1928 posts • joined Wednesday 10th June 2009 14:47 GMT
Ambition is a vector quantity
It has both magnitude and direction.
It's almost certainly wrong to claim that one gender or another has more or less ambition (and therefore creates a "gap") than the other. The big point is that different people want different things from life. It's not just gender related, but to assume that everyone wants to rise up within their organisation and be promoted (to just beyond the limits of their abilities, according to the Peter Principle (no relation)) is absurd.
I would suggest that for most people, who are not unbalanced, power-crazed or harbouring some deep-seated pathology the ultimate goal is to lead a happy and contented life. Not to try to earn a few gazillion more than the psycho in the next padded cell - or wood-panelled office. If a lot of people aim to achieve that through a family life, rather than their careers or "recognition" then more power to their elbows. Maybe the lack of women at the higher levels within companies is (in part at least) due to most of them not wishing to be there.
Pump and dump?
> a customer base that probably doesn't have internet access at home
... so is unable to see all the excellent deals and discounts available online and will therefore think our prices are good value.
But to put it in perspective, lots of people have cars - a proportion don't use them every day.
All sales and marketing is hit and miss. You could argue that Apple's is highly (overly?) successful as they are able to sell their products to people who don't want them and don't use them. Maybe this just goes to add further evidence to the possibility that Apple is really a marketing company, not a computer company?
@Spearchucker Jones - Why no mobile number
> Except that it has no mobile phone number.
> That's intentional.
Just like we all use disposable email addresses to "disappear" emails from people we no longer want cluttering up our lives (please don't tell me you only have 1 email address and you give it out to all and sundry!), you should be using a disposable mobile number.
Everyone has an old phone lying around. Sure it probably can't send email and may not even be 3G. But for the sake of bunging a fiver in the general direction of ASDA and getting a second SIM, there's no reason for not giving people that number. You may not even make any calls from your "burn" phone but for the sake of not giving the recruiter a REASON TO REJECT YOU it's a worthwhile investment.
Taking a sharp left turn onto a different topic, the biggest mistake you can make on your CV is to let it be known you're over 40.
One simple test
Go to the shop, have the phone demonstrated, drop it on showroom floor from prescribed height. If it still works, do it again. If it *still* works buy it (or rather: another sample of the same model - which you "drop test" before walking out of the store).
Here's me . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . here's my apps
All I want from a desktop (or O/S, for that matter) is to minimise the distance / fuss / time / delay / keystrokes / clicks / resource usage that comes between me, sitting at my screen and the stuff I really want to do: i.e. run some applications.
It makes little difference to me whether the underlying display is Gnome (2, 3 take your pick), XP, 3270, OSX, Xfce or Android. All I want to do is run my apps and, most importantly - GET STUFF DONE. Likewise I simply don't care what colour or picture is on my desktop, or for that matter whether the desk itself is made of wood, plastic, laminate, glass or an upturned beer crate. Just so long as it doesn't get between me and what I want to do, I'm happy. If it does put additional steps in my way, then it's become part of the problem: to be removed, rather than a benefit that I want.
So, to all the GUI wizards out there I say: stop rattling on about all these wizzy desktop features: docks, bars, configurable backgrounds, movable buttons and all the other malarky. If what you're doing doesn't help the user to run the programs they got their computers to do, then you're wasting your time. You may well be producing stuff that may well make yourself look oh-so clever in the eyes of your peers, but it is merely an unwelcome hindrance to those of us unlucky enough to have if included in the environment we choose (or have to) use.
In GUI design and implementation less is most definitely more and simplicity rules.
Killer apps are _so_ last century
This guy is talking about a commodity / utility (internet access), yet he is trying to fit its use in non-utility terms. Ones more suited to buying small electronic devices: iPods/Pads or the like.
Nobody talks about electricity supply in terms of a "killer app" (maybe we should all install aluminum smelters in our gardens) to drive consumption, or that food requires a "killer app" to make us eat more/less/healthily - though I suppose cooking or fire could be classed in those terms, but that makes it all sound a bit stone-age.
What is more likely is that increased bandwidth is an enabling technology. Once people have the means to stream 100MBit/s into their house, then we'll start to see software or hardware that either can use, or needs, streams of this size - or not. If those appliances turn out to be popular, they'll create demand outside the early-adopter group. However increased bandwidth on its own, like increased car ownership, is not necessarily a good thing. It's the benefits that this increase brings (and possibly the costs and problems it causes) which will define how far it goes.
