175 posts • joined Thursday 11th June 2009 10:06 GMT
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!
Yes ... saw an item on hotukdeals today about a sale on "Android Market (Play)" and my immediate assumption was that play.com must now have an android market. It was only when I read another article like this one about the name change that I realized it was talking about the Google Android Market which is now called Play.
Just started reading Arthur C Clarkes "Rendez-vous with Rama" and as usual he's almost spot on with his predictions ... that has a catastrophic meteor strike in 2077 which wipes out most of North-Eastern Italy.
"It should not even be possible to pay £40 or more for a portable game, unless it's bundled with the PS3 copy as well."
Sounds like a great idea ... they could probably even charge a small premium for the "dual platform" version of the game in the same way that you can pay a little extra to get the dvd/bluray or triple-play versions of films etc.
Of course, the fly in the ointment will be that games manufacturers will probably decide that if the PS3 and Vita versions are sold together then that's a single game so they'll introduce some internet based licensing check to prevent you playing on the PS3 while some else is using your Vita version!
Re: Simple solution...
Problem is that 4 digit PINs are deeply entrenched into the system ... you'd need to make changes to terminals etc worldwide to cope with the change (for example virtually all UK ATMs wait for 4 key presses for PIN entry). I lived for a time in the US at end of 90s and there you could have a longer PIN number on cards .... but every so often you'd read a travel article that would warn readers that before travelling to Europe they should change their PIN to a 4 digit number as otherwise they could find they were unable to use their cards when European card readers assumed a 4 digit pin.
Re: Is there an upside?
And if you already wear glasses then passive may have a big upside in that the passive glasses (being cheaper and thus being able to be larger) will probably fit over exisitng glasses much better than active ones + if 3D really does take off then I think you could even get a set of prescription passive glasses (i.e. lenses that correct your eyesight with the appropriate polarization for the 3D).
Reminds me of a story of a zoo where two snakes were in the same tank and keepers didn't notice that when they put a couple of dead rats in at feeding time that both snakes started at opposite ends of the same rat, met at the middle and the larger snake opened its jaws a bit further than the other and started to consume it as well.
But have you seen the design for Apple's new HQ?
Just wait till the internal covers are retracted revealing the underground fortress surrounding the iDeathRay ... then China will start to obey!
Its actually 273,000 *new* TiVo users last quarter with total up at 432,000 (12% of all their TV subscribers) .... I checked this in the VM press release when I saw different figures from yours in the Guardian
Item on the R5 business program last night was talking about "reputation management". One of the contributers said that businesses always had to treat negative comments more seriously than positive ones since the rule when he started 20-30 years ago was that a happy customer told 2 or 3 people about theie good experience while an unhappy customer told around 10 - but the change was now via the internet an unhappy customer now tells thousands.
As for saying "My doctor was wonderful, listened to me, and was very helpful" - that's what I said a few years ago to someone I know who's a GP when I was impressed that having gone in to get a prescription of hay fever treatement the doctor I'd seen had had a short chat with me about my general health, what exercise I did and then checked my blook pressure ... however this positive illusion was quickly dispersed when the GP I knew explained "that's just because he would have needed to do that to meet a target for the practice bonus"
"is that an NFC buckle on your belt ... our do you just like me?"
Re: IPTV, the downside
Yes ... advertisers guessing what you are interested in from past history can be very irritating ... after buying a birthday present for a friends young daught I had months of emails from Amazon telling me "as someone who's bought Sylvanian Families in the past you may be interested in ..." - eventually I investigated and found out how you can click on a link to tell Amazon to ignore the history that is leading to this.
Then recently having upgraded my phone to something that can display flash adverts and not having AdBlockPlus available in default browser (hmm maybe time to switch!) I'm seeing ads ... was quite interesting to realize after researching electric guitars for son's Christmas present that I was suddenly getting ads for the shop I'd bought it from all over the place .... but now, as a result of looking for info on how to fix a leaking toilet, I'm being bombarded with ads for flush mechanisms!
Just had a look and from what I can see on the VM website then to get SkySportsF1 I'll need to buy the SkySports1+2+3+4 package @ £22.50/month ... or £29.50/month if I want the HD version. So that will be a no then!
