78 posts • joined Monday 2nd February 2009 10:35 GMT
rights for mice!
"assuming SDL or something is up to the input tasks"
Had a quick look. As Kajagoogoo once said, "I don't think so".
Why is it that Input Device API's are always neglected? Usually they're lowest common denominator affairs: keyboard & mouse. Down the stack is the excellent HID protocol, but it's a bit awkward to use in an application. Microsoft wraps this up in DirectInput - which it then, bizarrely, slags off. I don't think there's a Linux equivalent.
So come on, API writers: a flexible one for all those haptic glove applications.
Upgraded from the brown one on a Fujitsu Siemens laptop. Only took *three hours* - 30 mins of network time.
Seems much like the last except the doodles.
Still changes screen modes too often on boot.
Still installs cups & print drivers at every opportunity.
Still doesn't suspend / hibernate - how old is this bug?
Still doesn't support all the Fn keys.
Still doesn't allow me to enable wireless, requiring instead a manual build of acerhk - how old is that bug?
Still can't fully remove evolution / baobab with its WTF-is-that-supposed-to-show UI / pointless gnome-dictionary without removing everything else.
Other than that, it's ok.
@That Awful Puppy: re. GIMP priorities, you mean the Python command line isn't important?
It's a cold universe
Here's one I prepared while swimming this morning, having mused a bit about your closing line. Its not quite right, but it would be unlike me to finish something.
When we face death we realize that all of our personal effects will most likely be offered to the market, some of which will receive nothing in exchange. Does this mean that they're worthless? When we say something has *only* sentimental value it's because the markets don't put a price on it, and yet our personal value is the true value. It's an individual choice. Capitalism values nothing, but its advocates believe it can price anything, even ideas. When we are forced by circumstances to sell something that we cherish we never stop believing that it was undersold. Economics says we have a utility function that determines how flexible we are on prices, but flexibility doesn't imply we think something is worth what we got for it. When someone says "I would give my life to save yours." they really mean it, but that doesn't mean they're willing to trade it for a nice house. Capitalism devalues humanity.
The reason for capitalism's success, I believe, other than it advocates a work ethic that tallies with some religious beliefs, is that it has a strong definition of fairness. When the freetards exploit this system to its logical conclusion, its advocates start changing the rules. Now, is that fair?
When, in fifty years or so, the machines become better at doing certain things than us, and words like "creative" and "talent" become the guffaws of "ether", these issues will have to be dealt with.
If anybody reading this thinks it advocates a particular solution: wrong. So, anyone under thirty, or who thinks communism is the ultimate swear-word, or who has difficulty differentiating between mental and physical, please use the energy from NOT replying to this by thinking about it instead.
Death to OO!
On arxiv, at my last look, there were two articles on software maintenance. Most of the issues in software development revolve around understanding what other people have written. I also see that F# uses the same anal whitespace scheme as Haskell. Could not the researchers have addressed these instead of beguiling themselves with its terseness? Somewhat ironically Haskell was a classic software failure: not meeting requirements. Shouldn't Dr Jones avoid making the same mistake twice?
Declarative and procedural languages do not mix. I've been to two interviews where people were trying to get rid of Boost because it produced unmaintainable code. Don't do it! Personally, I find it difficult to switch "modes".
Having said all that I welcome any functional language. Anything's better than iffy rubric of OO.
God is dead!
The problem is, dear Bryce, you seem to treat morality as an absolute. It's not: you have a choice. And where you make your choice determines who's right and who's wrong.
You also seem to deny the possibility that you yourself could be that killer or rapist. Perhaps you don't know yourself well enough. Take a good long look. You've already shown that you're capable of justifying your actions to kill someone. Has it not occurred to you that the murderer had too? Perhaps you've never been pushed far enough. Try poverty. Try isolation. There's no decision.
Has it never occurred to you that perhaps life in a prison isn't meant to be punishment. If they're there then you and your society has failed; and you need to rectify that: give the murderer a chance - if it takes a lifetime then so be it. Killing someone is the cowardly way out: sweeping the problem under the carpet; saving yourself some cash.
I am not a number. Unless it's 10.
Stats? Gambling? Aww, no, that makes it even more tedious. What I'd like to see is more MP's demonstrating their IT savviness.
