Re: I wentthere in the 1980's
I have some rather fuzzy memories of visiting in the 80's as well - I think it'd featured in one of the Blue Peter annuals around then.
308 posts • joined 2 Jul 2009
I have some rather fuzzy memories of visiting in the 80's as well - I think it'd featured in one of the Blue Peter annuals around then.
The act of negotiating controlled airspace might be trivial compared with the act of negotiating un/partially controlled roadspace, but the act of keeping an airliner airborne is ever so slightly more difficult than the act of keeping a car on the road, and the consequences of getting it wrong are in another league entirely. So I'm not sure the cost or complexity of driverless vehicle software will be any greater than that of airliner software, it'll more be a case that the complexity occurs in different areas of the software.
Would a chard module be for those people who think electric propulsion isn't quite green enough, and demand a vehicle that is actually powered by greens...
Conventional cars can, however, be driven better via a combination of realtime observation of the current road conditions *plus* prior knowledge of the route ahead. I don't think Google et al are intending to produce driverless cars that rely solely on driving to a historical snapshot of the road ahead, but the mapping data they're producing/importing could be very useful as part of the overall driverless ecosystem.
Consider also that, even if their driverless cars do rely solely on what their onboard sensors are able to detect in realtime, training those sensors to detect things like road signs and markings would benefit from the real world footage collected by programmes such as StreetView.
That was one of them, and there was also a bigger desktop version you used like a bandsaw.
My mum was a teacher and consequently a sizeable amount of my childhood consisted of getting to play with all the neat stuff teachers had access to but which pupils normally never got to go anywhere near, or at best only under close supervision and for limited periods of time. Not only did this mean having ready access to the BBC Micro and Archimedes, it also meant being able to mess around with things like those hotwire polystyrene cutters and the Banda copier system. Oh yes, there's a smell to conjur up many happy memories of a simpler age...
She also used to be in charge of typing up and duplicating the church magazine, so at home we had an utterly gorgeous Imperial typewriter (looking through Google Images, the Model 58 looks very familiar) on which I entirely failed to learn how to touch type but did gain an appreciation of mechanical engineering. With the stencils prepared we'd then relocate to the church itself where the sacred Gestetner machine was housed. Prise open the stencil clamp, line up the locating pegs with the appropriate cutouts at the top of the stencil (I seem to recall it being a rather psychedelic pattern of holes seemingly designed to work with about a million different peg layouts), pop the clamp back down, make sure the stencil is smoothed out over the ink transfer band, top up the ink tank from the squeezy tube of evil smelling thick black goop, load up the paper feed tray with a fresh ream of A4, run a handful of copies through by hand to check everything's OK, then dial in the number required, flick the switch and sit back to be serenaded by the wonderful click-clack-thwooosh noises it made as it ran off copies at a seemingly blistering pace (though by todays standards it was probably quite pedestrian).
Given how calming I now find the sound of a laser printer running at full chat, I wonder if this is down to my subconscious remembering these similar sounds from my childhood...
Anyhoo, thanks Peter for reminding me about Bandas, and thanks also to The Reg for yet another article encouraging me to reminisce about the good old days :-)
Syntax Error, as someone who used to share a similar opinion of home CCTV to yours, all it takes is for a change in the nature of your neighbourhood to give you serious cause to reconsider those opinions. If you've never been placed in a situation where having a CCTV system could have discouraged something unpleasant from happening in the first place, or at least captured the evidence required to get the police interested in pursuing the matter further, then consider yourself very fortunate and pray your good fortune continues.
However please refrain from describing those of us who have been in such situations as being "a bit mental". Most of us are just ordinary people who'd love nothing more than to be left alone to get on with our lives in peace, and who'd never have considered installing CCTV had our home environments remained as they were.
Did someone at Brinks see a copy of XP being booted into safe mode and get the wrong end of the stick...
Who said anything about *watching* the satnav? Or are Garmins unique in the world of satnavs in not having a voice guidance ability?
So are you suggesting that if someone develops navigation software which has access only to map data containing verified width/height/weight/etc restrictions, and which is programmed to generate routes accordingly based on the vehicle parameters entered into it, it'd rebel against its creators and still send truckers off down inappropriate side roads just because it happens to be running on a phone rather than on a dedicated unit?
Never had any difficulties in shifting recordings from the mediacentre (originally XP, currently 7) onto other devices and still have them play, although I've only ever used the tuner side of WMC with FTA channels, so maybe things are a bit different (as you might reasonably expect them to be) with paid-for channels.
