1021 posts • joined 23 Sep 2008
Re: Who's it for?
Assuming you were being serious and not just trolling;
How am I supposed to measure the contents of a fully sealed oil tank by "getting off my fat arse"?
How am I supposed to stop my son's bedroom dropping below 16C by "getting off my fat arse"? Do I get up every 30 mins during the night, take a temperature reading and either turn the heating on or off?
Or, for the example someone gave above of dumping excess solar energy into the immearsion, should he remain at home all day to do this or do you advise running home every few minutes to switch the relay manually?
Slowly creeping in
I started reading this thinking "Oh god, another Tomorrow's World special on things that will never happen".
Then I realised, we already have a signal-man that uses an accoustic sensor to monitor the level of oil in the tank and calls the oil company for a re-fill if it gets too low. I didn't even pay for that - the oil company supplied and fitted.
And, when we got our new oil-fired boiler three years ago they threw in a wireless controller. So the heating is fully programmed and, for example, I can stick it in the youngest's room overnight (which tends to be the coldest) and it will ensure the room never drops below 16C.
I also have a £15 all-in-one remote which, from a single button press, will turn on the TV and blu-ray and switch the TV onto HDMI-1 (amongst other things).
And, whilst not automated yet, we get our shopping delivered each week by Tesco. I can use my Android phone, during the week, to take a snap of the barcode of anything I've emptied (cereal boxes etc) and they just get added to the list. On a Monday night I then log in to the current order where it tells me what I ordered last week, what I usually order and if there are any specials on things I've ordered in the past. It takes about 10 minutes to complete the list and it gets delivered Tuesday night. I can see that process becoming more and more automated over the next few years.
Home automation isn't just coming. It is here. But it is here in ways that we tend not to notice - which is surely the whole point.
Re: San Fran
It is actually the same processor (Arm-7), just clocked up to 1GHz - so still no official Flash support. Also, I don't like the look of that back cover. My SanFran has proved itself to be pretty waterproof (mine gets used in Mountain Rescue as a navigation device and tracker beacon). With bloody great holes cut out of the the case for the camera lens and flash any tiny bit of moisture is going to kill this. Which is a shame as, low-res-screen not withstanding, it was looking pretty good.
"Why are the comments most hostile to authors always the most illiterate?"
Given "illiterate" means "an absence of literacy" surely you can't have a "most illiterate" as that would be the greatest amount of the absence of something?
Should be "least literate"
10% of an Apple Turnover
Sounds tasty but wouldn't keep me going for long.
Re: wife one of these for Xmas and they love it !
They? How many wives do you have?
Re: How many more?
I really don't understand your point. This piece is about Google being a monopoly. This is why Google keep being investigated. They are not doing anything illegal per se. It is simply that different rules apply to them in the same way that Microsoft cannot do things that Apple can because MS has 90% of the OS market and Apple has less than 10%.
But these rules are not black and white. The rule is that you cannot use your monopolistic position to leverage further market gains or to unfairly influence other markets. That isn't a yes/no tickbox. That is up to competition commissions to interpret the rules, argue with lawyers and come to considered opinions.
Original or not, he's £100K up - well done that man!
Re: a fragile "Mother Nature" is harmed by anything humans do
"Animal populations naturally level out at the resource levels the environment can sustain"
And HOW do those "animal" populations level out their resource levels? By using too much and then suffering the consequences in terms of population loss.
You have just rather wondefully made the EXACT point the article was making. Your only mistake was to use the word "animal" as if we are not one.
MS's Big Mistake
Microsofts big mistake was to try and impose change on developers. Everyone in IT knows developers are there to impose unwanted change on others - but god have mercy on the soul of anyone who tries to do it to them. WE DON'T LIKE CHANGE.
MS had done some half-arsed studies to justify the change but, of course, we all know that, in reality, some marketing bod had asked what they could do to polish it up, give it a visual make-over etc and some tit fresh out of UI design school with a "Cool" idea suggested mono-chrome. The study was just there to confirm a decision that had already been taken.
