1609 posts • joined Wednesday 10th June 2009 14:47 GMT
Sometimes the answer is "we just don't know"
In Britain most of the weather we get only develops in the last 2 or 3 days before it hits us. While it may be possible (sometimes) to say "there's a storm coming our way", or "some places will be windy" predicting exactly WHERE will be hit is probably outside the bounds of the knowable.
Even within 24 hours of an "event", the precise location - or worst hit spots - probably won't be evident until whatever it is actually starts to rain/blow/bake or blizzard all over it. if the Met Office was to buy some new sooper-dooper computers, would they really be able warn a particular village that it would be flooded, but the one 10 miles away wouldn't? Without that degree of certainty, we could end up in even worse bother: with the wrong emergency services being sent to the wrong place in advance of an imprecise prediction - instead of being held on "alert" until some calls for help actually came in.
Maybe what Britain needs is a bit more awareness (such as not building houses, or critical services, on flood plains or near rivers) having a few more gritters and the will to use them and for someone to be in charge, rather than diluting responsibility to a mess of small and poorly organised local councils who don't really have any incentive to take precautions against once-in-10-year weather events.
A spot of wind
Aside from the question of balance, the design needs to be able to withstand high winds. ISTR that PARIS encountered some blowage at height and the extra stress of balloons wanting to go in different directions (a phenomenon some readers may be familiar with) could exceed the design loading of the truss.
Re: Going up!
Wot 'ee said!
(must learn to type faster)
Going ..... up!
And with the increase in utility - especially financial utility, what with Barclay's recently announced foray into mobile monkey and the possibility of NFC becoming useful, the level of insecurity and dependency can only rise.
Just like it's common sense to have more than 1 housekey or credit/debit card (and not to keep them all in the same wallet/purse) , surely the trend of concentrating too many functions onto one not-very-secure and easily nickable piece of shiny plastic can't be a good move. Eggs and baskets comes to mind.
Money, money, money
> they were doing all kinds of things to try to retain and attract Linux talent
All kinds of things ... except paying enough to attract recruits, it seems.
If you really, REALLY want to fill a Linux position, simply offer a salary that will attract applicants. Not getting any applicants? then your headline salary is too low. Getting applicants who are crap? Then your recruitment agency needs a kick for not screening properly. Getting applicants who turn down your offers? Then look inside at your company - the work, the conditions and (most important) whether the boss is an idiot.
The problem is that in a lot of large organisations: multinationals, government departments, utilities and the like, all regard IT workers as the same. I've seen instances where the HR people and the IT senior managers were seriously saying "but they're all support staff, why not just get the Windows team to do it?" With no understanding - or even awareness - that the skills are different. When you start with that level of ignorance, it's no surprise that the so-called "perks" listed in the article fail to attract.
Beer and broadband
Just imagine if Tesco (or, TBF any other supermarket) sold beer the same way they sell broadband.
Beer: quantity UNLIMITED (subject to contents of bottle). ABV: up to 4.5% and then noticing that the bottle top doesn't come off, and you can't get the stuff out at more than a trickle.
What he meant to say was:
> these discussions have evolved into a potential go-forward framework that is currently in the government's review process,
If we're lucky the government might bung some sympathy work our way. If that does happen, and our shares get back to anything like last year's level you won't see me (or the rest of the board) for dust.
Now where did I leave my golden parachute?
I bet he gets *no* IT bug reports
Once word of his novel approach to dealing with problems becomes common knowledge, I'd be surprised if anybody would issue a bug report against any of his software, in case he applies his special remedy for "fixing" their IT problems.
It would be interesting to see his staff appraisals, too. I can imagine a somewhat shakily (hand)written assessment along the lines of " ... some scope for improving customer-facing skills"
Ignorance is bliss
> Ignorance prevented people participating in important debates, he added.
If only that was true. The biggest problem (he said, not knowing if it's true or not) with public debate on science and technology - or finance & economics - is that people who don't know the facts still feel they have a right to say what they think. We see this every day, not just in scientific debates but whenever a TV news programme needs some cheap filler and goes out on a trawl for vox-pops. Once an opinion gets onto our TV screens it assumes greater importance - as if being broadcast (and being chosen to be broadcast by an equally techno-illiterate studio-person) somehow turns fiction into fact: "Well someone on telly said ... " and is well on the way to becoming accepted wisdom. After that, no matter how many white-coated, bespectacled, bearded, geeks you put up against "what everybody knows" you're on a loser.
