2956 posts • joined Thursday 31st December 2009 17:37 GMT
Android or iPad
If you want something basic to browse in bed, read ebooks and play the occasional Angry birds then a $75 chinese Android tablet does that perfectly.
If you want easy access to itunes and have pretty colours and look cool in starbucks an iPad is $350
If you need to type an Acer netbook is $200
Why exactly would you pay $500 for a Samsung/HP tablet instead?
>surely other arms of the company get even more favorable treatment than a competitor
Allegedly not - Apple pay less to Samsung for the Samsung manufactured ARM cpu in the iPad than Samsung pay for the identical chip in their tablet.
Who needs ICANN?
Apple can simply change the network stack in iPhone so .app routes their app store, Google do the same for Android and in the unlikely event of Microsoft ever selling a WP7 phone they will change it so that it redirects to "live.microsoft-we-don't-quite-understand-the-itern.net"
Alternate business plan
1, Raise seed capital for underground lair, giant TV screen, nehru jacket
2, Threaten to crash satelite into nation's capital unless they give him "1 Million Dollars"
A huge and expensive navy designed to re-fight WWII against the Japanese fleet
The enemy is people who live in caves in a land locked country
The most dangerous threat to the navy is a car bomb planted outside a bar next to a naval base
The only maritime threat to the country is guys running drugs and guns into Florida in boats that can be sunk by a flare pistol
The solution is a $Bn laser ray gun project
Banks don't want customers with no money
Apart from the problems of them closing all the branches people can get to, and the problems of dealing with small amounts of money (you get 19.98 care allowance and the cash machine will let you take out multiples of 20 with a 2.50 charge)
The banks don't want customers who aren't going to buy mortgages, pensions, credit cards, insurance and all the profitable lines.
There used to be a national savings bank at the post office - but these days the idea of a government owned bank is ridiculous
@So how does this work now
Same way as if you hire a wedding photographer, they keep the copyright on the pictures they take of you.
It's the difference between saying to an artist, "design some scary helmet" and saying to an employee "make the mold curve exactly this way at this point and put an eye hole this shape at that point"
It's particularly disengenous of Peter Jackson to chime in. They were very careful to do all the designs for their creatures and costumes at a design house they own - so they (Weta) rather than New Line (the film producers) would own the designs
Added 300,000 jobs to the workforce
So all those admins you need to baby-sit exchange.
Needing two people to do an office job because they spend half their time rebooting windows.
All those people writing add-in utils to get around Windows deficiencies
Those are all part of a benevolent MSFT plan for full employment?
Reset a Password
That has already been covered in the US. There is a distinct difference in being forced to give a password - which is generally NOT allowed, it being regarded as self-incrimination, and demanding access to the data.
The ACLU made the reasonable point, and the court accepted it, that a password of "I WILL KILL AGAIN" might be incriminating!
@The thing I never got.
Time. You can share the set of one time pads once a year by stage coach, or by meeting in person, then send urgent messages encrypted by them at any time over the telegraph
What is Canada going to do now?
In the book for the becoming a Canadian test - it lists the country's scientific endevours (on half a page) as; the canadarm (now retired), Alexendar Graham Bell (briefly lived in Canada before inventing the telephone), the snowmobile and RIM.
Looks like it's going to get cut back a bit now.
You don't steal from US passengers, you steal from departing foreigners.
Since the US will only investigate crimes reported there, unless the visitor is prepared to fly back to the US to report his stolen camera/watch/laptop - and risk it happening again - you are completely safe.
8844m above Sea level
Just wait a few years and it's height above sea level will go down
"two in a bar rule"
Allowing two musicians to appear without a license did lead to the horror of Chaz 'n' Dave
Won't somebody think of the children....
ps. does the drummer count?
Alternatively you could start a revolution, overthrow the monarchy and create a new nation founded on the principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
It seems like a lot of effort - but it's still easier than working with the bloody Postal Address File!
Very few lecturers make any money from textbooks - it's just not worth the time/effort.
There are a few authors who do make a living, they are the ones on the 10edition of the intro physics/chemistry/engineering course books. In reality these haven't changed much - there haven't been many recent breakthroughs in Newtonian mechanics that make my 25year old copy of Keppler+Kelenkov obsolete. And any decent lecturer will produce notes that work with any edition.
