it disappeared before OAP#1 got the mouse pointer onto it. I then struggled for ages to find out how to 'explore' the disk before giving up, ejecting it and then re-inserting it. That did not inspire them with confidence that I knew what I was doing.
My assessment.....some tricky things have been made simpler, but a shedload of simple things have been made trickier. I was very impressed when I enabled the wireless option on their printer, entered their password and and by the time I turned back to the laptop it had found it and installed the drivers without me having to do anything.
Would I buy it? Not as an upgrade. I love Windows 7 too much now. Would I buy a laptop with it pre-installed? Possibly, but only if it was cheap and had a touch screen.
He hated utility companies and their bills
....and took great delight in sending cheques, late, unsigned, and stapled 50 times to the remittance slip, under the bit that said "do not write below this line".
You might smirk but, having consumed the service in question (he hated phone bills in particular) he was then reluctant to pay for it. Ha ha yes very funny but the net effect of such behaviour is to increase the 'cost to recover' for each utility company and guess what happens then? yes, they increase their prices. For someone so smart he didn't really do the maths there.
How do I know? I used to work for 'Post Office Telephones' back in the day and they expeded huge amounts of resource just to appease him and entice him to pay.
Ahhh.... happy days!
I worked for IBM, at their Portsmouth HQ in the 80s. I had nothing to do with OS/2 (I was a mainframe COBOL man) but I was swept along with it all..... demos, shows etc. I was there when we were all told to claim our free version of OS/2 Warp (presumably in an attempt to get some kind of 'halo effect' going, where friends and family would see it, like it and buy it too). I got mine (loads of floppy disks) but it would not install on my (non-IBM) PC. My manager was escorted off the premises when he announced he had taken a job at Microsoft. It struck me that IBM went after the corporate market with OS/2 while M$ went after the home market with Windows, although I am sure it was much more complicated than that. I was also there when they hit the buffers financially..... not a pleasant time. I got farmed out to work at client sites on money-spinning contracts. It taught me all I needed to know to become a contractor myself! I wonder how my frozen pension is doing these days...... sigh...!
First impressions were not great
Last week I went to a friend's house to install a new router and to re-build a home network consisting of multiple PCs, an Xbox, an FTP Server, two NAS boxes and a few other bits and pieces. One laptop had Windows 8 on it. I was not impressed. I couldn't make head or tail of the cartoon interface and when I made that go away (with some wierd mouse swipe to the upper right corner of the screen) I found a desktop with no START button!!!! Getting into the Control Panel, tweaking Network Settings, trying to view other devices on the Network.... all turned from something easy to do into something that was really hard. I admit I was fumbling my way around, running searches to find the utilities and wizards I needed. I got there in the end but I for one won't be buying, nor will I be recommending it to all the people who acll on me for unofficial technical support!
Can he find his way out of the building?
Ah yes I can just picture the conversation now......
"you're fired, Mr Forstall. There's the door - over there..... no, left a bit..... right a bit...... if you're using our latest Maps software you'll find it's the grey blob adjacent to the yellow blob that we think repesents this building although we can't acutally be sure as it may well represent an entire suburb......"
...the more you pay, the more severe the penalties? Why stop at forcing Motorola to destroy the offending tablets when, for a few million more you can request the senior executives to chop off their little fingers at the knuckle? I heard that, for another 50 million we can insisit on the CEO committing hara-kiri while for just 100 million Apple employees can eat the Motorola Management Board's first-born children in front of them with a nice crisp salad.
So in the end.......
....both firms won (it's the currency.... geddit??)
Mine's the one with the Google Nexus in the pocket.........
I see from the BBC report on this story that the idiot attempted some drastic back-pedalling when it was clear that his tweets were far from popular with the wider community. As previous people have observed, most 17-year-olds have not yet developed the requisite amount of common sense to speak in public but I can't help but think what a fool he is and that he deserves some kind of chastisement. I hope no charges are brought, as that would seem a bit OTT..... but it depends very much on the wording of the 'darker threats' mentioned in the article.
...our love affair ended when you produced the 'Flyer' as your dreadful entry into the tablet market.
I still see them for sale in certain outlets (Staples for one) for stupidly high prices and there's just no way Joe Pub will buy one when you see what is also on offer ..... including the new Google tablet, which I spotted in PC World over the weekend. Couldn't get near it because of the queue of people waiting for their turn to try it......
Apple patent trolls will be on this....
...like a rash. Are those corners rounded? Are they (gasp)......icons? Guilty! Bring it on - Apple vs the Supreme Deity Himself. But which one is best? There's only one way to find out........ FIGHT!!!!
Oh but I already know the outcome - Apple fail because this particular iPad wannabe is clearly a LOT less cool than the iPad.
Sorry I see no valid, legitimate use of such a tool. If a parent wants to RESTRICT a child's computer usage, they use an overt tool that makes it clear to the child that they cannot access certain sites etc. They DO NOT install a snooping tool and then let their child think they have unrestricted access, so they can be spied on. That's sick and sneaky.
Don't give me analogies relating to knives because knives have other purposes. What it the honest, legitimate use of this snooping tool, exactly?
...so all they have to do in future is advertise it for £400 for half a day, before introducing the amazing, once-in-a-lifetime, super-duper discounted price and they won't get any further slaps on the wrist.
Glad to see the consumer's best interests are always protected!
