218 posts • joined 22 Jun 2009
Re: Its not suprising..
Just a few things, Chekri:
"employees will manage just fine when they aren't coddled and will take no more than thirty minutes to work it out"
No, most of them won't. They have jobs to do, and they're already harried and hassled as it it (and quite a few of them still don't get Windows 7 fully, and ask all kinds of strange questions, because knowing the oddities of Windows isn't their real job). Some will take weeks to get it. And in the meantime, having to think about it slows their real job, which means the company takes a huge productivity hit. Would you be happy knowing in an overstretched healthcare environment, the medical staff were at 50% because they were trying to work out what the hell the tiles were doing, and why screens kept flicking up and vanishing?
"these are the same people who somehow managed to work a smart phone, drive a manual vehicle and do their tax return without your finger up their backside"
Most over in the UK have tax done by PAYE scheme. No need to do your own tax return and waste all that time when it can be rolled into a generic process. Driving a manual car takes months to learn to drive (and sometimes years to do so safely). Change the side the steering wheel's on, and put an auto shift into the bargain, and make them drive on the other side of the road, no training, and a LOT will not be safe, or happy, or effective.
Many smartphone users are using them just for the phone. Maybe a shopping list or two, but not a lot more. Even that took them quite a while.. And all that time was their own time, and their mistakes had no major consequence (again, I mention clinicians, life critical roles etc.).. You're comparing apples and oranges.
What you're advocating will work in a small group of people (though the rebellion may still occur), but when you're trying to make it fly in a company of thousands of users, the overwhelming majority of who don't want it, find it interferes with their work pattern, find NO ADVANTAGE in it (the real showstopper; how do you justify the advantage to them, apart from "newer, shinier, and Microsoft want us to go that way"?) and leaves them in a far more anxious state, it really is a no-no in the majority of uses. For tablets and kiosks, sure.. Great interface for that.. But as a desktop metaphor?? Nooooooooo..
Re: Confirms my view about Microsoft as a cult
It'll take a _long_ time for the corporates to abandon their established working install base of servers/databases/web/authentication/bespoke applications that rely on running on Windows. A LONG time.
Still, it happened with UNIX, and Novell, so the future is always an interesting place, but the big incumbent (UNIX as an app server) took a LONG time to be replaced by Windows in the volumes it has.
The writing is generally on the wall for most large companies.. They're like historical empires, and those have the habit of gaining ascendancy for a while, then lapsing into small states or vanishing entirely.
Re: ..a multimillionaire already ..... can afford to walk away
Not a word.. It's a phrase.. "Not an idiot".
Re: Anonymised data - why the problem
Except aggregate data isn't susceptible to inference attacks. Only the per-patient data, which isn't included in that dataset.
Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft
It'll be because most of the world don't really care about OS. They've bought a PC back in the days that XP came with it, and it's been doing sterling service for them since. It works on the old machine they've had, and now they're being told that they need to spend about 20-25% of the cost of a new PC just so that they can carry on doing what they already do? They have no interest in Win7 being good. And from the ones I know, they have absolutely no intention of moving anything to windows 8 (some are actively avoiding getting new hardware because it comes with Windows 8, because it just irritates them to use it, and they have better things to do than be irritated by something that's just supposed to work for them, not dictate to them.
This is the idiocy of MS Marketing. Technically, 8 is a good move forward under the covers. Forcing that ridiculous new interface (that pisses off an awful lot of people) on everything just for the sake of politics (which it was) is insanity.
When I first heard about Windows 8, it was supposed to be one API for everything (code once, run on any device). That would have been great. Especially if they'd allowed a GUI to be alterable (so you could have Win7/XP lookalike if you wanted), it just ran Win 8 apps. That would have really had people jumping up and down with enthusiasm. Instead, they fragmented the devices (code once for each OS type), and forced the GUI to be the same in all use cases..
That, guys, is why you don't let Marketing make the tech calls.
Edging quietly away from Blizzard..
I've never played WoW, primarily because I'm a 'casual' player, and don't want to have cash siphoned from my account every month for something I probably won't play that month.. I'd feel obligated to play to get value for money, and that doesn't sit well.
