1336 posts • joined Tuesday 16th June 2009 16:23 GMT
My phone line has had more downtime than my ADSL
Over the last five years I've lost ADSL for a few hours at most, and so far not at a time of day when I really noticed it.
I've lost my phone line for two days - while the ADSL was still working. I still don't quite understand how BT performed that trick.
Re: distract from the dullness of the content
Yes, I suppose it does, given that I haven't used the built-in speakers of my main telly for two years.
I suspect that nobody who buys this kind of TV wants the speakers - why would you want 3D picture with 2D sound?
-Especially as 5.1 and 7.1 sound doesn't leave you feeling sick and dizzy.
@ Anon: NFC is RFID
Also, it's a shame to see someone so taken in by marketing.
These are in fact the same technology.
Have a Wikipedia article (it's not outright wrong)
NFC is simply the branding of a set of RFID standards aimed at this kind of 'cash' and 'ID' usage.
Re: Anybody heard of TRACK1...?
Yup. I assume you're of the opinion that this simply doesn't matter in the slightest? Mastercard and Visa appear to disagree enough to try to keep it vewwy qwiet.
Name and CCN is enough to make a transaction in many countries around the world, and even in the EU it's still often enough to make an online or phone transaction.
10-20cm is more than enough in any kind of busy environment.
That's further away than pickpockets work, with the added bonus of not having to actually touch the mark.
It's quite normal for someone to come that close on a bus or train, even a nearly empty one (eg aisle seats) and normal for people to be that close on the high street, in a shopping centre etc.
Here's a game for you to play:
Next time you go out shopping in somewhere busy (New York in Lincolnshire doesn't count), try to count the number of people who come within 20cm of your wallet or handbag during the journey there and back and the actual shopping experience.
So, given that you could clone the name and card numbers of all those people, you've got rather a lot of data you could sell to overseas criminal gangs - or use on any online retailers that's not checking CVV!
In a single day you could get hundreds if not thousands of valid name/CCN pairs with no risk of being detected whatsoever. Flog 'em to some gan to use, and you've got yourself a pretty penny with no risk.
I can see this kind of fraud becoming rather popular over the next few years. Well done banks, you've only gone and broken it again!
Re: Too expensive.
£40 for the interface hardware and casing sounds about right, especially as it's a rapid-prototyped case and very low volume interface PCB.
You can pay over £20 for low volume bare PCBs in that kind of size, so it's not exactly extortionate.
Re: Prior art?
The Wii one for making Miis is 3D and practically identical, even down to the icons used!
The only discernable difference is that the Wii one puts the user interface elements above and to the sides of the screen rather than below.
If this actually got approved then it really should be the final nail in the USPTO office. It's way past time for it to be totally closed down for being utterly incapable of doing their job.
Re: NOT Visa failing - It's AMAZON failing.
I disagree to some extent.
I really want to be able to have the goods sent to my work address, because that is where I will be during the 9-5 time period when couriers and Royal Mail deign to deliver physical goods.
If I don't do that, then I won't get my goods until the following weekend when I am able to go to the 'local' depot or sorting office and queue for a couple of hours.
Even if I was at home that day, half the time couriers just shove the 'You weren't in' card through the letterbox and run away. Presumably because the box was never loaded on the van.
They don't all do that as often with corporate premises.
I would however much prefer it if the invoice were to be posted separately to the cardholder address, as Amazon imply, rather than stuffed in with the goods.
Re: I have a genuine ITVDigital monkey :-)
I got one of those too - I gave it to my sister, and now you tell me it was worth something?
I signed up because I was in a rented student flat so dishes and cable were both out.
Then spent a year cleaning up the direct debit mess after they went titsup...
Re: re: efficient performance, while consuming the least possible energy
A large and slow fan is much quieter than a small and fast one even if they move the same mass of air.
So you want a big fan if you can.
In my desktop the GPU fan is the only audible one, and it's by far the smallest.
At some point I will have to sort that out.
True, those stupendously fat margins make up most of it.
That is what the argument is about - making excessively large margins. Especially galling becuase the vast majority of the work is done for free - the only thing the publisher is actually doing is collating, printing and distribution.
