196 posts • joined Thursday 11th June 2009 10:06 GMT
not just administrators
I once ran into a script which was designed to package up parts of our design into the delivery format ... as part of this it worked out where to place the package and if the dir already existed did an "cd <delivery-dir>; rm -rf *" first to start from a clean slate. Only problem (and I found it the hard way) was that the mechanism used to find where to put the delivery had the property that if things weren't setup correctly then it would end up saying that the delivery should go into you home dir ... which it then procede to clean out.. Side-effect was I learnt the benefits of a IT setup that maintains hourly snapshots of the file system!
Reminds me of 20-ish years ago when I first encountered the internet and the then big thing which was usenet ... remember posting a question about (I think) Ami Pro (Lotus word processing program) in one of the groups and being amazed that the reply I got was from someone based in Antarctica!
High winds in Vegas
Only been to Vegas once and just before we left went up the "half scale version" of the Eiffel Tower at Paris hotel (amazingly, something in Vegas that is smaller than the real thing - though on the way up they pointed out the accomodation block which they proudly announced was "an exact copy of the Hotel de Ville in Paris ... except in Paris it is only 3 storeys high while ours has 20"!).
When we got the top it was pretty windy ... someone commented to the attendant there that the wind was a bit unnerving but that they must be used to it and got the reassuring reply of "we only opened 2 weeks ago and this is the first time the wind has been this strong"!
Examples quoted above of legitimate websites etc getting blocked because they share the same IP address as someone allegedly breaching copyright is probably quite likely. Wasn't all that long ago that all uses of Telewest Blueyonder internet found that their email was being bounced by various mail systems because some people had set up there own email servers and had failed to secure them properly and thus were running open relays which were spamming from blueyonder.co.uk addresses ... this got blueyonder on to a spammers list and for a bit all blueyonder users were unable to email to a variety of other ISPs.
R6 to FM
This may happen ... but not as a straight move. One of the recent reports on the BBC output, I think, said that R2 needs to become "more distinctive" from commercial stations ... and as, from what I've read, R6 is actually run out of the R2 organisation then maybe they'll spin this as a move of the "distinctive R6 programming" into the R2 FM mainstream ... I suspect they'll then get an even bigger backlash from the increasingly alienated "Terry Wogan brigade" asking for their old R2 back!
Suspect (as some articles on new roaming rates here already suggest) that the result will be that mobile networks will implement this by setting the cut-off at £0 and offer to sell you access at at a "per day/week" rate with a bundled data allowance. So, if you away for a week and wanted to be able to occasionally lookup something on a website then you may end up having to spend £30 on a 7-day 30MB bundle when in reality you only wanted to be able to download a few 100k on 2 or 3 days during the week.
Low cost 3G
The US 3G packages didn't seem low cost to me ... I'm getting "unlimitted" internet (ok, there is a 40MB/day fair usage "limit" - but there's no extra charges for exceeding - just a warnign of potential stroppy warnings and possible access restrictions for persistent excesses) and I'm only paying £20 for 6 months on my PAYG android phone.
Of course, iPad requires a micro-SIM which may enable telco's to restrict it to specific iPad orientated plans (and doubtless these can be made appealing to the standard iPad user by being reassuringly expensive)
250MB/month for $15 and "unlimited" fo $30 .... well, on Tmob here I'm getting 1.2GB/month for £20/6months (technically its unlimited but regular excursions over 40MB/day are agains "fair use" and Tmob reserve right to send stroppy notes or slow down connection).... and if I used the phone and used a £10 top-up per month that would be free.
So doesn't look like much of a "breakthrough" deal to me.
In AMD processor terms "Black Edition" has a clear meaning (and has for several years) .. it means it comes with an unlocked multiplier. There' have been BE Phenom's for ages and its to AMDs credit that they are putting BE versions in all the processor combos (X2, X3 and X4) rather than reserving it as a special ultra high price version that no sane person would ever buy
To get back to an IT related angle ... 10 years ago I worked in Silicon Valley and we could use the canteen at a neighbouring companhy for lunch where the main cook was called Jesus (actually a not uncommon name in the Hispanic community) and on Fridays he made quite excellent burritos which were most definitely not microwaved!
the real reason?
Scientists took all the webservers etc off-line while they worked out how to explain to the world that the LHC computer analysis had just reported:
"Yes, I can decice whether the Higgs-Boson exists .... but its going to take me seven million years"
@PC World need something going their way!
My local PCWorld seemed very full when I went there a week or so ago ... though that's mainly because as the other DSGi brand "Currys" is upgrading its store on the other side of the car park then a significant portion of PCWorld is currently full of fridges and washing machines!
Here are the details
The deal, announced at an embargoed briefing in London, was also published on DSGi's site. DSGi is offering users up to £100 if they bring an old laptop to the shop, although the actual figure will depend on the quality and viability of the laptop.
