166 posts • joined Friday 11th May 2007 00:01 GMT
School holidays already?
Re: Good on Australia
"Aus was always considered as the 52nd state of the US"
Don't know how the merkins think of us these days, but it's a continuous source of bitter disappointment to me just how many Australians seem to thin we're part of the US, from the 'I don't give a stuff about my local MP - I'm voting in the president^W prime minister' to the fact that younger Australians are tending to speak in the most outrageous parodies of merkin accents.
Add to that the radio 'shock jocks' (Alan Jones, I'm looking at YOU) who seem to believe that the only solution to any issue lies in following right wing US republican politics (although Jones' combination of 'traditional fambly values' and trolling public toilets looking for random gay sex do provide a modicum of entertainment)
Re: NOT NEWS
"I expect better from El Reg."
You're new around here, aren't you?
Re: to be a good photographer you must understand your equipment
Have to agree with you there. Although I still dabble with film (a couple of years ago even fine quality Canons and Mamiyas were going for pennies down here), when it comes to digital, my DSLRs always have it on vivid, well saturated images due to the sensor sizes, but I still get my best results on a Samsung Pro815 superzoom. Tiny sensor, but brilliant lens (28-410mm zoom - f1.8 at the wide end) and all the manual control you could desire, which is especially useful with a camera that has no image stabilisation and a 'hunt around and hope for the best' approach to autofocus at anything over 200mm.
Couldn't agree more though that, apart from purely technical stuff like sensor size, quality of glass, etc, the most important part of getting a great picture is the photographer's eye.
struggling to see what the UK can bring to the table
I, on the other hand, am trying to see what he thinks the US can bring to the table that the Russians, Chinese or Indians won't already have in hand.
With the US current trend of hitching lifts on other peoples' launches, performing experiments in an orbiting station designed and built primarily by other countries, and claiming every ESA probe as a NASA probe (because, like, it's in spaaace, and only NASA ever got into space, doncha know?), I don't see what they can offer except freeze dried chicken dinners and pens that write upside down.
Re: "PCs have simply become so good that they don't currently need to be replaced"
If you look at PCs 10, or even 5 years ago, every new processor was a game changer. New versions of Windows (let's face it, despite the Linux & Apple crews' shouting, Windows accounts for probably 95%+ of the desktop market) pretty much appeared on people's desktops because that was what was installed by default, but the compelling reason to upgrade was the hardware.
But the general user runs a browser, maybe Skype, possibly MS Office, a home accounts package and some games. For those users the PC they got 3 years ago still does the trick, so why upgrade? Businesses reached the point of 'Why change if it's adequate for purpose?' around the time of XP, so again no compelling reason to upgrade. Dual Core? Quad Core? Multi Gb of memory? These are not game changers, just the facility to do the same as the old one but maybe a bit faster.
Fondleslabs are at that 90s PC stage now. each new iteration gives faster processing, updated OS (especially with Android where the OS/GUI is as much fashion statement as necessity) and can be marketed as a gamechanger. And of course they have the pricepoint of a toy, so replacing/upgrading is almost a no brainer.
But you're right, my gaming PC is lucky to go 6 months without adding graphics cards, cooling systems, more RAM, more disc. But that's cos gamers have taken over from the hobbyists in the PC world. We're the equivalent of the modern petrolhead.
Most people buy a new car and keep it until they need a replacement. 'The 2014 model is out' isn't a compelling reason to replace it, and it does what it said on the tin, so there's no need to fiddle with it.
petrolheads and gamers buy their shiny with the intention of keeping it going as long as it's 'the Best', tinkering every weekend and evening to keep it 'The Best' and dumping it faster than a boomerang curry when it can no longer compete with the other best, no matter how many new goodies you stuff into it.
Phew. long rant there. Time for a liedown
Re: Because the PC is dying?
Not sure about context, maybe because I'm a Luddite, but Media Centre takes care of all my media playback and Steam takes care of my games, so I don't really see a compelling reason to move away from Win7.
Of course, YMMV
Re: Come on Nokia
"people videoing The Rolling Stones on their phone, from the back of the stadium"
Or the ones whipping out their cameras to take pictures of the Olympic opening ceremony or solar eclipses, after making sure that their flash is on of course. After all, they want every hair on the head of the guy in front of them to be perfectly illuminated
Never mind discounts being a dirty word, I can't imagine a crowd of cre8ive types, skinny soy macciato latte in one hand and a bunch of coupons in the other queuing up outside WALMART to grab their latest iShiny.