Guild Wars 2 hit the sweet spot for me. A nice little story (or set of stories, as it turned out) with a free to play system. You can grind if you want for the "bragging rights" items, but they don't affect gameplay hugely. A slight advantage, but that's about it.
Diablo 3.. Well, that one was a huge letdown. I bought it late, and reasonably cheaply, and I still regretted it.
Diablo 1 through 3 give a challenge. In D2 there was (sort of) a story that perked you up from time to time (I loved the cinematics and the story they created there, and I can still remember feeling sad at all the bodies in the Harem). The amount of customisation allowed you to tweak the game to play how you wanted it. The voices all carried depth (ok, it was the narrator, or Deckard Cain in the main, but hey, they were _memorable_).
D3 has some of the most wooden voice acting I've come across.. I'd expect it out of a bargain basement no-name title. The story is completely formulaic (where it exists). There's nothing that leaps out and you and makes you go "That's new!"..
The sad fact is I've not completed it. Not through difficulty or anything; it's just because I got bored with it. There was no real engaging storyline that made me wonder "what comes next?". There was nothing exciting about bluntly mashing everything in sight with no real worry about anything.
No, it's not. Approved purposes are medical research. And the data is pseudonymised (i.e. if you're not inside the NHS, which has this data anyway in this form, it's not readily identifiable).
Insurance companies and profit makers get Green data, which is pre-aggregated.
But you didn't got to any of the factual sites that explicitly stated what was, and wasn't included in the various tiers of data? You know, like the ones that the NHS has put out there for information?
Re: Anonymised my arse
Why, oh why, is everyone harping on about "Postcode is the killer on this, with date of birth", when those two are explicitly not available to commercial entities (unless it's a "private hospital" like Bupa or such that will be performing your operation in the private sector, who will need your medical record to not kill you while they perform the primary care activity, for which this data is reserved).
All the commercially available info does not have date of birth, postcode, or any identifying information. A basic search through the released information tells this plainly, but nobody seems to have read that (just the 'scare stories' running round Facebook).
That's because there isn't.
Non identifiable information is available for non-care purposes. Identifiable ("Red" in all the blurb that's been released) is for primary care purposes only. The other variants (pseudonymised, and outright aggregated unidentifiable information) is the only info that's available, with the pseudonymised protected by pretty draconian requirements for obtaining it.
Re: Did get a leaflet
There's a GP toolkit on the official website.
GPs are a commercial entity (subcontracted to the NHS). Them not spending the time (5 minutes, from the reception desk, where I often have to wait because they're chatting to each other about TV programmes when I come in on an evening session) to grab the document from the official site is a bit lame.
Wrong, wrong wrong. That's "Red" data, which is for front line emergency care (i.e. if you're having a major op in a Bupa hospital or something).
you're thinking of Amber and Green data, which do have those things removed. It's in all the published information about it, and it's strongly worded in the Information Governance requirements for the NHS (which the ICO can fine a hospital or organisation hugely for breaking).
The sheer amount of misinformation, and lack of reading of readily available factual information in this thread is staggering. It seems like Facebook is becoming the source of "this is a fact" information these days, and nobody wants to put in the effort to read the readily and easily available facts (a simple Google search would have disproved what you've just written by reading the NHS published information on what goes where).
Re: What leaflet?
You're getting horribly confused there, and the misinformation in your post is staggering. I think you've been reading a lot of scare stories, while not reading up on what is what.
'Red' data (which is first line care only data) is the only one which contains a date of birth and a postcode. Those of course being 'identifying' information. Companies simply can't buy that. To get it, there needs to be a whole horde of legal steps that involve the patient directly..
The first point that a company can begin to acquire information is the pseudonymised "Amber" data, which specifically, in every release that has ever been made about it, specifically mentions they replace the post code and date of birth with tokens. If a country wide research project reveals some worrying spikes in some demographic, that can be reported back to the NHS, who can then refer that back to identify the group at risk, internally (this info can't be passed back to the research group, as it would break the NHS Information Governance restrictions, but it is info the NHS has that is very useful).
Part of the requirement is that any company accessing this needs to abide by an extremely punitive access agreement (the kind that would result in a company being sunk entirely, and the names associated with that company not really being able to work in the industry very easily afterwards).
