1520 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009
Surface is not the same as Windows 8
Heck, the orderable Surface hardware being advertised doesn't even run Windows 8, it runs Windows 8 RT instead, the almost-but-not-quite* TIFKAM-only, Windows App Store front end.
Win8RT is to Win8 what iOS is to OSX, except that you can run Win8RT apps under Win8.
Those ads are for Microsoft's iPad/Nexus/Note, and just like those there's almost no mention of the OS.
* Its stripped-down version of Office uses the desktop, nothing else is allowed to. Presumably a tacit admission that TIFKAM simply isn't suitable for non-trivial applications.
Re: Microsoft mindset article
Sourcesafe is probably why those Windows guys don't use source control.
Worst piece of frack I've ever had the misfortune to use, as it punishes you for trying to use it - and we've even had an RC broken by Sourcesafe. So we threw it away.
I now use GIT for "unofficial" projects, as you can make a repo anywhere that you have read/write access to and it does 90% of what's useful.
No reason why everyone shouldn't use it for their "personal" projects, even if you never upload the repo to anywhere it can still save your bacon.
I just bought a pair of slider phones for mine
Physically slide open to answer, slide closed to hang up.
That or flip phones are probably the best bit of UI ever developed, and far, far better for the nearly-blind* or stiff-fingered than any touchscreen or even physical answer-buttoned phone could be.
Along with physical buttons to dial numbers, that makes them perfect for my grandparents.
Whereas this, with the limit of a fixed set of numbers, is for children or Alzheimer's who can't remember the current phone number for X, and not for your average OAP who can probably remember more phone numbers than me!
A contract phone is an odd choice for children and mentally incapable customers.
Self-employed Milkmen, eh?
The weird thing is that this is almost certainly illegal already, as HMRC are allowed to apply the "looks like an employee, smells like an employee, therefore *is* an employee" test.
It hit a lot of people in my industry - a lot of so-called freelancers suddenly became PAYE.
Cat food smells really nice when fresh out of the steam oven, it only gets that "cat food" smell when they add the gravy - or jelly as you'd probably call it.
Tastes quite good as well - it's all the chicken heads and feet that give it such a wondrous flavour.
Yes, Whiskas do a "product appreciation" course where you make - and taste - a little of it.
Was a very interesting summer placement, glad I did it.
The right hardware is GPGPU
I'm surprised anyone even tries to do good up scaling using classic CPUs, they're completely the wrong architecture.
You need the massively-parallel nature of a GPU to do it in a sane amount of time.
It's also a pretty obvious usage anyway - you're making a series of images from another series of images, that's what GPUs were designed to do!
I suspect you could do a pretty good job of upscaling to 1080p using a Raspberry Pi.
Indeed, crashing into asteroids or simply going close to them will affect the orbit greatly, acting to shed KE any time an asteroid is impact or slingshotted.
Aside from that the solar wind and photon pressure alters any non-circular orbit in a non-linear way - it's one of the methods being seriously considered for preventing a catastrophic asteroid impact.
Re: Pay attention to the axis of time...
Without a planet like Jupiter that reduces the rate of major impacts, planets inside the "Goldilocks zone" that have the right temperature and composition for life will get twatted by asteroid impacts far too often for any complex life to evolve.
Our Earth hasn't been hit by anything big for 65 million years, and prior to that it was probably another 200 million years or so.
Very early on the Earth got properly pasted though, being hit by something the size of Mars has gotta hurt!
@Heathroi - No, that's Privateers
Privateers were the ones given a licence to plunder certain ships, eg those flying the flag of another country. In most cases they were given a ship and a crew to go and do this with.
Essentially they were a deniable part of the military, rather like modern espionage.
Pirates did not, and still do not operate under a licence from anyone, they just board a ship and steal and/or ransom the cargo, crew and passengers.
Back then they'd probably ransom the officers and passengers, using the ship and the money to fund their lifestyle. The crew were probably killed or forced to join the pirate crew.
These days the full ship and crew are ransomed.
This is why the British have a standing policy of never, ever paying a ransom. All it does is fund the next act of piracy. We send in the SAS or SBS instead.
In theory, once they know that boarding a British-flagged vessel will cost them dearly and won't get them any money, they won't bother with ours and will go for other flags.
Finally, some privateers did break the terms of their licence, becoming pirates. Those were the ones who were really hunted down, "por encouragement los autres".
Re: @ Mike Moyle
A Registered Design is the EU equivalent of a US Design Patent.
