1676 posts • joined Thursday 18th June 2009 09:56 GMT
Re: Quartermass - Goon Show Style
It's good to be alive, in 1985!
Which is one of my favourite Goon Shows, and also an excellent version of 1984.
It pits the Big Brother Corporation against the Independent Television Army.
High Level Waste
In order to aid understanding I can help with the precise amount of high level waste. Saw it in a government report a few years ago. Well, OK being honest here, a newspaper's version of a government report.
There were about 3 semi-detached family homes worth of high level waste at Sellafield. The rest is intermediate or low level. I don't know how much of that they've now vitrified and dumped in barrels though. I'm not sure how one converts the semi-detached family home into the Olympic sized swimming pool unfortunately...
Re: Okay but...
What are you guys talking about? There is no re-make of Edge of Darkness! Don't be stupid! What idiot would reverse the actors, so Craven becomes Mel Gibson, and Jedburgh becomes Ray Winstone. That just couldn't happen, and anyone who says different is a liar!
La la la la la la, got my fingers in my ears, not listening, la la la la...
I don't know how I'd managed to miss this show. I remember Edge of Darkness at the time, because I caught the last hour or so, and was disappointed at having no way to watch it all, even though it seemed great. Except that happened to so many people that the BBC repeated it within a few weeks, and again later in the same year I think. Which was pretty unusual at the time.
In a brilliant piece of BBC organisation, I bought the video when it came out in the 90s, ordered the first day it was released, only for them to ship part 1, then forget to release the other half for about 18 months! So I had 'Half of Darkness'. The dog savaged that tape, before it came out on DVD.
Looks like time for a wander through some old British drama. Things like 'A Question of Attribution', 'A Very British Coup' maybe a bit of 'Prime Suspect' (which I've never seen). Wonder if all this stuff is on Netflix or Love Film?
Re: Fair play to them
Well MI5 do have a specialist bin emptying department. It's quite easy to gain access to their services. It just requires associating with certain individuals and/or visiting the correct websites. As an added bonus, not only will your bins probably get emptied every day, you won't be able to fly on Ryanair either. What's not to like...?
HMRC may not be able to stop these companies doing it, but they can make it damned expensive and inconvenient, if they can be arsed. OK Starbucks, we think you're committing fraud, as you're making no profits. So why are you still trading? Or are you perhaps evading tax?
So we'll have a tax inspection. It'll cost you a few million to put all your records in order. We'll send in the tax auditors, and go through the books with a fine tooth-comb. When this happens, the inspectors always pay for themselves, because they find all those small errors, that aren't material, but everyone makes. That's lots of little £500 fines. Then the extra office space and accountants to get the books into order. Then we can challenge your costs in court, and publish that you're doing it, causing reputational damage. Can't stop legal avoidance, but can make it expensive, and inconvenient - and help shift the advantage back towards those who do pay tax. And I bet not all elements of the schemes will stand up in court either. You'd then have sufficient information to help define laws that do stop piss-taking, without harming business.
Re: Fair play to them
More importantly, they're ruining it for their own staff, and their own workers. Just like Germany is finding, you may be doing well temporarily, but if all your customers' economies collapse, you'll soon have no customers. The same, on a smaller scale, applies to large companies. Once they're having a large enough effect to suck cash out of economies. If everyone has to pay more tax, they'll feel poorer, and may cut discretionary spending, such as on coffee...
That was the easy way to kill unshielded Tie Fighters in an X-Wing too. Although once you could afford a bigger ship in Frontier, you just flew straight past your enemies and shot them with your turrets and missiles. Much easier when you don't have to be pointing the direction you're firing.
I did like the physics, but it wasn't as easy, or fun, to play around at. There was satisfaction in flying past an enemy, turning your ship and shooting them as you passed, while still travelling in the original direction though. And doing gravity-assisted slingshots round planets.
That reminds me. I think EVE is the biggest (maybe only) adrenaline rush any computer game has ever given me. After not playing for a year, I re-subbed. The first time I got into combat I could barely control the mouse, my hands were shaking so much. When I survived, and was chatting to people over the headset and was as high as a kite, and my hands still shaking 10 minutes later. Never had a reaction like it, except to genuine danger - or the time I had a reaction to the adrenaline in a local anaesthetic (which was extremely odd).
