2245 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009
A bit harsh?
> nothing short of a "revolution".
A revolution means you go round in a circle and end up back where you started.
I know MLF is leaving the job half done, but she did make some progress.
Although the other part of a revolution is the spin ...
> that was two weeks wages for me back then
Well, you were earning more than me, then. A week's hard graft at the MAD LAB (Materials Applications and Development) left me with £22.78 in my pocket. Something over 100 pints of beer, to use a more practical unit of measure.
Did you not read the manual?
Not the computer manual, silly. The child rearing one.
The boy is 12. He doesn't want *buntu or *nux.
What he wants is something like all his friends have, but just that leeeeeetle bit better¹, cooler and (if he can pull it off) more expensive.
And next year. Repeat.
 better: bigger screen, faster, thinner, LOUDER, breaks into more piece when it is (inevitably) dropped. Plays more games. Homework? you ask? LOL.
Re: Don't be fooled...
> your certainly going to scare away any good candidates
Interestingly one IT shop I worked for in the late 80s took a similar view with its sales positions.
The SM (sales manager) made the observation that the blacker he painted the picture, the harder the job and the greater the challenge, the more enthusiastic the candidates became.
The problem was that these "enthusiastic" candidates were complete and utter arseholes: to a man - and they were all men. Their primary personality trait was "I can sell anything" (basically, they'd have won The Apprentice every year running) and everyone else in the organisation should thank me for it.. However, most of them were all bluster and no talent. They would get a "let" on their first-quarter reviews. A "must improve" on their Q2's and be out the door without completing a full year of employment.
So I would consider an advertisement like this to be a buyer-beware situation. Yes, it might be a truthful description of what the company thinks it wants. But the result will be that it will attract applicants who are completely unsuited to the kind of high-pressure yet humdrum work that understaffed (and by implication, under-resourced) IT support requires.
If you want a collection of drama-queens, sure. Go for it. But if any place I worked for was to put out a want-ad like this, they'd very soon have two vacancies to fill.
> ... already in homes: they range from network addressable lightbulbs to the bleeding-edge biosensors and medical equipment
If I might be so bold. NONE of these things appear in "homes". There might be one or two examples of one or two things that appear in one or two technology-sampler buildings in a few of the world's most advanced counties. But thats all. And that's all it will ever be,
Most people neither want nor care about making their houses intelligent. Most people just want some basic stuff that does what it's told to: when you press the button to tell it. No options, arguments, further questions or "This app has crashed and set you house on fire. OK" dialogs. Just simple, no-questions-asked obedience.
So let's leave off about the Internet of Things. Maybe one day in the distant future there will be some small uptake of already built-in devices in new homes. One thing we learned from trying to manage the vast array of telco nodes and devices is that it's very, very hard and is a massive block to the adoption of standards. So the chances of the "average user" being able to use or configure some IoT devices is about as likely as them learning and using ASN.1 and BER.
Stop reading the hype and forget it all. A fish tank with some sensors and maybe an internet connection doesn't cut it - and is a poor substitute for having a reliable system (that doesn't need remote monitoring) in the first place.
More intelligent psychopaths?
> the more violent the game the more beneficial the effect. ... help kids learn problem-solving skills and creativity
So if this research is correct, gaming does have an effect on the players. Whether the benefits outweigh the negative (for society, not the game-player) effects is a matter that has yet to be resolved. It would be nice to have some research into *why* violence makes people (appear) more intelligent - or whether the intelligence tests are just measuring traits that grow when a person is exposed to a violent situation. There's an obvious benefit: the ability to think your way out of a threat. However we need to know if that is what;'s happening, or if the games just give children the ability to think up more ways to hurt people - or helps keep those attracted to violence in their bedrooms, acting it out virtually.
Aren't we lucky ...
... that aircraft aren't made of plasterboard (drywall).
While I can see past this rather hopeless example, to the bigger picture (and this obsession that americans seem to have with gun-shaped weapons - seriously guys ... move with the times). The basic principle is that a nice sharp piece of glass is still all you need. And that's never been in short supply.