Of course, back in the real world, programmers use keyboard shortcuts for 90% of the stuff they do so the UI makes feck-all difference to them.
an "advanced" developer?
Or is it one of those questions whereby, if you need to ask, you aren't one?
Re: Megashark vs Giant Octopus
I got this out to watch on DVD about a year ago after hearing it might be in the "So bad it's good" category.
The only 2 hours of my life that have ever felt longer were 7-9pm this last Tuesday evening when I had to sit through my 5-year-old's end of term school concert. I've barely slept since.
I get what you're saying about the screen but endomondo reads out your speed/pace every mile or at the push of a button (phone or headphones). Also, something like the San Francisco is only around 100g. Assuming you're going to want to carry a small phone with you anyway for emergencies then the combined weight of the watch and phone is going to be more than the one device.
The only advantage I can see to this is that, when its battery dies, you still have your phone available.
And, I'm sorry, but 9 hours (at best!) just is NOT long enough.
Shame about the awful battery life.
Quite right on the price. I just replaced my All in one remote with a new model for £15. It does 6 devices, macros and the rest of the family can use it when I'm not there - which isn't the case with a mobile phone. I'm sure there IS a market for this but it has to be quite limited; consisting of people who either live alone or where everyone in the house has an Android or iPhone and doesn't mind having to start up an app on their phone just to change channels on the telly - which would rule my wife out for a start.
Re: Slight quibble about terminology
There are some that listen with our ears and some that listen with a bunch of electronic sensors hooked up to analysis software producing pretty graphs. If you prefer the latter there are plenty of specialist sites that cater for you...
I don't need a graph to tell me if (A) sounds better than (B). If "better" is too subjective then see the earlier statement. In any case, nobody in their right mind would spend £200 on a speaker dock without auditioning it first. The review is there to say "Hey, this piece of kit is really rather good and, if you're into that sort of thing, you should give it a go".
Re: Odd shortfall
I bought two Arcam amps <cough> years ago for a total of around £900 - and the remote control was not only an extra £35 but was also just as cheap and nasty looking as this one. It seems to be an Arcam "Thing".
Nothing wrong with the amps though. Still going strong - although the power LED no longer lights up on the power amp.
Missing the opportunity
Whilst these chips are used in Netbooks they are also used in ultra-low power nettops where - until now - they had to be accompanied by NVidia ION graphics chips in order to make them useful. This upped the cost and the power-draw. With a decent graphics chip in there you remove the admin overhead (NVidia tools are not exactly lightweight) and, whilst the Corei graphics aren't gaming standard they are pefect for driving a 1080p telly across a HDMI connection.
Can't wait. My two ASROCK ION nettops are 2.5 years old now. They are both starting to make funny noises and I've been looking around at what to replace them with if/when they go bang.
Re: Open your mind!
"You'll be living in a very confined space, eating your own shit, drinking recycled piss and breathing your neighbours farts, for the rest of your natural life"
So that would be just like now then, yeah?
Strangely, the Reg has missed the important part of this interview. He says he will not be carrying fuel with him for the return journey. This was covered in Rubin's Mars proposal to NASA 20+ years ago but nobody seems to have mentioned it since. You send small rocket-fuel generation plants out a few years before you need to travel. Land them on Mars and set them off generating rocket fuel (all the ingredients are there). Wait until you know the fuel is there, ready and waiting and then set off with just what you need for the outward journey.
It is a bloody clever way of doing it. It is both safer AND cheaper.
As I say, I'm surprised the Reg didn't pick up on this part of the interview as it seemed like the one bit of genuinely interesting science/engineering in the interview. The rest was the usual (unfortunately, entirely necessary) hype and self promotion.
"Broadcast (multicast would be a better term) is a stupid model - it makes no sense today."
"What the hell sense does that model make ? It is totally insane."