Maybe the first question that Paxo, or any other TV presenter should ask, when opening a conversation with an interviewee should be: "What, exactly are your credentials?" and we should be reminded, frequently, whether the individual speaking does so from a position of knowledge. It could result in much shorter TV debates.
... and of course all doctors are fine, upstanding, conscientious and talented.
The main reason for people "hiding" behind an anonymous posting is to avoid the possibility of retribution - or even of a practice deciding they don't want whingeing patients on their books. You can just imagine a situation, moments before the doctor says "cough, please" when they decide to raise the topic of your last, critical, posting of their bedside manner.
The moral of the story ...
... is to make the users do all the work themselves.
Whether the alternative - either for the helpdesk or the checkout - is one that involves lots of waiting, having to deal with barely-trained & disgruntled employees, having to beg for the most basic services (or carrier bags), trying not to appear too annoyed ... w h i l e ... t h e y ... w o r k ... a t ... t h e i r ... o w n ... g l a c i a l .. p a c e ... or suddenly decide to change shifts and stop everything for 5 minutes.
Faced with that, it's no wonder employees want to bring in their own kit and operate "self-service"
Really getting wired
> a weak current, which runs between the buds, is broken.
Now that could add an extra dimension to the music. I can just imagine some over zealous royalties enforcer requiring a chip in all new players that turns this current up to 11 if the requisite DRM checks don't pass.
On the matter of detecting which orifice an earbud is inserted into, wouldn't it just be easier to colour-code them?
Too big and too little
What's the point?
The company has been going so long (and grown so quickly) that its future expansion is quite limited - so not much scope for organic growth. Yet for all its size, it's only planning on raising $5Bn from the floatation.
That's enough to land it with all the regulatory deadweight that a public company must conform to, but not cash enough for it to drastically change its business model. All FB could hope to do would be to gobble up other companies in exchange for it's own shares - presuming they hold their value on the stock market - and then hope it can assimilate whatever novel attribute the small-fry had into it's own corporate mass. A strategy that's not known for its successes.
This IPO would make sense if the owners were planning to cash out and wanted to spend more time with their money. But in that case, without the founders' vision, who'd want to be left holding the shares?
To try and to fail
... is better than to not try at all.
The main government driver for almost everything (apart from personal gain: political or financial) is CYA. Therefore it's not important whether a programme succeeds or fails - if it's timed properly, that will be the next incumbent's problem - but to be seen to be doing something. To show that there is action being taken. That there is a policy.
So it is with this one, too. Who cares if it won't work or costs too much? Most government IT projects don't work, so the only issue is to manage expectations: downwards. As to cost -no big deal! The money's going to be spent on something, somewhere and whatever it's spent on probably won't deliver what was intended, anyway.
> ... diminish public confidence in the legal profession
Or demonstrate that lawyers are just ordinary people who can hide behind a wall of obscure legal (and latin) jargon.
Most people who have ever come into contact with the legal profession; either through a house purchase, divorce, damages claim or criminal prosecution in all likelihood will already have a pretty low opinion of lawyers. Whether it's the firm that charges you parters' rates for your work and then hands it off to a junior who can't even spell. Or the conveyancer who seems to take a week to drag their heels through every single stage of an otherwise simple property purchase. Or the defence lawyer who doesn't seem to understand that YOU DIDN'T DO IT and just wants you to plead guilty, so they can have an easy life, collect their considerable fee and move on to the next victim.
Maybe this guy didn't diminish public confidence in the legal profession. Maybe all he did was show them up to have the same failings, weaknesses and faults as everyone else - that he peeled away the thin veneer of competence and exposed them to the light of day. For a profession that relies so much on appearances and excluding "ordinary" people from their goings-on, a bit of harsh reality could really burst the bubble.
Size doesn't matter
> an 11.6in screen is pushing it a bit for a handheld display
Once a device gets bigger than a convenient size to stuff in your pocket, then whether it's 10 inches, 12 or more becomes less important that how much it weighs. At those sizes (i.e. laptop-sized) it needs a bag to carry it around in, so it's lost the convenience factor. All that is up for discussion is how big the bag needs to be - and if you've got to carry a bag, why not have a proper laptop in it, instead?
What good would 3 months in jail do?
The woman is a psychiatrist (or was it a psychologist? Meh!). She'll probably write a book about her observations and make a ton of money from it.