Where's that Mandelson chap? Surely he has nothing better to do than write about his queuing torment to get that iPad. He's bound to be popular here. (Or is he too A-list?)
Since the comments section is usually the place for ill-informed remarks could we not reverse the roles and have us plebs under the lights asking questions: What's your favourite distro? What picture do you have on your desktop? What's your password? etc.
MP's can then do the icon picking and drag their fanboism into any thread.
Flakey Foundations (TM)
First out: I don't believe in Intellectual Property. I find the concept bizarre. Did someone place a flag in intellectual space telling me I can't go there? Cos I sure as shit can. However, I appreciate the effort it may have taken to get there: for instance, I wouldn't equate two days of synthesizer knob twiddling with three years and £800m worth (1990) of systematic trials to get a drug to market. Every human activity is derivative, but some things, like film and music, are a lot more derivative than others. Anybody who has farted around with Fruity Loops for a few hours will know how much skill it takes to produce techno/ambient music: none.
Secondly, if there's one thing most IP "owners" do not believe in it's a free market. Since the means of production are negligible, supply is near infinite and the price is near zero. So the powers that be create laws to restrict supply in the manner of OPEC, and I guess most complaints revolve around the fairness of these restrictions.
So, for me, the first step to a resolution would be to move away from concepts of ownership to concepts of discovery and exploitation rights. The emphasis then is that anybody could have got there by any of many routes, and that any "ownership" is universal. One implication is that copying is not criminal.
A fairer pricing scheme can be achieved by varying the length of exploitation licences on a bureaucratically friendly individual basis. Perhaps a good measure of difference is how often these licences are granted: at a guess, every two minutes for a trance tune; every three years for an anti-ulcer drug - this would also reflect the ease with which some things are achieved with new technology; most barriers to discovery decrease with time.
I guess that none of this has resolved issues to do with distribution, but I believe that restricting it is not the answer.
Copyright 2010 Colin Barfoot.
taking the science out of science
Nigel Shadbolt says, "The Institute for Web Science will act as a bridge between research and business". I found their publication, "Trip Reports from WebSci'09" particularly helpful in this respect.
For me, the Semantic Web is one of those phenomena that seeks to create order out of chaos, but ends up being subverted into an ideal to which all suitors fail. Believe me, people, we'll all suffer for it (it's in Revelations).
U U UCL not saints
Who was it who wrote the report? Doesn't UCL have an interest in this, ici, http://www.openehr.org/ - which seems to be a re-write of w3's semantic web / xproc, but what the hey.
AC@14:33's comment suggests a lack of flexibility in the implementation - I don't know why they couldn't add new categories. I see they're using HL7 (the standards body with a marketing strategy, hmm..), whose specs are "open" for a fee, so it's difficult to tell if the rigidity is inherent in the system. Anybody willing to stump up £130 to find out? Otherwise it's goodbye £12.7bn in a series of hefty re-writes - and I so wanted that ivory back-scratcher.
There are some WSDL's here, http://www.connectingforhealth.nhs.uk/systemsandservices/interop/standards.
I'd like to think that this started with something trivial...
JOBSY: Schmidt, are you wearing that Mickey Mouse T-shirt again?
SCHMIDT: Yes, Steven. Have you got a problem with that?
JOBSY: Dammit it, yes. I hate that mouse. Mom forced me wear Micky Mouse underpants at school....I've never recovered from the taunts. Take it off.
SCHMIDT: Come again?
JOBSY: Remove your T-shirt, Steven, else Micky will be talking my James Bond-style iPhone with retractable blade.
SCHMIDT: One step closer, Steven.
JOBSY: Oof. Right in the iPod.
SCHMIDT: Ow, the man who messes with my search technology dances with death.
Since they're looking to get intelligent ideas, as an alternative to skunkworks, maybe they should consider smartshop.
@AC 14:34: You may not be pro-Tory but do you work for Aviva? I'm not sure I'd agree with you entirely. Successful IT projects are pretty rare. Fragmenting the workload in the way you suggest does create a prohibitive communication overhead, but it needn't be so.
Personally I'd get the in-house smackheads to produce a UI Toolkit (use Qt, say), a communication framework, and some data requirements (filch Google Health API, say) - or just dictate standards. Individual hospitals can then either develop their own software that meets the standards, or software companies could produce their wares speculatively and sell them - in much the same way that the rest of the software industry works. Can I have some consultancy fees, please?
