* Posts by heyrick

2608 posts • joined 20 Dec 2009

W3C's bright idea turned your battery into a SNITCH for websites

heyrick
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Seriously?

Somebody needs to give W3C a slap, then the browsers that actually implemented this.

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Stop forcing benefits down my throat and give me hard cash, dammit

heyrick
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I'll take the holiday thanks.

Where I work we are told that the company cannot provide plans more than two weeks in advance due to order fluctuations etc. I don't personally believe it but that's the rule. With summer holiday of three weeks, one for winter, and one some other time (usually our discretion), I know that there will be some consistent times off (right now!).

Without this, I reckon we'd work every day that isn't a public holiday, we'd burn out before our cash pile amounted to anything and no doubt some change in government policy would rule that the extra pay for holiday can be counted as a part of our wages, not in addition, hence we lose. Again.

Cynical?

It's hard not to be when the employer's union is practically writing the legislation these days...

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Windows 10: Buy cheap, buy twice, right? Buy FREE ... buy FOREVER

heyrick
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Re: Wheezer

Wheezer?

Mine had this on it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqL1BLzn3qc

(goodness, I've just realised it's been about twenty years since I last watched/heard that - I now feel positively ancient)

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heyrick
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Re: Windows vs Linux

"so you accept the changes on the privacy policy by continuing your use of the computer" - that sounds like every single update to iOS or iTunes or...

Here's our new policy, read all fifty pages of tiny text, then agree with it. It's even better with the iOS update, there's no way to say "eff off, no". You accept the new terms or your iDevice is a bit screwed since it has already upgraded and is showing you the terms before it'll let you use the upgrade...

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BOFH: My diary is MINE and mine alone, you petty HR gimps

heyrick
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The description of the monitors reminds me of a bloke I used to work for

A bit of a poser, liked to brag about his abilities, wanted to have better hardware, didn't have a clue. I'm sure you've ALL met that sort.

So he starts off with 640x480 to one of those dreadful IBM 14" monitors that had inches of black around the edges of the tube, like it just wasn't able to fill the screen properly.

Then he got himself a proper 15" monitor.

And a little while after, as it just wasn't impressive enough, he upgraded to a 21" (or was it 23"? I think Iilyama or something like that?) monster that made the lights flicker when it was turned on.

All the while, with a 640x480 resolution from the computer - icons big enough that the dead could see them. With my glasses off, I could see every pixel. As for a higher output resolution, he never asked and I never volunteered.

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Open source Copyright Hub unveiled with '90+ projects' in the pipeline

heyrick
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Imagine if a Facebook rival emerged that didn’t require users to surrender their rights,

Isn't that required so that Facebook (etc) can actually serve up your content to ask of your so-called friends?

According to the law, you have the right of "copyright" in the content you create. You can upload stuff to third party sites but then they could not pass it on to anybody else, which would make things like sharing photos a bit pointless. So this giving up of rights to the provider you are using is a compromise; and surely better than suggesting that by uploading content, it enters the public domain in some manner...

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Google to French data cops: Dot-com RTBF? Baiser ma DERRIERE

heyrick
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FAIL

And so the FAIL continues

Where it is far far simpler to bash Google and devise stupid "right to be forgotten" legislation than to do something about the original content that is likely far far harder to get removed.

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heyrick
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"why should citizens throughout the world be subject to the EU's laws, they have no ability to vote or be represented in such courts"

Funny. Replace "EU" with "America" for a taste of reality.

The pendulum swings both ways and both sides need to get their shit together and understand that what's in another country is in another country...

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Americans care more about EU data protection laws than the French

heyrick
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On Google Play

The product information says "1+ downloads". That's really sad.

On the plus side, it doesn't appear to want loads of unnecessary permissions.

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Wanted: beta testers for El Reg’s Android app

heyrick
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Re: you do need a G+ account

The requirement of G+ is a dealbreaker for me too.

Shame there can't be a "here's the APK, have fun" link on El Reg itself, along with a forum here for discussing the software. And don't talk to me about "unknown sources" - for anybody involved in a beta test ought to know how to turn that off, and anyway it isn't as if Google exactly curates the applications on Google Play - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/04/22/android_malware_badnews/

I guess, then, I'll wait until the release version is available.

