68 posts • joined 31 Jan 2009
> poor UK rates but also the risk posed by HMRC and government policies.
Don't claim for anything that isn't completely legit and you're sorted. I use an umbrella who take care of all my paperwork (I sign contracts then submit timesheets online — that's it), and take a cut from me which is made up for in having my subsistence and travel taxes negated. Tax is a pain (depending on how much you resent public services), but that's a universal truth. In terms of pay I am on about 80% more than standard permanent rates for my seniority and specialism. That's a lot.
The work is great because I get to do more valuable stuff in short bursts — very few companies need someone to be as good as I am at my best on a permanent basis, but loads would be much happier getting me in to build them something awesome over a couple of months. I get to work in all sorts of industries, encounter different working practices, new technologies, and my portfolio and CV just gets more impressive.
Maybe there's a class thing going on here, but I honestly don't get it when people say £400/day is piss poor. You people must have friends who aren't self-employed senior IT workers?
Education & weakness
Monopoly of CS education means we have a culture of people who learn Java and nothing else, leading to the 'language as a hammer' thing on an epidemic scale. Then we have a ludicrously popular language used at all sorts of standards in all sorts of places, leading to a poor general standard in the wild, a proportionately higher number of exploits, all sorts of regular patching leading inexorably to a degree of fragmentation… Then you get a feedback loop: Java is so ubiquitous that those learning its esoteric features learn to cherish those for whatever reasons apparent to them at the time rather than developing a more holistic approach to learning by going through the pain of learning other high level languages that might give them better insights into programming as general craft and a more objective view of language features for what they are. These are all problems to do with ubiquity and the monolithic culture of mass adoption.
And yes — as many other posters have noted — Python demands consistent indentation.
Fuck planets, they're not worth the hassle. Just stick around in the temperate zone of your huge dyson sphere.
Re: @Vladimir Plouzhnikov
The same wonderful logic behind the truism that guns don't kill people – rappers do.
Nah, sorry. Kids are incredibly susceptible to suggestion and need to be protected to some extent.
Keep trollin trollin trollin trollin
I've always been a bit irate at The Reg's policy of climate change denial, but always thoroughly encouraged by the nukes are cool dogma, and Lewis always wraps it up with the just the right mix of calm rationalism and knowing sensationalism to hit the right amount of levity.
A fair few of my mates are hippies, but a lot more of them are generally not interested enough to muster much interest on anything perceived as too big of an ideological issue in terms of environmentalist concern… other than the Greenpeace nuke mythos, which is fairly sacred among many people who'd describe themselves as rationalists. It's the inability to conceive of any of the myriad aspects of the green ethos from small personal results through to macro economics and geology but still have such massive faith in that one big cause that irritates me the most.
Especially seeing as nuclear is by far the cleanest and cheapest way of sustaining industrial human civilisation we have.
But I digress. Where's the IT / martial sci tech angle?
Irrelevance of 'up' and aerodynamism
I hope nobody calls me out for pedantry on a thread like this, but nearly every flying saucer I've ever seen in film has had to operate in atmosphere.
As for up and down being irrelevant — as are left, right, back and forth, presumably? Again, I seem to remember relative space being incredibly important in pretty much every sci-fi film I've seen. People don't get into space and go "that X axis was really pissing me off!".
JS crypto — just say no
While Gmail is all HTTPS, and plugins (can) allow relatively sandboxed execution environments, the browser as we know it is simply not the place to handle cryptography. Attack vectors are simply too numerous.
When I refer to the browser 'as we know it', I'm specifically referring to something which silently and continuously auto-updates, changing its code routinely, and bringing out glitzy interesting features as a priority over solid, safe implementations. I don't know exactly how Chrome's plugin sandboxing works now, but even if I did I wouldn't in a month's time.
This product brings in some crucial safety belts not addressed specifically in the article below, but it's a good indication of why most people should be suspicious of front-end based security methods:
No scorn from me
No idea there was this level of contempt for him! I think the man's a laugh. I, for one, welcome our new cyborg overlords' intermediary.
That's a pertinent aspect of the organism which differentiates it from literal sponges and/or cartoon characters. Pertinent enough to be reflected in said organism's name perhaps?