The fact that losing ships in EVE matters (in terms of cost of time), and that you don't want to let your mates down gives it a different feeling to single player, or shooting mates in multi-player. I guess it's the long build-up of working towards a goal, all condensed into a battle (that might only last seconds/minutes), but seems to last for ages.
I had an IBM Ambra in the early 90s - 386 running Windows 3.1. I just found my copy of Elite from it in a box, last night. The only bit of software I kept from it. Although it was better on the Amstrad CPC464 in the mid 80s.
However, although Elite was brilliant, I think I played the original Tie Fighter more - and I'd say that was my favourite game ever. Very similar in the way you had to fly, but with more systems to manage. Balancing shields/weapons/engines for different ship combinations was brilliant.
I also spent a lot of time on EVE. Which isn't really Elite, but is great fun. I loved EVE, but never really felt it was a game you could play alone, the thing that makes it great is the co-operation aspect, but that's also the thing that makes it much more time-consuming and more hassle. As you need a decent size of Corporation to do certain things.
Re: They call themselves eGeeks but make their clients travel to them, One word...
To our anonymous friend,
When real clients propose giving you real money, for intangibles like telling them how to run their company - they damned well do want to meet you face-to-face. You can 'do the deal' on the telephone/skype/email, you can organise stuff and answer questions that way, but you absolutely must meet some people to build up that trust that keeps them coming back to you. Even if it's only once. Putting a friendly face to that disembodied voice (or even head if you're video-conferencing) is sometimes vital.
I speak as someone who's done ten years as a small company with no products, no services and not much of anything really. We're us. Our customers come to us because we can answer weird questions, and we almost always solve their problems. If they don't trust us we've no unique products they can't replace elsewhere. And we have rivals who'll point that out to them every day, if they can. Getting in front of people is what keeps them calling back when they're in a rush to solve a problem.
That's a deal-breaker in my book. My old Tablet PC didn't have an IPS screen, and the viewing angles were truly horrible. Holding it side to side with the original iPad made this point obvious. It's not that nice to look at yourself, as you're restricted in the ways you can hold it. But try showing the screen to someone else, and it gets truly nasty.
So for me all tablets need IPS, or whatever equivalent tech is out there.
Obviously, having just made that sweeping statement, I'll backtrack a little. It does depend on what features are most important to you. But to me, the screen is the most important feature of a tablet. It's what you stare at, it's what you interact with.
Re: That was a bit in-depth.
I shouldn't bother watching Quantum of Solace (Question of Sport) again, if I were you. There's only so many hours in a lifetime, and I'm sure you could usefully spend that time getting your cutlery really sparkling clean...
Re: Bit harsh
If your Mum had called you Bear, you'd drink your own urine too.
It's the only way to pass the time, when the camera crew have left you all alone, defenceless and isolated, in the honeymoon suite of the 5 star hotel - and they've run out of room service hookers...
No shills here*. Just a lot of people who saw Apple acting like arseholes, and are now laughing because they've made themselves look simultaneously arrogant and stupid on the front pages.
As it happens there were plenty on this site supporting Apple's case against Samsung, and calling the Galaxy designs rip-offs of Apples'. And plenty disagreeing. I don't particularly care, although I really don't get the tablet ones, they're a completely different shape, due to the different screen aspect ratio.
*Spartacus' Law (a development of Godwin's):
At some point in any online technology discussion - some idiot, unable to accept that others may hold a different point of view, will accuse another poster of being a shill.
Although I've never seen anyone accuse everyone of being one before...
Re: Bit harsh
Let me correct that for you:
"And besides, Red Bull is horrible stuff - I had a can once, and decided I preferred
espresso drinking my own urine.
Re: If only it was easier to find on their homepage....
Which would have been great if they'd written it properly. Sure Samsung could have linked to it, but basically no-one would have noticed. However, now they've dicked about like this, not only do they look bloody stupid, but they've also made front-page news, looking bloody stupid...
That's what's called a legal and PR Ooops! And because of the way Apple normally behave, enormously amusing.
Can I just add by the way:
Tank = vessel holding liquid under pressure
Cistern = vessel holding liquid at atmospheric pressure (i.e. with vent / no lid).
Everyone calls both a tank anyway. Even in the industry. Because confusion is fun...
