1609 posts • joined Wednesday 10th June 2009 14:47 GMT
Linux support and others
The thing is, I've never yet come across an all-in-one that was supported by Linux. That is: print,scan,fax. Yes, you can just get some of those printers to print under Linux (depending on the flavour of Linux, its vintage and the method of connectivitiy used - not just USB) provided you cost your time at £zero per hour. Yes you can just get some of them to scan using SANE if you don't mind yet more jumping through hoops and not having any sort of integration with the other functions.
However if your goal is to GET STUFF DONE then there's no substitute for just plugging in the A-I-O, installing the softs off the install CD and doing what you set out to. This, sadly is only possible with whatever software & drivers come on the CD: generally only MS and maybe Apple.
So far as naming names, I didn't do that in the original post in case the moderatrix didn't want the survey spoiled. All I will say is II'm heartily siek'o that manufacturer.
But what we really need to know ...
is how they run after a year. Not just fresh out of the box.
The "real life" test would run the printers with non-original cartridges, having left them unattended for a couple of weeks - so the print heads dry out. Since these printers all have wireless connectivity, it would be handy to know just how good the reception was. It would also be helpful to know how easy it is to configure the wifi connection - could my old mum do it, for example?
I appreciate that all this would take time - some weeks and that it would be difficult to persuade the suppliers to let you hang on to them that long (though not as difficult as getting permission to use non-original ink in them, though everybody does this due to the extortionate cost of the manufacturers supplies). However, these are the things that matter to normal people in the real world. Not how quickly it spits out a page of text + diagrams, or a photo, for that matter.
If you like, I'll start you off. I've just "buried" a XXXXXXXX which is the previous model to the XXXXXXX in the survey. It was crap. Unreliable, drank ink like it was lager. The head-clean function consistently failed to do what it said on the box. After going through a complete set of colour cartridges, just trying to un-gum the blue channel, I enquired about getting a replacement print head for this 6 month old printer. The cost of doing this (not covered by warranty - natch) and the cost of 2 way shipping was more than the cost of a whole new printer. Which I now have, but I'm not ever buying another XXXXXX brand product.
Moola 2 musos
I think a lot of freetards would take a more sympathetic stance towards paying for the stuff they downloaded if there was an assurance that what they did pay went to the musiciands who had created / played that stuff, rather than to the large corporations.
So if someone downloaded a track and then got an email from the band along the lines of
"Dear Mr. Freetard, we noticed that you downloaded one of our albums yesterday. We hope you like it. Normally we'd make about £1 if that CD was sold in the shops. So, tell you what, rather than have our record label haranguing you for 20 grand to pay their lawyers, why don't you PayPal us a quid and we'll call it a day?"
If the entire music industry could be brought down to that level, 2 good things would happen: the musicians would get more money, paid directly to them and lots of record company employees and their lawyers would have to get real jobs.
Now obviously, someone would have to pay the costs of recording the album in the first place - and that would need some organisation. However, for all the music that is deleted or unavailable to buy there is nothing but a win all round. Maybe some of the revenue from online "real-price" sales of that could be used to bankroll the next generation until they become profitable in their own right?
what happens? not much
The few occasions where I've seen cockups turning into big problems (dba dropping tables on a production database, coffee cup knocked over into the main router, someone changing root password and instantly forgetting the new one) the person involved has received admonitions from their peers/boss ("you PLONKER", etc.), but career-wise except for the coffee issue, they were regarded as "blips" in otherwise good work records.
The coffee-knocker left shortly afterwards of their own free will.
The conclusion was that these accidents could have happened to anyone and that everyone makes a mistake now and again. While this is true, and universally recognised, the underlying problem with our industry is that this is accepted and few, if any companies feel the situation needs to be, or can be improved. You do get point solutions to specific (costly) errors after the fact, but all the processes in the world: BS5750, ISO9000, ITIL don't seem to account for figner trouble and the IT systems themselves are designed to be so brittle that a simple error can kill them.
There, but for the grace of god
... goes pretty much every major company in the world.
