1161 posts • joined 22 May 2007
"Tablets are also in used on the ISS, but they are not as useful as here on Earth since, according to NASA, the accelerometers don't work in zero G."
Surely the accelerometers do work in "zero G". They do exactly what they were designed to do.
"Contrast this with the lot of the creator, who makes the stuff that Justified Bloke downloads for free. 80 per cent of musicians in the UK earn less than £10,000 a year, while 95 per cent of songwriters and composers earn less than £15,000 in royalty income."
This is where the problem lies.
I don't download much music for free. I have bought the vast majority of what I want, and there is very little out there now that I would want to buy.
However, while I may download a new track from a big artist (mainly because it's what other people want to hear at parties or similar but I would not want to listen to myself), I would never pirate a track from a smaller, unsigned artist/band. These are the people who drag that figure down: The ones who go out playing gigs at pubs every weekend and scrape a crust, probably having to do another job as well to keep their heads above the water. They sell their CDs at gigs, and I will buy them.
If you excluded these from the income figure (and there are a huge number of them), the figure would be much higher than you are suggesting, much higher than the income of those who are downloading the music.
As always, there is a South Park episode which describes this perfectly: Series 7 Episode 9 - Christian Rock Hard.
I don't get it...
This could be done with deb packages and a small extension to the dpkg/apt system allowing non-root installs.
Sure, it probably wouldn't be as fast as a whole new packaging format. But why reinvent the wheel for a small improvement in application install time?
My alternative approach would involve:
- A specification for "user-debs", stating no dependency other than the Ubuntu API, no scripts, and all files in one directory. Also probably a flag in the manifest indicating it is a "user-deb"
- A modification to dpkg/apt to allow them to be run by non-root users (for "user-debs" only)
With Canonical's current obsession with reinventing the wheel, I don't doubt they will go ahead with a brand new packaging system.
"People who are looking at different packages will look at the channels available and the price and will make a decision based on that."
I think you over-estimate a large chunk of the population.
Re: RE: Fragmentation
Fragmentation does still exists, and in fact exists even more in an SSD. If you read sectors 1-100 on an SSD, these may actually be scattered all over the NAND but are mapped by the controller.
The difference is that this doesn't impact on the performance. You should never need to defrag an SSD (in fact doing so is bad for it, as it unnecessarily writes data, lowering the life of the drive).
Re: I wish the Nexus 4 did have a button.
"I'm forever picking up the thing the wrong way and having to feel around for the buttons to figure which way is up."
I end up picking the damned thing up and trying to push the power button, only to find it's upside down. I thought I'd get used to it, but it's not happening.
I'm tempted to cut a notch out of the case, or put a sticker on the front. It's highly annoying!
"Many of the gestures submitted were anatomically impossible, or at least extremely uncomfortable, but some were worth preserving."
Must remember not to drink coffee while reading El Reg!
Re: Send it to Coventry
"Of course, this takes a reboot to change."
Not necessarily. I managed to get a multi-OS setup working without a true reboot using kexec.
Unfortunately, if I used that to boot Windows, it did take a full reboot to get rid of it...
Re: Problem is tho
"To run Steam on Debian, you have to get your hands dirty with Experimental"
To be perfectly honest, I don't think Debian is targeted for such use.
Debian moves slowly. It is normally behind the curve. You don't get the latest-and-greatest releases.
What you do get is stability. Everything has undergone much more testing than your average "up-to-date" distro. This makes it great for servers or workstations. Not so great for a gaming desktop.
And to echo another poster, if you are complaining that experimental breaks stuff, you shouldn't be using it in the first place!
I'm in two minds
On one hand, a SEP should be "freely" available. There should be a standard rate, anyone can use it and just pay that standard rate of royalties. OK, big corps may do cross licensing or bulk discount negotiations, but the default position is "use it as you want, pay us this amount".
On the other hand, AFAIK Apple did not even try to license the patents or negotiate (I'm happy to be corrected if I'm wrong). They just started using them. Just because it is part of a standard doesn't mean anyone can use it without reimbursing the patent holder. If they do, the patent holder should be allowed to use it as any other patent in court.
Re: Are they dealing with AGW too.
"I bet none of them are worried about anthropogenic global warming, as none of them are humans."
How do you know?
