993 posts • joined 23 Sep 2008
Cheers El Reg
New Philips Full-HD telly arrived yesterday. And I'm sure the wife would also like to thank you, now that I'm going to be spending half the weekend (the half when the Ashes ISN'T on, obviously) fiddling with the picture!
At least it's upfront
At least you know what you are going to get with this one and the makers have been quite upfront in their advertising and promotion. If you're a sicko and enjoy that sort of thing - watch it. If not, you can avoid it.
Unlike Slumdog Millionaire which got a 15 cert and was promoted as the "Feel-good film of the year" and opens with the torture by electrocution of a child and then goes on, via flashbacks during his 24 hour torture, to tell the story of a boy who witnessed the brutal killing of his own mother and the blinding of friends to make them more effective beggars.
Presumably that was okay because of the sick and depressing narrative.
Maybe the makers of Grotesque should show the back story of the psycho. Maybe something cheerful like him being raped by his Dad. Then we'd have "narrative" and "character Development" so it would all be okay, right?
It's a job!
We still have tons of legacy Delphi code and it still requires updates and maintenance. One of our main Delphi systems celebrates it's tenth birthday in four weeks time.
Happy birthday to you...happy birthd......
More IM use than email within 18 months? Really? Does anyone work for a company that uses IM? I don't know of any outside of those offering technical or on-line sales support.
I've only used IM twice - both times in a tech support context where it works quite well. Never really seen the point otherwise. But then, I'm an old fart.
Quite surprised by HP
I'm surprised to see HP do so poorly. Whilst in 5th, their rating was terrible. I'm no fan of HP but our company uses their machines and they seem to be built on a KISS basis to keep reliability high. There are no fancy CPU's, no fancy graphics cards, large (fugly) cases to keep air flowing etc. When friends ask me to recommend a laptop, I quite often end up recommending a HP purely for their relative simplicity and (therefore, assumed) reliability. Might have to re-think - although, as mentioned above, HP's might be being bought by technical incompetents comforted by the big name but who are more likely to A) fuck it up and B) Call a support company for help.
Looks less like a cross between a betamax VCR and a bread-bin now. And the price-cut makes the comparison harder. I have a 1TB NAS in the study and am looking at the best/easiest way to get ripped DVD's (my own - mainly kids ones) onto the big telly in the living room. I'd pretty much settled on a XBox 360 arcade for about £120. With the PS3 (hopefully) between £200-250 it becomes a slightly better option - if only for the Blu-Ray.
Whilst I would never question the achievements of Turing I don't see how this is going to help. Why on earth should the Prime Minister of today apologise for the fact that the government of 50 years ago brought about a prosecution against someone who broke the law?
Honour his wonderful achievements. Don't drag up the past in order to try and make some meaningless political statement.
Re: Does this make anyone else a bit queasy?
No, not at all. Having had some involvement in post-air-crash management it is (near as damn it) always pilot error that causes crashes. Machines are generally far more reliable for one simple reason. If one goes wrong it makes HUGE headlines.
There are three things preventing machines from taking over most day-to-day driving/flying/sailing tasks;
1) Technological Development
3) Public "unease" and a general (IMHO misconception) that it's far better to have a human up front
Of those, I'd suggest No. 3 is by far the biggest barrier and probably the thing stopping sufficient funding to overcome No. 1.
But I'd far rather have something driving or flying me around that I could guarantee wasn't
So THIS is how Cuddly Davey Cameron is planning on getting all the NHS records on-line. He's just going to stick them all on a load of unencrypted disks, post them to Amazon and then send a mail to google with a link to the website. Cool!
Sounds pretty positive
Sounds really good - and I have the advantage of living somewhere where (at the moment) parking places with re-charge points are FOC - so this would pay for itself quite quickly. I also drive over a mountain on my commute (1 in 8) so that B mode might be quite handy. The only downside is the lack of boot space. I carry around a LOT of equipment in the boot. Yes, I could fold down the rear seats but then, on the odd occasion I run one of the kids around, I'd have to re-arrange things and I'm VERY lazy.
Still, if this is the first proper electric car, the only way is up!
Where do you find the time
Where do all you lot find the time to watch so much telly? I'm far too busy working, bringing up a family and posting pointless moans to various news websites!
....of a short sketch in the new Mitchell and Webb series. "Only the very worst cuts of horse-meat are used in our brand new recipe for...'Who gives a shit? it's only a cat'"
Reduce, re-use, recycle!
NHS saves lives
I would be interested to hear from our American readers whether or not this could happen in the US.
