171 posts • joined Thursday 11th June 2009 10:06 GMT
Re: Primitive Food Replicator
Can see problems coming (or should that be brewing) when they send the UK astronaut to the ISS in a couple of years time and he asks for a cup of burnt leaves in hot water!
Hex code? - thee were lucky!
When I was at school we had to enter the bootstrap loader for the PDP-8/e using the toggle switches on the front.
Don't worry, been there, done that (was a time at school when I knew the DG Nova bootstrap code from memory). And on a few occasions reinstalled RDOS starting with bootstrap load on swicthes followed by binary loader followed by several dozen boxes of fanfold tape and a chance to practice the skill of catching the tape coming through the tape reader (immensely high speed of 300bytes/sec!) so it re-fan-folded itself.
Re: Addiction broken
We had an Apple ][ in the school computer lab .... main machines were RM-380Z's. From recollection the only use for the Apple ][ was playing "little brickout" (and for serious gaming we had a space invaders machine!)
Re: As a guy who once was paid good money to jump out of perfectly good airplanes ...
Air currents don't cooperate with pin-point accuracy. Even with a human at the controls.
Need to develop "smart cans" that can guide themselves to the target on descent then!
Re: M & S considered "posh" and "high end"?
Higher quality than WHAT, exactly? I've shopped at M&S in the UK, and at *-mart here in the US. They are pretty much identical, on a world stage.
I've shopped in US "chain supermarkets" and on the whole anything in the UK is higher quality for food (meat and especially chicken in particular). On clothing side I seem to think I considered M&S to probably above Sears level and approaching Macy's. I definitely not put them in the same level as Wallmart.
That said, M&S can be a bit delusional at time. Remember after returning to the UK read an article about how M&S had sent a team out to look at US supermarkets and there were gushing comments about the amazing standards and varieties available in the US store they had just visited .... however, they'd chosen to go to Draegers in Los Altos (chain of 2 stores in top-end Silicon valley settings ... so had $200 bottles of olive oil on the shelf etc when we occassionally visited) ... rather like someone from the US commenting on the food stores in the UK on the basis of visiting Fortnum and Masons!
Remember this well from school days ... must have had the BASIC version on the school's Data General mini computer (someone had the Dave Ahl 101 Basic Games book and I certainly spent many hours either dictating or type these into a teletype!) but also remember when someone published a version that would run on our new fangled 6800 micro system in the electronics lab. This needed to be typed in as hex code to get it into the system and being a humungeously large program it wouldn't fit in the 1kB RAM on the processor eurocard so was a big rush to build a 4kB memort expansion eurocard to add to it!
Re: Gender sensitive framework
Think you'll find we already have somthing similar in the UK where councils have to consider the affects of various policies on different groups. A few months ago Bristol council launched proposals to roll out 20mph limits on residential streets citywide over the next 2 or 3 years ... I downloaded the paper that described the proposal to get more details and was "amused" to find that at the end there were a series of appendices which judged the impact of this proposal on women, gay and lesbian people, transgenedered people, black people and ethnic minorities - with the same conclusion in every case of no impact more than on the general population and effects were probably considered to be beneficial.
Re: University weeks...
Seem to recall our college hall could serve mince all week for lunch and call it something different depending on what it was served with
mince + mash on top == cottage pie
mince + spaghetti == spaghetti bolognese
mince + red kidney beans + rice == chillie con carne
mince + flat pasta + cheese == lasagna
mince + red peppter + rice == savoury mince
mince + potatoes == mince & potatoes
The Google test-to-voice system in navigation app on android regularily gives utterly weird pronunciations. On a recent trip in Bristol to pick up something from a ship I'd never been to before it was managing qiute happily with "Stapleton Road" until we got to Staple Hill - which it transformed into the much more interesting sounding "Stap Le Hill".