The prices they charge don't match up with what they do. Compare with other low-volume printers, eg Lulu, and the various University presses.
WTF are you smoking jacobbe? It's £12.13 a month!
The licence fee is £145.50 a year from April, and is fixed until 2016.
To put it another way, it's approximately half what the very cheapest Sky TV pack costs.
The monthly cost is less than a 20 pack of cheap beer from Tesco, or a meal for two from KFC.
It's even less than taking two people to the cinema. (In London that's even before you buy any popcorn!)
I'm sure you can come up with other comparisons.
If (as an extreme example) you really did only watch and listen to an average of one hour of BBC TV and radio a day, that's 40p an hour - less than iTunes.
Are you really saying that nothing the BBC makes is worth that to you?
Re: Can see the analogy.
I repeat, supremely disingenuous. (That means true but phrased in a way intended to give the entirely the wrong impression, in case you were previously unaware of the word.)
Perhaps I could rephrase that precise statement you quoted:
H.264 and other MPEG-like encoders are better at screwing up the source material in the way that MPEG-like encoders screw up the source material.
Or perhaps another example would be clearer:
The Pope is better at being a Catholic than at being a Muslim.
Re: Can see the analogy.
Rather disingenuous statement there, ath0
All lossy codecs show demonstrable loss of quality when re-encoding something that's already been compressed using another lossy compression method.
That's true of MPEG2, of VP8 and of H.264.
Even the original CCDs (or film negatives!) are lossy compared to the original light.
It's a fundamental of information theory - once the data is gone, you cannot get it back.
Re: "Confidential Inform,ation is to be protected"
It is used in hospitals. And airports.
In hospitals it's even running life-critical functions.
The main point of that famous clause is to indemnify Microsoft, not to improve safety.
- You find that clause in the spec. literature of damn near everything, from PCB material on upwards, so what do you do?
@dogged - They were all sold Vista, whether they wanted it or not
That's the thing - for quite some time, it you bought a computer from any OEM you got Vista pre-installed.
Almost all corporates wiped it back to XP SP2 using the corporate image - and all of those rollbacks to XP were still counted as Vista.
A lot of 'home' users probably did the same shortly after finding their hardware didn't work properly. Either that or they returned it as 'broken'.
I would not be surprised if >50% of the "Vista" sales were actually running XP SP2.
That said, the trainwreck was mostly the new driver model. MS changed everything about drivers so all existing hardware stopped working until the hardware people could update their drivers. That's a big job!
7 had the advantage of more time - the new driver model had been out for a while by then - and also added a host of shims to let legacy hardware and code work.
(Most of these shims don't work in the 64-bit edition, which is a pain but unsurprising.)
Re: @Ken Hagen
That's kinda the point. "Click in the bottom left corner of the screen".
"Why? There's nothing there!"
"Trust me, just click there"
"I tried and nothing happened."
"All the way into the corner. Move the mouse down and left until it stops."
"My mouse fell off the table."
That's even before the fun and games of multiple monitors - if the "primary" isn't bottom-left then you're well and truly ****ed.
It's quite difficult to click on a single visible pixel. A single, invisible pixel is...
We've spent the last couple of decades making things look 'clickable', as if they are physical buttons. Even making them change colour to announce "Click me! Click me!" if you hover the mouse over them.
Metro removes all that. It takes away all the visual clues that every desktop interface has given users since the dawn of pointing devices.
Re: Whoever designs system that have changable clocks will always have problems
mad physicist Fiona, you appear to have spectacularly missed my point.
You aren't describing processing, that is all formatting. You'll need to do that no matter how you store the time internally, but you don't need to do it very often.
It's not as complex as the existential questions you get from storing and processing in local time - that way you don't know what time it was by the time it's stored to disk, because the local time definitions may have changed. Thus any stored local time also needs the definition of local time at the time to be stored alongside it to use in all future processing.
UTC changes much less often than local time, so that processing lookup table is much smaller - it will have 35 entries in total as of the end of 2012, all of which are +1 second and published in advance.
