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?
2424 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009
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?
> 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
> technologies will be commonplace in five years time, ...mind control of PCs
And you thought the amount of pr0n washing around NOW was bad!
> 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.
> 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?
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?
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.
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).
> 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.
> 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.
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."
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.
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.
When you get to the edge of the 'bubble' is there a large sign saying "You are now leaving the Solar System. Only space probes travelling to other stars may go beyond this point. Please have your papers ready for security. You are not permitted to carry the following items ..."
More interesting: what language is it written in?
The article explains that the sums awarded were for the losses the victim sustained as a result of the access to his records - but no mention is made of any award as a consequence of the unauthorised access itself.
So if you or I had our medical records downloaded (by a partner, stalker, nosey bugger or just randomly), but we didn't suffer any losses as a result, this story doesn't sound like we'd be eligible for any remuneration.
It would be interesting to know if the person who accessed this information has been prosecuted and punished for their acts.
> questioning more than 5,000
As well as knowing how many people they *did* survey, we need to be told how many declined to take part. If they had to approach (say) 50,000 to get their self-selecting sample that tells us that 90% of people are more guarded and careful about their personal information than want to discuss it with researchers - or potential scammers: there's little to distinguish them when they're "n the field".
That would tend to put a more conservative slant on the results - though by how much is impossible to say. But possibly enough to make a lot of the results less, or very, insignificant as a result. Without that information we can't form an opinion on their results.
57 20 66 68 20 67 72 6f 6e 70 66 68 20 72 67 76
66 27 6e 20 51 20 46 42 72 20 72 6b 68 70 6e 67
79 6f 2c 72 71 20 72 62 61 66 67 27 7a 20 6e 72
20 61 67 76 6a 20 79 76 20 79 68 65 0a 61 00 00
Who's the bigger idiot, the one who puts their life on TV or the one who watches it?
While there's no doubt that in law, at least, you may well still have rights - the exercising of those rights becomes harder when your local sales outlet has closed down.
Instead of just being able to haul your malfunctioning goodies along to the place from whence it came, walking up to the service desk and saying "fit it" or "gimme my monkey back", you now have a disinterested voice in a call centre somewhere in the world who will tell you something like:
"Yes we'll pick it up. No we can't say when. No we can't say how long it'll take to replace. No I don't know if you can get a refund ..." and all the other things that call centres say instead of the ideal: "certainly sir, I'll personally bring round a wad of tenners and take the old crap away. See you in 5 minutes" that we can only dream about.
So in terms of a warranty, sure: it's still there - at least in theory. But instead of invoking that warranty at a time and place of your choosing you are now doomed to wait at home for an indeterminate number of days, fearful that if you even step outside to drop some rubbish in the wheelie bin you'll return to a card on the hall floor: "Sorry we missed you" and will have to restart the whole hellish call centre process all over again. No thanks!
> retail rival Dixons upping its game.
So that's what it was!
I recently had cause to visit a copy of PC World (aka Dixons) to return an item I'd bought online that didn't meet the description on its website. After getting my refund I had a wander round the store to see if they actually stocked the item I thought I'd been buying (they didn't, but the one I'd bought online was there - for 50% more than the website was charging).
It turns out that the store, a fairly large one, had undergone a revamp since my last visit a year or two ago. While the in-store personnel are still as unwilling as ever to make eye-contact, in case you try to ask them something, the store itself was vastly different. It was now much more themed towards the glossy end of the market: with greater emphasis on big TVs, lappies, and shiny things than their previous rather drab piles of stuff in half-opened boxes. It did seem to me that the actual number of products per running foot of shelf space had taken a drop. Gone were the rows and rows of identical products - with 3 different price stickers (all wrong) at various places on the shelf edge. Instead the displays were much more "boutique" and sparse. With individual items tastefully presented and widely spaced - often with just a single product up for grabs.
It was still the same old stuff that they'd been flogging before, but the presentation (if not the availability) seems to have had a makeover. The carpets seemed cleaner, too.
