1674 posts • joined Thursday 18th June 2009 09:56 GMT
Re: slidey rating thing
I rather like your whole Channel Reg makeover. I don't tend to read that side of things normally, so I'd not noticed. I'm not in the industry - I'm just interested in tech stuff generally. Also what IT our company can afford, I usually deal with.
It's a bit disconcerting with you making the main articles list one column wide, instead of 2 on the main Reg. But it does look less cluttered, and I think I like it. I also like the idea of separating out the opinion pieces, over on the right. I know you put "OPINION" in the headline, but it's good to separate it out, the way most papers do. Some people hate op eds, so this gives them less excuse to moan. In my case, it means I can find it quickly, and if I've not got time to scan the whole site, I can just read that.
Your new rating system is nice and clear. I don't think the old one is. As I said before, I suspect you'll get more feedback by showing what's already been given. Whether that's a good thing or not is obviously up to you... I think I prefer it.
Thanks for the info. Sadly having replaced my Wildfire, I didn't get to keep it and therefore have fun rooting it, and mucking about on XDADevelopers. I know someone who'd killed their Wildfire's screen, so I spent a few 'happy' hours trying to get their settings ported, then handed mine over. Unless I'm missing something, Android seems to be awfully light on backup/restore options. It took several hours (to be fair I was missing certain crucial info maybe 30 minute's worth?) - but it's a ten minute job on iOS.
Quoting from your link:
"Here a non-official CyanogenMod 9 ROM will be presented which is more or less working on our wildfire. I, and other testers here, must warn you that this ROM is currently in a beta stage. Altough the most important things work, there are serveral things that don't work and the device is slow - animations, typing: everything goes slow."
So fun to play with, but you've had to overclock the processor, and I assume it's not exactly production quality ICS. I really liked the design of the Wildfire, just not he software, or the slowness.
There's another factor to add here. Apparently while Lester Haines is working his Spanish friends to death on Register Special Projects, their only comfort is beer and cigarettes. I believe he's stated this is as one of the reasons he won't consider hydrogen for LOHAN. They won't go without ciggies.
I suppose he could consider it evolution in action. But if you incinerate the owner, and patrons, of your local bar, not only will there be no-one to drink with, but no-one to serve the drinks either.
If Hydrogen really is God's favourite gas, then I guess you could consider this an example of original sin.
I'm afraid I've rated a couple of your articles as so-so, because I was heading for the comments link, missed a bit, and as soon as your mouse pointer is hovering over that slider/bar thing you've got a rating selected and a click confirms it.
I suggest giving it a little more clearance space from the bottom grey line, with the other options on.
Or merge it into that line, which might be the more logical move, as it's another action to take at end of article.
As I've not started posting about it, I may as well ask another question. Are you happy with the feedback you're getting from it?
You would get more feedback, if you showed how an article has already been scored by others. People are much more likely to do something if there's a cue to show that other people are as well. Plus people who like something are less likely to vote than those who are pissed off. So if an article's getting a bit of a kicking, the ones who like it will be more likely to step up to defend it.
On the other hand, you may only want the ratings of people motivated to do so. So I guess this comes down to how you want to use the feedback, and what kind you want.
"You can run Ice Cream Sandwich on hardware less than 1Ghz/512Mb.
I have a Wildfire running 4.0.4 right now "
I'm surprised by that. I just got rid of my Wildfire. It wasn't very fast, and stuttered quite frequently. Admittedly it was stuck on Android 2.2, and I didn't jailbreak and upgrade it (as it was a work phone). It was perfectly usable as a phone, other than the couple of times the screen seemed to lock up when trying to answer calls.
I thought ICS needed more juice. Are you running a custom ROM with some bits cut out to help performance?
"Are they super cheap?"
I suspect this is your answer.
Hardware requirements were something like 1 GHz processor and 500MB RAM. Which wasn't that far off top-end when WinPho7 came out, but didn't go up with first 2 updates. They've even cut the requirements with the latest update (Tango). I don't think you can run Android 4 on that.
I suppose Apple could compete on price. If they wanted to. The iPhone 3GS is still on sale, and is over 2 years old. But they're still charging £300 for it! Also, I wonder how well it copes with iOS 5. Given that my iPad 1 became a lot less fluid and reliable with the update to that, and has better specs.