As opposed to the local time tables which are complicated enough to be worth defending a copyright claim over and change regularly on the whim of world politicians!
Storing local times means that your data set is dependant on those local time tables, and every single data point must state the timezone it was recorded in, for the data to be useful for any purpose at all.
Storing UTC means you can do almost all processing with no lookup tables at all and be fairly accurate about intervals - only 35 seconds out in 50 years - or have one adjustment lookup table that is valid for all data points.
Yes, you still need those complex lookups to display to the user but you don't need them for your data set to be useful.
Incidentally, Windows has been UTC internally since Vista, although its monotonic clock remains irritatingly 32-bit. (49.7 days is a magic number)
Actually, many commentards are
The point is that this organisation is teaching kids "You must give away your Copyrights to large organisations, only big companies can own copyrights. You are small, you cannot."
So, is it surprising if these children grow up thinking that copyright doesn't matter, only big organisations can have it. When they were little some organisation 'stole' their copyrights, so why not infringe it.
An easy train of thought goes:
It's not like they are affecting real people by infringing. That company probably 'stole' the copyrights in the first place like someone did to theirs. So clearly they should take it back!
Put another way, if we want these kids to respect our copyrights then we should respect theirs, and teach them what copyright actually is.
Re: Who cares about the publishers?
All of which can be hired.
Typesetting is dead already, especially with ebooks. It's entirely automated except for artistic purposes.
Illustration is often driven by the author anyway - they have a preferred partner to do that. So they could hire them at a percentage.
Cover design usually isn't but should be (how many books have you read where the cover bears no resemblance to anything in the book?
Editing - that is selecting which books a publisher is actually going to take. Self-published don't do it.
Copyediting can be hired easily at quite low rates, ironically made cheap by publishers.
Which leaves marketing and lawyers, neither of which tends to be very valuable these days. When was the last time you saw an advert for an author you hadn't heard of, or a lawsuit against an author of fiction?
Ok, non-fiction may want lawyers.
You forgot the real reason why authors want publishers though - advances. They would quite like to eat while waiting for the first royalty cheque.
Except that advances are getting rarer and worse...
Re: Whoever designs system that have changable clocks will always have problems
Storing and processing in UTC removes >99% of the complexity.
You're left with the two (and only two) issues of leap year and leap second which happen roughly every four years and 1-7 years respectively.
As opposed to using local time, which for most people changes twice every year as well as the above leap years and leap seconds, and doesn't stay the same year-to-year either.
On top of that, most people who can afford computers also travel, so that's additional local time changes.
So, what to do? Store UTC and handle leap years and leap seconds, or local time and handle leap years, leap seconds, DST, political timezone changes, travel etc?
TAI would be better, but no common OS uses it internally and neither does the general Internet, making it more likely to be wrong.
Time is actually very easy:
Store and process in UTC.
Displaying time to the user and parsing user input is harder, but once you're always storing and processing in UTC it is no longer critical to the operation of the machine.
I've long since lost count of the number of failures caused by storing and processing in local time.
Local time changes.
No it wasn't.
It was a total and utter **** up that is only possible if you genuinely have no idea what you are doing.
The reason is simple: This failure is only possible if you're processing the date as three independent numbers.
Listen very carefully Microsoft, I will scream this into your ear only once:
DATES ARE NOT THREE NUMBERS.
DATES ARE NOT TEXT.
A datetimeis a number of intervals after an epoch. Never anything else.
Feel free to pick your interval (either days or seconds would be sensible in this case) and your epoch, but doing anything else is sheer insanity that should result in instant termination because no programmer working with dates in any capacity should be that ****ing stupid.
I've known this since I was 12. Yes, this is quite literally a childish blunder.
The worst part is that you have to deliberately make this mistake these days, because every single modern framework comes with a Date or DateTime object that handles it for you. (Though 1900 and 2100 might be a problem in some.)
Heck, even Excel handles it!
Yes, they must.
In the case of 'sensitive' undercover operation then not during, but shortly after.
Otherwise how can anybody possibly know whether they are appropriate?
