223 posts • joined Friday 8th September 2006 11:04 GMT
Re: Appeals process a sham, sherlock
I generally reply to such unsolicited denamdds-for-money-with-menaces with a brief letter referring them to the reply given in "Arkell vs Pressdram".
They also never seem to factor in the "opportunity-cost" of these big projects:
That is, "If we didn't do thing X, what other things Y, Z, A, B could we spend the money and would that give a better return?"
Or - in this case given the UK's current fiscal situation it should better be expressed as "if we didn't borrow £35Bn to blow on HS2 how much less-in-debt would the country be?".
Do not try this at home...
An impoverished physics-student friend who wanted to save gas when rehydrating/cooking chickpeas came up with the 'brilliant' idea of putting them in a Thermos-flask and filling said flask with boiling water, screwing on the lid then leaving it overnight, the idea being that the peas would stay hotter for longer and without the need for continuous low-level heating.
Alas, he forgot about the hydrational expansion-coefficient of pulses and so needed a new vacuum-flask the following morning.
I have a cunning plan. It involves selling UV floodlights to the local wolves.
Re: And when you move house....
We'll just have to jailbreak them then!
[ Methinks they'll be declaring oil/wood/coal-powered Agas and Rayburns as "unsupported legacy devices". ]
And when you move house....
I can see a novel and amusing set of problems associated with moving house and taking some of your "smart appliances" with you but leaving others behind for the new owners.
Hell, it's already enough of a hassle getting a house "re-keyed" when you buy it; moving into a property and finding the cooker won't work because the previous residents have taken their 'home hub' with them and the cooker/toilet/jacuzzi needs a manufacturer-only 'service reset' before it will pair with your home-hub is not likely to make the moving-process any less stressful.
Surely, the way to handle this is to introduce a flag for e-readers that applies a watermark saying "SUPERSEDED" or something similar over the old editions when a new edition of the ebook is released?
Then people can - if they wish - still use the old version but are made only too aware aware that they're using an obsolete release.
You could even include pop-ups suggesting they buy the latest edition.
Surely it would make more sense to get a real-time feed of machete-sales ?
Re: The Sun
You seem to have failed to embrace the philosophy that "The Sun" is intended to be looked-at, not read.
Bewqre the 'heritage' industry.
Part of me suspects that in 50 years or so the mad "urban heritage" inustry will be lovably embracing BT FTTC-boxes in the same way it currently goes all-squiffy-at-the-knees at the sight of obsolete phone-booths and redundant post-boxes.
As well as the ICO issuing "exemplary fines" against these companies I'd like to see the people behind the incessant "reclaim your PPI" and "payday loan" robodiallers/SMS-spams have the rest of their sad and pitiful lives blighted by a combination of enduring pain and the inconvenience of double-incontinence.
Re: One question I have always asked myself
Dammit: - you've just nullified my life's mission to prevent hurricanes by pulling the wings off any butterflies I come across.
A break with tradition.
The Pontifical Election Conclave could choose to be really modern and appoint from outside the business by selecting a woman.
I hear Carly Fiorina's probably available at the right price.
"Milk-in-First" implementation deemed harmful.
Surely, somewhere there's an RFC that covers all this.
If not - WHY NOT? I seem to recall a paper having been authored by N. Mitford on the utter wrongness of the Milk-in-First protocol-implementation.
[My personal infusional-preference is Earl Grey - brewed in and subsequently sipped from, bone-china teaware. As everyone knows, tea should be taken unpolluted by either milk or sugar].
200 to one?
Whereas the chances of anything coming from Mars are...
Overdrawn at the sperm-bank.
I wonder how long it will be before the Spanish are asking for a bailout from the European Central Sperm-Bank or the International Ejaculatory Fund to cover their 'deficit'?
And there was me thinking Strummer's "Granada" reference was to an 1980s motorway service-area.
You have it easy these days.
In my youth one of the relatives lived in Kent - a part of the UK which had yet to be touched by AC mains electricity. The local mains was DC, at some silly low voltage and homeopathic levels of current-capacity. They also had a scary shed which was home to a bank of big open-topped-glass-case Lead-Acid batteries and a rather gothic single-cylinder generator. During the day the feeble 'mains' charged the batteries which could then deal with short-duration high current loads (yes, they had a 110-volt toaster and an AC/DC American valve radio).
It was fun for us kids to play "electric Buckaroo" - we'd switch on more and more electrical loads. Loser was the one who turned on the load which caused the generator to auto-start.