Re: @ I ain't Spartacus @ Neoc - Fascinating
"I understand how one knocks up a servant, but how does one knock up a statue?"
If you've not done it in the open air, with a 7 foot tall goddess and pigeons crapping on your shoulders, then you haven't lived!
Surely you don't ever get 'hosed'? You are Mr Loveable, as is proved by your impressive record of 8:1 up:down. I guess that makes you the anti-Shitpeas. I wonder what his down:up ratio is...
I've been quite rude about Android, ever since I got a phone with it. So that, and the move to WinMob has got me a lot of thumbs-down-action. I don't ever seem to find myself fighting the freetards, so it's not a problem I have. The obvious points always seem to get made before I arrive.
The anti-Orlowski brigade do seem to be a motivated bunch. I'm not sure if it's the freetards or the climate-change zealots who hate him most. But I don't tend to get involved in that too much, so it's rare for me to notice someone hiting my posts page, and downvoting the top ones. I think I've only seen that once.
I have noticed that the first vote often brings more. People might not upvote you, even though they agree with you, in a forum bunfight. But once you've had a few downvotes, they hit the up button in solidarity. I tend to only downvote the worst idiocy, upvote anything witty/funny, but I'll only usually bother to upvote opinions I agree with if they've been hit by the thumbs down brigade, or if they're answering someone I wanted to, and make my point for me.
I reckon you could get a nice anthropological study out of the Reg comments boards.
My only problem is I can't get the easy upvotes from being rude about Apple. Since I bought the iPad, Steve is my master... I'm scared they might take it away from me if my thoughts stray from the righteous path. I suppose I'll have to stick to being rude about Facebook. Easy targets and cheap-shots all the way for me...
Although not Google+. It has a small, but fanatical, fanbase. You get certain downvotes, though usually not too many of them... [/bitch]
I've recently entered the world of the downvote. You always get some of course. I'm usually nice and fluffy, but sometimes I take potshots at the trolls. Techies seem to generally be a bit lefty, politically, and I'm more centre-right, so I get the odd one or tow there.
Interesting to see TeeCee is a paragon of niceness, with his shiny 8:1 up-downvote ratio. I was coasting along at a steady 6.5:1 until 2 weeks ago. I've commented on a few Windows Mobile stories recently, having just bought one, and I hit the hundredth downvote today. My ratio is down to 5:1 now.
It's odd, because most of my posts are pretty even-handed. But it seems the techies don't seem to like WinMob. Admittedly I do occasionally blow raspberries at Android, which I think has a couple of glaring problems. That seems to be a source of many of my downvotes.
If I cared, it would be interesting to see what gets me the thumb's down most. Liking the iPad, disliking Android or voting Conservative. Or my newfound liking for WinMob7.
I even got 8 downvotes for being mildly grumpy to Barry Shitpeas! There's got to be something wrong with a universe that allows that...
The Romans were unusually mobile. Big empire, big army, lots of trade and all that. But basically before the 19th Century it was unusual for people ever to go more than 5 miles from their village.
Travel was time-consuming, difficult, dangerous and horribly expensive. Hmmm. How much has actually changed? Ever been on the 3:17 from Cleethorpes?
Re: Great Opportunity Missed
Sure, it's 1 denarius to get to Londinium (Burrio).
However, you've forgotten to mention the surcharge of 100 denarii for hire of your oar. Plus 1 denarius/day food, plus luggage, taxes and port charges.
Obviously what shows up when you point your tablet at www.pretiumcompario.com would be the 1 denarius headline cost.
Re: Roman GPS?
Nothing's changed then. The Temple of Apollo at Delphi was said to have one of the best spy networks in the ancient world.
It helped them to know which way the wind was blowing, when consulted by governments.
Re: @ Neoc - Fascinating
Even worse than that, in my opinion. Calculating value is so hard over these lengths of time, and I don't think doing it on what you could buy works too well. They couldn't buy an iPad for example, and their food was proportionally more expensive. On the other hand, we can't go out and buy a slave...
So I like to look at wages/incomes. I think 1 denarius/day was pay for an ordinary soldier or labourer. Minimum wage is about £6 an hour, so that's £50 for an 8 hour day. So I'd say a denarius is about £50-odd - or better, just say a day's low wage.
