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* Posts by I ain't Spartacus

3563 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

Doctor Who season eight scripts leak online

I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Luvverly

If you search them out, it's your own fault. If your arse of a mate sticks info out there, in a deliberate attempt to be annoying, then they deserve to cop some abuse.

Not that I care, I've not seen it in several years. But whoever released it is a complete tosser.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Wait and see

the only problem then is avoiding the bloody spoilers from Trailers the BBC broadcast

My favourite example of this was from something that ITV used to show at post-pub-o'clock. Sadly that space is now taken up by some sort of tv-roulette-scumbaggery. The show was 'Tour of Dury'.

In this episode someone fragged an officer while he's in the toilet. So whodunnit?

I can still remember sitting down with my revitalising cuppa and snack. They had the bit many US shows have before the theme music. "Next on Tour of Duty", and a soldier is shown being led away in handcuffs by the MPs.

Funnily enough, I guessed whodunnit quite early in the show...

I do hate fuckers with their spoilers though. I don't like the soaps, but my Mum was always annoyed when some arse at the Sun or Mirror decided to stick what was going to happen next on their front page. She didn't even read them, but there's always some other bugger willing to compound the felony by reading it out on the radio.

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It's finally happened: Bloke builds BOFH-style goofing-off cattle prod

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Re: Dope Amine

Now I feel dirty for upvoting you...

I'd much prefer it if electric shocks were built into the downvoting button instead.

Although, come to think of it, that makes me sound like a massochist. I might have commented less on El Reg if I'd had 1,000 electric shocks for my pains. I'd certainly have learned to be nicer about Julian Assange, Bitcoin and Google...

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Re: If only

wowfood,

You're showing a lack of critical thinking here. You don't want to be administering any more pain to yourself. You give this product to the boss, "here, wear this wristband, it's linked to the Powerpoint PC, so you just wave your arm and the slide changes."

You then either program it to do this, or simply operate the thing yourself, every time he waves his arm. Any presentation that lasts longer than say 5 minutes, elicits a shock.

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'BIGGEST BIRD EVER': 21-foot ripsaw-beaked flying HORROR

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Happy

Re: take off

I'm no orthinologist either. More of a wird-botcher...*

But cliffs is what I'd assumed as well. It's not likely to be an evolutionary success to rely on a sufficient gust of wind being available for take-off, just as the local predator turns up for lunch. Although many sea-birds can lighten the load for emergency take-offs by vomiting their stomach contents all over their attacker.

Perhaps symbiosis is the answer? Maybe there was an aircraft carrier dinosaur, on which these things could land? We just haven't found the fossil yet.

Then again, they did die out "under mysterious circumstances". So maybe it was crap take-off abilities and natural selection. But my carriersaur theory is still in it with a chance! Perhaps the things just evolved away their catapults, and forgot to upgrade the birds at the same time?

*With thanks to the late, great, Humphrey Lyttelton.

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Alabama quadchopper hits THREE THOUSAND FEET next to AIRPORT

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Happy

so even if it did catch a bit of flack and go down, it should do little more than make a splash.

You heartless bastard! Have you no regard for the safety of Playmonauts?

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German spy agency staffer spied for NSA during gov probe into NSA spying – report

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Re: Well, well, well. I perfectly well understand that the expression "allies"....................

If I were in the Greek, Cypriot, Italian, Irish or Portuguese government, I wouldn't necessarily regard Germany as allies. I might be sharing a currency with them, but I'd find it hard to interpret their actions over the last few years as terribly friendly.

Getting caught can certainly make life awkward though. But it's all part of the fun-and-games that is international diplomacy.

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Boeing to start work on most powerful rocket ... EVER!

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Mushroom

Re: Orion spacecraft

Yeah. I didn't really like Florida when I went there, NASA had mostly managed to make their museum / tours of the Cape quite dull, which is amazing given how exciting space stuff is, so no-one would miss it. Plus we get giant mutated nuclear alligators and manatees to revenge themselves on humans for all the horrible things we've done to the planet.