30MB is the same price level as 20Mb ... in fact 20Mb is "obsolete" and only exists for people (like me) who were at the 20Mb and declined to have a "free" update to 30Mb which (still) requires "buying" a superhub (originally for £75 but now, I think, just £30 "activation"). As you were upgrading from 10Mb then you jump direct to the 30Mb level and get a free superhub as part of the upgrade. Its the usual Telewest/VM story of new/upgrade users getting something that long standing existing users cannot get. At least it appears with the 20/30Mbs->60Mbs I'll get a free superhub as I assume they are wanting to free up all the bandwidth allocated to DOCSIS2.
I got it twice as well ... but check the email "To:" addresses ... one set was direct to my "blueyonder.co.uk" address and the second to the email contact address I set up on my account which use my own domain name but is forwarded into my "blueyonder.co.uk" address. Hence they sent it to two distinct addresses which happen to end up in the same mail box.
N.b. like someone else I spotted the "as you are already on the fastest package" line in the erroneous mailing I too immediately assumed they'd made a simple error. I also got at almost the same time another email saying that my current 20Mbs service would be increasing to 60Mbs.
"So the upgrade to 60Mbs will apply when, 1) they've upgraded your line and 2) you've upgraded to the DOCSIS 3 superhub."
From what I read of the offer then they'll upgrade you to the superhub for free as part of this change. I've never moved up to 30Mb from 20Mbs as initially, I think, you needed to pay something like £75 for the superhub .... I think that's come down to £30 "activation" fee now. Plus, the initial reports of the Superhub were not particularily positive and it originally could not be used purely as a modem so I gave it a pass as I've already got my router/firewall etc set up and just want a modem feed into it. Since then I gather you can now configure the superhub to act just as a modem so that will suit me fine when they come to upgrade me.
N.b. another reason not to upgrade originally was it seemed obvious at some point VM would want to turn off the DOCSIS2 and switch everyone to DOCSIS3 so looked inevitable that at somepoint they'd have to do free upgrades and, to be honest, 20Mb seems perfectly adequate for our needs so allure of 30Mbs wasn't great
Why to the cloud ... because (unless you tell Amazon otherwise via the "manage my kindle" web pages) all PDFs that you email to your kindle are now stored by Amazon in your account. Perhaps useful if you want to be able to access the files from a Kindle app on your phone as well as on your kindle but also, I'd assume, a reason that corporate IT depts will be rapidly working out how to roll out a path to disable this feature on all their PCs. N.b. going via "the cloud" rather than via USB does have definite advantages that you don't need to have the device connected directly to the PC to send the data (or even turned on at the right moment)
"Jet Packs, Hover Boards, Skyways, and robot butlers of course! (for the consumer, not just proof of concepts)"
But this conference was only predicting out to CES 2018 ... as anyone from the "Tommow's World" generation knows the items mentioned above will all be available in "about 10 yeas time"
I knew someone who used to work for Sun and was based there .... and the best thing he said was when he was allowed to "hot desk" at another Sun office closer to his home instead of having to go into his "proper" office (after all, the network is the computer, or was that vice versa).
I assume it a case of wanting a big building on the bay shore line so that they can be just like Google.
Re: $79 / £89 for the Kindle?
The $79/£89 comparison is not really valid since the $79 US version is the version that displays ads and special offers on the screen savers etc ... the version which doesn't (and thus is equivalent to the UK version) is $109 - which is £70 at todays exchange rate ... add on 20% VAT and you get £84 so then its pretty close to the UK price.
Re: That little? Seems like more
Probably does seem like more since the 15-30secs at either end of the ad break where there's a "sponsors message" (e.g. sport on ITV brought to you by KIA, Home and garden brought to you by B&Q etc) don't count towards the advert quota. That said ... the new VM TIVo has a "skip forward 30secs" and you can keep pressing to increase the skip in 30sec increments - I find that Ch4 breaks are invariably 4 mins (8 skip button presses) long and with 4 breaks per hout that seems like 16mins to me!