The biggest failure in IT is that anyone with root has the power, or bad luck, to place the company they work for in exactly this situation. The only surprise is that this sort of thing doesn't happen more often - or maybe just that it isn't reported more often.
Until systems are built robust enough to survive the onslaught of a trainee with the manual held upside-down, we really can't call what we do a "profession".
You can lead a horse to water
but you can't make it do the backstroke.
This seems to be what MLF wants to do. Although the report admits that a lot of the people who don't have internet connections are quite happy like that and don't feel the need to have it, she seems to think that they still should become connected. The tone of the document is one of I'm an internet professional. I think it's good-and-lovely-and-fun-and-happy-and-useful-and-safe-and-easy and so should you.
The one group that does merit more attention - although their invisibility in the pamphlet is just as great as it is in real life - is the disabled population. The document tells us that 48% of disabled people don't regularly use the internet .... and then says almost nothing else about them, except for a solitary word here or there in a couple of bullet points.
Although we've had the Disabilities Discrimination Act in force for many years it's had little effect on the people it was meant to help. The rise of flash has seen to that. (and the general cluelessness of the vast majority of website aurthors). Maybe if Martha spent a little more time digging beneath the surface of the fact that some people don't use the internet and examined WHY, she'd be in a better position to make a real difference to the one group that can't (or don't want to be) helped by the simple expedient of putting more PCs in libraries and Job Centres and letting people have access to them, there.
How about ...
... getting the telemarketers to talk to each other?
With 4 million lines, the chances are there'll be more than one illegal caller in the system at any given time. Instead of playing recorded messages to each one individually, it should be possible to connect 2 of them together. That way each will be talking to a real person and eliciting "normal" responses from them,.
You never know, if they're any good, they might end up selling each other some unwanted stuff.
I got one of these
And I did admire it for its originality. It looks like a piece of business journalism, printed on newsprint and torn off (quite neatly) along one edge. However, being a cynical old git I didn't believe any of it was true. Apart from being unsolicited, the actual content of the piece - which extends over both sides of the larger than A4 tear-off doesn't contain any actual information that you'd expect from a newspaper - such as its title, or the date of publication. It's also very heavy on the hype, with a few anecdotes stories of "windfall" level increases in turnover and too much emphasis on the CD sets the guy is giving away. If you read it out loud with a nigerian accent, you'd instantly recognise the article's heritage.
One thing the guy does get right is his assertion that "Most advertising does not work". Yup, and this is a prime example. I'm planning on keeping the article as a warning to others.
Many factors - none technical
When it comes to making the big decisions in industry the successful decision makers (i.e. the ones who still have jobs after the consequences of their decisions become known) tend to employ very similar techniques. From what I've seen, these include:
- Follow the herd. If everyone's making the same decisions, it's unlikely you'll get fired for making the same decision. It's the chickens that stick their necks out that get the chop.
- Take advice. A group decision with shared responsibility is much harder to attack. If it turns out to be wrong, then everyone's in it together (see above). If it's right, then it was your leadership and vision that caused the correct decision to be reached.
- Get a consultant in. The more expensive they are, the more likely their advice will be taken. After all if you spend £20 grand and ignore the advice, the money's been wasted. Right?
- Swing the same way as the boss (!) If it works out well, you're seen as being supportive. If it's wrong - well it was really their choice, you had no alternative but to acquiesce.
- Prevaricate. It's common knowledge that any yes/no decision has at least 4 more alternatives. Apart from the dull and boring yes and no, there's "get more options", "I don't know" (risky), "I'll decide later" and "what do you think?" While you're playing wait-and-see hopefully some more indications will come to light, or the whole question becomes moot when the budget gets canned.
- Finally, if the correct alternative is so unclear that you have to rely on data to see which response is best, it sounds like there's not a lot of difference between them. In which case it's best to employ any of the alternative decision making methods, than to rely on something as obscure, misunderstood and open to manipulation as mere facts.
> Linux users rank in the sex toy league table
They have a whole swarm available.. All of them free. None of them documented. Installation requires a long courtship that involves arcane commands and rituals. They have user interfaces as ugly as T***e *h**y on a bad day and require constant maintenance. But worst of all, none of them do what people actually want. Since the authors could not decide what the things should do, (having exactly zero real-world experience between them) they dropped in every single possible option their hours spent watching movies gave them, but with no sensible defaults.