"put intelligence into the USB chipsets"
How about they put intelligence into the user instead. How hard can it be to open your bloody eyes before jamming the plug in?
Re: Plugging it in upside down is impossible
"The only way to put it in upside down is to not be paying attention."
Oh typical! Technology is haaaard enough already with having to remember to charge our iThings and having to hit the right icon when we want to txt someone. Now you say we have to *pay attention* as well?
This is worse than being in school!
Next you'll be telling us we have to learn to text with the phone in our laps just so we can keep one hand on the steering wheel!
It's political correctness gone mad, I tell you.
Re: NSS Flip and try again
Heavens! Once again Samsung has triumphed with a truly non obvious innovation that nobody else could possibly think of.
More seriously, there's either a Samsung logo or a USB symbol on the upper side of the plug. If you can see your phone display and the printing on the plug, it's the right way up. And I guarantee it was cheaper and easier than designing a whole new plug. Not exactly rocket science, and of course will not work if using what appears to be the standard 'close eyes and thrust' method of plugging a cable in.
Ye Gods I despair of my race sometimes.
Re: People shouldnt be above the law
Eeh! In my day we were so poor we couldn*t afford apostrophes and we had to make do with whatever came to hand
What gets me with all this is the fact that this patent was lodged in 2008, and yet Apple didn't have facial recognition installed in any of their phones. In 2013 they still don't. So basically, a bunch of Apple kruhhative types sat around throwing in 'Wouldn't it be cool if...' ideas and then patenting the idea before anyone at Apple had the remotest idea of how, or even if, the thing was going to be implemented.
By that token, somebody should be frantically patenting everything from FTL drives to multiply cloned humans for organ harvesting and then sitting back to wait for someone to invent them so they can sue.
And the USPTO STILL claim the system isn't broken?
Re: "nothing illegal to be wearing Google Glass"... yet.
"I only turned them on once I brought my vehicle to a complete halt"
Out of interest, a 'complete halt' as opposed to what other kind of halt?
Re: Shurely shome mishtake
One way to curb the excesses of executive pay was tabled on the Mark Thomas Manifesto a few years ago. Don't limit CXO pay to a figure, limit it to not more than a multiple of the median pay within the company. It really doesn't matter whether that multiple is 10, 20, 100 as long as it's not the current 'sky's the limit'. That way, if a company is successful, it has to reward everyone in the company, and if the CXO wants a new helicopter, he has to negotiate payrises with the labour force.
Of course, I'd love to see the shop stewards in the boardroom negotiations going 'Nh, actually, the lads are very happy with their current wage levels. No need for an increase this year.' just to see the desperate looks on the faces of senior management.
"Do I get to shoot first if I buy this?"
Course you do. And as a bonus, ILM will use their cgi magic on the CCTV footage to prove that the dead guy emptied his gun at you BEFORE you shot first, Bargain
Re: so that was you?
Actually, that was my line. You'd be surprised how effective it could be. Just put it this way: If I had 20p for every bot I've seduced successfully with that line over the years, I'd have nearly a quid by now.
Re: bonus grin
"....customisable 3D graphics characters (1 or more) doing your bidding ...."
I think Thrixx have had this one covered (more or less convincingly as the tech evolved) for some time now.
Google 3d Sex Villa (or so I'm told)
Re: Guns won't work, so let's look at alternatives...
Trouble is, most of these ideas would cause some serious damage to the Amazon, interfering with part 2 of my plan, which is: How much could you get for a functioning Amazon delivery drone on FleaBay?
Re: the problem is subsidised handsets
Mobile operators WILL stick to providing the cheapest infrastructure they can get away with at the highest possible profit margin.
Re: Ryan Air pricing..
"a number of "unlimited" data options that aren't"
Come South young man. When I asked the nice lady at Optus why my 'Unlimited Data' plan cut out after 5Gb, she responded:
"You have the Unlimited Plan. That's 5Gb/m. if you need more you can upgrade"
Unlimited Plus, Unlimited Pro, Unlimited Ultimate, Unlimited Business Plus, Unlimited Business Enterprise....
I have sent Optus a dictionary with the definition of Unlimited highlighted in red
Re: Disaster Area
+1 from me for the Adams reference.
