British Rocket? Needs to have a blue streak somewhere!
239 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009
Re: "Oops. Did hitting that mess something up for you?"
And I would like to add that asking for a single dedicated "BORK YOUR COMPUTER" key on a computer keyboard may be the single stupidest thing I have ever heard a multizillionaire brag about.
Around the time MS-DOS was appearing there were computers with single key "resets" - e.g. the BBC Micro had the "Break" button which was "conveniently" sitting at the top right of the keyboard right next to keys that you would use in normal usage. This meant it was quite possible to press it by mistake .... think as a result a market developed for plastic covers which sat over the break key preventing it being pressed.
I always though that having to press 3 keys (and 3 keys that needed both hands on most keyboards) was an eminently sensible idea to make it clear you were really meaning to reset the PC. Later when C-A-D became the way to bring up the login menu in later versions of windows was probaly more problematic as (a) you wanted to login in - what else where you going to do at that point and (b) using a key combination that was (at least subconciously) associated with "help, my PC has gone wrong" with an action that said "I've just turned my PC on, lets get started" seemed counter intuitive.
Fairfax bids to buy Blackberry
That was the title in the article about this on Yahoo! I wonder if I was the person who intiially scanned this as "Filofax bids to buy Blackberry"!
Re: Somewhat pointless?
Since when did the Police bother to follow up on petty theft?
Well, it seems they do in the UK ... see this story
Re: magnificent water contraption
Ah, brings back memories of Blue Peter, a Fairy liquid bottle, and a bicycle pump!
yes, they are also a scout camp staple
Re: Twas ever thus
Vocational courses and apprenticeships are for people who are unable to enter University as they lack the required mental capacity.
Rubbish .... take a look at "higher apprenticeships" from engineering firms like Rolls-Royce etc which combine work based training with part-time study leading to degree qualifications. Plus many accountancy firms take on people after A-level and they effectively get the same accountancy training/qualifications as graduates without the need to spend 3 years at university accumulating debts.
Re: The Nestle Kit-Kat Chocolate is far too sweet
I know someone who imports Cadbury's into North America and makes a pretty penny doing it.
Target started to sell Cadbury's Creme Eggs just before we returned to the UK in 2000 - recall buying several dozens of them
Re: I would have been very surprised if either company had objected.
"In the US, however, KitKat is manufactured and sold by the Hershey Company"
I've lived in Silicon Valley for a few years and had the misfortune of buying a KitKat there and being unaware of the Hershey connection ... until I started to eat it and discovered it tasted DISGUSTING as it was covered in Hershey's "chocolate". In contrast when I had to fly to Vancouver to get my visa renewed (has to be done outside the US) it was a delight to find that they had KitKats there imported from the UK!
How many young goats can actually afford an iThing in the first place?
Maybe they get them from trolls!
Sounded fine to me ... until they mentioned use of beetroot to provide colour and I'm afraid for me that is a step too far out of the realms of edible food!
Re: It's all fun & games until
Or alternative Terry Gilliam style would be for it to hit an invisible barrier a la Time Bandits ("oh, that's what an invisble barriier looks like - I always wondered")
Re: Are we close to losing radio contact
Once looked up about the error correcting methods they use to encode the signals and think they've changed the method once or twice as it got further away to take account of greate error rate. Anyway, when I did my maths degree *30* years ago I did a final year option on error-correcting codes and the lecturer even then said it was amazing that NASA were able to get signals from what amounted to a 60W light bulb somwhere near the outer planets ... even more amazing they are still in contact when it must be 4-5x further away!
Even Facebook's app wants to be able to dial the phone "stuff that costs you money". Why?
Probably to allow the app to start a call with someone direct from your facebook "friends list" - I don't use facebook but from what I read about it trying to import as many address books as it can see then it probably stores phone numbers and as they want you to stay in their app they are probably going to have a method to find someone in the contacts list in the app and call them rather than leaving the app an going to the android contacts or having to write the number down and dial it manually.
Re: @Menelaus-uk (was: Actually ...)
Nothing replaces actual track time. Absolutely nothing.
Jeremy Clarkson tried this on Top Gear a few years ago after all the reports of F1 drivers learning tracks from "simulators" (though I think the F1 team's simulators are a bit more sophisticated than video games) so he "learnt" a track from something like GT and then went to drive on it - and discovered how very different it was.
Re: Actually ...
Why? Simple answer: There is no possibility of saving, and then restarting the game from where you left off in RealLife[tm]
I remember a VW advert when I was in the US in late 90s which promtoed both the "fun" and "safety" features of one of their model and had the tag line "because in real life there is no reset button"
Re: Doesn't time fly
I remember being intrigued by this when I saw a machine in the student common room at college
We had one in our school computer lab to show that computing wasn't just BASIC programs on 380Z's! Also, got the school model railway club to set up a layout using the then "state of the art" Hornby computer controlled system.
I was too mean to spend my meagre beer tokens on playing it though
Aha, someone discovered that it you rocked the whole machine from side to side at the right speed something would flip in the coin mechanism and you'd suddenly have 99 credits!
Re: $100Bn cash pile
The problem Apple have is that they've parked their cash in a location where no tax is paid - US considers it to be in Ireland so they won't tax it until it comes back into the US while Ireland consider it to be "stateless" so isn't taxed in Ireland. Basically to use the money Apple will need to pay the normal tax on it except they seem to be holding out for the US treasury to annouce a special amnesty to all US companies to repatriate overseas captial without having to pay (the full) tax .... probably wrapped up as a "helping US companies bring overseas money back to invest in US jobs" measure or something like that -- they did this once before so everyone like Apple etc is assuming they'll do it again. And in the meantime they can use the cash pile as collateral to raise enourmous money on bonds at low interest (because if necessary they could redeem all the bonds with the 70% of the Irish cash pile that would be left if they pulled it back to the US and paid tax)
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.
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: 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!
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!
Not sure whether I like the idea of badges but the way they appear against postings to my mind is so ugly that I've just adblock-ed all 3 images ... so, go ahead, get your badges - won't bother me as I won't see them!