1157 posts • joined 22 May 2007
Re: If all else fails, there's always computing
"Some of those arts graduates made a success of their computing careers and the rest became IT managers."
New keyboard time!
Re: Ability to learn new stuff
I have to agree.
In my current job (involving admin and some development using fairly proprietary systems) I would not have got the job based purely on the interview and my CV (one of the guys who interviewed me told me this later). What made the difference was the "tour" afterwards. As we wandered around the offices, I discussed the systems and architectures involved. I asked questions, offered possible solutions to problems they were experiencing, and was generally enthusiastic about the role. My enthusiasm and obvious willingness to learn elevated me above the other candidates.
My problem now is that, in many cases, I *don't* know the "textbook" solutions. I have had very little formal training in computers, and have learned most of what I know by doing it. I know that what I do isn't the "right" way much of the time, even though I don't actually know the "right" way, but it works, but at least my methods make me very adaptable to new situations.
Re: Oh FFS
"the problem we're seeing now is exemplified by the tweeting twit, Sally Bercow: things that are mentioned as one might down the pub with your mates - possibly after a drink or two - with no thought about exactly what you're saying and to whom."
This is what I think, too.
Yes, current rules should apply to the internet. But the problem is that there are a large number of people who do not think correctly about their actions.
I often quote a simple analogy. When using Facebook*, you are with a group of friends. Your posts and comments are like a chat with them over a beer in the local pub, or in your living room over a cup of tea. However, using Twitter is like standing on the table in the local pub, or hanging out of your window, or walking down a busy street, and shouting out what you say for all the world to hear.
So, while you may have discussions in the pub about controversial subjects, you would not run down the street shouting about how a random person was a paedo (at least not when your mental age passes 12). Think in that manner and you will be fine.
*I do mean using Facebook as an individual and as it was intended, not through a group page or, of course, if you randomly add random strangers as "friends" without appropriate privacy controls in place.
Re: To Mars !!!
"They could at least import chickens..."
Nah, you don't want to do that.
"Secondly, the "£25" computer is a myth. You have to buy cases, SD cards, highly-regulated power supplies, plus something for it to plug into (like a monitor for a start). PER DEVICE."
I call bollocks!
I have to agree with many of the comments made in the article and in these comments that the Pi can't really be a "mainstream" computing teaching tool. It can't replace the PCs used for teaching IT or using computers for other subjects. It is a fairly specialised item. But it does not need additional monitor/keyboard/mouse to plug in to. For the specialised use it is put to, set of extra cables could be used to plug in to from a PC (maybe a KVM switch) which would be useful for other purposes anyway. It can also plug up to old TVs. It doesn't need "highly-regulated power supplies", a cheap phone charger will do. For some purposes, you can even (just) run it off the USB port of a PC (I know, I have done it myself). One of those dual USB leads also works well. For it's intended purpose, it doesn't even need a case. All you really need is an SD card, adding maybe £5 to the cost of the device.
I can only see it being practical for teaching small groups of the most enthusiastic and/or able students. Most won't be interested or capable of learning programming, but (from my own experience) maybe 5 out of a class of 30 would. This would leave a great opportunity for that top tier to learn. They can each bring in their own SD card, containing their own work. They can learn to program, build hardware, or hack at the kernel. All is done on their own SD card, so a mistake doesn't break the whole machine.
The only reason that the Pi's costs skyrocket in school environments is that they want to use them as computers. That's not a practical use for them (in schools). Leave them as bare boards, allow the (selected) kids access to electronic components and prototyping boards, and guide them in developing their skills.
Of course, this would need real IT teachers, not those who just know how to adjust the font size in MS Word and struggle to even print the document when they are done.
Reminds me of several other industries out there which are currently being dragged kicking and screaming out of the 20th century.
"The WD Black 4TB GB hard drives, with capacities ranging from 500G to 4TB"
I'd be a bit miffed if I ordered a WD Black 4TB and it had a capacity of 500GB! Are they saying it's "up to" 4TB?