They're so much better than the older generations, yada, yada, yada...
Well, I'm pretty sure that I know a lot more about sitting, staring aimlessly into space than any of them: stamina improves with age don't you know? Not only that, but should anyone selfishly interrupt my quality time, rather than have a hissy-fit, I can offer up gnostic aphorisms found only through years of practice.
On the down side automatic updates package-manager-style can drag in half a ton of unwanted rubbish - recently Google Chrome installed postfix because of a straggling dependency; they can introduce bugs that weren't there before and make a stable system unstable; and they tend to require bandwidth, which isn't always the case on mobile systems.
On the plus side bugs tend to get fixed; and a unified system stops dozens of apps pouncing on the network connection when it's up.
So Microsoft would do well to adopt or initiate a standardized approach to updates - but I'm not holding my breath.
@Apocalypse Later: you might want to give Chromium OS a miss then. Reading the "Partition Resizing" doc suggests that they're seeking to push updates. Speculatively: I'd be surprised if Google didn't go the whole hog with provisioning.
The cat is out of the bag. So, Mr Vroom is a friend of El Reg, is he? That would explain all the sympathetic Adobe stories.
I guess to IDE or not to IDE is down to personal preference and what one learned. FWIW: For C++, I like MSDev, mainly because I principally wrote Windows desktop stuff in the past. The debugger is fantastic. MonoDevelop is MSDev on Mono with bugs. Eclipse is bloody irritating and shows why plugins are bad UI. Farting around with make files is what people without a decent editor or a standard build environment do.
I have a past affinity with a certain Andy Pennell, but this hasn't skewed my opinion at all, much like El Reg's Adobe stories.
No, what you need is a Googlerithm which takes the images of your grubby abode and processes it into a spotless palace.
So come on Google bods, if you're all so bloody clever let's have the Google HedgeClipper.
And while you're at it. Instead of those blurry heads how about some smiley faces? As Sapphire & Steel demonstrated faceless people induce nightmares.
I think Tiemann's talking out of his arse. Ignoring the metaphorical weed smoking, FOSS decisions seem to be made by a plutocracy of techies - there's no user interaction. (I think this primarily stems from Unix's historical presence in academia where the users are to be ignored - but I won't press the point). People who aren't able to offer technical solutions are rejected - try posting an idea, phrased in non-technical language, to the brainstorming section of your favourite distro and see what happens.
Software development is pretty much the same as it was before, poor management processes lead to upset users - only the big players have changed, and this time Linux / GNU have become dictators to the masses.
under the bridge
How do you know that AC's comment wasn't trolling? Perhaps we should ignore what other people post and just comment on the story. Ooops.
I hate Apple. And I have used a Mac. OS Version 9, I think. With a one-buttoned mouse. Repeatedly crashed when using a Nikon negative scanner.
Are you not a fan then Chris Thomas Alpha?
I'm with you on the OpenOffice looks bloody awful. The font picker still screws up on novelty fonts. And that sodding life-belt icon needs throwing out to sea. Presumably they used OO Draw which I find unusable, etc., etc.
I think it's a general malaise of FOSS: they are pretenders to the BigCorp throne - we can do better than that paid-for stuff; here's a free copy. OpenOffice is a near clone of old MS Office, Gimp is a near clone of old Photoshop, and all of them _worse_ than the original versions - never mind the modern ones. Even of the more usable desktop managers GNOME is mis-proportioned and awkward to use - ironically the easiest way to improve its look is to use Microsoft fonts (KDE's even worse). There's no actual innovation in the UI - it's just lazy - oh we'll use a dialog box and some check boxes for that.
Some clue as to why may be offered here, http://live.gnome.org/UsabilityProject/London2010: Intel, Sun, RedHat, Novell, Canonical and some academics. I don't believe any of them has had a successful - we'll say loved - desktop product.
The web browsers are a noticeable exception, but even they look better on Windows.
Una de esta, por favor.
Is all the Spanish you need to know - provided you have a finger.
Shame on you stu 4. And shame on me too...
Once upon a time, I was in Rio without any Portuguese, and had to get by in English. Unfortunately the locals only understood me if I affected an American accent.