However, since we don't find that aircraft are being threatened every day by baddies with home-made glass daggers held to the throat of aircrew (no matter how irritating they can be) we should be able to draw some rather simple conclusions that availability does not inevitably lead to implementation.
Re: Scientists! Repeat after me: We don't know
> Please send a copy of your post to the IPCC
Independent Police Complaints Committee?
Ahhh, now I understand why Climate Change research is in such a mess.
Scientists! Repeat after me: We don't know
There's a certain hubris to a lot of so-called science. The assumption is that we can explain everything - or that we could, if only we got enough research grants.
So it is with the Sun. We know the basics of what makes it shine: in theory, at least. We know that it is the single biggest, overwhelmingly significant, all other factors pale in comparison, source of energy we have access to. Yet we presume that our scant knowledge is sufficient to make prognostications about temperature fluctuations, sunspot forecasts, satellite survivability and numerous other fields of "knowledge". If nothing else, this current major deviation from expectation would be enough to invalidate any other field of knowledge and make us reconsider the fundamentals.
Considering no-one's ever even been there, anything said about the Sun or its affect on us should be tacitly prefixed with "our best guess is ..."
A big but
This device came out about a year ago. Maybe things have changed since then, but I remember reading about it that you can ONLY program it and access it through IMP's cloud-based servers. You have no direct access to the device and no direct control over it, yourself. Even though it needs continuous access to your network to perform any function.
The plan seemed to be that everything that talked to the IMP device (and each one had to be registered individually) had to go through IMPs cloud and therefore they would know (presuming their website and cloud systems didn't crash, go bankrupt or get bought-out by someone who's only goal was to crush the company) who was doing what, to whom, when and where. No biggie for a single "play" device. But to make a major long-term investment that's dependent on the whims and financial fortunes of someone else is a pretty big turn-off.
This device sounds like a nice idea, if a rather expensive one (at £30 a node - you could buy a lot of light switches for that). However it's in need of some fairly severe hacking to free it up for everyday, personal, use. Maybe once it breaks from from IMP-Central I'll be more interested.
Re: What could possibly go wrong?
> It seems to me there's too little cost to the complainant in this system
All that needs to happen is for Mega-corp's lackeys to do a quick Google for the company name each and every morning. Get the URLs of the mentioners, cross off the list the ones who've simply re-printed the company approved press release and fire off take-down notices to all the rest.
Just getting as far as a court hearing will cost in the £ five-figures, with no legal aid available and a full judgment can multiply that by 10 times. Plus, no defence lawyers would take on the year-long preparation for a case without some up-front guarantees that their fees would be paid (win or lose - especially: lose) which would basically mean any defendant having to pony-up the largest wad they're ever likely to see, to even start to defend themselves.
All for the "privilege" of calling Mega-corp a bunch of lying shysters? Hardly.
Re: What the law says makes no difference
> a comment can be stood up, so long as the commentard is willing to stand up and be counted
Yes, I appreciate that this law rearranges the responsibilities - much like rearranging deck chairs. But the basic injustice still stands. That mega-corp only has to send out a letter to effectively suppress any comments that they might / do / could decide were not wholly to their benefit. The problem is not so much who gets that letter posted into whichever orifice is open at the time (unless you're the hosting website), but that ALL IT TAKES to suppress a comment is the price of a stamp, as there is no practical or affordable alternative to folding.
No individual or website owner is in a financial position to defend their comment - even if they believe it is either relevant, not defamatory or can be backed up by evidence they actually possess. The cost of getting in to the game, let alone ante-ing up spells financial ruin for all but the most well-heeled. That's the reason the law makes no difference, because the law never has a chance to get involved. The law is still only for the rich.
What the law says makes no difference
... as website owners will never, ever be in a position to spend the money needed to defend themselves against something a pseudo-anonymous poster wrote. Merely the threat of legal action and the amount of dosh needed just to contest the simple, early complaint will be enough to make most websites cave with nary a whimper. In fact, pretty much the situation we have now.