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Sue us for Safari ad tracking? You'll be lucky, peons, cackles Google

heyrick
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Google had argued that UK court system had no jurisdiction in this case

Were some of those affected British? If so, then UK courts will have jurisdiction.

Fuckwads.

Financial harm is a red herring anyway. How does one attach a monetary value to being tracked and profiled with no specific right of access to that information or the right to correct it, assuming you can even figure out who it is collating this information or what conclusions they may have drawn. Isn't this against EU rules in the first place? Anyway, how can you claim damages from what you don't know? The fact you don't know doesn't mean it might not be potentially damaging...

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Got an Android phone? SMASH IT with a hammer – and do it NOW

heyrick
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Oh look.

Something else that's probably a one module patch that Android can't do because its update mechanism is shit and requires all of the manufactures and carriers to be complicit in making compete and full updates of everything just to perform this one small change - and most just aren't interested (old model = no profit).

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Keep your stupid drones away from piloted aircraft, rages CAA

heyrick
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Re: Have they still not.....

So those of us who use one of these gizmos for checking guttering and stuff in hard to get to places should lose out because some assholes think it is funny to fly by a real plane?

Fine - ban drones. I'll agree to that...on the proviso that you agree to my demand - ban cars. More people have died due to intentional acts of harm committed by drivers than any from drones. Then when you count the injuries and deaths due to inattentive morons and substance abuses it is extremely clear that the only purpose of a car is to slaughter people. Right?

Or maybe you can accept that a headline generated by a dumbass or two absolutely does not represent the majority.

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Here's why Whittingdale kicked a subscription BBC into the future

heyrick
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Fee per receiver vs licence fee

Has anybody crunched the numbers on this? TV in the living room, TV in the bedroom, TV in the kids room...

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Fragmented Android development creating greater security risks

heyrick
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Isn't the real problem here...

...that it is damned hard / impossible to update important parts of the core without issuing a completely new firmware upgrade?

Just imagine if Patch Tuesday was "here you go, now just reinstall Windows". Every time.

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Google robo-car in rear-end smash – but cack-handed human blamed

heyrick
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Re: Poor insurance risk

"Why do your insurance company even know that happened?"

Perhaps the small print that basically says that any damage caused to the vehicle that is not reported risks invalidating your insurance?

I suspect the behaviour of insurance depends upon the country. We were involved in a minor crash - pulling out of a car park some inattentive person pulled out afterwards and smacked into the side. An accident form was filled in, an assessor came and looked at the car. The door was fixed and the bill sent to the other company. Our insurance didn't change as the positioning showed it was clearly not our fault.

On the other hand, this country is a bloody nightmare for priority on the right, which is highly inconsistent and can change in a town by town basis so that a tractor can come out of a barely tarmac coated minor road on to a major road with a 90kph speed limit and the tractor has priority. Insane.

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heyrick
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Here in France

It is common practise in this situation to put the hazard warning lights on if you are the last car stopped. If somebody comes up behind you, you turn yours off and it becomes their problem...

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Ex-MIT prof jailed for 'making experimental film' about bank robbery. In a bank. Without saying it was a film

heyrick
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FAIL

Wait, the guy robbed a bank...

...and only got a grand?

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Uninstalled Google Photos? Thought your pics safe from slurping? WRONG, bozo

heyrick
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Re: The way I read it

Photo backup does exist. I don't have Google Photos.

Settings - Accounts - Google - Google+ - Auto backup

It's in there. At least, on my phone it is.

First thing I do is turn that crap off. I got stung years ago when my phone helpfully shared my WiFi key "by default". Now I disable all the auto backup stuff during the journey from the phone shop to home...

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'I'm COMING for you, DIRTBAG!': Ex-Sony chief Smedley to Kid Lizard hacker

heyrick
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Dear Mr Smedley

I get it, the guy is a dumbass (other words are available) and you think the sentencing should have been harsher.