Do climbers carry umbrellas?
> Though I wonder, is peeing in a bottle any different ... from me taking a crap outside when I'm out climbing
Only the person following you up the cliff can answer that!
So much for individualism
Any parent knows that the hardest thing in the world is to persuade a teen to get out of bed. Yet here we have at least 2 kids who are so motivated by something that they'll voluntarily haul themselves out of the pit (while hopefully not tripping over bottles of stale pee - hey, if it was good enough for Howard Hughes ....) at 3 a.m. to partake of an activity with other, like-minded, people.
Rather than praise their dedication, determination and competitive spirit, she chooses to scoff at their choice of entertainment and criticise their methods of maximising their participation. I can't help wondering if this lady is guilty of a huge double standard: taking the errr, "mick" out of games players yet admiring sports-people who spend much more of each day (and are prepared to suffer more) fulfilling their obsession for equally fleeting successes and rewards.
Maybe she should be less concerned with forcing normative behaviours on children and look instead at how this enthusiasm (or obsession?) can be harnessed into something a bit more constructive than passing comments on how other people spend their time?
Ask and you shall receive
> asked just over 1,000 women within families ... Around 94 per cent ... were "primarily responsible or involved"
As a control, it would be interesting to know what the reply would have been if they'd asked 1000 men *within families* the same question. I suspect the answer would have been roughly the same.
 a further "reveal" would have been to discover if, given a very high divorce rate, those women had anyone else who *could* contribute to the decision making process. Since these days a "family" does not necessarily mean there's a man about the house.
A simple misunderstanding
Maybe what she actually said was: "would you like to swap those McNuggets for a Happy Meal?"
I mean, who could possibly misconstrue that.
I fully expect the "unauthorised" posts, tweets, articles and leaks to be the only interesting part of the whole thing - with the possible exception being the inevitable witch-hunts afterwards to find and then prosecute to the fullest extent (and then some) possible anyone who might have been in the slightest bit involved.
So far as "not to disclose their location; ... not to get involved in detailed discussion about the Games online," The Olympic Thought Police may as well issue guidelines asking the tide not to come in for the duration of the games.
Power moving east?
Forget all the arguments about censorship, or freedom. What we have here is another example of the most populous countries in the world recognising that they have power: both political and commercial - and exercising it.
Whether the "objectionable" material the Indian government is objecting to (surely de facto, if they object to it, that alone makes it objectionable?) is political in nature, religious, cultural or illegal is less of an issue. We already live in a world where a self-appointed copyright guardian in one country has given itself the right to dictate to everyone on the planet what they may or may not show, stream, upload or view. That's got to be a far less legitimate use of power than for an elected body to require similar controls within its own borders.
Let's fix the mote in our own eye first.
You won't make any money like that, son
> If I would need to select between Windows XP and a Linux based system while building a military system, I wouldn't doubt a second which one I would take."
Nope, neither would anyone else supplying softs to that source of infinite amounts of moolah.
Linux is definitely the worst choice possible. Imagine installing a reliable, low cost and easily supportable infrastructure. Whereas everyone knows that to make money from military contracts you MUST specify the most expensive, inadequately implemented and personnel intensive products available. Otherwise your margins will be terrible and you won't be able to cash in on the ongoing support, mandatory suckurity upgrades, and constant bug-fixes (all at an hourly rate) that is where the real profit traditionally lies.
[Afterthought: though maybe the supplier is *still* charging for support at "windows" rates and has forgotten to mention to the suppliers of pork that their new system can be supported by a 14 y/o on a few pesos a day]
But couldn't one claim that he's a derivative work, courtesy of his parents?
> Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God,
Fortunately the Ten Commandments are now out of copyright (though presumably if they'd been sent to Disney instead of Moses, that copyright term would have been extended while there was still money to be made from them) so I can quote the above.
It does sound like part of the Jobs deification process - maybe Apple is set to turn into a church, if only for the tax breaks. Though if Apple Corp. does get into the salvation business I can't help wondering how long it will take them to patent the sacraments, copyright all the iconography then sue the Catholics, Jews, Muslims and Hindus.
Did he really say that?