Professors, cognitive dissonance, imagination, humour
It turns out that spongy, springy marine organisms had a huge precedent in marine biology prior to the cartoon — and most people would recognise that the cartoon is in fact based on said organisms.
There have been various initiatives for school children to establish the formal names for new species — and knowing this you might think these people were trying to emulate a child's eye view of the world — but they are usually far more imaginative.
Market, legacy, destiny
I used to be a massive Nokia fan. Their hardware was modestly excellent, their UIs were absolutely top notch, and their understated brand oozed elegance. From my subjective perspective, the smartphone killed them. They felt they had to build their own (their feature phone firmware was always great on a UX level), and they obviously invested massively into it. That's when they stopped being cool for me. I had massive difficulty visualising their future in that market, so the initial investment in those clunky Symbian devices, as opposed to Apple, HTC or even RIM's offerings, never struck me as serious.
Having said that I really believe they are throwing the baby out with the bath water. What I see at the minute is a kind of negative capitalist speculation. The whole dump Symbian move to Meego confusion, rushing out that awful new corporate font with its hideously embarrassing bugs when the old one was still timelessly elegant, modern & distinctive, the humiliating Microsoft-courting when MS are known for bloated, distinctly un-hip and UX-hostile software and Nokia's legacy was that of a somewhat cultish but universal synonym for simple, intuitive mobile UIs… This combined with the drastic management shuffles and bleak confessional PR…
They seem to be getting good at fire-fighting and turning to arson to keep themselves busy. As far as I can see they are leaping from drastic tactic to tactic without giving any of them the time to prove themselves.
If they were slightly less suicidal in their "something must be done, jump now look later", I can imagine them having a bad patch as the underdog, learning some lessons, steadily improving what they have, coming back stronger from the mistakes. But on a gut level, the present apparent strategy of continuous firesale speaks to me of stupid desperation posing as bravado. They're repeatedly throwing away their historically strong points with no apparent alternative.
And yeah, as a fanboi the MS deal just makes me cringe. The Americans were the problem in the first place.
Matthew 24 
The Bible is pretty clear on this kind of stuff . For those not so interested in reading the unabridged passage, a few relevant excerpts:
"… many false prophets will appear and deceive many people … and then the end will come … but about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son … that is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man … you do not know on what day your Lord will come … the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him …"
So saying the Bible is a load of old shit anyway misses a pertinent point for the people giving this bloke the time of day: the Bible, load of old shit or not, specifically warns against wankers like him.
Re: RIP The English Language
"Im no lingusitc purist"
Yeh niether am i
In much the same way the war on terror propaganda affects humans
…let alone physical torture, one assumes
You heard me
Before we get into idle theory about how intel/counter-intel REALLY operate (no but for serious) and speculation on what kind of cryptography may be at work on this 'mother lode', one might take time to survey the political aspect of this incident, which most people acknowledge is a fairly well-established and important part of the puzzle, to say the very least.
The War on Terror is a huge self-justifying, self-perpetuating PR machine to frame the latest iteration of the neo-Conservative-led era of 'targeted killings', wholesale invasions, the various interventions that lie somewhere between the two, and new legislation and police procedures on home soil that allow the defenestration of previous established civil rights.
Al Qaeda is a nebulous entity which does not need or require any central leadership, expertise, or information. In all serious analysis of mujahideen strategy and tactics, whether they be aggressively defensive warriors on the ground in occupied territories or kamikaze plotters planning ideological mass murders for reasons of pseudo-spiritual vengeance, these are not people who require a vast network of intelligence. In fact anything other than immediate local intelligence is utterly irrelevant to them.
Seriously, we've had this long to reflect on it — what on earth do you think bin Laden would want, regardless of security concerns, at his disposal in terms of intelligence that would be useful to the enemy?
For more on this, research 'asymmetrical warfare', and if you're feeling a bit flippant, 'Foundation and Empire' (Al Qaeda = Arabic for Foundation).
This is pure PR. Killing Osama bin Laden is an entirely pyrrhic victory for anyone who isn't a US official justifying themselves to their superiors in the light of their predecessors. Now they just have to mythically embellish the significance of his death. The US needs every opportunity it can get to at least create the impression of progress if not success after committing to this ongoing violent and exhausting project with no established escape or success clauses.
