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* Posts by Pete 2

2314 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Tell me why I don't like Moon days: Bob Geldof heads into SPAAACE

Pete 2
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Re: Tell me why I don't like Moon days

... and probably the only BTR hit that most people could name. [ scrabble for Wiki ensues, followed by "what about ...." ]

Although there was the intriguingly titled (I Never Loved) Eva (von???) Braun on Tonic for the Troops. Maybe after this, he will feel better about the family name?

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Startup claims 1W wireless charging at 10 metres

Pete 2
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That burning smell

You would hope there would be some sort of regulations about how many of these could be installed within range of each other. While the article talks about 1 "charger", what happens if your premises puts one in, the shop next door installs one, too - as well as a utility device in the shopping centre and possibly another in the offices above the public area.

A few of these, close together could give the Walkie Talkie building a run for its money in the death ray charts if multiple chargers all locked on to your (pocketed) iPhone at the same time.

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Should Nominet ban .uk domains that use paedo and crim-friendly words?

Pete 2
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Quite the opposite

> considering rejecting registrations if they feature keywords linked to criminality

As anyone who's worked with Microchip's PIC processors will know, doing a web search for "pic" throws up millions of pages of garbage [ using the standard internet definition, garbage: anything not related to what I want to see ] and makes the name PIC a positive pain to find stuff for and presumably a liabilty for their marketing department.

So maybe instead of banning words that, at present have an association with dubious activities, but which tomorrow could have changed their meanings completely and been replaced by other "naughty" words - maybe Nominet should be positively encouraging as many people as possible to register sites with those words, close spellings or them, combinations and other possibile dodgy terms. That way the baddies, to some extent, be thwarted in their quest for naughtiness and might accidentally stumble upon something that's pure and good and right and might learn to mend their evil ways.

The only problem might be if you find that your mum has logged on to your honeytrap website ...

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Bin half-baked Raspberry Pi hubs, says Pimoroni: Try our upper-crust kit

Pete 2
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Re: The least of its problems

> You're forgetting/ignoring RPi was designed for a specific purpose

Nope, nothing forgotten here. It's important to understand that this is a suggestion for a model C (per. the post) and not as a replacement / substitute for the existing boards.

Since the hardware is open source, there is scope (though nobody has taken it up yet) for any other manufacturer to produce the current board or any future improved Pi - even with their own custom additions. As it is, pretty much all the later hobbyist SBCs have gone for bigger, better, faster processors and beefed up I-O, memory and facitilites. While the Model-B fills a niche, you'd kinda home the original developers weren't resting on their laurels and had some plans for a refresh.

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Pete 2
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Re: The least of its problems

> You can pry my ethernet port from my cold dead hands.

You could still stick to the model B (superglue is an additional cost)

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Pete 2
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The least of its problems

> one of the tiny ARM-based computer’s signal limitations: too few USB ports

In my experience, the number of USB ports on the Pi is a small matter. Ther are other design points that are more important to improve.

If anyone was planning on designing a "model C", I'd suggest dumping the Ethernet port, in favour of a Wifi device. Moving the ports around so they don't come out of all sides (possibly start by changing the SD card for a micro-SD), thus making it easier to integrate into other equipment. Adding some onboard flash, to obviate the need for an external card - though keeping the option for one.

It would also be nice if the board had (at least) a reset button, or, better, a header to break one out to a front panel. Do the same for some user addressable LEDs, so that the embedded version of "Hello World" doesn't need any hardware hacking and add an audio input port and you'd get to compete with the current best hobby SBC products like Cubieboard-2 and Olimex's A13

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Shop-a-suspect web security system: 'We've helped cops nab 100 suspects'

Pete 2
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Innocent until ...

> They had no numbers on the number of convictions that arose from those arrests

Which is a shame, as that is the only statistic that matters.

Being arrested is not an indication that you've done anything wrong

Getting charged is no indication of guilt

Going to court doesn't make you a criminal

The only two possibilities for being classed a "baddie" is if you either plead guily (or accept a caution), or if a court finds you guilty and any appeals don't exonerate you.