Finally they gave their toys cutesy but wholly uninformative names, that no business person could ever put on a purchase order without losing all their credibility, and which change with each new release (that is almost identical to the one before, but oddly incompatible with it) and then sat around wondering why nobody wanted to use them.
Vote job up/down?
> shows local people where the money is going ...
How about going one step further and having a vote option next to the vacancy: "Should this position be canceled?" Then local people can decide for themselves whether they actually want that vacancy filled, or if the advertisment should be removed and the job made redundant.
Let them fight it out
I'm sure BT have lots and lots of places they could install these upgrades in, rather than sticking them in Brighton. A pragmatic approach would be to say to the NIMBOIs "OK, we'll upgrade someone else instead. Have a chat amongst yourselves, if anyone complains to us we'll refer them to you. Let us know what sort of solution you want and are prepared to pay for - we'll see what we can do".
Then just carry on with the rollout in other places that are easier to work with and come back to Brighton in a few years time.
commonplace in "real" auctions, too
The practice of taking a bid "off the wall" is well documented (just google for it) and appears to be considered acceptable practice in real life. If you've been to more than one or two auctions, you've probably experienced it - though you may not have realised it. Quite how that is different from someone bidding up their own items escapes me - except that one is illegal and the other widespread.
In that case I can well understand how a defence of not knowing it's illegal could be made and I would think that a half-decent lawyer could make a very convincing argument about it.
Take a leaf from the broadcaster's book
and show more repeats. I'm sure the BBC website has hosted lots of pages that people would appreciate "a chance to see again" (They could start by putting the saddos page back up)
While your career goes down the drain.
> troubleshooting the clients hosting environment, network, IP traffic and sewers.
Plus numerous other mistakes (who grinds your back?) I would fully expect their selection process to be as hit-and-miss as their typping ability
(yes, yes. I know - _typing_)
First jobs only last a short time
There's very little point marketing yourself as a generalist with a CS degree unless you expect your employer to be able to put your general, wide-ranging yet curiously non-specific skills to use. That might work if you and they form some sort of pact where in 20 years you will have seen all the IT aspects of the company and can, in time, become their head of IT - complete with hands on understanding of what all the various IT elements do.
However, most companies that hire people do so because they have a specific, immediate requirement for someone who can contribute and make a difference NOW. Sadly most graduates (myself included) take about 6 months to get out of the habits of student life and become au fait with the rigours of a 9-5. Couple that with most technical graduates only staying in their first job for 2 - 3 years and there's not a lot of point hiring someone and then training them, if they won't be around long enough to get a decent return for the investment.
As it is, everyone in IT has to adapt constantly to the changes in the industry - it's not an ability you learn in college. Typically the half-life of an IT skill is maybe 5 years: half the stuff you learned 5 years ago is obsolete, half the stuff you'll be doing in 5 years time, you don't know about yet. You have to constantly learn, change, adapt and educate yourself - just as a school leaver with 2 O-levels and a budgerigar would. The "general skills" you learn on your degree course don't make you that special or useful. The only attribute you have that's worth a company spending time on you is a willingness to learn the stuff they need, and to learn it quickly. That's all your degree tells a recruiter - that you can read a book, or spend an hour on Google, then sit down at a desk and knock out some useful stuff.
Sights set too high?
Someone "studying" for a degree in tourism, or hospitality (or even history or media) pretty much knows which side of the counter they will spend their working lives. Until, that is, it's their turn to clean the tables.. However CS graduates come out of university, optimistically clutching their little bits of paper, with all the hopes they had when they were persuaded to start the course: IT is a growing industry, lots of job opportunities, well paid, interesting work and all the other stuff their clueless careers advisors told them about in school.
However, sit them down in an office and ask them to look into why a particular piece of SQL runs slow, or why those 6 users take 5 minutes to log in, or how to remotely install printers in the Cardiff office and all you'll get is a blank look. That's not what they signed up for! They wanted to write the next generation of games - singlehandedly. Ask them, at interview, about configuring a firewall or the pros and cons of W2K8 verses RHEL and they'll probably start to cry.
