260 posts • joined 15 May 2007
Re: Daft article
You can if you believe in conspiracy theories.
"Well they didn't get a man on the moon in the 50's so it can't be done, so that proves the moon landings were faked"
The physics behind it has been around for decades, they were invented in the 80's remember. However the innovation, and hence why they win an award, is that they made it a commercially viable product. Silicon manufacture isn't simply a case of saying "here's a wafer of silicon, now make me an LED". There's a lot more to it than that. I used to work in optoelectronics as a production engineer and there were so many factors that affected whether the silicon was actually any good for optics, one being the age of the caesium cyanide they were using in the waferfab, but also how well the silicon had actually been grown. Just 1% rotation in the crystal alignment and when you tried etching it they left grooves in the etched channels causing the optical fibre to sit above the silicon (so any light being emitted from the silicon was hitting air instead of the end of the fibre.
Re: Are we doomed?
Judging from what most people seem to believe according to my Facebook news feed, we don't need the sun to explode to doom the human race. We're quite capable of doing it ourselves...
It's elephants all the way down...
I can see the benefits in both scenarios, but once you're running any application the benefits of a "tiled" desktop disappears straight away. More useful would be the ability to attach fixed size "tiles" to the task bar (there's more than enough room now with the bigger taskbar real estate) for various applications. Such as email notifications or even status alerts (I'd love a status alert for the servers to see how they're running).
Also at home I run some gaming servers, so some sort of application displaying network lag, users logged in etc would be useful there. But as you say, for the majority of people this would be fairly useless. How many people actually missed them when MS removed widgets?
Games are like any other media. There's nothing genuinely new anymore, all we get is remakes of classics and variations on a theme, often more of the same but gorier, harder to play or just downright not on this planet anymore. Not that there's anything really wrong with that, it's possible to tell the same story multiple times, it's all down to the skill of the developers (how else can you explain game franchises like Fifa and COD).
Re: Staff Credits
I once worked at a company where the R&D manager managed to successfully hire a "Hugh Janus" as an engineer. Had a desk, name plate, PC and security card. At the time the company was expanding at such a rate there was at least one new member of staff each day and the bet was made that they could persuade HR to hire someone without even interviewing them or checking if they even existed.
Hugh now works as a spam filter at the R&D manager's new company...
In a shock result at the polls of the Scottish Referendum 97% of those polled vote Yes to joining Russia.
Re: Its time for Notch to write a new game
Or like they have with Sims 4. No EA, I am NOT spending another £80 just so I can play the Sims on the same pc that my daughter plays it on when she's not playing it, while the install disc is still in the drive.
£15 each for a Mojang account so we can have our own logins I don't mind, but no way I'm buying the same single player game twice for the same PC.
Re: A year left to run on the EE contract?
Very simple really. Share price. Once announced that EE had refused to renew their share price over the next year would tank making the company completely worthless. Remember P4U is now owned by an investment bank and therefore it's in their interest to get as much money out of the business between now and September 2015 as possible. For that reason it's better to pull the plug now than wait a year and end up spending their cash reserves trying to whip a dead horse.
Re: Mobile Phone Theft Ratio
This is dangerously near the truth...
The problem with this law is it's not looking at intent. The video become illegal to watch or disseminate due to the intent when it was created, as propaganda to promote a terrorist cause. As such the news outlets displaying the video could be viewed as promoting terrorism. By watching the video it becomes, under law, an offence as you have viewed materials produced for the purpose of promoting terrorism. So under the law as it currently stands, yes, 25% of the population are now classed as terrorists.
This is of course complete nonsense, the BBC does not want it's viewers planning the next bombing campaign of London, and the vast majority of people who have viewed* this video are quite rightly outraged by it's content and have no intention of packing their bags to visit the IS Holiday camp and adventure training ground based outside Baghdad or Damascus (bookings dependant upon availability).
But then this law has *always* been used in it's loosest sense. Try downloading a copy of the Anarchist's Cookbook** for "entertainment" purposes and see how long it is before your door gets knocked down and you're whisked away with a black bag over your head.