Light up those nukes.

P.S. Can some US network re-hire Piers Moron* to do the launch commenatary. From a desk just outside the perimeter fence, like in the good old days of Walther Cronkite...

*You took him of your own free will. And no, we're not don't want him back. You're stuck with him. We only take returns on faulty items, you can't just change them because you think they're hideous after a few years.

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El Reg is looking for a new London sub-editor

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Happy

Re: Sir

I'll take navigating PRs over troubleshooting printers any day of the week.

Trevor,

Both are engineering problems, and can therefore be solved with the liberal application of a hammer.

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Google policy wonk patronises Brits over EU search biz probe

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Re: Over the top?

On the subject of keeping giant corporate entities in check, does The Register have a policy of doing no evil? Enquiring minds would like to know…

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I ain't Spartacus
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Axel Springer

I wonder if we can expect changes from the new commission?

Supposedly the fun-and-games that gave us Juncker as President of the Commission relate to this subject. What changed Merkel's mind, and made her backtrack on a possible deal with Cameron to block Juncker, was the massive reaction in the German press. Although her coalition partners were also in favour of Juncker.

Anyway, I've seen a couple of sources say that Juncker's campaign team promised Axel Springer that the new Commission would support them against Google. And this may be related to the sudden huge outcry in the German press.

I've seen this reported in several EU politics stories in the Guardian and FT. Although I've not seen it mentioned in business / IT news.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Trollface

Re: For a company flogging the discovery of information

For a company flogging the discovery of information

She sure did a great job of blocking.

Wasn't one of Google's mission statements to organise all the world's information? Well some information obviously gets shown to the public, and some gets placed in a drawer in a locked filing cabinet, in a disused toilet with a sign on the door saying "beware of the leopard".

That's organisation for you...

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Google buys shagadelic playlist biz Songza

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Devil

Hmmm. What is the appropriate music for preparing to get into the shower? Punk perhaps? It's got to be something pretty short, given that it doesn't take long to remove clothes, open door, climb in.

I wonder what's on their playlist for 'having a poo'?

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'Disruptive innovation' is nonsense? Not ALWAYS, actually

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DropBear,

If I want a car to commute to work, but don't use it during the day while I'm there, I could send it away to someone else who works nights, wants to shop during the day, or walks to the office where they're a sales rep, and drive to meetings.

This would mean I wouldn't have to buy a car, but could rent/hire it only when needed. Saving me money, and I could avoid paying parking.

To make it scale, I guess it would only really work, if the cars could drive themselves between users. Otherwise more people would use existing car-pooling schemes.

There are good reasons that business model might not work, but if it did, the car manufacturers would be very sad to see their sales drop.

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I ain't Spartacus
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The problem is that the author is trying to use his prediction as evidence, to make a wider point about innovation.

No he's not. He's simply using it as an example. The supposed reluctance of Detroit to cooperate with Google, as they naturally don't fancy seeing sales of cars plummet, if everyone goes to a different ownership model. Whether this is true in this case doesn't matter, they may eventually cooperate, sales may not drop, all that matters is the discussion of the motivations.

I was having this discussion yesterday. We have a niche product that is close to unique, but quite expensive. It's technically more complex than our competitors, in order to achieve a smaller size. That, and the fact that we don't manufacture in bulk, makes us more expensive.

However several companies have recently attempted to copy us, and mostly failed. It took a lot of testing to get this thing working, some of them even buy from us, so they can keep the customers but sell our product when nothing else will fit.

Should we make it cheaper? We've tested with a cheaper major part, which will give us an even smaller product for little loss in quality. But it will cost tens of thousands to re-tool, re-design, re-certify etc. Or we could sell as a new product into a different market.

However if we do either of those, guess what happens to the sale of our more costly product?