This comes down to the differences in the economy. We've got mass production, so can have more stuff. And cheaper food, so it's proportionately less of our income. On the other hand, labour is much better rewarded now, so it's much more expensive to have servants, or a statue of yourself knocked up.
You can't review the device on Microsoft's terms. You have to review it against the competition at the same price. For £400+ you can get a lot of phone/pocket computer. That's what it's competing against, so that's what it's got to beat.
El Reg gave the Lumia 710 80%. That was in the review when it was £300. Now it's £170 (£130 unlocked on Pay&Go from Carphone Whorehouse), it would probably get a higher score, because it's competing against less good competition.
It's clear that the market wants apps. That's why there's been a few billion downloads. MS are still worse for apps. And it is fair to to review the phone on the relative merits of the OS, which has some limitations compared with the others. Though I'd say it also has the best address book - I think the People hub is absolutely brilliant - and can do some really interesting things, while still being easier to use - and with big, clear writing for reading on the move.
Finally I think you're being a bit unfair to El Reg. One, ratings will always be arbitrary. They're only a guide. Two, the Lumia 900 is the third in an almost identical series. It's a slight evolution of the 800, with both slightly better than the 710. So it doesn't need a 5 page review. Each new iPhone gets a big review, because it's once a year, and usually has new OS features to cover. You aren't being cheated here, and your personal OS choice should not need validation by El Reg.
Firstly, I like Win Pho 7. I own a Lumia 710. I think that it's the best sub £200 smartphone. Though I've not tried Ice Cream Sarnie, but they're not this cheap yet.
Your argument is silly. You can mark down Android on the insecure software in the market. And maybe Google's data mining (though Apple and MS aren't innocent of that either). In fact, you should. It's a vital element of any review. These are smartphones. The Lumia 900 will come in at over £400. For that money you can buy 10 decent dumb-phones, or 2 reasonable smartphones. So you're not just reviewing the thing as a phone, but as a mobile computer.
To do a proper review, you must look at hardware, software and usage. Plus comparison with rivals at a similar price. If you were to do a review of Windows vs. MacOS vs. Linux, you'd have to review software availability. It would be idiotic not to. If you want games, you're going to favour Windows, for example. That's what the review's for, and why I've chosen to comment on WinPho stories recently, to give people decent info. In the couple of weeks I've been doing this, my downvote count has jumped by 50%... [insert smiley of choice here]
In reviewing a phone, you must necessarily cover the OS. And that means what you can do with it, and how it stacks up against its rivals. Apps is a massively important part of that.
In my opinion the Apple app store is better than Android Play, which is better than MS Marketplace. With a caveat that you get more freedom with Android than either of the others, which has risks, but also means you can have useful apps the others don't allow.
You talk about drawing up objective criteria to get a percentage. Something I'm not sure is possible. But then you complain that some problems with WinPho aren't important, and mistake your subjective opinion for fact. You might not think it's important to have more storage, or more apps, but that doesn't make you right. A good review doesn't make such assumptions. It tries to give all users the info they need to decide themselves.
Like too many people, you mistake your personal opinions for universal truth. I happen to agree with you that video on phones is silly, and that phones should be good phones first. And I don't use many apps. But I don't make the mistake of thinking that everyone shares those opinions. This review was fair, because it gave readers the information to make decisions based on their subjective opinions.
Google started reminding me about my Google+ profile. They started spamming me with 'top 3 posts of the week' emails, and bunged them on my home screen, seemingly with no way to get rid.
It worked. It reminded me to commit G+ suicide.
It's a shame in some ways. It was a nicer interface, easier to use and allowed easier privacy control. I log into Facebook about once a month, and it's a horrible UI mess. Every month I log in to FB again, and they've changed the UI AGAIN. I'd post a bit on there, if I could wade through the shit.
In the end my family are on FB. That's where the cute pictures of the kids are. None of them moved to G+, so I had no reason to bother with it.
It's got some loyal fans though. But that may be worse. They defend it passionately in any discussion. But they'll probably not win many users over, and will be incredibly pissed off (and just as vocally so) when Google close it down in a year or two. Like Buzz, Wave, Orkut etc.