... it doesn't appear to contain a TV tuner.
Though I suppose if someone was to go into pedant mode (on El Reg, surely not) and analyse the Latin root of the phrase the ability to receive TV signals could be argued to be superfluous. Having said that, both my (real) TV and my DM run on Linux - so calling this tablet/media-player a TV is rather misleading
Electric cars could mark the end of one of the film industries most over-used cliches. Can you imagine a car chase (in electric cars !!! ) or gunfight where one (or preferably all) the vehicles involved don't catch fire or explode at the slightest provocation?
At least this will save the FX people from having to come up with an even more unlikely source for artificial excitement and story-rescuing spectacular scenes. Though it may mean some script rewriting if the resultant explosions (and now they can introduce sparks and lightning and maybe even electrocutions too) don't happen until a day or two after the event.
Fine words indeed: let's just train a new generation of softies - why didn't anyone think of that before?
However, in order to train all these new games programmers 'n' all you first have to provide some qualified teaching staff. That would tend to imply that some people somewhere will have to be trained in the dark arts of writing software (and the darker arts of writing software that works properly).
BUT THEN you have to persuade these newly qualified and eminently employable people to not dash off and themselves take all the jobs that their freshly qualified pupils were meant to fill. Jobs that pay lots more than they'd get as teachers. Tricky.
And now we have another guess.
From what I've read about CC in general, people take some data, guess what that meant, guess again about what caused it, guess whether the same thing will happen in the future, guess whether mankind did/could/will (or not) have any input into the circumstances and then finally extrapolate those guesses into what should (or not) be done.
Now, I do believe that the UK is, on the whole, seeing some more extreme weather than we're used to. And I am receptive to the idea that this is caused by more energy in the atmosphere and oceans. However, since nobody seems to have a model of the atmosphere and oceans that can estimate next week's weather to any degree of accuracy better than a coin-toss, I am not willing to believe that they can translate their guesses about what it all means into any solid, actionable and reliable plan - or tell us if one's needed.
<This is the point where "climate" people pile in and say that their science is not meteorology. Which is a bit like saying biology is not chemistry. They deal with the same basic elements, but at different levels. However to understand the former you *do* need to have a pretty clear understanding of how the latter works and the basic laws it obeys.>
OK. This site agglomerates a bunch of stuff about Surrey. Where the schools are, the few roads that the council can't weasel out of not gritting, and which parts of the county are really inner-city hell-holes and not the nice leafy 'burbs we all think of as Surrey.
Fair enough - except ISTM most or maybe all of this information is generally available already. Either from surrey.gov.uk - without the "i" -(which already has a helpful "moving to Surrey" section) or the various organisations that provide these services (we're not in 1995 any more - everyone's got a website). The only feature that this idea has is to bring it all into one (more) place, rather than having to search for it yourself, piecemeal.
So if this is all to help people who are less proficient at searching to find stuff then I suppose the question is: how will they find out about this new service?
from the report:
"But the launch of the iPhone 4S twinned with the sad passing of Steve Jobs saw Apple’s web traffic increase five-fold this quarter"
So it's not really that important, as far as surveys go.
A #3 sounds like the best bet as a #4 hull could be a little difficult to park (but you wouldn't have to worry about dings and dents)
> Because then you have *lots* of NEOs and they may still be capable of causing havoc.
But that's not really a "destroy", is it. More like a fork() or a split().
Although that could explain why so much code is so flaky - that destroying an object leaves behind lots of little memory fragments that nobody knows anything about.
Note to NASA; Make sure the garbage collector is running.
OK, so you have a Near Earth Object that you want to destroy:
How about neo.Destroy;
depending on the language you prefer to save the world, but you get the gist of it.
So what can the average FB-er do with this information? Not a lot, I would suggest.
These people we only know through "friending" aren't real friends. They never call, they never pop round to see you if you're ill, they never buy you a beer, and would drop you like a hot lump of plutonium if you were ever foolish enough to ask them to inconvenience themselves on your behalf - as you or I would if they asked. (And if they do agree to, that's an even better reason to make sure they never, ever find out where you live.)
