378 posts • joined 8 Jul 2009
Re: Next Step
Background music is now compulsory for all scientific, cultural and sporting presentations and programs. Preferably in the form of awful cover versions that will ruin your favourite songs for you. If that doesn't work, advertisers will utilise the same tactic (yes John Lewis, I'm thinking of you) and background their ads with lavishly produced, yet strangely appalling, cover versions of songs you once liked. Having said that, watching a Commonwealth Games montage to a background of Motorhead's Ace of Spades was quite surreal :-)
Re: Yes, welcome ...
'Twas ever thus ;-) Bring back text-only browsers and force the bastards to read is what I say.
I've read about these...
Siberian Death Worm
I really wish people would stop pretending that there is any real form of democracy in the UK and US (I can't speak for any other countries - insufficient knowledge). Both states are run by a political class - even to the extent that there are political dynasties - think Kennedy, Bush and Clinton for starters. I was under the impression that Americans once fought to be free from dynastic rule, but obviously times change.
The political class is supported and financed by a business class and semi-controlled by a media with its own selfish agenda.
If you look at the policy choices us proles are offered, the different parties give us pretty much the same choices, ranging from slightly selfish individualist capitalism to outright barkingly selfish individualist capitalism. All our problems are blamed on the poorest and most vulnerable members of society and we accept all this is the new normal (you can now make sheep noises).
What we are governed by are self-perpetuating oligarchies, intent on keeping power and enriching themselves at the expense of the rest of the population. Their greatest achievement is convincing us that there is no alternative - something enforced by all arms of the state (to return to the original article).
Try going into a robotised branch with your 95 year old in a wheelchair. They're perfectly compos mentis but need to deal with one of the few staff. See the 20 minute lunchtime queue for services the machines don't provide. Enjoy the sight of nurses, builders and other people you actually want on the job getting agitated. Note that there are no signs telling you what the machines can do, so the poor sod with the pad keeps a job.
When you finally get to the ONE window, the staff are on high stools so can't even see someone below them in a wheelchair and have to heave their bulk off it and stand at the end of the counter to deal with them. Then get told they've made allowances for old/disabled customers because one of the machines is lower, just like a kiddy's urinal. I'm thinking about contacting one of the disability pressure groups to have a look at this.
Re: One wink shopping
Let's hope that they don't invent a watch where you shop by moving your wrist then ;-)
Most governments spy on their friends and allies - for several reasons. Firstly, you know where your enemies stand, that's why their called enemies. Allies are a different matter, you need to know if they're going to change their policies in a manner inimical to your interests.
Secondly, information on what your allies are up to (including details of their personal lives) are very useful when it comes to negotiations with them.
Thirdly, it's easier and the consequences of discovery are generally far milder for your controllers (although their agents, if locals, may not be so lucky). It wouldn't surprise me if the vast majority of "spies" are based in "friendly" countries. As an agency chief you can then justify the numbers employed and your budget - hey, they're all busy, right?
Then of course there is all the usual spying to do, digging out commercial secrets, military technology, etc. The French and Israelis have form here - both have been caught spying in the US.
Basically, everybody does it and always have (see Venetian history, they've been credited with starting the ball rolling). The dumb thing is getting caught.
Re: anti-sex morality groups
Ah they're not anti-sex as such, just anti any sort that's done outside the married, heterosexual, missionary position (no funny stuff) only bed. There have been total anti-sex religious movements in the past such as the Shakers, but these tend to be a little self-limiting and have a noticeably short shelf-life.
If ISIS was formed in 2004 and the joint venture not until 2010, then our terrorists should be the ones suing - now that would be an interesting case. I'm sure they could find a Texan lawyer who'd take the case on ;-) Alternatively, I believe they have a reputation for direct action...
Re: Disproportionate response
Too true, but you see it in many walks of life. It's a management panic reaction. I once built and ran a website that had 250,000 users a year visiting it. In ten years, ONE person complained (as opposed to pointing out mistakes, broken bits, etc) and that complaint went straight to the CEO, who immediately suggested we change the whole thing to meet that complaint (we didn't).
Many years ago I went to a major conference and exhibition on this new-fangled internet thingy. Naturally, the venue didn't have a connection. Cue total Dilbert demonstrations. "Well, here you would see xxxxx".
Re: Let them eat cake
One cake to rule them all?
Anyway, choice of cake is a nasty capitalist, hegemonist idea, dreamed up by the imperialist paper-tigers and their cadres of running-dogs.
Why yes, I have read the thoughts of Chairman Mao, how could you guess? ;-)
There are a lot of people out there like him and it's nice to see someone appreciated. I worked with the IT training team in one company. These people were flying all over the world running intensive courses on the company's software for clients and partners. None of it would have worked well without Sue, a superb administrator, who could book the best flights, hotels, deal with any problem from 8000 miles away, sooth the worries (or egos) of some of the more "sensitive" trainers and techies and ignore the stupider corporate diktats.