Does this justify an immature angry foot stamping that is not in the slightest bit befitting a man of your stature?

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EU net neutrality deal miraculously keeps everyone happy

heyrick
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Re: EU Fails Again

The point here is not so much what the rules are and how they may be worked around, but rather enforcement.

If flouting the rules may cost several days of profit then they might be followed. If it is a hundred euro "fine" then this might as well be written in invisible ink.

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Les Américains order a MEEELLION doughnuts ... from French baker

heyrick
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Re: how the baker is going to deliver

I live rural enough that our house is wired up three phase and our water (that we do NOT drink) is pumped up from a well.

With that in mind, I can tell you that the rural French would react in horror if the bread is more than a few hours old - even at breakfast. Hell, it goes gummy in no time in stone farmhouses, so fresh bread is important. Most communities have a bread oven, not that there are many who know how to use it these days. Who a baker decides to pass off older bread on can make our break their business (protip - anybody with an iPhone won't know the difference; upsetting the granny brigade will be a slow and painful demise). Old bread is good only for "pain perdu" (or the peasants, in olden times).

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heyrick
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Re: how the baker is going to deliver

The key word is INDUSTRIAL baker. They'll probably freeze them.

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THIS MEANS WAR between USA and Japan! GIANT ROBOT WAR

heyrick
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Hmm...

Unless the Japanese one is a humanoid shape that flies in an improbable manner and wields a katana the size of a tower block...

...they just aren't putting their hearts into it.

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French privacy cops snarl at websites over crap EU cookie warnings

heyrick
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FAIL

Re: BULLSHIT! [was:: CNIL? Yeah, follow your own rules, dumbasses!]

@ Pierre - it would be useful if you actually visited the link given.

1. Can you please define "continue to browse"? The message, which is not a bad translation from French but is given IN ENGLISH exactly as written, implies that by using the CNIL website, you are giving consent to third party services. It is better than some in that you can personalise the cookies, but does it work? I set DailyMotion to Deny then followed a link from CNIL to a DailyMotion video (tutoriel pour les achats en ligne) and ten session cookies were set by DailyMotion, plus an LSO (persistent Flash cookie) from static1.dmcdn.net containing video player settings and a session ID. So much for CNIL's Deny option.

2. You will notice that the message and personalisation options go away when you navigate around the site. This is because CNIL creates session cookies in the form of _pk_id.#.#### and _pk_ses.#.#### (where # is a number), these seem to grow as you visit the site, switch languages, etc. I have three pairs at the moment. There is also a cookie called "tartaucitron" (ho ho) which records the so-called preferences for DailyMotion and YouTube.

3. Yes, they are session based, but it seems that there is too much going on to be anything other than CNIL tracking your behaviour on the site.

4. This only happens if you have JavaScript enabled (ie, not using NoScript etc). That you saw the message means that you had the cookies set. It happens sometime as the page is loading when it calls http://piwik.cnil.fr/piwik.php, and it appears to pass if you have realplayer, wma, director, flash, Java, gears, your display resolution, plus how many milliseconds it took to fetch the page body; and the reply is a 1x1 image, plus cookies. All of this without obtaining your consent.

Maybe if you took as long looking at the site as writing your reply, you might have noticed this.

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heyrick
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CNIL? Yeah, follow your own rules, dumbasses!

"If you continue to browse this website, you are allowing all third-party services"

http://www.cnil.fr/english/

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So much for rainbows, Zuck: Facebook staff still overwhelmingly male and white

heyrick
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Re: Why is...

"I've never hired or rejected anyone because of skin colour"

My mother in Maryland in the 70s. She did a test, came second, and then was refused the job because second place was reserved for a minority.

T'was a crap job and forty some years ago, but there's an example. I'm sure there will be others.

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heyrick
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Why is...

...it necessary to fulfil some sort of racial/gender quota? Isn't it more important to hire people based upon their ability to do the job?

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Samsung caught disabling Windows Update to run its own bloatware

heyrick
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@ RegGuy1

Linux ain't happening here. I tried a recent Ubuntu on my box and though it correctly detected my computer's fancy dancey sound hardware, there was not a single sound. Not a peep. As I watch DVDs and such, not having sound is a deal breaker.

