1145 posts • joined Tuesday 16th June 2009 16:23 GMT
Re: If a car strikes you on the shoulder of the road
To use a car analogy:
LightSquared bought some train wheels. Then they realised that trains are too expensive and wanted to make cars with those wheels.
So they asked the FCC for permission to use these train wheels on normal roads.
The FCC replied with "You can use those new wheels if you can prove to other road users satisfaction that they don't damage the road".
It turns out that train wheels do damage tarmac, so they can't use them. End of story.
Now you could argue that the FCC should never have allowed LightSquared to try to show that they could co-exist with GPS. Unfortunately that does mean you want the FCC to always give a flat "No. Go Away" answer to any possible change-of-use in a band.
That's probably going a bit too far.
The UK buys about 1-2% of our electric from France already
And about the same from the Netherlands.
- At the time of posting this, UK demand was 44GW, with 1% being met by France (482MW), and 2% by the Netherlands (892MW).*
Wouldn't it be brilliant if we didn't have to buy all that power from the continent?
*This is instantaneous, but the France > UK interconnect is almost always importing from France.
Jai - no it bloody wasn't. Application D/282,837: July 30th 2007
Exactly one month after the iPhone 1 was released.
Sorry Mr Hanff, but you didn't do your research this time.
Google are offering to pay $5 for joining and $5 per three months of snooping, up to a maximum total of $25.
So that's $25 for a one-year snoopathon.
Just one year, not forever.
It's also a browser plugin, thus trivial to disable or uninstall - and you could decide to do most of your browsing on a different browser without the plugin. If Chrome isn't your normal browser you'll probably do that anyway out of habit.
This is a step in the right direction - it's saying "We value your personal info enough to pay you to collect it".
I agree with you that the price they are offering is too small, but at least they're now making an offer.
The RIAA don't want to become irrelevant. That's the point.
Presumably they are the organisation stumping up the silly money to pay ICANN for the .music TLD, thus as they would own it they can of course do whatever they want.
Doesn't mean anyone will go there.
What they appear to have missed it that refusing to accept musicians makes it very clear that they have never had any intention of assisting musicians and other content creators, preferring instead to ensure ancient history stays in copyright.
They also became irrelevant a long time ago - but like any trade association, they live on subscriptions from their members and will do anything at all to keep them.
That rather surprised me as well
It does appear that you can't stream from your local storage, which is weird.
- Netflix/Lovefilm is nice, but I've already got both iPlayer and ITV Player on my PVR.
I would like to stream back the recordings I've backed up, it's tedious to copy back and forth to the PVR.
Tom's Hardware ****ed up.
That particular 'story' was extrapolated from a garbled rumour they scraped from someone else and totally misunderstood*. They have since posted an update.
But please, carry on believing it. More chance of me getting one from the first batch in 10 days time.
The educational package is Q3 2012. This should not surprise anyone, on account of that being when schools start in the UK.
*I'm stretching to give T's H the benefit of the doubt here. I'm not exactly convinced they deserve it.
@quarky - Nope. Maybe melting, maybe freezing.
Either way, it's very small.
It's rather like saying you've "lost" 50g of bodyweight by using your bathroom scales. The tool just can't measure it.
However, it is definitely not melting at anywhere near the rate that was predicted/previously claimed - I've lost track of which that was.
When I switched away from BT it was pretty seamless
In both phone and broadband I had a maximum of a couple of hours with no service - probably less. I don't think the phone stopped working at all line rental magically transferred.
No "engineer" or anything.
So why does BT insist on it when nobody else does?
Even Virgin usually don't charge when they really do need to send a real person to drill actual holes in the walls and pull real wires.
So what's the problem?
It's opt-in and you're being paid for it.
That's a much better deal than even the on-street surveys - those are normally a £5 gift voucher for half an hour of your time. This is a £15 gift voucher and none of your time.
Those of you who are frothing about it - would you let them do it for £1,000,000?
How about £500,000?
Now we're just haggling on the price!