So we'll still be in a position where any company that feels it's been the victim of
the truth a smear, only has to bang out a threatening letter and .... whoosh! the comment will be expunged so quickly that Prof. Hawking will have to be called in to rewrite the laws of Physics,
> This wine's recipe was strictly followed in each and every jar
Surely the ancients were savvy enough to make their "special recipe" wine in a large batch and then store (or sell) it in more manageable portions. That's the simplest explanation for a consistent mix in each jar.
But I suppose when the researchers want to "big up" their discovery (basically, a load of empty pots), then any little helps.
When you stop to consider it, a wristwatch is a very poor concept. Half the time it's covered up by sleeves you always need to move your arm to see the watch face and it's often prone to that comedic staple: the cup full of coffee poured over the time-seeker.
So for a device, placing it on the wrist will always be a poor choice of location.
As far as the actual functionality of a smartwatch is concerned - did anyone actually THINK before implementing it? For example, the Samsung Gear has an LCD screen, so (like any phone or similar portable device) its display will be virtually invisible in daylight. The need to interact with the touch-screen means that to operate the smartwatch's functions, both hands are required: one attached to the wrist bearing the watch and the other to smear greasy fingers all over its tiny little screen.
Add to that the paltry capacity of the batteries severely limits the smartwatch's ability to perform useful functions (though why you'd ever want, need or use a camera in a wristwatch is beyond speculation). All I can think of is that these things were designed by people who were, as children, far too impressionable and had somehow imprinted the idea that 1960's TV "spies" devices were both cool and practical.
How wrong were they? (Ans: not quite as wrong as the technology analysts, who jumped on a bandwagon who's wheels have fallen off.)
Cheap at twice the price
> prices of up to £800 an hour, which would seem expensive
Isn't that why MPs have expenses?
.... and I seem to recall Cameron himself being involved in a "cash for access" scheme a couple of years ago, He was charging a dam' sight more for his time then. Makes you wonder: who's really getting screwed?
Re: Yes, a "solution looking for a problem"
> where are all these lasers
LASERs will (are?) like electric motors. Not something you own per se, but an "invisible" component inside something else.
However, just like electric motors didn't make an "industrial revolution", neither will LASERs or 3D printers. However, given time, they might be incorporated into things or machines that do gain widespread acceptance.
The post-stuff age
Ask any kid what they want for christmas and the answer is more likely to be a download, or a game, or something off itunes, People today are eschewing physical things in favour of the intangible: information and entertainment. So the draw of a 3D printer in the home is not so much in what it makes, but in the process of making. Just as we are well past the time of peak-paper in the home.
The same applies at work. Less and less printing is taking place and most information only appears on the screens of devices - sometimes desk-bound and sometimes portable. So far as workplace 3D printing, the needs will be for much more specialised, high-quality and better designed products. So commercial 3D printing will only be found on the industrial estate, in the workshop of the specialist prototyper or short-run fabricator. Never in the corner of the office next to the coffee machine.
So where does that leave domestic 3D printers? In the same place as those other tools for making things: in the workshop. Just like hobbyist woodworkers, who will spend many more hours producing something hand-made than it would take them to earn the money to buy off the shelf - so there will always be a place for people for whom the making is more important, or fun, than the having. However, just like the market for lathes, compound-mitre saws and drill presses is quite active (among the cognoscenti) so will be the market for 3D printers. However they will never be a 1-per-home item.
> males exhibit a disproportionate increase in nasal size
So it's not because men tell more lies?
The next giant leap
We already know how to improve the performance of computers by several hundred percent - possibly by some orders of magnitude. It doesn't involve any technologies we don't already have. Nor does it require any major changes so far as the users are concerned. Indeed, for them, the improvements will be pretty transparent - expect for the screamingly fast performance they will see.
What is this change? Not new hardware, just properly designed and written software.
It's time to toss the bloated, inefficient existing software - with it's mess of interdependencies, incompatibilities and patched patches and start teaching people to write clean code with low overheads and that does no more than is required of it. At present the world of software development works on the same basis that NASA used for its moonshots: waste anything but time. In this case, time to market.