Doesn't matter if it's the companies paying for app development's fault or not. If I want apps and they're not there, then I'm unhappy. 'Droid gets less development because less money is made on the Android marketplace. iOS users pay more for apps. That comes down to userbase + demographics of same. If Windows phones sell more at the lower end of the market, then this problem will continue. I don't use many phone apps, so I don't care, but for those that do it's a major consideration. I wouldn't recommend WinMo to anyone that uses lots of apps - even though I think it's a really good OS.
It should be able to replace my mp3 player! I shouldn't need to carry 2 devices. Just the addition of an SD card slot would solve this problem. They make me install bloody Zune on my PC to set it up (presumably so they can sell me music), so they bloody well ought to make it do that job! I know I'm unusual in having 20GB of music, but it ain't rocket surgery!
As happens, the battery drain means I probably wouldn't dump my mp3 player yet, whatever phone I have. I need the it primarily as a work phone, personal phone second, all else is gravy. But I'd like to be able to.
How much profit can Nokia make?
They're only selling a few million Lumia handsets so far, so economies of scale aren't great. But they only have 4 models, which has got to help. Especially as the 710, 800 and 900 seem to have the same board, which just more storage (and maybe RAM) for the top models.
They've gone for plastic not metal/glass. So that's got to save a penny or two.
And Windows needs less (or uses less, insert argument here) processor speed and RAM. So they're getting to use cheaper chips.
So here's the question. They launched the Lumia 800 at £400 and the 710 at £300. The 710 is down to £170 now (unsubsidised). I've seen the 800 at £350 ish. I got my Lumia 710 at £130 on a Pay-&-Go contract, but unlocked, from Carphone Whorehouse.
So are Nokia able to make a profit at these price points? And did they release at too high a price? Or, are they having to buy market share?
I don't currently see them selling too well at the top-end. At over £400, I'd take an iPhone 4, or probably an ICS Android. But if they could make a profit, they can beat the mid-market Androids. I can't see them winning against the best phones, until they improve the home-screen and get more/better apps. And the second of those needs them to have more users. So for Nokia to succeed, I think the Lumia 800 has got to do well (and profitably) at £250.
Android has got by far the best customisation options for the UI. The tiles are worse than I expected, moving to WinMo from Android. Although I didn't use them as much as some, but the options for having a full home screen of an email inbox/calendar were great. I'd argue that WinMo it's still better than iOS though. But I also agree, once you've got more than 2 pages of tiles, you need a separate home screen, rather than a big scrolling list.
With bigger text and less info on the tiles WinMo has worse information density. But I find it easier to use on the move (important in a mobile). There's less distracting busy-ness onscreen, and it's far easier to read in sunlight, without reading glasses. I definitely think WinPho is the answer for those who struggle with fiddly small text on phones.
The smartphone for the blind-as-a-bat doesn't really have a marketing ring to it though...
But the stock email, text, address book and phone apps are far better than Android. And though it is a mobile computer, it's also a phone. So if you only use a few apps, the tiles are quite nice. Tiles for what you use on the front page, app list on the second.
Oh do grow up Barry.
It got a fair score. It's worse than the other high-end phones, but not dramatically so. I'd argue a better phone (superior address book for example), but a worse mobile computer.
As to your list of well documented problems... Some evidence please? Don't bother about backing up the app selection bit though, I wouldn't go as far as dire - but MS are a long way behind here.
The UI isn't sluggish, all reviews I've seen say it's fast, and in my personal experience I've never seen lag on Win7, and I have on every pre-ICS Android I've ever used.
Reception problems? I get better performance at home than on any other smartphone I've tried. Not seen it mentioned in reviews either.
So turd of a phone it ain't. Though I wouldn't pay over £400 for it, when there's the iPhone 4 at that price, which is clearly a problem for Nokia.
It's a review of the phone against the competition. So the Microsoft app store isn't all that great. It's apparently up to 80,000 apps now, but a lot of the main ones still aren't there, and there's a lot of rubbish ones (as there are on all stores). That's a definite black mark against it, and should be. If you get a top-end Android/iPhone for a similar price, you've got access to many more good apps. Given this is a tech site, that should probably be worth -10% alone.
Lack of storage is a big minus too. Obviously on the iPhone you've got to pay more to get it, but the option is there to go up to 64GB. With Android you have SD cards (so even better). So a top-end phone should at least have the option of more. Nokia are obviously cutting corners to try and keep manufacturing costs down - by only having one model. I've got 20GB of music, not including podcasts. I'm not that unusual. This is no good to replace my mp3 player.