In fact there's not that much that a new CS graduate can do for a company that a school leaver with a "For Dummies" book couldn't. But without the salary requirements needed to pay off their student loan. Personally I feel that anyone wanting to work in IT would be better off learning to drive, than getting a degree. They'll still have to be trained in everything, but at least they would have the mobility to work in places without tube trains.
The funny thing about being in opposition: you vote against all these bills, which presumably you think are a bad thing. However, when you gain power they magically become acceptable. To the point where no matter how vehemently you opposed them before and how much rhetoric you employed against them, you now keep them, embrace them as if they were your own. In almost every circumstance, the sins of the outgoing regime are tacitly blessed by the new.
Maybe what we need is not to repeal a few cherry-picked and harmless examples from the past 13 years, but to enact one single new law: that legislation that was opposed by a party becomes void when they win power. That way, we'll soon see where an opposition party's true values lie, since they wouldn't risk losing the benefits of laws they actually like, just to score a few brownie points over the incumbents.
The massive logical flaw in this proposition is, of course, that if Labour opposed this bill and got re-elected next time, that law itself would become its own, first, victim.
and when you've drunk enough ...
.. all the paranoia, free floating anxiety and insecurity will just fade away. You'll become a normal, well-balanced and calm individual .... who farts a lot.
Ans: meetings - lots of 'em
Let's start with a weekly progress meeting. Invite the whole team, say 30 people (incl. _both_ developers). Reckon on funny money hourly charging at an extremely cheap £50/hour. That's 3 grand for a 2 hour meeting. Over a year and you've "spent" £150k without actually doing any work. Now if each team member has to attend another 2 meetings each week, you're close to half a mil'
Since your staff spend so much time in meetings they are pushed for time to do real work. So you have to bring in consultants - lets say £1k / day each. 5 of them for a year is another £1.25M.
We all know that the more people you put on a project, the longer it takes, so a project planned for 1 year now takes 2. Double all your people costs and viola! £35M down the tubes without even trying.
... the rest of the world will look on with a mixture of amazement and pity as one small country in the north atlantic turns itself into the new North Korea.
We'll still get all the problems associated with climate change (if it turns out that's what's actually causing them) since no other country will follow suite. However just like every other religious zealot, these people will be blind to the suffering they cause their victims while pursuing their idealogically pure charge off the economic cliff.
you may laugh ...
but this probably represents the upper-quartile's understanding of the internet, its naming and how it works. The other three-quarters think the internet is Google.
Since the whole censorship and copyright and freedoms debates will/are being informed by the same people (ooops, I nearly called them "journalists") who write this stuff, the best we can hope for are some over-zealous laws, quickly slapped together to solve the problems caused by tabloid headlines. These same laws will probably catch more unintended victims that actual harm-doers and will then be vilified by the same trashy newspaper articles that forced their creation in the first place.
In britain it's pretty much impossible to write a well-considered, emotionally uncharged and balanced piece of mass journalism about certain topics: drugs, children, terrorism and sex are the most frequently misrepresented (followed by europe, foreigners, green, non-green and small furry animals - esp. giant pandas, OK - and large furry animals). Until newspapers can get over their own taboos we stand no chance of making any sort of social progress and even less chance of some half-sensible legislation what does what it says on the tin.
Makes the selection process easier
If a proportion of the candidates do you the favour of eliminating themselves, through poor spelling and punctuation, before you even have to go to the trouble of analysing their qualifications, what's the problem?
However, looking at it from another angle. I wonder how many of the personnel people are in a position to judge the quality of applications, themselves. Have they gone through some sort testing process to make sure they can spell - or are they just rejecting candidates who don't make the same spelling and grammar mistakes that they think qualifies as "proper" english?
If Lester is writing from personal experience, all I can do is offer my sympathies and a reference to Wired Magazine's article from some years back entitled "Hard Drugs" (geddit?). As an <ahem> 50-year old myself I can say that my perfect partner is someone my own age, or failing that: 2 * 25 year olds.