Anyway, its probably just American-ised pronunciatiation that produces Glow-sester-shire and War-sester-shire (though quite how they get Jag-war is beyond me!). Remember once being on a tube train in London where someone was trying to persuade a group of Americans that the station they wanted was really called Totnam Court Road and not Tote-en-ham Court Road!
Best American pronunication came when I was at a conference in Glasgow and went out with a group of other attendees for a meal one night and an American who'd been recommended the restaurant told use to drive along the road and turn right at "Soo-see-hal" ... took bit of time to realize he meant Socky-hall (or even Sauciehall) Street
Re: Zenith Minisport
Remember those ... seem to recall they were in the category of things that I saw in the Morgan Computers adverts at a price that seemed a bargain for what they were at the time (probably £199) but sadly at that time a bit above my "frivolous spending" level so never got one!
Must be almost 20 years since I started using the Web then! I was working using a system which had 3 or 4 large ring binders of documentation on all the commands when one day a message on the users email list (remember the days of email list and digests!) came from someone in a US university to say that he'd found this new program called Mosaic and he'd converted all the documentation into HTML so that by going to a web page on a server he'd set up at his university you could type in a command name and it would display the documentation for that command ... it seemed amazing that it was quicker to get info from a computer in Idaho than it was to pull a ring binder off the shelf above my desk!
Also, back in those days to help you navigate around the "web" the NCSA web site helpfully included a "new websites of the month" page ... later that became "new websites of the week" before disappearing. And true to rule on the development of new technologies one of the early sites list was from a Dutch University CS dept which among other contents proudly advertised that it considered it had the largest online collection of pr0n in Europe!
Re: Have you put in the FOI request yet?
My older son did one of those Connexions tests ... think his answers gave the impression that he liked to tell people what to do as his suggested careers had Army Officer, Navy Officer, RAF Officer near the top of the list!
Re: Well, they could use...
p.s. I had a house a couple of blocks away from the site at one time.
Used to live in the area (just other side of Stevens Creek) too when I was in "silcon valley" for 3 years from 1998. Remember one day getting back from work and my wife telling me that there'd been lots of traffic a few blocks down of Stevens Creek and that something had been going on at De Anza college ... turned out from the newspapers the next day that Steve Jobs was launching the first product since he'd come back to Apple and it was something called an iMac.
Re: Gapless = correct
Gapless becomes even more important if you are listening to classical music, especially opera, where "tracks" are used to identify sections in what is otherwise an unbroken piece of music.
Anyway, agree with the other comment that had price been at the top of the article I might also have lost interest before the end while I was searching for any indication on the lag the bluetooth connection introduces and whether this was low enough to make them usable for watching video
Could combine this with James May's GPS controlled balsa glider crossing of (a section of water the same widths as) then English Channel .... I'm sure he could spin that out into a program reclaiming the UKs space heritage along with a link with some toy of the past ("Remember when you were a child and you had one of those stomp rockets where you stamped on a pump to launch a rocket which went up and then landed back beside you ... did you ever wonder about being able to launch it all the way to space? ....."). Ok, BBC, over to you now ... just put in a "from an original idea by ..." line in the creedits please!
BBC Micro Hobbit drive
I was in the BBC Micro camp and remember seeing an advert in one of the computer mags for a new "floppy tape drive" called "the Hobbit" which was "faster than tape, cheaper than disk". Wasn't a continuous loop but wsa a high speed "cassette" which I think had "random access". Anyway, as it was ~1/3rd price of a floppy drive I decided I'd get one and persuade my parents to go via a shop somewhere in North London on our way somewhere. Went into the shop and said that I wanted to buy a Hobbit drive and the person in the shop basically replied "no you don't - they're not really worth the money - you want to save up the extra to get a floppy drive"!
A bit later I did get a floppy drive ... drove myself to N London that time to find this company that was advertising cheap floppy drives in the mags ... it was called "Viglen"! Got there to discover it was basically a company that had been making plastic boxes that seemed to have discovered that they could get a lot more money for their plastic boxes if they put a floppy disk drive in them.