As it is, most of these degrees of connectedness go through a proportionally speaking, absolutely tiny number of hyper-connected individuals. People (if they are in fact people) who don't know you exist, apart from being a number among their thousands of followers. So the chances of sending them a message along the lines of "since we've been friends now for 6 months, how about a ....." and getting a meaningful reply are infinitesimally small, to the point of making the whole thing pointless.
Yeah, and the batteries will be a b@....d
Maybe Apple will be giving away (stop! What was I thinking? that should be SELLING) shopping trolleys to lug it all around in - you never know, they might even be Apple Carts (and patented, too)
Though I have to say, if Apple did come up with an iPad with this sort of resolution (I miss my 2560 x 1920 CRT ) and a half-decent size - say 28inch - display and a keyboard/mouse then I might buy one.
Lewis, Lewis, Lewis!
While I admire your passion and you may even be right, you won't win any arguments. The problem is that to get public opinion in favour of an idea, that public has to lose something they value. It's no good promising "jam tomorrow" or "a bad thing might/will happen". The various financial crises we've been enduring for the past 3 years shows that nobody is prepared to suffer now for advantages later. Not us, not the greeks: nobody.
if we are going to blame the government (and to be fair, it's parties on all sides, colours, beliefs and abilities) for short-term policies, bowing to NIMBY-ism, prevarications or even carelessness it's because these are the politicians that we have decided to give power to. They reflect us.
Sadly the only way to get some action on energy security is for the country to experience its loss. Not to have the price screwed forever upwards like the mythically boiled frog. It needs a SHOCK to kick-start a new initiative, not a gradual phasing in or gradual price increases. However when that shock happens, just like it did for the economy it will (no doubt) be unexpected, severe and blaming all the wrong people for it's causes (and therefore looking at all the wrong remedies for its solution).
When that happens you may well have a schadenfreude moment, for all the good it will do. Though I'd advise you to have all your evidence printed out and a torch handy, as the lights will be off and the computers won't work.
> repeated "i" in Apple product names does indeed have exactly the effect
I did see this coming and hoped I'd avoided this thread with reference to the English language. If the effect the Rabbi was referring to was restricted to the English speaking world then he may have had a point. But consumerism and i<products> are both global phenomena - with the vast majority of consumers having no linguistic connection between "I/me" and i<product> names, so the connection fails on that basis.
So far as it being a joke is concerned, I hope he's got planning on making a living from it. I doubt that injecting that sort of bon mot into an otherwise serious piece would have added to it's credibility and I feel sure he could have come up with something better, given the long history of Jewish humour.
It sounds like someone should tell this guy that the "i" is a reference to "internet", not the first person singular (and then, only in english). Also that "tablet" computer formats are not quite the same thing as the stone tablets of antiquity. Some things just shouldn't be taken literally, no matter how convenient that makes it ti draw the conclusions you've already decided on.
Alternatively, I (me) wouldn't be surprised if his wailing on about iPads is more to do with projecting his own desires that any sort of credible commentary about their affect on consumer society - which predates modern tech by hundreds of years.
My attitude to using government websites is very close to my attitude to shopping. It's a necessary evil and to be minimised. Therefore my approach to both is: get in, get my stuff, get out - with the minimum time spent, no "looking around" and avoiding things that are examples of form over function.
So if this guy is talking about aiding navigation, providing helpful shortcuts and sensible defaults then I'm all for it. But if what he really wants is a vanity site that he can show off to his friends, but takes overly long to load (especially when under stress; such as when the tax deadline looms, masks "the true path" with unnecessary eye-candy, or requires specific browsers/plugins/OS's to support the wizziness - then forget it.
So rather than being an ICBM, this is an Inter Continental Gliding Missile. I suppose that makes everything all right, then?