The cases were on the same thing, the appeal court judgement makes that quite clear and has some very strong language regarding the German court - almost as close to "You bunch of ****ing morons, you on crack or something?" as it's possible to get.
Re: No sense
No, they'd lose.
Actually, I'm wrong, such an appeal wouldn't even be considered because there is no European court that does that.
You'll notice that Apple haven't appealed and they've had a long time to do so, because their lawyers also know this.
Samsung did not infringe the design in question. It's the end of the line. And no, it wasn't because the Apple product was "cooler", it was simply because Samsung's devices don't look like the registered design. Different shape, different buttons etc.
There is still other IP that they are each accused of infringing, but this one is proven and closed.
Let it lie or we are all f***ed, to put it mildly.
Re: Who Pays
They can still offer incentives to get all your friends on the same network.
For example, some providers still offer unlimited free calls within their network, while external calls come from the inclusive minutes.
Number portability means that you have to know that your friend is on the same network instead of guessing from the number, which further encourages you to tell your friends which network you're on - thus more word-of-mouth advertising.
So it still works.
The data set looks artificially flawed to me
"When Canalys finished its sums for all PCs, tablets and smartphones, Brazier said the firm found just 32% of devices run Windows"
I wonder what they would find if they included the rest of home and business computing?
It seems odd to include tablets and smartphones yet exclude games consoles, STBs (and "Smart" TVs), and the home and business "network appliances" (NAS, hardware firewalls etc).
On a per-device count, my guess is that less than 20% run Windows, and I'd be interested to know how accurate that is.
Re: "All Windows 8 devices share the same iconic look and feel."
I don't want my tablet to look like a PC, or my PC to look like a tablet!
Tablets and PCs are different, and require different interfaces.
Trying to make them the same is fundamentally doomed to failure - you either get a tablet you can barely use because the UI expects accurate pointing and a keyboard, or a PC that you can barely use because it expects you to have a touchscreen (extremely tiring for long-term use), only one or two applications running and only one monitor.
Microsoft made the first mistake before - now they are making both mistakes at the same time.
Which is a shame - as a phone or tablet UI, TIFKAM looks like it is actually a pretty good idea. It's Android's live widgets but with sharper corners, and Samsung's Android multi-tasking.
Where Surface fails is the jarring change to the desktop, where Windows 8 fails is the jarring change to TIFKAM.
Windows Phone 8 doesn't have either of those, so might succeed - the risk is that Surface and Windows 8 break it by annoying and confusing customers.
Apple should be worried about WP8 - iOS still has zero info on the home screen, and they desperately need to fix that.
Re: Yahoo! will! ignore! 'Do! Not! Track!' from! IE10!
There are laws that apply to this within the EU, so it will be interesting to see how long this stance lasts once somebody (maybe the French) bring a suit.
Yes, the cookie law does apply - a website cannot ignore a clear instruction from the browser saying "I reject this".
The more general privacy laws probably also apply, but those are likely to be more complex to argue.
Re: More Microsoft "doing favors no one asked for"
That's exactly what they did - during setup of your user profile, the question "Do you want evil advertisers to follow your every move on the Internet?" is asked*.
Oddly enough, the vast majority of users pick "No, I don't."
* Example only, actual question received may vary. Not to scale.
Ho hum - Dinorwig doesn't scale
Well, it could, but we'd need to flood most of the Scottish highlands to cover wind doldrums.
While you might find some people in favour of that, oddly enough the locals don't like the idea.
Although Salmond might as it's one way the Scottish could afford independence, rather like Labour and the ConDems on wind and PV - hell bent on it regardless of cost or feasibility.
Presumably it's a political thing - get into politics and your brain is surgically removed, making you incapable of considering consequences beyond the next election.
The next Parliament is going to be seriously ****ed though, as that seems to be when the lack of energy security is likely to come home to roost.
I'm pretty sure even London cabbies go further than that every day, so I'm confused. How can this possibly work?
Or are they saying they all need two
Ctrl + C for Charms?
Does Win 8 not have a copy function anymore?
Why in Dante's 8 pits of Hell did they decide to arbitrarily change common keyboard shortcuts just when users need them the most?
Re: ah the knees, methinks they doth jerk too much
Here, I have a crock of shit to sell you. The crock is really good after you clean out the shit.
No, I'm not going to take the shit out of the crock. It's critical to my strategy that everyone gets the shit as well as the crock.
What do you mean, you don't want it? The crock is great! Everyone says so!
Re: Who moved my cheese?