All it needs ...
is for an enterprising survey to determine that one racial / gender / religious group is under-represented by Visa (not that their applications are declined, maybe just 'coz fewer of them ask for one) and the whole thing could be turned into a media frenzy. If self-righteous media bluster could be turned into an event, we'd undoubtedly win gold, every time. (Just think, golds in both Men's and Women's hypocritical column writing, team events for factual inaccuracies, rabble-rousing and character assassination, and the tabloid equivalent of the triple jump: insinuation, innuendo and implication.)
Anyway, personally, I don't care as I have no intention of buying anything with an olympic logo on it, nor do I have any desire to watch it - live or on TV.
one slight problem: it's NOT 3D
Look at a statue. That's in 3D. You can walk around behind it and see its back. You can stand over it and see the top. Walk around the back of a "3d" TV and all you see are the wires. It's a deceptive term, used to market an effect of depth perception on a normal, flat, 2D screen. At best the manufacturers should take a leaf from the mobile phone industry and call it 2½D
If it really WAS 3D, a la the holographic projectors in Star Wars, that would be something worth paying attention to.
Must be great fun ...
... if you're a fly. One minute you're just buzzing around, annoying people. The next you've been caught in the vortex and you're shooting along at warp 9. I would expect that once word (or is that "the buzz") gets out, they'll come from miles around to have a go.
Could you use it to fire sponge balls at other people, too?
Low cost alternative
so why not just replace the iphone's screen with a mirror. that way they can spend all day looking at the attractive person on the other end of their video call. Someone who thinks the way they do and never disagrees with them. You never know, they might even fall in love with that parson - if they weren't already.
It worked with our budgie
worst possible combination
On the one hand you have IT support having to deal with each machine as a special case - taking time to work out what software / versions / drivers / patches are installed and then having the luck to not break any of the owners stuff while trying to fix a work problem.
On the other hand you have a conflict between the users domestic practices and arrangements and any mandated software (such as firewalls, anti-virus, encryption) the employer requires.
Personally I would not allow any IT support dept. do work on my personal machine (and not for the reasons Gary Glitter might be regretting) not just because I would fully expect them to either break something or just go for a wipe-and-reinstall approach (since their time is more valuable to them than my equipment is), but also because of the inconvenience: I can't do "my stuff" while it's in their hands - which could be for days.
The only thing I might, just , possibly consider is a company installed VM. That would give a solid line of demarcation between their stuff and my stuff. I still wouldn't give them physical access to the machine itself, they could work on their VM remotely, during working hours.
However, I can't see any company seriously accepting the extra complications, support burdens and security nightmares for the sake of a few hundred quid's worth of hardware. Unless of course, their workforce was in the habit of "losing" the thing every time they didn't get a pay rise or promotion.
psych? science? hmmm.
> experimentation, observation, and theoretical abstraction
but no actual measurement. No S.I. units, no standard definitions, no quantitative relationships, no mathematical analysis, no proofs, no agreed cause-effect laws and most of the "experiments" are one-offs - conducted on small groups of american students with only descriptive and self-reported outcomes.
It's closer to 13th century alchemy, where some crude observations of when an obscure liquid is added to a common solid, it changes colour. With no understanding of the make-up of the compounds in question, nor the effects described, nor the ability to predict what other chemicals will do under the same circumstances.
an Ancient Sumerian says:
"Clay tablets are destroying the spoken word. Now that people can use this new-fangled "writing" they won't need to remember anything, or speak. They'll just write messages to each other."
All the other stuff about too much emphasis on science and not enough on humanities. Sorry, sunshine. It just sounds to me like you're spitting your dummy out of the pram 'cos no-one's buying your books any more.
Cost justification is the hard bit
How much money does a firewall save you?
What value do you place on problems that don't happen?
Which makes the company more profit: email or an ERP system?
The basic problem with IT is that once you get away from the front-line servers: the ones where customers click "Buy Now" and give you money, you can't place a specific pounds and pennies value on any individual machine - or the people who run it. You can't even say if a £50K/yr sys-admin is better value than a £20K/yr one. They might have a brain the size of a planet, but does that confer an extra £30K of benefits? It's impossible to measure.