"Admittedly, the public are slow to change their habits - most now have PVRs but still sit down to watch the news at 6pm, or sit through the adverts on coronation street - but it is only a matter of time before the wake up and demand personal media when they want it, where they want it surely ?"
I'm sure all of this made perfect sense when you wrote it but do you mind explaining WHY broadcast is a "stupid" model, why it is "insane" and why the public will "wake up" and start behaving like you?
After all, unless TV rules your entire life how do you ever get to find out which programs you might like to watch unless, every once in a while, you just sit down and watch what is being broadcast? I ask this as a parent who hasn't watched TV in about 6 years and now has absolutely no idea what is on that might be worth watching - as best as I can tell, unless you like reality "talent" shows, the answer is "very little".
Without broadcast we will surely end up with a hollywood model for TV where, once something proves popular, it just gets made over and over until people get sick of it and then they flounce around for a few years producing garbage until someone stumbles upon the next big thing.
Why the BBC?
The BBC should only be allowed to enter areas where there is no suitable private alternative. Wasn't that the point of the BBC? Using its unique funding structure to make programs, offer services and take risks that the private sector wouldn't or couldn't afford to?
So WHY is the BBC offering to do something the private sector is willing to do and would do at a fraction of the cost? By all means make the BBC archives available but do so by allowing private comapnies to bid for the rights to convert and host them.
Re: A few suggested rating rules...
Never seen Mystery Men - but after that description I REALLY want to
Re: Never Ending Story 2
They made a part 3? For the love of humanity!
Re: Greg J Preece
I agree with most of what you say but not that this makes it a "worst film". All of that just adds up to a bad personal experience and most of that is just because you watched the originals as a kid. If you get that upset every time hollywood screws around with things you're gonna spend a lot of time in therapy.
Star Wars - Phantom Menace did the same thing for a lot of us in our 30s/40s but that doesn't make it a "Worst Film". Pretty bad, yes, but by Hollywood standards by no means an absolute stinker (and I recently had the "joy" of being dragged to the new 3D release by my Star Wars obsessed 5-year-old so the pain is still all too fresh).
Never Ending Story 2
Certainly felt like it...
What risk would the publisher's be taking in supplying stock to Game? This isn't a furniture store where the value is in the stock. The value is not in the 0.5p plastic disc or the 1p box it sits in. The value is in the IP of the game and the key/license to play it, surely? If game goes under the publisher can just rescind the license keys supplied and they have lost virtually nothing.
Re: Its Great For the Light Bulb Manufacturers...
"It also seriously sucks to be anyone who needs to use any of the Emergency Radio Frequencies, which are also jammed by bleedover from them."
Strange, I've been using my Emergency Services radio (TETRA) for about 7 years now. Off the top of my head I'd say I've been using HomePlug for 6 of those and have never noticed an issue. In fact, I've never even heard it mentioned.
Re: Powerline networking?
"Last time I looked into that it was pretty near worthless".."Has it gotten better in the last couple years?"
I've been using it for a few years. The original 40MB stuff was a bit in bandwidth. Since the 85MB kit it has been more than sufficient for any home-networking I've thrown at it giving me a more reliable connection than 11g wireless. I'd put it on a par with a decent 11n router with multiple antennae.
The only downside - and maybe I have just been unlucky - is reliability. The kit seems to cook itself after roughly 18 months continuous usage. Then again, I find ADSL routers and USB WiFi adaptors tend to do the same. Maybe it is my magnetic personality?
Always out of step
When everyone was using smaller and smaller phones I was using Windows "Mobile" bricks like the XDA, XDA IIs etc. They had 3.5" screens but were huge and the IIs weighed 285g. Now everyone wants bigger devices and I'm still using a 3.5" screen, although in the much smaller, slimmer and lighter shell of an Orange San Francisco. That size seems just right to me. Bigger would be handier sometimes but then, other times, so would smaller.