Re: It's life, we're not that special...
"stop fighting over the blue and the red hats"
Yeah, they were supposed to be green!
Re: SIXTEEN GIG!!!!!!!
Seriously, that's ridiculous! I thought Win7x64 was bad, but this must be at least a 50% increase! This when my Linux 64-bit install with 3 desktop environments and all the applications I need take up the sum total of... 6GB!
Re: reading ability
"My 16gb iPad 2 has 13.8gb available"
That's the sort of figure I would expect. I believe my Atrix, advertised as 16GB, has about 12GB available. Similarly my cheap Android tab advertised as 8GB had 6GB available. A few GB is expected. 16GB is not.
I have to agree with you here. Normal smartphones and tablets use a few gig, at most, for OS, bundled apps and any segregated application storage. This is the market we should be comparing with for the Surface, not the space taken by a full windows install on a PC. Even so, you can (just about) accept 20GB taken by the OS on a PC with 500GB+ storage.
I'd say they have gone over the line of what's reasonably expected for a tablet, and it should be made clearer.
I'm still sulking coz you thought "Binary Response at Altitude" was unsuitable, so no vote from me.
Re: Just an excuse for more Google lock-in
"there aren't Samsung fanboys, just as there aren't Dell fanboys. There are Android fanboys, but they are fickle, and have no reason to choose Samsung for their next phone just because they did with their last one."
I agree to a point, but I believe this is a good thing in the mobile phone market.
It gives consumers choice and it forces handset manufacturers to innovate. They must find ways to differentiate their phones from the crowd. Apple, for instance, don't need to do this. There is only one phone, and those with iPhones often look at nothing else. Fandroids have a plethora of options, so the mfrs need to find a way to get their attention (and cash) rather than it going to a competitor.
Personally, I would like to see Google go further and ban mfrs from forcing their Android overlays on people. Make them have an option to remove it. This would lead to better compatibility overall, as all core functionality would need to be accessible to pure Android, and the overlays wouldn't be much more than apps.
For myself, I am actually a Motorola fandroid. I have only had Moto phones since I started down the Android route. I **HATE** Motoblur, and immediately install a new ROM when I get a new phone, but I like Moto's hardware and look at their kit first.
This doesn't mean I don't look elsewhere, but each time Moto has been my choice. But the Nexus 4 is tempting me at the moment, though. I can't really justify it (My Atrix is still prefectly fine and only a year old), but that would be my choice if I was buying today.
Re: RAM issue? Not exactly, nor CPU.
"All phones of XYZ minimum specs (mostly CPU & RAM defined) must have an official upgrade available for users to install that will update the device to the new OS version within three (3) months of the version's official release date OR ALL RELEVANT DEVELOPMENT MATERIALS MADE AVAILABLE FOR THE COMMUNITY TO DEVELOP THE UPGRADE." (or words to that effect).
Handset manufacturers will not accept being forced to upgrade their 3-year-old handsets, especially if it requires significant development effort. However, the developer community puts in huge amounts of effort to back fit ROMs to older devices. These are often very successful, in spite of having to work around gaps.
If the mfrs were forced to release source and specific components (where they are not allowed to release source) to the community to aid them in porting new versions, things would happen faster and the ROMs would be more stable and feature-complete. Minimal effort is required from the mfrs and they may accept this as a compomise.
Either that, or make them develop the underlying parts which are specific to the device to allow generic upgrades direct from Google. This would, however, require work on Googles part to ensure the upgrade will not break things.
Re: Watered down?
"Given how utterly rubbish the prequels were, they really can't do any worse"
I think they can. I hope they don't, but they definitely can do worse
Re: Might be overkill
If they manage to do justice to the Star Wars "franchise", even "too many" films will be acceptable. Somehow I doubt it, but I have been wrong before (just look at how much better Red Dwarf X is than the last couple of series before it).