* No, I have not watched this, or any other video currently being pushed by the gullible like farming scam surveyors on Facebook.
** Again, no, I have not read or downloaded a copy of this. I do however remember seeing a fantastic lecture at Leicester University in the 1980's on the uses and production of a variety of explosives (complete with demonstration of firing a candle through a door using a C19th black powder musket) proving that at the end of the day everyone likes blowing stuff up for fun***
*** Or watching stuff being blown up for fun in the case of Didcot Power Station
Re: So the monkey owns the copyright
Been there, done that. Took some photos for a band in a local pub (just before they headlined the Bulldog Bash) and while there was no formal agreement between us we did verbally agree at the time that I wouldn't release any of the photos until after they'd seen them. Copyright was mine, but they retained some rights to use of their image. A lot more common than you might think, a lot of bands won't allow any photographers in until they sign a form basically granting the band all rights to the images. Makes you wonder why anyone nowadays even bothers doing music photography anymore...
Did anyone get the number of that donkey cart?
The irony is architects seem to be very good at creating designs that generate a lot of energy, just not so good at harnessing that energy (except as Jaguar melting plants). Imagine a couple of well designed window frontages that actually focused the beam onto a solar panel, rather than onto nearby parked cars, or high rise skyscrapers that directed winds through turbines instead of creating pavement level local hurricanes...
That was my last role, very happy to help them out, even pointed the IT guys in the direction of the databases I'd been building to support the systems I was working on. Not their fault, their biggest client went titsup.com owing them over a quarter million.
The role BEFORE that however was literally walked out the door, here's a box and don't think about coming back. This was AFTER I'd fixed the problem caused by one of the clients (which incidentally involved a hell of a lot of data we weren't supposed to have and would cost the company thousands in fines for breaches of data protection). No warning, nothing. At least I know my domain access and email account would have been stopped immediately, which may cause them a few problems when it comes to renewal time for the remote access software :p My only satisfaction was knowing the Finance Director was using my name as a swear word for months afterwards after the company solicitor took one look at my letter to them and demanded that they pay me.
That sounds vaguely similar to one of my previous roles.
To put the company in perspective I'm 100% certain that despite making sure the person with the most knowledge leaves a company with the worst feelings towards said company all the passwords for the doors and computers will still be the same ones that were being used when I left. Hell, whenever they sack someone for stealing at a remote site they still don't change the passwords on the banking sites that they use, and because they're generic accounts there's no way to tell who is logged in at any given moment. Pretty sure my admin account probably still exists as well... (No, I haven't tried it, I enjoy freedom too much and I'm damned if I'm going to tell them how to do their jobs)
My last company the IT guys would send emails to each other. Amazing how often the only female member of staff got emails of undying love from the other members of her team. Less said about the youtube videos sent from the IT Director the better (I thought you wanted videos on "goat sex").
In a previous incarnation as an engineer I once changed the desktop wallpaper on a colleagues desktop machine each morning to a different photo of the 5 koala bear paper clips that were kidnapped at the start of the week with an accompanying ransom demand. Day 1 showed them lined up with blindfolds and paws tied together. Day 2 photoshopped one of their heads onto the floor (with obligatory red smear under head). Day 3 saw 2 of them sold into sexual slavery...
Made better by the fact that the Aussie tech in the department was also taking the photos and emailing them back home to his family in Australia :)
Almost as bad the other way
In a previous role one of the Directors decided he was now in charge of all things IT despite having no IT skills at all, made worse by one of the other Directors deciding he needed oversight of IT as well. So effectively that gave me 2 competing bosses who spent most of their time trying to out-compete themselves for IT ignorance. As a result we moved from a Platinum certified Cloud provider to one that could barely be classed as Silver certified and I was originally tasked with moving everything within 2 weeks while having zero input while still having to do the day job and hand holding the IT (*cough*) person moving the web server and the SQL servers. Yes, the new provider had no one with any experience of setting up a SQL backend IIS front end system. It took them a month just to get the backups working on the SQL databases. Cue Director 2 moving the website design to a new company and myself then having to fix all the css scripts because the web design company couldn't code css for our websites despite being given a copy of the entire website for coding purposes. All in the name of "saving money". Anyway, you can imagine the disaster when they decided to upgrade all the security permissions for the remote workers, resulting in around 50 folders having individual permission groups being setup followed by the complaints when permissions didn't work because Jenny from Site A was at Site B helping Tony today. Almost as much fun as having myself setup as a special permission group despite being their only IT person so that I was actually locked out of most of their reporting folders, including the reports that I designed and built for them. So when a "Boss" decides they know better than their IT department now I just say go ahead, I'm just glad I'm no longer the one having to fix the god awful cluster f%&k that is the inevitable outcome.