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heyrick
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Re: Translation

This is, of course, assuming Windows can find the correct driver...

I live in France. My older XP box is set to English (British). When I plugged in my phone, Windows took a while to find and install the MTP driver. It works, yes. But it speaks Italian - WTF?

I wonder how many "breakages" are the driver finder/loader installing not quite the right thing?

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Pirate MEP pranks Telegraph with holiday snap scaremongering

heyrick
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Just out of interest

How does this sit with the Orphan Images thing?

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UK.gov loses crucial battle in home-taping war with musicians

heyrick
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available on-line at an appropriate cost, dependant on quality

Those final three words are why you earned a downvote from me...

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heyrick
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"Fucking leaches."

Just out of interest - if you had sold your soul to a media company (who I'm sure would scam you more than the freetards ever could - what is your cut of the cost of an album? aren't your recording sessions and promotionals etc deducted from your cut?); tell me - do you think it is justified that a legitimate consumer of your product should need to pay for a CD of your music, and pay again for a copy of the same thing as an mp3?

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heyrick
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Pirate

Re: What would they put a levy on?

And France - which is even worse as it is against the law to download stuff yet a levy is applied to blank media (CD-R, DVD-R, SD cards, you name it).

And they'll call us the freetards...

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heyrick
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Hang on a mo

If I buy a CD and decide to rip it to MP3 so I can listen to the songs I like on my phone - why does anybody think they should get paid? I am doing this purely for me and purely for my own convenience (as even portable CD players are bulky and eat through batteries).

I bought the CD. How I choose to listen to the content is my decision and ought to be counted as fair use.

That we even have a situation where some outfit thinks they're entitled to sell the same product in different forms to the same person - that is what is aberrant.

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THIS TIME we really are ALL DOOMED, famous doomsayer prof says

heyrick
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Ehrlich ?

I misread that as Eldritch. As in abomination. If humanity is going to go out, it should do so in style (katana wielding samurai dragons optional, but recommended), not some pathetic fade-to-black.

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California über alles? Is MEP Reda flushing Euro copyright tradition down the pan?

heyrick
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Re: Limit the Term.

The thing is - copyright that is a little bit unfair is no big deal, but copyright that is grossly unfair is.

If we arrive at a situation where our pictures are harvested and used by corporations and our videos are taken down automatically because there is some music playing in the background, how long until people start to just ignore the idea of copyright entirely?

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DON’T add me to your social network, I have NO IDEA who you are

heyrick
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WTF?

Re: People you may know, or know of, or something

"They ask everyone for their email password"

Whoa, wait, people are actually stupid enough to provide it?!?!

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heyrick
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Nobody is immune...

I had messages from LinkedIn inviting me to link in with random people who had non-western European names, people I'd never heard of before.

I contacted LinkedIn to ask them to stop this. Their reply was that I could manage whether or not I receive notifications...by registering and editing my profile. So I need to register with a site I have no interest in to stop them spamming me?

I had an easier solution. My mail server now bounces everything from LinkedIn to abuse@linkedin.com.

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Teaching kids to code is self-defence, not a vocational skill

heyrick
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@ LDS: I think additionally one of the benefits of the BBC Micro (etc) as opposed to modern machines is that it is possible to take the lid off and truly understand how the machine works. The address lines track out to a big mass of logic gates which select memory or one of the peripherals or the ROM. You could prod the machine with a 'scope and literally see the binary wiggling as the machine operates. Couple that with the datasheets for the major chips (or the Advanced User Guide), you could fairly easily come to see life from the point of view of the processor. So when you write your code, you understood what was actually going to happen.

Can you say that about the RaspberryPi? A chip the size of your thumbnail that contains a mindblowing amount of stuff hidden inside and a big bit of memory on top. Apart from the basic I/O, it is not only closed in the sense of not visible, but it is closed in the sense of undocumented APIs and a datasheet that redefines "minimal". Sure, a person can write code and use frameworks and libraries to get stuff done - but I am not sure that a person who grows up with this will ever be able to understand the internal workings, maybe never entirely understanding such seemingly simple things as "int" or "long"? If I'm only storing a small value, should it be a short or a long? Should my structures be packed? And so on.