It's great to finally see a competitor to the Foxsat HDR
It seems utterly insane to me that it has taken this long for anybody to catch up to the Humax Foxsat HDR - two to three years? Every other field of consumer electronics has been through at least one if not two generations in that time, yet Freesat HD+ is unchanged.
So it's not exactly surprising if Humax have been somewhat resting on their laurels - perhaps now that Samsung have a device that is roughly as good they'll hurry up on bringing out something even better.
- I would love a set-top box that would let me stream video from my home network. I can stream from my Hummy, but not back - and that is a great shame.
One comment on these reviews though - only one picture of the remote for any of these devices, and no pictures of the EPGs at all.
It's fair enough that you don't go into much detail in these Ten... reviews, but those are the two things that we'd be looking at all the time.
- The manufacturers seem to try to avoid letting us see the remotes whenever possible, and the remote can often make or break a device.
They have done a lot of work on booting faster.
Vista went to sleep by default, to flatten the battery in your laptop faster!
Joking aside, Windows 7 does appear to start up fairly quick compared to previous, and is immediately usable, as opposed to the XP 'now wait until ready' behaviour.
Plus they did some clever pre-fetch stuff, esp. for SSDs.
There is a lot of useful stuff under the bonnet, unfortunately the GUI re-designers seem to snatch defeat from the very jaws of victory on a regular basis.
One wonders what hardware and applications these GUI designers are using on a daily basis, as it rarely seems to match common reality.
So there is a Start button, you just cannot see it
How exactly is that better?
That is almost as undiscoverable as it is possible to be!
- Why would a user blindly click on an empty space?
I think the only thing to top that is the 1-pixel gap between Start and the edge of the screen in Win95, a truly massive victory for the graphic artist over usability.
The ribbon is worse when 'hidden'
For some reason in that mode it pops up hiding everything in the top of your document.
Thus you can't see the thing you're changing.
It's true that menus do that, but only for a section rather than full screen width, and toolbars do not!
The ribbon is also always at the top, at a time when widescreen monitors were rapidly becoming the only ones you can buy.
So, while a change in UI might have been excusable, the ribbon is not.
Mostly because they already have a set-top-box for Free(View/Sat)(HD)(+), Virgin and/or Sky.
They may well have also forgotten what the actual TV remote looks like by now as the set-top-box remote is all they ever use.
Of course, they could not care less which OS that STB (or even smart TV) is actually running, because they never, ever see it.
Which is exactly as it should be - those are appliances, not computers.
Windows, not Microsoft
People in the street talk about 'Windows', and even 'Windows Office'
The Microsoft brand isn't big outside of people who work close to IT.
The Xbox doesn't say Windows anywhere. Xbox is the brand, and it is doing quite well.
That's nice Chris.
Nokia need to ship phones now though, and not sometime next year.
I can't recommend a phone based on what some marketing dept says the next version might probably have.
When getting a phone, you will be locked into whatever hardware is shipped for 18 months to two years, and as there is no certainty of updates on anything, it had better do everything you actually need to begin with.
As shiny Apple and Android phones are already being used by our own sales and marketing people, and those same people remember Windows Mobile, the question has already been answered.
Maybe in two years, except by then there will probably be some killer app on our existing phones that we can't do without.
Rather like the Windows lockin on the desktop.
Of course the majority are complaints!
I work in support, and I don't think I've ever had a call/email along the lines of "I just wanted to say that your stuff is brilliant and I love it."
I have had a few callbacks to say "The thing you suggested worked, thankyou".
However, almost all my calls are "This thing doesn't work". When I fix it I usually get a "Thanks very much, bye!", and that's all I want.
No matter what 'spontaneous' contact method you use, most people simply are much less motivated to go out of their way to say "That was great" compared to "That was terrible". It's human nature!
You see it everywhere when comments on any service aren't directly solicited - you'll only get much in the way of positive comments if you ask people immediately afterwards, even and that runs the risk of annoying them.
Most satisfied customers usually think "That was good, I'll go there again.". And that's all I want.
- As to that practice manager who was fired? That was the correct decision.
My employer has a forum, and quite often someone will post a nasty comment on there. If it isn't spam, then it stays and somebody will try to give a useful reply. Being rude back doesn't help anyone.
