52 posts • joined Friday 6th March 2009 14:08 GMT
Re: It does genuinely save money
I'm not arguing against that at all - yes there are serious privacy concerns. I was actually responding to a point further up the list that said that it wouldnt drive down costs which it will.
The fact is that there is a lot more survielance than the average person realises - for example number plate recognition is *very* widely deployed and for some police forces can be queried in near real time (for certain emergency situations).
There are also already provisions within existing law that gives anything deemed to be relating to crime prevention or national security a much wider remit with regards to data collection/retention.
It does genuinely save money
Having worked for a motor insurer in the past and still being slightly in touch with these things, the claims rate for telematic equiped drivers is *much* better than an equivalent book without (i.e. using all of the age, conviction, postcode, car data thats typically used to rate).
the conclusion of the underwriters seems to be that telematics makes people drive more sensibly (go figure) . The other thing telematics boxes often do (as opposed to the phone based software options) is include a couple of highly calibrated accelerometers (sp?) so that in the event of a colision the insurer can reconstruct the impact, this then leads to much better allocation of fault and the ability to better dispute certain personal injury claims.
Insurance is a scarily competative industry and for large parts of the time the under writing elements of insurers will lose money, so yes this should drive down costs as it should result in safer driving and less spurious claims.
Re: I don't get the this Landfill Android meme
I completely agree - there is a big difference between selling a "cheaply made" knock off of a premium product and producing a "cheap to make" basic product.
The first will almost always fail to meet performance expectations and likely break much earlier than expected, the later has a decent chance of doing the functional things its intended to do in a reliable fashion and to last a long time. We shouldn't forget that in the markets they are pitching this into, $99 is still and expensive product and I suspect reliability will be a big long term selling point.
I think Nokia will want to introduce an Android phone range at some point - but I wouldn't be at all surprised if that was 2-3 years away. All the reviews of their current range are generally positive, everyone I've spoken to who's used one has liked it and they've got themselves to almost neutral in terms of cash burn.
As a business the strategy looks to be working for them - the last thing they need right now is another product line to distract them. They also don't need to get to 30% market share - 10% would do just fine and I dont think thats impossible for them.
Re: Another example of why Linux fails to gain market share
PS: as it happens I did install Ubuntu for my mother about 12 months ago when she needed a little netbook bringing back to life for internet use.
Re: Another example of why Linux fails to gain market share
I was about to write exactly this comment - I got to half way through page two before the article started to give any advice that I could consider putting in front of someone new. Frankly they'd never see that.
This article can be summarised as choice is good but scary, now let me throw huge amounts of choice at you.... if you're still reading here are some basic summaries of leading distros.
This could have been an excellent piece, as another comment said it needed a flowchart diagram at the top.
I've used any number of distro's over the years and have contributed code to FOSS projects in the past, but be honest with yourselves. That article was of no use to anyone who didnt already know the subject well, and for them it was probably little more than an opinion piece.
however, shortly after the judgement Samgsung upped its prices to Apple by £1Bn over the course of a contract renewal. So I suspect Apple commercially isnt any better off.
My exchange isnt affected...
...apparently. However I've been having exactly the same issues, new BT connection due in just over a week now.
Missing the point of 3d printing...
3d printing is ideal for low volume runs and you can print via services like shapeways.
Having accurate 3d models for a phone case could open up a range of cases that you'd never produce in volume - and I'm thinking work type applications. E.g. a clipboard which has the phone case as part of it to hold it steady, a case with loops to allow it to be held securely by a lanyard, etc...
For some corporates it could also be attractive to be able to design and print their own custom case with logo.
From a "Police" perspective this would probably require PlusNet to retain a lot more logging information. At present for general network access all they would need to do is log which IP is assigned, under a NAT arrangement they would need to log individual mappings as just knowing someones private IP wouldnt be any use when asked who connected to dodgy site X.
I know there has been a significant uplift in logging over the last few years - but this does feel like it would be another step up.
interesting read accross to Nokia
Given that this has just settled for about 20% of projections, and that quite a bit of analysis on Nokia's recent value has been based upon its patent library.
Re: Console name
I'm unlikely to buy one - but I'd call it a "Condenser"
Ewoks: Battle for Endor
Re: It would be easy to boot modders off PSN
the problem with that is from the PSN point of view you ask a device for a md5sum of a file and it returns a string - at the center you've no idea if that was a genuine md5 being performed or if it was simply hacked software returning the string you want. Even if you supply a salt with each challenge all a hacked device would need to do is have a copy of the "good" file in a secondary location.
totally agree - I had a P800 which I managed to loose in my own car (god knows how I spent days looking for it) and then a P910 afterwards. They felt massively ahead of their time back then.