So anybody wishing to sample Rio life, while avoiding a tedious flight, would do well to sit in a sauna with their iPhone, a sun lamp and a dozen favela types, where you can discuss the finer points of Street Dance before you realise they've filched your phone.
you could try...
ooh the big google's going to get me
Man, there are a lot of people who should get out more here. Isolation nurtures paranoia. Be open about what you do! It doesn't hurt. It's like naturism for the mind.
Personally I'm not that bothered with Google's snooping per se; it's more the distracting and irrelevant ads that annoy me. So, Google, if you are listening as everyone assumes, I'd like my ads more relevant and less distracting please, and I don't mind telling you Amazon-wise what I like / don't like / have already.
BTW: Tor is no match against a powerful adversary. So saith the Torah.
@Sarah Bee et al.
Lindt (or anything Swiss). Yuck. Green and Blacks. Overpriced.
Lidl do some excellent, reasonably-priced chocolate.
Kraft own Cote d'Or, which was once widely available in the UK. I liked it: croquant pecan, caramelized almonds, ... Carrefour, the French supermarket, do cheaper versions, nicely presented - pay attention UK supermarkets!
I buy all my chocolate in Bayonne, France.
fit for what?
Surely for a job that requires extended periods of sitting a nice, comfy fat arse is about as fit as you can get. So, the larger the arse the fitter you are. Can't the government get anything right?
On their website they've referred to el Reg as The A Register. They could have given you an EAX, at least. I mean, Z80.
Still, it's pretty impressive that a couple of psychologists have that kind of hardware knowledge.
rage against the dying of the light
What a privileged life you must have, JC 2! I agree that, at forty, Ms Thrasher ought to have learned how to behave, but unfortunately she hasn't. Some people don't get the opportunity. It's far more likely that she suffered as part of her learning.
So, more pity for Ms Thrasher. She might be obnoxious, but there are certainly other culpable parties who have remained free from indictment.
I hope against hope she finds someone she respects who teaches her better ways of dealing with her problems.
Chyurr, you just can't get the role models these days. Too many inflated egos. Too much bullshit in the media creating a cult of personality. Bring back Jesus!
In the train's "Quiet Zone" of 13th May 2009 was one "Stacy" from Harvey Nash. Via his phone he proceeded, without irony, to terminate the contract of some guy in HSBC for "inappropriate behaviour". Fortunately he alighted at the next stop.
Isn't this just a publicity stunt for Micro Focus? If they're so concerned about the UK's IT welfare why's the only UK-based job they have on offer for an accountant?
The makingbritaingreat website has a link to brands2life, "Brands2Life is a strategic, high impact PR agency focused on helping technology-driven brands stand out from the crowd. "
I'm assuming that the "international entrepreneurs" are Andrew Orlowski's Silicon Valley bloggers.
Urghh, I need a drink.
goes down like a ton of adobes
You can try a manual update. For Windows the info is in
and the patch is here,
as to what the hunters and whalers concerns were.
WHALE: If you hunt me down I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.
WHALER#1: Arghh, ye talking cetacean. Your fishy threats don't frighten us. Fire!
WHALE: Urghhh! Right, well you asked for it. You'll be visited by the ghost of whaling past: a terrifying amorphous blob of a creature that strips men of their flesh and spits out their bones on the beach.
WHALER#1: If I had a piece of eight for every time some whale said that I'd be a rich whaler.
WHALER#1: That's him done, lads. Did anyone pack the big hawsers?
WHALER#1: Shiver my timbers, we'll have to go back and get them.
Chyurr. What kind of dystopia will that lot give us?
Shameless and uncoordinated elders bopping away at birthdays and bar mitzvahs. Ever concerned that we might be our own great-grandparent. And as blogs n' Twitter have shown telepathy is something that must never happen.
It's typical of these Ruskies: just because they had a Soviet Union they think that everyone else should have one.
Here's three inventions I'd like to see:
1) matter transformer: in go holey old socks; out come fresh, new, slightly smaller socks. No more economy. No more material envy.
2) planetary propulsion: goodbye sweaty days and frozen fingers. Come July / January, just fire her up and whizz round the 'helion a couple of months worth. No more extremes; just all the best parts of the year. As an added bonus one-third of the existing population apparently never ages.