So we have software tools that put programmer productivity before runtime performance, resource requirements and size - on the basis that technology will provide whatever is necessary to run this stuff. That's fine while the curve is still on its upward climb and hardware is getting cheaper all the time. But all "S" curves reach their limits, eventually. Sooner or later the hardware won't be getting faster every year and then we'll start to see push-back from users who won't accept the Minimum Hardware requirements and will look for software that runs on their existing systems.
We already get this on smartphones and tablets, where a typical Android app weighs in at a few megabytes, compared with the hundreds of MB needed for a PC (or Linux) based package.
You never know: the root-and-branch reworking needed to remove all the cruft that existing software has accumulated over the decades might even give rise to more secure designs and possibly even less buggy code (and will definitely obviate all the workarounds built in for backwards compatibility). It's unlikely that the corporate behemoths will want to play, since this attacks their fundamental existence. But that might just be another advantage.
Seeing the good
> university education probably isn't a public good
Well, that kinda depends on the subject being studied.
We can probably agree that most degree courses these days involve adequately educated 18 year-olds leaving home (much to their parents' relief) and going off to study a subject they like, think they'll like or were coerced into by their secondary school's in a bid to improve their ratings. Most of those who survive the parties, house-sharing dramas, love affairs, exams and occasional spot of intellectual striving will soon be moving back in with their parents (if they didn't move house at the first opportunity and "forget" to mention that to their offspring), when they realise their qualification is no help whatsoever in putting food on the table, or paying the rent.
However, some degrees for some students result in "goods" so far beyond the average, mode or median (choose whatever statistical measure you like), that they are undeniably a public good. Take as an example any technological advance over the past 60 years. Almost all have been made by degree-educated individuals and would not have been made if they hadn't received their tertiary education.
Obviously, there is no way to predict which particular student(s) in which particular course(s) will go one to invent or discover something that will change the world. But we can say, that for certain types of course: lets call them "sciences", the more people who study them at a sufficiently high level, the more discoveries and inventions will benefit the world as a whole. Though the same probably can't be said for economics students.
Therefore it follows that for the world as a whole, it is a sound investment to promote, grow and even pay for these sorts of courses: the ones that as a numbers-game do create things that make our world better, safer, more prosperous and nicer. As over time, we will want, use and even need the stuff these people will go one to give us. Patents or no patents.
An untapped market
> Getting fast and accurate information to the public ...
One wonders what (future) advertisements would get linked to these emergency tweets? Medical insurance, fire extinguishers, bomb shelters
> I'm confused as to how Typhoo took the top spot though
Familiarity. Most people train themselves to "know" what a decent cup of tea should taste like. That comes from comparing any new tea with what they're familiar with. Hence the most popular teas will (almost inevitably) get the highest votes.
The surprise being the Clipper Organic. It would be interesting to know if that is basically the same as the other top choices (just with the word "organic" added) or if it was actually different from the most popular tastes.
Taking the tea,
12 mugs is an awful lot of tea. Assuming they weren't filled to the 275ml capacity, that's still about 3 litres of tea per person. You' d hope that in the interests scientific rigour, the testers were't all given the same teas in the same order. You'd also hope that for their own well being, they weren't forced to drink all the tea, in every sample.
The disks may go, but the blocks will remain
Strange how things stick around.
Ever since spinning storage came into being, it's been based on blocks of data. Blocks make up files and directories. Block sizes change, the error correction associated with them also changes, but the concept has been remarkably resilient for 50+ years.
Given that almost everything else in the computing world, including memory word size, has changed during that time, shouldn't there be more suitable formats for storing and retrieving data than a mechanism devised for technology over half a century old?
Not just a technical problem
A "disaster" could involve staff, too.
For example, what if the canteen serves a dodgy lunch and all your network admins are off sick for 2 or 3 days?