Being able to run for decades from whatever battery Atmel had in mind when working out that it could run for decades from it is just one way of looking at things. Another way is to realise that the lower your power consumption gets, the smaller your power source needs to be to maintain the same runtime, which may open the door to power sources other than a battery...
That all depends on what you're using as a comparison benchmark...
As someone who spent the first 6 years of his embedded systems development career pushing various members of the AVR family to their limits (and occasionally beyond... oh dear, there goes the magic smoke again), I feel sufficiently clued-up on the capabilities of Atmel's little wonder to say quite categorically that you have no idea what you're on about. One of the great things about the AVR is that it's really very easy to write code for, even down at the assembler level. Indeed, your mentioning the 68000 is quite apt here, as one of the things I loved about the AVR was that writing asm code for it felt a lot like writing asm code for the 68000, to the point where I'd often end up writing chunks of asm code simply because it was as easy as writing the equivalent in C. Try doing that with an ARM-based system and see how far you get...
Also, whilst ARM (rightly) grabs much media attention for all of their design wins in the mobile sector, and is undeniably a UK success story we should all be proud of, don't think that ARM is the be all and end all of the embedded processor story. I'd hazard a guess that for every ARM-powered device out there, there are probably 10x as many devices powered by other types of embedded processor - AVRs, PICs, 8051's etc. So even leaving aside the argument that it's better to ease youngsters into embedded coding using a simpler, easier to understand processor core than the sprawling beast that is the typical ARM-cored device, it's also no bad idea to introduce the next generation of embedded system developers to a core which, in itself, represents a not insignificant number of embedded devices out there right now, and also, as a representative of lower-powered narrower bit-width devices in general, is also a damn good introduction to what the majority of embedded systems development is all about, and still will be by the time they leave academia and take their first tentative steps into the world of employment.
"The 68k architecture was abandoned by Motorola over 20 years ago now."
Did someone forget to tell the Coldfire dev team?
"The company's presentation of the blueprints to industry analysts and press this morning in Budleigh Salterton"
And heeeeeeeeeeeeeeres your host, Giles Wemmbley-Hogg...
...no, on second thoughts, hosting it in San Francisco is probably safer.
Indeed, embedded development is an area where old-school programmers can thrive, particularly if you stay within the lower-spec end of the business and avoid any contact with embedded systems which, based on their hardware spec and runtime environments, could easily be mistaken for a full-blown PC. I've spent my entire career so far in this area, working on systems varying from the positively luxurious (72MHz Cortex M3 with 128KB of flash and 20KB of SRAM) down to the wonderfully insane (1MHz Tiny AVR core with 1KB of flash and no SRAM whatsoever), and every time I get really stuck into a bit of embedded coding I end up having flashbacks to my formative years bashing out code on a Spectrum.
Learning how to work within the limitations of the hardware (and, if you're also involved in designing the hardware environment itself, how to reduce the number of limitations without increasing the BOM cost or PCB size), knowing how to eke out a few extra bytes of memory, or shave a few cycles off a particularly time-sensitive bit of code, and then seeing the end result working nicely in a device which might be expected to run unattended for years on end without being reset, is a particularly rewarding experience.
I gave up on sending knackered drives back for warranty replacement several years ago, after realising that the cost to send the drive back to the warranty centre somewhere in mainland Europe was, by the time the drive had failed a year or so after purchase, not far short of the cost to buy a replacement drive of the same capacity. And since, in this particular instance, I had to buy a replacement drive there and then anyway in order to continue whatever project I was working on at the time, I decided from that point on not to bother.
So now when I'm looking for a new drive, I tend to wait for some deals to come up on external enclosures and pull the bare drives out of those. Even paying the high street premium to pick up the enclosures from a bricks and mortar supplier, it still usually works out cheaper than ordering the same capacity drive as a bare unit online, and every now and again you end up with a nice surprise when you crack open the case - e.g. opening up a WD Elements enclosure to find a Caviar Black inside, at a time when the online price for a bare Black of that capacity was significantly higher than the high street price I'd paid for the enclosure... Being able to add to my collection of spare USB cables and DC adapters is a bonus too.
Seagate might not have the best reputation, but we can't blame them for *every* drive fubar ever perpetrated... IBM were the ones responsible for giving people something other than large spherical orbital weapons platforms to think about whenever they heard the name "Death Star".
"The other issue with button (or electronic) handbrakes are that they fail."
As do ye olde fashioned ratchety lever type.
IMO the real issue of your story is that the other car owner was a muppet - if you're driving a car with a known issue in the parking brake system, then you really ought to be taking additional steps (e.g. leaving it in gear or chocking the wheels) to mitigate against any failures in that system, especially if you've experienced such failures on several occasions and know the cause still hasn't been identified, let alone resolved.
