1040 posts • joined 15 Jun 2009
Re: The scary bit
"BTW, if a data collection company tells somebody that you were arrested when you never were; surely if that got back to you you could do them for libel?"
If they were an individual, sure. A company would just plead "good faith" and point a circle of fingers that go nowhere and the government would file it under "laws companies don't have to obey" along with all that tax stuff.
Par for course
Back in ye olde days of 1998 I was IT director of a company who had dealings with a major data broker who I can't name or the mods will refuse to print it. Anyway, the bottom line was that as far as credit ratings were concerned we would literally have been better off flipping a coin. This is just revealing to the wider public what insiders have known for decades.
Re: iPhone and iPad?
"Who buys an iPhone and iPad for a two year old? I didn't even get Lego until I was six"
To be fair, a two-year-old is pretty unlikely to swallow an iPad.
"Did the author just get out of a Delorian? Since when has depth been measured in feet again?!"
Since we stopped using dumbed-down French units that are unsuited and awkward for everyday experience?
Re: Signed lengths
"For example, (1u - 2) is not -1 as you might expect, but some huge number."
True, but that's a gap in the language and the coder should be aware of it.
"It's also useful to have -1 available to represent "no such number"; for example, the length of a file that doesn't exist."
The length of a file that does not exists should never be a concept you deal with. The program should have already done an exists(filename) call before even thinking about asking for the length of the file (not to mention stat or something). That sort of code is like something I would have written in BBC Basic 30 years ago. We should have moved on in our coding styles, even if still using languages like C which allow it.
Re: Compulsory casts.
"The compiler should really kick up a fuss for implicit casts from signed to unsigned. If there is an explicit cast then the programmer is due a spanking."
The compiler only knows what it's told. If data is coming in from outside then it is depending on the coder to correctly define what the format is.
I would introduce hanging for people that use signed numbers for lengths of files and strings. If someone is this lazy then god knows what else is lurking in their code.
I don't get Myst at all - nothing happens, and it happens very slowly. I remember at the time thinking it was very much a backward step in gaming; it was basically a PowerPoint presentation.
It can be done
After all, Nokia itself is evidence that the obvious market leader can throw it all away by being complacent.
"And yet no-one has so far suggested launching cruise missiles at Pyongyang.
Of course, that might trigger a nasty reaction from others, while bombing Syria is just a nice safe bit of willy-waving PR. Principles? Not even sure the current crop of Westminister muppets know what the word means."
So your solution to hypocrisy is to do nothing, ever? Big help.
Re: Drifting slightly OT ...
"Am I correct in thinking that once we have reached this level of detail, then there's no point in going any further ?"
No, because it is marketing bullshit. 300dpi for text is "draft mode" and the eye can easily see the difference between that and 1200dpi.
For colour images, 300dpi is about as good as you need because the colour information "takes up the slack" as it were; it's hard to see the difference between even 200dpi and 300dpi if the colour depth is good.
Re: "fully compliant with existing tax laws"
"Yeah, and the NSA says it is fully compliant with the law too.
Doesn't mean it's right."
"Google’s position on the law is the same as its position on tax: they will only play or pay on their home turf. "
And that they have no home turf, of course.
Maybe the force of the law shouldn't be used to protect the ability to watch a bunch of overpaid wankers kicking a ball around a field.
Really, when did we as a society decide this was worth legislating about? Which party manifesto even mentioned this sort of crap? Other than the Republican and Democratic ones, which is probably where the idea came from, of course.
"I SWEAR TO GOD IF IT GETS DELETED YOU WILL BE IN LOTS OF DANGER YOU'LL HAVE 15M+ PISSED GIRLS AT YOUR DOOR #DontTouchBestSongEver"
A typical Friday night for the staff at Newcastle station.
Re: Re:To the untrained, non-US educated observer
"Jefferson only reluctantly agreed to it"
Yeah, right. I guess he reluctantly kept all his slaves too. Man, old TJ must have been miserable with all these people forcing him to do things that were so immoral. And profitable, of course.
Re: He actually said that ?
"there is not a lot of evidence that the present or past governments have committed actual abuse of the data unless you consider the military use of NSA intelligence products to be abuse"
There usually isn't at first. The agencies have a lot of power and can sit on their abuses for decades. But the evidence is that given power people will mis-use it. Given a lot of power, they'll misuse it a lot.
Plus, all else aside, we know that they have broken the constitutional rules which, in a constitutional republic is "abuse" by definition.