The new smaller one won't cover all use-cases, so we'll be left with loads of engineering and design costs, 2 incompatible product lines and therefore extra warehousing and stock to pay for. And sales costs to push the new product in a new market we don't currently address.

So our alternatives are to do nothing. Move to the new product and hope we can increase sales to cover our losses (maybe, but impossible to tell), or maybe dump the old product and lose the high end sales that the new one can't address. Sadly these are of course the most profitable ones...

This would be an innovative and disruptive product in the new market (that we don't currently address), although it's only an incremental improvement in ours. But if some new company came along, with none of our baggage and existing costs, it would also be disruptive to us.

The reason others tried to copy us of course, is that we were disruptive when entering our current market, because we could do something that none of them could. And this product was originally designed for yet a third market, where we used to exclusively operate, and with only a slight re-design got into our current market.

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Trick-cyclists defend Facebook emoto-furtling experiment

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Re: This was just a test run...

It's almost certainly not some ghastly conspiracy in order to get permission to do even more hideous things in future.

It's far more likely to be that no-one at Facebook gives a damn about privacy, and it never even occurred to them that there'd be a problem, or that anyone would object. After all, they're used to people giving them all their most intimate data, with almost no restrictions. So it's little wonder that they feel they have the right to do whatever the hell they like with it.

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Golf bloke to Richard Branson: Get on board the future bus, where there's 'NO WEATHER'

I ain't Spartacus
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Devil

Re: Social Media Mirror...

I've already registered www.duzmubumlukbiginthis.com - but I'm thinking of calling my company duzbum. What do you think?

I wonder if we should use one of those combined question mark / exclamation mark things in the logo?

Obviously the mirrors will be voice activated. So you say "mirror mirror on the wall". At which point all of your friends' phones make an annoying pinging sound and the screen comes on with your picture. I think we'll digitally put a tiara on the head of every shot - except ones where people are trying on a tiara of course...

They can then swipe up for love it, or swipe down for hate it. I don't want to allow any of this pesky human interaction in this app. That's not what friends are for! Plus it's harder to monetise.

The phone users then either get an advert for the dress if they've swiped up, or an alternative ad for something less hideous (which we choose and can make better margins on), if they swiped down.

We then total these votes - or thumz (as I shall call them) - and pass to the user in the changing room. Who then gets a musical fanfare appropriate to the assessment from their friends (frendz - or is that going too far?). Plus a giant thumb up/down as appropriate. This would be the point to sell advertising for gyms I think.

...

I feel rather dirty after typing that. It was supposed to be more ridiculous than our beardy futurologist. But I've a horrible feeling it would sell to a VC. Is this how Chris Morris and Armando Iannucci feel, after 'The Day Today' and 'Brass Eye' turned out to media training manuals?

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SPACE: The FINAL FRONTIER. These are the TEN-YEAR images of star probe Cassini

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Happy

Re: A hearty well-done to NASA and Cassini.

Can't they just run a few loads of narcotics to Lave, and then they'll have enough to buy a fuel scoop - and use that lovely gas giant to keep the tanks topped up?

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Rockall pod-dweller braces for stormy weather

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Devil

Re: 60 days of learning the harmonica

I'm very disappointed he's wastng his time with the harmonica. Surely this level of isolation is the perfect venue to play the bagpipes. It's almost certainly far enough away from any possible listener that it might actually constitute a pleasant experience. Possibly a bit hard on the sea birds though.

It may be that my feelings are influenced by my school fete, when I was 6. While gazing in awe at the huge, multi-level, model railway that had been built in (and almost filled) my classroom - an evil bagpiper sneaked (snuck?) into the room. He was standing less than 2 feet behind me when he started strangling his cat playing.

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Facebook: Yes, we made you SAD on PURPOSE... for your own good

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Re: Abusive relationship

I think you're wrong about Facebook. It does really love its users' money/data/privacy. So I think Facebook will change.