Life could have been transplanted by a more advanced species at some point, a la Stargate.
For that matter, there is a tiny, infinitesimal chance that humans could have evolved on another world. (Or God could have created humans on another planet, if you're that way inclined.) The chances are tiny, but the universe is a big place.
Re: Beards are Best
"I end up chewing on my moustache and constantly twisting my chin hair with my fingers after a couple of weeks of no trim."
I found that the best part of having facial hair. I used to love playing with it (read whatever you want into that, LOL)
It's backfired now I've got rid of it, though. My other half is constantly telling me off for pulling at the skin under my chin. It's a subconscious thing, I'm trying to stroke my bears, but it's not there.
"Yes, its insulting like when posh kids go off on gap years to poor countries to see how lucky they are, and claim to be helping."
You sound like some people who had a go at a friend of mine.
He worked in Botswana (and several other places in Africa) for many years. He was a qualified engineer who was paid a pittance in comparison to what he would be paid here, even taking the lower costs of living into account. Yes, he was a high earner by local standards, but a very low earner compared to what he would be paid anywhere else.
He did this to help people. He was involved in designing, manufacturing and installing wind-powered water pumps to replace the increasingly unreliable diesel-powered ones most towns and villages were using at the time. He had a car, an old beat-up landrover, and a couple of motorcycles, which he raced. The locals liked him. They appreciated all the work he was doing to help them, and the sacrifices he was making to do so. They enjoyed watching him race, and cheered him on every time.
One day, a couple of do-gooders from a charity turned up. They had a go at him for his "excessive" pay packet and "extravagant" entertainment choices. Apparently, what he was doing was not enough. He should have been working for the same money the locals were on, owned nothing and worked such long hours he didn't need entertainment.
He asked them if they'd prefer he went home, didn't help the people and earned 10x what he was on there.
Some people will never be satisfied. If you donate a fiver to a charity, they will ask why it wasn't a tenner. If you volunteer for an hour, they will ask why it wasn't the full day. Any if you sacrifice a well paid career to help people, they will ask why you aren't living in poverty while you do so.
Re: Not playing their game
My brother does this.
He does not have a TV. He does not watch live TV. But he does download some TV shows. He feels justified because he buys them as soon as they are available.
I feel he is justified.
"I wonder how many people are like me, have a Sky sub and Sky+ it, but still download each episode for their library anyway?"
Add one to that list.
Disclaimer: I am in no way legally admitting that that one is me.
Re: For $2.49
"Which by your calculations implies that 10 hours of playing works out at 1 hour of entertainment?"
You owe me a new keyboard!
Very interesting stuff. Kudos to them.
They don't seem to have got the hang of landing, yet, do they? Their approach seems to be "turn it off", so it drops and bounces across the floor.
Re: 3D looking storm
"they're fairly 2D structures, wider than they are deep"
That would make me a "fairly 1D structure", much taller than I am wide or deep (in other words a skinny f***er).
Re: 3D looking storm
"It may be an optical illusion but those clouds look 3D"
I can't even think of the words... See icon <-----
Re: I find these whole debate a Joke !
"I've had plenty of jobs and never once have I been asked to show ID."
I have always been asked for some form of ID for a job. They need proof that you are who you say you are, otherwise I'm pretty sure they would be liable if it turned out you were using a false identity for, say, tax fraud or illegal immigration (I think it would be classed as due diligence).
Most have also needed to know that I could drive, hence needing a copy of my driving license for insurance purposes, and also that I was able to travel to other countries, hence seeing my passport.
Re: CV generator
I actually started doing this before I got my current job, then started again recently (before getting a job offer for the company I am moving to this month).
I started with a real CV (long form, not the Resume that most people mean when they say CV). I then tagged each bullet point with keywords. These would then provide a score, and the top scoring bullet points would be listed. Just before it was finished I got this job, so I didn't need it any more.
This was all because I had been told my CV was too long. I started tailoring my resume for every job, which was getting laborious (not to mention boring).
The only problem with this, as a system, is that many jobs come through agencies. They will (mostly) put one copy of your resume on file and use that for everything. Most do not appreciate that some people have such a wide ranging skill set that a single resume cannot cover it. What they need to do is allow you to give them a long-form CV which can be searched against. They can then either ask you for a resume for job X, or even generate it themselves from your CV.