To me, the only passable Star Wars since the original trilogy has been Revenge of the Sith, and even that should have been much darker. If they continue in the style of E1-3 (which is my expectation), they will permanently ruin Star Wars. If they can dispense with the funny characters and mainstreamisation (which I doubt, as it's Disney) they will be on to a winner.
Re: Glass houses
'I'm sorry, it often "not legally permitted or authorised"s the reply, does it?'
Love it! Take note: when being pedantic, insure* you have made no mistakes yourself.
* Left in place for my own amusement, as it is sure to illicit* a reaction or two.
Re: Fragmentation fragmentation fragmentation
"The platform is controlled. If I see reports of devices being "rooted", that implies the same problem and the same solution as iOS to break it."
Not really. Rooting is not much different to adding stuff to your sudoers file in Linux: It allows a controlled bypass of the OS's inbuilt security mechanisms. It allows you to get at the very heart of the OS.
However even without rooting, Android still allows the user an order of magnitude greater control over their device than iOS. Want to install an app from a random (unofficial) source? No problem. Want to enable tethering on a network without an agreement with your phone manufacturer? Tick a box. In general, you just have greater control.
Re: I dont know about you but....
"I like my 8(ish) cores, and you know sometimes 16gig is just not enough - and just how the hell do you expect me to get anything done with just the two monitors."
That's exactly what I used to say (subject to scaling). I had a dual Xeon machine back in the day, and I remember friends asking why I needed 2 CPUs. I was the first out of my group to buy a Voodoo 2 graphics card ("the software graphics are good enough"), the first to set up a file server ("there's enough space in your machine"), the first to set up a firewall/router ("why would more than one person need to access the internet at once?" and "nobody's going to try to hack your home network") and the first to run Cat5 all over my (parents') house (that one had my parents asking why we needed 2 network sockets in ever room when we only had 2 PCs).
Now, however, I have gone past the peak. My current kit is way more capable than I need since I stopped playing games (although it's still about good enough to play when the mood takes me). Nothing will give me a decent improvement in what I normally use the home computers for, so why pay?
If I can convince the other half, the main PC will probably be replaced with a Raspberry Pi (she's never used Linux, so may not take too kindly), and that PC moved into the office. I am even considering getting rid of my main server and firewall boxes, moving the router to a Pi and the server's roles to hosted providers (maybe AWS), keeping only my fileserver local.
Re: HD video? Good enough for me
"For me, if a notebook or PC can play HD video without stuttering, then that's enough for me."
You can do even better than that. A £25 Raspberry Pi will play HD video without stuttering, and is good enough for bits of web browsing, word processing etc. Total cost about £50 inc wireless keyboard and mouse, plug it up to a TV via HDMI (or to a DVI monitor), no waiting to boot (because it draws so little power you may as well leave it on all the time)... What's the point of spending more?
"Is a dish best served with sweet and sour Labrador *
"*It's an old jasper carrot gag and no animals were harmed in the making of this (tasteless) joke."
Actually, I think it's quite tasty. I love sweet and sour.
"Despite appearances to the contrary, we do maintain some standards of nomenclatural decorum, so the following suggestions for LOHAN's beating electronic heart won't be making the short-list for the final public vote"
My vote's still for BRA. Nothing offensive about that, it's a piece of clothing.
Re: I can believe it too
"Stop slagging the BBC off. I am really confused about the attitude to the BBC by the people in the UK."
The BBC is a fantastic institution. IMHO something to be proud of, as a Brit, like the NHS.
However, like the NHS, when you are used to it, it fades into the background. You forget how special it is, and focus on the small problems with it. For example, I am still upset with them for spending shed loads on moving to a new building while dropping Formula 1. Also, with the NHS, people complain about waiting times etc. while forgetting all the good things it does for us. It is natural.
Let's take, for instance, cars. You buy a brand new car to replace your ageing rust bucket. For the first few months you love it. It's the best thing in the world, reliable and comfortable. You are proud to be seen with it.
After a few months, however, you have become used to it. You start noticing small faults: The seats don't support your back quite right, the wipers are too loud, the radio sounds a bit tinny. You then start focussing on these small things, which you complain about, forgetting how damn good the car is.