...

...

For the worse.

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NASA pulls FLYING SAUCER out of Pacific ocean

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Happy

The important question is, what happened to the Playmonaut on board? All space missions do carry a Playmonaut right?

Well apart from SpaceX who send cheese.

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True fact: Your CAT wees ... like a racehorse

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Happy

Re: Mogpiss Monday Blues

But the elephant would have more problems getting over the garden wall!

tony2heads,

Q. What time is it when an elephant sits on your fence?

A. Time to get a new fence.

Ah. Haven't told that 'joke' since I was about 6. From my brother's Bumper Book of Childrens Jokes.

But it's rather like the question where do you park a 60 tonne tank? Wherever the hell you like. The same applies to elephants. According to Spike Milligan you just put an elephant flap in the back door and it can wander in-and-out as it likes.

"Min, have you put the elephant out?"

"No. Was it on fire?"

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I ain't Spartacus
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I heard about a Sumo demonstration event in Australia (back in the days when Channel 4 were covering all sorts of odd sports). Except it turned out that the competitors were too large to fit into the JAL toilets. As in wouldn't physically fit into the room. Although I don't know why they couldn't aim from outside the door...

So they starved them all the day before, to avoid dumps. And didn't drink for several hours before the flight, and only started drinking halfway through. I'd still imagine they managed to beat the 21 second average on landing though...

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I ain't Spartacus
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Happy

Re: Impossible, I say

I don't believe you. Given that Guinness is basically soup, and can be eaten with a fork, I think you're just imagining going to the loo...

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: "... a long and wider urethra results in faster flow ..."

The body uses peristalsis, it pushes things along tubes by wobbling the sides. So because it's the whole tube that's doing the pushing, unlike most pumps where you do everything in one series of impellers, the longer the tube the more pressure you'll build up.

You can get peristaltic pumps that mimic the biological method, and they're good for relatively high pressure / low flow-rate applications (labs / test equipment etc). But they just use a flexible tube and a couple of rollers - although I suppose you could get the same effect by putting a bunch of them in series.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Happy

Re: Mogpiss Monday Blues

At least it's the neighbour's cat pissing in your garden, and not their pet elephant...

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Facebook 'manipulated' 700k users' feelings in SECRET EXPERIMENT

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Happy

Re: @silent_count

...

The long thin juicy ones slip down easily,

The short fat furry ones stick.

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Spanish struggle to control spelling of 'WhatsApp'

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Re: Gender of the internet???

Où est la plume de ma tante?

Dans le jardin.

The crimson cow is flying South.

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Hey, remember the iPod Touch? Apple just did

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Re: I still want my 1TB iPod "Classic"

The problem with the iPod Classic is the rubbishy scrollwheel. It's OK for short lists, but get very tedious, very quickly. And does tend to end up selecting the thing either side of what you wanted. So I don't want to replace mine with another (it's on its last legs now). I want something with around 100GB of storage, but a much better UI. An iPod Touch with decent amounts of memory, or an SD card slot would be perfect. But Apple do like to massively overcharge for storage.

Samsung used to do a similar device, not sure if they still do. Or a cheap 'Droid phone may be an option. I might even look into Neil Young's Pono thingymajig. I quite like the idea of a flourescent yellow Toblerone...

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Missed opportunity

I agree the iPod Touch case feels nice. But I doubt it would hold sufficient battery to run the radios.

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I ain't Spartacus
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It's looking rather expensive nowadays. Given that you can get a 32GB Motorola G for under £150. Or a Lumia with SD card for around £100. Although I don't know if MS have sorted out the music app since WinPho 7.

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NASA's Curiosity rover brought Earth BUG to Mars

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Happy

In 2 months time, when Curiousity broadcasts a picture of a grinning Elvis sitting on a Martian boulder back to planet Earth, then you'll know that it was me what hacked it. You heard it here first.

Either that, or The Sunday Sport was right all along!