Plastic was fine in the days before touchscreens, but as soon as you start requiring the user to touch, tap, swipe etc. the screen pretty much every time they want to do something with the phone then the higher resilience to scratching you get with glass becomes a very welcome property to have.
It's also worth remembering that back in the days of plastic, the underlying LCD still had a glass front panel, and it was only the protective lens/resistive touch digitiser in front of the LCD that was plastic. So although it was damn near impossible to break the plastic by dropping a handset, the same could sadly not be said of the LCD glass - the *only* phone I've broken was one of my older touchscreen devices, where the plastic resistive touchscreen remained intact after the drop that caused the LCD glass to crack quite impressively.
The VectorMap District data mentioned in the article is freely available as part of the OS OpenData collection of goodies.
"Previously at unfamiliar small tube stations it is genuinely difficult to find an Oyster machine to check out at"
Unless you're interchanging to another mode of transport without passing through the station gateline, or have found a rare station (not even sure if there are any left now, there were precious few around in the years just prior to Oyster being introduced) which still allows exit to the street without passing through a gateline, then you don't need to find the Oyster validator (the ones with the pink reader pads) to touch out, you just touch out as normal on the yellow reader when you leave the station via the gateline, even if the gates are already open.
"How about a better system like in most capitals of the world - prepaid zonal tickets!"
You mean like a Travelcard?
It's almost correct - the standard TfL fare for a single bus journey of any distance is now £1.45 (certain concessionary discounts aside).
Buying blank media from the usual online sources, I'm now finding that a spindle of good quality blank BD-Rs is slightly cheaper per GB than a spindle of comparable quality DVD media. Even in the days when the cost/GB was in favour of DVDs, there were other benefits of backing up to BD-R - being able to back up files >4.7GB without needing to split them across multiple discs, and the significant reduction in physical space required to store the discs.
At one of the schools where my mum used to teach, they'd bought a few Quinkeys for their BBC micros. Other than my mum, who ended up being a complete speed demon typing merrily away on the infernal contraption, I don't think anyone else in the school bothered using them - I dabbled with it from time to time during school holidays when she brought the contents of her classroom IT corner home with her (happy days those - the house was full of 80's computing goodness with my Spectrum and Amiga competing for attention with the school BBC model B and Archimedes...) but never progressed much further than being able, veeeeeeeery slooooooooowly, to type out the lowercase alphabet.
"Before the iPhone they were shipping heavily customised, ugly (both in the case and UI) phones with only the features they wanted you to have."
I started using Windows Mobile-based smartphones several years before the iPhone was launched, and whilst they might not have set new standards in design or ease of use, they were also more tweakable by the end user than the iPhone ever has been, and the heavy customisation you mention was generally nothing more than a network-specific bootscreen and smattering of preinstalled apps. Even in the pre-smartphone days, I don't recall there being much of a difference between the same handsets supplied by different networks.
So to suggest that it took the iPhone to break the network stranglehold over what we could do with our phones is a bit wide of the mark. Also somewhat ironic, given how much control Apple themselves exert (or certainly used to in the earlier days - I'll admit things have improved somewhat in the last couple of years) over the iPhone - it doesn't really matter if the walls around your garden are erected by the network operator or the phone manufacturer, it's still a walled garden...
Quite. My previous employer went belly-up in January 2010, and the administration process only started to wind up last summer. Whilst there was a reasonable amount of cash remaining in the business at the time it entered administration (enough to give every creditor more than just a token gesture repayment), after 3 and a half years of the administrators sucking the coffers dry to pay their own fees (because, of course, THEY can't be expected to lose out financially, can they...) the last report they sent out indicated that they were not expecting to make any payments to any creditors.
So as the AC says, whack in your claim to the government as soon as you can, and forget about receiving anything from your former employer. If, by some miracle of miracles, cash remains in the coffers and you do eventually receive some return on what you're still owed, then treat it as you would a large lottery win - bloody nice if it happens, but not something you should be relying on.
"as the length of a TSV to link base and layer 3 is not that much different from one linking the base to layer 4..."
Whilst I don't imagine that nice artistic impression of the device is entirely accurate, one point of interest about it is that it shows all of the TSVs as stretching from base layer right through to the top layer. And if controlling the TSV length really is that big a challenge with the current manufacturing processes, then that's exactly how I'd plan to build these devices (no different to designing multilayer PCBs taking into account the capabilities of your preferred board manufacturers to deal with blind/buried vias). Forget about trying to save silicon area on the higher layers by using partial-height TSVs up to the lower layers, just whack them all through all the layers on the device and reduce the risk of having to junk the entire device.