I realise there is a huge "There's no smoke without fire" contingent who will naturally assume you're a fully paid-up member of the underworld is a police-person (or even the cheap plastic variety) so much as looks at you, but these individuals need to have their biases adjusted.

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Don't tell the D-G! BBC-funded study says Beeb is 'too right wing'

Pete 2
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Mathew 7:7

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you"

Or: Only open a can of worms if you plan to go fishing.

The "news" here isn't so much that the Beeb has a particular political leaning, it's that the BBC Trust chose to pay an organisation that would find that they had such a bias. I'm sure that if they'd chosen another organisation to review their output they could have obtained a completely different outcome.

The legal profession has a saying: Never ask a question unless you know the answer. I would hope that the BBC Trust has at least that much political nous, and that they got no surprises at all with the results that they paid for.

The only other question that comes to mind is: why would they have done this? Charter renewal coming up in a few years. perhaps?

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Now we know why UK spooks simply shrugged at SSL encryption

Pete 2
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Re: The code-ring on the golf course

> messages sent between foreign powers and their embassies

Don't *all* governments use one-time-pads for this sort of crypto. Definitely not the commercial quality stuff that you or I ever get to see.

It would be nice to think that the more sensitive commercial stuff was sent that way, too. However I'd be amazed if more than a few multinationals had the ability or security to operate at that level.

s/2223/2023/ ?

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Pete 2
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Re: The code-ring on the golf course

> The stuff is being archived indefinitely regardless of who you are.

Makes little or no difference. Most intelligence data is time-critical. It has a very short shelf-live. Consequently the spooks will be focussing their attention on intelligence gathering that they can decrypt, analyse (almost certainly by connecting it to other sources) and act on within a short timescale: a few weeks, tops. Anything older than that will be of no interest to them- even if they do keep it forever.

But so what if they *do* keep everything, indefinitely. They'll never get around to looking at it. The very worst case is that in 50 or 100 years some historian will decrypt a packet that contained the pass-code to your bank account. It's the sheer volume of data that is, and has always been, the problem for intelligence agencies - the good news is that almost nobody is important enough for them to take an interest in .

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Pete 2
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The code-ring on the golf course

> Basically, the NSA is able to decrypt most of the internet

Having the ability to pick a single piece of (encrypted) internet traffic, at will, and decrypt it is a long way from being able to decrypt *every* piece of internet traffic, scan it for content and act on it. In real time.

Havng a piece of encrypted data handed to you and being asked to apply your decoding "magic" to it is one element of the NSA's work. However they still have to be able to isolate that significant piece of encrypted traffic from the billions of others: comparable to finding the one blade of grass on a golf course that has a coded message written on it.

That job of knowing which message to apply their brute force (or "cheating" - how ungentlemanly of them) processes is a monumentally different and much, much bigger problem. Sure: they can find stuff if they know where to look. However that knowing is still dependent on and limited to other more traditional methods of surveillance. There's just too much ordinary stuff, flying around as encryrpted data, or steganographic plain messages concealing sensitive information, for the NSA or any other body to check it all.

In this case, security through obscurity does work.

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OK, forget the 3D telly fiasco: 4K is gonna blow you away - say tech giants

Pete 2
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Too small

> an oversized and overpriced digital photo frame

Wouldn't be any use.

A quick calculation shows that a 16:9 "4K" (i.e. 4,000 horizontal pixels) screen would only have a resolution of a piffling 9 MPix. Anyone who's willing to splurge the cost of this on a screen will certainly have a state of the art digital camera (or even phone) that has a far, far higher resolution than this screen could ever display.

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Pete 2
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Don't judge a book by its cover

In this case the cover is the TV. Whether it is 4K, 3D, 625 lines (yikes!) or even in colour.

The "book", however is the content: the programmes, video games, films and is (hopefully) the reason why we bought the telly, in the first place. To watch them, not to dribble lovingly at the sight of an enormous screen.

Now, it does seem that with every new revision of the "cutting edge", the technology improves but the programmes (and other stuff) do not. So we end up spending £100's or £1000s on spiffy new kit, only to turn it on and watch 40 year-old episodes of Dad's Army.

Unless there's something completely immersive about 4K, and there is sufficient content made available specifically for it then there seems little point in upgrading - at least until the currrent telly has worn out.