What do you call a payed-for contradiction?
A rip off.
"…the machines they will likely use it on often have less disk space than brand new machines…"
"…built on top of Embedded Standard edition of Windows 7 Service Pack 1"
Your machine can't handle modern software for reasons of power and memory. So you pay through the teeth to install Windows 7, which barely functions. Because it's all your machine can do to actually run Win 7 without any actual applications running on it, you need to pay to install a Win-7 only thin client. What was the original problem again?
If you're using an old machine, how about stick with XP and use your existing software? Or free web apps with cloud storage? Or install Unix?
Must be communism/lack thereof
Ridiculous. Violent suppression has existed in China and Russia for hundreds upon hundreds of years. To suggest that Western neo-imperialism could've made tactical decisions to completely end that trend after the fall of the Soviet state is hopelessly naive idle theory with no historical precedent.
It's in the statement: "trusted science"
We're talking about different things. Scientists work on hypothesis and proof. "Trust" doesn't come into it. This bloke is just conflating the subjective want to believe in something with a method for determining objective legitimacy of theories. Like the Indian Fox Mulder, working from the inside.
A system whereby the capture device supports itself over the book stand on 3 edges would save significant parts of the stupidly demanding workflow (removing before flipping page, and then replacing the capture device).
Even then, the mind still boggles as to who would seriously consider this value for money. According to their own figure (doubtless on the optimistic side of a range), you're probably going to spend 25 minutes scanning the average novel. This is assuming their crop & skew / OCR tech is ground-breakingly advanced and doesn't require any editing on your part — in which case you could probably double the figure.
Personally, I value my time such that it will always be cheaper for me to buy a new digital edition. Which leads me to the belief that anybody who wants to make this thing worth their while will be of the philanthropic anarchist bent, and seed the fruit of their efforts across the interwebs in an aim to get a worthy return on their investment.
Regardless, I'm almost certain that by the time I'd found the spare time to get 1/100th of the way through my bookshelf, publishers will have devised a system whereby in person presentation of a bought hard copy will be exchanged for a digital version.
"running away and hiding"
@The dog ate it
He was brought in for questioning in Sweden immediately after the charges were filed, and they were dismissed. Then, recently, when he was in the UK, they said the charges required more questioning. Regardless of how suspicious this is, he repeatedly approached the Swedish authorities, stating his willingness to discuss this via videolink, or at the Swedish embassy in London. They have made no response to these offers — until they issued a warrant for his arrest.
Even though the airport didn't consider it so? Kafka and Orwell are sobbing in their graves. Crimes of expression for which there are no victims. Awesome.
Alan Sugar? Amstrad?
Even if Jobs were just a ruthless capitalist who walked in and started running things at the top of Apple, the analogy still wouldn't hold. Apple have become an increasingly visionary tech company during his term.
IE9 hasn't necessarily won the race yet.
Standards evolve at a frantic pace, with a lot of the spec being written in retrospect to accommodate progressive browser implementations. While the Webkit and Gecko teams work iteratively in an environment of rapid development, IE versioning has always come in disparate version releases which do not upgrade gracefully rather than feature-laden optimisations in the form of point-releases. If IE9 wants to stay ahead of the game, Microsoft would need to fundamentally change the way the IE team works — but the cost & security issues of core MS product uptake make such a model difficult to implement.
In the meantime, check out IE9's CSS3 support — abysmal!
Completely agree with Tron. There's a lot of worrying attitudes here in the confusion of punishable law and "it's just not nice". I find it particularly bizarre that the court would see these apparently baseless, unprofitable and generally senseless but non-damaging acts to be so offensive as to merit incarceration yet dismiss mental illness out of hand - the ethical logic at work is unsettling. And the urge to get sexuality in there is just sinister. Does that make it worse of a crime? If so, who's suffering here? Where is the extra damage? And how should a humane society react to that observation? More time in a cell, yeah?
@Anonymous Coward 17:05
Lying, libeling, insulting are all different things. Libel is a legal term which includes defamatory lies, and can be taken to court. The fact that you seem to think they're all pretty much the same thing as far as the argument goes is concerning. Did this bloke even commit any of the aforementioned acts? Even if he had, was that really specifically what you were concerned about, or do you just agree with the sentiment of locking people up for 'nasty types of stuff', leaving boring details aside?