"From where I'm standing on the stage, I can just see the audience cowering in a concrete bunker two miles away"
Classic Rock, Classic Douglas
Re: Well now
I think you'll find the real push for the FM switchoff is from all those companies who bought into diestamped commercial broadcasting a few years ago, who now have to maintain both FM and digital retransmission facilities. Obviously it would be cheaper to dump one and since DAB is the cheaper, they'd like to close down FM.
Well that, and the fact that any cheap arse company running prerecorded Lowest Common Denominator Top 40 ad stations is naturally going to have audiophile sound quality top on his list of priorities of course.
Re: Radio Silence in Cars ?
"Do you not have any BBC rebroadcasts down-under? I'd have thought that that was the perfect thing for the nation closest in tastes to its motherland ;) "
Unfortunately, the only BBC rebroadcasting is the occasional programme on ABC News, and a passthrough World Service stream when 2RPH (Blind Reader Service station) is off the air.
Foxtel gives us BBC World News Radio on the ole telly, but that's it.
The saddest thing is that the vast majority of Australians seem to identify not with the Old Dart (UK), but with all things merkin. We appear to have more apologists for merka here than merka has itself. Case in point recently was the lead story on Channel 9 News, which was video of someone parking his car badly in some anonymous American town, I think because it came with 'spectacular video', as the presenter called it. OK, so he smashed a dozen cars and ended up with two wheels hanging out over a 30 metre drop, but News Value?
Re: Radio Silence in Cars ?
"64 bps would be really really dire"
Oh I don't know - 64bps might make 2Day FM sound a little less dreary
Re: Radio Silence in Cars ?
ArseTrailer has some wonderful FM stations. Where else can you choose between 'Classic' Rock (ie Hotel California, baker Street, My Baby Is The Centrefold, rewind, repeat) and 20 stations playing exactly the same Top 40 songs interspersed with DJs who seem to have all been cloned from the same moron?
But we do have 2 (count em) classical/jazz stations and ABC News too, and none of them available on DAB without putting your radio on an outside wall and wiring it to the Dish
Re: All of the above is true with the proviso...
"I cant see anyone . . . . making something that wont show a return for decades"
I think you'll find the Chinese have been doing that for years, particularly in Africa. 'Let us build you some new roads and a hospital or two, maybe some schools. No, no rush to pay us back, just remember who did this for you when the time comes'
In the West we want payback as soon as we can get our hands on it and bugger what happens in 20, 30 years time, which is one reason we fucked up our empires so badly. The oriental approach is to look at what the long term gains/effects will be.
A Western corporation which promised its shareholders a return in 50-100 years time would soon have its board voted out.
Re: Dark side of the Moon
And you put your receiving station somewhere like the middle of the Sahara or Australian desert so that, even if there is any spillover/lack of tracking you're not actually burning up cities/grassland/holiday camps while the techs work to either shut down or reposition the beam.
Don't be silly, you'd never make an extension cord that long. Plus the electricity would all arrive in one place. I propose a cascading set of those 4 socket flylead thingies. Since they're only around 2 metres long, by the time they get to earth we'd have a socket each.
You can access PORN? In a CATHEDRAL?
I took a small suitcase full of grumble mags into Sydney Cathedral and found I could access EVERY ONE OF THEM with a simple flick (careful now!) of the catches.
And these church people expect us to look up to them? How dare they? Close down all the churches I say, it's for the sake of the children after all.
In other news, water still wet, pope still catholic,etc
"Er, do I want to know what "speef" is?"
Trust me, you don't. You REALLY don't.
But if you must, imagine a cordwangle with a REALLY big flange. At the top, natch.
Re: Nice touch...
"I was looking forward to a nice bright streak across the sky on a crisp winters night" I was looking forward (with some envy) to my UK friends telling me how spectacular it looked while here in the bottom half we'd get to see bugger all. So despite the shared sadness at ISON's passing, there's a little dark part of me going "Yes, Result! That'll teach the smug buggers!"
sorry. I'll get me coat
Re: Have Apple managed to fragment the iPhone?
Income levels, eh? 5C is for the 'top people' eh?
As anyone who has ever worked in sewage reclamation will tell you:
"It's not just cream that rises to the top"
Re: Telly Tax
Not actually. One licence fee per household, regardless of how many TVs you had. That's how old people's homes and student halls of residence could get away with one licence fee for dozens of sets.