Little bit of bollocks getting talked here. Actually enormous amounts. From memory water can only be sucked up 7m, at normal atmospheric pressure, so you could only have the pump 7m above the tank, that's 2 floors. I don't know the specific gravity of diesel. It floats on water, so it's going to go a few meters higher. Vic says 12m, and his post makes sense, so I'll go with him.
Also, using suction lift on a backup generator is risky. Your whole system basically relies on the footer valve, which is usually a spring loaded check valve / non-return valve at the bottom of the pump inlet pipe. If that spring doesn't close properly, then diesel will leak back into the tank, to be replaced by air, and the pump will lose prime, and won't work. And then your back-up system will fail. I don't sell pumps on suction lift, if I can persuade the customer not to, because of the hassle they always seem to cause. Also, isn't diesel always a bit dirty? I do water, not other stuff, so this isn't my area. But vital valve with spring closure and liquid with bits in = bad combination and leaky valve.
You DON'T pressurise your diesel tank. What if it sprung a leak? Erk! Anyway how would you fill it? How would you have an overflow pipe? Not a good idea.
Any well deeper than say 5m will have a submersible pump lowered down it on a chain, and that will pump the water up to the top. The controls and inverter (if variable speed) will live at the top of the well, but the pump and pump motor at the bottom.
Normal pumps in a basement won't be water-proof, it's very difficult to waterproof motors that are air-cooled.
Stick submersible pumps in your diesel tank? Well I don't deal with fuel, but you're sticking a big old electrical thing in a tank of fire-risk. I know diesel doesn't burn that easily, but even so. Also submersible pumps dump their heat into the surrounding liquid. No probs when the tank is full, or being topped up from a pump, but as the tank gets empty, and non tanker truck arrives, you're warming up a decreasing supply of diesel in a large container with an electrical item. I don't know the rules for doing this, it's not my area. I suspect there are lots of them though.
Re: Churchill's recipe
I thought Churchill said something like you should pour your gin, then open the vermouth and bow towards France. At which point it's ready to drink.
My brother even times the shaking of the cocktail. Shake a few seconds too long, and your drink gets too watered down, so you want the maximum amount of chilling, for the minimum amount of water. Myself I don't really get Martini. I'd rather have a decent scotch (Balvenie at the moment), and if you bring ice anywhere near that it's Glasgow kisses all round.
Re: So, who's the least effective?
The PCC are extremely effective. Best damn regulator that money could buy. Sadly, the money buying it is from its owners, the press... *ahem*
The ASA are OK, I suppose. This particular one isn't really all that bad from Virgin Media. If people are naughty enough, regularly enough, then they have to pre-approve their adverts with the ASA. Which is what happened to French Connection (the company that can't spell fuck).
The ICO are pretty useless, but then they don't have the powers or the resources (their own investigators) to do their job.
So I'd give my vote to Ofcom. They have lots of lovely powers, but seem to prefer to roll over and have their tummy tickled instead of using them.
Re: Life on Earth is too dangerous!
No. We just need to slap a health & safety order on earth, and get the management to make it safe. 7 billion hard hats, eye-protectors and luminous tabards later and we should all be good.
How do printers know?!
How does your printer know you've only got 20 minutes to get to the airport, when you try to print your boarding cards? Or that the presentation's in 5 minutes, and now's the time to choke on the vital documents? If HP had this genius level of design available, they'd be Google and Apple combined. So it must be the printers themselves...
They seem to have magical un-blockable paper-jam mode, emergency ink dump valve (to go from the full cartridge you put in yesterday to instantly critically empty) and nozzle-blocker [tm] - all available to pick from at need. As well as the ability to predict the future that allows them to know when to do it.
Re: Offline mappage
My understanding is The Google maps can only be downloaded if you plan a route beforehand, and then it downloads a bunch of the data around it - for if you go off piste. Although doesn't Googlemaps also need to phone home to a server in order to do route planning?
So Google is better, but not as good as a proper satnav. Also if you didn't know you'd be looking up a route in advance, it's no help, if you're off the beaten track. Such as a recent family visit with Mum, who didn't know where she was going, but hadn't bothered to bring her sat nav, or a map. My iPad was useless, because I couldn't get signal, but the Nokia Maps on my phone did the nob nicely.