There does seem to be one aspect of 4K that would make it a "must buy": the ability to get three or four ordinary TV programmes running as P-i-P at the same time. Then we might stand a chance of finding something decent to watch. Provided the picture quality isn't compressed to hell and back, just to get a number of channels down the satellite link.

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Headmaster calls cops, tries to dash pupil's uni dreams - over a BLOG

Pete 2
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Knowing your place

Yes, the blogger does sound like a petulant child. Yes, it doesn't seem (to the unqualified eye) that he's done anything illegal. Yes, it seems like the head has completely over-reacted.

In fact, nobody comes out of this sorry episode looking as if they are a shining example of the role they fill.

However it seems to me that the head teacher has grossly over-stepped his authority, getting involved in events that happened outside the school gates - even if it was all about the school. Schools are not the USA - they don't have a god-given right to interfere in matters that displease them, in areas they have no jurisdiction over.

I am slightly puzzled by the head teacher's reaction, however. Given the obvious animosity between him and this kid (one that smacks of unprofessional behaviour, reacting to the taunt is a newby's mistake), you'd think he'd be throwing a party to celebrate the parting of the ways, rather than stirring things up even more. Maybe with sufficient exposure, teachers do get to be like the children.

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LOHAN cops a faceful of smutronyms

Pete 2
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Fuel to the flames

> So, those of you who've not yet entered the competition ...

You *know* this is just going to be a platform for the smutsters to take another bite of the cherry ... Hmmm, cherry ... CHERRI

Computerised High-altitude Emergency Rockblock Release Initiator

Contrived? Moi?

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Boffinry breakthrough OF THE DECADE: Teens 'influenced' by friends

Pete 2
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Does it matter what you do at 15?

Ans: only if you're still doing it at 40, or 50, or 60.

So teenies smoke. It's no big deal - they'll soon grow out of it. 15 years after you stop, almost all of your health risks are the same as someone who's never smoked. In fact there is some evidence that TV campaigns, such as for nicotine patches can INCREASE the number of young and stupid smokers - on the basis that these make it easier to stop later, once they realise how nasty (and costly) it is.

So from a health PoV, stopping in time is as good as never starting. Although during those intervening, all important to social acceptance and getting lurve years, you'll still stink of tobacco smoke.

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Give us a break: Next Android version to be called 'KitKat'

Pete 2
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Re: Why Not. Here's why

Is it really a good move to name a software release after something that breaks so easily?

Or that melts when it gets warm?

I suppose some people will give it the finger (or 4).

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10,000 app devs SLEEP together in four-day code-chat-drink tech orgy camp

Pete 2
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A working definition of hell?

> four days of motivational speeches

Apart from being stuck in an enclosed space with 10,000 (other) geeks.

Which would be worse: if the sanitation failed, or if the internet connectivity failed?

and which would be noticed first?

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Torched £30 server switch costs phone firm millions in lost sales

Pete 2
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Non technical alternative

One place I was employed was going through the risk-assessment process. The finance guys were (as usual) baulking at the cost of it all and suggested that it would be cheaper to insure against the loss, rather than prevent it through technical / architectural means.

This view gained a lot of traction and would have been a hell of a lot simpler to implement: just sign a larger cheque to the corporate insurance people, than any of the proposed IT solutions (which in truth, nobody really understood - least of all the technical architects who were proposing it). However, that plan fell apart when someone from tthe legal dept. piped up that there was a statutory reqiurement to have archives, backups, DR, plans and provisions in place that could be audited.

It does make you wonder whether this particular phone compmany could / would / did claim any of those losses back off their fire insurance? If so, was it really their loss, at all?

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WIN a RockBLOCK Iridium satellite comms module

Pete 2
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Named as it does

Detachable

Radio

Operated

Personnel

Safety

Yanker

or:

Special

Purpose

Long-range

Altitude

Termination

P.S. <gift horse>Does the winner have to pay the £8+VAT/month line rental, or is this thrown in for free?</gift horse>

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iPad classes for DOGS offered in New York

Pete 2
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Lesson: the first

> So what does she train the dogs to do with the iPad?

