Feeds

* Posts by Richard 12

1428 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009

Five ways Microsoft can rescue Windows Phone

Richard 12
Silver badge

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.

0
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

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.

0
0

Upgrade eliminates Atlantis from Google Earth

Richard 12
Silver badge
Happy

Atlantis was in the Mediterranean, anyway.

Most of it is still there, and it is being excavated.

I saw a TV programme about it last year.

0
0

Doctors sick of anonymous-coward NHS feedback commentards

Richard 12
Silver badge
FAIL

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.

3
2

Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 DNA splice is on - report

Richard 12
Silver badge
WTF?

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.

0
0

Sysadmins: Don't get in your own way

Richard 12
Silver badge
FAIL

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.

1
1

BT Vision throws Microsoft Mediaroom under a bus for Linux

Richard 12
Silver badge
Happy

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.

2
0

Airbrushed Rachel Weisz gets watchdog hot under the collar

Richard 12
Silver badge
FAIL

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.)

1
0
Richard 12
Silver badge
Megaphone

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.

0
0

SpaceShipOne man, Nobel boffins: DON'T PANIC on global warming

Richard 12
Silver badge
Facepalm

@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.

0
0
Richard 12
Silver badge
Unhappy

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.

1
0

EFF helps MegaUpload users claw legit stuff back from Feds

Richard 12
Silver badge
FAIL

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.

3
0

Nokia Lumia 710

Richard 12
Silver badge
FAIL

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?

17
0

Met Office cuts off Linux users with new weather widgets

Richard 12
Silver badge
Facepalm

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.

3
1

Dumb salesmen are hurting us – Nokia CEO

Richard 12
Silver badge
Happy

So, it turns out that two people like WinMob

Good to know - thanks for the downvotes!

1
0
Richard 12
Silver badge
Facepalm

@Manu T

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.

4
0
Richard 12
Silver badge
Facepalm

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.

11
2

Star Trek tractor beam to save Earth from asteroid Armageddon

Richard 12
Silver badge
Mushroom

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...

0
0

Polish lawmakers don Guy Fawkes masks to protest ACTA

Richard 12
Silver badge
FAIL

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.

0
0

Boffin's blog blast births boycott of publisher Elsevier

Richard 12
Silver badge
WTF?

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.

2
2

Samsung eyes enormofridges for see-through screens

Richard 12
Silver badge

You don't need a transparent display for that.

Sorry. You don't even want a transparent display for that!

1
0

Microsoft schtum on Dropbox snags with IE

Richard 12
Silver badge
FAIL

Computes perfectly.

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.

1
2

DWP's Work Programme IT already broken at launch

Richard 12
Silver badge

@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.

3
0

Google Maps to dish out disaster alerts

Richard 12
Silver badge
Coat

Who said it was a typo?

Perhaps his job really is to alert erogenous zones.

0
0

Juror jailed for looking up rape defendant on Google

Richard 12
Silver badge
Alert

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.

0
0
Richard 12
Silver badge
Thumb Down

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.

0
0

Watchdog bites Nokia over Lumia 800 TV 'flash ads'

Richard 12
Silver badge

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?

0
0

Telly makers failing to turn punters on to smart TV

Richard 12
Silver badge
Facepalm

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.

0
0
Richard 12
Silver badge
Unhappy

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.

0
0

US Supremes: GPS tracking requires warrant

Richard 12
Silver badge
FAIL

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.

4
0

How can family sysadmins make a safe internet playground for kids?

Richard 12
Silver badge
Facepalm

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...

0
0

Windows 8 hardware rules 'derail user-friendly Linux'

Richard 12
Silver badge
FAIL

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.

11
0
Richard 12
Silver badge
WTF?

@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.

19
1

Google to join Wednesday's anti-SOPA protest

Richard 12
Silver badge
Angel

The point is to get the message across

Not to actually fully shut down.

An error code won't explain to the masses why you're going offline - it will just bounce people away without informing them and they will be annoyed with the website itself for not working.

A big banner saying "If X, then we're gone. Please pressure your representatives against X.", will let everybody who visits know what you are protesting against and how they can help if they want to.

A link to the normal site content is perfectly fine and sensible - once informed, people can continue on with whatever they wanted to use the site for, and they'll be annoyed at the "X".

Only thing is, this SOPA/PIPA won't be going away permanently, so we'll have to expect a repeat of this blackout later once the RIAA and MPAA have paid off another few congresscritters.

- That said, they'll be a bit more wary now. Some of them are going to lose their seats over this fiasco.

1
0
Richard 12
Silver badge
FAIL

@Turtle. This is life under SOPA and PIPA:

I write to your boss*, saying:

"Turtle has infringed my copyright. Yours, Richard 12"

Your boss fires you. (Stops paying you, blocks you from the building)

He has no requirement to check that either I do actually own the copyright involved, or that you have actually infringed it.