Re: @M Gale
Wow, 3 downvotes for asking a question?!
"we need to know your name, postcode, phone number and two valid email addresses to give you access to your own computer you bitches"
Do you need an Office 365 account to access your own computer?
I thought you only needed it to access Office 365, which is running on their computers.
First off, I like DAB. Have a receiver I bought a few years back in the kitchen, and it's great for listening to while I'm cooking.
The only other place I listen to radio is in the car. Herein lies the problem: I don't have a DAB in the car. I am unwilling to go out and buy another radio when FM suits me fine for this. When I'm driving, I don't much care what I'm listening to (within reason). It's just background noise to stop me getting bored on the motorway.
As for AM, I haven't listened to it since I built my first crystal set as a kid. However, I would hate to see it turned off, purely because I want top be able to teach my kids to build a crystal set. It was a fantastic learning experience with an immediately useful result. You wired it up, and you could listen to the radio. Something you built yourself was picking up professionally produced content, and it inspired me to learn HOW it did so. It was probably the first moment I was truly excited to learn, and inspired a lifelong love of electronics.
I like this one. Nice and simple, and before launch you have to make sure LOHAN's BRA is on.
Re: But the important question is
You also need to put in the most expensive machine in the office.
"That statement was made in the context of professional software development"
I understand that. However, everyone starts somewhere. I may not be the norm, but I have nearly always started learning things outside the workplace. For example, when I was told I would be responsible for a system which runs on a Solaris box, I took it upon myself to set up a Solaris server at home to learn about it (we already have Solaris guys, but I thought I should know). I did the same for VMS, and that's the same way I initially learned about Linux, Windows domains and C/C++ programming.
"I share a developer account with friends which costs me a princely sum of $10 a year."
How big a group? I must have incorrect info, as I thought the cost was in the hundreds per year (the figure that comes to mind is $1000).
"My wife would not appreciate me installing apps on her phone without her knowing, especially ones latching on to BOOT_COMPLETE permissions (spyware comes to mind)"
I didn't do that. I had no idea how to back then. This was a brand new phone, and a very simple app which, when run, played a tune and displayed a few pictures. Basically an animated birthday card.
Even so, there must be some element of trust in a relationship. For example, I host her email on my server. I could read through her email if I wanted. We discussed that when I set it up for her. She knows I wouldn't because I respect her privacy, just as she wouldn't go through my post when it hits the doormat.
"Apple made iOS development easy."
From what I have heard (I admit that I haven't looked into it as I'm not too interested) there are significant barriers to development on iOS which don't appear on Android. If anyone can debunk these, I will be happy to hear it.
First off, I have been told you can only develop for iOS on MacOS. This is a huge barrier to me: I don't own a Mac, and would have no other use for it. For Android, on the other hand, I can develop on Windows, Linux, MacOS and others, using any hardware architecture which will run them. In fact, I could even develop directly on Android.
Second, in order to use the app you have just written, you must either pay big bucks to Apple to put them on the app store, or jailbreak your device. For Android, a simple checkbox in settings will allow me to sideload my app and test it.
Let's take a very simple, trivial example. A couple of years ago, I bought my girlfriend an Android phone for her birthday. I wanted to make it special, so I wrote a very simple birthday card app just for her. Having never written an application for Android before (or even used Java in any form other than little bits of JS), there was a learning curve, but I managed to put together this simple App and load it onto her phone ready for when she first turned it on.
If I wanted to do anything similar now that she owns an iPhone which she doesn't want to jailbreak (assuming what I have heard is true), I would need to;
a) buy a Mac (or build a hackintosh), and
b) pay ££££s to Apple to register it on the App Store.
So, to me, it is Google who have made development for Android (at least for the casual developer) easy.
Re: wipe your glasses, Mr. iFanboy
'"Apple is known to patent the obvious", thats not how patents work, you can't patent the obvious.'
Actually, looking at how the US patent system, in particular, works you can.