So Willetts recokons that what Eric Schimdt said when he was stroking the egos of a bunch of pissed up luvvies [a term referred to in the speech, as was "boffin"] and TV execs on a jolly, went like this:
> he said that this arts v sciences debate really ought to be dead and buried and instead we should recognise how complementary they are
But when you look at the content of the speech, (courtesy of El Graunian) what it says is:
> First you need to bring art and science back together. Think back to the glory days of the Victorian era. It was a time when the same people wrote poetry and built bridges. Lewis Carroll didn't just write one of the classic fairytales of all time, he was also a mathemetics tutor at Oxford. James Clerk Maxwell was described by Einstein as among the best physicists since Newton - but was also a published poet.
Here comes the good bit
> Over the past century the UK has stopped nurturing its polymaths. There's been a drift to the humanities - engineering and science aren't championed. Even worse, both sides seem to denigrate the other - to use what I'm told is the local vernacular, you're either a 'luvvy' or a 'bofffin'
So what Mr. Google appears to be saying is that we should start whacking all the humanities types over the head with a copy of Bleaney and Bleaney and make our phsyicists write poetry in their spare time (which I'm sure they'd love). None of that sounds too hard, but it's a long way from advocating a new university for both arts and technology. Maybe once the polymaths can knock together a limerick-creating algorithm, we can lose the arts side of this and focus on what SCHMIDT ACTUALLY SAID about getting a sound technological foundation back into the education system.
> I have seen stories about GNU/Linux getting on to consumer devices one too many times.
The basic problem that Ubuntu would have as the engine in a TV is its interface. While Unity may (though I'm sticking to Gnome on my 10.04 boxes) be fine for a multi-cored, 2+GHz screamer with several GB of RAM and a graphics card that can run a virtual universe in your office. It's less than useful in a TV where cost, complexity, power, fan noise and board size must be minimised.
The good news is that there are alternatives. Appliances such as The Dreambox run a GUI called Enigma2 that provides pretty much all the functionality and expansion (users can download and install modules on it) necessary to run a TV. While it has a few rough edges which we can forgive due to it's OSS-ness it largely does the job.
If I was Mr. Ubuntu I'd be seriously looking at this sort of front end for a slim format Linux/Ubuntu badged TV that (with the addition of an outboard HDD/SSD) did most of the stuff that all the boxes underneath your home TV did between them, now.
Sounds good in theory
"Oh yes, I work in the Space Industry"
"Ohhhh, so you're a rocket scientist"
"yes, ma'am <fingers crossed>, though my job title is Optical Payload Lab and Clean-room Technician"
and when you look at the j/d itself, you find the post is for a deputy cleaner:
> A general assistant is required to maintain the various Clean Rooms and laboratories to the required class and cleanliness...
These are not the pirates you are looking for
Although this hits the emotional buttons about fake software and piracy, it seems much more likely that it was merely an accounting error. If Comet were producing discs under licence, then I'd guess that all that happened was they failed to pay MS their cut of the Windows royalties for some of the discs they made and have, since, been a bit tardy in coughing up.
Fakes or clones
So who would want such a thing? Apart from the sad old wannabees with more money than imagination, this seems to be a prime hunting ground for the clone makers. Buy a beta board, reverse engineer it and start flogging your own version. You never know, with real R-Pi not producing until February at the earliest, they could even be beaten to market by their copies </irony> (Or worse: find that the copies have been improved over the original.) Since these versions don't have the development and design costs their overheads are lower and the cost per unit (since R-Pi have also done all the promotion for them) should be considerably lower.
But it gets worse. If these few boards really do fetch the amounts reports (and don't just get the bids cancelled/withdrawn) then that would seem to indicate a burgeoning market for the less scrupulous to produce their own "beta" (where beta takes it's traditional meaning of: hardware/software that doesn't work properly) boards and make a few $k for themselves, until the window of opportunity closes.
Either way, it sounds like an astoundingly bad idea, to release prototypes onto the market.
The difference between people and chimps
> Chimps don't just blurt out whatever is on their mind - they consider who's listening
And if daytime television is anything to go by, people never worry about that
It sounds like you have already nailed the First of Larry Wall's Three Great Virtues of a Programmer (i.e. Laziness, for the truly lazy the other two are Impatience and Hubris - give yourself a a pat on the back for not bothering to look them up).
Impatience should require the use of Off the Shelf parts - possibly an ideal opportunity to buy a Raspberry Pi if/when they ever become available.
As for Hubris, I'd suggest giving the Mk2 it's own web interface, plus real-time webcam feed.