What you're thinking of is "Green" data, that is pre-aggregated, and contains large scale demographics, without anything that could identify someone (unless you're scared that reporting to your GP for a rash in Manchester in 2013 would uniquely identify you).
Please, don't carry on the scare mongering. There are definitely things to think on about Amber data, and they are being considered.
Now, that's not to say there aren't issues with pseudonymised data; there always will be (any information carries risk). The trick is to balance that risk so society, and its individuals, get the best return for any risk. That's the aim of this, and it's having a fair stab. The debate should _always_ carry on, but it should always be done with facts, not something your mate said in a pub that he'd heard from the dustman who'd got it from his son in the playground from someone who'd read it on facebook, so it must be true!
Have a read of: http://www.england.nhs.uk/2014/01/15/geraint-lewis/ for a quick overview. It's fairly easy to dig out the factual side of things from the official NHS sites, which publish what the data sets contain, and who can access what levels. There's really not a lot of excuse for getting it that badly wrong.
*Cough* You work in the NHS in ops or IT service delivery do you? I thought not..
If there's the slightest change that isn't agreed by the Unions (and Linux is a big change for the whole suite of software that's required and available), the Unions can, and will invoke walkouts or strikes if necessary. There's a hell of a lot of negotiation involved.
From XP -> Win7 isn't necessarily a retrain. There's the familiar start button kinda thing, and most icons on the desktop. Win7 to Win 8 is. You'll note, there isn't much windows 8 in industry.
Office XP to Office 2007 was a retraining. 2007 to 2010, not so much. 2010 to Libre Office would be a definite.
Really, after working in big companies on international IT projects, and working inside the NHS in IT ops, running my own show, and consulting with various companies, I hear the kind of rant you're coming out with, and it's almost invariably from people who have never run heterogenous systems, never done major migrations, and never had to be involved in the whole business aspect. The "Well, we can rip everything out over a few weeks, and put it back so the lights look the same, and nobody will notice" plan is something I've seen time and time again. And it leaves a lot of extremely unhappy users, failed services, and project planners kicked out on their derrieres for incompetence.
Oh, and Linux boxes do run antivirus. For a good reason.
Re: So to the downvoters of testing...
You really don't work in that kind of environment do you? The way this works in enterprise is that they run very light teams on operations that keep the servers running, monitor and tweak the systems that host hundreds, if not thousands, of applications, check logs for security intrustions, upcoming errors, run diagnostics, herd requested changes through the process and so on.
Where you have a rapidly changing application (such as anti-virus, where if you don't have the absolute to the minute update and you get compromised by lack of it, you can lose your job), there is a balancing of risk very much in favour of trusting the third party. And you have a contract that hurts them if they take down your infrastructure by oversights such as this (and 'insures' you for any damages etc.). Contrary to what you seem to believe, there isn't infinite resource to check absolutely everything all the time, and if you try, it's a long, long queue. The job is managing risk, and in this case, it's the risk of being exposed to a virus infection that may leak your sensitive data to the world (big, big risk, and a fair likelihood), or the major vendor fails to test correctly to the level that it damages your infrastructure.
New application suite and antivirus definition update are two completely different things.
Re: Why would you standardise on *one* AV solution?
Wow.. You think there's only a single antibiotic on the market that everyone uses, because all infections are magically cured by it?
There are loads of antibiotics, and a whole array of drugs used to treat conditions, largely because there are strains of infection, mutation, slight differences in weaknesses between them and so on. If you simply had one drug for one condition, you'd have a reasonably ineffective drug that would get rid of some conditions (screwed if you weren't one of the ones it treated), and it'd very soon be the factor that every infection mutated to overcome (the big target).
Re: What If?
Essentially, many of them are. Researchers in the field of psychiatry which lead to the treatments are the ones who break the ground (backed up with neurological scans, biochemical analysis etc.), and get to prove the results, rather than rely on quackery. Once the results are in, and methodologies laid down, the less qualified practitioners get their side in the field (hey, I studied hypnotherapy long ago, and took a strong interest in behavioural psychology as part of my comp-sci degree; the part that had me going into AI and ALife).