How about if your star DBA leaves and takes his/hers/its sidekick to the new firm ... and another DBA starts maternity leave ... and the last one, sick of having to do the work of 4 people has a nervous breakdown? You can't train up replacements in the blink of an eye - and training them takes time away from doing the job, itself.
As with most problems that actually bite companies in the arse, it's not the foreseen situations that are the problem: they are the ones that will have contingency plans. It's often the ones we are blind to because they are so familiar that we can't even see them.
Not what you think
> It has reduced his sexual drive
Isn't that the HDD where you keep the porn?
Re: I did 1,000 hours work at University
>>Not as much physics as there is now?
>Would you mind expanding on that?
Well, for a kick-off, one extra-curricular lecture we had was from a colleague of some guy at Cambridge who has some interesting ideas (not even theories at that point) about event horizons an' stuff. There's been a lot of work on cosmology in the past 30+ (cripes, that's depressing) years: string theory, branes, shennanigans just after the BB . Not to mention the discovery of most of the quarks.
Re: I did 1,000 hours work at University
> Couple of hours lecture a day and a few hours work outside that ... sounds about right.
My Physics BSc. course was roughly 30 hours of lectures and lab work a week. "Homework" on top of that.
Looking at non-Oxbridge university terms now, they appear to be about 10 weeks each. So as a rough calculation, my course took up about 1,000 hours in the first year alone.
What does grate is that when I was studying the subject, some decades ago, wasn't even as much physics as there is now.
Govt. in the wrong business?
> would return £20 for every £1 spent
That would require those rural users to consume an awful lot of porn. Will HMG then start financing other errr ... "industries" to satisfy this demand from these newly connected folk (assuming their tastes are the same as their urban cousins).
Or will these benefits to the economy be more pedestrian and largely illusory? Such as being able to tell the estate agents that your house in the boonies has high-speed internet, thus increasing its value by 10 or 20 grand?
Let the arguments commence
> Phones, tablets, ebook readers, MP3 players - ... allowed to stay on ...[except] “bulky” laptops, because of their size and concerns they might get in the way during an emergency situation
"I'm sorry sir/madam, you'll have to put your tablet away, it's too bulky and might cause injury in an emergency."
"But that guy over there has a much bigger device (guy turns to the camera, smiles and gets a "ting" star added to his upper incisor) and you've let him keep it."
And so the pre-flight fights start. With everyone else using their flight-approved devices to video the jerk¹ in question. Will we need the iphone equivalent of case-checking frames: small enough to fit in and you can keep it on. Too big or overweight and away it goes.
While I applaud the sudden and uncharacteristic attack of common sense, I can see yet more rows caused before take off, when everybody else just wants the flight to start.
 deliberately left ambiguous as to whether the jerk is the attendant or the passenger.
Good idea gone bad
On the face of it, you'd think it would be a simple matter for Invitations to Tender to stipulate that the bidding companies must not be currently under investigation (or that their parent companies mustn't be, either) for tax irregularities in their registered country.
However it would appear that a rule such as this would make it impossible for HMG to outsource anything to any of the "usual suspects". Whether that would open the door for a new generation of independent, squeaky-clean, contractors to pick up - or whether any new contenders would only qualify since they hadn't yet been given the opportunity to screw-over the taxpayer, is questionable.
Could the solution be a compromise where companies would only be barred from future government contracts if they were really, really corrupt? Or would that still disqualify all the exisiting players?
> still has a stake in social network
What? Like Van Helsing had a stake¹ in Dracula?
 Actually, he didn't. He used a knife through the heart. But that would not make much sense (as if that was a criterion).
Re: Better storage
> You need an SD card made with SLC Flash
You could well be right. But doesn't that just delay the inevitable failures?
I appreciate that the Pi was never designed, nor meant, to be used in environments where reliability was important, but there doesn't seem to have been much work done with the Linux distros to mitigate what must be a very common failure mode.
Re: Better storage
> I need to look at the configuration a bit more closely to eliminate as many writes to the SD card as possible.