Laptops will have to be capable of being switched on, although they don't necessarily have to be fully operational said Jeremy Fennell, Category Director for PC World. They'll also be graded for physical quality to create a second-hand value, of up to £100.
... so that old laptop that you stopped using 5 years ago isn't going to get £100
How things change
back in the "good old days" (aka "about 10 years ago") Teletubbies used to feature in their "tubby-tv" segments a Jazz group playing versions of nursery rhymes ... one of them was humpty dumpty which ended with something along the lines of "someone go get a pan ... he's all scrambled eggs now man!"
not quite same day
but I remmeber when I was in California 10 years ago ordering a laptop from an East Coast shop at 8:55pm PST (just before the next day delivery on orders before midnight EST deadline) on a Friday assuming that at best next day would mean monday and was stunned to get back from a shopping trip just after midday on the next day (Saturday) to find a note that a delivery had been left with my neighbours. Admittedly when I looked at the paperwork the laptop hadn't come all the way from the East coast ... it had merely been airfreighted from Indiana!
Following the correct advice
Seem to recall from visits to Yosemite and similar places in the past the park authorities give guidance on what to do if approached by bears/mountain lions etc ... of course, the primary advice is to keep your distance but if they are approaching then the advice is not to run away but instead "act agressively" and throwing things at them is recommended (though, when I was last there 10 years ago the idea of throwing iPhones was not considered and instead stones were suggested)
Yahoo link hover text
I have the reg headlines as an item on my Yahoo home page - when you hover over link you get a text "summary" which appears to be derived from the title, first line and it appears the final link to a white paper or ad. Rather amusingly for this artiicle this appears as:
Privacy costs after all From today large companies that collect or process personal data must pay £500 to register with the Information Commissioner's Office .... What's your recession sales strategy?
@Water cooled air
Sounds exactly like the system used at Sydney Opera House that was on Engineering Connections a couple of weeks ago.
@Seems real simple to me
So if its just a software program design to be used with the iPod then why does Apple attempt to get me (or anyone else who doesn't own an iPod) to download and install it when I want to install quicktime?
Yup, people have a very cute/non-cute distinction over what is edible. About 10 years ago I was in San Francisco zoo with a crowd watching a zoo person feeding the otters there. Someone asked her what they fed the otters on and she replied "well, they basically eat anything so it depends what's available - today's a lucky day for them and they are having the same as the big cats - horse meat" ... cue 10 year-old girl in crowrd to scream "that's gross" and run off crying.
remember reading of a similar incident before ... and with google to the rescue found it
How one sunbeam turned a tycoon's mansion to ashes
A BLAZE that caused millions of pounds damage to a tycoon's mansion was started by a freak accident involving a towel and a shaving mirror. The unique chain of events that devastated the eight-bedroom home of Sir Peter Michael, chairman of Classic FM radio, was explained by an expert.
The concave mirror acted as a magnifying glass, concentrating the sun's rays into a single point, said Berkshire's fire brigade safety officer Greg Boys. At that point, the temperature rose to 200C, causing the towel to burst into flames. Mr Boys said four factors had to combine to start the fire at the Grade 11 listed building near Hungerford.
Firstly, the sun would have to be low enough to shine directly on the bathroom mirror. Then the mirror would have to be in exactly the right position to direct the magnified rays on to the towel. Also, the towel would have to he at the precise spot where the rays converged. Finally, there would have to be material nearby for the fire to take hold. "A centimetre out in any of the first three factors could well have prevented the fire from ever taking place," said Mr Boys. "It was a chance in a million."
Firemen hit on the mirror theory while investigating the blaze. Mr Boys added: "We had to wait for ideal conditions so we could test that theory out. "Eventually, they all came together and we dashed over to the house, set up the mirror and towel and waited to see what happened. "What we saw confirmed the theory. The sun hit the mirror, converging on the towel, which was ablaze within minutes."
Sir Peter, 58, said: "It just makes you think how unfair life can be."
Checks and US banks
I spent 3 years in the US 98-00 and even at that time I rarely used cheques in the UK so was somewhat surprised when I opened a bank account in the US to receive in the post a box containing something like 10 check books each containinbg 20 checks - my initial reaction was how long would it take to use these. Then I discovered that 8every* month I needed to write checks to electricity company, gas company, cable company, refuse collection company, water company, car lease company, local phone company, long distance phone company ... so they started to go quite quickly. However, during that time the banks "invented" (n.b. US banks were constantly "inventing" new ideas that had been standard in the UK for a decade or so) the idea of automated regular payaments aka direct debits so eventually the rate of check usage did decline!