3) 80's-style special effect of rotating square with faces frozen on it - in space. Ostensibly a land of play and lollipops (all free). In actuality a cruel, harsh lesson in growing up for the young. Using genetic techniques the occupants are mutated into chymera - half donkey - and endure terrible suffering at the hands of the Thuggee. Only having metamorphosed themselves into responsible members of society can they join planet Earth.
One Man and His Blog
Before you can say "publicity" two experts are making the same suggestion. Now that's magic. Do they share the same agent?
I've got the blog. I've got the media contacts. Now all I need is a job title. Expert, yes. But what? x86 assembler. hmm...too specific and I'd have to know details. Got it! World Expert. The World's Greatest World Expert. Catchy. And I need know bugger all; just spout a few platitudes now and then. Sorted. Hello Gravy Train.
Rather than argue for fewer asterisks I'd argue for more. By replacing every blog writer's postings with asterisks the user's experience will be improved immeasurably. A more lenient me would suggest a checkbox to allow the user to mask the blogger's tedious warblings. hmm...I feel a Firefox add-on in the making.
Personally I don't type my passwords visually. I just let my fingers do the work. We're not on speaking terms so I'm not even sure what my passwords are. As such there's no advantage in being able to see the characters. I hardly think I'm unique.
Quantity ~= Quality
Ubuntu et al. face a similar problem to OpenSolaris. There may 26000 packages in Ubuntu's reach but the majority of them will be of no interest to most users: mostly libs and command line apps. Of the few remaining GUI apps there are a lot of Toolkit variations of the same thing and some outright cacky sub-Win3.1 disgraces. This largely leaves the GNU's which are usually short on functionality, and the Sun's. The best application on Ubuntu I've seen is Sun's VirtualBox - run your favourite OS of yore (it's passed my acid test in being able to run my ancient copy of Adobe Premiere - which is better than Vista and probably better than Win2000 on the original hardware). In fact the virtualized copy of Xara (doodling) runs more slickly than the Ubuntu port. Ubuntu is noticeably sluggish on the desktop - it seems to rely heavily on high-end graphics hardware to work well.
Sun's documentation is a model of excellence. Ubuntu's help app, yelp, repeatedly crashes which is no help at all. And as any Christian will tell you the last place you want to go looking for help is in a forum.
What would deter most desktop users from adopting OpenSolaris (and the other Linux-based OS's that I've tried) as opposed to Ubuntu is that it doesn't work out of the box; it doesn't pick up the majority of my peripherals. And to a lesser extent in Solaris's case the command-line terminal goes haywire if you try the usual cursor movement keys.
If Sun would get out and market VirtualBox on Solaris as a route to the user's freedom from the tyranny of the Microsoft desktop, automate the peripheral pickup and possibly persuade a closed source app developer like Adobe to port some decent apps then perhaps they could still succeed.
our green overlords
IT workers of the world
the time has come for change.
With statistical algorithms gathering data from the web our intellectuals have proved that our program is correct: we cannot fail.
No Blog shall go unrecognized.
No Tweet shall remain insignificant.
No tide shall deny the Wiki-edit when commanded to turn.
If it is Wiki-said then so shall it be.
For is it not writ that the geek shall inherit the Earth?
From their netbooks and Macs the e-crowd shall shape the world in their image and IT workers shall be their kings.
* * * * * * * *
From Greenpeace's FAQ, "The global IT sector is in the unique position of being able to provide wide scale solutions needed to cut greenhouse gas emissions..."
The MS support page cites http://www.dfi.org/, the Deep Foundations Insititute, as a source of related information. That's one hell of a bug. You'd have thought Microsoft could have spotted 50 tonne pile driver.
"...your mind may be taking that time to address more important questions in your life, such as advancing your career or personal relationships."
Just as I thought. While my brain might be doing something helpful for once it's instead carrying out its own agenda. Well it's not going to get away with it. OH YES I AM. No! Nooooo!
Although Janet Napolitano is undeniably gorgeous I think you meant,
I notice that Dr O'Toole has a mention on the PBS's "Avoiding Armageddon" pages. No bias to learning there then.
So rather than removing all the half-arsed parts they thought they'd add some more, and not just silly academic additions, no, they'll be "Improving Standard C++ for the Physics Community".
I notice that members of the old crowd are still there: Francis Glassborow (remember him Verity?), Herb Sutter, P.J. Plauger. Seems like a cosy get together for old time's sake. One for road.