So I think the review was fair, and gave good reasons. Otherwise he said it's decent. The thing is, you can't complain that if it's a good phone it should get full marks. Because it'll be over £400. And for that money you can get 3 or 4 good phones (if a decent phone is all you want). For that cash it's got to be a good pocket computer as well.
I have a Nokia Lumia 710. If I wanted lots of apps, I'd not have got it. Because the app store's not yet good enough. Although I think I'd agree with the review that the UI on apps is generally better and more consistent than either iOS or Android ones.
I'm surprised this only has the same 1.4Ghz processor as mine. Though in the 3 weeks I've had it, it's never lagged once. I'd argue that Android needs dual core processors because it's less well written, and all the pre-ICS androids I've used have suffered from lag. And to be fair to MS here, they've just re-written their OS to need less memory/processor speed.
For the £130 I paid, I think the Lumia 710 is brilliant. I want a good phone first, with acceptable email and maps and a bit of web. It far surpasses that - and is better than any Android at the price. If I used apps on a phone the same way I do on my iPad, then I'd go iOS, or Android if I couldn't get it.
So what if it gets no updates? As long as it works, and continues to get patches. It's only a cheap phone. Anyway, MS have actually made an effort to lower the hardware requirements of WinPho with this update, which means its possible they have some sort of plan not to abandon. Although it doesn't look likely.
If you buy a similar priced Android phone, your software, on your brand new phone, will be 18 months old! With no updates. And worse, Google will have abandoned you with no patches. Given how piss-poor Android support is, and the fact that Google update every 6 months, all Android phones are 6 months from obsolescence...
There are plenty of valid arguments for and against, but this ain't one of them.
I went to the Carphone Whorehouse.
I believe it's down to £170 on Vodafone, O2 and Orange direct or SIM free from CW. But £130 Pay-as-you-go with a couple of them in CW.
I think it was as low as £120 if you had an existing Pay&Go account, and wanted to upgrade it, but the staff didn't seem to be too sure about that. And I didn't anyway.
As their stuff is unlocked and doesn't have any of the operator's horrible software on it, I bought Vodafone Pay&Go, and bunged the work contract SIM in it.
It needs a bit of setting up. But you can delete the Ebay app without having to root the damned phone (hooray!). The text is enormous. Which gives low information density, but is great for reading without glasses.
It's also funny to see what honesty is like. Set-up is full of dire warnings about how you have to agree to sign your privacy away, and every move you make will be tracked from now on. It's alarming. No different from iOS and Android of course, it's just they're more sneaky about it.
Re: You've been Tango'd
It does seem a bit odd. Surely to up it from 380MB to 500 (and run the full OS) wouldn't cost that much, then it could run full WinPho7? Maybe they're going to sell it for £50 or something - and that couple of quid does matter.
Otherwise, surely a 4" phone should be running all the apps.
It's going to have to be cheap to compete with Nokia. I suspect they might be buying market share with the Lumia 710.
I bought a 710 last week. For £130. It's not al all bad. Actually, I'll change that, it's very good. Nice and fast, and easy enough to use. Big buttons, and big writing. If you're a power Android user it'll probably piss you off massively. If you want a smartphone that does phone, email, text, satnav and internet well, then it's great. There are a lot fewer decent apps available, and nowhere near as much tweaking to be done.
However, I was only using 5 or 6 apps on my Android phone, and 3 of those were to replace the rubbish stock browser, address book and text app. I was stranded on 2.2 though. I wasn't at all impressed by my experience of Android (including the tablets on 3 I've played with), though ICS may be better (now you can finally get kit that runs it).
It's a lot more customizable than iOS though. It's OK if you set it up, but try picking up someone else's iPhone/iPad and finding an app, amongst screens and screens of similar looking icons.
Maybe with Tango Windows mobile can do well at the lower end of the market? Where Apple don't play, and a lot of the Android phones are truly rubbish. Then build up enough customer-love to sell phones at the top-end. Or fail spectacularly. Who can tell...
What is the situation on iOS
As I understand it, you can have various front-ends on iOS, but it's the Safari webkit engine that does the actual work. Which allows for UI changes. For example Safari will let you view a PDF on a website, but stupidly won't save a copy. Atom allows both.