And still more jam tomorrow.....
Seems like I've been waiting ages for that perfect Android-based tablet. I lost patience and went for a cut-price Mororola Xoom, and I'm happy to an extent but certain annoying niggles remain where things don't quite work correctly at times. Yahoo Mail is one of the worst offenders.
By the time the other manufacturers release Tegra 3 tablets the price will have doubled - surprise surprise!
My quest for the (tablet) Grail continues.......sigh.
Not good enough
...for a setup like LinkedIn, totally web-based, and operating in the 21st Century. Why do they always fix things AFTER the horse has bolted? The Company I work for has a dedicated Security Team constantly looking for weaknesses, vulnerabilities, loopholes and the like, and the company in question does not even use the web as its main source of business! They even engage 3rd parties to attempt hacks, so they don't miss anything.
Shame on you, LinkeIn, for the anguish you have caused and for the hassle of changing passwords on a number of sites as a result. I won't be trusting you again any time soon with any personal information.
While on the subject of bad films, Paycheck with Ben Afflict and Uma Thermidor sticks in my memory for all the wrong reasons. On IMDB fans have given it 6.5 out of 10 which is stunningly generous. Nothing too much wrong with the storyline itself but jeez the wooden acting (Uma in particular) and other crimes, such as poor dubbing (a tinny two-stroke single engine sound when our hero is riding a 1000cc twin-cyliner 4-stroke BMW??????) linger in my memory long after the good bits were forgotten.
I also thought Broken Arrow was a stinker for similar reasons.
This is a brilliant idea and deserves praise!!
Yes I can see it now.... "excuse me Mr Homeless smelly person, please stand nice and still while I do a quick bit of Stock Market speculating.....lovely.... just made another ten grand!! Lovely Jubbly!! Now be a good hobo and lie down on the pavement would you? My legs are tired and there are no seats nearby. Ahh that's better.... sorry if I am a bit heavy.... spent £600 on a super meal last night........"
Why stop there? We could force them to make human pyramids or pretend to be statues, to entertain the tourists.....
Seriously who thought this was a good idea?
I thought Steve Jobs described smaller tablets as......
......."dead on arrival". No - wait.....
Interesting battle looming....
...between the world's worst patent trolls and the world's worst abusers of patents! All you to do is detemine which is which!!
If Apple sued Samsung because of the outward appearance.......
....of the Galaxy Tab, and how it could easily be mistaken for the iPad, then why on EARTH are they not already on the case with the manufacturers of this machine, which to the untrained eye looks just like a Macbook Air????
Blimey those screen shots remind me of......
....Alien Breed - a game I first played on my trusty Commodore Amiga, roughly 20 years ago. More than coincidence? Just saying........
I agree with Vitani - at that price it could be a very nifty in-car entertainment device, or an in-home glorified remote control for my extensive music collection held on a small low-power computer which is connected to the Hi-Fi..... ah just think of the possibilities!
Ah yes and M$ have nnever done that themselves.....
Oh no not at all. They single-handedly invented Networking, Web Browsers, CD Burning Software, DVD Burning Software, Photo Editing, Video Editing etc etc, and innocently built them into their OS without even knowing that in doing so they would put other software houses out of business.
Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.
I think you'll find....
...that Apple first patented the idea of selling smartphones for profit, and that Steve Jobs (RIP) will continue turning in his grave (iGraveRotator (tm, pats pending)) until they have been made to pay for this blatant rip-off of their intellectual property. Ah yes - I can hear the patent trolls rubbing their grubby little hands with glee over this!
...a mobile phone that doubles as a mini ghetto-blaster. How nice. I am already sick of walking past the anti-social morons as they think it's cool to play load music on their phones in public. Someting that small is always going to sound like a nasty tinny transistor radio from the 70s.
Seems an odd decision
....unless they can come out with a Touch with similar capacity. Like other people who have commented, I have a 120gb classic and it is full of my fave music. I love just putting it on 'shuffle' and being surprised by what it finds.
There is no other manufacturer producing high-capacity devices and I just don't trust the cloud....
a) to always be there
b) to be free (ie me not being charged for using it) once I have paid for the music itself.
If Apple abandons it I hope someone else (Creative Labs? iRiver?) fills the obvious void they leave behind.
Maybe he was cursed....
...with the age-old "May your next sh1t be a hedgehog" curse. Just wondering.
That is all.
I still ain't buying....
...until they do the same as HP and drop the whole idea as a total flop. I'll then pick on up from a clearance store for what they are really worth - £200-£250 tops.
Serves them right for thinking the buying public would pay such a high price for a wannabe ipad in the first place.
Surely the solution is to ensure that some good-quality games are available at launch? it doesn't have to be very many - perhaps one from each popular genre? It would be more expensive at the start but surely worth every penny in terms of units sold.....
OMG they both show icons
Guilty as charged then. Forget the fact that it is the OS not the device that displays the icons. Does Apple really have the patent for 'icons on a desktop'?
Are those icons????
Are they 'icons' on that screen? Do they 'run stuff' when you tap them? Can it make 'phone calls'? Do you use 'gestures' such as swiping the screen to scroll? Does it have 'pinch-to-zoom'? What about copy/paste? That device looks a bit rectangular to me...... does it have 'buttons' too? OMG the Apple Patent trolls will be all over it like a rash! Let's hope they have the Cupertinian Blessing before they go too much further.....
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