34 posts • joined Tuesday 2nd June 2009 13:53 GMT
Portas Project - Huge waste of time and money
The 'Portas Project' was just that, a massive waste of cash and effort. Pretty much all she suggested was make the parking free, and the shops a bit prettier. The report for it, that was supposed to feed into town centre planning was delayed, so that the Channel 4 series that she wanted to make from it wasn't spiked by the findings, and the places that took part in it generally thought that it was a waste of time and money.
Links for some of those bits:
She totally ignored the report from London Councils that came out in November last year that they had spent a load of time on about how to rejuvinate town centres, and did free parking work (no, as the enforcement has to be strict, or its too badly abused, and if enforcement is strict, people don't use it), and looked at studies into how much people using different transport modes spent in local shops. Those who come on foot/by bike/ by bus all spend more than those who come by car. Maybe if we where to turn our town centres into more pedestrian friendly spaces, with good bike parking they might do better.
See these for more:
Troy Hunt's Pineapple
I think that Troy hunt has a rather better set of posts on this, demoing it in action with a pineapple...
The Pineapple in question is one of these:
Given its been available since 2008, I'd be surprised if this has never been used for more nefarious purposes.
Not Kickstarter - Seedrs
Seedrs are a far better place for this sort of thing - https://www.seedrs.com/sign_up?promo_code=85S6RYIP
They're specifically setup to deal with companies in a way that kickstarter isn't. Alternatively, you could get in touch with these guys - https://www.seedrs.com/startups/desklodge who might be interested.
If you sign up via the first link, I get a kickback for recommending you. if you'd rather I didn't, just go to https://www.seedrs.com/
Huggies have left the UK
And Ireland I believe.
They did so on the 22nd of last month. Not enough profit here. Maybe this is what will bring them back...
Nuke, as this is what my daughter sounds like she's filling her nappies with sometimes...
Re: We already have a system that you pay more the more you drive...
Motoring taxes haven’t been ring-fenced to pay for roads since 1937 when the Road Fund and ‘road tax’ were abolished. The terms, however, have lingered and many people assume that the ‘road fund licence’ still exists and that ‘road tax’ pays for roads. So you don't pay any road tax, and might struggle to find a current driver who ever has. How many 92 year olds do you know that drive? What you pay is Vehicle Excise Duty, which is based on how polluting your car is.
Neither VED or taxes on fuel cover the cost of either building or maintaining roads. I'd be happy to see the money from both of these ringfenced so that they did only go towards it, as long as that was all that was spent on it, and nothing further from general taxation.
At the moment all drivers are heavily subsidised by those that don't own a car. Me more so than most, as I don't have to pay VED for my car.
Oddly, I've lived both in Wandsworth and Mitcham (so either side of your locations) and have always had fantasic speeds, 15meg in Wandsworth, and 19meg in Mitcham.
Odd thing is...
That it was a comparision between the Go-Pro, and a Sony version that was competing with the Go-Pro.
The Go-Pro won hands down.
Really really silly.
It's all over the cycling forum I frequent, where the Go-Pro had been favoured over the Contour cams, but this is shifting some opinions...
Re: Facebook on wheels?
From the bits of reading around tht I've done, the logging is availiable on all Tesla cars. It is normally switched off, and the data unavailiable to Tesla, but if you ask them to switch it on, it will be.
Since the Top Gear incident, Tesla have apparently left it on for all media test drives, for cases such as this one.
Re: If the public were angry, they would not buy from internet multinationals
Your benefits costings are interesting, and valid, but...
I've been digging about around this a little recently. If your one person is changed to a 3 person household, two adults and one child say, (based in Northampton, in a 2 bed house, with band D council tax) the benefits they can claim if they are out of work is £17,910.54 per year.
If one of the adults is on Minimum Wage, working 42.6 hours per week, they (and their employer) will pay £2,719.08 in NI/Tax, but they will recieve £9,287.39 in benefits, meaning that the government is subsidising their employment to the tune of £6,568.31 per year.