A desktop Windows *without* legacy?
They tried some of that before (Vista) and it was a disaster!
Going further and making none of your old applications or hardware work would truly utterly destroy Windows as a desktop OS.
It's about the only thing that MS could do that would ensure everyone on the Clapham omnibus would return their new computer as "broken", and within weeks nobody would even consider Windows on their new computer.
Even Ballmer wouldn't be that stupid.
It means you touched the bagging area
They have a set of scales in the 'bagging' area, and at least in Tescos and Morrisons touching the scales will trigger that alert.
So if you try to open a bag to put your shopping in, it alarms.
And God help you if you forgot to put all your re-usable bags on the scales before you started, or use put your handbag on that handy shelf to search for your cash.
It is primarily due to stupid requirements and/or implementation - seriously, if somebody is trying to steal stuff they aren't going to scan the barcode or put it on that shelf.
That's not really new.
The only real choices for this kind of thing are Linux or WinCE.
- VxWorks is more of an industrial control thing, it's extremely reliable, but pricey and only just got graphical support.
Linux has been the primary OS for home electronics for at least a decade, because it's very lightweight, easy to customise and supports a vast range of hardware.
Thus if you choose LInux, you can choose cheaper hardware as well as having a free licence.
- You'll probably want development support either way, and that costs about the same.
When you go mass-market, the development cost becomes almost irrelevant, but the per-device cost becomes critical.
Saving 10p of FLASH or RAM per device saves you £100K in a run of a million. Imagine saving a $10-$25 licence fee...
The other fun fact is that WinCE6 is end-of-life, and according to the Windows Embedded Compact site it appears that you can't run WinCE6 programs under WinEC7 - it now wants Silverlight.
So for BT to keep shipping volume they'll have to redevelop everything anyway, so better pick something that supports their existing hardware - and PACE already have experience with Linux in their other STBs, probably on near-identical hardware.
So why use a flash at all?
Why not some nice CP tungsten halogen? That is after all what "Colour Photography" lamps were made for!
- Or even some of the better LED fixtures. The Royal Wedding Dresses were shot using static full-spectrum LED lighting. (Not "White" or "RGB". Those do have odd colour casts.)
Perhaps I'm biased as I'm a lighting designer (flash kills lighting), but flash photography always looks shit to me.
If you don't flash, then you don't end up with overbright, washed out, high colour temp, patchy odd-looking skin that you have to spend a long time editing out.
If you don't flash, you can actually look at the model and see what they'll look like in the image.
While your eye has a much higher dynamic range than a film or digital camera, it's still easy to see what the camera will.
Modern digital and film simply doesn't need high light levels - in HDTV we dropped the lumens quite a long way, and we actually got better pictures that way.
(For a while the same light levels were kept, and ended up racking the iris almost as tight as it would go.)
@Piobairean and the river
The damage to that river has nothing whatsoever with CO2.
Acid rain is caused by sulphur dioxide (and similar), and never CO2 - and coal electricity generation has had effective scrubbers to take out NO2, SO2 and the like for decades.
Environmental damage like that you mention is made considerably worse by many of the supposedly 'green' technologies we are being pushed towards in the name of Climate Change.
Perhaps the most obvious is that CFLs are a major source of mercury pollution, a lot of other nasty chemicals and are almost impossible to recycle.
In fact, most of the 'low energy' and 'green generation' are indeed low CO2 - but involve much higher emissions and releases of rather nasty pollutants that are genuinely poisonous to life.
CO2 is temporary, mercury is forever.
Or for some multiple of the time the ad was being shown?
If the campaign ran for 5 weeks, ban the product for 10 weeks after the complaint is upheld.
As they should have the right to appeal, they get a couple of weeks after the complaint is upheld before the ban goes into force, and if they do appeal then the ban (both of campaign and product) doesn't go into force unless the appeal is unsuccessful.
Obviously if they continue to run the campaign while appealing, then the ban gets longer.
The thing I really don't get is why the ASA don't seem to fine anybody.
Every single complaint gets the same "action", namely "Please don't do it again."