Re: Maybe I missed it...
I obviously didn't make it that far down the page.
Maybe I missed it...
Is there a list of the patents involved?
I personally think BT are just playing the game here (and trying to close the stable door after the horse has bolted), but I would like to see details of the patents to confirm.
Re: I would look into this
Only my own opinion, but I can highly recommend giffgaff for the most part.
+ Great value: I have seen no other PAYG "bundles" which come close to matching giffgaff. You can match it on a SIM-only 30-day contract, but this doesn't give the same flexibility.
+ Flexibility: If I am skint one month, I can easily not buy a goodybag, use PAYG credit only, switch my data off on my phone and spend only a quid or 2 over a month, or until I have the money. Similarly if I am out of the country for most of the month, I don't have to buy the goodybag.
+ Payback: If you know your stuff and help out on the forums, you get paid for it. I generally get back most of what I have spent on goodybags over the month for a very small amount of work.
+ Community support: If you have an issue (which is not account related), the community will help you very quickly.
- Account-related support: Giffgaff don't have call centres. The only way to get account related support is by an online ticket system. It can take days to get a response. I have found the forums good at speeding this along, but it is a major headache.
- Reliability: There have been more major outages on giffgaff since I have been with them than I have ever known from a mobile network.
So, you pay your money and take your choice. I am currently trying to decide whether to stay with them due to a degradation in signal quality at my home. It's been getting steadily worse for the past couple of years, starting with mobile internet dropping to Edge, then GPRS.This was not a major issue as I can use my Wifi at home, but now more than half the voice calls I make or receive from home have such bad audio quality I have to hang up and use the landline. This is an O2 network issue (SWMBO is on O2 and has the same trouble), but it means I can't use my mobile for voice calls at home (admittedly, this is now it's secondary purpose...)
Re: DRM - bane of the law abiding......
"When it becomes more difficult to be law abiding than a freetard then something is wrong with the system."
I completely agree with this one.
Just look at what happens when a PC game, for instance, is crippled by a DRM system. People crack it, cracked copies appear on torrents et al. People who have paid money for the game start getting the cracks, and people who were going to buy the game download it because it is easier.
The same thing happens with DVDs. My brother is religious, and refuses to just pirate material. But often, when he buys a DVD he downloads a copy from the internet, too. It is easier to handle, being just stored on his PC (from which he plays all his content), and it doesn't have all the mandatory viewing at the beginning telling him not to pirate stuff. Think about this: He buys the DVD, but still downloads a "pirate" copy because it's better (less hassle) than the DVD!
This is a broken system.
Not the right place
I agree that there needs to be some kind of "open" standards-based DRM system.
I do not like it. I wish that Hollywood etc. would trust their customers enough to do without it.
They will not. Not yet, anyway. This means we need some way to get rid of the proprietary DRM lock-in.
Flash was bad, but at least it was fairly cross-platform. Most systems had an implementation. It may have been crap (on Linux, for example), but at least it existed.
Silverlight is worse. Not surprising, really, when it's a Microsoft product, but everyone seems to be moving over to it, locking out a huge number of devices. AFAIK, only Windows, MacOS and Symbian(?!) are supported. So, no iPhone, no Android, and definitely no Linux.
Moving on, it is clear that if we must have DRM, we need an "open" standard DRM. A system which can be implemented on anything. It doesn't need to be FOSS, but it needs to be able to interoperate with FOSS, or anything else.
With this in mind, my concern is that web standards are not the right place for it, IMHO. But then again, I disagreed with adoption of H264 as the "standard" HTML5 video format.
I have given this some thought in the past, and I believe that graphics card drivers would be the best place to implement this (one way or another). Come up with an open specification which allows data to be passed to the video card, encrypted, and allow them to decrypt and display. This would be relatively trivial for them to implement (in software for older cards, hardware for new models) and would keep everything secure. It could even be made interoperable with HDCP, so a GFX card hooked up to a HDTV would just stream the content, and the TV does the work. Do the decoding at the furthest point along the line possible. This keeps content providers happy (their content is as protected as possible), and consumers happy (because they can play their content).
It would not keep die-hard FOSS nuts happy, but nothing will in this situation other than abandoning DRM, which isn't going to happen soon.