My wife and I had a baby on Feb 2nd this year. The Brits here will remember the day. The country was shut down due to snow. He was fine for a while but, after a couple of hours, developed problems requiring an operation. Operations on new-borns require 2 specialist paediatric anaesthetists - the nearest setup was many miles away at Alder Hay, Liverpool. Our son was placed in a specialist incubator and we were collected by ambulance and driven, with Blues and Twos, through the snow to our local airport. We were placed in an air-ambulance and flown (at very low altitude, to protect the baby) to Liverpool airport - which was closed. They opened the airport for us to land (in thick snow) where another ambulance collected us and drove us to Alder Hay. It was now midnight. The surgical team operated on him from 01:30 to 03:00. We were put up in Ronald McDonald house for two nights and were taken home by the same combination of Ambulance-Air Ambulance-Ambulance that Wednesday.
We were never asked for insurance or payment. Ronald McDonald (a charity) asked us if we could pay for the cost of our room - we were more than happy to - but that was the only money we paid out over the whole thing. He's fine now, by the way.
Could that happen to two ordinary people in the US without health insurance? I'd be really interested to know.
I'm glad I'm not
I'm glad I'm not in charge of the project to move the whole of Google from GFS to GFS2. Good luck to whoever is. I hope they are wearing massively reinforced underwear when the time comes to press that button!
I did this for several years during school and later university. It's a perfect job for all the students who are complaining there are no seasonal jobs to go around because of the recession. Of course, it's hard, physical labour and involves wielding a big, heavy, very sharp knife so the Student Union/Elf'n'Safety brigade would probably put a kibosh on that!
Anything that stops horses riding (and shitting) on beaches has to be a good thing. And if a few of their over-bearing owners get caught up as collateral damage then all the better. Can we get some of that over here?
You're planning on launching a hypodermic needle to a high altitude and then let it fall back down to earth?
Greed with above
£70 bought me a Casio Exlim with 8.1mp, a case and a 2GB SD card. It's fast, the image stabilisation works a treat and 90% of the pictures it's produced so far have been 1st class - and that's in the hands of my (nearly) 60-year-old mother for whom I bought it as a birthday present. For £170 I'd expect the camera to take the memory card out, load it in the PC, copy the pics over, select the best one and print it for me (though I am a tight-wad).
A) Don't buy them
B) (in the UK at least) a Warranty does NOT limit consumer rights - even if that is exactly how most companies try to use them. I had a repair for a disintegrating stylus silo on an XDA MiniS rejected because the water sticker had activated and this "invalidated the warranty". I pointed out that my repair had nothing to do with water, I wasn't applying under the warranty and if O2 REALLY wanted to stand up in court and claim it was I'd be happy to give them that opportunity. A manager promptly appeared apologising profusely etc. etc.
So people find it easier to cut back on variable-cost, optional purchases than fixed-cost, long-term contracts. Who'd have thought it, eh?
Re: Nigel Callaghan
I don't get your "Really this is only a commuter and pottering round town vehicle, so with annual mileage of perhaps only 5K" and "We need a leccy car with a 500 mile range minimum". My Clio is used primarily for commuting with a bit of running around (we have a larger "family" car for when the kids need transporting). I have a relatively short commute of 35 miles (round trip) but it still does 12,000 miles a year. This is an absolutely perfect commuter car for anyone with a round-trip commute of 80 miles or less (bit risky pushing it to the full 100!).
Also, our council provides free parking spaces with free re-charging for electric cars (not sure how the justify that, but that's a different discussion). So, for £15k (£20k less the government £5k subsidy) I can drive to work, park for free, have the car charge for free and then drive home without the battery even getting close to running out. And, as long as I'm reasonably careful, I should be able to get a couple of trips out of it at the weekend without having to pay to recharge it at home.
For 12,000 miles at 9p a mile plus a saving of £4/day parking I'm saving £2000 a year. So the car is basically free within 7.5 years (yes, ignoring running costs!). Where can I put my name down?
@ Chris W
> That's exactly the sort of thinking that falls into the hands of politicians pandering to the masses
Marvellous. How glad I am to have someone like you looking after my best interests (i.e. whatever you tell me they are). With people like you to tell everyone what to think and correct them when they go wrong it won't be long before the evil politicians all fall on their swords and we can go back to living that free life of endless summers, jumpers for goalposts and cheeky scamps having their ears tweaked by the local bobby. God bless the queen, guvnor!
It's not only been available in Foxmarks for years (minus the history synch) but, as Foxmarks is cross-browser, I can synch it with IE8. And yes, there are sites that look better with IE8 or only work with IE8 - all Microsoft ones, obviously, but it's still handy to have all my bookmarks and password history waiting for me on the odd occasion I fire it up.
Sorry, Opera who? No use claiming you invented something if no-one ever gets to hear about it!
It's flash for the six month trial. Silverlight thereafter (if successful). and no, I don't have the foggiest why they're doing it that way around.
Git Wizard 1
It is, after all, an entirely pointless stunt designed to garner maximum publicity.
