* Posts by Can't think of anything witty...

98 posts • joined 22 Sep 2009

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IBM says no, non, nein to Brexit

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Re: "inviting into Germany one million men of fighting and raping age"

"Staying in the EU increasingly takes power away from local people and hands it to unelected commissars - remember MEPs only vote to pass laws, they don't propose them."

Sorry - but i just don't see your logic.

The EU is made up of 7 institutions, but lets focus on the 4 main ones of the European council, the council of the EU, the EU parliament and the EU commission.

The european council is made up of the heads of state of each member country. our representitive here is David Cameron. He was elected by the UK public.

The council of the european union is made up of the relevant ministers of each member state and you voted for them too - although their position on the council is dependent upon them holding a cabinet position - so it is a little different, but basically they too were elected by the UK public and then put forward for the position by their party leader (so David Cameron picks George Osbourne as chancellor and as long as he is chancellor, then he is on the council of europe). He is an elected MP, the UK public voted for him.

The european parliament has directly elected members and the electoral system is different to the first past the post system that you see in westminster elections, but the MEPs are elected by the UK public. We typically have a very poor turn out in European elections, but just because you didn't vote for one doesn't mean that they were not fairly elected by the UK public.

Finally, you have the european commision. people are appointed to the commission by the leader fo their country (so in this case, David Cameron). As with many other things, when you elect someone to parliament, you effectively say that they represent you and you trust them to make decisions that you would (broadly) support. This is another one of those situations. The comissioners are not directly elected, but the person appointing them is.

couple of important points:

1) the councils provide general direction on what the EU wants to get done and represent the government view

2) the comission is full of technical people who come up with ways of doing what will support the general direction as set by the council

3) the parliament represent the people of Europe and vote on that legislation

People seem to have a problem with the comission, but i don't understand why. They are doing a very similar role the the Civil service in the UK, who are completely unelected.

That make anything clearer?

more information here: (Wikipedia)

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Brexit: Time to make your plans, UK IT biz

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Alert

Re: ECHR

Cameron is in trouble whichever way this goes.

If he looses, then there will probably be a vote of no confidence in him due to his inability to seal the deal that he has invested so much in.

If he wins, then there is a real possibility that there will be a large split in the conservative party and if that cannot be reconciled, then there will probably be a vote of no confidence.

In either case, he has a tough job ahead of him.

on the flipside, Boris has a great opportunity to exploit. if Cameron is booted out (for whatever reason) then he can either claim to represent the voice of the people (if we vote to leave) or the voice of the conservative party members who wanted to leave, but were ignored / hard done by / etc if we vote to stay. The conservative party has always been split on this issue and it's something that they have never really got to grips with. Boris knows that and wants the top job.

Personally, i don't really like Cameron, but i give him credit for taking this on and i would rather have him than Boris as PM. I'm fairly certain that Cameron wasn't expecting to win the general election in 2015 quite as conclusively as he did and he might have included this referendum as something to get the vote out in the short term and that he could bargain away to the lib dems if they had to form another coalition. No thaving it would be something else that they could blame on the Lib Dems. Unfortunately for him, they were too good at that last time around meaning that all the current lib dem MPs can get to westminster in a small minibus...

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Adblock wins in court again – this time against German newspaper

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Re: Oh dear, how sad, never mind!

i think that you might have it wrong. My understanding is that you can get on the whitelist in one of two ways, either by adhering to the acceptable advert policy, or by paying a chunk of money. I'm actually ok with the first of those, but the second makes me feel a little uneasy. i would think that if the only way to get whitelisted was to pay, then it would be a lot easier to accuse them of taking an unfair advantage.

As for the whitelist, i've been using ABP for ages and it appears that i have had the Whitelist on (to show those adverts) and yet i cannot remember the last one i saw... so i don't really have a problem with that.

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We tested the latest pre-flight build of Windows 10 Mobile. It's buggy but promising

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Re: Depressed at the state of the market...