If science hadn't been applied, we'd still be exorcising the PTSD patients.
Most of the medical practitioners I know of (hey, I'm in a hospital, so that's a good number) have no problem stating things eloquently and lucidly. A few possibly don't, and that's where you have dictaphones and medical secretaries.
Good managers are good managers irrespective of where they come from, but they better understand the parameters of their remit (non-IT managers in an intensely IT technical arena are extremely hamstrung in their effectiveness).
Interestingly enough, referring to IT staff as "peons" is a very quick way to end up with any of your projects that require any form of tech engagement to be put towards the end of the list (hint; it's a lot of projects, and the list can be long). If that's your attitude, damn glad I'm not somewhere you're a manager.
Re: Bashing the liberal arts
If your university was trying to teach science by rote, then it would never have had people pass, not with any grade that would be useful in the real world.
Analytical thinking is the foundation of science. If you can't analyse, you can't follow a path from hypothesis to conclusion. Half the problems are about removing personal bias and belief, which, it seems, your history teachers were actually advocating (so, not really teaching "history", but how to discard factual basis to create a revisionist agenda). So, it doesn't seem to have covered information gathering (more information hiding, and bias selection), analysis (you're not analysing anything in that setup, merely trying to select partial information to fit a preconceived stance), and definitely seems to be turning critical thinking on its head.
So, you reckon the science departments were teaching poorly, but you were taught well?
Every step of nicety and negotiation takes time. If you're in a business that pays for this service.. Wonderful.. If you're in a service that treats things as a treadmill that the technicians can never catch up with.. The politeness is a luxury that can't always be afforded when people decide to be less than helpful from the 'user' side.
There is such a thing in the world as a measured and appropriate response.
Given that most of the gals I know find a whistle (or other light hearted compliment) to be generally amusing, and on the days they don't, they have a rather scathing (but funny) response, I don't see the problem.
It's not revenge porn being published (that stuff deserves to have people committed to a monastery where they'll not get any until they sort their heads out), but it has all the hallmarks of minority vigilante justice. You know, where the small subset of people decide to impose their own world view on a majority that has a different way of thinking. In this case, the end result of the imposition is a lessening of interaction, and a further isolation of people (most of the 'banter' interaction assumes that people are generally amiable sorts, and initiating the interaction leaves the initiator in a slightly vulnerable position; scathing comebacks often happen, and can leave the initiator red as a beetroot.. But that's accepted as a possible outcome).
Assuming people are generally friendly and amiable is a good thing. Far better than assuming people are hostile by default (which has increasingly been the case over the last 20 years or so), which can very easily lead to increasing social isolation (which is becoming rather a huge problem).
Things like this.. Well, it's broadcasting to a large audience (who have no idea of what was actually going on) a personal (and probably entirely skewed) view of a situation, conceivably causing problems for some of those 'shamed'. There is no determination of what the situation really is. No appropriate response, just an assumption that the writer is right, everything else is wrong, and that it's ok to play the victim card to get potentially heavy retaliation against whoever you choose.
There's a word for this, and it's called "Bullying". It's a far more clever and manipulative version of bullying than the stereotypical thug in the playground, but it's still definitely bullying.
Years ago, when I worked in a variety of bars, I did a little experiment and put a mirror to this kind of behaviour'. The banter of the women, and the light hearted swats and things were met with extremely terse and accusing responses. Without exception, it was met with bafflement, derision or in some cases upset that offense was caused (even though it wasn't in reality; it was a debate style stance). Women just didn't understand why it was 'wrong' to make contact when they chose, or to have a little verbal banter. They were correct, but most of them, if you turned it around, believed it would be inappropriate to subject a woman to that. The only reason that was brought up for why it'd be inappropriate for it to happen to a woman was "well, they're women". Most, however saw the point.
One memory that really still makes me chuckle was back in my cycling days when a car load of gals drove up a hill I was cycling up, and whistled and cheered at me.. Then they drove down the hill and back up with the explanation that they just had to get another look at my legs and arse... That made me laugh, feel a lot better about myself, and actually made an otherwise crappy day a lot better.