The Opera version you probably saw was Opera Mini. Which is doing all the work on one of their servers, and converting the web to mobile-bandwidth-friendly static pages, that I'm assuming you view with Safari, or a custom Opera front-end.
I'm assuming from Firefox's complaint that something similar will happen with WinRT. You can build a Metro App, but you'll have to do without some functions, or use an IE API or something.
I disagree. That FB share structure is brilliant. Clearly the shining entrepreneur Zuck should have all the power, and all the money. Only he can be trusted to know how to run the company. Just because financial institutions manage billions, doesn't mean they know what they are doing.
In fact the opposite is proved by them investing billions in Facebook...
Oh, hang on a minute. I would buy $1bn of Facebook shares, but unfortunately all my money's tied up in Groupon at the moment.
To steal a motor racing saying. How do you make a small fortune in Web 2.0 investment?
Answer: Start with a large one.
I've upvoted you, and think I'll join you in a "D'oh!"
Re: @ Mark Jan
Thanks for your reply. I fully understand one of the points you're making here. MS have their own best interests at heart (a black heart admittedly...) and not Nokia's. And it may well be that Nokia have picked the wrong technology, and should have gone with Android. Or possibly, both. Be the market leader in Windows phones (and best pals with MS), and knock out some me-too Android ones, so you're at least getting some sales from those, and not disappearing out of the market.
I suspect if they'd gone that route, they wouldn't be getting $1 billion marketing support our of MS - and given their current position, $1bn is quite a lot. If they go the Android route, and can only make $10 profit per phone, then they'd have to sell 100 million Android handsets to be worth it!
What I still don't get, is when you said this:
Nokia has everything to lose and Microsoft everything to gain.
That doesn't look like straight talking common sense to me, but MS hate.
In this case MS and Nokia's interests are aligned. If Win Mob 7/8 fails, then MS are stuck with just XBox and the Corporate desktop/server market. And they will be sad, because that puts them in a mature market with low growth (nice profits though) - but not sexy. So they want it to succeed. They aren't trying to kill Nokia and buy it cheap, as some people keep trotting out. That's just silly. Obviously Nokia risk going bust - but moving to Android isn't that much less risk, as the competition is much fiercer, hence lower profits.
@ Mark Jan
Nokia has everything to lose and Microsoft everything to gain.
What are you talking about?
Nokia have everything to gain, by selling lots of phones, and not going bust. Microsoft have everything to gain by selling lots of software, and getting to put Bing and XBox live on mobile devices. It's pretty bloody simple. Companies make stuff, in the hopes of selling stuff, preferably at profit. Both have lots to lose, if they fail. Of course Nokia have more at stake than MS.
There's no point, as all the bollocks conspiracy nuts keep on talking about, in Microsoft bankrupting Nokia! Sure they could then buy it cheap. And what the fuck would they do with it then? They'd have a loss-making, basket-case, bankrupt company that was failing to sell phones, and a PR disaster. Well Whoop di bloody Do! Clearly MS want Nokia to sell their software, so they can make loads of Moolah. They even seem to be willing to annoy all the Windows 8 customers, in order to get everyone used to their Metro UI. Which seems mad to me, but clearly isn't a sign they're hanging Nokia out to dry.
Please can we dial the MS hatred down from insane, to just normal, and then carry on the discussion?
Oh God Nooooooo!
“Tablets are an important [market segment], so that is being looked into
Being looked into? Being looked into?!?! Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Can we please start making our minds up chez Nokia? And perhaps start releasing stuff, rather than looking into it. Maybe sack a few of the people who serve no useful purpose, but to say 'no' to projects, and actually use some of your engineering perhaps?
It's not that they can't release nice phones. I bought a Lumia 710 yesterday. From first impressions, it's pretty nice, and very good for a £130 phone. Not as customisable as Android, but I personally prefer the UI. I don't mind complication in a computer, but I prefer my phone to be simple, with big easy-to-read text. I don't think you can get an Android phone for that price with anywhere near the quality of screen and processor. But that's probably a bad thing, as it means Nokia aren't making any money out of it.
10:20 Joe Bloggs signed-up to the Albanian Mafia page.
I can't speak for organ donation, but the UK blood transfusion service did some research, which showed their donations would go down if they paid. So they don't. Makes more sense in a country with free healthcare anyway. But paying cash for donations, as the US did in the 80s, had some pretty unfortunate consequences, which I believe is why they don't any more.