The reason a particular textbook is required for many US universities (and probably UK ones now) is that you need to have your course material approved by the dept, the faculty, the state, two popes and the writers on the family guy. This is why so many lecturers are delivered on powerpoint rather than a blackboard - so that you can prove you covered all the required points in the approved manner. And this is for a science dept - imagine what a politics/economics/theology class must be like.
The nice thing about the approved textbook is that somebody else has done this. And you (or your dept) don't have to worry about a disgruntled student suing because you said or wrote something they dissagree with. They can go ahead and sue a Murdoch owned publisher if they want!
>really be that interested in people who are too stupid to type in a proper URL?
I agree with you and I have blogged about it at http://mywebsite.com/256_character_random_string_generated_my_CMS/article.html
US textbook prices
Not suggesting that there is any sort of monopoly or anything but....
US college courses are a big business for textbooks, much more so than the UK there is a textbook for the course and the course follows the textbook, often the publisher produces the entire course, lecture notes, powerpoint, midterm, final exams - everything.
One colleague gives a course where the textbook even comes with an IR remote - he is required to use this for a certain number of pop-quizzes during the course. The idea is to stop students sharing, photocopying, borrowing books or buying used older editions.
There are stories of special conferences by major textbook publishers for academics, being held in very nice resorts - but I don't teach so don't get invited!
@Awkward to sell
>more to it than brand
Except the thing that makes the pictures (the image and digic) comes from someone else.
It's like a buying a Rolls Royce that has a BMW engine and suspension (which of course it has) - you have to ask what you are getting that you don't get from a BMW?
A startup here was using the Segway technology in power assisted wheelchairs.
Instead of the full Stephen Hawking job, this is a small motor on a lightweight hand chair, which just gives you a bit of help on steep bits.
It can also sense tilt and acceleration and use the motor to control you getting up and down kerbs without risking overbalancing. Normally you need huge upper body strength to safely rock up a kerb because you need to be able to stop your entire weight if you start to tilt back.
Sadly it seems to be doomed by the mountain of FDA requirements when you are building anything with a computer in it for 'medical' use.
re: communist/labour loonies
Thank god we had the Daily Mail to protect us from Blair and Brown storming the palace and killing the czar
Silence is golden
Didn't they do the same thing to the brothers Maxwell - on the slightly more serious business of stealing 1000s of pensioner's money.
IIRC they just sat there silently while a bunch of lawyers argued whether there was any requirement to answer questions
@A routine flight?
That's why you should try and live next to loud angry people
Whenever they find a couple of dozen bodies buried under the floorboards, he was always a nice quiet chap who kept himself to himself.
twas ever such
Many years ago (back when an evil empire was fighting brave insurgents in afghanistan) I worked for a similar mob.
They obviously needed to recruit the best, so they only bothered visiting Oxbridge - I got in because someone thought a peasant from I.C. would be amusing.
The vetting was even more amusing, "did any of the masters at school ever talk about socialism?" - I'm at a comprehensive in Newcastle!
The real joke was how they beat the salary issues. The civil service has rigid pay grades, to pay somebody more you simply promote them. So we had meetings for grade X and above which would have the heads of various departments plus a dozen scruffy programmers in their 20s who had been made a grade X simply to pay a competitive salary.
@The act of decryption is not self-incrimination.
I think the issue here is more the search process.
A warrant to hand over document X - where you are forced to do so if it's in a key locked safe but not if it's in a combination safe is obviously silly.
The problem with requiring handing over encryption keys in general is that the amount of stuff stored about you.
A warrant requesting everything you had ever read, every message you had ever sent, every phone call, and every web site visited would be rejected by the judge as a fishing expedition - but by routinely demanding the decryption keys this is what they are after.
Taxation = carbon credits?
Wasn't this what was tried with the carbon trading?
Ask the power stations to fit flue filters and they will tell you it costs $Bn and you can't prove that it doesn't . Tell them they can pay fit filters and then sell their pollution credits and suddenly the filters are all added - and the real market cost is revealed.
@and again with the NO
If it wasn't the SRB joint it would be (and was) something else.
The SRBs could never have been built at the Cape. Have you seen the video of the accident with a small store of the fuel being manufactured? Even Florida isn't that expendable
The main engine is insanely complex and could have been replaced with a larger booster. But then instead of being a reusable space plane that just needs a little help, it becomes a white elephant on the side of a proper rocket.