Re: how much is "less"
Margin is calculated on what it costs you to deliver a service - so a 20-30% margin ought to be perfectly possible for transaction processing (which should cost a few £0.01 to deliver at volume) when billed at <2% of gross transaction value.
£5.00 spend @ 2% = 10p, if cost to process is 8p then thats 20% margin.
The trick is volume as you need a lot of transactions to split the depreciation of your highly expensive data centre accross in order to reduce your cost per transaction.
Credit / debit cards are generating well in excess of tens of millions of transactions per day - phone operator based payments not so much, hence higher cost per transaction.
CRB / List99
I've no idea if it will apply to this guy, but a CRB check is just that "a check". As I understand it, the employer then has to determine if any positive disclosure is reason to deny reject the candidate. Its cases like this combined with freedom of information however that then end up with the occassional headlines about "X number of convicted sex offenders working in XXX".
Teachers are subject to list99 which isn't quite the same:
I have wondered about apps myself - I have probably a dozen paid for apps, but I probably use the free ones more. Also having reinstalled my Galaxy S a number of times, I dont always put the same apps back - there are functions I need but not specific apps.
Oddly the major barrier to me changing these days would be does the phone support the 2-3 games that my kids play on the phone, and that could be addressed simply be keeping the old handset and letting them play with that.
The other thing that's suprised me so far is that nobody seems to have considered an "Android Emulator" or compatability layer, you can run one on a PC for development purposes so why couldn't a Win Phone run one locally and allow access to an Android App library. All the code is public domain after all (and it would be an entertaining inversion of WINE). If the app library was that important I can't see this being that hard to do.
Re: drawing conclusions
What I'm saying is that changing an assumption in a model this complex probably has an equal chance of making the prediction "better" or "worse", of course thats a global view.
At a small scale I suspect this change in assumptions will create local predictions of drought and flooding in different locations. The question will be are those currently the useful / productive areas of the planet?
"It would seem that in one important respect at least, science to date has been predicting a future grimmer than will actually be the case."
This seems a really bold conclusion given the data presented - my guess is that changes like this will be slightly chaotic to the output of the model rather than linear as you suggest.
all that this shows is that a particular part of a model is wrong. Its not until the system as a whole is modeled that you can say what the overall implication is - I'd suspect that it will be extremely dependant upon the layout. At the extreme consider a ring shaped dry area encircling a damper area, this change to assumptions could presumably lead to the damp region being progressively dried out over a period of years. If it then turns out that the "damp" area is where we currently live and grow food thats not a good result.
For what its worth I'm personally of the opinion that most climate models are probably overstating the effects at present, however if you're going to report something like this please think about your conclusions. This shows part of a model is wrong - not what implications are on a systemic level.
@Mike - yes the paperwhite is the one I'd buy, I've been watching Kindles for the last couple of years and thinking they're just not quite what I need in terms of contrast (albeit the touch is *very* close to my comfort level). The paperwhite looks perfect for what I'd use it for.
ummm no, short sellers are selling - the clue is in the name!
" Nevertheless, the update delivers increased performance and new features in spades"
Not wanting to be picky, but you just reviewed this on new (quad-core) hardware, can you justify the "increased performance" part of this statement? How much of the experiance is based on being able to dedicate a core to UI handling without impact on other tasks (not sure if it does that, purely an example of what it might do).
For most people I suspect they wont care as they'll get this with new hardware - but for a review on this site that does seem to be a major unsubstantiated claim.
Thought I'd messed something up over the weekend - reinstalled firefox twice and still wasnt working so removed it.
this is a fantastic policy
First off - the issue of identifying and stopping benefit fraud is completely seperate from how the benefits are applied for or calculated. So put that to one side.
Secondly, I think the argument about what level benefits are paid at is also completely seperate to this policy. There are arguments both ways on that one.
The main point here (as I understand it) is that under the current system if you are on benefits and want to get back into work, you can end up trapped because if you earn a very small amount/work a couple of hours you lose eligability to specific benefits which in total is more than your wage. Hey presto its not worth (or possible) to take the job.
By having a universal benefit you work out a base entitlement and then remove it in a tapered way as people start to earn - so it should be possible for someone on benefits to do say 8-10 hours a week if thats all they can find or as a bridge from long term unemployment.