However, going back to Laziness for a minute. I don;' feel that having the device controllable from a phone or PC quite does it, for the truly lazy. Surely the object of complete laziness is for the device to do everything itself? Possibly up to and including re-ordering it's own SLA batteries when it detects the current ones are failing (shades of 2010 A Space Odyssey:, perhaps? Just keep it away from hard vacuum.).
One final point on the topic of a cylindrical cutter. Check out the blades that woodworkers use in planer/thicknessers. Apart from being scary sharp, really: SCARY sharp, they could be the sort of thing you'd be looking for. With a few adaptations, the Mk2 might even keep your hedges in trim.
Pearl and Dean
So what we're going to get is a channel or two playing 23 hours of adverts for the local curry emporium and then a jobseeker reading bits from the local paper?
Don't universities already do this?
> commercial advantage for UK companies
Apart from research that is classified as secret, I was under the distinct impression that most work results in a publication of something, somewhere - that's how academics and researchers earn their brownie points and assure themselves of future employment.
Better yet, the one in a thousand (guess) pieces of research that can be turned into something useful generally gets commercialised by the spin-off companies that universities have all created to exploit such ideas.
So we already have an environment where public money that funds _useable_ research is turned into money-making opportunities for british companies. Obviously where existing companies (british or foreign) fund or sponsor a piece of work, they reap the benefits of any knowledge gained. But for new ideas from research grants of goverenment money, there is already a route to market - even if it's limited by the lack of entrepreneurial "buzz" in the funding departments.
Maybe what we need is not another initiative or institute (the more steps in the process, the greater the delays incurred) but some government underwriting - again using OUR money - of the nacent spinoffs, to ensure that what profits they do make stays in the country, rather than going to venture capitalists with no commitment to the UK
Bet they didn't see that coming
The difference between a job and a hobby
> open source ... it gives recruiters a deep view into an engineer's capabilities without the need for an interview.
But you also need to be aware that a lot of people who have written some OSS software have done it for non-financial rewards. Those are completely different motivations from being paid and don't necessarily mean that the individual who wrote a screamingly good piece of software would be prepared to buckle down for the long term to the disciplines of change, deadlines, designs, testing and debugging. Likewise, the second-rate coder might be a far better fit to a product-orientated outfit than a superstar hacker would.
In fact you still need the interview. Not necessarily to assess the technical skills of a candidate but to check on their maturity, self-discipline, reliability, ability to work with others (a team needs a lot more than a bunch of developers) and for those others to check that they can get on with the developers. Some of that can be done over a phone or online, but ultimately nothing beats at least one face-to-face meeting if you're going to enter into a long term business relationship with someone.
@Michael H.F. Wilkinson
> Authority is obtained through force of personality, prior achievements, and (most importantly!!) through the quality of arguments given, but not through suit and tie.
First, I must apologise - I laughed.
The thing about working outside of academia is that almost NONE of the decision makers one comes across have the background knowledge or time to assess each proposal, suggestion, argument or bright idea on its technical merits (or otherwise). Having your particular views accepted is essentially a sales process, possibly with some internal politics throw in. It's not a detached and objective weighing of benefits, costs, feasibility and risk. The primary assessment is of the person, not the task.
So, given that you are effectively trying to SELL your suggestion better than the proponents of all the alternatives are pitching theirs, what measures are likely (or: historically have been shown to be successful) to help you gain approval from a time-limited, risk averse and technically second-rate decision maker - possibly one whom you rarely have any contact with (presuming the idea you're proposing is big enough)?
Might I suggest that as well as knowing what you're talking about - just like all your competitors do - that the appearance of professionalism and the flattery that you're taking the process seriously would certainly not harm your presentation. If you can achieve that in a scruffy pair of old jeans and a Primark teeshirt then good on you.
To wind up, while I've taken an example of swaying the decision making process of a significant project here, people are judging you all the time at work. Maybe only in small ways and maybe they are people who are aware of your technical prowess. However, it's unlikely that you're the only person of any ability in your team, so what's wrong with boosting your profile by being both technically good AND presentable, both at the same time?
A more reliable key to success
Be quite good at what you do (or at least learn how to do what you've claimed you can, before the delivery deadline). Then be the one in 100 million from the above group who just randomly happens to be in the right place, with the right people at the right time.
As for ties, tees or even trousers: what you wear is so completely irrelevant that you may as well ascribe your success to what you ate for breakfast or the colour of your socks.