This was good training for life in my current abode: though I have a proper mains supply the power-feed to Scrotum Towers comes across the valley on overhead lines and I'm at the end - so if high winds in the forest trigger an arboreally-mediated transient service-interruption I'm good at guessing just how long a 24V 1KVA inverter will run off a 110amp/hour truck battery when powering different loads.
Re: No portrait-mode?
Thats still a bit of a downgrade - give me 1536x2048 (like I get on my current Trinitron) or better.
I don't go with the "more screen-area-is-better" game - I want more pixels-per-square-inch not the same number of pixies spread over more square-inches.
Now, a 21-inch portrait-mode Apple Retina display would be worth auctioning a kidney for.
How many of these monitors can be rotated to operate in portrait-mode?
I'm eternally perplexed why, after a couple of millennia of developing the human-interface aspects of 2-dimensional information-presentation and almost universal adoption of portrait-mode, the computer-world fell for landscape-mode.
[Hint: how many magazines/newspapers/letters do you get in landscape-mode? How often do you have to scroll up/down when viewing websites? I'm always scrolling up/down!]
Support the campaign for portrait-mode !
Hers's hoping they get their replacement burner-parts somewhat faster than Brutish Gas managed to source a replacement flaim-failure solenoid for my boiler.
Re: I took the opportunity
Don't lower it too much by cutting down the trumpet or the trumpet can come disengaged from the rubber-cone at full suspension-droop.
(Yes, it happened to me - on a blue Mini pick-up I'd retrofitted with a 1380cc dual-SU engine and a Jack Knight straight-cut gearbox. Would easily beat an E-type Jag on any roads with bends in them. Ah, happy days!)
Tax-avoidance is both legal and ethical.
Personally, I commend any and all legal actions, whether carried out by individuals or companies, that reduce their tax-bills. Businesses have an obligation to maximise their shareholder-value and dividends; at an individual level I consider myself to be vastly overtaxed and am happy to spend a few grand (tax-deductible of course) on a good tax-planning accountant every year.
I'm only glad I don't actually get all the Government I'm paying for.
Call to the helldesk, user saying "My mouse has stopped working!". After some brief diagnostics one of our crew went downstairs to the floor and found the user in question.
Did the usual mouse-checking things. Ball moving OK. Two years of sandwich-crumbs removed from inside. Batteries changed. Still no-go.
While he's pondering the next step, he overhears someone in the next bay on the phone to the helldesk logging a call, saying "My mouse-cursor keeps moving by itself!"
The mice, of course, were wireless - and had somehow got interchanged.
I could also narrate the instance of a site that was off-net for over a week after Badgers tunneled through the fibre-duct and the telco had to build a new duct, avoiding the Badger-den.
Hello? Hello? Can you hear me??
And despite this progress, round here any mobile-phone (apart from an Inmarsat BGAN terminal) spends more than 50% of its time saying "No Service".
Phone functionality and features may mushroom; signal-coverage, it seems, never gets any better.
If in these post-BSE times it was still legal to do so I'd upload my recipe for scrambled-egg-and-brains, which is excellent when sprinkled lightly with garlic-salt and served on hot buttered toast.
[Speaking of Brains, I have a six-pack of Mr. Brain's Faggots in the bottom of the freezer. They've been there for such a long time I'm surprised they haven't developed sentience]
Poor marine-mammal sounds like he's channeling Bart Simpson.
Re: complainers not taking it the spirit as it is meant
Apple products certainly provide Temptation and excite Lust in some weak-willed souls.
Having as a kid inadvertently connected a BY100 silicon rectifier directly across the live- and neutral-pins of a 15 amp 240V socket, I really think I should try to establish rights to having invented that little-known but fundamentally-important semiconductor device, the Noise Emitting Diode.
Big, French, Expensive...
Selling into the £35K+ sector most buyers expect a prestige brand: Volvo, Audi, Mercedes, BMW. Even a Land-Rover Freelander looks a better option.
Recent UK history of 'big expensive and French' makes me think this one's not going to do any better than the Citroen C6, the Renault Avantime/Vel Satis or the Peugeot 607 - all vehicles with cliff-edge depreciation and spectacular unsuccess in the executive market.
Hell, Renault are even pulling out of selling the Laguna - their Mondeo-equivalent - in the UK because buyers in the small-family-car sector prefer Ford to French.
Money doesn't matter.