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heyrick
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Re: All very well....

@ Ledswinger:

Cookery - always a need for this. And I'm not being sexist, I wanted to do cookery at school but got laughed at as it was considered a "girly" thing. So I taught myself some of the basics. I'm not much of a cook but I aspire to more than "pierce lid and heat at 800W for 3 minutes". Plus, everybody should be taught the basics, if only for safety reasons. You could have beef like the Europeans (still with a heartbeat), but try pork or chicken like that and you run the risk of a rather unpleasant visit to the hospital. Plus, you'll die fairly young and in pain if your life's cuisine is nothing but ready meals and McWhatever. There's a plethora of vegetables, meats, and styles of cooking - try some.

physical education - at my school we just called this "games" as there's no education behind running around in the pouring rain in the middle of winter wearing shorts and a t-shirt. That said, we weren't lardasses, so at least the physical part had a purpose, back then and now. Maybe more so now as consoles were kind of crappy and the internet didn't exist so we had less excuse to sit around all the time.

religious education - depends on the mindset of the person teaching it. I believe RE should introduce the major religions, the differences and reasons, and throw in one or two of the lesser known (eg Shinto) as well for alternative viewpoint. The stress here being that people do have different ideas, no there is no "right" or "wrong" (though obviously the believers will tell you that their way is the right way) and most importantly of all - tolerance. Just because somebody calls their God by a different name, doesn't mean it isn't your God in drag... Unfortunately my 1st form senior (I was 12, whatever nth grade that is these days) RE teacher was a Born Again Christian. Those incoherent rants are what started me seriously examining the bible and made me the agnostic that I am today. ;)

"textiles" - is this what we'd call "sewing class"? It's a useful skill to have, the ability to make things. When the zombie apocalypse arrives (or the civil war following the outcome of a "No" vote on Europe and Great Britain splitting into a bunch of not-so-united parts), you might need to mend your own clothes, not go buy something from Tesco.

PSHE - I had to look this one up. It's sad that children appear to need to have a lesson instructing them how to interact socially with each other and look after themselves. This just seems like a bloody HUGE parenting FAIL.

"citizenship" - This probably depends upon the country. I know citizenship, pledging allegiance, etc is a Big Deal in America. I don't recall ever doing that sort of thing once in an English school.

Music - while there is, as you say, benefit in teaching the interested and capable, you run into the problem of how do you know without risking elitism. Sure, the kid who fiddled around with the household piano from an early age may well have aptitude; but not everybody grows up with musical instruments around the place. And then take me as an example. I enjoy music. I listen to a lot of songs I don't really understand the words to because I like how they sound. I now know that one of the reasons that I like a lot of Japanese contemporary music is because the bass and melody are running at different beats (such as 6 beats to a bar for the bass, and traditional 4:4 for the melody (try "Dear You - Feel" for an example, it ought to be on YouTube somewhere) - I believe this turns up a lot in jazz, though I'm not really familiar with much). I like understanding the technical aspects. Not just "this sounds nice", but why. Why does one chord sound like somebody died, but moving just one note suddenly makes it sound happy? I have bugger all talent and I'm still playing Fur Elise on my Yamaha keyboard and screwing it up. I will probably die before I get that right. Does this mean I should be denied any sort of education in "music" because I am not going to grow up and join an orchestra and make it my life's vocation? You don't have to be good to appreciate it, just...interested.

and all Languages - The problem with English speaking countries is all too often they seem to think that everybody can just speak English, and trot out the same "it's the most spoken language" mantra (I am happy to be corrected, but I believe English is third, behind Mandarin and Spanish; though English is perhaps the most widespread). But actually the reason for this is not just to make you more able to get on in other countries, it is also because by learning a language (properly) you will also be learning about the culture that surrounds the language, the way the speakers think. There is a long philosophical discussion regarding how people perceive the world when they may be limited or enhanced by their language. Get to know another language, even if non-proficiently, you'll get a taste of the sort of people who use it. And that can be a fascinating experience in itself. [I'm a native Brit, I speak French and live in France, and I'm teaching myself Japanese (very slowly, mostly by watching subtitled drama); each language and each country is remarkably different in as many ways as they are similar - like I said, fascinating].