So, thank you to gals that know that it's ok to be friendly and have banter out of the blue. Thank you to people who reach out and have a laugh, and assume you're a friend they've never met. Long may that continue.
"Paying users won't notice"
Really? That was supposed to happen with the current HD protections. And they flake out, causing all kinds of strife to people who just "expect it to work".
" users might even be allowed to create a copy"
There again, the probability is that they won't. Someone might decide to just hand me a million quid and a ferrari for the fun of it.
"Only the thieves will complain"
So, only people who break into your house and burgle it will complain? Oh, you mean people who copy it? So, you mean copyright infringers? That's a different legal context and an entirely different thing.
With the valid point that you make (an attack based on duplicating a legitimate user's content, framing them), you overturn your point about copyright infringers becoming accountable. They're not stupid, and they will find a way to make sure it's not them that gets brought to book. It may, however, catch one or two people who home duplicate (you know, how home audio taping killed the music industry, and the VCR killed the movie industry; the people who did all that damage.. They need to be locked up and criminalise for all the damage they did to industry, don't they?)..
Re: Surface RT - I have one
Yep, I've used one, and (the pro, as it needs active directory integration etc.). It's not too bad, to be honest (at least the Win8 UI works for the tablet form, rather than the travesty it is on the desktop).
However, it's not a "wow" that's enough to tempt people away from the rich ecosystems that are the iOS and Android platforms. It may have a place in business, but that would require a lot of training (and maybe putting Win8 on the desktop, which very few businesses are thinking seriously about), but it'll have an extremely tough time getting a footing in the consumer market, especially at the price points MS are pitching (hell, you can get an Android that'll do everything the Surface will for most users at a fraction of the price, AND it'll have a wealth of apps).
My money isn't on MS at the moment. It's an OK product released into a saturated market; you know, the kind of thing that you need a revolutionary product that makes people sit up and go "This is something new, and does things the other can't"..
Re: The real moral of the story is...
Well, when you really want the job, and the employer has to pick between two equally qualified people, you'll probably be a tad remorseful that the pic got out when the other guy gets the role.
There again, there may be some place that do hire you because they've seen naked pics of you.. I'm not so sure they're someone I'd be comfy working for.
Weird.. In running an enterprise setup, I tend to find that things tagged as being Enterprise level require support minions, have pretty detailed documentation that you get the vendors to dredge up for you on request (no futzing around on Google to see what someone managed to post somewhere 3 years ago), and has an uptime in years (24x7 systems). It's also replaceable (in the main) because it's architected to be replaceable.
Rarely had issues with support contracts, and the vendors don't play silly buggers. They play to the document. If they say they'll deliver, they do, otherwise they get hauled up.
Any migration to another system needs diligence and attention to detail. If you don't apply that, you're going to fail. Badly.
There really are a shed load of problems that can happen on the network.. AD just complicates it further up.
Icahn rumbles on about his army "improving shareholder value", but doesn't mention increasing the lifespan, reputation, quality or long term profitability of the company. Just the short term "Shareholder value".
In other words, if you hold shares in it, he'll strip it to the bone in the short term to give you a lot of fast money to put in the next company he dismantles, undoing the hard work of thousands of man years in mere months (and fattening his wallet in the process).
I tend to use Dell in the Enterprise context, and am quite fond of it. Don't have much to do with their PC wing..
Actually, brought to you by Tony Blair. We're just still paying for it.
Re: I particularly liked...
Thought you got that every evening if you lived in Cardiff centre.
Re: "technically difficult and time consuming"
Because they prefer the "private" API version that you can pay them to license (and is compatible with native code apps) due to the optimisations you can make, rather than the open and free HTML 5 license.
MS want to get the benefits of the private (pay for licence) API while not paying for it. They're trying to say that using the HTML5 API "is too difficult for them to get working, so it must be Google's fault, so they'll just use the pay for API for free because they want to".