Trying to navigate as a passenger is far nicer with a tablet than a smarthphone though.
Re: Piss off
1) It's a humorous article. Calm down.
2) To take the example you picked up on. If you have to know that you have to press CTRL+P in order to print in Metro (disclaimer: I've not used it yet, I don't know), then it's broken. This is a consumer product. How's my Mum supposed to know that? What are the chances of her remembering that for the next time she wants to print an email 6 months later? It's supposed to be a UI, not an intelligence test.
Possibly. But they'd already discovered inbreeding, and were practising it furiously.
This could be a whole series of games.
I think Computer Cleudo could work. Either BOFH style, Geeky Green was murdered in the tape safe with the cattle-prod by Ubuntu Brown. Or the game of who crashed the computer. Was it PDF Pink in the browser with the software bug - or Botnet Blue with the pictures of naked celebrities in the email?
Server Snakes & Ladders, and License Code Bingo are my next attempts.
There ought to be a good basis for a game in the software patent system too. But you have to be a lawyer to be allowed to play.
However, Monopoly can't be wasted on networking. It should be reserved as a game for Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, Apple and Google to play...
Re: BBC Mixing desks
Thanks for that. I hadn't heard of the old style quadrant faders. They sound quite an interesting idea. Nice tactile feedback on what level you're at as well.
Back on topic: The only cable ties I've ever found to be any good are the velcro ones. But even they seem to be more trouble than they're worth in a lot of cases.
Ewe've got to be kidding. This situation is baaaaad! The flocking government are failing to help us, while trying to pull the wool over our eyes! They tell us that the paltry internet speeds we're getting aren't down to slow broadband, but insufficient RAMs on our computers. That we're just complaining about the grass being greener on the other side, and that we don't vote anyway, so we're just lambs to the electoral slaughter.
Well it's time to fight back! A sheep's gotta do what a sheep's gotta ewe! When it comes to food, you're counting on us - we're the (mint) sauce of so many things you rely on. Yet your shear(ing) apathy leaves us cold and alone, with the wolf at the door, and not a flocking thing we can do about it. If you think we're going to let you get away with this, ewe must be baaaaking mad.
[Nurse! I'm out of bed again!]
Oi! Stop being so reasonable! This is the internet dammit!
Next you'll be saying that 'the war on drugs' makes no sense, and we should legalise those too...
I didn't come here for a lecture on communism!
Re: escorts are one thing
More importantly, where do I find a Cortina?
Re: I used to have a cable box like that...
Oi! No! Don't you dare torture those poor cables! Tying people up is wrong!
You don't need cable ties. Just leave a bunch of cables in one place, and they'll soon tie themselves into one convenient rugby ball shaped knot. They're happier that way...
My experience is that cable ties just make things worse. If you bundle the cables up, they get permanently bent. If you tie coils, you can never undo the buggers. Coiling them properly, with the aforementioned quarter-turn and carefully piling them, is the least bad way to go.
I wasn't aware there was a name for it though. I was taught the rudiments of sound engineering by BBC trained guys, so I guess I picked up a few of their habits. Although BBC mixing desks are backwards, for reasons that made sense to the BBC in dim and distant past.
Re: I forgot something!
I moved house a while back, and the computer cables got 'rationalised'. Such that when my Mum asked me for a SCART lead for her new DVD player last week, I didn't have one. The shame! I didn't think I'd dumped those. My old parallel and serial cables finally went, and my figure-of-eight power leads. Also my old, still working, Amstrad Notepad NC100. My laptop for £200. I think I finally ended with the PS2 keyboards and mice as well, even though I just saw one of those on the back of a mate's PC that I was fixing. One PS2 for the mousey, USB for the keyboard, and it's only a couple of years old.
The cables nest only fills one large box now, as opposed to two. Also, my Windows 3.1 disks, all my old games from my IBM/Ambra 386 (except I kept Elite). I think Windows 3.1 was only 10 floppies, Windows 95 came on about 30 (if you foolishly took that option). I've never hoarded mobile phones, I've always given mine away soon after upgrading, but my computers are usually so obsolete when I stop using them, there aren't any takers.
Re: I've got one somewhere
Phones are a useful business tool.