Re: In other news
Except in the discussion on this on the R4 Today program then the figure 3% of deaths that "could be prevented" (I think they mean delayed!) was after taking into account other factors. Another point was that his research was done on European sample groups so wasn't skewed by the much larger meat consumption of people in the USA. However, seemed that sample didn't have enough data to make any comment on processed (i.e. smoked) fish such as kippers!
Re: Cap? What Cap?
Mine just reported 3.7Mb up and 1.5Mb down ... fine for me as "mobile" data.
Sounds like they're copying the 90s "we want to be number 3" ads that Snapple ran (the underlying message was if you want cola then there's coke and pepsi - but if you don't then Snapple is the number 1 alternative)
Re: Never mind Lego
yes, Playmobil are just playing catch up with Lego who've had a bank robber (helpfully identifiable by a striped top .... sadly, though, without a bag marked SWAG) called "the Brickster" for many years!
Re: TV Advert
Don't count your chickens yet ... they've said that they are retaining the Virgin brand in the UK and as to the vast bulk of the population Virgin==Branson then I'd assume they'll be keen to keep him involved (and I'm sure it won't take much persuasion to keep the
shy and retiring inveterate self-publicist around!)
Re: I'm worried...
Back in the 60s we only got to watch half hour Dr Who episodes
Except a single story was told over several episodes so you had to be able to follow a storyline for several weeks .... and each episode started off where the last ended - you didn't get 5 mins of "previously on ..." intro to remind you what had happened. Whereas now you get 45-60mins self contained episodes (occasionally you get some 2-part stories but in current Dr Who series think they've said that they have abandoned this).
Re: Kettle and Microwave.
Perhaps I am a barbarian American, but for tea, I always heated water on the stove
Probably are! I spent time in California in 1996 and 1998-2000. On first 6 month visit we went to local electrocal retailer (Fry's) and searched for a kettle ... found nothing and salesbods had no idea of what we were talking about. Just before I returned to UK branch of Bloomingdale's opened in Stanford shopping centre and I spotted a mini kettle there for .... $99! 2 years later when were were back for almost 3 years things had moved forward a bit and found an "electric water heater" for $20 in Walmart which was basically a 2 mug kettle which saw us through ... though at 110V it took forever to boil.
So as long as your Wi-Fi coverage is very good
Pity they didn't include an ethernet socket as well - I'd much prefer to rely on a wired network for something like this (even if I need to use a homeplug to get the network there) as despite my best efforts I can never seem to get totally reliable wifi in my house!
Re: article totally misses the point
5. The airport's strategic relevance with regards to the Falklands is very limited.
Also when considering the airport note that as a quid pro quo the Goverment funding for the airport is being done on the basis that when it opens they remove the funding that currently supports the mail ship that with 6 weekly visits is currently the only regular connection between St Helena and the outside world.
Re: SETI ?
Or maybe they're going to pickup up something from CETI!
Arthur C Clarke
Well, after things like geostationary satellites etc perhaps ACC has another prediction coming true ... in the last of the Rama novels the Rama spaceship ends up in the Tau Ceti system where it rendezvous with "the node" where "samples" of intelligent life from that region of the galaxy are have been taken to.
Re: The truth is out there...
I don't believe this for a second. Every mobile phone I've ever used require a button press (or opening of a clamshell) to answer. One does not answer a mobile phone by pressing it straight to the ear.
Might not have been a true "mobe" but a "carry-around" DECT phones ... many of those have a mode where lifting them off the base station answers to call.
How is it bad for the publisher though?
I think the argument is that Amazon will take a hit on costs now to build up a dominant position in e-book selling so that in the future they'll be able to turn back on the publishers and tell them that if they want them to sell ebooks for them then they'd better reduce the prices.
