1147 posts • joined Tuesday 16th June 2009 16:23 GMT
@ 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.
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.
There is none.
Ok, not quite none at all, but it's so incredibly low in the mobile app scene as to not even make the status of rounding error.
If there really is a difference in revenue between the two platforms, it might be that many androids are very cheap so those are owned by people without much money, while iPhone is/was a status symbol mostly owned by people with lots of money.
Thus the percentage of iPhone owners spending real money on apps is much greater than android owners.
However I'm not sure that the figures actually bear that out - for our paid apps, almost identical between iOS and Android: in the USA sales are about 75% iOS and falling, while in Europe they are 50/50
It doesn't deny them the ability
It just asks them nicely not to.
Under some jurisdictions it might have some legal force but that's unclear as there are no precedents.
Of course, if they are shown to be ignoring it then the politicians might decide to pass specific laws regarding online tracking, and that's what the advertisers are worried about.
They suggested DNT to try to avoid legislation happening, which is why it's odd that the admen are now making such stupid claims, because the sensible response by the politicians would now be "Ok, seeing as you clearly won't do this yourselves, we will do it for you."
Of course, that will take several years, so perhaps that is the goal.
Re: OK, trying to keep this question short and simple...
Short answer is that we won't.
In real life when we want an energy store, we heat something up, pump water up a hill or do some chemistry.
This is not a climate model, and it says nothing whatsoever about climate.
This is a prediction of the sea-level rise that is likely to occur if one of the climate models used in the work is correct. (One set of curves for each climate model prediction)
To put it another way, this works says the following:
If Climate Model A is correct, then we predict Sea Level Rise A
For Climate Model B, we predict Sea Level Rise B
It doesn't say anything about whether or not those climate models are believed accurate or not. Modelling the behaviour of an event doesn't (necessarily) have any bearing on whether the event is likely to occur!
- See what-if.xkcd.org for several examples of modelling highly unlikely events.
HVDC - @imanidiot @proto-robbie @AC
The reason why all long-distance links are HVDC is very simple:
Every single generating set in a linked AC system has to be exactly* in sync, as otherwise they end up consuming power instead of generating it.*
It would be incredibly complicated and extremely unreliable to try to keep all of mainland Europe in sync with each other, or even just keeping France in sync with the UK.
On top of that, once there's more than one link with enough geographic distance between them it becomes impossible due to speed-of-light delays.
So we use HVDC for these long-distance links between different Grids - that way we don't have to keep our generators running at exactly* the same speed and phase as the French.
Originally these really were big DC motors driving big AC generators (and vice-versa)!
- High-power silicon is now good enough for solid-state versions, which are much better as they can sync instantly and as well as being more efficient.
Icon for what happens if you don't sync the generators.
* Rather simplified.
The 70% figure is an outright lie
The full cycle efficiency is apparently "up to" about 30%
The "70%" claim was if you use the heat output of another plant to boil the liquified air more rapidly - in other words, if you dump yet more energy into the system you'll convert some of the extra into electricity - obvious to anyone with a passing knowledge of heat engines.
They don't appear to be counting that extra energy as being energy.
Alternatively, you could use that heat to do some other useful work, or not waste it in the first place - as most UK industrial plant already does whenever practical.
For example, heating the office areas a'la CHP.
On top of that, the waste heat that remains is not controllable! If a slab of steel needs cooling, it needs cooling now, at specific rate, not later when the Grid needs some of the energy stored in your LN2 tank.
This is snake oil, which is why I'm shocked that the IMechE even mentioned it, and I'm rather glad I'm no longer a member
This iPhone has needed rebooting about once or twice a month to make it connect to wifi or cellular data, and Safari crashed regularly under iOS 5 - usually while writing a comment on this very site.
To be fair, Safari does seem more reliable in iOS 6.
Basically they're all a bit crap sometimes.
My wife sorts out my socks
Saves a lot of trouble, and I can certainly recommend this method as it has many other side benefits that may not be immediately obvious.
She says it's relaxing, so I'm happy to leave her be.
You seem to have forgotten that Google did it first
Pop open Google Earth and take a look at central London.
3D buildings in well-known cities were there for at least two years.
Ok, they didn't put it on a Smartphone yet, but to be fair, I don't really want it there either, I use maps for getting around.
Awooga!! Abject journalist fail alert!
"Unlike RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags, which are powered up by the received radio signal, and can thus be read at extreme ranges by upping transmitted power, NFC devices are powered using an induction coil"
RFID are powered by an induction coil.
Passive NFC are powered by an induction coil.
They are almost exactly the same, the only real difference is that N-mark compliant devices are a particular implementation of RFID, branded differently with a need to comply with a specific set of protocols, while RFID is a more generic class of technology.
Congratulations on falling for the oldest marketing trick in the book, the wonderfully sneaky "Name Change"
Re: Excuse my ignorance.
Wind tends to produce ventifacts rather than smooth pebbles, as it polishes via sandblasting rather than rolls them around.
Presumably there are similar tell-tale differences in the pebble shape you get from fluidized sand and viscous liquid like water, oil, and mud.
Re: ...but how many of those downloads got erased seconds after trying the app?
Exactly the same as the iOS one, then.
Although some of the utter crap iOS Apps are made by Apple (Podcast, Maps...) while I've yet to see a crap Google application.
Apple claim to 'curate' the iOS store, but they don't do any kind of filtering for quality - they may have done so in the past (I recall having to send them a video of the application working) but they don't anymore.