My personal favourite of their headlines was 'Vampire 3-in-a-Bed Sex Scandal'.

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You're inventing the wrong sort of tech for bad people who want to buy it. Stop it at once

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Re: Much tech has lost the plot.

Risk isn't always a good thing that should be rewarded. Sometimes people take stupid risks. Or take risks because they're stupid. There's no morality that says, becasue you took a risk you deserve loads-a-money. Hopefully risk will be rewarded if managed successfully. But why should you get anything for screwing things up?

As an investor I might want a low risk portfolio, in order to keep what I've got, rather than trying to grow it. Then I'd buy boring companies that do sensible things. Such as a successful boring company that sells tickets and makes predictable profits. Rather than scary airline shares. If this so happens to be a time of the greatest aviation industry recession since the 1930s (like the dotcom bust your book is about), then the rest of the market is likely to agree with me, and run away from aviation stock too.

A lot of airlines went bust in that period. Almost none were making profits, and the industry as a whole was losing tens of billions a year.

What it did do, was to drive some of the crappier companies out of business though. Some of the national carriers were truly terribly run. Belgium virtually went into mourning over the loss of Sabena in 2002. The expats living there missed it rather less. Although the ones who got virtually held hostage by the cabin crew, who refused to let them off their plane for about 5 hours as a protest against the government not bailing them out again, probably had some harsher things to say...

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Re: Very first world mindset...

generally, they do it better than the whims of moneyed loafers.

strum,

This is where you're allowing your prejudice to interfere with your reasoning. The market isn't controlled by moneyed loafers. It's controlled by no-one. But influenced by everyone. If you like, every £1 used is a vote for what the country is going to do with its resources. So the more money you control, the more 'votes' you get. But there's an awful lot of people and organisations out there disagreeing with you.

So it's possible to corner sections of the market, and say become a monopoly in displaying adverts with online search results, but it's much harder to control how many sandwiches are produced, or cars or what-have-you.

Also, very few people (even on the right of politics) seriously doubt that governments are great at things like fire brigades. Anyone who says you can have a well functioning market economy without government is an idiot, and to be ignored. You need a legal system in order to have property rights. You also need someone to whack monopolies on the head occasionally. It's much more efficient to force everyone to buy fire insurance from one central provider - so you may as well add it to tax and let the government do it.

Like capitalism, governments can be absolutely rubbish at getting stuff done efficiently. It's just that we've not found any better alternatives yet.

Governments are there because someone's got to be in charge. And in democracies they're also supposed to try and do a better job of balancing different goups' interests against each other - and maybe even make life better.

They're very good at doing things that people want, but can't afford individually, or that it's not possible to make a profit doing. But they're not so great when they try to make cars.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: An even more useful app?

It'll still be random what you end up with. Wine experts are notoriously crap in blind taste tests. Giving completely different reviews when served the same wine twice in one tasting.

Having looked at some of the comments on Ocado's site, while buying a few bottles with a voucher the other day - they were even less helpful.

When in doubt, my current rule is to cheer for Chile. I've had one bottle of Chilean wine that wasn't nice, and that was only disappointing, not horrible.

The nice thing is that almost everyone tells you what grapes they're using nowadays. Even the french have started using it, so you don't need to learn all the different terroirs. Which makes for a lot less to learn than previously. And has the welcome side-effect of annoying the french...

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Value

Is there another tool to do the job you want hough?

Sure, we have the infrastructure and resources to feed tens of millions of people. Probably hundreds of millions. But if we can't find a way to run a planned economy for ourselves, how are we going to be any better at doing it for them?

For example, you really can't have a market economy without property rights. There's no incentive to invest for the long term, if some bugger in government can come along and steal your business whenever he fancies. For property rights you need stability. And some kind of rule of law. And concept that political power has limits that aren't to be crossed. That doesn't need democracry, thogh it helps.