The idea that you need vast amounts of money per episode to make "edgy" drama is utterly wrong. TV producers seem obsessed with blowing money on costumes, famous actors, expensive locations and silly effects.
Decent stuff can be made on a seriously-slim budget: look at something like Shane Carruth's movie "Primer" - which only cost a few thousand dollars to produce.
Independents are clearly the way to go - they don't have all the burdensome overheads of 'traditional' producers.
I'll be interested in knowing how one of these things is going to control my woodstoves (there's no gas at Tanuki Towers or anywhere else in the village).
My suggested Killer App" for home-automation is central door-and-window-locking for the entire house (and the garage and the sheds and the greenhouse).
I am reminded of a RIPA-related conversation between myself and an unnamed Home Office type some years ago:
Me: To release protocol- or content-data I will of course need to be formally served with a warrant or summons.
Them: That's how it will happen.
Me: How will I know that the request is valid?
Them: It will have the signature of a senior Judge, or the Home Secretary, on it.
Me: OK, please provide me with copies of the signatures of all senior Judges and the Home Secretary, to be held on-file for validation purposes.
Them: <<silent, vacant expression of having unexpectedly been hit round the head with a dead fish>>
I'm still waiting.
Re: So do people actually scan these things?
I see here the modern replacement for the traditional "Mandy - Slow and Easy - 01-423-9999" tartcards which were a standard adornment to 1980s phone-boxes.
Call rejected - you are too stupid.
I've for a long time wanted a phone that has caller-IQ as well as caller-ID.
Idiot-proofing only results in smarter idiots.
Forget all this idiot-proofing; I just wish manufacturers would come out with a mechanism that will automagically hitch up a trailer and sort out the electrics/snatch-cable in the dark/rain/mud without me needing to get out of the car several times in the process.
"an infra-red night-vision windscreen would be kinda neat too).
Tanuki Towers has sufficient thermal-mass to make such things irrelevant: if I turn the heating off altogether I lose about 0.5 Centigrade per hour; running flat-out the oil-furnace and both woodburners can push the temperature up by about 1.5 Centigrade/hour, making "turning the heating off overnight" a complete waste of effort.
Thermostatic radiator-valves are wonderful.
IT is cheap. Lawyers aren't.
#1 consideration for me in any deployment is "what regulatory regime will my data be held under" ?
When you have to be able to satisfy FoIA, RIPA, SOX etc, entrusting your data to a third-party in a different jurisdiction is a spectacular business-risk. Any IT savings on hosting-fees are likely to be wiped out the first time you have to fly the corporate legal-team across the Atlantic . . .
I still use a Datong RF speech-processor - nothing finer [it generates SSB at 60KHz, clips it, then down-converts it again to audio - so leaving all the nasty clipping-induced harmonics behind].
It's a bird, innit? It's a bloody sea bird . .. Albatross!
If you mention the 1980s Nimrod AEW3 I may have to bore you to suicidally-high levels of ennui with tales of semaphore-programming on the dreaded GEC 40xx series computers.
Does it do Porn?
History has repeatedly shown that one of the quickest and most-effective ways to accelerate the adoption of a technology is for it to provide quick and easy access to a diverse range of quality porn.
Unless "YouView" addresses this sector, it's doomed to failure.
[I'm sticking with my Bloomberg subscription - my porn begins with $$$$$]
Not all glasses are concave:
ACME [otherwise known as our good friend Cliff Stoll] produces topologically non-concave drinking vessels:
You're excluding the 1,472,338 users who are actually Badgers.
Geographic numbers are a daft idea.
The whole principle of 'geographic' numbers is today dead as a do-do, and should be abandoned: it's completely meaningless in these days of mobiles and IP telephony: long gone are the days when you could reliably omit the area-code if you were calling someone who lives down the street.
"Network numbering" for mobiles has also gone by the wayside through number-portability, so "free calls/texts from your mobile to other people on the XYZ network" is equally meaningless.
The only real differentiation that anyone cares about now is having some indication of likely call-cost easily derivable from the number. And that's not exactly easy to work out unless you know your service-provider's interconnect-charge policy as well as the number you are calling.
So, honestly, the entire thing's a mess - but outside the premium-rate stuff, does anyone really worry about the per-minute costs of a call? Compared to the days of the old nationalised Post Office Telephones, phone-calls today cost peanuts.
(Yes I can rememebr the old Buzby-thing about "it's cheaper to call after six or at weekends", to which some wag invariably added "or from the office...")
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