So it's not the effect of offense, but the intent to be offensive that is the problem? We're getting somewhere in terms of the popular judicial psychology at work, but in terms of specific legal application we have to be a bit more discerning, don't we (not a rhetorical question)? I mean, I'm horrified at the implications of what you consider to be the extent of human freedoms based on what you've expressed here, and I'd be worried about how you might act on a jury or in a situation of authority, but for my part I wouldn't have you locked up for it.
First they came for the trolls who gloated the recently bereaved, and I didn't speak up, because I wasn't a troll who gloated at the recently bereaved. Then they came for the trolls who gloated at the recently incarcerated for free expression...
@Sir Runcible Spoon
I don't think you should be held responsible for your actions while under a violent rage either. Unless, of course, you hurt somebody's feelings by saying something nasty, in which case, it should go to the courts and my opinion would be a bit trivial. I don't make the rules.
Don't understand the confusion
Are people really finding it that hard to see Rovio's angle? I don't want to be associated with Windows Phone 7. I don't want large corporates insinuating that I'm going to develop for it. Regardless of these issues, I object to large corporates taking my intellectual property and using it in a deceitful manner to sell their products without my permission.
No? Microsoft the good guys here, and Rovio's tweet on the subject a massive overreaction? Don't get that. Not in the slightest.
A very interesting article from an antenna design blog explains
My boss saw me reading this and forwarded me the following:
There's a good brief history of mobile antenna design in there. Basically, FCC safety requirements mean antenna positioning is in the least effective position — away from your brain, at the bottom, where any humanoid user's hand will be.
Hands-free, MyFi router? Surely what everyone wants anyway (short of a telescopically extensible antenna)?
Missing the point
Ah The Register, where people queue up to post inconsequential, immature short non-sequiturs about how much they have inconsequential, immature short non-sequiturs.
BTW, this was an article about language, and fads in Internet culture neologism.
PS I HATE TWITTER ARRRGH
I saw the name Wally and stopped reading. Sorry, am I being unconscionably asinine again?
NYT is playing to its strengths. As pointed out in the conclusion, papers can't vaguely wander into competing territory/format/language with the ever-faster web without signing off their relevance. Nor should they. NYT is a universal & timeless paper. It shouldn't alienate swathes of its audience by playing up to recent faddish lingo.
Where's the "I want to turn this into a convo about Opera" icon?
Common guys, let's give 'em what they want: Thank you, Opera, for tabs.
Back in the present-day: Opera is seriously lagging on standards. Having said that, their implementation of CSS3 counter incrementation is my favourite.
On topic: The screenshot shows somebody using Internet Explorer to download either Internet Explorer or Not Internet Explorer. I'm sure Opera will have an issue with this (with good cause).
Come off it — Gmail and Android are made of win.
Gmail = easily the best email client ever.
Android = best smartphone OS out there (just).
If you want their grubby mitts off your data, you can buy the software.
Google's dips of late are all down to an autistic sense of customer service, IMO. Everything great they've done until a year ago was by giving awesome stuff to users. Now they've taken stuff (Buzz = private data; Nexus = money) and don't understand the problem when people say the exchange isn't fair.
I don't get it
He is kind of funny and adorable, and did several things. You'd need to talk about his achievements a bit more comprehensively though, otherwise you're just relying on people being as enthusiastic as you are about the subject matter. For example, I don't really know much about him, and only know slightly more now. Is it better for hardcore fans?
gimmicky stepping-stone towards something useful
• I don't particularly want to bend things that much, and I certainly don't want to risk breaking them. Folding is what makes newspapers convenient. Bending is an inconvenient side-effect. Silly gimmick.
• How much of a variety of digital content will be regularly produced in formats this works well with? Because I don't want to read A4+ sheets of plain text. That would be tiresome and difficult. Step backward in versatility of medium.
• Too big to dissimulate unobtrusively while probably not being useful for more than an hour a day for most people. Not good for travel. Step backward in portability.