You'd kinda hope that a high priority would be to teach them not to cock a leg up to it. Everything after that should be considered a bonus.

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Met Police spaffs £250m keeping 'ineffective' IT systems running - report

Pete 2
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The report sounds as confused as the existing IT

> tech it believes the police should be using but isn't – such as mobile apps, social media and the cloud. ... national rollout of 41,000 devices between 2008 and 2011 sucked up £71m while achieving very little.

So which is it? The Met should spend a ton of hard-paid community charge and taxes on tens of thousands of hand-held devices, or not do it because they've been shown to be ineffective?

It does appear that there's a total leadership vacuum at the top of the Met, so far as IT is concerned. No ordinary business could ever justify having 70% of it's (obsolete) IT kit as redundant. Assuming their meaning of "redundant" is the same as everybody else's and this isn't just a political football being kicked resolutely towards one's own goal.

As with a lot of these things, the blame lies firmly with the top echelons. The IT management for not spending their budget wisely, and the Met's top brass for keeping them on and allowing this situation to arise. Maybe the time has come to outsource the whole mess to a foreign call centre. Then they'll really learn a thing or two about "having to re-enter the same information in ten different systems"

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Behind the candelabra: Power cut sends Britain’s boxes back to the '70s

Pete 2
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Re: Not so much

> UPSs? That's why we've got laptops!

But UPSs are for so much more than computers!

They also run LCD/LED TVs, Sky boxes, lights, WiFi+routers and most other things that don't have switch-on surges or excessive power requirements. Plus, they generally have spike/surge protection, so they keep your precious gear safe from the nasties that can happen when the power does come back, or only fails for a second or two.

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Pete 2
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Not so much

> a freelance technology tart

Any self-respecting technology tart would have UPSs to handle all this (though admittedly not on the cooker or uWave).

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Dopey dope-growing dope smoked out by own dope dope-growing vid

Pete 2
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Re: Please stop with the "Growing plants" thing

> Last lot who argued with him got turned into a pillar of salt

Actually it was Lot's wife who got turned into a pillar of salt. But in Deuteronomy and other books, people got stoned.

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Pete 2
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Promotional incarceration

So basically the guy paid $500 to be introduced to a large number of potential clients and given 8 months to cultivate the contacts and relationships he'll need when he gets released, to distribute his crop and grow the business.

And the judge who gave him this opportunity said he wasn't smart.

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Women in IT: ‘If you want to be taken seriously, dress like a man’

Pete 2
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Honking your horn

> If you don’t toot your own horn, who is going to do it for you

And there we have it! The secret to success: not just in IT, but in any career in any country, for anyone of any gender.

If you want a pay rise, you have to ask for it. If you want a promotion you need to go out and GET IT. Sitting at your desk waiting for muggin's turn to finally favour you gets you nowhere. However, grabbing the bull by the balls is a trait that is more often seen in a certain type of (usually, but not exclusively) man - generally the ones who make a lot of noise, attract (management) attention, are a pain on the arse around the office and let people know (loudly and often) about their successes. If you think that demurely saying "yes, maybe I would be willing to take on a little more responsibility" or "I do think I've grown into the job" at your annual appraisal is all it takes, think again - everyone. It may not appear "seemly" or "feminine" but - if you don't ask, you don't get.

You need to take the initiative (and not as an ex-subordinate did when I gave him his review: [Me] "You don't use your initiative" [Him] "you never asked me to") and be one step ahead. Tell you boss that you think "X" is going to be an opportunity and you'd like to try making it work - don't wait for the honour to be bestowed on someone else.

I have to say that this seems to me, in large lart at least, to explain why women so often get paid less than men and/or don't rise so fast and so high. Simply because they don't ask for pay rises or promotions; they take what is offered. Similarly when applying for a new job, the tendency is to not rock the boat and accept the salary being offered, rather than haggling for an extra grand or two.

So get that horn and start honkin'

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Pimoroni PiGlow: Rainbow LED swirls for the Raspberry Pi

Pete 2
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LED strips

If you want some serious LED flashing, have a look at the WS2812 based RGB LED strips.

Like this product, they are controllable from a serial bus and can be got either as strips up to 4m long (at 60 LEDs per metre, each one RGB with a built in controller chip) or the more interesting-looking 16x16 squares.