Absolutely agree...

i like my current Windows Phone (830 on 8.1) but i'm feeling really nervous aobut going to 10 as it has had a lot of mixed reviews...

and yet.

i still don't want to go for either an android or iPhone, broadly for the reasons that you outline (i'm sure that you have seen the news item today about how the most popular version of Android is now 16 months old, despite newer versions being available...).

Feeling a bit stuck at this point, i guess i'll have to sit it out with the 830 until they finally sort WP10...

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BBC telly tax drops onto telly-free households. Cough up, iPlayer fans

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Go

Actually sounds fair to me...

i mean, i pay £6/month for netflix, which has a lot of great content and a much cheaper distribution model. The licence fee works out at about £12/month and the BBC generates a load of great content across the web, radio, internet and HD Digital tv.

£12/month with no adverts and some great content (Yeah, some great content and some stuff i don't care about, but hey, it's a bus not a taxi) still sounds pretty good to me...

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Continuum gets some Qualcomm mid-range support

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Re: Daft

i think that you might have missed exactly what continuum is. It's not just a case of putting a phone display on to big screen and giving you a keyboard to type emails with. It reconfigures the whole interface so that what is seen is a lot more like a regular laptop.

The technology to do this is on the phone itself and the point is that the phone becomes aware of what it is connected to and then works differently in that context. Phone interfaces are fine for phone screens, but i don't think that many people are interested in replicating that on a monitor - in fact, didn't motorola try outputting the phone screen to a monitor a few years ago? never really caught on...

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999 What's your emergency: Mega millions Met call handling IT muckup?

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Re: Ideology

so to be clear, you are saying that you need as many people to run the system as it took to build it?

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Re: Ideology

Sorry, but i'm not sure i agree with that. I'm not particularly in favour of a "small" or "big" government, but it doesn't always make sense to do these things in-house. it depends entirely on how many times you are planning to build a system like this and how you want to attract the staff to work on it in the firstplace and what you plan to do for them at the end of the project.

In fairness to the police, their job is use the system, not build it themselves. It's a big technical thing that they need and the amount of expertise required is significant - if they had to recruit all those people to build it there would be a huge lead time in finding and setting up those teams followed by all the same problems in providing the right specification (which yes, is crucial). Then you need to get rid of most of those people once the thing is built (because you need more people to build it than maintain it) - the admin alone would be monstrous.

So unless the government want to set up an IT infrastructure building business (which they could do, but would probably still have to compete with the capitas of the world) does it really make sense to try and do this directly, when it's not the Met's area of expertise and it is only an infrequent requirement?

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Att: Windows Phone owners: Win 10 Mobile has been spotted and it wants your phone

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Re: Really?

In fairness, Andrew has generally been positive of Windows Mobile, though less so on 10. Personally, i'm planning to wait a while, but i'm glad that there are at least some people out there using it and getting on ok...

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Day 2: Millions of HSBC customers still locked out of online banking

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Re: Really?

For me, the FD website was pretty weak. Yes, it did most of the things that i wanted it to, but to me the interface felt clunky and poorly thought out. i left them a while back now so i'm struggling to remember all the things that bothered me and there wan't much but it certainly wasn't a great interface.

nagging issues included:

-Always trying to open in a new window as opposed to just in a new tab

-poor website scaling so that when i forced it to open in a new tab it looked cramped and dark (ok - i accept that this is slightly my own fault!)

-When you log in (or pay, i cannot remember now), you have to click through a screen to select your account, even when you only have one account with them. so you have to select one option from a list of one, waiting for the page to load each time. tedious.

-the PIN-Sentry thing was a pain.. and you only had limited functionality without it.

That, combined with some good switch offers from competitors made me swap accounts (which was very simple and easy to do)

That said, you are correct, i don't recall any connectivity problems. But although their phone service is second to none, i would much rather get things done online as phoning anyone (even the best people) always felt like effort i couldn't be bothered with.

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Windows Phone won't ever succeed, says IDC

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Re: late to the party

So maybe Windows Phone will never be a big part of the market.

Windows 10 on the other hand....

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Re: Range

Terry 6: Have you looked at the 830? A little older perhaps (been out for about a year i think) but quite a step up from the 635 in most areas and you can get one sim-free for under £250 now.