Anyway, how much would you pay for an organ? Can I bung you $5k for your dying husband's kidney madam? That's going to be a fun conversation...
Why not relax? You can do good, and make money, at the same time. Or should -we ban all doctors from being paid, because they shouldn't be making a profit from people being ill?
Organ donation is fucking expensive, because it requires the patient to spend a lifetime on specialist drugs, requires at least 2 surgical teams (for the donor and the patient), probably 2 life-support machines, a lot of matching, testing and tissue typing, a big database infrastructure, and much follow-up work. All along the line people get paid, and make profits. So what.
Re: No bits please you're British
The Belgians wouldn't take my blood when I lived there either. They thought I had BSE, and so was unclean. No-one who'd lived in Blighty between 1980 and 1995 or something.
Re: Bloody hell ...
It was only 3 times a year up until a few weeks ago. I just got an email from the Blood Transfusion Service to tell me I can now go for an extra donation per year. Weirdly, in the 90s, it was safe in the Midlands when they were separate regional services, but not anywhere else in the country.
So I'll get by Blankety-Blank chequebook and pen this year instead of next, for reaching 50 donations.
'The Right Stuff'
I remember reading 'The Right Stuff', and how all the test pilots basically blamed pilot error for almost any crash. I think it was 5 parts ego (I can fly anything) and 5 parts fear - what if the plane I'm in is an unflyable deathtrap? Best deny it, and blame the pilot.
Fighter pilots don't suffer from a lack of ego or self-confidence. But I guess a problem that's definitely with the plane and no amount of piloting skill can solve, is something they just don't want to think about.
Not that flying is as dangerous as back then. The Luftwaffe had something like 900 F104s and crashed 300 of them! Losing 115 pilots. link
Here's a list: German F104 crashes
When you desalinate water for drinking, I'd imagine you'd add trace minerals back in, to bring it up to similar levels to soft (nancy) Northern water, rather than hard (real men's) Southern water.
Heart attacks are lower in hard water areas than soft, although I can't remember if there's enough difference to care about or not. But I'd imagine you'd want to re-mineralise desalinated water.
You're also right that de-mineralised water is bad for metal pipes. You tend to get pinhole corrosion, as it attacks them. Normally where you use this kind of water you use stainless steel or plastic pipe (or just put up with more frequent replacement).
It is a very interesting set of calculations though. On the con side, you've probably got higher pumping costs, planning difficulties with siting desalination plants, all that energy used, and of course running costs. Those membranes are bloody expensive, and have to be replaced quite frequently.
But the pro-side is also pretty interesting. You can do less environmental damage by abstracting less from rivers. You should have less problems with drought. Also there's limescale to think about. An awful lot of energy gets wasted on water heating, due to the massive inefficiencies that scale introduces. If you could make South Eastern water soft, then boiler plant would last much longer, and we'd have to use much less energy to get the same amount of water heating done. Plus less need for softening plant, chemicals in cooling towers etc.
Leakage is pretty much irrelevant though. Those leaky pipes have to be replaced at some point, or they'll fall apart, and it's silly to spend money treating water, to then lose it. Even if fixing leaks looks expensive, it pays off in the long term.
Re: Pushing water uphill
>>>>Its already pumped! How do you think tap water reaches people at the top of tower blocks??
@boltar, Thames don't tend to give people at the top of tower blocks water. I do. Otherwise I'd be out of a job...
I sell pumps for a living (amongst other water-y things). The Water Undertakers are supposed to provide water at 1 bar, at the meter. In practise you usually get much more than that, although not in Central London.
Tall buildings tend to have a cistern and pump hidden away in the basement, which pushes the water up to high level. Otherwise, when you turned on the taps at the ground floor, you'd get wet trousers, from the huge amount of pressure needed to deal with tall buildings.
UK Legal validity
Once you pop your clogs, your body belongs to your next-of-kin, to do with as they wish. So it's them that decide whether you get chopped up for spare parts, or for the dog's tea...
You didn't think all those pork pies grew on trees did you?
Well, dinner aside, your donor card has no legal validity. It's down to the doctors bothering to ask (as they don't enjoy that particular conversation with relatives), and your family saying yes.