Yes, I've discovered the same problem. I have a Pi in a remote location (my Mum's house) that' is running 24*7. It used to burn through SD cards in a couple of months in normal operation. I diddled around a bit and put /var/log and /tmp on tmpfs . So far this card has been running for 6 weeks and no obvious corruptions yet. Fingers crossed.
But I'd never trust the Pi as the sole storage device for any valuable data. I don't even trust that it will run for months or years unattended.
> a new curved iPhone
Has anyone analysed the screens of phones (or monitors, for that matter) and come up with any functional benefits that would accrue from a non-flat screen?
I have a distinct feeling that this gimmick falls into the "because we can" category for the fashion conscious and could well be the next 3D so far as irrelevant and pointless technological changes (I nearly said: advances) are concerned.
If you're ever described as "core .... "
Just remember that the core is the part of the fruit that is discarded after all the nice, fleshy, bits have been consumed.
Cornflakes and beer
> Obviously we're not referring to anyone who works at Vulture Central
Why not? Don't they have cornflakes for breakfast?
Quite apt, really
Let's look at what we have here.
A company that has no tangible products has a share price that is at artificially high levels because it's trading on a market that is bouyed up by the continued "printing" of imaginary money (aka $1Tn per year of quantitative easing).
Why do I feel like I'm stuck in a gigantic game of monopoly, where the only losers are people with real, live, stuff you can touch?
There is no innocence
> God forbid you are innocent
The difference between being found guilty and not being found guilty (whether not being charged, or being acquitted in a trial) is only in the degree to which you are punished. In ALL CASES, irrespective of your guilt, bad things happen to you.
As the article says, even before you are charged, you are deprived of your freedom Every piece of electronic storage is removed from your house - some of which you may get back, though whether it would be after weeks, months or years is questionable. So how do you manage your work and your life while your "property" is gathering dust in a police lock-up?
The only solution is to buy replacements, presuming you are allowed to. So apart from the time you spent in a cell, you are also several £££hundred or thousand out of pocket - and still no-one's even charged you with doing anything wrong.
The problem is that our laws are based on the 18th century ideas of freedom and physical captivity. While you might be freed to walk the streets at some point after you finish "helping police with their enquiries", modern-day freedom requires a lot more than just physical presence. So all the restrictions and confiscations (whether temporary or permanent) exact a huge toll on ordinary people living ordinary, modern lives. Can you imagine a motorist having their car impounded for months while a traffic cop (possibly any given force's only qualified "forensic" traffic cop) plods slowly through the backlog of cases, for months on end, until they get to your 31MPH and only then decide not to prosecute and hand you back several car-shaped pieces of your vehicle? That seems to be on a par with the sort of thing that an IT accusation can bring.
Re: Fixing the wrong problem
> the real skill programmers lack is in business, rather than what business lack is an ability to understand software
The key point is that programming is a technical skill and business acumen (not necessarily through formal qualifications - I suspect that real-world experience beats an MBA every time) is an enabling skill.
Technical skills without the means to apply them are just as useless as being able to run a business but not having anything to "sell". As we all know, there is generally a chasm between the techies and the business people: they talk different languages and get frustrated with each others' inability to see that they are right.
The question is: can you teach techies to "do" business and can you teach entrepreneurs to write code? The practical world shows us that in most cases, the techy tends to end up working for the innovator, rather than being the one who runs the show - though that could be down to choice rather than drive. Hence giving programmers lessons in running a business would move them closer to self-generated success, than trying to get a successful business-person to understand objects, pointers, interrupts and GIT.
I suppose the ultimate goal would be to get the monkey to do the lot.
Fixing the wrong problem
> hordes of British kids embraced programming, as did many adults, delivering the most IT-literate workforce in the world
But almost none of them had any business nouse, whatsoever.
That is what was lacking - not programming skills. It's all very well being able to poke and push and type HEX into a Sinclair ZX80. But unless you can analyse the market, identify what products will be needed next year, persuade the banks to lend you the monkey and employ the right people to: (a) work together and (b) come up with the goods, then being able to write tight code is irrelevant.