Can't tell the art from the elbow grease
Only in germany would you get such a conscientious cleaner. Shame we can't get some like that to do a number on our hospitals.
Re: what is the thought process?
Spec you later
We've seen earlier examples of natural disasters leading to component shortages. (Anyone remember many years ago when RAM prices shot up?). The good news is that shortages don't last, and when they do resolve, it usually leads to a glut from overproduction, when all the manufacturers respond to the high prices by increasing production.
However, these days shortages are also prime targets for speculators to make a quick wad. Sadly, by doing so they exacerbate the problem by buying up the scarce commodity, even though they have no intention of using it themselves. We also see bona-fide manufacturers placing multiple orders, as they realise that they will be rationed. So instead of simply ordering the 10,000 pieces they will expect to need, they order 20,000 in the knowledge that the suppliers will ration sales and only partly fulfill the orders they get.
Of course in the mean time, it's a brilliant excuse for retailers to jack up the price of techy toys, just in time for christmas.
Groan! internet researchers
> Some people still think a billion is a ....
Only if you rely on a superficial bout of Googling and swallow the first definition you stumble across. In the UK a billion has universally and unambiguously meant 10**9 since the 1970's. So no, there aren't any "some people" any more (and probably haven't been any for decades), just like there aren't "some people who think" .. Britain still uses pounds, shillings and pence.
All the actions this guy describes as being the doings of repressive governments (not his government, of course, naturally!) apply equally to the copyright enforcers, DRM owners, MP[IA]A and other organisations who have given themselves the right to "police" the content we want access to.
Yawn! We've had fast-starting O/Ss for years.
> PCs started up instantly
My PDA (Dell x50v) is like that. Just press the button and the screen pops on instantly - ready for work. It's hardly noteworthy and it's definitely not new or novel.
In fact, if memory serves, the old CP/M systems I was working with in the early 80's would boot up about as fast as a modern day windows box. Though I did have to go to the trouble of swapping floppies during the startup.
The best thing (any) government can do for the internet
> getting governments and businesses to agree on how to promote and protect the internet
is to stop interfering with it. The one thing it will never need is their "protection".
He goes on to say "Nothing would be more fatal or self-defeating than the heavy hand of state control ..." which sounds to me like the same tone used to say "My esteemed colleague has my full support and backing" ... just before the knives go in. Presumably "fatal" and "self-defeating" are government newspeak for "desirable" and "best for us".
You just know that the more these lying 'stards say to promote internet (or any other) freedoms, the less they mean it and that it's merely mendacious claptrap while they work out how to control, restrict and tax it.
How will they catch people?
It's difficult to see who is the "criminal" here. If I was suitably fondled-up and lent my slab to "a friend" who happened not to have a TV licence, am I at fault? If so, then by extension does that mean the friend wouldn't be allowed round to my house to watch my TV, too? If it's their fault, then any licence-less passer-by who happens to look over the shoulder of a slab-watcher becomes a crim? Or (worse) does the mere act of owning a mobile-content capable device, but no TV licence, now make you a suspect - irrespective of if you ever wanted to watch mobile TV.
Either way, given that a lot of iplayer content is watched on the hoof, will we have to have iplayer-police stationed on every street corner, checking the credentials of anyone who happens to be staring at their mobile device while going about their business.
Is this when SSDs take over?
With the end-user price of HDDs getting close to double what it was a couple of weeks ago, presumably a lot more people are viewing SSDs more favourably. Whether for cost reasons or simply 'cos HD lead-times are increasing (as will SSDs as demand ramps up).
Hopefully the increased demand for SSDs will drop the price as more suppliers increase production - or accelerate their plans for expansion - which will make them even more attractive, and HDs less so.
So when the HD makers do get round to drying out their factories, they could find that a lot of their lower-end devices have lost the market and that the only people wanting HDs in the future will be after the BIGGUNS: 1TB and up - even though it's a hard task to fill one of those puppies, unless you have an impressively sized "video" collection.