Then when the same advertiser does exactly the same thing again, what happens? The ASA just asks if they could possibly consider maybe not doing it again, again.
It makes me sick, really.
It's very easy for it to become the only copy you know of
You forget that a backup can quickly become the only copy in existence, and stays that way for quite some time.
How many people have off-site backups of everything (or even anything) in case their house burns down, or a power surge wipes out their in-home backups?
Of those that have off-site backups, how many people are using a "cloud" service as their offsite backup?
I suspect a lot of people had a copy on their hard drive and a copy on MegaUpload - treating the MegaUpload as both distribution and backup.
It's a good bet that every week a large number of people lose their 'home' copy of something important, whether due to HDD crash, virus or accidents.
If any of them have suffered the above since MegaUpload went down before they could find and use a suitable alternative, then that data is lost to them, even though they were only using a (cheap) "cloud" for backups.
You also forget that upload speeds are really slow - it could take a long time to get your data back into a cloud, even if you find a suitable alternative immediately.
The review and summary don't quite match
If the Lumia 710 barely makes it through the day and costs £300, why would you consider it for your second phone?
For most people, the use cases for a second phone are:
A) A phone you can rely on to be working when you can't use your 'primary' phone - usually because the battery is dead. Possibly if you need to use a foreign SIM etc.
B) A phone that's so cheap you can take it walking, sailing, canoeing and bungee jumping* without caring too much if you lose or destroy it.
So you'd expect a second phone to have a battery that lasts much longer than your main phone, and be dirt cheap - something like the £10 jobbies from Tesco, or that Energizer-bunny one.
The Lumia 710 doesn't fit either of those use cases, so I really don't understand which demographic you see using this as a second phone.
I can however see the Lumia 710 as being a second choice if you can't afford the smartphone you really want. That's especially true as there's so little reason to pick the Lumia 800 over the 710.
*Ok, maybe not bungee jumping. Skiing?
No, you don't
You publish an API, one 'proof-of-concept' implementation of your own and tell everybody else "Here's an API. Use it with the following conditions, we promise to publish any changes at [place] before changing this public API. Enjoy."
- The conditions might be non-commercial or "zero-cost app" use only, defined maximum hit rate, must give credit etc.
Within a few weeks there will be multiple widgets and apps for every single gadget, operating system and desktop environment used by more than one geek. Probably widgets for ones only used by one geek...
This will have cost you the same as making a widget for a single operating system.
Or you could use a proprietary system that's going end-of-life pretty soon, and end up paying to develop your own widgets several times while supporting very little.
London being underwater won't prove anything
Well, unless we have cut our CO2 emissions before then, in which case it proves cutting was pointless as far as climate change is concerned. (Reducing reliance on religious nutters is a good idea though)
In chaotic systems it's rather difficult to prove "If we had done X in the past we'd have Y result by now." - there's the same problem in economics, and that much easier to measure!
I have still not seen any evidence showing that meeting the CO2 targets would actually have a notable effect on global temperatures at all - nobody even appears to have published a "Carry on!" against "Kyoto" (or whatever agreement) prediction.
Not sure what that implies - possibly that it really won't make much of a difference, which may be why China can't be bothered. People won't forgo jam today if there's no chance of jam tomorrow no matter what.
(Pie in the sky when you die works. Hell and damnation regardless of your actions? That's a hard sell!)
Some politicians talk of us being on a cliff edge, but that seems to have been approaching for a decade so...
There seems a dearth of checking of the predictions at all really - for example, use the 'best' model with the data up until 1990 to predict 1990 to 2010, and compare against what happened in reality.
- I'm really hoping that this latter was done and is just buried in the publications that us mere mortals cannot read, but I would expect it to have been made public by one side or the other if it matched particularly well or badly, which implies it was probably inconclusive each time or just never done.
For a long time there has been an appearance of a requirement for the "science" to give the "right" answer if they want funding next year, so is it any wonder there is so little trust?
It's a mess, and it's the politicians and lobbyists who made the mess, and made the science so hard to do properly.
That's what they mean by "deflecting"
Pushing it in pretty much any direction can make it miss - the first time, anyway.