Though given the Amperage these could suck, you'll need a much better power supply to drive them.

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Boffins force Skype to look you in the eye

Pete 2
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I'm up here

It doesn't sound as if this will stop (presumably bottle-fed as babies) adolescents from staring at the cleavage of women they are skyping with. It just means the other parties won't see it.

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UK gov call-centre serfs told: Fondle your button for HAPPINESS

Pete 2
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Online Power of Attorney

> allows someone to log on and nominate someone to make decisions on their behalf.

Presumably most people where phoning in to ask why the gummint was wasting so much money, when simply giving the "someone" your password would achieve the same result.

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The 'third era' of app development will be fast, simple, and compact

Pete 2
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Add another one to the pile

I'm sure I've heard this rhetoric, wrapped around different "developments" every few year for the last few decades.

Whether it was said about high-level languages, application generators, 3G and 4G languages, Object-Orientated, Agile, Multi-threading or whatever fad is getting taught in tertiary education these days.

The point is, that adding more layers just hides the underlying stuff. It's still there: in all it's flawed implementations, assumptions and incompatibilities.

Programming is hard. Mainly because people who do it don't have complete familiarity with the tools they are using, place showing off their intelligence above writing clear code, only have a vague idea of what the final goal should look like, haven't been given the time to do a proper job of keep getting new and conflicting changes added to whatever specifications they started with. None of these problems is helped by having a new programming fashion, toolset or language foisted on them every few year (or university generation: the time between a new intake and them graduating).

Simply coming up with a new set of buzzwords and more hoopla won't fix the underlying difficulties. It certainly won't help inexperienced and time-pressured programmers make better applications.

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'Silent' staff stood by as £100m BBC IT project tanked – DG

Pete 2
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Programs and programmes

The same inability to spot the turkey in the BBC's IT is also apparent in it's broadcast choices.

It takes a brave (or foolhardy, or someone on the verge of retirement) to casually mention that the database has no clothes, or that the new production starring every luvvie under the sun is a total stinker.

Even when they do: whether as a TV critic, programmer who's unable to control the laughter (having seen the design docuemt) - or the tears, or simply an interested outsider who has seen a few disasters (both televisual and computerised) - nobody at a decision making level is prepared to listen.

It's this arrogance within the Beeb that is the basic problem, compounded by the BBC Trust being either purposely toothless, professionally indolent or far too close to the "establishment" (and probably all three) to crack the whip.

What the corporation needs is both transparentcy and a root and branch purge. Decisions should have named individuals identified (no more committee decisions and meetings - which is the usual way of muddying the water so it becomes impossible to discren who decided what) as being responsible and those decisions should be out in the open were we; their employers can scrutinise them.

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Google testing 'Helpouts' video support service

Pete 2
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Flocking to join

> Google thinks Helpouts could be handy for “teachers, counselors, doctors, home repair experts, personal trainers, hobby enthusiasts and more.”

So if the "more" does refer to all the sex workers who will be the first to populate an online service where money changes hands, that might be just what Google+ needs to kick it into high gear.

I bet Youtube wish they'd thought of that!

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New use for old iPhones: Watch your house get robbed in REAL-TIME

Pete 2
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Daytime use only?

> it can record any crimes that do take place

So long as the baddie in question is obliging enough to turn on the lights in the room and not just shine a torch around.

(Plus, isn't a movement activated wifi camera a perv's dream come true?)

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UK mulls ban on tiny mobiles to block prison smugglers

Pete 2
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Jammin'

> prison officials confiscated 7,000 phones and SIM cards from prisoners

What's so hard about installing electronic jamming equipment to make whatever phones do find their way in, useless?

We know from the prevalence of drugs in chokey that it's impossible to stop people (whether vistors, guards or other workers) from bringing in illicit goods, or even tossing them over the walls. So surely a better solution - assuming the authorities want one that works, rather than one which merely placates the whiners - would be to remove the service that the phones rely on.

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Marissa Mayer causes controversy after KEEPING HER KIT ON

Pete 2
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A tech woman's worst enemy? Other women.