After a hundred such gimmicky little iterations in the world of ereaders hopefully we can get chromatic e-ink on a foldable (hinged) screen device that's thin enough to transport with touchscreen and internal gubbins powerful enough to run a proper variety of applications.
Get me out of cryostasis when we can get coloured ink touch screen tablet PCs with decent processing and open OS.
So the Borg "...are the most likely candidate to be the antagonists for this film". Well the attitude so thinly veiled by that comment just goes to show what massive respect they have for their source material.
Borg were explicitly stated to have had no prior contact with mankind when they first appeared in The Next Generation. In First Contact, they chucked in a time paradox plot whereby a Borg ship went back in time to the 21st century (but were followed by the Enterprise, thus sparing wider reality from pre-historic Borg incursion).
So more time-travel-to-no-effect-thank-God paradox, or direct contradiction of the original source material. This is going to be so incredibly trite. In fact, whereas the hype wasn't enough to make me see the first one, I may well watch this just to see how they plot it. Add to this bloody Shatner and we're sorted for cringe-worthy Trekeoptypes. Might as well get Data to turn up and somehow develop emotions for the first time, for the hell of it.
For the record, I read this through in one sitting, waited a minute to consider the implications, and at no point suffered from steaming brain syndrome.
I'm part of that minority of commentards that sees a use-case scenario, benefit to the universe, and continued success in 2.0 social diarrhoea services like twitter, facebook, et al. but I have to say that this is utter nonsense and will never take off on any scale.
How the fuck are you going to use this? Via the site, repeatedly clicking on random play buttons with no prior indication as to their content, one after the other? Using some kind of yet-to-be-released app that intermittently, asynchronously blares your entire group's lifestream out of your headphones? I just can't see how this is desirable or usable on any level…
Paris: modern, showy, accessible, vacuous, irritating, useless
You don't want to protect you just want to f***ing control
These laws are ridiculous. They have no serious application for extremist terrorism. Picture this situation with a CTC officer versus a fanatic prepared to end his own life and that of others for ideological reasons, who possesses data he believes would compromise his cause:
— Decrypt all your sensitive data within the hour or you go to prison for 5 years
— Oh, all right then
It just doesn't make any kind of sense in the situation in which it is purportedly applicable.
In the meantime, the law-abiding citizen has no right to silence or privacy given police suspicion — and according to the numerous incidents (many of which reported here) on the accountability of police regarding their suspicion, police suspicion appears to be self-justifying.
@Gk.pm (and other techies on the effects of tar on microhardware)
The notion that optical drives and other bitsy microtech seriously suff from exposure to the tar in cigarette smoke is totally new to me — but now that you mention it, it sounds quite plausible.
If smoking near the product voids the warranty, this needs to be explicit. I can't imagine if would occur to any tech consumer I know that smoking while using their machine would affect their warranties (disclaimer: I don't know any hardware repair technicians).
In actual fact though, this is wide of the point. Apple haven't made any provisions for this and aren't attempting to make it into an issue of cost to repair: they're saying that handling an object which has previously been handled by a smoker is a danger to their employees which would violate their constitutional rights as regards the employer-employee relationship.
Which is a kind of madness that would need a couple of pretty hilarious/horrifying court cases to be posited as falling under 'to be expected'.
Mozilla is the tip of the iceberg, comrade. There are millions of stupid, pathetic, rip-off idiots out there working on browsers that aren't Opera. God I hate them. Why don't they all just give up and admit, publicly, that Opera is and always will be the only browser anyone could ever need? Beats the hell out of me.
Can we get an Opera 'O' icon down there? It would save me and a fair few others so much typing.
Their basic phones have incredibly intuitive software that, when it comes to the basics (of what mobiles phones were meant to do), always give you quick access to the options you want in any given circumstance.
Their word processing software is the best there is.
That said, n-gage was utterly ridiculous from the start. It tried to be a phone and a console, and achieved below mediocrity in both camps, at every iteration. On top of that, the hardware was ugly — and the whole package was counter-intuitive in almost every aspect. It just doesn't fit with the nokia brand as I perceive it in any way.
If only there was a TWITTER = BAD icon
…You could reduce the Reg's overall comments word-count by about 25%.