It would not keep "pirates" happy, but who cares about
On a side note, I agree with others here that having the Pirate Parties join this fight only weakens the case. It's like the South Park episode where they were arguing over the flag (S4 E7 - Chef Goes Nanners).
Re: "...licensing is an effective way to share technology and build on each other’s work."
Actually, used as they should be licensing your patented innovations IS an "effective way to share technology and build on each other’s work" while still being rewarded for the work you have done.
It is when the technology should not have been patented, or when a company refuses to license it, that the main problems occur.
Re: Raspberry Pi
Yeah, I take your point. It does have use cases.
Re: Fascinating what people will go through to avoid IPv6
I don't get this point. Yes, you can set up rsync (in fact you could do so without IPv6, just using port forwarding on your router).
Where I could see this being most useful is for a group of friends. Each agrees to store copies of each others' files. Set up the sync and, as with bittorrent, you don't need to upload the files to every machine, they share the data around. Or as a small business with several offices, the files are synced and upload duty shared around.
Similarly, if you want to share a file with a group, you just add it and let the client do the rest.
Obviously, there would need to be some form of protection if you had sensitive data (I certainly wouldn't trust my friends with some data I hold, just because it is too important to take any risks), but it could basically (like the article states) create a distributed dropbox. Incredibly useful, whether you are on IPv6 or not.
"Raspberry Pi users have made the new software work under Raspbian, which makes the tiny computer an even more tempting home-brew storage manager."
While I am a big fan of the Pi and have several projects on the go using it, storage is it's weak point IMHO. I cannot imagine it being even remotely useful as a home NAS. The networking is only 100Mbit, and the only storage it can support is either USB or the onboard SD card slot. USB storage doesn't cut it, and I wouldn't have a NAS without gigabit ethernet. The only use case I could see is a portable NAS/media player combo, which would be nice.
As I said, I love the Pi, but it is not a "one size fits all" solution. Play to it's strengths and it's amazing. Fail to recognise it's weaknesses and you will end up disappointed.
"And the galaxy is so efficient, that the star formation is likely to be all done and dusted in the equivalent of a few moments in a galactic lifetime.
In just a few tens of millions of years[A few billion years ago], the gas will be[was] used up and the galaxy will mature[d] into a massive elliptical galaxy."
Since it is 6 billion light years away, this has all finished, shirley?
"So what's it like for gaming? I've no idea, but I think we can guess."
You could easily have done better than guess!!
You have the tablet. You are reviewing it. Yet you can't be arsed to try a couple of games? It wouldn't have taken very long!
Re: Renewable Energy
@Dodgy Geezer: While your points have some grounding, I do have some issues.
"We already use far more energy per head than our parents, and our children will use even more - and that is not a bad thing. It is part of the way human societies better themselves."
Not exactly. DOING more is how we better ourselves. This normally uses more energy. However, it does not always have to. More efficient technologies come along allowing us to do more with the same energy or less. So with no increase in energy use we can still have advancement.
"The Greens have now been defeated in this latest fight. But they will come back again over some other technology. They are anxious to achieve zero growth and stop all human development. Being on their side is not something I would be proud of..."
This is the hard-line, extremist green view. I consider myself a moderate green. I want the world to move forward, but that does not mean we have to "destroy the planet" in the process. We can generate electricity from clean sources. The current generation of renewables is not up to the job (specifically wind and solar), but we can use cleaner gas-fired stations and, in particular, nuclear as a stop gap, as well as the more advanced renewables like hydro. We can use more efficient appliances to reduce our energy needs without lowering our quality of life. We can continue to research additional clean energy sources. All of these would be for the ultimate advancement of mankind, while also being green.
Re: This could be useful-
"Maybe, but if we can get it onto BMW's"
Haven't you heard? (B-b-b-bird bird bird... sorry, couldn't help the Family Guy reference)
Audi drivers are the new BMW drivers.
"I was just criticizing what the article's author suggested, of it being a path towards not subsidizing handsets."
TBH I think they have pretty much stopped subsidising handsets anyway. Having compared many operator contracts and SIM-only plans, I have always found that it is the same or cheaper to buy the phone outright and use a SIM only plan. In fact, buying the phone on some credit cards can sometimes work out cheaper!
Re: Article fail
'And let's face it, what average Reg reader knows what "Bell-state" is?'