The patent office don't do any more than the bare minimum of checks to decide whether the patent is valid. They also don't have experts in every field working there. Their job is to make sure the paperwork is in order, do a quick search to see if the idea is already patented and then grant it.
Then, it is up to competitors to take the patent holder to court to try to have the patent quashed (or be taken to court and then try). The patent may be blindingly obvious to an expert in the field, or may be covered by prior art not noticed by the patent office.
"Perhaps a better solution is that when standards are written costs are worked out there and then for everyone who wants to use them and you but a licence for the entire standard?"
Yes, I completely agree that this would be the best way to deal with a standard. I believe this is done for many standards: You can buy, say, an MPEG-4 license and it covers all the patents involved.
However, this will not happen in all cases. It would force everyone to decide on relative values from the start, and would make it more difficult for large companies to negotiate better prices. Cross-licensing deals would be more difficult to implement, too. Basically, the big boys wouldn't want their power taken away from them, and the smaller players would be able to enter the game more easily, something none of the larger companies wants.
"I do agree it has to be a fixed $ amount per device, NOT a percentage of revenue since that would be quite unfair."
AFAIK the terms applied elsewhere are based on the profit or sale value of what's being sold. Therefore, this would be Discriminatory to offer them as a fixed amount to Apple, hence against FRAND.
The difference is, I think, that it is normally licensed at component level.
Re: There never has been a redirect loosers
"I've always had to add an explicit /UK on the URL if I want the UK site"
Just wondering: do you have NoScript or similar installed?
I'm only asking, because some thing it did exist and some that it didn't, so the most probable answer is different settings.
I don't know, as I don't use any Apple products and have never visited the Apple website before this court order.
Re: Bollocks !
"Following your suggestion, the licensees (apple + MS in this case) would go to court... and wait a few years, releasing no products in the meantime."
This may be how my post came across, but it not how it was meant.
What I was trying to say was that the potential licensee should take court action as soon as the negotiations over the license broke down. Yes, sell your product in the meantime, but start the court action immediately.
If you do, it is basically an extension to the licensing negotiations. If not, you are abandoning your attempt to obtain a license, and are wilfully infringing.
AFAIK Apple, in this case did not do so. I may be wrong.
Re: Bollocks !
SEPs must be licensed on FRAND terms. I completely agree with this. It is the only way to ensure standards are standard (when they incorporate patented technology).
This does not mean someone can use it without a license. The license should be granted, IMHO, before the product goes on sale (or at the very least be in the late stages of negotiation). Apple and MS both knew they needed a license for the patents. If they failed to get them, that is their problem and the case should be dealt with as any other patent case.
If the potential licensee thinks they are not being given FRAND terms (and negotiation fails), they should deal with that in the courts straight away. A little leeway can be granted in this, in that the company has tried to negotiate a FRAND license but disagrees with the terms. However, to (as Apple seem to have done) just go ahead means they are wilfully violating the patent without attempting to secure a license.
So, had Apple taken Motorola/Google to court straight away for failing to offer FRAND terms, they would not be the bad guys. As they didn't, they basically flipped the patent system off and ripped off Moto/Google's technology.
The same goes for any FRAND patent dispute: Don't just rip it off if negotiations fail, take them to court to ensure FRAND terms. If you don't, you are violating the patents. Simples.
Re: * DRAWER
'sharpest knife in the DRAWER'
Ooops! Sorry, my mistake. One day I will learn to re-read my comments before posting.
Re: Bit harsh
"Jumping out of steel balls at 30,000+meters need balls of steel, but not huge numbers of brain cells"
I said this before the stunt.
There are 2* types of people involved in this sort of exercise.
The first includes all the scientists and engineers who did all the work making it possible. They have spent years developing the suit, capsule, instrumentation, planning the launch, simulating the descent, and continuously adjusting the equipment and parameters to ensure it all works. They are incredibly intelligent and are what we should all be striving to be (or encourage).