One thing to remember about US checks is that they don't have a check guarantee card which means that shops can be more selective about accepting checks (signs saying checks not accepted from out of state banks were common and I even saw ones saying checks from out of county banks not accepted) but at the same time the absence of a £50/£100 guarantee limit means checks were accepted for sums that no UK shop would have accepted.
Anyway, now back in the UK for me, like others above, checks are almost redundant - I never carry a cheque book around with me and they now seem only to get used for sending money to childrens schools for dinner money etc!
The ebuyer box for the memory stick looks a familiar size ... some years ago when installing (wired) networking at home I needed some short ethernet cables to go between sockets and switches and PCs. So I ordered 4x 1 or 2m ethernet drop cables from ebuyer. As they offered a variety of colours I decided to order 4 different colours to make it easier to work out which was which later.
Few days later next door neighbour called to say a "large" delivery had arrived while I was at work and I went round to pick up a pile of 4 large boxes - each of which contained a single cable!
"I don't know of any other product ...
... anywhere where I can take physical possession after paying in full and still have it repossessed without warning or recourse"
.... Jeff has clearly never bought a stolen car. Every so often news/documentaries do an item on some car theft ring (imports from Japan are a particular issue) and show people being told that (a) the car they bought was stolen, (b) as such they have no rights to it and (c) its going to be towed away immediately so it can be returned to its rightful owners.
Actually there is one difference ... the Amazon customers get their money back
"ITV player" (i.e. there streaming catchup service) uses it.
... n.b. are MS putting the hooks into DX10/11 so that the video processing can be offloaded onto the gfx card - as this makes atom+ion combos much more useful.
back in the day when usenet ruled the world (i.e. late 80s) there was a tradition of various spoof official announcements being posted on Apr 1 ... I feel sure I remember one (but last time this subject came up I was unable to locate it in googles archive) which was an RFC (request for comments - the way new internet ideas/protocols were developed then by peer review/comment) on a proposal to add an extra level of domain name to allow for the net to expand to other planets (and their moons via sub-domains) in the solar system.
Note just US ones ... my son's school (in UK) also has been warning not to trust wikipedia as a source ... to the extent that when I was helping him find some info a few months back he point blank refused to use the info I'd found since it was from wikipedia even though it was, in this case, clearly correct!
I read up on this when I also had a misprice on a sandwich .... from what I recall shops do *NOT* have to honour the price displayed (or even printed on the packet) ... however, if they deliberately display misleading prices in a way that is likely to confuse customers then that is an offence. Thus if a sandwich is mistakenly labelled as 95p instead of £3.50 then the shop is within its rights to say at the cash till that they are selling it at £3.50 (clearly there's a secondary issue of whether they think an argument over £2.45 is worth customer good will + making the rest of the queue wait) but if they stuck up a big sign in the window saying "all sandwiches 95p" and then said at the till "actually they are £3.50" then that's where TS step in.
@Wot, no strings!
If they do it properly then the CGI animations would move as if they were controlled by strings ... when Dreamworks did the CGI bunnies in Aardman's Curse of the Were-rabbit they were careful to make them look like plasticine models complete with thumb prints on them
intrigued by the comment about it being in Twin Peaks and wondered which bit it was ... quick bit of googling revealed that it wasn't just in TP ... it was the location for "invitiation to love" - the TV soap which was in TP!
Mines the anorak
@Paging John Carpenter....
No need to do this ... in "the blob" (at least 1958 original) a large blobby organism terrorises a small town before its discovered that the only way to control it is to freeze it which they do with C02 fire extinguishers before the USAF safely dispose of it in, ahem, the Arctic.
Thus I suspect that this blobby lifeform revived from its frozen state in the arctic may well be much less than 100,000 years old :-)
BBC news website changes
Wonder if its got anything to do with the BBC news website changes .... if you access this from a foreign IP address (even if you are in the UK but ISP/corporate WAN connects from gateway outside UK) it now directs you to the international version of the website (you used to be able to choose). This "service improvement" is to remove all the links to iPlayer/video stuff which they aren't allowed to show outside UK + to allow them to add adverts.
@No added weight
Immovable weight - i.e. limiting ability to move ballast around the car was a seious issue ... but also the weight regs are minimum weight of car+driver ... amount of leeway they have was meaning that, I think, for some of the taller (and thus heavier) drivers the extra weight from KERS was not going to be reclaimed from existing ballast - i.e. not only did they lose ability to tune ballast position to suit conditions but for drivers like, I think, Kubica the car+driver would always be carrying more weight. That's why initially BMW only ran KERS on one car before deciding via direct comparison it had no overall benefit.
The problem then with a race where a few cars run KERS is (as has been seen in some recent races in mid order battles) a faster non-KERS car can catch up a KERS car in front in corners where it has better handling (possibly due to better tuned weight distribution) but if they try to overtake then the KERS driver just presses the boost button and pulls away sufficiently to escape
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