Although people scoff at small HDs it could be that they find the sizes of SSDs are more than adequate for their lappies, fondlies and desktops and when they get used to the speed of SSDs they'll be unwilling to go back to "slow old" spinning storage.
What's robots for the goose are robots for the gander
> after buying the robot ... he could use it to spend time with his wife in New York,
Presuming of course that his wife doesn't buy a robot to take his place.
And here was me thinking that all of todays fashionable monsters (vampires, zombies, ghosts, ghouls and all the other various forms of the undead) were simply the result of needing a form of non-specific baddie that didn't offend any particular race, religion, gender, physical or mental disability group. But most of all were cheap and quick to slap together, didn't qualify for the extra pay of spoken parts, needed next to no theatrical skills nor any special film set adaptations as THEY'RE JUST ACTORS IN RAGS AND MAKEUP.
IT needs to get away from quick wins
> someone administering security to actually keep their job
It's not down to the "someone" to ensure this happens. It's down to whoever controls that "someone"'s work schedule. The person who says to the project manager "No, we can't build your test environments this week, we have pressing security updates that MUST be installed". Or who says to the CFO "Cutting the headcount is not an option as we then can't keep our security measures up to date in a timely manner."
The point being that too many non-IT people are allowed to put too much pressure on the "someone" to do IMMEDIATE work rather than IMPORTANT work for their narrow goals. Once you can resolve that conflict there is the possibility that "someone" will be able to keep their IT security tight. Though there's nothing they can do to prevent all the other security lapses in the organisation
Change your name.
on a not unrelated point:
> ... redirection of all their important post to their current ...
Roughly translates as "didn't want the debt collectors / psycho ex-partners to know where they lived now.
> Websites and IP addresses will become unreachable for the first time in the UK for copyright reasons.
There have been other sites blocked from the tender eyes of UK surfers for other reasons. ISTR the New York Times (or somesuch) was blocked so that we couldn't read all the secret information that the above book revealed - although it was perfectly alright for the rest of the world to know it. I also seem to recall that the workarounds to let people read the blocked content were published and widely circulated within hours of the measures coming into effect.
I am in little doubt that this judgment will be enforced with the same level of efficacy.
Not just children
I'd never move to a location that didn't have an internet service (mobile signal? Hmmm, that's a tricky one), but I'd move to a TV dead zone in an instance - and save the licence fee into the bargain.
When the clocks change ?
> help the ... in the free hour when the clocks change.
So we're supposed to get them out of bed at 02:00 and teach them how to use Google?
Apart from them still being asleep - and just incorporating the whole miserable experience into a bad dream, it's more than likely that a lot of the people being targeted here have no desire whatsoever to use the internet. Despite what the celebrity zealots may want to beliieve.
Old problem, new look
Industrial espionage is as old as, well, industry. The fact that a lot of it is now done via the internet instead of the old-fashioned way doesn't make this a brand new threat (or one that could be countered simply by improving internet security). If companies tightened up their electronic systems that would provide some benefit - but isn't it likely that the baddies would just go back to their old ways: bribing employees, blackmailing staff, sneaking in dressed as cleaners or just employing some disaffected brainiacs who carry all the relevant knowledge in their heads?
Anyhow, stealing other peoples' secrets is a two-way affair. It would surprise no-one to discover that british (or any other country's) firms were also engaging in such pursuits and reaping the benefits of their work, too.
Re: Overblown sense of entitlement, much?
I watched an episode once and didn't care for it - though I appreciate other people do like it. My beef is not with that particular show coming to an end - I don't care one way or another. It just bugs me that writers like this can turn away work that affects not only themselves, but fans, actors and all the other people involved in making the show. Even stranger, that the production company doesn't just say "OK, cheerio then. *Ding* will the next writer please assume the position and carry on where the last one *(what was his name?) left off."
Apropos creativity: Hmmm, *if* each episode was new, original, thoughtful and/or funny I may well have become a fan. As it is, there didn't seem like much creativity needed, just the ability to knock out a screenplay at roughly one page per minute of run-time. The guy's not exactly Douglas Adams, is he?
Sounds more like a hobby than a job
> I just wasn't looking forward to it the way I used to.