Where did he install it and do you have to pay to visit?
(It's a slow morning, GOG is running a very slow sale...)
Re: Flat Earth
There are some statues from Roman times where the Emperor is clearly standing with one foot on a globe representing the Earth. So yes, it has been known for a very long time.
Although the true position is of course that the Earth is flat and it's elephants all the way down...
Except that wasn't for the UK market, it was supposed to kickstart a US series which the BBC would then buy back for the UK market (hence why it was set in Los Angeles and not Cardiff). The project was then cancelled when US reaction was fairly negative (hey who knew, they actually preferred the low budget UK version with dodgy script writing).
Re: Quote.... It's just an iPad, FFS
Only once the keys have been put in the ignition and the engine turned on. Until that point it's just a stationary hunk of metal and plastic, much like the wheelbarrow. I know which one I'd prefer to put the grass clippings and manure in though :p
"It couldn't have formed in place because you can't form a planet inside a star. It couldn't have formed further out and migrated inward, because it would have migrated all the way into the star. This planet is an enigma," splutters Latham's colleague Dimitar Sasselov.
A slight lack of foresight there. Yes it could very well have formed further out and migrated. They just happened to look at it prior to falling into its sun. It's a big universe, look for long enough and you'll see lots of weird stuff, from black holes being formed, stars exploding, stars being born, it's all out there.
Re: So....without reading to much into this...
Why enslave the human race? You do such a good job of it yourselves :)
I have an LCD TV like that...
It's a choice between hitting it or waiting the 5 minutes for it to warm up enough that it corrects itself anyway...
Re: Who says it's got to be x86 ?
A few years ago maybe, but even my old 80Gb (okay, it WAS 80Gb, it's now 500 Gb) PS3 can no longer be used as a Linux box due to the updates to the machine. Remember they removed the ability to install another OS after someone found the master security. Unless there's a way to hack it back to a previous bios?
Re: It's all about who you employ
Quite famously as I recall, attempting to bomb a US warship while pretending to be Arabs. Right up until the point they got captured and revealed who they actually were...
If it's anything like the 3rd party covers it'll close keyboard to screen with an auto-off feature so while the cover's closed the iPad is in sleep mode.
Re: Quick question:
I have one for the iPad, works a treat (useful for editing documents on the fly as well as blog posts).
This is really where it works best, iPad with a 3G connection, sat with a coffee in a cafe (or via wifi if in a slightly better establishment) or even in the bar with a pint. Prop up the iPad in it's stand, pull out the keyboard and as soon as it's turned on it's away you go and comments are posted on El Reg shortly after (minus the typos from using the onscreen keyboard).
Re: Well yes... I guess
Yes, I'm looking forward to seeing the Coldplay concert with Cradle Of Filth as support...
For most people they tend to like a particular genre (be it viking metal, black metal, hard rock or whatever) and then throw a few Iron Maiden albums in for good measure. My personal collection is exceptionally large due to actually liking an extremely wide range of music. I have everything from medieval folk music through to black metal. When you have that range you need to know your genres and sub-genres...
I used to design them (in my defense I designed the cashier operated tills, not self service).
My guess is that after a while the testing guys get so utterly bored of running the same tests for hours each day that they become immune to the error messages and just go "sod it, good enough". And yes, they do get tested, by real humans. Maybe what is needed is to hire a mixture of the brightest and dumbest people to do the testing as it always seems to be designed for one or the other...