Just an idea...

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Does anyone think this is a good thing?

So i am a fan of Windows Phone (i have it, use it, like it, you may not and that is ok) but i'm really not sure that having Android (or any one system for that matter) with that much of the market is a good thing... it puts a lot of control in that company's hands - does anyone think that is a good idea?

You may not like MS (or Apple or Google for that matter) but surely choice is a good thing?

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Microsoft rolls out first 'major update' to Windows 10

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Pint

Re: These Days...

"...you don't need to go to the terminal for much"

But i think that is often still too much. I've dabbled a little in Linux over the years and i'm really impressed with the live disc operating systems (if you need to rescue a pc with a dodgy disk, Knoppix is excellent). Incredible to think that you can just boot from a CD and have a usable system in a few minutes.

but i've never switched over fully. just feels like too much effort, plus i do want support for a few old games that i might get to play again some day. whenever i did try linux, i would always get to some point where the thing that i wanted to do required me to use the command window... and it's hard to go along with that. either i blindly trust the command as written on the net (not least, that i know what it does and that it does what i expect it to) or i have to learn a whole language just ot set a folder permission or something. That's my experience of desktop linux. great up to the point where you need to type "sudo", but that point will always come.

in fairness to MS, i think that the windows 7 install process was impressive... load the disc, put in some info (like username, product key and WiFi / network access etc.) then just leave it for about an hour, come back and it was done. I'm sure it isn' that simple every time, but the last few times i have re-installed 7 it was very simple.

and i never had to resort to a command window. so that's why i still use windows.

just my opinion.. and i'm putting off going back to work on a sunny friday afternoon... :)

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Hands On with Windows 10 Mobile build 10572

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Unhappy

Re: Books

i'm far from an expert on this, but weren't MS working on some technology to allow you to port apps easily from iOS / Android to WP? i had the impression that although it wan'y quite a tickbox exercise, it was significnatly easier than trying to re-create them from scratch.

As a WP user (maybe the WP user...? :P ) what really frustrates me is this chicken and egg scenario on apps. popular belief is that "WP has no apps" so people are put off the phones and developers see that "no-one buys WP" so don't make the apps. It's reasonable for both parties in isolation, but together it really puts the brakes on.

It's infuriating because as far as i can tell it's got all the funcitonality of android / iOS (basically - i am sure there are differences) and certainly there are not really any technical barriers to writing those apps... the store infrastructure is there and so on, but getting the process started just seems to be too hard.

it doesn't of course help that MS seemto be hopeless at marketing WP devices....

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Volkswagen enlarges emissions scandal probe: 'Millions' more cars may have cheated

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FAIL

What will be interesting is the corrective action...

What i'm still not clear on is what VW are going to do to fix this. the way i see it, either they leave cars as they are and get a big fine from governments for polluting OR they fix the software so that cars run in the cleaner mode all the time.

but surely, if they do that, then the performance will be reduced (or else that would be the engine mode by default). so then customers end up with cars that do not give the power that they were told they have and VW get sued by them for false advertising and no-one wants to buy a VW any more.

either way they have a massive problem.

if they then cannot return to Business as usual afterwards as their strategy was based on this approach, (See AC comment in Worstall Mode above) then it is even more of a problem....

i didn't think that VW would collapse over this, but now it seems like a possibility...

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Scrapheap challenge: How Amazon and Google are dumbing down the gogglebox

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Re: Now you need a TV license, a SKY sub, Amazon Prime, Netflix, BT, etc ad-bleedin-nauseum

Absolutely agree.

If it was being done in the interest of the consumer, then the leagues would not be allowed to sell exclusive rights and would have to have each match available to more than one broadcaster. That way, viewers would be able to choose between the services they want - so things like other bundled content, the quality of the coverage, frequency of adverts, pundits etc. would allow an effective choice.

unfortunately, this would significantly reduce the cost to the viewer, meaning that the leagues would get less money and for that reason i cannot see it happening - particularly as long as people are still prepared to pay the current, higher fees to multiple broadcasters. The only way to force the issue is to stop subscribing, and i can't see people doing that either.