How is that not a fantastic idea? The economics suddenly become "its always better to have a job"
Please dont confuse either fraud levels or even the level of benfit paid with what this is actually about.
cant buy Rox???
both my kids play Moshi Monsters and love it, its also nice that its a closed garden so they can email their cousins but I dont worry to much about overall exposure. All in all as a parent I think its a really good introduction to online behaviour.
But I think you're kidding yourself that you can't buy Rox, the CD came with a token for 1,000 rox - as far as I can see its typical for other merchandise to also have similar offers. Maybe not an online purchase - but pester power in a supermarket can is probably a better sales channel here (under 10's generally dont have their own credit card and its easier to persuade a parent to buy a "thing").
Andy - thats exactly what I was thinking, unless I'm missing something the acceleration of these ballons (with appropriate parachute enabled weight) ought to be pretty consistent.
Not sure I agree with your headline John
Putting to one side the argument about how accurate the loss estimation is (and that the true rate of breachs will be higher as this is just the detected figure), a key figure from this presentation was that total loss to UK Biz was estimated at £5-£10 billion, however this also needs to be set against a total UK spend on IT Security for around £5 Billion.
do you really think we'd eliminate incidents if the whole of the UK doubled their security spend? We'd sure as hell cut the rate, but I'd be quite suprised if it made even a 50% difference to the overall rate of incidents.
Therefore on a simple cost vs benefit basis UK Biz is now probably spending more or less the right amount for the current threat level
The issues at present therefore are:
a) is the money being spent on the right things
b) are the right incentives in place for companies to get it right (e.g. who ultimately bears the costs for identity theft?)
c) do businesses have any meaningful way to assess the value of what they have spent (this again was something that the PWC guys drew attention to).
So, spend more - probably not, but we do need to spend better.
high fixed costs
whats probably killed them is that they are locked into a load of leases with their landlords who
I suspect whats going to happen is that they get wound up, and then the next day a new company opens (having bought the brand from the admin) and then takes leases on about half the shops at about half of what they are currently locked into paying.
Hey presto fixed costs drop by 50% (got to remember that there are plenty of fixed costs other than rent - but its going to be a large factor for them).
I dont want to sound harsh here - but that is a serious perception problem you have there.
a) there are some really sick people out there (and for what its worth I do think sick in the medical sense)
b) while I have no doubt that some people would share for free - there is also a significant amount who are looking to commercialise it (Op Ore in the UK was based on credit card transactions).
c) its really hard to actually understand just how many people are out there doing normal things, I have no rational way to visualise several billion people. When you operate at that scale randomness results in people ending up in all sorts of odd places purely by accident (its like being a permenant tourist). I dont think anyone is suggesting that all sites like this get found accidentally - but to suggest that none could be is very naive. More to the point, just because some people out of the billions do come accross this material you really cant generalise it to you should have (it reminds me of a kennel owner I once say complaining that they hadn't won the jackpot in a dog food competition - just because you buy 100x more of a product than an average person makes very little practical difference when looking at the total size. Sure a probability of 1x10^-8 is much better than 1x10^-10 but you still have a snowballs chance).
I've sat in CEOPs presentations and met some of the guys who work there, I also have kids. I've no idea if its the best or most economical way to catch peodophiles but I certainly dont want them to stop.
the only scary thing is why this wasnt done sooner....
While I appreciate its a big job, "all" they seem to have done is recognise that a few good systems are worth more than a large set of poor systems. And that you get both pricing and support benefits.
Superficially looks like IT Strategy for beginners
Seems par for the course with what I hear about goverment IT systems however
Re: Will it need new software?
not sure its going to replace HDDs right now - given that you can get a couple of TB for £50 these days. The point of swap has always been to use cheap slow store to supliment the faster memory. Effectively its just a form of caching - just like the cache on the CPU or on a disk controller.
@Jemma - I've not heard of those specific crimes before, but it does seem rather unfair to blame facebook for them.
As long as the Internet has been around there have been people who unfortunatly have come into contact with not so nice people that in real life they never would have met - BBS, IRC, email, etc... Its these people who commit crimes.
Before the Internet people still got harrased by strangers, its ugly but it happens.
I'm not for a minute saying that its ok for people to behave this way - but seriously lets focus on individual responsability rather than trying to blame a fairly generic platform for the actions of its more extreme users.