How else can I talk to the plumber on site, and talk them through fixing one of our units. Or the engineer when he's on a site visit, to try and sell him the right thing. How else do I answer a quick email when I'm on the train, when some customer claims he needs an answer in 10 minutes. OK, he should have found it out a week ago, then he wouldn't be in a rush. But the fact that I can answer that question now may be the difference between getting the order and not.
Plus I can find out which pub my mate's in, and join him there - even if we didn't plan a drink in advance.
If I don't want to answer the call, I don't. My phone usually tells me who it is, in big letters. Or I can turn it off. Mobile phones are bloody great. Admittedly other peoples' can be annoying. But other people will always find ways to be annoying, so what's one more...
Knowing the market price in the 3 nearest towns, so you can take your crops/goods to the one that gets you the best price, is rather useful. The extra cash you make from doing that, could be usefully spent on all sorts of things, including clean drinking water.
Plus, even poor people have friends, and might like to talk to them...
Better communications should lead to better markets, and therefore better economies, which can afford better services. Add in that corrupt politicians will find it harder to get away with it, and mobile phones can make quite a bit of difference in the world.
Re: If he can claim....
You're not Supreme Ruler of the Universe - you're a very naughty boy!
He's not an MP, he's a local councillor. Which is usually a very part-time job. Some might only have one meeting a week - plus an evening reading papers. Although once you're in a cabinet position in a big London Borough, there's probably lots more work.
I don't think any of them are bad. Although there have been some pretty shocking films. I've not seen 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service' in 20-odd years, so can't remember if it was Lazenby's crap acting, or a rubbish script. The thing is he does really well at the end of the film, which suggests he can act, but my memory's not clear enough to say.
Roger Moore stayed on too long. Some of his early films are great. He was a harder character at the beginning. But by 'View to a Kill' he can't even run up a half flight of stairs, without getting out of breath. That was sad to see. But if you can dismiss those from polluting your mind, his earlier films are good.
I voted for Connery. If I'd seen Skyfall, and it was good, I might have changed to Craig. The problem is Question of Sport. Quantum of Solace' was a right old dog's breakfast, and detracted from the loveliness of 'Casino Royale'.
Connery was just so iconic. But also Bond was so amazing in the 60s. Almost nobody had been on a 747, in the 60s, so even airports were cool. And it was a new kind of film. I suspect you have to have been there to get the full effect (we're all a lot richer than we used to be back then). Once you've done 20 flights in a year on business, hotels and airports suddenly lose all their charm, and happy association with holidays...
Poor Dalton suffered from crap-film-itis. Although 'License to Kill' was OK. I liked him a lot. I was no fan of Brosnan, until his last film - but I'm not sure if that was the films, or him.
Re: Strange coincidences
Who says he's making an arse of it? What position do you think Nokia would be in now with it's previous senior management? Do you think Meego/Maemo would have sold somewhere between 5-10 million devices? Didn't that actually go backwards when they merged their Linux platform with Intel's? Has it even got back to where it was before the merger yet? Well OK, that last is an unfair question, as they're no longer spending the R&D cash on it. But you get the point.
Symbian was selling lots of devices, but I don't think they were making much margin on them. I don't know what they're making on the Win Pho stuff either. The Lumia 710's been pretty heavily discounted, so I doubt they've been making much on that, or the 610. However there haven't been that many discounts on the 800/900 (in the UK at least). As long as they've been selling, the big 'bad news' story was that in the US they'd 'halved the price', or to put it realistically given a $50 discount after a few months of selling. So long as they're not holding tons of unsold stock, the first generation of Lumias have been no disaster. They've done OK. Sold in their millions and given them some market share. Whether that's good enough is anyone's guess.
But if the Win Pho 8 lot are a reasonable amount better than the Win Pho 7 ones, Nokia are now feature competitive with Android and iOS. That's only 10% of the battle. Marketing, logistics and the 'ecosystem' are the rest.
Nothing can work without consistency. Elop has that. He may be wrong, in which case Nokia are probably doomed. Their previous management haven't even got that far. It may be that there was no solution for Nokia by the time Elop took over. Or it may be that they had the answer, in a fix for the Symbian UI - but they'd have to start from scratch with Symbian anyway, in order to win market share off Android and iOS at the top end. And the top end of the smartphone market is the place with all the profits. Which is why only Samsung and Apple make any decent money.