I've been pressing the Off button to shut down my machine since XP SP2, and possibly longer.
It's even the default functionality under Windows 7 - Vista was the one with the broken default (Sleep!)
My keyboard doesn't have a Start button. It's got a "Windows Logo" button that looks just like the Windows Logo used in the Windows 7 menu that it opens.
So clearly, the Windows 8 version of the keyboard should have a blank, unlabelled key to open the Start Screen.
And GET YOUR ****ING HANDS OFF MY CHEESE. It's pretty clear that you've never actually read that book, as the key point it makes is that change for the sake of change is stupid, as all change causes a loss of productivity in the short term. Change has to have clear reasons, and offer clear benefits to all users or it will create resentment, be passively fought, and even actively sabotaged.
Where is the front media slot?
The originals had a front DVD slot, and given that USB sticks are the official replacement why oh why is there no front USB port?
The front ports on my desktop and the side ports on my laptop are the ones I use the most. (Ok, there's a pack of things plugged into the rear ports but they are the things that are never unplugged.)
Why do Apple think I should clutter my desk with USB hubs?
Ouch, thanks. I didn't realise that, I thought the previous generation had screen-edge USB ports.
- I've only got a Mac Mini for test purposes at work.
@ Mr Client with the optical disk
Mr Designer, I'll just drop the DVD-R through your letterbox. Don't bother posting them back (5p ea.)
Or Mr Designer, I'll just drop the USB stick through your letterbox, please return them. (£5 - £20 ea.)
Also, never underestimate the bandwidth of a box of DVDs. Even today, posting a few DVDs next-day is often faster than uploading and downloading.
These days clients tend to bring source data on either DVD-R or external hard disk, depending on the amount.
Which raises another annoyance - it look like that new iMac doesn't have any front or edge USB ports. So how do you plug in the client's USB stick or USB HDD without looking like a class berk?
Re: "Brand New Operating System"
"Brand new" in the sense that none of the software you currently have will run on it, there is very little software you can buy to run on it and you can't even recompile your own software because it uses a different API (WinRT, no unmanaged code and not .net, silverlight etc).
Which rather feeds into the second issue, of course.
Windows 8 desktop doesn't have those issues outside of the TIFKAM environment so is less doomed, but has other oddities.
None of them ask for confirmation unless there are multiple "matches".
What I find irritating is that Siri is shit about half of the time that it's working at all, while the voice commands it replaces are quite good - and don't need a data connection.
Seriously - "call such-and-such" "Siri isn't available right now"
Translated: "This update breaks your Mac...
To fix it, go somewhere else."
That's what most Mac users will actually experience, assuming they are using Java at all.
Given that the whole USP of Mac OS is supposed to be "It just works", this strikes me as a very odd thing to do.
Why exactly didn't Apple just ask Oracle for permission to redistribute their Java installer (saving the hit on Oracle servers), and install the Oracle Java themselves?
At least that way this "upgrade" would have left Apple users with a working computer.
Re: What they need to work on...
True, that is of course why x86 became so popular in the first place - it was nothing to do with absolute performance, and everything to do with being able to run common binaries.
Unless and until a common "ARM Server" platform exists allowing binary compatibility, it'll stay rather niche.
I say ARM Server because the majority of other manufacturers of ARM kit won't benefit much from common platform - STBs, mobiles, and tablets are (mostly) deliberately incompatible with each other, and the majority of users don't have any reason to care.
Re: Probably not enforceable
And then no hotel, coffee shop, place of work or public area will be able to offer Internet access at all, as the risk would be too great.
This would last until the Palace at Westminster got accused of infringement - which it would.
Yes, they are dumped in front of the computer and expected to get on with it!
You even see this with specialised equipment - as long as the machine isn't directly dangerous (and worryingly, sometimes even when it is!)
Just ask anybody who works in technical support!
The only exceptions tend to be CRM systems, presumably because 100% of CRM systems are impenetrable crap that nobody truly understands.
Re: Being as good isn't going to cut any ice in market share
The trouble is that Windows 8 RT is Microsoft's attempt at copying Apple iOS control freakery.
Same kind of walled garden, same kind of inter-application sandboxing.
So anybody who dislikes Apple iOS for these things will also hate Windows 8 RT.
The inverse is also true, but less relevant.
I've been on some jobs where these digi-pens were used.
And they were used in special circumstances for exactly one purpose - partial or even complete sign-off of expensive wares.