Ha ha ha
"The Office 365 service will be hosted "entirely within the EU", we're told, and "complies with all current data protection regulations", according to the integrator."
Nice one, centurion.
The changes under the hood were amazingly slight. The UI did change, but actual functionality received only a minor bump.
" Other than that, misc media fixes, arch updates, some small filesystem updates etc. Nothing really stands out."
Is also the text of the rejected MS press release for Windows 95 which replaced 3.11
Yeah, little technical things
like not having sails, for example. The America's cup is a joke and their claim that the original yacht, America, "unseated Great Britain as the world’s undisputed maritime power."* by winning a boat race in 1851 (some 55 years before HMS Dreadnought was launched) reflects the childishly simple-minded attitude it has to rich men waving their willies about in public.
Official website's history page.
Re: Why bother
"No, another stunt designed to fill ICANNS' coffers, or have we run out of .COM names yet?"
The whole problem is the gTLD. COM, NET and the rest should have been shutdown to new entries years - decades - ago. They're a relic from when the Internet was US-only. Now that it isn't, domains should specify the country (and maybe state/region at the second level). As the number of names grows the number of needed namespaces increases, but they need to be organized properly to work,
Re: Is this still going on?
If you can think of some other way ICANN can make piles of cash without screwing up the whole concept of the DNS, then please, please let them know asap.
I've an idea - we could have several of these serial ports working together to transfer data simultaneously. I even have a name for such a data bus where several serial ata lines work in parallel: I call it the trouser press!
The dead hand of the framers is indeed dead
"I feel you deserve to know what's going on – the first amendment is supposed to guarantee me the freedom to speak out in situations like this," Levinson wrote. "Unfortunately, Congress has passed laws that say otherwise. As things currently stand, I cannot share my experiences over the last six weeks, even though I have twice made the appropriate requests."
And there you have the value of having a written constitution.
Re: And he doesn't get it ...
"If you can uplift the general community, give them and the people helping them access to information you have taken a major step forward."
Yeah, but then they won't need Bill. Gates is very happy with the current situation - the poor are poor and he is rich and if they need something then they have to come to him and beg for his munificence (and a government-backed deal with Microsoft to pump up his shareholding's value, not to mention his name stamped on basically everything in sight).
People actually having their own infrastructure and ownership of the means for information and education to be distributed in their own country is something Gates fought tooth and nail against in the developed world. The only difference now is that he has a much bigger carrot to hold over the people he's dealing with to make sure that they remember that he knows best.
Words can not begin to express the degree to which I despise this horrible little man and his manipulation of the weak and vulnerable for his own glory and ego.
"Charity mogul Bill Gates"
Should read: cynical reputation buyer and moral blackmailer Bill "I know it's dirty money, but you have to forgive me because of the starving children" Gates.
"And seeing as it wasn't, why didn't you patent it when you thought of it?"
Because patenting simple ideas is immoral.
I thought of this the first time I wanted to take a quick photo while the phone was locked. How can it even come close to being patentable?
Re: 100% tax
"But there's zero moral basis to tax companies at all, they gain no benefit, "
Oh, right. I didn't realize that companies build all their own roads and only employ people from the own private schools.
Wise up, son.
"Would you rather pay for the searching so they can pay more tax ? Like hell you would."
If Google can't stay in business doing what they're doing while paying their tax then let them go to the wall. Sod 'em.
Re: 100% tax
"Bring that back in spades for the business making a loss if you tax all income/turnover at a fixed percentage"
So what? I don't see the argument for the taxpayer supporting loss-making private businesses, which is what happens now. Why should losing money this year mean that you get to lower your tax next year, for example? I don't get to do that so why should Google or News International, or even the corner shop?
There is no moral or rational basis to tax individuals on income but not companies.
Re: Having our cake and eating it too
"I fully agree though that Apple are not doing anything wrong. "
Your own example shows that they are doing something wrong. The sale of the laptop from Apple Ireland to Apple UK is a fake sale solely for the purposes of avoiding tax - there is actually a specific law against that. Run it past a jury and see how far you get; everyone knows exactly what's going on but the government is scared of upsetting rich shareholders. So they pretend to have someone looking at whether these sales are fraudulent or not and keep kicking it into the long grass in the hope that everyone will forget about it.
In fact, 100% tax could be workable. It's called "communism" and is to be specifically and clearly differentiated from "Stalinism". Like most utopian notions (like capitalism) it only works on a small scale and only if the people involved are actually good at what they do.