The only possible way of getting your job back is for you to go to court and prove that you didn't infringe my copyright.

This may be rather difficult, given that proving a negative is damn near impossible, and of course you have no money on account of having no job.

Story ends.

SOPA and PIPA are designed to do exactly this to any online business.

Still like SOPA and PIPA?

That is why it is a piece of **** legislation that could only be drafted by somebody more corrupt then anybody you could possibly think of.

Protecting the rights of content creators is important, but SOPA and PIPA do not do this.

- It's important to remember that the RIAA and MPAA have no interest whatsoever in creators' rights - their interest is exclusively in record and film distribution company profits. Look at the lists of members, that's who they are lobbying on behalf of.

*Technically this would really be your bank and your office building management companies, but that's probably stretching the metaphor a bit far.

1
0

LightSquared accuses government of ‘rigged’ interference tests

Richard 12
Silver badge
WTF?

Clearly LightSquared management are idiots

Whining that the Gubberment are against you when you were trying to pull a fast one is rather foolish.

And that "hedge" fund that didn't bother hedging is even more astounding. I think they are going to suffer the most when their clients find out what happened.

5
0

Pollution-gobbling molecules in global warming SMACKDOWN

Richard 12
Silver badge
FAIL

@AC 08:51

Would you care to point us towards said data then, instead of engaging in ad hominems?

Insults from one camp to the other merely reinforce each view that the other side are moronic Eloi who couldn't recognise evidence if it danced the cha-cha shouting "I'm evidence"!

It doesn't help those who are undecided and is actively hostile to science.

To be honest, seeing that the sceptical posts did not insult anybody, yet those agreeing with AGW immediately rained insults back instead of data implies that the data is really rather scarce and the "popular" view of AGW is verging on a religious rather than a scientific basis.

I'll assume you aren't a scientist, as I would hope they would not be AC or engage in ad hominems.

I still find it odd* that while I have seen many variants of an "If we do nothing" curve, I for one have never, ever seen a graph of predictions showing temperatures "With Kyoto Accord emissions limits acheived"** against "At current rate of emissions/expected rate of emissions increase".

Perhaps it is only the media and politicians who refuse to show the data.

*Extremely concerning

**Or some other arbitrarily timed limit or reduction in emissions.

0
0

NASA study identifies the ‘low hanging fruit’ in climate change

Richard 12
Silver badge
Facepalm

Politicians and lobbyists appear fundamentally incapable of dot-joining

Given so many of their "We must/will do X to get Y result" pronouncements, when it's pretty clear that the result of X is either not-Y, or actually Z.

Then there is the fun and games of policy-based evidence-making.

That said, there have been occasionaly outbreaks of common sense - eg Gove - unfortunately usually instantly rebuffed by the lobbyists - eg a certain NASUWT general secretary who gave a response diametrically opposed to her actual members wishes.

0
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

Presumably you don't live in the UK

Either that or you don't own/run a motor vehicle, consume electricity or purchase any items that require either of the former to get to you.

Take a look at petrol and diesel prices. Most of that is a tax to beat up on people using CO2.

Equally, Vehicle Excise Duty (road tax) varies directly proportional to the CO2-per-mile emissions of the vehicle.

Electricity prices are being rapdily artificially inflated to pay for "zero CO2" microgeneration.

Perhaps you live in another country and are safe from some of this madness for the time being, but it is spreading.

0
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

Wow. Some sanity finally appears!

Soot is universally known to be damaging to health, and methane capture makes sense anyway as you can use it as a fuel instead of letting it free.

Shame it will be totally ignored as soot and methane are already mostly captured in developed nations, so can't be used as a stick to beat up the voters the same way as CO2 is.

15
0

Murdoch slams White House over SOPA in Twitter row

Richard 12
Silver badge
Mushroom

The arguments against SOPA start with "Punishment on allegations alone is illegal"

And several other such fundamentals of common law.

They continue with "An Internet that works is a good thing".

The Yahoo summary Chris 3 linked to is a pretty good one.

Of course, if the SOPA & PIPA concepts did pass into law then the most likely and fairly rapid result would be to cut the US off from the Internet, rather than the other way around. This would be fatal to a lot of companies, most of the in the US but many elsewhere who rely on US customers.

Except of course that it cannot possibly pass, because the first time it gets used will end up going all the way to the Supreme court, who will then eject the whole legislation as the unconstitutional turd it clearly is. Microsoft (Bing!) and Google have deeper pockets than the MPAA and RIAA put together - and they would both be badly affected by it.

9
0

Intel ignores Steve Jobs, adds touchscreen to Ultrabook

Richard 12
Silver badge

Your graphics tablet

Is it on a desk, or stuck to the wall?

I expect it's on your desk at a slight angle to make it the most comfortable.