This, of course, is a similar rationale to the piracy debates, with the difference that a good chunk of the pirates have no money and go for personal use, whereas MS have one of the biggest war chests out there with billions in profit every year, and they stand to have this as a 'feature' on software they're selling (if it wasn't of value to them/end users, they'd have quietly given up)
Re: The article is not entirely accurate
You know.. DVD Jon did some work that cost the DVD licensing groups absolutely nothing. All he did was allow you to bypass the ads, and download the content directly outside the regular security and license agreements. I'm sure you'll agree that the DVD companies were just being obstructive when they declared it illegal, and you can't see why they'd be in the least bit bothered, or why they'd order DeCSS to be blocked.
Because MS can't get the HTML5 API working (and they won't let any more standards compliant browser onto their platform), they seem to believe that it's ok to not spend more resource in fixing the problem (that would probably make their own platform better and more standards compliant as a result), and that they can simply shelve the attempt and go back to use something that they've already been told breaks a legal agreement.
If the tables were turned, I think it's highly probable that MS would have fired the legal vultures off long ago and be claiming damages for hacking, computer misuse, patents, murder and having it away with the company Donkey mascot.
I don't see this as necessarily being Evil. I see it as showing a belligerent opponent that they have teeth. Being a good guy doesn't mean sitting there and just sucking it up every time, doing nothing. I means taking a stand against the right people at the right time to stop something much worse (remember the quote "All it takes for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing"?).
Sometimes, to make the world keep an even keel, you need to show the "bad guys" that you can be as mean, vicious and brutal as they can. Both sides then know it's not a winning game to do this, and hopefully rational business can (at some point) be resumed.
Re: "end the oligopoly of big business supplying government IT by breaking down contract...
* From my experience in local govt...
Weird.. From mine in the NHS, it comes down to:
1) Who will supply the service specified at the least cost.
Friends of people upstream is irrelevant (anti fraud does like to keep an eye on those kinds of goings on).
Company going bust is also a consideration, as is support, security and so on.. But it all comes down to being able to afford it (and the NHS really has very little money these days)..
"And use of an auto dialer also removes the legal requirement to check the 'random' number against the TPS database"
No, it doesn't.. Any number that gets called by the company must be vetted against the TPS. If a number slips through, the company, as an entity, is responsible for allowing that number through, hence the fine, autodialler or not.
Re: Microsoft: "We're always listening to our customers"
Tell that to Nethack/Angband. I _still_ play those after more than 20 years. They didn't cost much at all..
Actually, there are a shed load of older games that I still pull out and have a merry wander around because they were just so fun (even if quite simple).. And the running theme was that they all had good gameplay, even if the graphics were like trying to look at art through the medium of paintball gun.
A bobby tables day!
I've been growing purple tomatoes for a while..
Purple Calabash can give a lovely deep purple (though do tend to the red)
Re: I can hardly believe
It's easy to grow from an install base of nothing. The telling part will be where market equilibrium is (i.e. at which point windows phone gets no more traction against the other competitors).
When the next iPhone comes out, it'll be "the fastest growing phone segment" on the market, and probably the same when the next release of Android comes out and Samsung et. al. release a swathe of new flagship products based on that.
Re: "endangerment of life"
How is it not endangerment of life to divert to repairing vandalism, resources which would otherwise be spent on looking after the public?
I suspect the "would" would be "could" and the fact would be "wouldn't"..
This is a real case of "your side, their side, and the truth". I'm suspecting the truth is in between all the polarised sides' viewpoints..
I tend to enjoy growing veg in the garden (the stranger stuff, like purple podded peas, white/purple carrots, many colours of tomato and so on; the stuff you don't often see in a shop).. Would that count against the £1 a week?
For the early ones...
It may well be to help prevent the spate of muggings and other assaults that went with the early iPhones and other "cool" gadgets that were the big status symbol of the moment..
If you turn its resale value to zero, you stop people mugging people for the glasses so they can sell them for 50 quid down the local pub (or sell them on an auction site etc.)..
Re: It means bad news for the end user.
Yes, the 15 billion will need to "grow". That doesn't mean paying it all back in straight cash; that would be stupid (and unworkable).
What the shareholders are after is investing money, and having that investment of X, have that be worth X+n at some time in the future, where n is positive and as large as possible. A great way of doing this is growing a company, obtaining more users for a service, finding ways of making it more efficient (newer hardware with less power consumption etc.), and generally lowering the maintenance bills that always dig into the balance sheet.