Oh the poor dear, diddums! Having to work on things he doesn't want to. It must be such an imposition to get paid for doing things you "have run out of enthusiasm" for. If the show is still making money and people are prepared to finance future series, anyone with any professional integrity would feel honour bound to give it their best shot, not say "but I'm bored .... I wanna do something else" <sound of rattle being banged on high-chair's tray>
That does seem to be an issue with the television industry and particularly british TV production. The creative types don't seem to have the discipline to approach things as if they were a job: do work, get paid. Instead, it all seems to have to be "fun".
Raise the drawbridge, get stuff done!
The best way to deal with email is to ignore it.
Maybe read the ones from your boss, provided they weren't sent to everyone (and your boss's boss with the same proviso). Apart from that, if it's important the emailer will phone you, or come to see you to ask why you never pick up your voicemail - which brings me on to the next stage.
There are only two times of the day to read email: soon after you've got in (and had your beverage du matin) and some point shortly after lunch. Never, ever open your email within an hour of knocking-off time or you may be staying at the orifice later than you expected. It's been my observation that people who are continually glued to their email don't really have anything better to do with their days - and spend most of them sending emails to others in the same situation. Don't get drawn in to this sticky web.
Unless your job description specifically says that you are employed to deal with emailed inquiries it's a reasonable bet that most of anything you get from outside your chain of command is either irrelevant or asking you to do something that you won't get recognition (or a cost code) for. So you'll end up doing someone else's job but on your own time.
So far as sending email goes: don't. The only two reasons for emailing someone is as a CYA or to avoid phoning them. If you email someone, they're quite likely to reply. If they reply, they'll almost certainly require you to do some extra work that is not in your interest or immediate set of goals.
Can't go soon enough
Hopefully when physical newspapers do die, their political clout will die with them. While the online "name" will still provide an outlet for foreign owners to rant on about how they think our country should be run, a little iPad screen doesn't have anything like the gravitas of a broadsheet.
Plus, you can't swat flies with a fondleslab. (Is there an app for that?)
Groupon is as Groupon does
So will they offer their shares at a discount if lots of people organise to buy them together?
Or is that sort of thing reserved for products that nobody really wants .... errr ...
> greater average number of products taken by our customers
Show crappier programmes and more repeats on the basic package. Put all the "good" content on the premium services. Persuade people that they really should be paying to watch BBC and ITV in HD - instead of getting it for free via terrestrial broadcasts. Finally push 3D TV like it's going out of fashion .... oh hang on, it is.
 Here "good" means slightly less awful, with not quite so many repeats
This is what happened to "Linux on the desktop"
It became Linux on the TV.
You have a box at home. Connected to it is a screen, internet connection, plug-in external storage and a plug-in disk (or disc) reader. It contains an operating system and takes forever (OK, 15 seconds - about as long as a valve'd TV, plus ca change!) to start up. If you like you can download patches and upgrades for it.
So what is it? It says "TV" on the box, but nmap -O reports it's running Linux 2.6.X
Maybe we should stop worrying too much about labels and realise that very soon the house TV will be capable of hosting your word-processing apps, maybe even talking to a printer and giving you video Skype when you least expect it. Then, if things go according to plan your granny's worst nightmare can at last come true: that since she can see the presenters on TV programmes, they'll be able to see her, too.
Not really a crime
If ID theft is such a big concern that the cops need to spend a week trying to prevent it, why won't they ever issue a crime number when you try to report it? Shrugging their metaphorical shoulders and fobbing you off with the line that you should report it to your bank instead.
Companies have implicit whitelists
Since this is about corporate behaviour, not home users, the whole thing about users downloading stuff onto the company's machines should be moot. Users simply shouldn't be installing anything and anything that does get installed should come by way of the IT dept (isn't that one of their primary functions? or am I being old-fashioned?) and be on their list of approved applications and be sourced from themselves and ONLY from them.
So for companies, they already have a list of apps they are happy for users to use. Ones they can support, that they know will play nice with the other apps and that have been properly acquired through a legal channel.
Again, we're not talking about home users here so "drive-by download sites" simply should not be an issue (and aren't that hard for the compliance people to spot - you DO scan machines for unlicensed softs, don't you?). So I'd expect that any company that is doing their IT even half-right already operates a white-list, although they probably don't call it that. Not after the political officer has had a word, anyway.