With one adult on Living wage (outside London) that improves to being £3,997.24 in NI/Tax, and only £7,497.99 in benefits, meaning the subsidy is cut to £3,500.75 per year.
It's only where both adults are working 42.6 hours per week on either level of pay that they are paying more tax/NI than they get in benefits.
I've not yet calculated where the break even point is in terms of hours worked yet, it gets a bit tricky to do so.
That is just on Tax/NI/Benefits, I've not looked at including travel and childcare costs to find the break even point in terms of working vs benefits yet. I intend to do this shortly though, as well as trying to model different transpodt choices into that mix.
Full statement from Neil Armstrong's family
I'm really sad that you didn't put in the full statement from his family. The last paragraph is particuarly nice.
FAMILY STATEMENT REGARDING THE DEATH OF NEIL ARMSTRONG
WASHINGTON -- The following is a statement from the Armstrong family regarding the death of former test pilot and NASA astronaut Neil Armstrong. He was 82.
“We are heartbroken to share the news that Neil Armstrong has passed away following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures.
Neil was our loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend.
Neil Armstrong was also a reluctant American hero who always believed he was just doing his job. He served his Nation proudly, as a navy fighter pilot, test pilot, and astronaut. He also found success back home in his native Ohio in business and academia, and became a community leader in Cincinnati.
He remained an advocate of aviation and exploration throughout his life and never lost his boyhood wonder of these pursuits.
As much as Neil cherished his privacy, he always appreciated the expressions of good will from people around the world and from all walks of life.
While we mourn the loss of a very good man, we also celebrate his remarkable life and hope that it serves as an example to young people around the world to work hard to make their dreams come true, to be willing to explore and push the limits, and to selflessly serve a cause greater than themselves.
For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”
Surely not just a ban on importing them, a ban on exporting them too, so that the rest of the world can also benefit from the of the mighty Jiangsu Snow Leopard Household Chemical's innovative works without the interferance from the dastardly capatalists at Apple.
As a point of interest, do Apple actually (for some highly technical reason) actually export their stuff before importing it into China, or is is sold as locally made goods?
I wonder how much of this can be put down to a form of confirmation bias?
iPhones are fairly recognisable. There are only a certain number of shapes and sizes that they come in. The orignal iPhone, the very simular 3G, which was identical (case wise) to the 3GS, the iPhone 4, which again looks the same as the 4S. I make that 3 body shapes variations, 2 of which are dificult to tell apart.
Therefore it's easy to spot the iPhones, but not so easy to spot Androids. My San Franisco looks very different to my wife's Galaxy II, which is different to my bosses Sony something, which is different to...
The reason that you see more iPhones is because you know what you are looking for, not because there are more of them. 3 body shapes to spot, rather than hundreds of them, some of which are not what you expect.
Benefits of pre-order
I rarely care enough about a game to preorder it.
With Diablo III, my wife and, eventually, I decided that we were certain that we both wanted to play it.
Pre-ordering with Game initially lead to a bit of a worry that we weren't going to get it when they ran into trouble, but we'd not put down a deposit, and it's now shipped, with us paying just under 25 quid.
When Game looked like it might have problems, I added a second preorder with Amazon. Amazon's preorder system guarantees that you will get the lowest price that they offer it for after you place your order. Again, no deposit. I ordered at about 30 quid with them, and paid just under 28.
If I try to buy the game today, I'm looking at about 35 quid online, and likely closer to the rrp of 40 instore.
It'll be a while before it comes down to 25 quid again I suspect, and even before it comes down to 28. Until then, I feel I've 'won', and even at that point I may well still feel that any extra I paid was worth it.
Full internet over WiFi only...
I've just started looking at getting a Kindle, as the wife was pushing for one, until she realised that the price of ebooks was staying higher than the paperback versions that she normally gets.
I've been pondering whether to get the touch or keyboard version, and have pretty much decided that we'll get the keyboard one. Why? The kindle touch only does the full internet* over wifi, over 3g you're limited to Amazon or Wikipedia. If you get the keyboard kindle, you also get the full internet* over 3g, not just wifi
*may not include IPv6 sites, so not really the full internet, but I've looked into that yet!