You're basically saying that the police/special forces should be permitted to wander around murdering anyone they like, because they think it was justified.
So ALL must be divulged. The only grey area is when.
Re: @ Mahatma Coat
"A perfect/worst case example: Silvio Berlusconi, kept in power by a corrupt "AV" voting system where you have absolutely no say in who actually gets elected at all, you just get to choose the proportion of MP's taken from each party."
Italy uses a kind of PR, it's not even vaguely related to AV. (And Party-list representation is generally considered a rather poor form of PR.)
AV is "I want candidate A. If I can't have A, then I want B.".
This is trivial to understand by anyone who's ever asked someone to pop to the local shop to get some biscuits.
"I'd like chocolate hobnobs, if they don't have any then ginger nuts are fine."
AV allows you to vote for the one you want, and to say which alternative you can live with.
FPTP forces you to vote 'tactically' - you cannot vote for the one you want, you have to vote against the one you hate.
Unfortunately both Labour and the Conservatives knew damn well that AV would damage their future prospects so launched a massive FUD campaign against AV.
Did you notice that the entire against argument was "AV costs too much", "You're too thick to understand AV", "It might cause hung Parliaments"?
No reasoning. In fact nobody ever gave a single indication as to why AV would be a worse way to choose your MP than FPTP.
- Incidentally, the reason FPTP reduces the chance of Hung Parliaments is because it results in a two-party system for each candidacy.
Look at your local polls - there will only be two parties that stand a chance in your constituency. Mine happens to be Labour/Conservative, like most. Sheffield Hallam (Clegg's) is Liberal Democrat/Conservative.
Send a disc to MS for a licence?
They will expect you to buy it again.
And again, and again.
In their world you never owned a copy in the first place.
This is purely a way to shut down the second-hand market completely and being able to lend a game to your friends and relatives, ensuring that everybody pays full price.
At least with PC gaming you have the choice to avoid Steam etc.
Re: Chimes are one thing
Fundamentally impossible unfortunately, DAB simply cannot do real-time transmission or reception.
FM only suffers speed-of-light delay, DAB adds huge compression and decompression delays, and as each 'block' is compressed separately it's impossible to reduce the delay to less than one block of time, even if the processors at the BBC and in your radio could do it instantly.
Which it can't - and your radio is probably really slow.
Re: Paying off your student loan is the worst idea possible
What on earth were you buying?
I went through Uni on a smaller student loan than you will have received on worse terms than you*, and did a post-grad degree as well.
When I finished I had a big student loan, and no other debts at all.
Perhaps some of that was because I did a summer job each year, but why the hell shouldn't you?
*I went through just after the terms became infinite, even surviving bankcruptcy. Shortly after they became limited to 25 years, and under the newest terms very few people will ever actually pay back the absolute amount borrowed. It's literally free money.
Re: If it doesn't pass the Mrs Miggins test it's a fail
The problem with CEC is that nobody supports it. That's according to several STB manufacturers, who presumably know what they are talking about.
If all your equipment is from the same manufacturer and the same generation, then maybe it works. Otherwise, it basically doesn't.
My STB, DVD player and TV all supposedly support CEC.
Unfortunately, it doesn't actually work. I only had it turned on for a few hours before giving up and turning it off - it felt like each source was grabbing control at random!
I'm sure there was some kind of logic to it, but I couldn't find it and it never got anywhere near matching my expectations.
There's simply almost no interoperability. Abject fail.
Analogy fail - Politicians are not parents.
MPs are supposed to be our representatives to the Crown - that was the point of the House of Commoners back when it was invented - a way for the 'common people' to exercise some control over the monarch.
They are our delegates. Our underlings. Our servants.
The ones to whom we, the public, have delegated the (boring) task of carrying out the functions of Government in line with our collective will.
That is what a Parliamentary Democracy is, involves and requires.
Thus is it self-evident that they must have all their actions exposed to the public eye - because otherwise how do you know that they are doing their jobs?
(Although the definition of 'common people' wasn't quite what we'd recognise today.)
The idea that MPs are some kind of 'parent' is dangerous and must be erased - that way lies dictatorship.