Getting out the special paper and digi-pen was a sign that Something Big was about to happen, and some part of a contract was about to be completed.
Every single digi-pen event represented a lot of money changing hands, and that's why they used them - multiply redundant copies of "Yes, pay the supplier a few million pounds"
I also thought she had two feet
Thus when standing still there would be ~250N on the slipper.
When walking this would increase to well above 500N, as there are impact forces to consider, as well as a failure mode that didn't amputate the wearer's foot, so toughened glass would clearly be a minimum requirement.
Perhaps he made the hidden starting assumption that she'd already had a terrible accident with a previous design of glass slipper?
Re: I know the photographers won't see it this way
There is no difference between taking a photo and creating a work of software.
If your contract assigns the copyright to another entity, then you'll get nothing further than what the contract said.
Most photographers accept both kinds of contract - maybe employed by a studio, then the studio owns the copyright on the photos, maybe they pay the studio for the time and own the photo copyright themselves.
Re: Three strikes law
Not really, there's a difference between "hosting user-provided content" that breaches copyright, and using infringing material in products and an advertising campaign.
The former has a valid defence, while the latter doesn't.
To be more serious, smoking.
Smoking while driving is seriously dangerous (and not just because of accidents, they cause wildfires as well) yet it's ignored.
It's even already usually illegal in vans (place of work), yet I've never heard of anybody being cautioned or prosecuted.
Re: Ask someone working in any field
The difficult formats are the proprietary binaries other than word processing. Word processing formats usually have the raw text inside in ASCII or similar well-known representation, so reverse-engineered conversion utils are usually available - even if they only get the text, it's still worthwhile.
However, once you look at other fields you will find many obsolete and difficult formats.
For example: Strand SSF - have to convert to Ascii, using an unsupported and difficult to find Win 95 application called Showport. As far as I know the source code for that program is long gone.
If Strand hadn't written that before going bankrupt then a lot of people would have lost a lot of data.
Ask someone working in any field
They'll all be able to tell you of formats that are obsolete, and in some cases impossible to open.
I deal with several completely obsolete formats in my day job - we have several special tools to (mostly) convert them into text-based formats that the modern systems will open with varying degrees of success.
Assuming you have a working floppy disk drive, serial port and Windows XP emulation that can use them.
However, while they can extract the really important info, none of them get 100% of the data - usually 95-99% or so.
Unfortunately there are also some formats with no tools at all, and they are less than 20 years old - with the hardware still in use.
Because of this, all our current systems have ASCII export built-in from day one - oddly, most of our competitors do not.
All very well until someone gets the keys to the castle
Then every Windows 8 machine will get "owned", without anybody being able to do anything about it.
Specially trusted drivers guaranteed to load before anything else? Root kit paradise.
The TIFKAM sandboxes sound even more fun - are they seriously saying that I can't open a particular data file with two different TIFKAM applications?
What kind of user never needs to use a different application to open a given file?
What happens when you want to open that old Word 2012 document with Word 2014? Or even OpenOffice 50?
How do you edit a photo? Add an image to a document? Do all those things which are necessary for content creation?
This seems to be saying that you instantly lose all your data if you want to try out a different TIFKAM application for X.
They've put the nails in Windows 8's coffin before it's even born!
Re: Next iPhone accessory?
You mean black paint, ribbed for (her) pleasure?
That'll be in there already, Apple buy the whole lens assy and sensor from others.
A built-in lens hood is highly unlikely - the geometry simply won't fit the aesthetic. A stick-on one would be trivial though.
Why nudge the spammers under rocks?
Better to drop really big rocks on them.
Find the C&C servers, follow the chain of where the Sara comes from and then either smash them with local law enforcement (if applicable) or drop them off the Internet.
I would really like one
Trouble is they cost far too much.
Re: Sod the blackouts . . .
Brownouts aren't effective anymore, as most of the electric devices in your home will automatically compensate.
All your low-voltage equipment (except some low-voltage tungsten lighting) is pretty much constant-power - reduce the supply voltage and they'll draw more current.
Check the nameplate of your PC and TV power supplies - almost all are 100V to 240V, thus a brownout just makes it draw more current (and get hotter) while still running ok.
Your electric heating and cooling (except showers) is on a thermostat - so the peak power drawn might* reduce but the total energy consumed remains the same.
In my home, on an average evening I run a small amount of mains voltage tungsten electric lighting, thermostatically controlled oven, fridge & freezer and the rest is genuinely constant power.
Browning me out would actually increase my energy consumption due to the increased resistive losses.