Possibly this changed when they decided to go for quantity, as that's much easier to brag about.
It's really easy to 'write' and publish an Android or iOS application, so of course most of them are rubbish.
More importantly, how often has this happened before?
Are New Zealander communications being snooped on routinely because of a general culture of don't-ask-don't-tell when determining the legality?
Are they just intercepting anything and everything?
It looks like a complete, public judicial review is needed for every single act of interception performed in NZ for the last decade at least.
Re: Oh, suddenly you like climate modelling.
I'm saying that we shouldn't be using 'climate change' as a policy driver at all, because we simply do not know enough to make reliable predictions.
By comparison to our current climate models, the other models you mentioned there are extremely good, giving results many orders of magnitude more reliable, precise and accurate.
However, we do know that the oil is going to run out relatively soon (and long before that it's going to become ruinously expensive), we do know that the other emissions (not CO2, the NOX, SOX etc) from most fossil fuels are toxic to humans, plants and animals and so it is clear that we should be reducing our reliance and the absolute amount of those burned.
It's just that CO2 is not the reason why, and thus (for example) replacing tungsten lighting with mercury-based is not a sane idea.
Re: "cheap safe mass energy storage"
Two things help enormously.
Firstly, modern nukes can vary their output much, much more than any of the ones we currently have. The French put a fair bit of effort into that.
Secondly, given that we do want to start replacing much of our fleet of private and public transport with electrically powered vehicles (cars and trains) this will have the effect of raising the base load as all those cars will be on charge overnight.
Evening that out further by remotely switching when the cars charge is at least plausible, because customers will accept that kind of demand management as long as you can guarantee that the car will be fully charged by a given time in the morning. Same as the interruptible contracts we already have but in a much larger scale and longer timeframe.
This really suits nuclear base load. It is also the exact opposite of what the planned wind, tidal and solar PV would actually provide.
Unfortunately the second is not without difficulty - local substations probably aren't sized to allow that much total power, as they did assume a certain amount of diversity.
Hence the Grid being pretty worried about the near future.
Re: That's odd ...
That'll be down to the whole "predators eating them" thing.
Wierd how that works, eh?
Re: Oh, suddenly you like climate modelling.
Personally I rather think this is another indication that our climate models remain basically unreliable, and therefore should not be the basis for policy.
Reducing our fossil fuel burn is still sensible though, as burning coal releases radioactives into the atmosphere and oil has so many more uses than just burning it.
Gas is less useful, so we can burn that but it won't last all that long compared to coal.
Energy poverty is however very bad for everyone, killing people indirectly (and even directly), so we absolutely must not force that on the population.
The Grid are shitting bricks over our current energy policy, repeatedly pointing out that we are heading for disaster if current targets are met, and they'd know!
Re: Am I missing something?
If the program uses proprietary data formats, they have you by the short and curlies because all your critically important data is stuck in that application and you cannot get it out.
That's why no public service should ever be permitted use a closed proprietary data format under any circumstances whatsoever.
Public, published, standards should be the only ones ever used.
If that isn't actually possible for size/speed reasons, then the application must provide a proven export function to a usable public format right from the start.
And no, a supplier merely promising to do that 'later' is not enough, it has to exist and be seen before installation.
Re: And what about all the EMF
I'm going to hope you meant Radio Frequency emissions, as only a moron would have meant actual EMF, which would be unfortunate.
EMF is merely another way of saying Voltage, and the voltage does not 'escape' in any way.
The RF emissions may however be significant, which will have exactly zero direct effect on humans but may make listening to radio and TV broadcast, and wireless Internet considerably more difficult. EMC is a very serious and quite difficult issue at these power levels.
Re: No, you can't
600mm lens with 2x converter isn't something you accidentally take photos with!
Neither do you accidentally get a topless woman a km away in shot, accidentally sell the photo (cropped to just that bit) to a magazine who accidentally published it with a huge accidental headline.
So no, sending them to prison isn't an overreaction, and the line is fairly clear.
If I knew that I had accidentally caught a semi-naked person in shot, I would not have made it public at all, let alone sold it to be published anywhere.
If the rest of the photo was important, then I would crop or otherwise edit it.
Quite simply, taking a photo of a naked person requires the permission of the subject. If it happens by accident, you don't publish it.
Then lock up the editor.
That will work, and French law allows a six month sentence for invasion of privacy.
Hence the huge surprise at it being a French mag that published first - in most of the EU it'd just be be a civil penalty.
Re: "Siri integration"
“I’m really sorry about this, but i can’t take any requests right now.”
Siri's actually been completely broken for me for the last couple of days, either showing what I said but never doing anything with it or simply sitting there spinning for a few minutes before giving up.
What really surprises me is how Siri can be so badly programmed that it can't go from a successful voice recognition of "Call XXX", yet sit there for a good thirty seconds before actually going ahead and calling XXX - or failing altogether.
Despite XXX being someone in my contacts that the original 'Voice Control" thingy handles instantly.
So I've given up and killed her (him? it?), as the only thing I've ever successfully used Siri for is phoning people in my contacts, as that's pretty much all Siri is apparently capable of if you're not in the USA.
Re: Are they going to sue over these (real) clocks also?
I would think Canary Wharf bought the right to use that design, or even the clocks themselves, from SBB, the same way anyone can buy an SBB-styled watch.
The complaint here is that Apple ripped off a trademarked design without permission. Trademarks begging what they are, SBB is obligated to defend it and ask for compensation.
According to Apple, well over $1 billion would be fair...
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