Putting aside systems that HAVE to be installed, for legal or regulatory reasons the best you can do is guess at how many staff, a new system would either replace or fill vacancies for. So a call-centre computer that knocked 15 seconds off a 3 minute call, could fairly be said to be worth one-twelfth of the staff costs. Sadly most new stuff isn't so clear cut and requires a mixture of guesses and lies to justify. Making unmeasurable claims for intangible benefits, padding it out by the amount you think it'll be cut back and hoping the unbudgeted stuff can be hidden in someone else's cost-code. Then playing a game of bluff with the holders of the funny money, to put your case against all the competing bids for the pot o' gold.
In the end, IT turns out to be like the NHS. Everyone wants it, but no-one wants to pay for it. Like the NHS therefore, it should best be financed centrally - rather than recovering costs from individual users/departments. Those who feel hard done by can complain to the central authority who's job it is to apply pressure for cost reductions, top-down. You still have the problem of measuring bang-per-buck, but that just puts IT in the same boat as all the other cost-centres: facilities, personnel, and the managing director too!
spoilt it right at the end
the only thing that loses you credibility faster than quoting wikipedia as a reference to back up a position is quoting the Daily Wail. Now I realise I just wasted a minute reading your words. (and another minute responding to them)
Generates solar electricity at night
It doesn't take much of an IQ to realise that when you get paid more to squirt electricity back into the grid than you shell out to buy it in the first place, that the best way to make money is to take a wire from your mains outlet and feed it back in through your "solar" credit meter (OK, a little more complex than that). Result: free cash.
However it does rather take the wotsit when you do that at night. Even though it took the spanish authorities a while to realise that their expensively subsidised solar arrays were running on moonlight.
It's a shame that all this entrepreneurial creativity can't be harnessed to actually producing stuff the country can sell, but I suppose when the controls are as lax as this, you can't really blame the solar people for taking advantage.
 though apparently more of an IQ than the people who dreamed up this scheme could muster.
The lazy admin's guide to desktop management
4 simple to follow steps
1.) remove - either by software or physically, the ability for lusers to plug anything into their PCs
2.) disconnect the internet
3.) disable "CC" and "BCC" in email. If people want to send the same stuff to many others, make 'em type it all in again - or at least cut'n'paste it.
4.) Never, ever upgrade the O/S or applications
Once these actions are, err... actioned the overwhelming majority of every sys admins problems will simply vanish. Leaving the team massively overstaffed, to the point where they will fight to pick up the phone on the rare occasions that someone calls. Even the calls you get will be lame and unchallenging, like "I've forgotten my password" or "My computer's making a funny noise"
This will leave plenty of time for the admin team to look for new jobs before the overstaffing is discovered and the inevitable layoffs start. In case you haven't already worked it out, the job of a sysadmin is to make the desktop systems (and the servers, too) just, barely, workable - so they're always teetering on the edge of complete collapse. It's the only way to ensure your prolonged employment.
I read this story 11 years ago (and probably 22 years ago, too)
The last time a solar cycle started. Back in 1999 the fear was that with the new fangled internet thingy, the sun's up-coming 11 year cycle (regular as clockwork, since time immemorial) would cause all sorts of nasties, bring down civilisation, cause even more problems than Y2K, destroy satellites and blow up our power grid and give us all cancer (OK, I made that one up)
Guess what? We're still here.Maybe the odd satellite died - who really noticed? Maybe the odd power line spitzed and sparked - who really cared?
Now I appreciate that the start of this solar cycle has been unusual, as it's later than expected and the solar minimum we're just coming out of has been lower (fewer sunspots) than previous ones but to start running round claiming that the sky is falling seems a little panicky. Especially when there's dam' all we can do about it, and we're not even sure what will happen anyway.
Personally I'm planning to wait another 11 years in the expectation that we'll get another "Woe, woe and thrice woe" from the professional fear mongers. At which point I can dust-off this post and we can start all over again.