A good admin or a problem solver like Vivin should be valued :-)
I haven't used my card in a garage or convenience store ever since herself had her card cloned almost certainly after using it at the local garage (try proving that one though). Fortunately the card was then used at an Argos in Essex, so it was very easy to prove that it wasn't her using it - I mean, Argos! says he snobbishly.
Fat Freddy says
Absolutely freakin cosmic :-)
Apologies - pure speculation to be found here...
He's been repaired in an NHS hospital - perhaps privately by a consultant who works both sides of the fence. Recuperation could be in a private room in the hospital or he could transfer to a private hospital. The boundaries between NHS and private are quite blurred.
If you have medical insurance in the UK, look carefully at what's not covered, a lot of the difficult stuff is done on the NHS...
Dereliction of Duty
If as Gates says, the US are the only country NOT passing on commercial information gleaned by their spies, then surely that is a shocking dereliction of duty by the government.
However, I need to run inside to shelter from the fallout of the squadrons of flying pigs passing overhead.
For a totally fair and unbiased opinion may I recommend - http://sniffpetrol.com/2014/05/28/google-announces-shitty-car-for-idiots/
Re: Fixed it...
Surely you mean "nearby stores that advertise on Google".
"Daddy, I was playing on your computer and then it all went away…"
Evolution in action...
Re: Not Enough Money
Oddly, it does make a sort of sense, particularly to the Japanese. If you have a small, relatively infertile land area with bugger all in the way of natural resources and a large population you have to import nearly everything. I'd suggest that the Japanese remember that one of the reasons for Pearl Harbor was the potential effectiveness of US sanctions. They'd also remember the utterly crippling effect of the US submarine and air blockade. By 1945 their entire economy was toast and people were getting very, very hungry.
From a strategic point of view it would make sense to have a secure food supply, or even the option of quickly developing one. Secure energy would also be possible, raw materials not so much.
One resource that's limitless
"BlackShades was said to be insecure and a tool of inexperienced hackers, leading some users to question whether police resources would be better spent chasing more damaging crime."
OK, by that logic we should't arrest Mafia members until they reach at least Capo status, terrorists until they've graduated to efficient mass killing, etc. It makes a lot more sense to arrest people when they're beginning their career and perhaps (only perhaps) deterring them.
Re: Business analogy
Ah, yes - similar to the way their internal structures change from flat to pyramid and back again. This sort of change is often done to create the appearance of progress, appeasing the analysts and hence, hopefully, upping the share price. To be fair (although I'm not sure why) a mature company with decent profitability but little chance of further growth can do little to excite the investment community any other way (except for cutting costs - usually by laying off staff, this is viagra to many investors, no matter how short-termist it may be).
In the DOS days I had a friend who produced and sold a very specific type of database. At his request I also added a copy of Wordstar (v3 if I remember correctly) to the single floppy disk that was the entire install to act as an editor. The customers loved his product, but eventually the world went Windows and he felt forced to produce a Windows DB.
Cue revolt from customers - none wanted to upgrade, both the DB and Wordstar did exactly what they wanted - tiny footprint, no extraneous garbage, etc. He kept updating the DOS version until really quite recently, but kept the old version of Wordstar, everybody was familiar with it and didn't see any reason to change.
Discovering texting at 92
We got my significant-other-in-law an earlier model when she was 92. She rapidly became a fiendish texter. This is the ideal type of phone for someone with slightly dodgy vision and hearing, they're usually a bit BLOODY LOUD too. Now 95 she's still using it all the time. She loves our smart phones, but says they're too complex and fiddly. It may be a niche market, but with an expanding very elderly population, not a bad niche to be in.
Re: To aid science
Non-drinkers!? Wrong forum ;-)
I made a mistake
Many, many years ago I switched from being an archaeologist to working in the wonderful world of technology - because the pay was much better ;-) Now I'm thinking I should have moved to the States and become a lawyer - great pay and permanent employment. I mean, you could get involved in any of the Apple/Google/Samsung cases and have a well paid job for life! It looks like an easy life, just turn up and rehash the same old arguments, post your appeal, rinse and repeat ;-)
Education for the benefit of whom?
Since when did it become the obligation of society as a whole to pay for corporate training? One of the biggest con jobs in recent years is the way corporations have convinced governments that the necessity to train staff should be a taxpayer burden. Brilliant for the shareholders, not so good for the rest. If there is a skills shortage, train your own bloody staff.