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Windows 10 Edge: Standards kinda suck yet better than Chrome?

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Re: still riddled with Flash badness though

I got a new work laptop in January this year and have not installed flash on it - despite the fact that i use it quite a bit for non-work (mostly out of office hours... ... mostly).

Can honestly say that i really don't miss flash to any significant amount. the only website that still seems to need it is the BBC with some of their content and generally, i don't feel like i'm missing out on anything as i prefer to read the news stories (not watch them) and i have the iPlayer app on my phone and xbox if i do need catch up.

As soon as they get rid of it, it will be a distant memory and i cannot wait.

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Microsoft nixes A-V updates for XP, exposes 180 MEEELLION luddites

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Re: Microsoft Marketing , useless beyond belief.

Yes.

But eventually it will die. And as much as you can remember how you used to run across the green fields together and have fun in a simpler time you also have to move on because you cannot really live in the past forever.

the only claim that you have on "fairness" is the question of lifespan. Was 14 years a good life span for your dog "WIN-XP"?

I had a cat called WIN-98SE who died aged 3 in 2002...

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Microsoft rushes out latest Windows 10 build. 300 fixes? Pff, whatever

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WTF?

Re: Dear Microsoft

Users ahead of Windows 8:

"Microsoft developed this in their ivory tower and never let us even see the new version until we had already bought it. WE HATE IT."

Users ahead of Windows 10

"Microsoft is just using us as beta testers and they are shipping out half-finished software. WE HATE IT."

When you are dammed if you do and dammed if you don't, maybe you should just do what you think is best...

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Your new car will dob you in to the cops if you crash, decrees EU

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Re: Anyone else wonder...

"I don't remember voting for it"

Hate to break it to you, but you don't get a vote on most things...

That isn't how our system (or any that i know of) works.

You vote for a representative to go to parliament and look at all the legislation that is going on and decide if it is a good idea or not to enact it. They look at the evidence, pros and cons and make the best decision that they can (or at least, that is the theory).

Thing is, there is a huge amount of legislation going through Westminster all the time. here is a handy list of some of the more recently enabled acts, most of which i confess i have never heard of:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/new/ukpga/data.feed

aside from the fact that it would be incredibly difficult to understand all of those acts to a level where you can judge if it is a good or bad thing, can you imagine the logistics of trying to elicit a vote from everyone on all of them? I cannot see how it would work.

if there is one thing that is really important for you, then write to your MP about it and get him/her to do something. But you are never going to get a vote on every last thing going through Westminster and to be honest i don't think that you would want that anyway.

If you do want to be involved, become an MP. i believe there are currently about 630 vacancies looking ot be filled in the next week or so...

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Can't think of anything witty...
Go

Re: Anyone else wonder...

Q - "Is this a free trade issue?"

A - Yes.

If Germany decide that they want this system implemented by law then all cars sold in Germany need to meet that law. Because you can sell products across borders without restriction (in theory) that means that any car for sale in Europe must meet the German standard.

Also, if Germany wants to introduce this kind of law, then it is not unreasonable to think that other countries would want to do something similar. if they all develop their own national standards then you will duplicate a lot of work and probably end up with functionally similar but technically slightly incompatible systems.

all of which need to be covered off in a new car design.

which makes it more complicated for the manufacturer.

which makes it more expensive for the consumer.

So yeah, it makes perfect sense for Europe to collaborate on this.

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Labour policy review tells EU where to stuff its geo-blocking ban

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Go

Re: Meanwhile, in the real world...

i was thinking that.

But how about this instead.

The BBC sells TV licences to anyone in Europe (or the world for that matter) who wants one. Pay the same fee as in the UK and get worldwide access to the content. You wouldn't need to sell a lot of licences to recoup the cost of managing it and i think that the market would be huge. Same for Sky.

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Microsoft wants LAMP for wireless mobe charger

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@Colin Miller - Re: Fantastic

I know that you are writing off getting 1W from the solar panel on the screen, but i think that it would still be useful.