The tiles were necessary because of the wing shape. The wing was necessary for the cross range allowing it to take off from Edwards and to do a less than complete orbit flight to put/grab a spy sat for the air force. Needless to say no shuttle ever flew from Edwards and the addition of 1/2lb of C4, some ball bearings and a pressure switch to a spy sat meant that none were ever going to be kidnapped (which is pretty pointless anyway)
But the ultimate problem is having to put people on it so that you have enough heroes for congress to keep funding you. The last mission was to take supplies to the ISS - which needed 4 astronauts? Even the USPS doesn't have that sort of union job creation.
It has rungs - BUT swapping between them is so expensive you end up putting everything in the ring-0 kernel. So Windows can securely ensure that no user program can crash the OS, except the graphics driver is in the kernel.
And the graphics driver is typically most buggy piece of code, the thing written under the most time pressure by a hardware maker that only intends to support it for the 3month this card will sell, the piece of code with no economic driver to make it any good and the code with the most half-tested performance hacks - is the thing running in the most trusted processor level!
Is this where they put genes form other species in?
Prawn cocktail flavor spuds!
"four sets of genomes, two from each parent, rather than just one from each parent as people do"
Must resist jokes about the outer Hebrides.
Are they still terrorists then?
Presumably there aren't many Spanish voters in the USA, so it will only take a few Basque emigres voting the right way in Boston for it to become clear that ETA were freedom fighters all along.
Then Nobel peace prizes all round, jobs for life on the council for the previous naughty boys and we can pretend it never happened.
They can't really be terrorists or freedom fighters anyway - there's no oil there.
Buy British is what caused the mess
Doesn't matter how crap a Leyland car is - you don't have any choice to buy British.
Aircraft, tanks, ships can be years behind schedule, billions over budget and useless - but it doesn't matter because the government has to buy British.
Amazing how great an industry can get if the customer's don't have a choice of what to buy, the workers can't work for anyone else and the management is picked by the government.
Just run the entire country on the same logic that gives you S4C
Even more ancient history
My 1988 Archimedes came with a software emulator that would run DOS in a replica 8086 at a blistering 4.77Mhz, not bad for a CPU that's probably now relegated to controlling how fast your car's inside light dims when you close the door.
The wording in the reports is amusing - basically the Australian ones says "come here and you won't automatically be raped and murdered before leaving the airport" and the S. African one say "If you don't build it here you are all a bunch on Nazis" but they both manage to say so in perfect diplomatic-ese.
The trouble is that the fee for filing a patent would then be $10M
Stereoscopic and 3D
It's a bit more complicated.
The telescope is two barrels pointing 106 deg apart looking at different sets of stars.
Gradually as it moves each telescope will see each star a lot of times
So you measure the 2D XY pixel position of star1 on camera1 and star2 on camera2, Later you have star2 on camera1 and star3 on camera2
Eventually you have a few billion XY pixel measurements of 20million stars and then you do the mother of all simultaneous equations to get their relative 2D positions.
Then independently you work out the distance to each star (from movement, colour, brightness etc) - eh voila you have a 3D map. A bit like GPS - the lat/long position is incredibly good but the distance (height) is a lot worse.
not without shrinking light
There isn't much point making a 28nm pixel when a visible photon is 500-1000nm
I mean, whats the point in spending billions on Echelon and RIPA to spy on everyone's phone calls and emails if some journalist from a tabloid rag is going to do it for free
In my experience of building kit for the people in green to drag through the mud.
You talk to the soldiers, build the nearest thing to what they want, demo it to them, they are happy.
Then you talk to the MoD - after a few years they will consider inviting you to apply for permission to approach them.
After the MoD decide they like the kit - they will give you the go-ahead as long as you also form a partnership with BAe, Thales, Lockhheed, the French and a small tribe in the Amazon unknown to science. They will also require that your equipment meets the technical requirements of the Austro-Hungarian empire, the Swiss submarine service and the Klingon girl guides.
At this point you either give up or sell it to the Isrealis.
Then the special forces people find out about it and approach you to buy it unofficially.
Then everybody else sees it and asks why they can't have one. At which point the entire cycle repeats.
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