Tiny, tiny, tiny screen
Take a sheet of A4 and fold it in half twice - so it's down to A6 size. The 6-inch screen on this thing is smaller than that! It's basically the size of a a Post-It note and a little over half the area of an average paperback.
While it "fits in your pocket easily" it sounds like it's much more likely to slide down the crack in the sofa and be lost forever. Personally, I'll hold out for a tablet/reader/thingy that's A4 sized and preferably flexible. Tthough I will probably be waiting a long time, I don't mind, it's not really that important.
Comparing Spamhaus to credit scoring agencies
While both can (disingenuously) claim "we don't block your email/credit" they are both responsible for sourcing the information that does. With credit rating companies, we all have a right to access the information they hold about us and have it corrected if it's wrong. With Spamhous we have no rights, no means of getting incorrect information put right and we aren't even judged on our own behaviour.
In human rights terms collective punishments are illegal. You cannot punish a group of people for the wrongdoings of one, whom you suspect of being in that group. Yet this is precisely what happens with Spamhous. What's worse is that you, as an individual, have no rights to have information that Spamhous publish about the IP address you are using updated. While you could argue that with dynamic IP allocation it's not practical, that doesn't excuse the behaviour, which is simply a poor implementation which addresses the wrong problem.
And we're told to not write down our passwords ???
Surely a far more practical solution (rather than going through the rigmarole of updating legal documents) is to simply have a postit stuck to the side of your screen with your passwords on it. Or for the ultra-security paranoid: stuck on its back!
The question then becomes, who is responsible for keeping up the subscriptions on all these wonderful, valuable e-assets? The ones who's hosting company's Ts & Cs you'd be breaking by either: giving your account details to someone else, or: accessing someone else's account.
That's even if you share the same musical/film tastes as your dear-departed. Or if all the stuff in their accounts would end up in the equivalent of a house-clearer's skip. Though would you really want to stumble across your grandparents' pr0n collection?
So he crashes a party ...
The video was shown as the outro on Newsnight last night. The guy came across as being somewhat pathetic. He barged in to a group of people "hanging" and started attacking them. Then he was shown being chased off by a girl in heels (the girl was wearing the heels, not the guy fantasizing about being a superhero, just to be clear)
Rather than being some sort of public benefactor, he appeared to be someone who needed therapy and treatment rather than an award.
Anybody else find this slightly worrying?
There's no doubt that this is a marvellous achievement, when used for good (or at least: when used for personal goals and to feed wow! onto the internet). But let's fast-forward and consider what happens when a private individual has the means to add a guidance system to this - say a heat-seeking system. When does a home-project (albeit a piggin' expensive and very sophisticated one) become a Mach-3 missile - and if this guy can build one, who else could?
A box without users
> Yet by and large, we tend to neglect the hypervisor, trusting it to just work.
That's not an unreasonable assumption, since hypervisors don't have idiot users surfing to pr0n sites on them, reading their bug-infested email, or trying to plug in some dubious thumb-drive/peripheral/phone
When you rid your IT of all of those points of weakness, it's surprising how little effort is needed to keep a box secure, bug-free and reliable.
Little or no change, then
> BBC2 will be all repeats now during the day
A swift perusal of their schedule shows BBC2 is only planning on showing 6 new programmes today. There were 2 this morning (seemed to be for children) and 4 later on today, starting at 17:15. As it is, that's only a little worse than BBC1 which has 10 (count em! TEN) new programmes on today. Two in peak time (20:00 and 21:00) and the rest scattered about throughout the day.
There is one, called "Pointless" that seems to sum up their programming policy quite nicely.
Like water off a duck's back
I'm sure all those reasons are perfectly lovely. However if you're not planning to buy a '5 then they are meaningless (or just preaching to the choir). If you are planning to get one, none of them will persuade you otherwise.
All these reasons are far too rational. They fail to recognise the way the product is being marketed and therefore won't have any traction with the people being courted. If you can find a potential buyer who is willing and able to give you an honest answer, it probably won't be any more substantial than "BECAUSE I WANT ONE". You simply can't argue against that level of primal, unthinking desire.
If you really wanted to deter people from buying one - your best strategy would be simply to lie about it. How about starting a rumour that every '5 was tested on poor, blind, orphan, pregnant, bunny-wunnies with big sad eyes and a cute little bobble-tail?
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