Re: And bears are catholics. Or something like that...
Difference there is while the original pressing is obviously a rare and unique piece JMJ himself did grant universal permission for anyone who can get hold of a copy of the original to make a copy (albeit at only as good as "taped off the radio" quality). You have to admit, clever marketing to an extent. The real question is does the album state that resales of the original should include an "original artist tax" to enable JMJ to profit each time it sell?
Re: Wrong assumption
From what I've seen it falls into several areas. Some are a bit greyer than others but all as far as the law is concerned are wrong.
1. Files shared between friends. Not actually any different than any time since the 1970's where friends would swap tapes, then CDs.
2. Files downloaded for interest. "That band has an interesting name, I wonder what they sound like".
3. Files downloaded because you simply cannot find them any other way. Poe and Aimee Allen come to mind here, both had their music leaked AFTER the record company stitched them up and refused to release their music (Poe was famously unable to even perform her own music for 7 years after her label refused to re-release her albums despite a large fanbase requesting it).
4. Files downloaded that you already own. This tends to be the older generation who still has an extensive collection of vinyl, cassettes and CDs but in the case of vinyl and cassette no way to convert to mp3/flac.
5. Files downloaded to try. Done this one myself, downloaded an album from a friend, liked it so much I bought the CD 2 months later when it was released in the UK along with the limited edition CD singles.
6. Then you have the music downloaded because you can.
Interestingly most of the above have the potential to either increase sales (1, 2, 5), or were a result of a sale in the past (4). The clearest piracy case is 6, which would never have resulted in a sale. However this is also the group that is closest to the argument of piracy is theft as the nearest pre-digital case would be walking into a store and walking out without paying with a bag full of stolen CDs. Number 3 is my personal bugbear where the music industry is concerned. It's quite simply industry bullying of artists, taking their creative work and then preventing the artist from actually being able to sell what they've created. Often in the mistaken belief that if they promote a small heavy metal band it might mean less money available in the market for sales of their star hip-hop artist. At a certain level in larger labels they lose sight that the people who are interested in band A simply aren't interested in band B and by not promoting one it actually does not help the other.
For some record companies those are important (and underpaid) people. What is needed is not a cull of the people, but of the big labels. It's the concentration of a small handful of big labels strangling creative content that is the biggest problem in music. These are the companies that tell musicians to take single digit percentages knowing in most cases they'll have to accept or see their music held from radio play as the labels carpet bomb the airways with their formulated tripe. What is needed is more labels like Nuclear Blast that are using social media, digital distribution and allowing their artists to do what they actually want, which is to create.
Re: Is that really true?
Main problem I've found is that the PC I have at home now runs like a total dog on Win7. It's also completely messed up my screen resolution. On XP it would output 1920x1080 without any problems, but now if I try to output 1920x1080 it seems to spread out and and I only see a quarter of the screen. Hopefully a new graphics card at a later date with HDMI output will fix this. (P4 3GHz Win 32 with 2Gb of RAM)
Then again with all the photo editing I'm now doing I'll be building a new pc anyway... got my sights set on a new i7 3.5GHz Haswell setup (will be doubling up as my new MMO machine ready for ESO)
Re: Extra Support
I don't remember anyone else working in the IT dept at my last company... were you my replacement?
(If so, you have my deepest sympathies)
Re: Only official cables
So much this. I used to love the Sony Ericsson phones until the Xperia range came out. I now refuse to use a SE phone with a micro USB slot as they're prone to breaking and SE refuse to admit there's a design flaw. Not had any issues with the charging sockets on any other phone.
Socket on my old iphone 3 survived several years before being given to my daughter as part of an upgrade. So far her track record is 3 laptop chargers, a portable dvd charger and one iphone charger and the socket on the iphone. I have since banned her from using anything electrical that requires anything other than a bog standard kettle lead or smaller 2 pin lead (which I have loads of).
Re: BT has "senior managers responsible for ‘customer experience’"?
I remember one interview I had in London years ago.