The key is to decide which direction to push so that we can (a) actually do it in the time required and (b) ensure it's not going to hit the Earth in the foreseeable future either.
- It would be fairly annoying to nudge an asteroid so it misses on the way in towards the Sun, but smacks straight into us on the way back out...
I haven't heard of any other CEOs who managed to wipe 30% off the share price with a single memo.
Perhaps you could enlighten me as to how that is a good idea.
Most bad CEOs kill companies slowly over many years with repeated bad decisions (Kodak), very few manage to take a company from $11.73 to $5.08 in less than a year.
That doesn't sound like shareholder value to me.
Presumably the double dividend last year was a sweetener, though paying a dividend while getting rid of nearly all your R&D looks rather short-sighted for a technology company.
Can't, as they already exist.
Too short for copyright anyway.
They might be trademarkable but they already have a recognised usage so you couldn't do that either.
Editing and Copyediting does not cost anywhere near that much.
I occasionally do this at work, and it does not take anywhere near that much effort.
The only way that could be justified was if they only print a single issue.
They don't. They print a lot.
It's price gouging pure and simple - the typical and predicted result of a monopoly.
Shit product, really high prices.
You don't need a transparent display for that.
Sorry. You don't even want a transparent display for that!
You've got a point there
Windows Mobile is a very toxic brand - almost* everybody who has ever used it dislike if not outright hates it.
Windows CE was pretty much "meh". Nobody cared about it, barely anyone really noticed it. (Although they're pretty much the same thing)
So MS rebranded the new one as Windows Phone.
Unfortunately the memorable part of Windows Mobile, Windows CE and Windows Phone is the "Windows" prefix, not the suffix.
So the rebrand isn't working - at my workplace, the only person who knows that Windows Phone isn't the same thing as Windows Mobile is me, and that's only because I'm about as pedantic about terminology as it's possible to get and still meet people.
So nobody wants to even give it a try.
*Everybody I know hates it. It's possible that someone, somewhere that I've never met might not.
Dropbox is trivially easy - you just have to install this random application as a service and it just goes ahead and eats your bandwidth throwing files up and down.
True, it's really hard to use if you don't install the service, but almost everybody does that.
@John Smith 19
To summarise the summary:
Have real consequences for failure, at all levels.
If the project goes overbudget in time or cost by more than 50%, demote the senior civil servant in charge because they are clearly incompetent. You can't get it that wrong if you understand what you're doing.
Over by 100%, gross negligence so fire them.
That way the civil servant in charge will do two things - artificially inflate the time/cost budgets before the project starts and actually do some managing.
The former is fine - less projects will happen, so we'll only get the ones that really matter.
The second means we might actually get the ones that really matter.
It'll never happen though, those senior civil servants are onto far too cushy numbers to allow the risk that they might actually need to do their jobs.
Ouija board rather defeats the whole "beyond reasonable doubt" bit
Given that it will only be used if they are doubtful.
The result will probably be their subconscious bias, thus probably about as inappropriate as you can get without being properly contempt.
There are 30ph limit four lane roads with central reservations in London.
I drive down one most days. The buses undertake me - they usually do 35-40.
A little further on the limit rises to 40mph, where it reduces to a 2-lane road outside a secondary school.
Madness, pure insanity.
Interesting, given that I wouldn't have recognised it as a Lumia anyway
Channel idents tend to be pretty much bobbins if not properly batshit insane.
Ok, I like the BBC HD doggies and the BBC One swimming hippos, and some of the Channel 4 ones are clever.
Not going to make we want to buy a hippo or a block of flats though, so a waste of Microsoft cash even if they didn't get done by Ofcom.
Though thinking about it, maybe the intention was to risk Channel 5's licence simply to get headlines?
Thus we can tell that it cannot ever work
A TV with everything embedded will be out of date and have something missing before it even makes it into Currys.
My first flat-panel telly had a PVR built-in. It was badly done, a tiny hard drive and the damn thing crashed every time I recorded one channel while watching another - couldn't change channel.
So I sent it back and replaced it with a TV that I now use as a dumb panel to a Humax PVR.