This is considered a bug? Given that Firefox behaves in the same way when asked to show stored passwords, I'd just assumed it was the intended behaviour in Chrome too...
No, because CO/CO2 molecules consists of a single carbon atom plus one or two oxygen atoms, whereas graphene oxide molecules are somewhat larger than that...
How many programmers actually do get per-sale royalties, and how many are simply paid a fixed salary or hourly contract rate regardless of how many copies of their code get distributed?
I always thought their primary role was to act as a global delivery mechanism for approximately spherical foil-wrapped nut-infused blobs of chocolate...
" I wonder how many people are like me, have a Sky sub and Sky+ it, but still download each episode for their library anyway?"
Quite. SkyHD sub here, so I could get stuff like GoT without having to resort to the legally dubious world of torrents, but I don't like my viewing interrupted by ad breaks at the best of times (i.e. when watching some throwaway programme that requires minimal levels of concentration), let alone when I'm watching something as immersive as GoT, so being able to get ad-free copies of such shows is a pretty big deal for me.
Depends on whether you're considering just a basic offline satnav system which can only provide directions, or whether you're considering an online system which can also provide realtime updates on traffic flows, accidents etc. etc. It doesn't matter where I'm heading to, I've always got my satnav (Android phone + Waze app) running to at least keep me informed as to the route conditions even if I don't need routing advice, so having the ability to predict traffic buildup by looking at things like sports schedules seems like a sensible next step.
Yep, I remember that too - if I dug around in the various boxes of childhood memories currently occupying the loft, I'm pretty sure my bit of Jodrell Bank tickertape would be in there somewhere...
Absolutely, this *is* ridiculous. An utterly ridiculous suggestion... Good luck eking out an existence in a world where a sizeable number of the people you rely on to survive (whether you realise it or not) have been thrown in jail for the heinous crime of copying something. Feeling unwell? Uh dear, your GP is behind bars. Feeling *really* unwell? Oh dear, half your local hospital staff are behind bars too, and even if they weren't there's no ambulances running to get you there because of a sudden shortage of paramedics. Feeling right as rain but just a little bit peckish? Whoops, queues a mile long at every store still open that sells anything even remotely edible, because most of the shop assistants are in the slammer too. And most of the stores that used to sell food are now closed because the HGV drivers who delivered to those stores are in the cells too. Even if they weren't, how would they get their HGVs from A to B when most of the fuel stations have had to close because their attendants got caught up in the grand "SOMETHING MUST BE DONE" copyright infringement sweep?
How many people in everyday society need to dabble in something that the law says they shouldn't be doing, before that law can no longer justifiably be considered a law of society?
Given that the OP was asking about 2.5" drives, I'm going to assume they're after something they can use in a laptop/netbook, where running two physical drives is generally not an option. Could even be of use in SFF desktop PCs where internal expansion space can be as limited as on a laptop, and where you'd rather not have to hang your spinny-platter storage off one of the USB ports.
Seconded, doing development work on a decent quality widescreen display is a joy - I couldn't imagine going back to using a 4:3 display unless (as in the case of my home PC) it's got a second display alongside it... Provided the vertical resolution of the widescreen display is comparable to the 4:3 alternatives, those extra horizontal pixels rarely go to waste.
Yes, it is infrared, so no it's not still visible light. The "near" part of near-IR refers to that part of the IR spectrum nearest to visible light, it doesn't mean something that's nearly IR, because that would be just another name for red... The reason you can see the emitters working in the photo is precisely the reason why this idea works - whilst the near-IR emissions are invisible to the human eye, camera sensors are quite sensitive to them.
True, but as a former employee of a small company (8 full time employees) which went into administration 3 years ago, and for which the administrative process continues to plod along at a pace so slow it would be insulting to glaciers to describe it as glacial, I do have to wonder just how much value for money the creditors get out of administrators. Especially when you read the annual reports they send out, do the sums on the outstanding assets vs administrator expenses, and realise that by the time the whole process is concluded, the only people who'll have got anywhere near what they're owed are the administrators themselves...
You might also want to ask her if her if she's ever moved or resized the onscreen keyboard window, and if the way she moves the mouse pointer over the window would give any clues as to which keys she's selecting. The demonstration page linked to in this article shows that IE doesn't capture mouse clicks, so the attacker would need to infer clicks from some signature behaviour in the position data. And AFAIK, IE doesn't allow a script to determine the position or size of another application window, so unless the onscreen keyboard has never been moved/resized then there's no way for the attacker to know for sure whether or not the pointer position corresponds to a position within the keyboard window, let alone which of the keys within that window it then corresponds to.