Hawkeye works well in cricket and tennis because there is a clear view of the ball from most angles at any time ... perhaps one or two fo the several cameras may occasionally be blocked by a player but the others will have a clear view of the ball abd be able to track it. However this is not the case in football ... what happens in a goal mouth scramble after a corner with half a dozen players lunging for the ball which the goal keeper dives on an claim he grabbed before the ball crossed the line. I think Hawkeye will solve all the cases where TV replays can show that a goal should have been given but may still leave contenious decisions unsolved.
As for the magnetic field system ... wait till Adidas or Nike bring out their new goalie equipemnt with "embedded magnets" (of course, these will only be intended for their theraupeiutic effects on muscles!)
Re: Oh for the love of . . .
Does everyone truly believe that Leveson actually sat down and typed all of this out or, far more likely, dictated this for someone else to type?
I'm sure Lord Leveson had no knowledge of the use of Wikipedia and it is down to one rogue secretary working on their own!
Re: A fascinating read
Used to be my main news source ... but a few years ago they forked the website to supply different versions to "UK" and "non-UK" users and, although I'm in the UK my companies WAN has its internet gateway in Switzerland so I can't see the "UK" version at work and as a result I switched to the Guardian as primary news site.
Re: Browser agents
I've not done it but it may be a factor ... I remember in the days when Netscape was trying to nibble away at the IE dominance that there was a belief that Netscape usage were a bit higher than reported due to people changing agent strings ... why, because then many website checked this and sent anything other than the latest IE version to a "we don't support your browser, update to the latest IE" page.
Re: Lotus Organizer, 1995...
Still got Organiser on my PC (stlll holds the master address list used annually for Christmas cards!) and it does have an option for animating page turns .... only problem is over the past few years PCs have got so much faster that the animation seem to run in "the blink of an eye" ... I can just about see a vertical line at times where the page would be mid-turn ... but that said, seems pretty clear prior art ... unless Apple have added the magic words "on a mobile device" to turn something old in a brand new never before done idea
Re: my friend's four-year-old
Ditto everyone else - been there done that. We got series 1 TiVo when our sons were 5 and 1 and both immediately made the association TV == TiVo and were very put out at other peoples hosues to find they couldn't pause TV etc and got used to idea that a collection of their favourite programs would be already recorded waiting for them to watch. Still the same today 11 years later ... only difference is the selection of programs has moved on from Telletubbies/Tweenies to Futurerama/Castle. Meanwhile, there is still a role for "live TV" ... its called endless reruns of TopGear or QI on Dave!
> Unfortunately, too many of today's LEGO sets for boys also "minimize... actual construction"
To some extent yes ... remember when I came back to Lego when my sons started to get lego sets (and inherited the small suitcase of my old lego that my parents still had in their loft!) that I'd get part way through a build wondering how they were going to manage to link two bits together as they appeared to need to join at a "non-standard" angle, turn the instruction page and discover "oh, they made a special piece to do that". From memories of what I'd had to do as a child it just seemed a bit like cheating to me!
However, in the bigger sets there is a serious amount of building still left (though they do still seem a little to keen in my mind to throw in a bag of specials bits to handle all the difficult sections)
Re: Good job
All the 24 OBS feed channels were on VirginMedia as well
average UK broadband may still be under 10Mbs (but my VM has just jumped to 60Mbs!) but if you are using homeplugs then you probably have several PCs/devices around and then may well have a NAS or are sharing files/media from a PC. If so then higher speed may be beneficial - I've just added a couple of gigabit switches to my LAN setup so can get gigabit connections between main couple of PCs and a HP microserver that I am in process of setting up as replacement for current NAS ... quick comparison on transfer speed between PC and old NAS which has 100Mbs port and to microserver with 1Gbs port (and also better processor and newer disk etc) was stunning ... there definitely was a 10x speedup.
Re: 70% of list price to the developer
But I thought one of the complaints of the Amazon app store was that developers found that their app had been chosed for a special "75% off" offer and as a result got 30% of 25% of what they'd priced the app at. So I think you'd still be at risk of Amazon deciding to discount you book-in-an-app idea.