TiVo catchup services
VM have just rolled out a software update to the TiVo and one of the changes is that there is a better integration between iPlayer and the backwards EPG ... you can now select a BBC program from the backwards EPG and it takes you direct to that programs iPlayer page and with another button press you can start playing it. I think they couldn't do the more intuitive method of starting to play when you select from the backwards EPG since the BBC insist that everything is (seen to be) done through iPlayer thus effectively offering a link direct to the releavant iPlayer "page" is the best they can do.
Re: Oh wow, nostalgia ...
Well, I remember around that time (late 70s) as a sixth former being able to bootstrap a Data General Nova from front panel switches then install its OS to disk (a single platter 12 or 15" solid disk that probably had capacity measured in kBs) from dozens of trays of fanfold paper tape!
Almost 30 years ago I did a course on Error Correcting Codes as part of my Maths degree and sure I recall the lecturer talking about communications with the Voyager probes (which were then in between Saturn and Uranus) as being an example of how communications were being pushed to their limits - a tranmission of less power than a dim light bulb from millions of miles away.... and to think they are still in contact when Voyage is ~4x further away is amazing!
An "English Pint" is a weird hybrid measure as it is 20 US fl oz's ... thus is marginally larger than a Imperial Pint! (as 1 US fl oz is marginally bigger than 1 Imperial fl oz)
At least its not as bad as the "ye olde englishe pubbe" style of American drinking establishment that maintain that the true english measure for ale is the yard!
But assuming PG&E have not changed in the 12 years since I was in California then before "smart meters" you would have had accurate bills because they come round to read your meter *EVERY* month (seemed to be no concept of an "estimated" bill) .... side effect of this was in the house we rent was that we had to leave the side gate to the house unlocked at all times to ensure PG&E had access to the meters ... fortunately this didn't matter as in Cupertino crime seemed non-existant (well, apart from one armed robbery at the bank at the end of our road!)
Re: Poor product design?
Haven't used the K4 so can't tell how different the page turn buttons are ... on the K3 they are very easy to use ... but this also means I quite frequently press them by mistake!
Loss of keyboard is no big deal for me - I think I'd see it as an improvement. The number of times I use the keyboard on my K3 is minimal - and if I am using it I tend to need the symbols as well which is a on screen select by arrow keys affair and in any case the keyboard isn't suitable for any serious typing.
Not getting an AC adapter - hmm, my Kindle charger is now my micro-USB charger of choice as its (a) very small (basically a 13amp plug with a USB socket) and (b) is a different colour (white) from all the other chargers I need to take anywhere so its easy to find in the "charger bag"!
That said, there's no need to "upgrade" from my K3 to a K4 ... but if the Kfire arrives, that might be different.
Data as well?
Lets hope that they fix the current "glitch" in 2G sharing where if you roam onto an Orange signal from TMobile (probably vice versa as well I'd assume) then everything is ok for voice and text but to use the signal for data then in Android you have to enable "international data roaming" (there is a "national data roaming" option as well but you have to enable the international one for it to work).
Problem is that some seemingly "safe" apps ask for the same wide permissions ... I'm fairly sure that Google Tracks or Maps asks for similar - I was certainly surprised that one of the Google apps was asking for permission to make calls but its possible that that may be to enable you to find a location (e.g. a restaurant) on a map and phone it directly. As a result its sometimes difficult to work out why an app is requesting certain permissions.
Possibly a solution would be to require apps to state the reasons why they need each of the permissions which you could browse before deciding to accept/decline the install ... clearly this is not 100% foolproof but migh give some guidance.
What I think the implication is that the "tipping" point in the UK for people to buy a tablet is £250, however if Amazon maintain the same price point for the Fire relative to the iPad then that yields a UK price of around £130 ... also using price ratio from e-ink kindles to fire in the US yields price of around £150/160. I.e looks likely that Kindle Fire will launch at well below the price people seriously consider buying a tablet so sales could be huge.
Never mind if £89 = $79 or $109, I like the look of the new entry level Kindle as a pure ebook. I've got the current v3 Kindle and the keyboard is just an annoyance ... takes up space that you use perhaps once every week or two ... and even when you do since it has no numbers or symbols you still end up using arrow keys to find the symbol you need on a pop-up menu. That said, I'm definitely looking forward to seeing the Fire arrive in the UK, hopefully at a "sensible" price ... given $->£ conversion on the current 3G Kindle then I'd assume something around £150-160 seems to be what to expect.