Ah, so you're a waffle man...
Paying a signficant premium for the highest-capacity drive has been par for the course for years. And buying two drives isn't always an option - how many HTPCs, set-top boxes and other "living-room" pieces of HD-based kit sport more than a single drive bay?
In Gordon's words, he's saying he understands why HMG would turn a blind eye to the likes of Starbucks, Google et al paying as little business tax as possible, not that he's saying he thinks it's OK...
And I can see where Gordon is coming from here - if an offshore company employs someone in the UK, that person gets taken out of the jobseekers queue, they get to pay income tax/NI back to HMG, and they have more money in their pocket at the end of the day (compared to someone on jobseekers allowance) to buy things that they then pay VAT on - more money being returned to HMG coffers. So yes, it's understandable that a company who employs a large number of people in the UK (or a smaller, higher paid and thus taxed, number) might be given an easier time by the taxman when questions start to be asked about why all these big companies are paying so little.
If you're a fan of the Bond universe as portrayed by most of the films, then probably yes.
If, however, you prefer the more steeped in reality Bond universe as portrayed in the original Fleming novels, and would prefer to see the film adaptations reflect this at least to some degree, then no, not really. As much as I've enjoyed most of the films as entertainment in their own right, I wouldn't say I've necessarily enjoyed them all as Bond films - it's really only the Dalton and Craig ones which IMO capture the essense of the written-word Bond.
I think Dalton's portrayal of Bond has been unfairly criticised as a result, with people comparing his films against the Connery/Moore collection and finding them rather dull, yet for me he was the first on-screen Bond who came close to matching up with the description from the novels. Craig has then taken it into a whole new level. OK, so I still haven't been able to watch Quantum of Solace without needing a break halfway to clear my head, but that's just down to the way the storyline flows (or doesn't, as the case may be) - as far as his portrayal of Bond goes, it's a continuation of what he started in Casino Royale, and I'm genuinely excited about Skyfall.
Yep, did the same when I needed to replace a 1TB internal that started throwing up SMART warnings about a week after the price rises for bare drives took effect at all the usual suppliers... ended up getting a 1TB WD external that was still on special offer at one of the big high-street retailers at the time for less than the price of a bare 1TB drive, opened it up and found that as a bonus I'd got my hands on a Caviar Black Edition as opposed to the Blue or Green I'd have expected to find in an external enclosure...
Subsequently, I've done the same trick to upgrade an old 0.5TB drive to 2TB - IIRC the high-street price of the 2TB external was within a couple of quid of the price of the cheapest internal 2TB I could find online, with the advantage of being available off the shelf on my drive home that evening.
"Apple seems to consider it a case of the user not fitting the product, rather than the other way around."
Are you saying Apple are really just Dolman-Saxlil in disguise?
Why? Why not. It wasn't all that long ago that people like you were asking why anyone would need ADSL speeds, yet these days who would consider reverting to a dial-up connection unless they had no alternative? The recent online coverage of the Olympics showed me how useful a fast and reliable network connection could be for the future of broadcasting - imagine a few years from now when a sufficiently large number of people have fibre (or fibre-equivalent) connections to the home, giving content providers the incentive to start rolling out services that are able to make use of all that lovely bandwidth. Imagine a day when you could turn on the TV and, without any delay, start streaming on demans any TV show or film ever produced, at the highest quality available from the source material. We can just about do some of that now, but to get a quality level high enough to persuade people to ditch blurays, AND to allow for expansion into higher resolution material as 2K and 4K displays start to enter the mainstream, anything less than a 30Mbps downstream link isn't going to cut the ice, and anything less than, say, 50Mbps is going to be pretty restrictive. Throw in the ability to stream different things to multiple screens around the home, and suddenly you start thinking to yourself that maybe even a 100Mbps link is going to cause you some issues sooner or later.
"I do not use bing"
Just as well, because Busan barely exists at all on their maps...
It's a measure of how far online mapping has come in the past decade or so, and how much a part of everyday life it's become for a lot of people, that we find ourselves complaining about what, in the grand scheme of things, are minor issues. I still remember the day, back in the late 90's, when someone at work discovered the Terraserver site and the entire office ground to a halt for an hour as we all ooh'ed and aah'ed over the (by todays standards) fairly low-res monochrome satellite imagery of our area. And it wasn't so very long ago that the idea of being able to sit at your desk and pull up high quality mapping or imagery of practically any point on the planet (unless your work ID happened to include the badge of a national intelligence agency) was little more than the wishful thinking of cartography enthusiasts everywhere.