So a touch notebook only works for you if you (almost) flatten it out... Kinda like a tablet.

0
0
Richard 12
Silver badge
Meh

Our marketing dept bought some

When they are used for Flash presentations where customers explore the features of %product%, the touch is great and works brilliantly.

When they are used as actual computers, the touch is never used and we mess about trying to get a mouse and keyboard connected neatly.

Some of that is down to the software - few to no software applications are designed for touch.

The other is exactly what Jobs said - a vertical touchscreen is tiring to use. It is fine as long as you rarely use it - eg only for selecting an individual item of interest, then using alternative input to manipulate it.

The reason is quite simple - you cannot accurately position your hand in mid air for any length of time. That's why mouse and trackball work so well, because you're resting your arm on the desk.

0
0

US killer spy drone controls switch to Linux

Richard 12
Silver badge
Linux

In the consumer devices world, Linux won a long time ago.

Your TV, PVR and STB are almost certainly all running Linux.

As is your NAS, and in fact pretty much all "network appliances" including many ADSL and cable routers.

The code running on top of the kernel is usually a closed source blob of course.

I suspect that most Western households have more TV+STB+PVR devices than mobile phones and x86 PCs put together.

Just because it hasn't got an obvious desktop, doesn't mean it is not a computer. Running Linux.

2
0
Richard 12
Silver badge
Boffin

Windows 7 Embedded only came out in late 2010.

Up until then Windows XPe and Windows CE were the only embedded MS Windows.

Ok, there was Windows Vista Embedded as well(!)

It takes at least a year to certify an OS for this kind of use, probably longer in military - important, as sometimes an OS can kick you in the teeth for unexpected reasons. (Resource allocatoion counter bug? You bastards!)

You really don't want to run a normal desktop OS for this kind of thing. You want to remove as much unnecessary stuff as possible, and for Windows that requires an Embedded version. (Linux is much easier to strip down to its underwear.)

1
0

Raspberry Pi Linux micro machine enters mass production

Richard 12
Silver badge
Facepalm

Seems like El Reg have in fact sneakily replaced the photo between Dean4 posting and me reading his post.

Sorry Dean!

0
0
Richard 12
Silver badge
Happy

Back-of-envelope calc for Model B - approx. £30 delivered to UK

Unit: $35 = £22.84 to £23.36*

VAT @ 20%: £4.57 to £4.62

Postage: £1.58 (1st class) or £2.35 (1st class tracked)**

Handling (eg CC fee, box): £1 (estimate)

Total: £29.99 to £31.38

*Today's XE and Post Office rates.

**From the Post Office - anywhere in the UK, including the Highlands and Islands, Scilly Isles, and the Isle of Man.

To those moaning about PSU, SD Card, mouse, keyboard & display - at no point did the "quote" ever even hint at including any of those.

0
0
Richard 12
Silver badge
Angel

No, that's the real Model B.

Ok, not quite:

The GPIO pin header top-left is a do-not-fit*, the tiny blob of solder between the Raspberry logo and the CPU is a PCB errata fix that won't be on the final units.

The SD card holder may also be different, but that's not shown in the photo.

Other than those minor differences, it's exactly what I'll be buying in a few weeks time.

Yes, the "spider web" form factor is less than perfect, but the connectors (inc SD on the left) nearly fill the edges of the board, so what else could be done?

Expanding the board size would increase the cost, and it would be a shame to lose the RCA Composite video and stereo jack.

*They decided to let the end user solder on the GPIO pin header, as nobody has yet decided whether male, female, up, down or sideways connections is best for daughterboards.

Plus it saves a few cents - thru-hole pin headers are expensive to assemble.

0
0

Firm pitches tech trio powered by portable processor

Richard 12
Silver badge
Coat

"Ill considered"? I think not!

All those piercings in "private" places were obviously smart people getting future-proofed for devices like these.

Now they're all healed up and ready to clip their CPU up to their *ahem*, who's the foolish one now?

You know, it does bring a whole new meaning to the phrase "F***ing computer!"...

Ok, I'm going, I'm going...

3
0

Go Daddy not liable for cybersquatting, US court rules

Richard 12
Silver badge
WTF?

Part of this makes no sense whatsoever and smells very bad.

The judge said that Petronas could lose their trademark over this?

WTF? Has that judge completely lost their mind?

The ruling that Petronas can't hold GoDaddy liable makes sense, as they only provide a service and aren't (yet) legally responsible for policing it, but suggesting that means GoDaddy can countersue and deprive Petronas of their trademark stinks to high heaven.

The correct ruling would be to say that GoDaddy are not liable, award costs accordingly and reject the case.

According to the rest of the ruling, GoDaddy have no stake in this *whatsoever*, so they shouldn't suffer the legal costs of defence *or be permitted to go after Petronas either*.

1
0