I found this paper from a couple of years ago (https://www.usenix.org/legacy/event/usenix10/tech/full_papers/Carroll.pdf). Suggests that in their setup a phone used approximately 270mW when idle with the backlight off and only went over 1W when making a call via GSM.

Granted, the phones in the test were a couple of years old and therefore probably clock a lot lower than current ones, but i suspect that may have been offset to some degree by more effiecient processors and even a three-fold increase in idle consumption still leaves change...

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Would you recognise the Vans shoes logo? Neither would Euro trademark bods

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Re: Me neither.

Ah, right. from that description, i think that they are trying to register the squiggle that is down the side of many of their shoes as opposed to the "Vans" word / square-root tick combination.

the squiggle is common on a lot of their shoes, but it isn't as distinctive as the Swoosh or Addias' three stripes, so i think they might be on to a looser here...

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How iPad’s soft SIM lets Apple pit carriers AGAINST each other

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Stop

Re: Bad, but could be good

I think that you are wrong with regard to roaming. I'm in the UK and my network lets me use my included minutes, texts and data* when i travel to some European countries** for no extra cost***

The network that I am on was the first to do this, but as i understand it, it is actually piece of EU legislation which is pushing all of them to stop charging stupid amounts of cash because you are suddenly 50 miles south east of Dover.

when i went to Italy earlier this year, it made a real difference. Other people in the group spent a significant amount of time looking for free WiFi and worrying aobut call charges. I just used my phone and had a good time...

anyway, i digress. Sure, being able to swap sims to get a cheap local deal might be good, but just being able to use your bundled miutes/texts/data when you are away is so much better (particularly if you are just going for a week or two).

* OK - so my unlimited data plan was restricted to 1GB for the week that i was out there.

**OK - not all european countries, but quite a few with more being added and a few outside the EU as well (such as the US).

*** Nope - no extra at all. and i didn't pick some expensive tariff with roaming options, I'm on a rolling 1-month SIM only deal for £14/month

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Quit drooling, fanbois - haven't you SEEN what the iPhone 6 costs?

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Stop

Not all the same...

Well, just going from the prices announced the other day, an iPhone 6 (16GB) costs £539 in the UK (Inc. VAT).

Looking on expansys (probably not the cheapest site) and you can find other high-end phones for quite a bit less.Granted, they have been out a little while, but i think that they are still current:

Galaxy S5 (16GB) £425

HTC One M8 (16GB) £450

Lumia 930 (32GB) £430

however you look at it, iPhones are really expensive. When most other companies are selling theirs for aorund £440 and Apple are selling theirs for nearer £540, you can really see the difference. If that extra £100 buys you something that you value, then good for you, but it seems pretty steep to me.

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Applelutely fappulous: Fashionistas bow down before the JESUS PHONE

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Boffin

@R69 - Identity

"People often use brands as a means of acquiring an identity for themselves. Personally i think its bollocks and I choose what I buy on the basis of quality"

And by doing that, you are also expressing your identity. Whereas others create the identity of "using apple iProducts", you create the identity of "Using quality products" (for your current definition of "quality").

Both are identities and there is nothing wrong with either, but it's not fair to say that you are not expressing your identity, you just do not do it in the same way as some other people.

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Microsoft and HTC are M8s again: New One mobe sports WinPhone

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Re: MS are paying the wrong people ..

You do realise that article refers to the windows 8 store and not the windows phone store, right?

I'd hate to think that you are making wild generalisations...

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Journal that published Facebook emoto-furtle study: Proper boffins get CONSENT

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Re: Informed consent?

i see your point, but i'm not sure i agree. The way round that problem (which is a fair point) would be to start the experiment but not make the changes to the algorithm until a period of time into the expeirment (e.g. get their consent, enroll them and start making the changes a week later).

the important part is also to de-brief them afterwards - so if you turn the algorithm off agin after a month, make sure that they know what you did, how long you did it for and where they can find out more about the study.

I don't think that it is hard to do well, its just easier to be arrogant about it...

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We got behind the wheel of a Tesla S electric car. We didn't hate it

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Mushroom

@ mikeyw0

Get out of here with your facts, personal experience and in depth knowledge of the topic under discussion, we've got baseless criticisms to throw around!