OFF TOPIC but no-one is forcing people without terrestrial to subscribe to sky. I live in an area with bugger-all terrestrial and I've been on the sky freesat service for the best part of a decade. £80 for a Pace skybox and £10 for a card from Sky gets you about 200 channels (of complete crap) with no monthly subscription. I like a paranoid conspiracy theory as much as the next bloke but the option is there if you want it...
ON-TOPIC I'm obviously missing something because the description makes this sound like the worst kind of crap imaginable - for £180????
"one has to wonder where else the operators would get that revenue from. Perhaps they would just content themselves with lower profits for the good of the people" :)
Certainly beats the occasion I ordered a 3-in-1 printer and printer cable from Amazon and the cable arrived in an identical box to the printer (and at the same time). Was too dumb(founded) to take pics unfortunately.
"So there's 30 million devices in a hundred or more different form factors with different feature sets and screen sizes and OS versions, with 90% of their owners never having installed third part software or an OS update, versus 45 million near-identical iPhones and iPod touches, with 90% of their owners familiar with downloading applications and OS updates."
Yeah, and did you know that 80% of statistics are made up on the spot!
Does iTunes still download random pieces of software without asking?
I always thought iTunes behaved like malware - which is why is was removed and replaced with MediaMonkey sometime around the point the "Software Update Service" went and installed that crappy browser of theirs.
I'm surprised some of the move sophisticated "Behavioural" detection algorithms don't flag it up as malware from time to time.
Whilst there are a few snobs around who would sniff at the idea, fine malt should ALWAYS have a drop of good, warm water added first. Particularly if it's one of these high-strength special bottlings.
Right, with that off my chest I can carry on and read past the first line now.
Seems fair enough
I've never been convinced about all this "self empowerment" stuff. At the end of the day, they're making money by selling pictures of themselves in the buff. Most women I've met who would describe themselves as feminists have turned out to be a bunch of moaning, whingeing, men hating bores with a massive persecution complex but give this lot their due. They set themselves up to promote women for their talents, rather than their "talents" and £600 isn't enough to buy their principles. Good on them.
> Are they saying they run the entire data network with a single-point-of-failure?
No. The article clearly states that not everyone was effected and that you could try one of their other APNs.
What's wrong? Did you get tired after reading the first couple of lines so just made up the rest of the article in your head?
Be interested to know what they had in mind by "Career Development"
The only career development I've ever been aware of was to go from being in a technical role to being a people manager with the odd bit of technical work thrown in to stop you getting bored. And, having seen how god awful most technical specialists are at people management (the classic case of being promoted out of anything you are good at until you find something you can't do and get stuck there) I've turned down every attempt by my company to "promote" me into management.
I don't need it. I get those sorts of kicks outside of work by being a parent and a mountain rescue team leader. In the office, I'll stick to doing what (I hope) I'm good at. I don't need the hypocrisy of spending years complaining about how crap my bosses are only to become a crap boss just for a few extra grand a year. And I'm happy to admit I would be a truly terrible manager.
Not quite the gist
If you listen to the whole interview he isn't saying we have enough camera's or that we should never increase. He's just saying we have too many camera's for the resources available at the moment. We should stop for a while and plough that money into people, training, systems and procedures so that we can start making the most of the CCTV cameras we have today.
He didn't actually say it but it was implied that he would then be happy for the crappy, poor quality cameras to be replaced and for new, high-quality cameras to go up.
To suggest he was in some way anti-cameras or believed there were enough does not represent what I heard when I listened to the whole interview yesterday evening. He was quite clearly pro-cameras and believed there was an assumption amongst the public that, when crime takes place, someone will be watching on a CCTV camera and the perpetrators will subsequently be caught. He clearly believes the public backs ubiquitous CCTV.
Unless your house it about a mile long would it not be quicker to walk to one of the other PC's, lookup the recipe, print it off and walk back to the kitchen?
And if your house is a mile long a) Well done, b) Why are you cooking?
"Not that I haven't submitted bug reports and even voted on them - it just becomes clear that the devs don't care. Just like the Microsoft response "shut up and deal with it" to complaints about the execrable "ribbon" they inflicted on their users. "
Did you ever consider that it might just be a case of not everyone agreeing with your point of view? I believe MS published the results of user studies into the ribbon interface and those who didn't like it amounted to about 4.5%.
Sorry to disappoint your obvious sense of self-importance but, far from sticking our heads in the sand, us developers do listen and we tend to act on what the majority of users want, not just what you want.
Did anyone read the article?
There are at least half a dozen comments above along the lines of "Why are OO devs being so lazy/pig-headed and refusing the fix the bug?".
Read the fecking article will you? It isn't a bug. It is meant to work that way. You may or may not agree with how it works but that's an entirely different matter. If the software is designed to work one way and that is how it works then it doesn't need fixing!