First question: "Are you married?"
As soon as I answered "Yes" I was told I wouldn't be getting the job due to the fact it involved international travel to areas of the world with a very high chance of being shot at. They were very open about the fact that some of their employees have literally driven through the security fences at airports to race for a plane about to leave with bullets being fired at them. Still sounds safer than dealing with the bosses at my last place...
(The job involved installing satellite uplink services for media outlets in 3rd world countries. Think Rwanda)
Re: Listen to them...
Testing kit at a previous job was like that. All devices being tested would start failing approximately 20 seconds prior to anyone with an Orange mobile receiving a call. Phones were banned from within the actual clean room facilities themselves for this reason and the testing rig had a 1m space painted around it with "do not enter if you have a pace-maker fitted" painted on the side of the rig.
I recall when I was an engineer being told of an inspection of the faraday cage at one supplier's factory. The operators were working away merrily within the cage while listening to the radio. Which was also inside the cage with them.
So so true, even in the UK. Last time my uncle came home he was strip searched (complete with cavity search). Reason? He had been sent to Iraq to inspect the oil wells there and they detected traces of "explosives" on his passport when he came back through customs.
He's a health and safety manager for a large oil company, trained in emergency first aid (the hard way, on the Uganda in the Falklands) and with handling explosives. It would be more suspicious if there weren't traces of explosives on him.
Re: iPhone and iPad?
My daughter has all her coursework loaded onto an ipad due to the library running out of copies of the fixed texts they're using this year. Made more annoying as the school has decided to close it's library so has no copies of it's own to hand out either.
Having owned the 2.0 Sierra (Same engine as the Cosworth, just without the Cosworth tuning) you can keep the Cosworth. Those cars are lethal, most dangerous car I've ever driven :( Must have nearly killed me at least 3 times in the wet, too much power and not enough weight. Great fun in the dry however...
Re: Truth or consequences
In my case it was a lucky punch to the nuts, resulting in bully rolling on the floor for 5 minutes in pain, 6 other bullies walking off, every teacher turning their back ("nothing to see here") and the bully never daring to come near me again. That was the bog standard comp. Private school however was sheer hell, the rule tended to be the richer your parents the more you could get away with, so it was always the poor kids fault.
Re: So how come...
My understanding is it's to do with magma chambers. 1 chamber per volcano. So this volcano just has one huge magma chamber.
What hasn't been determined is whether the volcano is extinct or dormant, which would be determined by whether there was still any magma in the chamber (the suggestion here would be that it's actually dormant, but so dormant as to be pretty much permanently comatose)
Re: here's an idea...
If only it was that simple. I have plenty of experience but many companies out there won't even look at my CV without a bit of paper.
I remember when I switched departments in a previous job and the IT director's response was "oh well, we'll find something for you to do" when I told him my highest qualification was an A level. This was despite having developed the company's entire manufacturing platform, reporting tools and the engineering department's intranet solution for distributing those reporting tools. While at other companies I've been tasked with building solutions for Pepsico, the US State Dept and done technical support for some of the world's largest publishing houses. The common denominator in all those jobs is the size of the company I was working for, small enough that they'd rather have the experience but also small enough that they won't pay for the training.
Re: Not so much
I used to have a lovely surround sound system with enough inputs on the back for 2 consoles, Sky box and DVD player. Until a power cut surged the main board on it and resulted in full surround sound white noise ever after :(
To make it worse they no longer make those models and I've never found another manufacturer that does...
Camera flash capacitors
Imagine hooking it up to a camera flash (old style with the large capacitors)
The longer you look the higher the charge :)
I'd be more interested if they had a dual display option. Set it to twin display to mimic 2 monitors for work and then switch to overlay for 3d gaming. And without the need for those pesky filters to stop people checking what you're reading when they walk past
- Crawling from the Wreckage Want a more fuel efficient car? Then redesign it – here's how
- Review Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
- Human spaceships dodge ALIEN BODY skimming Mars
- Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
- Downrange Are you a gun owner? Let us in OR ELSE, say Blighty's top cops