:)

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Facebook 'manipulated' 700k users' feelings in SECRET EXPERIMENT

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FAIL

Re: Boffins? Boffins?!

one of the most annoying things about this for me is that it gives a bad name to social scientists in general. I know that there is not a lot of love for social scientists on these forums, but this really doesn't help anyone.

I cannot bellieve that someone signed this off - informed consent is something that every social science undergraduate has drummed into them from the first day.

What will be interesting to see is if any of the US regualtors step in, there have been suggestions that this breaks federal law in the US: (http://laboratorium.net/archive/2014/06/28/as_flies_to_wanton_boys)

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'Cortana-gate' ruins Satya Nadella's Microsoft honeymoon

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Meh

As a non-Journo, Non-hipster WP owner...

I couldn't care less if Cortana is put out onto IOS/Android. If they believe that it is a great product then put it out there and prove it to those using GoogleNow / Siri.

If it's as good as they say, then it will give a lot of credibility to WP as a whole... if it isn't then they really should stop shouting about it.

By the way, i don't in any way feel short changed for taking WP in the first place. i didn't get one on the promise of something 2 years down the line that i had never heard of when i bought the phone.

i bought it because i liked it (and still do for what it is worth). My bigger concern is WP8.1. Sure it's got some improvements in there, but i wonder if it is converging on the other two systems. I guess that some people see that as filling the gaps (like a notification centre) but it seems a little "me too" for a feature that i never really feel that i have missed...

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Microsoft’s 'FIRST NOKIA' arrives at £89

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Re: is it just me...

i think that it is mostly you.

there is a bit of convergence (rounded rectangles with a touchscreen and capacitve buttons on the front and not much on the back) but that is about it.

the three buttons on the bottom are different to on android (though it is a little wierd that the non-google one has a search button on the front, but there you go).

and i don't think that it is fair to accuse Nokia of lifting the bright colours from Apple, having had said bright colours on the back of their lumia range since it was launched at the end of 2011 - long before the 5c came out about 2 years later.

having said that, i know how this works. several people have mistakenly assumed that a friend's lumia 630 is an iPhone 5c...

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Titanfall, shoot-'em-up gamers, cloudy contracts and cattle

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Unhappy

Re: Thoughts

Re: FPS/Lag - you are right. small differences in ping really don't make a difference to how you play, but it is a lot easier to blame that than your own experience or skill.

i used to play a lot of CS. sometimes you would get picked off by someone with what felt like a crazy shot (I don't have a problem loosing, but some hits were just beyond logic). Even when my first instinct in those cases was to think that they were hacking, spectating on that player for a while usually led me to concede that actually they were a really good player. its hard to accept, but important.

by the way, am i the only one who finds that games now are often a lot less social than they used to be? I used to play CS on a series of friendly clan servers that felt more like spending an evening in the pub with friends than playing a game - even though i only ever spoke to them in the context of the game. Compare that to the experience of playing CoD on Xbox live...

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Meet Stuxnet's stealthier older sister: Super-bug turned Iran's nuke plants into pressure cookers

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Mushroom

Re: Apart from being what most people would call an "Act of war"...

I'm really not sure what i think about this. On the one hand, it is definitely an act of aggression against a nation state and so yeah, it could be construed as an act of war.

but at the same time, if you accept that the US wanted to derail the Iranian programme (yeah, i know this is quite a big if, it is probably not legal and raises a lot of moral questions) and diplomatic approaches are not working, then this is a great way of doing it.

Because the other way (and one that Dubya was not worried about undertaking) is of course to drop a whole load of high explosives on it and try to slow it down that way. Doing it this way at least means that no-one got hurt - even though large quantities of hair may have been torn out...

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BT Sport scores own goal with £897m Champions League footie rights deal

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WTF?

The amount that they spent on that seems crazy to me, but then i am not a football fan so maybe that is it.

On the other hand, they did manage to wipe 10% off sky shares today, so perhaps money well spent after all...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24898597

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You're more likely to get a job if you study 'social' sciences, say fuzzy-studies profs

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Re: Pschology

@ Symon:

Afraid that I disagree with you on this one.