The spec might need changing but then you've (potentially) got a lot of people who ARE expecting their hidden data to be removed who are going to be really pissed off. I must admit, it's annoyed my both ways, depending on my mindset at the time. Sometimes I'm expecting it to remove everything and that's great. Other times it's caught me out. Same goes for Excel.
But please read the damn article before mouthing off about how stupid/lazy/inferior-to-you other people are.
> If I want Firefox then wouldn't I have to install IE first
No. Most magazines come with a DVD filled with umpteen different browsers. Also, how many people only have access to one PC nowadays? It's a very simple matter to download (as an example) the setup.exe for firefox from another PC in the house or a friends computer, stick it on a USB key and then run it after installing Windows 7.
Although I think the whole thing is ridiculous. No one is making Apple remove Safari from OSX. If a user REALLY wants a different browser on the PC before they buy it there are any number of PC builders who, I'm sure, would be only too happy to stick Opera/Firefox or whatever on there to get a sale.
For people who know nothing about PC's, Microsoft bundles a browser. For those of us who know what we're doing, the choice is there. I really don't get where the problem is?
BBC Interview this morning
There was a very funny interview on BBC breakfast this morning. They did there usual job of getting two polar opposites to argue the toss. One, a children's author (never heard of him, never heard of his books) and the head of a teaching union. The first, deliberately leading question went to the author with the obvious expectation that he would be frothing at the mouth about this afront to his reputation.
The interviewers were quite visibly pissed off when he cheerily admitted he thought the plan was an excellent idea and saw no reason why he shouldn't be vetted in the same way as everyone else.
Clearly, the researchers had not done their jobs. Rather than a slanging match we ended up with an intelligent, articulate author presenting a well-reasoned argument. Most un-BBC.
I don't know how you do. A world-exclusive to rival anything from News International. Good work Reg!
This is what I've been looking for
We've been wanting an all-in-one with a decent sized screen that can be wall mounted for a while now. Lets hope, like the home XPS range, this comes in 24" varieties.
Re: David Haworth
So, by your reasoning, If I leave my car unlocked with the keys in the ignition it isn't theft if someone jumps in and drives off?
It's amazing how dishonest people always manage to justify their actions somehow. Hollywood charge too much/their films are crap/the cd I wanted wasn't available/was drm'd etc etc.
To the couple of posters asking about this not being flagged as fraud or irregular activity, as others have mentioned, this amount almost certainly never existed in any financial system. It's just an error in the way the report was generated. Those fraud detection systems monitor transactions as they come in and look for certain patterns (a common one being several consecutive payments for a small amount - to check a "generated" number is actually an active card).
So no, VISA would not have flagged this up as fraud and blocked the card.
Pile of shite
What a pile of shite. Why aren't people donating millions to get more men working in nail-bars?
Sexism is sexism. There is no such thing as positive discrimination.
If women really want to be treated equally they need to get together and beat the living shit out of the few "feminists" whose constant "it's sooo unfair" bleating gives women a bad name (maybe starting with tennis players).
Men and women are equal but the sooner some people realise that they aren't actually the same the better off we'll all be.
The Tories. Tough on media scapegoats. Tough on the causes of media scapegoats!
How someone who can be SO incompetent as to put unencrypted confidential data on a laptop AND leave the damn thing on a bus can still be prescient enough to have made a note of the exact number of records and to what they pertain?
Re: Hollywood is overpaid
So might I suggest you stop paying $60-80 for a movie and $100/month for your telly? It's no use complaining about Hollywood. As you rightly point out, it's YOU who are paying the ridiculous salaries so grow a pair yourself and stop paying them!
This is the sort of policy New Labour should be introducing over here. Leave all the manhole covers off to catch the inconsiderate little bastards that insist on trying to walk into me. It must happen four or more times every lunch time. It will catch the morons that use their umbrellas/big-tops-on-a-stick as battering rams when it's raining as well.
And can we have large brown bears at the bottom of the manholes?
We have lots of spreadsheets doing all sorts of things I'd rather they didn't (yes, we have an end user computing program but users will be users). At the moment, if we want to upgrade our version of office, we have to undertake a MASSIVE testing program (after we've got people to confess to the existence of these spreadsheets) to make sure things still work in the same way with the new version of Excel.
We've been testing Office 2007 SP3 for a while now and plenty of the more complex (read: VBA) stuff is not even backwards compatible with Office 2007 SP2.
If we were to switch to MS Office Web Applications and MS upgraded the apps (presumably on their servers) I'm assuming a proportion of our spreadsheets and VBA code could stop working over night. It's not like it's being pushed out and we can put it on hold. It's a web address.
Obviously, I have NO intention of doing this. Just a theoretical thing.
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