> Mayer does not look so much passive as she does rigid and brittle,... and a set of straps on her Yves Saint Laurent stiletto shoes

IT is a creative industry. As such people within it will judge their peers (and betters) by their achievements and what they have produced. That's what wins respect.

However as soon as an IT woman gets publicity, it seems that all that the women columnists care about are her looks. her colour scheme and what she's wearing. Whether it's Mayer, Whitman or Rometty (HP and IBM) there are more column inches written about their clothes than about their skills.

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Google goes dark for 2 minutes, kills 40% of world's net traffic

Pete 2
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It's alive!

So Google has finally achieved sentience.

I guess we all just sit back and wait for it to take over the wor !*(£^&"~~

NO CARRIER

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Facebook keeps company with misery say boffins

Pete 2
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One man's survey is another man's flaw

> offering participants a link to an online survey

It sounds like the results were only drawn from the self-selected participants who then chose to fill in the survey. What about the moods of those who didn't? (and doesn't getting continuously harangued to fill in surveys tend to be depressing, too?)

Although this was only about FB - presumably to grab the attention of FB users and those in the media, I would hazard a guess that the same effect - if there actually is one - would be seen with all social media and forums.

Though you do have to ask: why would people continue to do something they didn't have to, if it made them unhappy?

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PEAK Apple: Cupertino's hopes died with Steve Jobs, says Larry Ellison

Pete 2
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Re: It's all gone a bit Princess Di

> does taking a lot of other products and combining the features in an easy to use way count as invention?

If done right, it's a lot more useful than mere invention. The key thing is not necessarily to invent new things but to find new ways of using and combining existing stuff. Jobs' genius was to get to the essence of a device and combine that with a clear vision for the design and how it would be used. He (or rather, the team he built) was able to clear a lot of the clutter from existing "stuff" and make products that just worked.

Sure, there was / is the evil side to Apple: patents, restrictions on use and interoperability. However that doesn't take away SJ's biggest contribution which gave us a better quality and higher expectations.

Oh, and from a horticultural point of view, doesn't Peak Apple occur just before it falls off the tree?

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Violent Hamlet 'bard' by British Library Wi-Fi filters

Pete 2
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Re: Excellent

> We must protect the children from culture!

Well, you might want to "protect" then from Titus Andronicus. Death, rape, killing the rape victim for being raped, cooking and eating one of the character's children and most of the cast meet a gory and violent end.

"Culture", like the maturity of people (not just children) covers a very, very wide spectrum. And what is fit and proper for one individual may be completely unacceptable to another (whether older or younger).

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Netflix dares UK freetards: Watch new Breaking Bad NOW or torrent it?

Pete 2
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Skip the middle man

> Otherwise the freetards will just prove all the networks were right

And if it does work, the logical question that the programme makers will start to ask is: who needs cable TV at all?

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Pete 2
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Re: I must be getting old

> I am still gobsmacked that it was never aired in the UK

To be fair, the trailers (from what I recall) were of some middle aged guy running around in his underpants. Even if the programme was better than that, it was a big turn off chez moi, hence never made it onto the list of "must see's"

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Tell me, professor, what is big data?

Pete 2
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Re: Signal to noise

> Dave, the ooo-arr-35 inside the combine blades is about to fail, I suggest you pop down and take a look

Gives a whole new meaning to getting bailed baled out

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Pete 2
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Signal to noise

The primary characteristic of big data is that for any particular problem you wish to apply to it, the proportion of interesting information compared to the amount of garbage you have to sift through is very, very small. With old-fashioned databases, designed when storage was expensive, the intended use was to focus on a small number of very well defined questions: where does account number 8892784237 live? How many months in arrears are they? What was their latest purchase?

While we're getting better at storing big data, which just increases the volume of stuff we collect, we're still in the infancy of extracting relevant, accurate and causally-linked intelligence from it (just ask the NSA or GCHQ). Sure, you can use it to foretell failures, a la HAL in 2001 - so long as your computer doesn't have an agenda of its own - but the number of false positives is very high. There is also the danger with BD of treating everyone as if they were Mr. or Mrs. Average and not designing enough flexibility into its reporting to allow for the possibility that maybe some people are different, or purposely give odd answers.