It wasn't a 'telly tax' anyway. The fee granted you the legal right to receive, decode, watch and write blistering complaint letters in response to transmissions (Radio & TV) from the Beeb.
Still works better than commercial breaks and programme sponsorship too.
Re: "I worked on that copy of ETI"
"that issue was from 1978 - she must be heading towards 60 by now!"
That's OK. Don't tell anyone, but so am I.
Blimey! I just worked it back. I was on a little under 74 quid a week (one of the old crew - working since 1974). I remember the pain of stumping up for a ZX80 (over £100 for the kit version - couldn't countenance the cost of the ready built).
Thanks for the detailed look at a pioneer who passed me by at the time. Fascinating stuff, and a small glass of something not to expensive for all involved (that's A glass - bring your own straws)
Ah that's BBC engineers for you. I was with a couple of audio engineers from BBC Llandaf at a demonstration of 3D sound many years ago. The idea was that the system allowed you to make sounds appear to come from outside the actual stereo image, even from behind you on a two speaker setup and these guys were investigating it for possible use by Drama Dept.
As I was being blown away by the spaceships behind my head and wandering saxophones, these guys just looked at each other and one said "Well I don't know about 3D. All *I* can hear is phase errors."
When I asked the presenter droid later how it was done, he said the system introduced subtle phase errors to fool the brain into hearing the sound coming from somewhere else.
Well it didn't fool those lads!
Drama Dept never did get their spanky 3D audio system - not until Dolby ProLogic, many years later.
Re: Not in Europe
"Should us Brits celebrate 'Subjugation of the Indian sub-continent day'?"
Well why not, if there's a possibility of discounted shiny stuff in it?
arrogant <tick> pseudo liberal <tick>
Rapid Response Troll ran out of responses a little quicker than he'd hoped, I'd say
100 years old & more intercourse
Oh they appear together often enough in the more 'diverse' porn sites, you can be sure. Sometimes associated with the rather odd phrase 'erotic incontinence'
.. or so I'm told
'Good' is not a word I ever expected to see in a sentence that also included 'lawyer' unless it also included the phrase 'up to no'
"If they still had the fancy gold foil packages people would still buy the taxed ones?"
Yes they would. There was a lot of opposition from smokers when plain packaging was introduced. People liked their old packets. Some companies sprang up, selling slipover covers for standard ciggie packs with logos, pretty girls, cute kittens, etc printed on them. These were very quickly deemed illegal (Hell, I even got hassled by a ranger because my ciggies are in an old style silver cigarette case!).
Smokers would hang on to the packets they'd bought overseas and keep refilling them till they fell apart.
Then there'd be the conversation with the 'bloke in the pub' and suddenly people who would never have considered buying black market ciggies were instant criminals. Add the fact that dodgy ciggies are both dead easy to get hold of, once you start looking, and that they are way cheaper than the $20 a packet you pay in the shop, and the few 'early adopters' start telling their mates how they can save loads of dosh buying from that bloke in Newtown.
Seriously, left to themselves, most of those people wouldn't have considered the black market otherwise, or at least not until the price was up in the 30s.
It's a bit like the pirate music world. Make it hard for people to get what they want, and more of them will find another way to get it.
Whether it makes them less attractive or not to young people, it certainly makes them less accessible. Imagine you try to buy a pack:
- I'd like a packet of cigarettes please
- Which ones?
- (staring at huge cabinet with no markings and all packets hidden behind panels). Hmmmmmm...
At least when you bought your first beer you could point and say 'that one'
Ah, I remember with the deepest fondness our childhood holiday weekends at Vicarious Manor. Always felt it was meant for someone else though
Re: History PEN 1S
I do remember, when I lived in South Wales, there was a neighbour with a dark grey 5 series BMW, plated ADM 1N. To his favour though, he also had a bright red Ferrari plated RAT 10N.
There was also a Daimler I often saw with the plate JOI 1N, but he'd put the fixing screws in the centre between the I and the 1, making JOHN
Boffin? No he just popped out for a minute
Well OF COURSE the word 'boffin' is demeaning. Insulting too. Why else would El Reg hacks use it?
Biting the Hand and all that, y'know?
Very Apple Friendly, this Lucy Koh
You are of course, sir, absolutely correct. I keep getting 'space' and 'orbit' mixed up. Rather like that nice Mr Branson and his Virgin Galactic starship thingy
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