I've got no experience of studying Engineering, but I did Psychololgy and Sociology at University and our course had one of the highest drop out rates on campus. Anecdotally, I put this down to two things - firstly, a lot of people took it on expecting to be able to understand their own issues and when it became apparent that it was not going to help them, they dropped out. I also suspect that people found it a lot harder than they expected and subsequently dropped out.

For the record, Psychology often gets labelled as a "soft science" and i believe that people mean that in a dismissive tone, that somehow it doesn't really "count". Really, that is not the case.

Look into some of the areas that Psychology addresses and there is a lot of depth. One of our modules was on Bio-Psychology, looking at neurons and brain mapping. we covered AI and human - computer interaction. We did a lot of work on research methodology as well, including a lot of statistics and Qualitative research... which is extremely hard to do well.

Strangely, i think there is a bit of crossover between a subject like Engineering and Psychology - mainly that they are both trying to understand the operation of complex systems. There are a couple of differences though... not least that with psychology you are stuck using the thing that you are trying to understand. It's a bit like trying to figure out how a car works whils you are driving it. Well, that and the fact that it's harder to take someone's head apart and look inside to see what is going on.

But one thing that you are right about is volunteering for experiments. Milgram got people to voluntarily administer electric shocks of hundreds of volts* to innocent third parties... and all he had to do was ask. I still find that incredible even now.

*(Yes, i know all about the experiment... but it was real to the person giving the shock. Those were the fun days before those damn ethics committies spoiled all the fun...)

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Can't think of anything witty...

Re: clueless

Sociology is the study of people in groups (i.e., society).

The aim of the profession is to understand how groups of people interact.

If you interact with other people at all, then sociology affects you. Even in a comments forum.

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Microsoft announces $499 price tag, new games for Xbox One

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Facepalm

Re: XBox - is a Licence fee

@Eadon - Be careful. people are agreeing with you, we know that this is new territory for you. good luck in the brave new world.

Joking aside, I generally liked quite a few of the last round of MS products. Windows 7 is great and although i haven't used Win8 a lot, it seems ok, even if the modern UI / start button issue was a bit iffy. I've got a WP8 phone, and i really like that as well.

X360 is good, and i don't mind paying for live (for about £30/year i feel that i got value out of it). i buy pretty much all of my X360 games new, and it is left in the front room connected to the internet via a fairly stable (certainly stable enough) connection.

and yet.

I cannot see myself getting an XBOX one as it is currently. I've not really heard anything about the games or any new features apart from the DRM. i guess that companies need to try new stuff every once in a while, but MS have definitely gone too far with the DRM on their games. it just swings the balance too far in their favour and i'm not sure that people will go with it.

It's got me seriously considering a playstation for the first time in 15 years...

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BT Tower is just a relic? Wrong: It relays 18,000hrs of telly daily

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Facepalm

Re: £50 / Shard Avoidance.

And that is why i should never post something up when i have a hangover.... reading it again i see that the 4 shillings reference is there and even i know that is 20 (new) p and so nearer £3.50.

Oops.

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Can't think of anything witty...
Thumb Up

Great article

it's really interesting to find out a bit about something as iconic as the BT tower. Just one thought though... the £3.28 admission fee would be nearer £50 these days if you add inflation into the mix.

(http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/education/Pages/inflation/calculator/flash/default.aspx)

Suddenly the shard doesn't look quite as expensive...

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IT bloke publishes comprehensive maps of CALL CENTRE menu HELL

Can't think of anything witty...

Re: Good idea

I do wonder how he will keep this up to date, that would be the big challenge.

For what it is worth, i think that the cash made generated by the use of 08** numbers is pretty low compared to other costs in the business.

I think that given the choice between the money from the 08** number and shaving 20 seconds off the handling time of each call, pretty much every company would go for the cost saving. Non-geographic Numbers (NGNs) like that are as much about having a more memorable number that is completely portable and transparent to the consumer.

sure, the money that comes in will offset other business costs, but i think that it is as much about marketing as anything else. also, don't forget that when many call centres opened people would have to remember numbers or write them down (pre-mobile phone era) so those confusing 0483 codes just cause a headache. then of course they added the "1".