Meanwhile, back in the real world the govt should tax turnover at a low rate and forget the reams of tax-dodging wriggling over what "profit" means. Either that, or it should allow me to be taxed only on what I have left at the end of the year, not what I received.
In other words
"Such criticism isn't wide of the mark, but does ignore the fact that in the mid-90s web pages were rather dull."
ie, "Functional and fast"
Re: Putting the first one at the end of the line is just stupid.
"Vertical space is precious when editing,"
Firstly, it's a long time since I was last charged by the line, and secondly by that logic the closing brace should not be on a line by itself either.
"It's 'the Gray Lady' that side of the pond isn't it?"
Not always. Bostonians tend to spell proper like wot we do.
"the leading brace on the same line as the if()"
Well, they're wrong. Braces come in pairs and should be visually paired up by putting them in matching columns. Putting the first one at the end of the line is just stupid.
"I do think the patent system needs to be reworked so that they're only granted to real, working examples (even in prototype form) presented and demonstrated to the patent office."
That was the old system which was scrapped because it held up innovation. Specifically, innovation in the legal field of suing people for making something you dreamt of one night and scribbled down on a bit of paper and did nothing with.
"That's because Apple products are the BMWs of the computer world. They may have some nice engineering in them, but far too much of the price is for the name, and far too many of the users are total plonkers who can't see past the badge."
Another similarity is that their owners swear they're well made when their friends know that they spend a ridiculous amount of time in the garage/away for repair compared to cheaper cars/computers.
In what way, apart from having to pay the monitor, does this not boil down to "Apple have to obey the law"? It's hardly radical stuff.
Re: Too bad
""None of the existing desktop software is fun to operate with touch."
Office 2013 is designed for touch."
That's not the same thing.
Re: Too bad
"so that it can run the emulator and the code as fast or faster than the code on the original."
As a stop-gap, though, 70% or so of native speed would do. Especially for things like word processing and spreadsheets. If people could use their existing Office app while waiting for an ARM version to arrive then it might be a goer. But I guess the idea of being able to transfer your software from one machine to another was never going to go down well in the current environment at MS.
Re: The purpose of Surface
"they come with a proper OS"
I thought they were Windows-only?
"And when companies find their patents undefendable just because it's part of standard, you might find those companies less likely to participate in standard setting."
Simple solution: scrap patents.
Re: The next 24 months is Microsoft's true window of vulnerability.
" Apple were still 6 years away from a usable OS."
Trolls are now living on Fantasy Island, apparently.
Re: Desktop monopoly
"the point is the transfer away from a desktop with a full blown OS acting as the endpoint to mobile devices with a competent OS."
I think the more important point is the transfer away from owning software and renting it - basically a "back to the '60s" model of computing which on the one hand seems to guarantee income by milking the users at regular intervals, with their data as hostages but also reduces any "investment" in software to whatever this monthly fee was, so leaving is cheap. The bet is that the latter is much less of a factor than the former and that cloud users will continue to pay for access to their data no matter how attractive the apps from alternative suppliers might become.
It didn't work out too well for the service vendors in the 1960's; maybe it'll work better this time. But, when mobile devices are able to run software locally as well as a 1990s PC then we'll find out what SaaS actually has to offer most users. By my reckoning it's precisely zip.
The next 24 months is Microsoft's true window of vulnerability.
How often have I heard that or the closely associated press hype that "Microsoft are betting the firm on...something, something, oranges, something".
Sadly, it's never true. They have a massive lock-in on business users. There simply is no alternative to Windows for normal day-to-day office work. Well, there is, of course, but nobody is buying it. They're buying "all your files belong to us" Office 365 and "all your phone calls belong to us" Lync systems which will mire any future attempt to move away to someone else in man-centuries of pain.
People get the OS they deserve, I guess.
Re: Go ahead please... block social networks by default as well.
"Not to be flippant, but I hardly think access to streaming grumble flicks is an inalienable 'Right of Man'."
Then make them illegal. Banning things that are not actually illegal is a very dubious return to the days of the Lord Chancellor and censorship at a whim.
And, of course, 1984 did have the "anti-sex league", since you mention it.
"It was different during the cold war"
It wasn't actually; you were just told it was. There was never a serious nuclear threat from the Soviets and even the conventional threat died with Stalin. Sir John Scarlett knew the truth and used it to save the world from an apocalypse prompted by US/NATO provocation of the USSR. We nearly all died in 1983, and it wasn't because of "enemy" aggression. Even the CIA's official history acknowledges this to a limited extent.
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