If we could actually produce literate, numerate and sensible school leavers and graduates who had a good general (or specific, I'm not fussy) knowledge of their chosen subject area, then surely it is the responsibility of the employer to fine-tune their knowledge?
Since this isn't going to happen I'll just stop ranting now...
Meretricious marketing mumbling
Go to virtually any software/services company website and you'll get to read plenty about innovation and change and how the product/services will solve all your company's problems/create world peace and cure cancer. What you won't find is actually what they do or wan to sell to you. I know, I've worked for a few of them and in some cases even I couldn't figure out what we did from the website
I visited there a few times when working with one of their Virtual Reality guys back in the 90s - very cutting edge at the time. Mostly of course down in a basement. What is it with IT and basements?
The VR itself was amazing - try an "escaping from a burning oil rig" simulation. I seem to remember the sweary, Scottish voice of the forman yelling instructions and actually forgetting that I was in a nice room in a posh mansion with a fat pair of goggles on.
Two different Turkeys
To generalise, Erdogan's support base is amongst the working class and those who'd like a more religious constitution, not the middle-class, secularist, urban twitterati. The gap between the two visions for Turkey's future looks like becoming more profound.
Re: Causes cancer, prevents cancer...
Speak for yourself earthling!
Plenty of other Roundabouts
Hoxton is probably fine for a media orientated startup, but bugger all use when you try and scale. If you want to grow a company (rather than just try and flog some IP to Google) you need space, reasonable rates and parking. You'll find successful British IT companies in all sorts of odd places - often on edge of town business parks in places like Guildford, Ealing, etc, etc. There are usually roundabouts involved, particularly if you're based near Basingstoke...
Re: At least one US President
Damn, uncovered at last :-(
Re: At least one US President
Great idea - given the quality of my handwriting I'd feel really sorry for any spook who tried to read it - six months on even I can't read what I wrote ;-)
Couldn't agree more with most of the comments so far. One of the reasons for the success of the iPhone was that it didn't look like it was designed by a committee. Small, focused and well lead teams are the way to go. We're very lucky where I work, we do have a small team, a VP who sees his role as setting us tasks and tough but achievable deadlines and then making sure nobody else interferes with our progress - almost work bliss ;-)
Just as we're meant to clearing room in our prisons by stopping jailing BBC licence fee payers we can fill those vacant slots with trolls. That's what I call joined-up policy ;-)
Why not use it as a handy tray? To be fair, we do carry our Sony all-in-one around like that and now have bulging arm muscles.
Re: Missed opportunity here
Have +5 internet points for the first time I've seen "cladogram" used outside a serious discussion of evolutionary biology :-)
As a contractor you know you have little or no protection against rate cuts, etc. If you feel strongly about it you just find a better contract (this works best when times are good obviously). The problem for the company is that the more experienced contractors (those in most demand) leave and are replaced by less experienced ones. This causes delays and other problems while the new guys get up to speed. It's not a great way to ensure critical projects are finished on time and to a high enough quality or that the infrastructure continues working smoothly.
This kind of myopic short-termism isn't a great incentive to go and work for Barclays.
Re: Phase two - Robot Wars ON THE MOON please
You're encouraging armed robots to evolve? We all know how well that turns out for us ;-)
Building from the ground up
As Chris says, it would most likely involve building from the ground up. Many of these systems are more patched than Frankenstein. Over the years (most likely decades) functionality has been added to the basic systems, often programmed in different languages by people who left long ago.
It is a genuine nightmare for many of the larger institutions.
Re: @Oliver Mayes
Oh good lord yes, we introduced change control to a company that had never used it before and requests went down from around 200 (seriously) to about 3 a week. Suddenly projects got completed on time and to budget. The company eventually went bust when they put a director in charge of the company's biggest and most critical project who refused to use any form of change control. After calling endless meetings (one a day, minimum) to discuss why the project wasn't up to date and micro managing every single detail, the project foundered, as did the company.
Phablet, Phablet, Phablet, Phablet, etc...
Yep, it is bleeding obvious to anyone who walks down the street. So was the "fact" that the sun went round the earth every 24 hours. Then some bright spark decided that the opposite was true (despite being persecuted by Popes and possibly sylvan dwelling/defacating ursines). Once proven everyone went "oh yeah, that was obvious, dunno why that Galileo bloke wasted his time".
Now we know that our anecdotal evidence is correct and why, so we're straight into the "oh yeah, that was bleeding obvious" stage ;-)
Excellent - now I've got a useful warning device to go with my tinfoil hat, lead-lined boxers and iodine tablets ;-)
Re: Shalmaneser when?
Damn you for mentioning Shalmaneser, now I'm going to have to waste a couple of days reading the book again ;-)
Re: A simple suggestion
Ah, the smell of roast long pig.
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