So are we going to bomb their governments to democracy? Are we going to work through their existing governments in the hope they'll play nice and suddenly become responsible and caring. Rather than say nicking 20% of the aid money and funnelling it to Switzerland? What when that government uses the aid as political patronage to maintain its power to do just whatever the hell it likes?

The Greeks had a first world economy 5 years ago. But by a combination of lying, stupidity, greed, joining the disastrous Euro and giving out something horrendous like 20-30% of government spending in patronage (sinecure jobs for votes) - they are now well and truly fucked. By some measures they're back in the list of developing economies now.

Short of taking over countries, and running them as some kind of enlightened despotic empire of goodness, this just ain't going to happen.

So the market is what we've got. We should subsidise our farming less, in order to give developing countries a chance to trade fairly with us in products they can compete on. Then they get richer, and we also get richer. Channelling some cash into supporting our farmers in other ways. This has the benefit of both being moral and good for almost everyone. And we already spend huge amounts in tax to subsidise farming, so there's nothing to stop us spending that on making sure our farmers don't lose out. Everyone wins. And we help developing countries in a way that isn't charity, so they get to make their own choices about how to live their lives.

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Re: I'll take your quote and raise you...

rizb,

You don't remove the middle-men. No-one pops round to kill them all, now they're no longer needed. You get them doing something else. At least in theory. The market is operating more efficiently, by doing the same thing (bringing fish to market) with fewer people. This is good for everyone else, but bad for those people who get elbowed out.

But in a growing economy, maybe they'll find some other opportunity. One that isn't so inefficient. If that's the case, then it's a net gain to the economy, as you've now got more things being done with the same number of people. Then everyone wins. Everyone is now richer, and can afford more services from each other, in a virtuous cycle.

There's aslo a mechanism to help this happen. Our middle-men were taking profits from the fishermen. They're no longer doing that, and are out of work. But co-incidentally the fishermen now have much more cash. Even the fish buyers have more disposable income, as fish prices have dropped. All this cash is looking for some goods or services. So instead of taking the money off the fishermen for selling their fish to people who'd buy it already, perhaps our middlemen can sell something to the fishermen.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Very first world mindset...

Jeff Lewis,

I value my basic services highly. Such that I spend somewhere between £1,500 and £2,000 on water, leccy and interwebs alone. That's far more than I spend on anything else except my mortgage. And taxes, so healthcare, roads etc. My next biggest bill is food. If any of those bills suddenly go up, then my spending in other areas will drop accordingly, in order to cover the difference.

No-one I'm aware of has come up with any better approximation of value than price. I rmember when I started studying economics being introduces to the util. A measure of the utility that something provides to an individual or society. As soon as you start to look at this, you see the difficulty of trying to come up with a true 'value' for anything.

We might value firefighters higher than road maintenance workers. I believe they're paid more. And seen as more 'heroic'. Yet I've never personally benefited from the services of a firefighter. But have used many roads. They're probably reasonably similar skill levels (at entry level) and amounts of physical effort and unsocial hours. Road maintenance is far more dangerous than putting out fires too. Obviously if I'm on fire, I'm going to really value the fire service very highly indeed.

It's basically impossible. Partly because almost no-one willl agree with anyone else on how they'd value stuff. So you have to work in the aggregate.

There is a market that very crudely attempts to work out what price my labour is worth. It's highly imperfect, but it is a two-way street. Sure, the market mostly imposes a salary on what I do, but I don't have to take that salary. I could take less, for a different job I found better in some way, or go and get training to do a more highly paid one. Or decide the market was totally undervaluing my skills, and set up my own company to try and keep more of the value for myself.

The same applies to goods. A whole bunch of people collectively decide whether to buy or not, at a given price, and prices tend to move around to get the most profit they can manage. Either by selling lots cheap, or few expensively (or somewhere in between).