Re: To be fair
My thoughts exactly. I was all set to join the "down with lawyers" brigade until I saw pictures of the pub. Sure, they might have been around since before the films but the "Traditional pub sign" is an image from the film poster! I think I'm also correct in saying that, once copyright owners have been notified of an infringement, they are obliged to enforce their rights within a certain timeframe. If they don't then that is interpreted as them waving their rights and then others can start infringing with a reasonable defence that the copyright owners are no longer interested.
I'd be interested to know (probably impossible now) whether they would have left this pub alone if it hadn't started taking the piss my using images from the films.
Re: "Given that most phones are replaced in 12-18 month cycles"
"I, personally, expect my SII to ......just the same as it has for the last 12 months."
Actually, whilst I get your point, I fundamentally disagree. You are trying to suggest a mobile phone (or smartphone in this case) should be the same as any other piece of consumer electronics. But that is just untrue. My TV/DVD stay stuck on the wall. My radio-alarm stays on the bedside table. The PC sits on a desk.
My phone goes everywhere with me. It is exposed to drops, bangs, knocks, rain, sweat, beer, smears of greasy food etc etc. It has been used in 37C and down to -12C. I'm probably an extreme example as I use mine as a hill-search navigation device but then, these are marketed for navigation. Google includes on-foot navigation mode in the OS so why shouldn't I?
But given all of that I actually find it remarkable that in 13 years of smartphone ownership I have only had one device die from anything other than, what I would describe as, wear and tear inside a reasonable period.
I discovered this a few weeks ago and it is fantastic. I'm mainly using it to listen to the "Other" BBC stations (5 Live Xtra, 4 LW, 6 Music etc) but intend having an explore once time allows.
Blinkered and old fashioned
Currently yuu have many many windows open and have had to learn to switch, arrange, refocus etc etc. Surely a better way of doing things would be to have two apps open on one monitor that manage all of this for you?
I hate the way IT folk spend so much time whining about change. We force it on our users all the time in order to keep US gainfully employed but woe betide anyone that does it to us.
WHy not try seeing this as an opportunity to IMPROVE the way you work? What you describe sounds like a nightmare. Come up with a better solution rather than moaning about how the half-arsed none-solution you've duck-taped together doesn't transfer well. Everything you have just described tells me YOUR solution is wrong. If it won't scale, won't translate and can't be taught to someone else then it ISN'T a good solution.
And no. I don't claim to be any different. Just hypocritical.
A guy at work got one. It is a thing of beauty and absolutely flies. Unfortunately, his crracked near the hinge within a few weeks - another known fault, he was informed. By this time they had announced the sucessor. The current version does everything he wants so he has returned it for a refund gambling the price will drop when the new one is released and he can save himself £100 or so with a few weeks patience.
"The attitude of Jersey and Guernsey is disgraceful. They are hotbeds of tax evasion/avoidance and of money laundering"
I'm sorry but you clearly have no idea what you are talking about. Jersey, Guernsey and the other Offshore Crown Dependencies have THE highest standards of tax avoidance legislation and anti-money laundering. According to every study ever performed on the subject about 3/4 of such takes place within the US. The UK is also pretty high up on the list (and the UK is an offshore tax haven by any definition).
And how do you propose London orders an entirely different country to adopt their laws? Are you seriously proposing that the UK declares war on Jersey?
Re: $40m in venture funding and had been valued at $500m
"$40 million is not that much money for a service already with 27 million users"
I'm afraid this is where your argument fails - though that was the point of their publicity and the mistake they were hoping everyone would make. They have had 27 million downloads. Not 27 million users. I must have downloaded a few thousand apps in the 10+ years I've had smartphones. I currently use less than 30.
Why would you name a car-based system after something associated with risk-taking and random chance?
Re: Tons, metric tons and tonnes
"Let's forgive the odd 35-and a-bit lbs (in obsolete units) and just call a ton a ton"
Alas your common-sense approach flies in the face of the commentard's favourite hobby of nit-picking as a cover for showing off how clever and knowledgeable they are.