When I was at school 30-ish years ago we had a visit from one of the Astronauts who'd been to the moon who gave a lecture about his experiences. In questions afterwards someone asked him if he'd brought any moon rock as a souvenier for himself and he said no that hadn't been allowed and in any case "moon rock just looks like rock ... I show you a piece of rock I said I brought from the moon but you couldn't tell whether that was true or whether I'd just picked it up out of my garden as it would look the same"
"Imagine if FIFA suddenly deemed that football’s throw-ins were to become kick-ins"
They actually did ... well, they thought it might improve the game and ran a trial for a season in 2 or 3 different leagues - think the "Conference" (i.e. whats now the BlueSquare Premiership) was one of the leagues that ran the trial. Result wasn't what they expected - think they thought kick in would result in quick short passes to bring ball back into play but instead, I assume, resulted in large numbers of throw-ins turning into slightly different versions of corners with long flighted crosses and lots of delay and barging around in the penalty area before it was taken. So the result of the trial was that the idea was dropped.
Back office to front office
"if you came to trading from the back office, where those systems exist and are devised, you may well know how to beat those systems. As Leeson did."
Think the same applies to the current case and the one in France last year as well ... person responsible for the fraud had moved from back office to front office and thus probably understood what would and would not be spotted by the back office checks
There was an item on the R5 "wake up to money" program last week (n.b. I listen to the podcast - I'm not awake at that time of day!) about a company that was laying a new dedicated cable across the atlantic for a finance company ... by having their own direct transatlantic connection they reckoned that they'd get data between NY and London 10ms faster than at present and that for every ms gained they thought they'd get a return of something like $100million. So speed definitely is important!
So basically sounds like they use the unix adjtime command
int adjtime(const struct timeval *delta, struct timeval *olddelta);
The adjtime() function gradually adjusts the system clock (as returned by gettimeofday()). The amount of time by which the clock is to be adjusted is specified in the structure pointed to by delta.
Only potential "novelty" seems to be from the description that rather than starting to adjust the time from the point where adjtime is executed they instead specify an future time point at which the adjustment is to be completed.
@Aboute bleeding time
>Back when dinosaurs ruled the earth, it was part of the O-level.
>Bloody stupid it was ever stopped.
Quite agree ... bloody stupid that they stopped O-levels
@The CycleStreets web site
Not such a good result for me ... its suggestion for the "quiet" route home for me goes via the Cribbs Causeway shopping centre and associated M5 junction! Admittedly the route is still described as "quite busy" whereas the route which mostly follows the route I take down the A38 is described as "very hostile"! Especially strange as the "quiet" route takes you down a section of 50mph dual carriage way while the "very hostile" A38 is 40mph with a bike lane!
Same at Bourton-on-the-water. There's a model of the the village, and in that there's a model of the model village which in turn contains a model of the modle of the model village ... again they give up after 3 levels of recursion(plus last one isn't particularily accurate!)
Though, of more interest to my then 4-ish year-old son when we went there was the motor museum around the corner which is the home of "Brum"
Having lived for a few years in California and then back in the UK struggled to get wifi to work in an old Victorian house I've always taken the view that the people who design wifi hardware think all houses are like the (admitedly good for earthquakes) houses in Silcon Valley which are basically a single story wood frame divided up by plasterboard walls... so issues over penetrating brick/stone walls ceilings, floors etc had never occurred to them.
its a hovercraft
If you go to the original NZ articles then it seems clear it is a hovercraft ... mentions of him test hovering it at home, comments on building hovercraft kits from person from NZ hovercraft club. Also the article suggests that the accident was caused by a failure on the bolts that held the frame containing the propulsion fan to the body of the hovercraft ... assume if this happend when fan was running then the frame would have moved forward at speed (propelled by the fan) hitting the unfortunate pilot standing/sitting in front - probably was killed by the frame etc hitting him rather than the fan itself.