It may well be a case of nothing gets "repaid" from the investment, but the initial £15 billion investment becomes £15+n billion if the company ever gets sold on.
If the revenue stream is more than interest paid to the bank (if that's required, some companies have war chests well in excess of this, so interest payments are not a factor, making acquisitions with a long term revenue stream very attractive).
What we get to see is how the execs of the company change that £15 billion into £15+n billion. That's what decides the service.
Re: Not outsourced
Honestly, a management or financial task is just a manipulation of numbers. Here in techie land, we automate those and make them reliable and repeatable. What could be more efficient than replacing all the management number crunching with automation and saving shed loads more, removing most of the management? And CEOs? Hell, you can pick them up bargain basement straight off the end of a degree course. Big savings in the millions!
Do beware, that <insert role here> is just an <insert role here> and thus replaceable cheaper works for every profession. And some are automatable.
I was really fond
Of the look of my old Apricot Qi 300 PC (my first proper PC, after coming up through the ranks of the ZX80,81, VIC 20, BBC B).. It won me a few contracts in the day because of the built in security (infrared key card and security chip on board that prevented anything working unless you authenticated using the key, as long as you had it enabled)... It looked pretty neat too!
The elephant in the room..
That seems to always be forgotten is the concept of copyright, and what it was all about.
The origins had about a 12 year span of protection for a work. This is back in the days when it would take years for a work to saturate the market. So, in that 12 years, it was a fair deal that you really do respect the creator's work, let them make a name for themselves out of it, and then, at the end of that protection, they will need to have worked on something else to provide for themselves in the next 12 years (or be hired for shows for that work, or make some other use of it in a free market).
This pretty much seemed to work. It's also a fair deal. An artificial constraint on copying (not stealing) something for a very limited term, after which it enriches the world by entering the public domain. 12 years is enough that you know if you hold your end of the bargain, in a few years, you'll be able to watch it guilt free or do whatever you want with it. Entirely legally.
However, now copyright is at an insane level of life of the author plus 70 years, that is no deal at all. The media cartels have literally stolen the public domain (used the legal system to remove access to what used to be a public resource) for their own profit. What was once a deal that you could actually understand and could be understood to have a semblance of fairness to it is now more a "we own this in perpetuity, you will never have any participation in it, and you will only do with it what we want". Yes, it makes for a great corporate cash cow for the big productions, but causes the loss of many smaller ones that would survive without those restrictions.
Personally, I don't pirate. I choose not to buy if the deal doesn't feel right to me, under the understanding that copyright sets out in the deal today. There are a LOT of things I don't buy, because they just aren't worth the money, or perversely because the content producer is trying to enforce copy protection to the point it actually makes things difficult for me to get what I want from what I've paid for (which is one reason things like Diablo3 etc. will always be sat in my "wish I could have bought it, just for kicks and reminiscing, but they screwed the pooch with the ridiculous constraints. Deal breaker.".
Getting back to basics with copyright, and actually making a fair and balanced deal with the public would be the first step in helping prevent piracy. When it's a one sided dictat, rather than a deal, are you surprised that people rebel against the unfair conditions?
Re: Spin 1/2 particles
Hmm.. I thought they were spin 3/2 devices..
They said you had to be nuts to understand quantum physics. I didn't understand it before I started using USB peripherals..
Re: No sympathy
Marketing, hard work?
I've worked in Advertising and Marketing segments, and it's not "the hard work". It's finding something quirkily catchy to say about something, and knowing the channels to use to put it into the media. Most of that is rote.
Inventing things, and actually getting products to work reliably and in a fashion where they can be released (especially as a lone inventor/small company) is extremely hard work.
I'm still wondering
What "Bronze Badger" is a euphemism for. Something scurrilous, no doubt..
Bunch of bronze badgers!
And where's the bronze coloured badger icon when you need it?
Re: The G Bomb!
Nothing wrong with it.. Gaijin and proud of it! And thoroughly enjoy their pride in being Japanese too..
Now we know why they called it "Windows 8" and had that colour scheme!
- Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
- Review You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
- BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
- Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
- That GIANT ASTEROID that killed you? Just 'colossal bad luck', old DINOSAUR chap