but zero benefit trying to teach the uninterested and untalented (which I was for both of those). - perhaps what is required is not so much to drop the "boring" lessons, but instead to find teachers who can motivate their pupils to want to learn. I could have done with some of that myself - my memories of history lesson was the Romans, the Second World War, and a lot of blah in between punctuated by a procession of Kings and Queens of varying degrees of insanity. History was tedious and boring and delivered in a monotone. Yet, so much cool stuff happened in history - us, alone on this "pale blue dot", all of our technology, everything. If it has happened, it is a part of history. These days, the Beatles and Saturday Swap Shop as well as several billion wars and the discovery of x-rays. History could be an exciting subject, if we could just move on from the idea of "romans blah blah everybody died" spanning two thousand years in a six word sentence.

tl;dr: your loss... ;)

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heyrick
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"We’ll end up with a generation capable of little more than pressing buttons and watching as the pretty emojis float by." - Isn't this the ultimate result of decades of educational policy dumbing things down year by year? The elite might prefer to keep the masses stupid, but there's a point where it becomes a greater problem in other ways.

"A generation of sheeple ready to be fleeced by every hacker, everywhere." - why? Isn't intrusive surveillance by the state ("and selected partners") supposed to catch the bad guys and keep us safe?

The very first comment said it all - what is the point in "coding" without the logical processes to back it up? Quite a lot of the coding thing has nothing to do with a computer. You need to identify the problem. You need to identify the end result that you want. Then you need to work out how to get from here to there. Then you need to do it again while breaking it down into little pieces, step by step. Then, finally, you can start thinking in terms of a computer...

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But... I... like... the... PAIN! Our secret addiction to 'free' APIs

heyrick
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There's much ink spilled in the tech press about the "permanence" of things on the web,

I learned this lesson twice, thrice, um...

The first was the biggest. When GeoCities disappeared and all of the stuff hosted there ceased to be. Some of it is on archive.org. A fair amount... just disappeared. Forever.

The second? Smaller. If you are browsing YouTube and you see a song you like that isn't an official or Vevo release, I'd recommend you download it, 'cos it may not be there the next time you look for it - either region locked or simply taken down.

Third? I used to use Google Reader. Thankfully Google's infrastructure is a convenience for me, rather than a necessity. Yes, it would hurt - Maps, Translate, and Docs all have uses and I use them a fair bit (even if just wandering around places I'll probably never ever visit in streetview); but if those went, I'd get over it. Maybe, even, Apple Maps or Bing's effort might get its game together...though I won't hold my breath.

As was pointed out above - any "shiny" that uses an external website for core parts of its functioning will go right back on the shelf. It simply doesn't make sense to put your reliance in the hands of a potentially capricious third party. Changing the API or removing the product? To them it's a business decision. A cost/benefit analysis. They care not how important it is to you. Never forget that.

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Online identity woes can only be solved through the medium of GIF

heyrick
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Identity 3.0 ?

I am guessing that this means Identity 1 and Identity 2 failed. What makes anybody think Identity 3.0 will work? And will Identity 3.1 be compatible?

Seriously, I am wondering of the potential for abuse if there is one single identification process. All the eggs in one basket. Plus how does one PROVE that they are who they are, really?

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Gremlins in the first six months? It's the seller's problem – EU court

heyrick
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Re: Nothing new

@ Dr_N:

Paid with a debit card. Returned item. Got credit voucher good for three months. This was the SuperU. If the law specifies bring reimbursed, which law? All I can find mentioning being getting money back is distance buying, not in-store buying.

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heyrick
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Re: Nothing new

"Forcing buyer to take a in-store credit is illegal."

Do you have a link to relevant European (not just British) directives?

All you are ever offered in France is a credit voucher and asking for money is met with a flat "non" plus them acting like you just insulted their mothers.