> the collective relief-sighs of spooks,
But spooks make their living from uncertainty and insecurity. Not from having a world that is happy, safe and secure. So if there was any unclenching being done it would have been from the high net worth Blackberry users (or mostly ex-users, these days) on hearing that their traffic data would not end up in the hands of an unknown entity. Though I do hope they don't unclench too much - that could be embarrassing.
The spooks however: not so much. From their point of view, a world with no worries means less need for their services. Although they are very, very good at stirring up FUD (Yes, there's a threat and we've categorised it as "a potential risk". No, we can't tell you more for reasons of national security. No, how we will deal with it is classified. You just need to know that we'll require an extra billion - no, better make that two - to keep you all safe.) and pressing all the anxiety buttons. So the lack of a chinese player in the Blackberry endgame? Maybe the sound is really that of sorrows being drowned.
November 5th - done properly.
That's how to organise a fireworks display.
Re: 10 Types of bosses
This year marks the 500th anniversary of the very first management handbook: The Prince by Machiavelli. Even if you don't want to be a boss, yourself: it's worth a read (and it has the added benefit of not being very long). That way you can identify the traits as described by an expert and wonder in the realisation that in the past half-millenium, nothing much has changed. With the possible exception of no longer being able to do away with your opponents.
Notable in the opening few paragraphs is any mention of the female gender - although I have worked for three [ Edit: 4. Just remembered about my first IT vacation job while at university ], and more if you count "dotted lines", women in the past. Although some of them still fit into the descriptions offered.
However, my favourite worst boss was The Twister.
Whatever you said to him (and this one was a bloke) would be twisted into an unrecognisable statement and then thrown back at you. For example: "We've been delayed because the delivery from the suppliers hasn't turned up". becomes "So what you're telling me is that you failed to manage a third party who was critical to the project?".
It became so bad that we (the team) were only prepared to communicate with him via email, so there was written proof of what had been said. Obviously it slowed things down, but sometime keeping your arse covered is the overriding factor - and getting any work done comes in a distant second.
Re: Uh, hang on ...
> Some of us have clues
Indeed. Like the 95.5% of users who didn't have a password in the top 100. But where's the story in that?
Busted accounts - does it really matter?
Most people only sign up to websites in order to gain access to the trough of free downloadable stuff. The account being the "deal with the devil": you get a 30 day trial of their product, they get to spam you to oblivion with offers, discounts and deals (none of which you ever had any intention of accepting).
Whether or not you have the integrity to supply true and valid log-in details is also debatable. If you simply regard a vendor's attempts to get into your inbox as an annoyance you could well have typed the first thing that came to mind - I expect that a significant number of these stolen accounts list Afghanistan as the country in users' addresses, for that very reason.
You'd hope that the level of security surrounding accounts is a step or several below the security that contains any credit card info (though there should never be any CC data that's not behind industrial strength protection). So the value of all these accounts, probably with multiple accounts for each trough-feeder, should be very small. Apart from having simple passwords - matching the value that individuals place on these accounts - I wonder how many "users" have equally simple names. Maybe most of the 1.9 million "123456" passwords were protecting "Mickey Mouse"'s account.
Domestic suppliers - strategic advantage
> I'm sure the Chinese have had a good go
If I was running the country that made the chips, firmware and phones themselves I'd have many, many opportunities to add surveillance abilities right down to the level of the silicon. So if you really want a secure phone, there seems to be few options other than building your own - from scratch.
Shame we blew it.
Why wait - use existing solutions?
Both the Cubieboard2 and the Olimex A20 have LCD interfaces (not HDMI: raw LCD) built onto their boards. Both vendors sell LCD screens in various sizes and definitions than you can use on your projects right now.
Sure neither of those SBCs is a $25 Pi (but then, nor is a Pi - has anyone, anywhere paid exactly 25 USD and received a Pi? - ever?)
Some of these screens even have add-on resistive (yeah, I know) front plates you can add that work with Debian. There's even talk of a 15.6 incher coming soon. Now if I could just persuade zenity or yad to do what I want I could dump the keyboard and mouse completely.
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