I tried to put ChromeOS onto a netbook for my mum a few weeks ago - as a concept it seemed ideal, all she really wanted was to be able to view the web and manage a few photos. However up until that point I thought it was a distribution - I then found out that its only really maintained as a source tree and that manufacturers are expected to custom build it for each device (i.e. sort out the drivers, etc...) this meant that I couldn't quickly install it and get it working with wireless. Ended up putting Ubuntu 11.10 on instead which worked out of the box and is great for what my mum wants (for reference I'm not generally a Linux person - I've used it plenty of times in the past and compiled the odd kernel but hadn't installed it in at least 5 years, it was purely because it was the most cut down and simple interface I could quickly load onto the hardware.
Anyway back to the point - I appreciate the idea was for Chromebooks, but as its a different concept I do think they could have put some effort into getting people used to the idea by allowing old hardware to be recycled quickly. This would generate the cost advantage which could then lead to familurarity and then down the line people saying "I want a chromebook" I just don't see this happening from a standing start with new hardware thats as expensive as the other options.
Give them a bit of credit
I happen to be a fan of this product - in a theoretical sense its clearly not as strong as a full 2FA solution, however in practical usage for a regular business person there are other factors to keep in mind (for example its not that uncommon for some business people to write down thier pin on a post it note along side their RSA token).
In theory (using specially crafted grids) it is possible to capture a pattern after two observations, in most normal circumstances you'd be looking at probably 3-4 observations.
There is also the point that you don't *have* to deploy the grid on the login screen, it can be deployed as a seperate soft token (phone or laptop app) under these circumstances it becomes full 2FA - but you increase user inconvienance. In reality the chances are that anyone presenting the grid on screen is likely to be replacing just a regular password in which case it is cleary an improvement. This also has the massive benefit that you can soft deploy a token to a user who is nowhere near an office and may have lost their phone (think DR situations here).
So yes it has practical faults - they all do. But as an general theoretical approach it has a lot of legs and for many users may well be more secure in practice against the threats that they are likely to encounter.
Power storage is key
Of all the tech articles its the ones about power storage that I'm most interested in, forget about the nuke/green debate - if we accept that a large part of our current power consumption is going to move from chemical to electric then is the portable or distributed storage of charge that is whats really missing. I strongly suspect that most research is now aimed at home or vehicle based storage - device batteries are for my money at the good enough stage for most people and heavy users can carry a swapable spare.
As far as stuff never making it to market - yup most of these wont, someone will find a reason why production is harder than they thought, or more likely they'll find an even better way to do it. But there is a very clear trend of inovations in this area.
This really does remind me of e-ink, there was a good 5-10 years of that being demonstrated on small scales before there was an real product that used it. Within about 3-4 years kit like the kindle has become truely mass market and costs are still dropping.
Look at todays electric cars, for them to be usable for me they need a range of at least 5-600 miles and a 0-100% recharge of less than 30 minutes (at shorter ranges I can recharge at home, at full range I'm going to be there a while). I do about 20,000 business miles a year and probably have a 400+ mile day at least once every 6 weeks.
This represents a 2-3 times increase in range and somewhere in excess of a 10x decrease in charge time, they also probably need to bring the cost of the power pack itself down by 50-75%. With stuff like this in the lab I'd guess we're reasonably looking at 4-7 years before its usable for my driving pattern.
My money would still be on ultra capacitors as the long term winner even if they dont hit the same power density as batteries. Mainly because they only appear to require carbon in thier construction (which will make them very attractive from an access to raw materials perspective and because they don't seem to have the same fire risks). More to the point, the biggest thing they need to improve is charge time and capacitors seem to rock there.
Just need to hit the "good enough" and "cheap enough" mark and this will suddenly take off.
To be honest I'd not be to worried about this from a military point of view - in flight guidance is going to be a lot harder than just thrust, I can't see it being any good for use against military jets.
In terms of targetting a civilian airliner I'd have thought it remains a lot simpler and more reliable to get the explosives on board.
In terms of casulties its ground targets that have the high densities - on 9/11 the aircraft was the weapon not the target.
For what its worth I'd be a lot more worried about someone putting together a guided mortar round and a cheap remote controlled helicopter with a laser designator and video feed. In an urban area this could be very worrying.
big difference with the banks
In principle the banks always have "assets" that exceed their obligations - for example if I owe the bank £10k then they have an asset worth £12k+ (by the time you count interest)
This does of course assume that the banks have made a reasonable allowance for bad debts - but this can be modeled and predicted, its how banks have always worked. They have clearly got it wrong in a big way recently - but that is only because it all got a bit over complex.
the difference is that they only hold a certain amount of liquid capital to repay short term withdrawals as they can't demand the loans back instantly. Even in the worst case the depositors ought to get back their cash - its just that they may have to wait for those loans to pay off over a number of years.