Really, cloning Napoléon would be easier that getting money out of a French supermarket/shop/chain...

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Spaniard sues eBay over right to sell the Sun

heyrick
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It is easy. He who physically gets there can claim ownership. Fairly easy with the moon, somewhat less easy with the sun.

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WikiLeaks offers $100k for copies of the Trans-Pacific Partnership – big biz's secret govt pact

heyrick
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Re: Why would anyone take the money?

"for spilling a secret agreement like this could be considered treason"

I can but hope that this would be the fate of every single politician that votes for the agreement and thus willingly permits the democratic rights of the county's citizens to be overruled by the corporations of a foreign country... and that's just the parts we know about.

A trade agreement of this scale and with this level of impact should not be secret. That it is, you really have to ask yourselves why.

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One USB plug to rule them all? That's sensible, but no...

heyrick
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Re: As the old saying goes...

apart from better sanitation - Maybe planned on computer, but the nuts and bolts of poop disposal and recycling is still a rather analogue thing. I don't see that changing soon.

and medicine - Computers make things easier, but modern medicine was born somewhat before the digital age, and I would reckon the most part of it is still an analogue process.

and education - I am of an age where we had books and Dewey Decimal and had to look shit up. How educational is it to learn to copy-paste from the first match of a Google search?

and irrigation - I live rural. I can tell you for absolute fact that the maize irrigation is almost completely analogue and mechanical. The part that isn't is the now obligatory water flow counter. The farmer(s) experimented with computer controlled devices, but they were unreliable, and very expensive for a device that basically does what the mechanical stuff has done for years and years without flaw. Maybe in some parts of the world there are big computer controlled flooding and canals and such for irrigation. That isn't digital helping, that's the owner deciding the tech is cheaper than hiring people to do it manually.

and public health - isn't this covered by sanitation and medicine?

and roads - maybe in Japan where they have to figure out how to put a road on top of another road which is already on top of another road, and make the whole thing earthquake proof. Here? Dig the roadway. Roll it flat. Pound it flatter. Chuck down stuff to stabilise it. Throw down tar and lob gravel at it. Rinse and repeat until the result looks like a road. There will be computers doing stuff like saying the most effective mixtures and probably guidance to get the road going exactly on target. Of course, for computer assistance is turning up everywhere.

and a freshwater system - i kind of think that water supplies came first and the tech came along much more recently.

and baths - oh come on. My bath, and I'd guess a lot of reader's baths have a hole at the bottom and one or two taps (single or mixer). The only wire in sight? The required earth wire...

and public order... - really?

what has digital done for us? - what a bunch of weird examples.

How about: entertainment, evidence gathering, the ability to make friends on the other side of the planet, keep in contact with family members around the country, pictures or it didn't happen, music when and where you want it, you aren't buggered if it is 2am and you need cash for the taxi ride home thanks to bank machines, ditto previous with "in other countries" suffixed, your plane isn't going to crash and burn on a foggy landing (...usually!) thanks to radar and autopilot, ubiquitous mobile comms so the bastard in the seat next to you on the train can talk loudly for the entire journey, and, finally, clever control for nuclear reactors and wind turbines to make the power to permit you to do all of this stuff.

Are you enjoying reading this rubbish I've written? That is what digital is doing for you, right now. Providing you with amusing ways to waste time.

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Your CAR is the 'ultimate mobile device', reckons Apple COO

heyrick
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“The car is the ultimate mobile device,”

I know what he is getting at with that statement, but really, he needs better scriptwriters so his soundbite doesn't sound quite so "like, duh!".

For whatever it is worth, I like my car tech to be embedded and completely disconnected from the outside world, to serve a specific purpose such as adjusting the mixture to the driving and the weather so the car can run better with less fuel. The moment one talks about interactivity and connectivity is the moment that I walk away. A device moving at 90kph with soft squishy me inside should only be receiving outside signals on the FM radio. Nothing else and for no other reason. Time and again embedded device security has been proven to be varying degrees of incomprehensible uselessness, so thanks but no thanks. The best firewall my car can have is no need for such a thing in the first place.

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