"Two teenagers have been arrested after hackers attacked Scotland Yard’s anti-terror hotline, eavesdropped on a conversation between officials and uploaded a recording to the internet"
"We have throughout the day researched the allegation that the Anti-Terrorist Hotline had been ‘hacked’ and ‘activists’ claims that they were able to listen unrestricted to confidential communications. We are confident the MPS communication systems have not been breached and remain, as they always have been, secure."
So, two kids have been arrested for something that the police are saying didn't happen?
Something happened. But I don't for a moment think that we have anywhere near the whole story here.
Re: So do people actually scan these things?
So you read B3ta too?
The newsletter today suggested a link to Goatse was the appropriate thing to do, via a URL shortner of course...
I only ever played the demos of this sadly, but they were great. The first one was one with the blood as red (must have been before it went to the BBFC I suspect), then the games mags got scared, and pumped out the 'German' demos, which had robots instead of people, and the final one had the green blood, but details in the magazine on how to change it to red.
Ah the joys.
but games can be important
Game Theory is not just about playing games.
From Wikipedia: "Within math, game theory reflects calculated circumstances (games) where a person’s success is based upon the choices of others (Myerson, 1991). It is mainly used in economics, political science, and psychology, and other, more prescribed sciences, like logic or biology. While at first designed to investigate contests where an individual does better at another’s outlay, or zero-sum games, game theory applies a wide range of class relations, and has developed into an umbrella term for the logical side of science, to include both human and non-humans, like computers. Classic uses include a sense of balance in numerous games, where each person has found or developed a tactic that cannot successfully better his results, given the other approach."
Do we have any details on its lift ablility?
I have a Muvi Atom thats just begging to be loaded onto something like this...
Maybe we'll see a physical 'Amazon Store' where you go in, and they have one of each item available to see, no extra stock held, no risk of theft, etc. Minimal staff required, cutting down on that overhead. They could even have kindles on the walls to let you flick through books before you buy, listening stations for mucic you order to be delivered etc.
Would really cut the overheads of a high street, whilst allowing a large range of goods to be stocked, with the 'convience' of home delivery the next day too.
No instant gratification in you shopping to be sure, but I can see advantages.
P.S. anyone wanting to use this idea should apply to me, its mine now, etc.
The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits. - Dear Sirs...
"The European Union yesterday certified an X-ray liquid scanner made by Kromek for use at all airports which means that by April 2011 duty free purchases will again be allowed in hand luggage." - I thought that the article on this had made it quite clear that duty free could already be carried on, and that what this would mean was that greater volumes of liquid could now be taken to airside rather than being confiscated...
but maybe not :)
Not a big iPhone, a big iPod Touch
This really bugs me, the iPad is not a big iPhone, certainly the non-3g version isn't. Its far far closer to a big iPod Touch.
Maybe it's the other way around, and the balloons were actually shopped into the picture...
Having looked at those two links from AC (one of which I'd found previously, and one of which I hadn't) I guess that I was really bemoaning the fact that the s60 versions weren't as easy/nice as Maemo Mapping :)
I have to say that the OS maps on s60 look very good, but are a little pricey (£150ish for the whole of the UK at 1:50,000).
I am more drawn to Maemo than to s60, mainly as I feel that it fits the vision of the phone as a mini computer better, but then again (as has been so amply demonstrated), what do I know...
Would be nice
As much as i'm loving my Nokia 5800 (so many things nicer than the ole iPhone), there are a few things that could be done better using Maemo rather than Symbian on it. Mostly to do with the availibiltiy of Open Street Map on Maemo, so this would be a change that would keep me on a Nokia in 17 months time...
Musuem of Computing
They had a fair number of antiques in there, from what i could see through the doors, they might like it...
Mind you, they are only open at the weekends, so it might be a bit of a pain to find out, but Bletchley park is well worth a visit, if only to see Colossus.
Their rating dropped?
I think thats what you mean anyway...