> we own fewer Smart TVs than folk in other major European economies
Presumably a lot of brits bought "high definition" or at least HD-ready tellies for the last time a british sports team got somewhere close to a final (wasn't there some sort of football thing a few years ago?). If so, they're not really going to upgrade the box they bought then. Not until someone throws a games controller at the screen or the CCFLs finally die and the repair costs exceed the replacement price.
Plus, we shouldn't forget that a great deal of the content on TV today is either repeats of old, old stuff, or daft reality/talent shows - for which internet connectivity or even HD is irrelevant. Added to which, there's always the disincentive with all things televisual that the box will turn out to be smarter than its owner. Maybe a rename from "smart TV" is in order?
How will this puppy abort a launch?
Taking a wild leap, I'd assume this aircraft is designed to take off with rocket and land ONLY without it's payload. That means that each flight/launch has got to be successful. No last minute holds or delays. Once the aircraft's wheels leave the ground, that rocket's either going into orbit or into the ocean.
Now that sort of dependency is probably OK for a mature launch vehicle: one that's had, what? several dozen successful lunches - but to assume that from day#1 the number of "ooops-es" will be low enough to not have customers running back to conventional players is quite a lot to ask for.
Gives mass to other particles?
So how can a 126GeV boson impart mass to an electron with a rest mass of 0.51MeV?
Do you need to get lots of electrons together into some sort of timeshare - where they each get 2 weeks of the boson every year (actually, with that provisional energy, it would be more like 2 minutes per year, than 2 weeks).
A dangerous course
> Wikipedia founder Jimbo Wales is contemplating taking [it] down – temporarily
Apart from having to face the uncomfortable truth that very few people (leaving aside those who define their personalities by controlling their own little wiki fiefdoms) might notice - or care, there's a bigger issue to consider.
What gives this guy the right to say "OK this whole mess will be closed for X number of days"? While it is traditionally his "baby", he effectively gifted it to the world. If he's going to spit his dummy and take it back just because of a little local politics in one small part (the USA is only 5% of the world's population) of the internet, that doesn't bode well for how he'd react if the Wiki mafia (i.e. the editors) decided to go in a direction that he, personally, disagreed with.
If the guy genuinely believed in freedom he'd find another way to demonstrate his political leanings. Causing (some small) inconveniences to other people who have may not have even heard of SOPA, probably have no understanding of it, definitely have no influence over it's passing and ultimately have bigger things to worry about, strikes me as a childish act - and one that could set a precedent with some unintended consequences.
I'll be waiting
> The new tablet's key feature is expected to be a 2048 x 1536 display
Not for the iPad but for the new generation of lappies that (hopefully) it will spawn. All with decent resolution screens to match the marketing spec that the iPad3 will set. Even if you need a magnifying glass to get the full benefit from them.
And then what?
Once CERN does announce its discovery of the Higgs - either soon or at some time in the future, what do all the researchers do after that?
Do all the physicists just pack up their bags, have the Big Bang of all leaving parties and wend their various ways, or do they scramble to come up with a new theory in order to secure future funding to keep themselves and their teams in employment.
Discovering a new fundamental particle is all very nice: don't get me wrong. But this seems to be the final part of the Standard Model. After it's been caught I can just imagine all the non particle-physicists saying "OK, they'd got THE ANSWER, now we need loads of megabucks to continue our work in our field, since these guys have now finished doing their stuff."
Lock the catflap, but leave the door open
I can appreciate the film industry doesn't want people making illicit copies of it's sequels, prequels, remakes, derivative works and any actual original films that it may make. However, surely the biggest hole in the "we mustn't let customers copy films" strategy is letting people have the DVDs and Bluray discs in their houses, while never knowing what other media copying equipment they may have?
Looking at the Lovefilm rental offerings, it seems that the average punter still has far greater access to the physical media than they do to downloaded material (3 discs per month, compared to 2 hours of download time) and therefore this represents a much bigger threat/opportunity for naughty people to indulge in a spot of copying than trying to secure the online viewing process?
But then again, this is the film industry we're talking about so it's futile to expect rational thought or a considered strategy from them.
alibaba and friends
People who frequent the chinese online bazaars and exporters will have seen many instances of Android tablets available to UK buyers for < 100 USD (plus whatever VAT/import duty you get dinged with)
Just how you'd deal with a warranty claim could be a show-stopper and they don't seem to be A4, but you can definitely get 'em shipped here for not very much, if low prices are your biggest motivation.
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