The paper has been submitted, but hasn't yet been peer reviewed or published, and you can bet that the scrutiny this experiment gets will be greater than pretty much anything that's gone before.
I'm happy to wait until it appears with the name of a prestigious journal to add credibility. I'll be even happier when someone comes up with a theoretical or (better) practical explanation. Until then, we've got nothing.
Well, yes and no. I'm not suggesting you put the interviewer through the wringer - it's only on TV that "The Apprentice" style interviews and selection process would be tolerated. But it's not unreasonable to ask to meet the people you'll be working with, or to see the office conditions. You could even ask what a typical day's work actually involves (one place I was conducting group interviews, a candidate asked me "what did you do yesterday?" - not an easy Q to respond to _and_ make the place sound attractive at the same time).
Another theme that can provide some enlightenment is to inquire about how the vacancy arose: what's staff turnover like (but maybe be a bit more subtle in the approach), how long your prospective boss has been doing the job - essentially trying to find out if you'll be working for an idiot, since your immediate boss is usually the biggest factor in whether an IT position is good, bad or ugly.
It sounds like your interviewer had been on a course but slept through a lot of it. That's one part of a question sometimes used by psychometric testing people. The answer you give is not important. The follow-on is "give me a few words that describe <your animal>".
The insight (for want of a better term) is that the response you give will describe how you see yourself. Other questions probe: how you think other people see you and how you relate to others. The same kind of interviewers may also ask you to write something and then do a pop-psych analysis of your handwriting.
Whether you think there's anything in it, or it's down there with astrology probably doesn't matter (apart from telling yourself that you wouldn't work for a company that employed those sorts of techniques). However it can be a good way to pick up grils if you ever find yourself having to move the cooker. Nowadays there are far more scientific ways to discern a person's personality, such as looking on FB or seeing what forums they post comments on.
Interviews work both ways. if we were to believe the article (which we shouldn't) you would get the unmistakable impression that somehow the interview process was akin to winning the lottery. That somehow the interviewers were GIVING AWAY something of value, and that only the best, most worthy applicant should be allowed through to win the prize.
In fact, as every half-decent candidate knows the interview should be as much about selling the company to the prospective employee (who should spend as much time looking for reasons why the company is / is not one they'd want to work for, as they do trying to sell themselves) and persuading them that they'd want to work there. While some people think the application and interview process is some form of courtship (yup, one or other could end up getting screwed), it's better to think of it as a chance to perform due diligence on your potential new provider of money. If they are unable or unwilling to go to the effort to make you feel they want you, personally, then you're probably just going to end up as a soon-forgotten cog in their faceless machine - and will be treated in employment just as the "asset" or "FTE" or "headcount" that you appear as during the interview - or to your current employer.
423 dunnies for 5,000 people? That about 1 for every 12 crew, or 2 hours per day each. Even if they are reserved for different genders and ranks (mustn't see the officers with their trousers down!) that's still a great deal of porcelain.
One can only assume that the designers needed that amount of redundancy in the system to cope for "emergencies" (aircraft-carrier landings can be scary events) and the reported breakdowns. I wonder if the weapons systems, for all their extra complexity, are any more reliable?
It would be interesting to know whether the story resulted in the surfing or if someone was "researching" pastie clubs (and here was me thinking Devon Savouries) and stumbled upon the story.
"Honest Mr. Editor, Sir - there's this reeeellllly IT relevant story ..... right here .... it's about, err, Oh hell, you got me. I was just looking for smut."
comments to an article about the comments to an article
The whole point of legal precedent is to set the practical limits of what laws actually mean. Expecting a law to describe every possibility and all the limits and bounds to its effect is impractical. With computer related laws, it's often the case that the a lot of the situations that laws could be applied to don't exist when the law is enacted.
It comes down to common sense in the way the judges interpret the law which sets out who it will affect and under what circumstances. But you wouldn't expect a lawyer to admit to that.
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.
Nothing new here, except maybe some greenwash to stop the trendies turning their noses up at it.
> 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?