Until governments are able to read minds, and have sufficient super-computing power to assign the 'corrrect' values to everything, we're basically stuck with markets. Particularly as we don't have any good theories as to how to assign any of these values to people, or how they interact. Thus imperfect markets assigning resources by trial-and-error is what we've got.

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Re: Much tech has lost the plot.

"When the company selling cheap seats for an airline is valued at more than the airline company itself then you've a good idea things have gone wrong.."

That's not neccesarily true. Airlines are horribly high risk. Just look at the performance of the airline industry over the last 50 years. During recessions and world crises, or times of unusually high fuel prices, the entire airline industry loses billions between them. They also have to raise massive amounts of long-term capital to pay for planes.

Whereas a ticket shop just has to sell tickets, with very low overheads. So long as they can make profits, and have some way of protecting/differentiating themselves from other market entrants, there's absolutely no reason why they can't carry on making money during the frequent aviation industry slumps.

It's far harder to shift 10 unwanted Airbus A380s (and the massive debt you took on to buy them), than it is to close a call centre or two. Euqally it's far quicker and easier to open another call centre, than it is to get hold of a bunch of big planes, and the cash you need to pay for them.

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I/O NOOOOO!!! We sat through Google's bum numbing 3-hour keynote so you didn't have to

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Happy

Re: Automatically unlock a phone in a known environment

I totally agree with you - my colleagues are a threat to any unlocked phone in the vicinity. It is lots of fun though ;-)

bigphil,

I didn't lock my first smartphone. A Sony Ericsson P800, in about 2003. I can remember coming back to find a very disappointed (so-called) friend of mine playing with it.

He was sad, because he was on the change language screen and the only option was English. In order to save limited memory, you could uninstall various options, which I think you could then re-install from CD. So I'd taken all the language support away.

Oddly, when I lived in Belgium my contract phone was already set-up in English. Which seemed rather unhelpful for the locals. The manual was a rather neat affair, with flemish and french versions bound back-to-back and SIM card in a case between. This I guess being a way to avoid either going first, and pissing off the other lot. But making it hard for everyone seemed a tad annoying...

Then again I regularly ate in one restaurant where the staff only communicated in english. Because the french-speakers had forgotten all the flemish they were taught at school, and the flemish-speakers therefore refused to speak french to anyone but customers.

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Re: Automatically unlock a phone in a known environment

I suppose it's an OK idea. The phone is auto-unlocked at home and work for those who want it. Although I believe that Apple's research said something silly like 75% of iPhones had no PIN code set anyway. That may have been high, in order to plug their fingerprint scanner, but I'm prepared to believe that millions of smartphones aren't locked.

However, leaving your phone at the mercy of your work colleagues might be a very bad idea. You might end up with the thing set to Arabic, or with your ringtone as 'The Crazy Frog'. As well as access to your personal email and Facebook.

As for unlock at home, the PIN is the last line of defence between your shiny tech gadgets and children.

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Google Glass gets 2GB of RAM. Think about this. Two gigs of RAM

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Re: My biggest reservation

I'm liking 'go-go gadget' and 'by the power of greyskull' as options. And I guess other TV references like HAL, Slave, Zen and KITT should be options too. Then you can pick your favourite.

I also quite like, 'Brain Butler'. As in, "Brain Butler, where can I get a G&T?" Or, "Brain Butler photograph these oiks and email to the police."

Then, rather than pairing them to a phone, we could have a drone to do our bidding. So that instead of giving me directions to the nearest pub, my quadrocopter can fly off to the pub for me, purchase my G&T with pay-by-bonk, and bring it back to my outstretched hand.

As drone technology improves I should be able to simultaneously watch an outdoor concert, napalm the band on the second stage who's overloud bass is distracting me, while having a picnic delivered to me, instead of having to queue and pay for the overpriced food/drink available inside the venue.

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Devil

Re: When you say "OK Glass, show the viewfinder"

Surely, "OK Glass, show the cross-hairs", would be far better?