A "proper" charger?
Top Gear were very specific about the charging times - if you use a standard UK 13A socket (~3000VA), it'll take 17 hours.
The "4-hour" charger is a 240VAC, 70A connector and apparently needs a 90A supply breaker so probably draws that on the supply side (at least sometimes).
My house service fuse (like most UK houses) is 100A. Thus charging this vehicle using the 4-hour charger requires 70 to 90% of my entire household electricity supply - leaving me a grand total of 10A to (maybe) 30A to run my entire house.
Thus if you turn on the kettle, or (god forbid!) while charging - pop! You're in the dark. Computer, TV and lighting? Forget it! And don't even consider an electric oven, hob or shower!
If you're unlucky then you'll blow the service fuse - which then requires an electrician callout to replace.
In other words, the 4-hour charger actually requires its own dedicated supply to be installed from the local substation. In the UK this can only be installed by the electrical supply company - in the US this varies from place to place.
The 6-hour charger needs a 50A circuit, so is plausible assuming you only have one of electric hob, oven or shower and not too many gadgets around the house.
This is why briefcases are crap - trivial to nick.
Rucksacks are so much better because you don't have to put them down to do common stuff like buying a ticket.
Papooses are best, as they are always in front of you so can't be surreptitiously picked like a rucksack can.
Solved - all serious businessmen carrying important stuff should be using a papoose. It won't look daft if everyone does it, right?
Erm, you might want to read the post before unleashing castigation.
ltzman was pointing out that large-scale "renewables" of all current technologies requires destruction of similar orders of magnitude as cutting down the Brazilian rainforests for farming - something that is generally considered a bad idea.
On a small scale they seem ok, even useful - solar panels on your roof, couple of wind turbines nearby, tidal generator in a couple of easy and effective places, the odd field of biofuel.
The trouble happens once you start to scale it up to the kinds of size a country needs - solar, wind and biofuels use massive land area, tidal destroys very large intertidal habitat, and then all except biofuels require near-equal capacity generation to be on warm or even hot standby - burning plenty of gas or biofuels to do sweet FA in case the wind drops/sun goes behind clouds and spun up in time for sunset/tide change.
Unless of course you're ok with the idea of simply blacking out large parts of the country very often, and probably doing a cold start of the Grid once or twice a year. Hint - we've never done a cold start, and don't really know if we even can.
The only current "zero-carbon" technology that doesn't require large-scale destruction is nuclear fission.
That bit made me laugh out loud on the Tube this morning
I did get a couple of funny looks.
That's because the British will rule the future
We ruled the past, and we shall rule again! Mwuhahahaaa!
Our main weapon is surprise! Surprise and comedy!
Among our weapons are comedy, surprise and a flag. Do you have a flag?
Apex Down is in fact correct - assuming pickups at each end, load in the middle.
Manufacturers of triangular truss actually recommend this way around.
Also see these for examples of how to wrap the string holding the truss to the balloons - you want the string to go around all the chords, not just the top two.
The reason is quite simple - many materials are stronger in tension than compression, so you want two bars in compression and one bar in tension.
With wood it's more complicated.
Along the grain sapwood is stronger in tension than compression, and heartwood vice-versa. Across the grain wood is weak in tension and ok in compression. So you want the grain to run along the beams - which it will as balsa rods would barely survive otherwise.
I doubt you're getting balsa heartwood - not sure it even really has any!
Re: Am I the only one
It's easy to poke a touchscreen while getting it out of your pocket.
I'm happy with that
"Using Voice Control to Unlock" is obvious and should have no protection whatsoever.
A specific method of listening to and parsing the voice command is a different matter.
Equally, a specific method of determining how a finger has touched the device (capacitive screen) could be a new thing.
Saying "The user touches the screen and slides along" is so obvious that not only was it being done before Apple filed, almost every touchscreen phone since the Neonode N1m has done it - iPhone, all HTC WinMobiles, etc.
If the US Patent Office doesn't switch from "approve everything, let the courts decide" to "examine everything like we're supposed to" soon, then there really is going to be an implosion.
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.
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