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Setanta, ESPN couldn't make UK footie TV work. How will BT Sport?

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FAIL

Is this not getting ridiculous?

So let me get this straight. Last year, if you wanted to watch all the football, you paid Sky a wad of money and then watched it.

Now, you will need to pay Sky a wad of money (presumably of the same thickness) and then another wad to BT on top.

This is stupid and unfair. And it has very little to do with Sky or BT.

I blame the premier league. because they only sell exclusive rights they basically support a monopoly. anyone else is going to find it extremely difficult to enter the market because anyone who wants the fiull package will have to deal with 2 (or more) companies as soon as the rights get split. If they we unable to sell exclusive rights (so that at least 3 broadcasters carried it for example) then you would start to see competition on the basis of quality of coverage / price.

though of course, that does mean that the premier league would get less cash from the fans via the broadcasters. would that ne a bad thing for most people? well, super car sales would presumably slump as a result of footballers having to scrape by on barely the national median wage every week, as opposed to whatever it is that they get paid these days, but aside from that i'm not sure that it would be that important.

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So much noise on WinMob, but Microsoft's silent on lovely WinPhone

Can't think of anything witty...

Re: I'm not suprised

sounds like you have a dud phone there. Which one was it you said you had..?

I'm sure you are not just making up a laundry list of every problem that you think you have read about on the internet despite no personal experience, in an attempt to score some unspecified points from somewhere because that would ridiculous.

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WTF?

Re: I'm not suprised

Just wondering, which phone and network are you on?

i've had an Omnia 7 on Orange / EE for about 2 years now and have not had any of the issues you're mentioning. the battery lasts about a day with moderate / heavy usage, but once the battery saver kicks in it stretches the last 20% out to a couple of days (albeit with light usage).

not had random reboots, nor any problems with the screen or sensor. Performance from it has been really good, smooth and reliable, even though it is "only" on a single-core 1GHz chip (which i know seems to put a lot of people off, even though performace is still good).

The app sitiuation is often mentioned, but i've not really noticed anything that i am missing (though i admit, iPlayer would be nice).

as for cost, i'm afraid that i just don't see your point. Last week, o2 were selling the lumia 620 for £120. for the shopping around that i have been doing recently, i don't think that you would be able to get a comparable android phone for that.

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British games company says it owns the idea of space marines

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Pint

Re: Aliens...

Agreed with that. I remember when they launched the Tyranid army (was quite into WH40K at that point) and everyone noticed the resemblence between them and the H. R. Geiger's aliens.

(See this link: http://www.ifelix.co.uk/wh40kgallery/tyranids/index.html )

Being able to inceinerate large swathes of them from a tank-mounted flamethrower in a "This one's for Bishop you Bas****s" way was great fun.

...

well, it was for me at the time.

...

i didn't get out much...

:)

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NASA reveals secrets of Curiosity’s selfies

Can't think of anything witty...
Alien

Re: Simple

i think that it is about 2 metres long, so plenty long enough to take some good shots at arms length.

There is a video of the movements here:

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?media_id=156880341

it looks like quite a few of the shots were originally taken upside down and then composited together. but i think that you can see from the animation how the arm could articulate to keep itself out of the shots.

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Apple: Sure, here's the HTC patent pact. WITH numbers blanked out

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Stop

Doesn't it depend on what it is you are licencing?

charging different prices for your IP may be normal in some cases, but i think that for certain key technologies (i.e. standards that you have rights over, but form the basis of a widely accepted standard, like the GSM spec) you have to licence them on a FRAND basis. Companies accept this as the "cost" of getting their tech accepted as the standard.

FRAND stands for Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory. So if these patents are the ones in question, and Samsung can prove that Apple are discriminating against them (by offering a cheaper rate to HTC) then i would think that Apple would be in serious trouble...

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Apple removes apology-hiding JavaScript from UK website

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Go

I like the look of that second screenshot - it looks like the right size for the clarification if you ask me...

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