I'm pretty sure that most people have already realised that all they want from a TV is a dumb panel:
Got Sky or Virgin? You won't want the Freeview or Freesat tuner in the telly.
Got a PVR? You won't want the Freeview or Freesat tuner in the telly.
In both these cases, you've already got some level of internet streaming. Add a games console and that's the rest.
Now, of those who want a "Smart TV" who don't already have Sky/Virgin/PVR or a games console, are they going to buy a new telly, or one of the above instead?
Of all the people I know, only my grandmother doesn't have or want Sky, Virgin, a PVR or a games console - but she doesn't want to watch internet TV either. She doesn't even have internet at all!
There's no market for something that costs over a grand but cannot be upgraded at all, when you can spend £50-£300 to add all those features on your existing screen.
HDMI is *supposed* to do that.
There is a 5v 50mA supply from the "data source" that was originally intended to tell the TV that it's active.
There is also CEC which is supposed to allow the remote for one device control others.
The problem is, they don't work. Presumably because the various manufacturers refuse to publish interoperability specs and/or follow the published specifications that do exist.
So if all your kit is from the same manufacturer and the same generation, it might work.
Unfortunately if you buy components from the manufacturer that does each part "best" or even do get them all from the same manufacturer but some are newer than other, it usually doesn't work.
Oddly, IR remotes are the only things that really do interoperate.
Nope, the warrant said "You can attach it during this time period"
They did it late, thus it was illegal for them to attach it.
That's no different to them having a warrant to search your home in 1994 and actually deciding to do it tomorrow.
Exactly the same concept, different timescale.
Gotta pick the language carefully!
Picking a different mother tongue for your offspring is a fairly difficult task, I think I may have managed to simply double my kids exposure by ensuring they'll speak both Spanish and English.
- It also turns out that Spanish was a very bad choice anyway, having just got back from visiting my inlaws in Latin America...
Incidentally, they are stopping me building my own PC
Or at least making it a lot harder than it should be.
When I last built my own PC, I didn't design, route and manufacture my own motherboard - I bought one from the likes of Asus/Gigabyte etc and it had a Windows Logo thingy on the box.
By the ARM clause, if I was building my own ARM PC, then buying an ARM motherboard with a Windows Logo on it means I cannot install *anything at all* onto it except Windows 8.
It also sounds like the converse would be true, meaningthat I cannot put Windows 8 onto ARM unless it's Logo'd.
Even though it's my damn PC that I am building, Microsoft are taking away my choice of OS to put onto it.
Equally, the x86 clause means that my new x86 motherboard won't let me install Linux (or even a retail Windows XP or Windows 7) on it until I mess about in an optional configuration tool.
- If I'm unlucky, then that optional tool may not even exist and I might not find out until I try to use my new motherboard. Then I'm in the mess of trying to return it (and spreading the word not to get that particular one)
It's abusive and unnecessary.
I mean, how many boot-sector rootkits are common in the wild anyway? And what exactly is wrong with a simple warning "boot sector changed, did you install a new operating system?"
- I don't think UEFI even gives you a way to roll back a nasty boot sector change anyway, so rootkits would just brick the computer on next boot. Not exactly a friendly response!
- I wonder who your "average" user will blame if their PC suddenly refuses to boot with a UEFI "Unsigned kernel!" critical error.
@Sean Baggaley - You the "fucking" joker here.
Microsoft appears to be abusing its monopoly status to try to hold onto to x86 market through deliberate stifling of any possible competition, and is further trying to leverage its x86 monopoly to create a monopoly on a whole new system architecture, namely ARM.
That is illegal, and they've been prosecuted and found guilty of this several times before.
Abusing a monopoly to stifle competition results in every single customer suffering - you end up with shitty products at very high prices, because the monopolist has no incentive whatsoever to improve and can jack up prices almost indefinitely.
If it was a minority player suggesting these clauses, then it wouldn't matter.
However, Microsoft are a practical monopoly for both desktop OS and desktop "office" applications, and these measures look very much like they are trying to leverage those monopolies to get more monopolies - which is illegal in the US, the EU and probably other places as well.
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