This is entirely different from a company spending clients deposits and then hoping that they can create a future revenue line to make up the difference (this being a charitable view of how many such frauds start). Under this model the organisation doesn't have any reasonable expectation of ever being able to honour those debts.
Probably not going to be a popular post - and I don't work for a bank before you ask, but there is a big difference between stupid behaviour and outright fraud
I'm assuming Equivalent Full Time Staff (i.e. 37.5h work per week)
has me worried
apart from the quotes this really does feel plausible, I wonder if there are security people sat in London going "damn" right now.
getting much more mainstream
whole feature on this in the economist last week - some very cool materials and print jobs can be done and they recon its likely to become fairly mainstream in the next few years.
They talk about some cool features such as printing tungsten hip implants with a honeycomb type effect near the edge (rather than solid like a machined version) so that bone can grow into the implant to improve bonding.
Best pic in their article is a chainmail gauntlet that was printed fully assembled!
Guitar certainly looks cool and may or may not sound good - but as a fabrication technique its looking like this is certainly coming.
Actually the vatican is an independant state not part of italy
@amanfromMars 1 - technically its the smallest sovereign country in the world.
not as broad as it sounds
from the first version of this article - several points not included this time:
a) the customer didn't trial the software
b) the customer didn't have the T&Cs reviewed
odd though it may seem they appear to have counted in their favour in this case in that they relied exclusively on the sales persons assurance that it would all be fine.
As I understand it, if they had trialed the software or attempted to negotiate on the terms then the finding might well have been that they had understood the product and the limitations better and hence they had been in a position to accept the limitations and the terms could have held.
As it was the only thing they relied upon was the sales persons assurance - and in light of this the court felt that the limitation was far to broad.
(I'm not a laywer but I do spend a reasonable chunk of my time reviewing supplier contracts - although after reading this I do wonder if thats time well spent)
I was there yesterday and would agree entirely - I've been going on an off for the last 10 years and its steadily getting less worth it. I now largely use it as a chance to check on roadmaps for solutions that we already have deployed - although with people like MS now absent even thats starting to have a reduced value.
I think I'll move back to attending every two years - and thats now pretty much purely because I like to be able to quiz the PWC guys after they release their security breach survey (which desipite a number of flaws is still one of the more useful trending surveys to use internally when expressing threat trends and competitor practice). Although given that now they are streaming that presentation live I might not even bother for that anymore.
unfortunatly thats how it works....
for an insurer to turn down a claim they have to have some reason - I've worked for a motor insurer in the past and because of the sums involved they would occassionally spend a lot of effort investigating certain claims.
for a lost mobile the most you would reasonably want to spend checking a claim is £60 (above that you're probably costing more money than you save) - which realistically means a couple of hours of someones time in an office and maybe a check on a database.
as far as apple goes I suspect they remove old models to avoid them being dumped and becoming cheap - its how they preserve a premium brand.
About the only solution here would be for the insurance company to talk to apple direct and see if they could hold some back for claims - even then that might not be in Apples interest.
a bit of a simplification but "deep packet inspection" = "application content / advanced protcol analysis"
its as opposed to simply reading the basic IP headers
Oh the memories
Reminds me of an email that used to be on my tutors wall back at Uni (circa 98) - it was from one of his students on gap year working with a large company that had a range of goverment contracts.
It read something like:
I think I've found the weapons division - its a lab labled "Extreme deformation of buildings and materials"
just a bit more british really :)
to be honest my money is on advances in ultra capacitor design - as far as I can see the raw materials are extremely cheap (carbon), they charge/discharge extremely rapidly and they can be made in very thin form factors. The only thing holding them back is power density at present, which from my (massively uninformed) position doesn't seem that different to basic battery problems.
The main thing I like about ultra-capacitors is that I can imagine production being very cheap once the processes has been worked on and at the extreme I can imaging every body pannel being both structural and a storage cell at the same time.
whats not to like?
- Geek's Guide to Britain INSIDE GCHQ: Welcome to Cheltenham's cottage industry
- 'Catastrophic failure' of 3D-printed gun in Oz Police test
- Game Theory Is the next-gen console war already One?
- BBC suspends CTO after it wastes £100m on doomed IT system
- Peak Facebook: British users lose their Liking for Zuck's ad empire