So while BD probably has some advantages in industrial processes, can feed back failure modes to manufacturers to design-out faults from products - it also leads to an increasing homogenisation when applied to people. Until we can advance the data selection processes to match the data collection abilities there will always be the wrong attributes applied to the wrong people, just because we accidentally triggered something while buying granny's incontinence pants on Amazon.

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100,000+ Earthlings star in 'reality TV contest' for ONE-WAY ticket to MARS

Pete 2
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They *all* sound like ideal candidates

> go to Mars and never, ever come back

The sorts of people who are willing to demean themselves on reality TV are just the sort of individuals this planet would be better off without. Either we could start a global lottery to fund sending them all, or we could persuade them to sell all their assets (since they wouldn't need them on Mars) to pay for the trip themselves.

I'm sure D.A. would approve if we called their spaceship the B Ark.

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Tax dodging? It's harder to do - and rarer - than you think

Pete 2
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It was never about tax

All this talk about paying "fair" tax is merely a sop to the sound-bite addicted millions of people in the country who can't do sums.

Even if all the companies involved in "scams" coughed at the same level that the average wage-earner does, it would still make bugger all difference to the government's expenditure plans. Raising a few billion, or a few tens of billions by grabbing these companies nuts and squeezing "until the pips squeak" is a drop in the pot compared to the half a TRILLION or more of revenue the government rakes in - and duly spends again - every year.

Sure, an extra bil or two would allow someone to employ another 50,000 nurses, or policemen or paperclip benders(!), but unless that can be shown to have a tangible effect on anything except the paperclips it would not benefit the country as a whole. Specifically: would it do more good than the damage caused by having a bunch of multinationals pulling out and causing probably the same number of redundancies, as they leave the UK and go elsewhere?

It does however, make an exceedingly good headline (provided the readers don't immediately go: Hmmm, and reach for their calculators - which, lets face it, the sorts of rabble who are so easily roused are hardly likely to do). And that's really all it was intended to do.

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Top Brit biz giants love to outsource IT so much, they're gonna do it more

Pete 2
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Admission of failure

Outsourcing a part of your business is admitting that someone else can do it cheaper, if not better than you can. Although that's what successful businesses do: focus on their strengths and buy in goods and services from outside (after all, no business makes everything it owns or uses - that would be silly), the question that needs to be asked is whether IT is a core part of your business or simply a necessary evil.

Given how much all modern businesses rely on their IT to survive it seems short-sighted to hand over total day-to-day control of it to the lowest bidder.

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Bloke in shed starts own DAB radio station - with Ofcom's blessing

Pete 2
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More stations than listeners?

> a Raspberry Pi could have filled that role

'cept that the RPi doesn't have an audio input - hence the need to generate the stream elsewhere and pipe it in using IP.

But really? DAB - does anyone care?

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Sergey Brin's 'test-tube burger' cooked, eaten, declared meat-like

Pete 2
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Condiments

> What was consistently different was flavour

Which is exactly why we invented hot chilli sauce (and beer). Enough of either of those and you really won't care whether it tastes like meat. As many a burger van owner will attest.

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Jimbo Wales: ISP smut blocking systems simply 'ridiculous'

Pete 2
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What we need is a confusion filter

Jimbo's right: the software won't work AND it won't deter people who choose to opt in (though it will give the government a nice list of "the usual suspects" to haul in every time someone suspects a single man might be having naughty thoughts.

However, it should also be recognised that this filter was never meant to STOP anything - except the continual whining and muttering by the "I'm against everything" brigade. Since none of them can decide what pornography actually is, they won't ever know when they've succeeded in filtering it - but I suspect the issue is more about wielding power, than making progress. Even recent articles on this site have confused nudity with pornography: not to mention the difference between skimpy clothing and wearing _no_ clothing, which seems to be another area where the tutting busybodies go into overdrive (maybe we should ban swimwear and shorts too - or ban the display of ankles and everything above, just to be "safe"?)

Before anyone starts banning, filtering and marginalising anything, the first thing that should happen is that whoever is pressuring for this added censorship should be asked: "What is it you actually want (as opposed to being against)?" Then, if they can come up with a coherent response, there may be something to base a national debate on.

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