There is only one bell-state. "Ready for action".
Paris: She knows.
Re: The difference between Facebook and e.g. Vodafone 360
"They were more concerned about creating the lock-in than they were about giving the customer the goodies that make them buy-in to the lock-in voluntarily."
Right there is the key.
To get something to work which people aren't bothered about, you must make things they are bothered about which, coincidentally, need them to use the thing they aren't bothered about.
Had the operators had some foresight, they could have easily concocted a standard to allow people to buy in app stores and have the cost billed through them. That would have been a great money spinner for them.
I think it's a lot like the UK government ID cards. Although we are here on a tech forum where most just thought it was a bad idea from the beginning, most non-techies I know thought it was a reasonably good idea but didn't see much benefit. The government could have made it a lot more attractive. Adding the ability to store payment cards, loyalty cards, memberships etc. on it would have swayed many, for example. Incorporating an electronic cash system would have brought more into the fold. Hell, even I would have been tempted with that lot. But instead, they plodded along with the core idea, and it failed to gain any real interest from the public.
Re: "...digital copies of books should "deteriorate"..."
"OK, provided that the rate of deterioration is set to match what Libraries find in practice"
I beg to differ.
The only reason a library should pay for a new book when it deteriorates is because it costs the publisher to print a new copy. OK, it doesn't cost as much as the library pays, but it does cost.
For eBooks, the "deterioration" should be built into the royalties. Instead of "pay the full price after x thousand loans", spread that cost into the per-loan royalty and it's sorted. The only thing which would be affected is the publishers figures.
Re: Why the Browser?
"Why are so many resources devoted to browser development? ... The overwhelming majority of users... just want to see a web page."
They want to see it fast. They don't want to wait 30s, or even 10s, for it to load (even if it is just a picture of a cat).
They want to see it correctly. They don't want to be unable to see the cat because their browser doesn't support this or that.
That is why there is so much work going on. They have to keep up to the newer technologies as they appear, while improving efficiency of existing components.
Re: Those who want to be managers....
"Best manager I ever had only did a single thing get the rest of the company to leave me the hell alone and speak to her instead."
That's what my current manager does, for the most part.
I'm sure he does more than I can see, but he is fantastic in a crisis. We had a serious problem in the systems I look after, resulting in a good week's work to get everything working again. I had nobody hassling me for that time. He asked me for updates regularly, drafted in help for me, and kept everyone off my back. Basically, he let me do my job and provided me everything I needed to get it done quickly and smoothly. Without that, it would have taken me a good month.
Re: Those who want to be managers....
"As for the Peter Principle, I've yet to see that institutionalised across an entire organisation. Individual cases, certainly, but it is far more instructive to think of managerial promotions as being random."
In my own (admittedly limited) experience, I have found that those who normally get promoted to middle management are either;
a) ambitious and power hungry (at least to some degree) and want to rise to the top, whatever is involved, or
b) those who can't do their job, but current management sees some management potential in them, making promotion easier than firing them.
I have seen a prevalence of these two types. I have, of course, seen some press-ganged into a management position, almost against their will, but these seem much rarer than the above two cases (which, again in my experience, seem to be roughly equal).
Re: IP Trolls
"I think I have been reading a different El Reg than the one you are talking about. I'm sure the overriding bias from the Reg was IP law was totally fucked"
I think it depends on your starting position. In all, I believe el Reg has maintained a fairly balanced view on the matter, but this upsets people on both extremes.
To the "pirate" who thinks they should get everything free, the opinion that any IP law is required at all goes against their standpoint, so el Reg is siding with the big, nasty corporations who want to force them to pay for stuff.
To big corps and their supporters who want this IP system, because it benefits them, the suggestion that IP law needs reform shows that el Reg is siding with the pirates and wants them to give everything away for free.
In reality, this publication has regularly stated that, while we need IP law to protect those who innovate or create, the current system is completely screwed and needs reform.
"Apparently the older you get the harder is to differentiate speech from background music."
If this is true, I'm royally screwed. I have had a lot of trouble with that from my early teens.
Strangely, I can pick out a particular instrument from an orchestra no problem. But if someone tries to speak to me, directly in my ear, while listening to said orchestra, I need it repeating 3-4 times before I understand.
"Sky are okay, but they're only estimating 40Mbps where I am so they're already off to a worse start."