"When was the last time you saw a Porsche or Ferrari advert?"
Don't know about Porsche but Ferrari have managed to get Sky to devote an entire channel to their adverts ... SkySports F1 - Ferrari's entire marketing activity is effectively their F1 team
Re: The star trek game
We had a very early 6800 "system" in the electronics lab at school and I remember when we got the code for star trek (n.b. this was hex code that had to be typed in before we could save it to ?paper tape - may have been floppy) but there was a problem as it was too big to fit into the 1kB memory so there was a mad rush to put together a 4kB memory *expansion card* so that we could run it!
When I did my maths degree at Oxford one of my third year lecturers was Professor Robin Gandy who'd worked with Turing during the war then, when he was able to go to University after the war had Turing as his PhD supervisor. He tauhgt a course on "Computational Complexity" which covered Turing machines and the theory around them and I remember that every so often during a lecture he'd mention some result and then add something along the lines of "I remember when we first worked this out and how Alan was very excited by what it showed us"!
Re: I'm reading
I'm reading books mainly on a Kindle now (and confirming reports, I'm reading more books than before) but also really like the ability to pickup from the same point on the Kindle app on my phone. Best of both worlds!
Re: Just a shame...
I believe that with the VM "SuperHub" you can set it into "dumb modem" mode via its webpage setup interface. Probably something I'll have to sort out in a couple of months when I get upgraded to the 60Mb/s service ... I'm currently on the original 20Mb/s "XL" speed as when they moved XL to 30Mb/s my "free upgrade" involved paying £50 for a "superhub" which at that time seemed to have a fairly dire reputation + could not be used as a pure modem. Since then I think things sound better + they introduced modem mode and from what I gather a superhub is now a free part of the upgrade as they want to shift everyone to the latest cable standard so they can free the bandwidth used by us 20Mb holdouts!
Re: Mystery solved re NTL Virgin Media box!
Think the issue is that the cable boxes used a different IR protocol to other AV devices (?IRDA vs IR) because the original idea was that the IR connection would be used for more than simple remote use and things like IR based keyboards etc would be used.
There was a similar problem in getting an original S1 TiVo to control one of these boxes as the TiVo was designed to output IR signals which the cable boxes didn't recognize so you had to buy an extra "dongle" which plugged into the IR extender port and "translated" the IR signals into IRDA
Re: Smart Meters
Sounds like an electricity monitor and not a smart meter - smart meter replaces your exisitng electricity meter and is intended to send meter reading automatically via a wireless/mobile connection to remove the need for meter readers to come and read your meter. N.b. in the US (well at least 10-15 years ago when I was there) meter reading must be a significant expenses as PGE read our meter *every* month (as did the water company) - compared to the UK where it seems to be about once every 18-24 months to check that your reading/their estimates are sufficiently accurate
Re: thanks El Reg
"Why does angry bird need to know where I am?"
So it can serve adverts that are more relevant to you. There was a time when Angry Birds on my android phone would constantly give me ads for things like car insurance in Texas which was of no interest to me and just plain irritating (think possibly linked to my having don't share location selected in system options) . Now it seems yo have worked out I'm in the UK so it now constantly gives me ads for things like Wonga ..... which is also of no interest to me and still just plain irritating!
Plenty of "rechargeable battery chargers" around (i.e. a largish rechargable battery with a power out socket and normally a selection of "ends" to put on the cable ... though nowadays micro-usb may be all you need ... unless you have an iThingy). And, didn't one of "The Apprentice" teams last year try flogging emergency mobile chargers at a train station last year in one of the "sell cheap tat" tasks?
Re: And if they do not pay, they will be clamped?
"Look out for big yellow triangular thingies (technical term) in space"
Why, are HMRC collecting taxes in Ningis now ... maybe if they get enough to start converting them into Triganic Pus then maybe we can clear the deficit!
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