Browning out a large area might actually cause a substation to fail due to the increased current.
* Induction hobs and microwave ovens are constant power.
If true, Assange played straight into their hands!
So let's take Assange's story at face value.
Had he just gone quietly, the case would have been over by now - and he seems quite confident of his innocence, so presumably he'd be a free man - or at least appealing in Sweden.
Instead, he's now wanted across the whole of the EU for both the original arrest warrant and for absconding while on bail.
In other words, he's almost certainly going to be spending several years in a British prison (where it's really easy to extradite to the US), regardless of the outcome of the Swedish investigation.
All the while giving the US even more time to come up with something to extradite him for.
Well done Assange. Either you're an idiot, or you don't actually believe the US angle and just wanted to run away - regardless of what it cost any of your friends.
Thermodynamics is the one theory we can be most certain of.
Namely that you can't get something for nothing - you can only get usable power by letting heat flow between a heat source and a heat sink, and the smaller the temperature difference between them the less useful work you can make it do.
As far as we can tell the only way this can change is if you can use another universe as your heat source and/or heat sink.
Re: Annoying brats (bis)
The cockpit generally faces forward, so a miscreant intending to do this would probably stand in front of the aircraft.
At that angle the apparent motion is very slow.
Even from the side it's relatively easy because it's a long distance away and extremely smooth.
Example: Next time you're a passenger in a car on a motorway/freeway, use a pair of binoculars and watch a few stationary objects through them.
You'll find it really difficult to watch anything nearby to the side, easy to watch anything ahead, and easy to watch anything that's far enough away.
A cheap telescope or telescopic sight costs about £40-£100.
The lasers powerful enough to dazzle at range cost more than that - we aren't talking £10 laser pointers, those are just Class I-II, you'd need at least a Class III or higher to dazzle from outside the airfield perimeter fence.
So as it's being reported as a regular problem, the price isn't a barrier to these idiots.
In my day job I'm seeing a lot of people buying cheap "disco" lasers that contain diodes easily capable of doing this - some would even dazzle or blind if they simply broke down.
Re: Annoying brats
Sighting is relatively simple.
A good followspot operator can do a pickup from dead straight onto a head-and-shoulder spot from several hundred meters away - one end of a stadium to the other. We use telescope sights for this as they don't affect night vision.
A good sniper can do the same from several km using telescopic sights.
Both of these are easily available anywhere (unlike the actual sniper rifle)
You're right that this is not an issue with the Class I-II laser pointers that you can buy in a high-street shop (almost) anywhere. They just aren't powerful enough to be even noticeable from more than a hundred metres or so.
Somewhere I have a Class III green laser diode, in the UK you can't buy those 'bare' anymore - only as part of a larger product like a disco laser scanner.
However, in the US you can buy some seriously terrifying lasers. Over there it's quite easy to purchase a laser from an online shop that can almost instantly permanently blind a person at short range, and those are capable of a laser flash at some distance.
There's nothing particularly special about a lased photon compared to any other photon, so the only way to block them is a coating that absorb/reflects the appropriate wavelength.
You can't block them all, because then it's no longer a window!
You can add a dichroic (or similar) coating to reflect certain specific wavelengths, such coatings are actually relatively cheap (commercially available ones) - and this is already done anyway in commercial airliners as part of the very complex armoured glass windows of the cockpit.
I don't know the specifics of what they block, but I'd guess IR is blocked as a matter of course as that can easily damage sight, leaving only visible lasers.
Secondly "sweep the laser spectrum"? It's not broadcast!
Lasers emit a coherent beam of light. Thus anywhere that you can see the aircraft is a 'possible vantage point'. This extends for many miles beyond the airfield, and considerably further than you could see from any possible place in the airfield.
At night, if it's misty/hazy or dusty then you might be able to see the beam as it reflects off particles in the air and backtrack that to where the line intersects the ground.
However, this requires two viewers at different locations who can act immediately, before the perpetrator runs away. These things are very small - smartphone or smaller.
Basically, this is not something the airport can enforce, it's something that the police need to - because they are the only group in a position to both see the beam and act upon it.
Unfortunately, the lasers powerful enough to dazzle a plane have another excellent feature - they can all temporarily (and in some cases permanently) blind you with very brief exposure.
Although with any luck the oiks doing this will blind themselves.
I almost never need to take it out.
That's why I don't have it on my keychain - and in fact have no idea whatsoever where it is.
This will be very annoying when I finally do need to swap the SIM card.
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