If you are talking about Sky Fibre, that is because 40Mbps is the max they offer.
You need to take Sky Fibre Pro for 80Mbps. I did, and as a heavy user I have encountered no throttling or caps.
A small tip, though. They charge you for installation of Pro (as an existing customer, at least). The don't charge you for plain fibre. However, you can get Fibre and, as soon as it is installed, upgrade to Pro.
"Spend 24 hours a day downloading torrents? You're the equivalent of demanding they fill your tanker with cola."
Nope. You are using what you have paid for.
The difference here is the point of "with your meal". This would mean that it is valid only for one meal, while you consume that meal. Strictly, as soon as you have finished the last mouthful, your contract is completed and you are entitled to no more. In addition, it is a quite obvious assumption (and probably stated, too) that it is for your own consumption during that meal. Therefore you could not fill up a few bottles to take away, you must consume it with the meal.
When you pay for unlimited broadband, you are paying for a 24x7 service. I see no reason why you should not be allowed to download at the full speed of your connection 24x7. You are not abusing the service, you are using it. If you place limits on it beyond that, by definition it is no longer unlimited.
Re: Which problem is The Problem?
"Should GCHQ want to recruit people who 'forget' their passwords?"
Everyone forgets their password from time to time. Or locks out their account. Or....
Just because a person is one of the best cryptanalysts in the world doesn't mean they don't have a memory like a sieve.
However, for an intelligence agency to be storing passwords in plain text is inexcusable. Even on a peripheral system. It doesn't matter whether they are sending out plain-text password reminders, as such. It is that they are storing them insecurely. Which is bad. Very bad.
"So for your whole life you've supported a party that believes in electoral reform that they expect to mean regular coalition governments... The party that believes coalition government is a good thing goes into coalition."
You beat me to it. The Lib Dems had no choice but to go into coalition (or abandon all hope of saying they support PR, which means regular coalitions). They had very little option but to go into it with the Tories, as any other would have both been very complicated (using every party in Parliament to oppose the Tories) and against the apparent wishes of the electorate (who basically voted Labour out).
On top of this, they have done real good for the country. They have tempered the Tory government, and pushed through beneficial changes (such as the rise in personal allowance).
The only real policy mistake I believe they have made was breaking their promise on tuition fees. This was a firm commitment to vote against any rise, and they just tossed that down the toilet. Apart from that, the main damage to the party is just in the association with the Conservatives and their policies. It is a perception held by many, and that will have the most damaging consequences. However, this is because the
proles electorate are stupid have not thought it through.
"And the noise."
That was my main problem when I bought a pair of DL380G4s to replace a couple of home servers based on desktop hardware. One of the old desktops had blown it's PSU while I was on holiday (which happened to be my mail server, causing great distress to my other half), which prompted the move to real server hardware.
When I got them home (and installed in my new rack), I found the noise level... unacceptable. Or rather, SWMBO found the noise level unacceptable. I wasn't really too surprised, as they would drown out the noise from our vacuum cleaner from the next room. I did, however, find a fix.
The first part was to retire one to the duty of parts repository, and keep any non-essential services on a desktop-based server. The second was involved a soldering iron, some heatshrink sleeving, some resistors and every fan in the system (8, I think). Then, after a few days of careful monitoring in mid summer, I determined that the heat levels were acceptable so long as I left the window latched open.
I'm actually in the process of heading the other way, now. All my external services are hosted elsewhere, and I am in the middle of consolidating all my systems into one desktop based server. At least it's now in a rack mount enclosure, with custom dual PSUs and two UPSs. The spare hardware, well... It will probably join all my other spare hardware in the cupboard, ready to fire into life when something else goes wrong.
As a side note, I'm not looking forward to the other half noticing the drop in our leccy bill when I switch off the 380. She noticed the rather large increase when it was installed, but didn't figure out what was causing it. I'm pretty sure she will go mad when she realises how much juice that thing was drinking...
"I am also a little wary of a wireless network that can supply enough energy to charge a phone using me as a medium"
It's not using you as a medium. It is using, mostly, air as the medium.
I will accept that if you happen to be in between the charge and the device it would be using you as a medium, it's only in the same way the your phone is using your head as a medium if the base station is on the opposite side to the phone.
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