Re: Never under-estimate idiots however
That's a silly thing to say. If people really are suckered in by slick marketing, then the app stores will fill up right quick. If there's customers, the developers will quickly follow. And a lot of these mobile apps get knocked out pretty quickly.
Anyway, the Win Pho 7 Marketplace isn't a barren wasteland. it's got loads of apps in it. Admittedly it's even harder to find stuff in than Apple's App store or Google Play, and seems to have even more rubbish apps in than they do (or possibly just less good ones), but empty it ain't.
Really, you ought to get over this bizarre need to make multiple rude posts on every story about Win Pho. Microsoft aren't the evil destroyer of competition any more. That role is filled by Apple (with its legal department) and Google (with its data hoovering, copyright theft and free stuff to screw over everyone else's revenue stream).
Also, if Steve Ballmer is an evil genius capable of getting his Manchurian Candidate made CEO of Nokia, so he can buy it up for cheaps - how come he's Steve Ballmer when he makes every other decision? He can't be an ignorant buffoon 99% of the time, and a genius the other 1%. Plus, how did he get Nokia's previous management to be so shit, for so long, that they managed to get into this horrible mess in the first place - in order to hire Elop to burn all their previous platforms? Hence I go for cock-up over conspiracy every time.
Re: Strange coincidences
All very well, except for the billions they've pissed away on researching and building other native technology, only to never quite release it, then move on to the next great shiny, without ever finishing anything. Whatever you might say about Elop, at least he's come to a decision and stuck to it. Previous management seem to have had the attention span of 4 year olds at a birthday party. Whether his analysis is correct, is another matter.
90% of Nokia's management time in the last 5 years seems to have been spent on infighting. They've had loads of potentially brilliant ideas, but none of them have managed to emerge from the internal bureaucracy. What a horrible waste of engineering talent! Elop came in, picked his target, and managed to get it developed reasonably quickly. Whether he could have done the same with one of the internal technologies is anyone's guess. But if going Win Pho was a huge gamble with the fate of the company, that would have been an even bigger one. And no $1 billion MS marketing cash to help...
Re: This is VERY questionable
Just looked at your post above. I don't remember that option in the Google Play store to turn off their ad stuff. Don't know if that's a version thing, or just something I missed. I wasn't using many apps on my phone, as I've found I'm not a phone app user. I prefer those on a tablet. Don't think I downloaded any apps after Marketplace turned to Play.
Does that setting affect what third party apps can do, or does it restrict itself to only Google's hooks?
I gave my phone away, so haven't got it to check with.
Re: The music is just an advert
That's sounding horribly like a self-justificatory argument for pirating music... Even if what you say is reality, which I'd question, I'm not sure it counts as morality.
Anyway, the labels may take lots of the pie, but it's not as if they're not doing anything for it. They're also taking huge risks on any new artist - given the low chance of them ever making a profit on most of the acts they sign. They offer an awful lot of, very expensive, services to musicians - and most musicians will make a profit on their record deals, because otherwise they'd have made no money at all, or (more likely) lost money.
The big artists do lose out. They'll be on bad terms on their first deal, and lose lots of the unexpected profits. Then the profits from them are used to subsidise the unsuccessful artists, as well as to pad out the profits. Even so, most of them seem not to bother going independent. That I don't understand. Once you're Coldplay, you could easily sell all the stuff you want with virtually no marketing budget. But maybe they want to make music and enjoy their cash, rather than replicating a bunch of services they can get from the record companies already (for more cash admittedly). Or maybe they're even happy to sub the less successful acts, and the suits?
Well, my experience is the same as the OP above. Although I've never bought professional networking kit. Both the Netgear domestic routers I've had, have needed regular reboots to make them work - and seemed to suffer from erratic problems that required reboots (either heat or bugs). Both the WiFi dongles/cards I've had from them have died in under 18 months. I guess I had all this stuff 5 years ago, obviously I've not touched their stuff since. With such a small data-point bad luck is obviously possible.
That's interesting. Every bit of Netgear kit I've ever bought has been crap. That's only a sample of about 3 or 4, 2 routers and a few WiFi cards/dongles, but enough that I won't buy any more.
Mostly it's been erratic failures, that act like over-heating, but could equally be software bugs or other hard to diagnose stuff. Although my cards/dongles just seemed to stop working after a few months.
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