"We will take action where....companies are profiteering from unlawful activity"
Why not just take action where companies are undertaking unlawful activity? Why does there have to be profit involved? Am I any less of a victim if the company selling my details on illegally isn't competent enough to make a profit?
Re: Cheaper to buy a spare battery
It IS cheaper to buy and carry a spare (whci I ALSO do) but these do have advantages. For example, I can head out into the hills for a full days training with one of these (actually, I use the cheaper, lighter, slimmer Maplin one as per an earlier commentard). I leave my San Francisco plugged into this which, effectively, just doubles the thickness of the device but also allows me to run full GPS tracking software for about 15-20 hours (depending on what else I'm doing). Swapping batteries isn't always convenient out in the hills and, in the case of training runs, causes a break in the GPS trace.
Also, whilst the spare battery will have to be thrown away when I get rid of the SanFran (or thrown in with the eBay auction!) the external battery has seen me through three different devices now and is still going strong.
"Dare I suggest that the desire to see words spelt and used correctly does not make one a Nazi?..."
Pure or not - that is one impressive flight
"the /entire/ team responsible don't have a single clue about interface design"
Whilst I'm not convinced personally, they have published the results of lots of user studies suggesting new users find it easier and existing users get back up to speed quickly. Not sure why existing users should have to get back up to speed though. Then again, it is INCREDIBLY rare that I use toolbar buttons. 99% of stuff is done from keyboard shortcuts and they have put a bit of work into making that easier. The changes around spacing and grouping look good. I love the idea of getting rid of lots of the default tools from the toolbar. The tool and function search look excellent.
The removal of colour immeadiately struck me as something they can bring back for VS2014 so they can say "we listened to lots of your feedback and decided...."
Re: Re: Re: £100
"Your £10 keyboard has a cable, doesn't integrate into a case, and doesn't allow the tablet to be angled appropriately."
That's bizarre. I'm sat here with the case and, it would appear to the untrained eye, that I CAN adjust the viewing angle and it IS fully integrated into the case. It's ALMOST as if I can see the case and you haven't got a clue what you're talking about.
Seriously? Why would you comment telling me what MY case can and can't do you freak?
How can they possibly justify this price? For £10 I got a USB keyboard case for my (£60) tablet. It's leatherette, provides excellent protection, I can type away happily on it, the function buttons are all programmable and it has cursor keys. In other words, it does exactly what this one does for one tenth of the price and, because it is USB, I don't have to keep it charged.
£100 is just criminal!
Re: Re: Reading Comprehension.
"Synthetic hydrocarbons...to produce these requires an energy input of at least the amount that can be gained from burning them...the input will be greater than the output... a potential answer to energy storage"
You ARE aware that the input is sunlight, aren't you? This isn't like generating electricity by burning fuels and then storing it with pumped water. This is GROWING stuff - photosynthesis - thereby capturing energy from the sun (and CO2) and then burning it later.
"Tight viewing angles are just what you want on a plane to keep your neighbour from reading your screen".
The review specified that it was the verticle viewing angle that was sensitive (hence the bit about lifting and lowering the lid). I don't know what kind of scary-ass airlines you fly with but the day my nearest neighbour is sat such that they are looking over or under me is the day I walk to New York.
Freeview has been unwatchable for several years - but that's just because of the complete crap they broadcast over it.
Rather than complicating things by trying to provide interesting and varied menus just employ the right astronauts. They already test for everything else so why not just make sure the Astronauts are fine with eating the same bland food ad infinitum. I have porridge for breakfast, a ham & lettuce sandwich with an apple and orange for lunch every day and have done for many, many years. I have no sense of smell so food all tastes much of a muchness. I eat for nutrition and by having the same thing every day I don't need to spend time thinking about what I'll eat.
If NASA just employed a bunch of freaks like me (or, better still, employed me) they could save a fortune on all this R&D.
If Google start playing funny buggers with Android then the 4.0 (ICS) source code is already available. Surely this would make a much better starting point for the Android Manufacturers to use as the basis for a new OS branch than OpenWOS?
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