But football is a game of mistakes
The winning team being the one that makes the least - and capitalises on the other guy's sxcrewups.
Whether it's fumbles, bumbles, tumbles or own goals; most of the scores in a game come directly from someone somewhere getting it wrong. Intercepted passes, convincing acting after a tackle, tripping over your own feet, carefully aiming your shot at goal directly over the crossbar, or whatever it happens to be. Such is the number of errors made by the players that it's almost impossible to get the ball from the halfway line into the opponents goal without messing up and giving away possession. At which time the whole thing starts again, going in the opposite direction.
Repeat for 90 (or 120) minutes and whoever does the least number of idiotic things usually wins. Simple!
screens are too small for ebooks
Here's a test.
Take a paper book - even a paperback will do. Open it on any page and hold it flat against your computer screen. Now try and do any useful work in the remaining screen space - it's not possible. If you use a technical book in ebook format, that you want to use as instructions, the amount of messing about to read some text, minimise (or switch to another virtual desktop) pull up the application you are learning, apply the instruction and then repeat - is just too frustrating. After half a dozen steps of continual swapping / minimising / resizing you've forgotten all the stuff you set out to learn and proabbly doubled your blood pressure in the process.
Working with a second screen is not as bad, but needs a vast amount of desk space to accommodate.
On the other hand, a paper edition can be placed anywhere that's convenient, read with ease (even without electricity), lets yo moveback and forwards through the pages almost instantaneously and can be used anywhere you please.
Until we start getting computer screens about 3 feet across, with resolutions in the multi-megapixel range the utility of ebooks makes them almost completely worthless.
Every spammers dream
It's like getting SPAM faxes, but whithout all the hassle of having to actually fax the spam.
And try explaining to your kids what all the graphic information for male extensions is doing on the family printer.
Maybe she's a fan of Ian Dury
"I come awake
With a gift for womankind
You're still asleep
But the gift don't seem to mind"
- Wake up and make love
Now you know
... why the dog stopped sleeping at the foot of your bed.
reaches for calculator ...
Hmmm, a petabyte at DVD speeds. That'll take a while.
Lets say 1000 million megabytes at 10MByte/sec just for round numbers. That's a little over 3 years of continuous writing. Although there are some obvious uses for such a device, it would be a reet boogger to copy or back up one of these disks. However, it might, just, make it practical to sell people a standalone copy of the internet.
The theory and the practice
While all this may be very well in a lawyers exam, in the day-to-day workplace it's irrelevant. No matter what the law states, you will still get individuals or groups of friends writing countries' names on small pieces of paper and charging "willing participants" a quid a pop to engage in a bit of a laugh.
Who cares if it breaks the letter of the law? These days there are so many laws that we probably unwittingly break have a dozen every day.
What does matter is that the law enfarcement people have better things to do than try to crush small-time and often spontaneous activities like this. We know that these little sweepstakes happen every year with the Grand National and a few other events. Telling people they're illegal doesn't do anything to endear the participants to the legal system.
Missed one small detail
All this talk about "porn", but they don't ever say what they mean by it. From their little poster, it appears that"sex" is synonymous with porn - at least in their world. So are "adult websites". Should we therefore conclude that when they refer to porn, they simply mean anything of an adult nature - including, presumably "adult" i.e. cert 18 films?
So what it seems to boil down to is that in a world populated overwhelmingly by adults, a significant proportion of web traffic, searches, emails and websites either contain or are there to satisfy people's needs for adult material?
Maybe the real problem is that stunted individuals who felt the need to produce this chart - and the research behind it aren't mature enough to have a "grown-up" discussion about the topic. If they were, they'd realise that there's a tremendous amount of sex going on - everywhere (hint: that's why there are nearly 7 billion people on the planet, and more every day) and that it's a big part of lots of people's lives. To deny it's there or to consider it a bad thing seems rather foolish.
But is it real?
The price of Blue Mountain makes it the most faked coffee in the world. I've read estimates that up to three quarters of the stuff purporting to be BM is not. But since it's so scarce and so few people have drunk the real thing, most people would not be in a position to tell the difference.
Still, at least it hasn't been crapped out by cats