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Yahoo! Bids! To! Own! Your! Smartmobe! Home! Screen!

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Devil

I'm disappointed.

What are Yahoo! marketing thinking? There's no exclamation mark in the name, it's pronouncable (if rubbish) and an actual word.

Clearly they should have gone for: Aviate! - or - Av8

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Traffic lights, fridges and how they've all got it in for us

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Devil

Re: ...of the term "the Internet of Things"

Maybe you need a device that wakes you up over the Internet?

Hmmm. The Internet of Tasers.

Now you're talking!

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Re: Don't connect them to the internet directly

I was going to post the same thing. It would be nice if we could have some kind of home security / network device that handled back-ups, firewall, content filtering and the like. It's all possible now of course (there may even be several products doing this), but I have one extra feature to add. The killer feater. It be usable by non-techies.

I've not yet come across a wireless router that didn't have some very weird quirks in its management software. They either make it relatively easy to set up the network, and make connecting to the internet a nightmare, where you have to browse through about 15 different screens in no obvious order, or setting up the internet's a doddle, but the network is awful. I've also used routers where both were obscure, split over many screens and incomprehensible.

But I have no trust in the manufacturers. Who mostly seem to want to sling kit out the door as fast as possible, and then forget about it. Why don't Wi-Fi routers have an automatic update mechanism, when they're riddled with bugs and permanently connected to the internet, by definition.

I guess at least the data-snafflers might help. For example Google's NEST offers a subscription service. Now if they have a massive security oops, and no method of updates, people will just stop paying the subs. Plus the oodles of lovely data will stop flooding in. So they have some incentive to not leave you vulnerable to hackers. The problem is, they're already hoovering up your data as fast as they can themselves...

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If Google remembers whom it has forgotten, has it complied with the ECJ judgment?

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Re: this probably sounds stupid.

Original anon,

As with so many things, it comes down to money. You can avoid the laws and taxes of a country by claiming to be entirely abroad. And that might work when you are. Although in your Google satellite example, the EU could simply jam their comms. At some point the internet enters or leaves the legal jurisdiction and can be interfered with there.

But that's often too much hassle. So the other thing to interfere with is finance. After all, Google make almost all their money from advertising. Google are now an illegal operation / terrorists / enemies of the state / being annoying / delete as applicable... In which case we simply make it illegal for you to advertise on Google. They lose their cash, what's the point of operating in the EU.

This is the way the US chose to fight online gambling. They couldn't make foreign sites illegal, but they could make it illegal for their citizens to partake. And they could make it illegal for their banks and credit card companies to facilitate transactions related to it. I'm sure it didn't stop people doing it, but it made it much harder.

Similarly the US Treasury Department believe they can cripple the Russian economy with sanctions, without any help from the EU governments. Because the US government can tell its banks not to deal with the Russian ones, and also any bank that wants to operate in the US. Thus they can make it extremely awkward for any global bank to have dealings with any Russian bank they sanction. They picked a small one that had close links to Putin's inner circle and Gazprom - and I rather suspect that this shot across the bows was one of the reasons Putin backed off a bit on Ukraine.

International sanctions on Iran have proved this to be at least somewhat effective. UN sanctions have had quite a bit effect, but it seems to be generally believed that pressure on Iranian access to international banking has also been very significant (although I understand that a lot of that was in cooperation with the EU).

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COSMIC BELCH from supermassive black hole stuns boffins

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Happy

Re: "Bad gas ... Artist's impression of a black hole"

Black holes are basically cosmic Cookie Monsters...

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This is why people complain about the streetlights being dim when we walk home from our real ale and curry nights...

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DON’T add me to your social network, I have NO IDEA who you are

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Re: Few are called - fewer are called back

My brother tells me that there is a procedure for dealing with Facebook friend requests: If they're female, you click yes, quickly go to their page and have a look round for interesting photographs. Then quickly un-friend before they can look at any of your stuff.

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