"Sure our kids would probably be healthier being sent to the communal school to live for 7 years emulating Sparta's happy training combination of starvation, abuse and buggary - but they'd probably live a longer and happier life playing nintendo and eventually becoming corporate lawyers (though probably no less evil)"
Exactly. ROFLMAOOLetc kthxbye.
Interoperability, integrated multimedia…
Flash ubiquity takes a dent from Apple's stand-offishness as regards the iPhone. Now, things are looking different. My landlord's a Flex deseloper. His CV looks better every minute. Now he can just say he's a mutlimedia RIA developer, and his apps will run on anything.
MVP compromises NDA?
I'm not quite on the level as to how depriving this man of his M$-tech scouts badge could have any legal ramifications, save perhaps for "these bastards won't let me wear my sticker" (which would be a rightfully completely legitimate complaint on this side of the pond - however I get the impression over there all employment is a case of "how high?")...
Let's remember that while this man was a valued employee at M$, the MVP institution is a distinction handed to whoever applies that the jury believes has done a great job of supporting M$-tech community. They are very separate things.
And while obviously it's embarrassing for Google to have an employee who still seeks merit awards from their rival and his former employers... 'Telling him not to' seems a bit... Unprofessional? Ungentlemanly? ...Over-stepping your jurisdiction?
And yes, evil Gates/evil Jobs looking horribly out of date down there. We need Schmidt and Ballmer. Schmidt is the one the chairs were thrown for, after all.
Even after all these months…
…Commentards still haven't found the time to watch the demo before panning the product.
I'm really excited about the whitelabel corporate wave install applications. Goodbye AIM/MSN/Skype/Outlook/Exchange, no more spending 20 min trying to find that document/email thread/meeting minutes. Everything everybody's said in one place, with history of changes.
And then when the company cuts loose the obsolete M$ support IT team, they can afford to start paying the people doing actual work.
Vivisected, because the thing isn't dead – if you're going to pull apart an iPod Nano and break it in the process I'm a lot less interested.
"It's all over for me" ?!
OK, you were the victim of gung-ho cops acting on an insiduous culture of irrational web-based big-brotherism. Terrifying and frustrating stuff, I can only imagine. And I'm glad you're representing rational man in the courtroom.
But this kind of hyperbolic emotional reaction is not helping at all.
For one thing, it becomes incredibly easy to see people on the limits of what the nanny-state deems suspicious as weak-minded emotional idiots all too eager to tap into an amorphous well of delicious victimhood, and consequently people will end up sympathising with those 'just doing their jobs' against unbalanced weirdos who come back with blatant overreactions like 'the state destroyed my life'. People will start hearing of cases of accusations against the nanny state and dismiss the plaintiffs out of hand.
Second, this kind of reaction says you have no real sense of perspective yourself and need constant protection from some form of state apparatus — lawyers to fill the bizarrely acquired whole in your existence with money — and hence we need this kind of ultra-protectionist nanny-state in the first place.
Your business? Your emotional stability?! If you can get a professional witness to testify that your every action is weighed against a massive complex of Kafka-esque self-guilt and government paranoia, fine. If what you're really trying to say is "regardless of what I ethically and legally consider right or wrong, I will never think the same way about uploading amusing videos to the internet", then stop memorising the thesaurus' entry for 'distraught' and get a bloody grip.
Regarding the case though, better set a good precedent. The way the cops acted is madness. 11 months? Ridiculous.
With a minimum of hackery I can run separate-drive Linux, Win and OSX on my custom PC. Effectively this gives me the most complete control I can have over hardware and software without any low-level unstabilising hackery.
To those suggesting people simply buy a Mac, you're insane. This is insanely cheaper than the price markup of a same-spec Mac over a PC. Your point also ignores the fact that this allows almost total hardware customisation and upgrade from various distributors, and will let you run Linux and Windows on the same machine (I feel I need to say this again) without software-based hacks.
I'm getting one of these.
- NASA boffin: RIDDLE of odd BULGE FOUND on MOON is SOLVED
- Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers
- Pic 7 AMAZING experiments set for Mars Rover 2020 – including oxygen generation
- Worstall on Wednesday YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
- Plug and PREY: Hackers reprogram USB drives to silently infect PCs