There's been talk of new legislation to change this for years, but nothing ever seems to come of it. There seem to be 3 options on the table:
1. Insist all doctors have to ask, in any situation where organs would be usable.
2. Make it opt-out (Facebook style). You're up for the chop, unless your relatives object, or there's need of an autopsy/investigation.
3. Make the donor card legally binding, so a person's choice can override their relatives'.
Does anyone else find it sinister that in the same week that a company is launched to mine asteroids, our Register overlords are planning a replacement for the death penalty? There's clearly some conspiracy going on at the top echelons of the tech industry - and El Reg are involved.
Seeing as Australia appears to be full, or at least no longer accepting deliveries... I suggest transportation to the platinum mines on Ceres. Mining robots are just so much more expensive than convict labour.
Also, if we're finally going to use space, and move towards the future promised in all good science fiction, then we need to add the correct dystopian elements as well. The future usually seems to involve the poor space colonists being slaves to the big corporations, until they get eaten by aliens of course.
Re: What resource?
"What about these silica ones, are they any good"
"well silicon is used in computers, and everyone wants computers right?"
"let's do it, anything we find that isn't coal or sand is just gravy"
So what you're telling me is that someone has finally discovered one of the rare gravy asteroids. All we need now is the yorkshire pudding asteroid and the beeferoid - and space exploration is more or less solved.
Oi! NASA! Get Hubble turned around to survey asteroids, rather than wasting its time on 13bn year old galaxies. Then get your arse to Mars!
Top nerdery sir!
How did you get your bed onto a tower PC? I didn't think even servers were that big nowadays. Or is your 'Personal Prose Projection Pooter' in fact an old Cray II...
This gives me an idea for watching telly in bed, with it projected onto the ceiling, for the ultimate comfy TV position. The only downside being you choke on your popcorn, and drown when you try to drink... Perhaps a straw, and Wallis & Gromit style robot-feeding-arm is in order?
How are these things going to work?
Are we talking really tiny screens, or HUD projected onto the lens? Or is there some sort of technology to project the image into your eye somehow?
After all, if you want to have Terminator style informational text scrolling across your vision, the letters are either going to have to be so small that you can't read them, or if big enough to read, it's probably going to be a couple of words, obscuring your entire visual field.
I'm interested myself, as someone with extremely poor eyesight, as given the right technology this sort of thing could be incredibly useful. My sight is to bad that I don't wear glasses (except for reading), because there's nothing that magnifies enough to make a difference, that isn't massively distorting. Basically 2 x bugger-all, is still bugger-all.
So if there's something out there that can put more than a couple of words/icons on a mini screen then I'm very interested - otherwise it's just shiny tech I can't use. Or I'd have to wear my reading glasses to read the text displayed on my sunglasses...
Re: My server room is full
Do you have any jobs going there?
I promise not to touch the Yorkie bars. If you eat too many you'll either break your teeth or your fingers on them, so they'll need health and safety stickers. You must wear safety goggles when eating them. Also you need a diversity awareness officer, to deal with the sexual discrimination inherent in the Yorkie marketing.
But quality control is required for the Wispas. You've got to make sure they're being stored correctly, so as not to deteriorate over time. I suggest a testing regime of one Wispa per hour, just to make sure that nothing goes out of parameters. And for that job, I can think of no-one better qualified than myself. I promise to dedicate myself to maintaining your supply of Wispas in tip-top condition.
Re: nobody suggesting "take off and nuke from orbit" yet?
Well it's Friday afternoon. There's a pub next door to the office, and a hostel for the homeless 3 doors up from that. I reckon my chances of scoring a post-work pint of meths are pretty good. Cheers!
>>>>Are you blaming the Universe for being too weird, or humanity for looking at it too closely?
Why not both?
There are some things that are not meant to be meddled with by man. As someone usually says, just before the mad scientist creates the hideous monster (that'll probably have eaten him by the third act).
On the other hand quantum physics is just so odd, that if the scientists weren't studying that, you'd have to worry what else they might be getting up to. So maybe it's best to keep them busy, right where we can see them (until they invent that invisibility cloak of course).
[We've got the lab coat. Why no mad scientist icon?]
Now then, now then
A massively expensive chair (bum bling) with storage in the arms. Now what does that make me think of?
Are the things stored in the arms letters and Jim'll Fix It badges by any chance?
You are Jimmy Saville and I claim my £5...
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