The second is the idiot who jumps out of a balloon from the edge of space who could, essentially, have been replaced by a well trained monkey**. Unfortunately, it is this second type that gets all the glory and most people want to be like him.
Yes, he has balls of steel. But he is obviously not the sharpest knife in the draw and to say that space exploration should stop and the money put into "saving the planet" proves it. It also marks him as a hypocrite: As others have already said, they spent huge sums on that stunt. Could that money have been better spent "saving the planet"?
Part of me thinks he said that because he thinks that's what he's supposed to say, just like the girls in beauty contests who say they want world peace.
*Yes, I know there are also the people who supply the money, but they aren't part of the project, just it's backers (and more often than not hold the project back). All that's needed from them is their money.
**No offence meant to the trained monkeys out there: I'm sure most of them have more sense than to hurl themselves out of an aircraft like that.
Re: 14 days?
There are two logical possibilities I can see with the 14 day request.
The first is that Apple want to have their legal department find another, more subtle way to word the statement without admitting they were wrong, working through legalities to push the order to it's limits. This could quite easily take their legal team 14 days, whereas 48 hours will force them to just comply with the order (or risk another trip back to court).
The second is that the bureaucracy within Apple requires so many checks and sign-offs that it really does take that long to comply if they follow company procedure.
I think the first is most likely.
Re: Main concern
"Only way I know to do that is to make sure they have no time to do it."
There is one problem with that: For genuine job seekers, they need that time to look for work, prepare for interviews etc.
The problem for some is that they can't get the type of work they want in a reasonable time frame. Maybe they work in a specialised field in which the work has dried up. These types can be the least willing to branch out into new fields and the slowest to realise their job no longer exists. The push into full time, menial work would be enough to kick them into gear just at the time when they can't spend time looking for a job because they are forced to do full time menial work.
I have been there. Accepting that you cannot get a job in the field you want is heart wrenching. Even when you know it deep down, it is extremely difficult to take the plunge and apply (especially lower paid) other jobs, let alone take one (because when you first start applying for others, you still maintain the belief you will get what you want first).
Understatement of the year!
"The report also mentioned that successive governments haven't had the greatest reputation when it comes to IT implementations"
Re: So who's selling the Nexus 4?
Although it's not out yet. It's some time this month I think.
Otherwise you can get ripped off by O2 on contract (see Reg article from earlier today).
Re: i want one
I don't think my bride-to-be will be too impressed if I blow my bonus (earmarked for the wedding) on one of these.
Hmm... Wife or frikin' laser?
Surely you mean Ministry of Fun?
Personally, I think that's still too long. I propose we start calling it Minifun (in line with current government policy direction).
Re: This is not a service
'So what does the "we must be green and save the planet" government do? Add VAT to the electronic version whilst keeping the dead-tree version tax free.'
This is because the govt is not interested in saving the planet. It is interested in appearing to be green, and using this as a method to justify additional revenue streams.
Re: Will someone take these out the back and shoot them?
"Just like you can't dig up the pavement outside your house (which you don't own but are allowed to use) and replace it with nice paisley paving slabs (which you do own)."
This is a very flawed analogy.
A better one (IMHO) is this:
If I buy a novel, I own the physical book (i.e. the paper, cover etc.) but I don't own the words on the page (specifically the right to copy it). This is equivalent to a smartphone: I own all the hardware, but may not own the software and the right to copy it.
If I then took the novel and somehow erased the pages, removing all words (like painting the pages with tip-ex) I could legitimately write my own story in there. I could even write a copy of another novel released under a license permitting such (or public domain) into it. That is my choice: The only part with a restriction is the content, the story, which I have removed.
The same can be said for a smartphone, tablet or games console. When I have paid for a device, I own the hardware. If I wish to erase the software on it and replace it with my own software, that is my choice.
I do realise Jailbreaking could be seen differently, however. It is generally either modifying the existing software or replacing it with a modified version. In the first case, you are probably breaking the license agreement you have for the software (not saying I agree with such a term, but it is likely that it exists in your license agreement). In the second case, you are probably installing a pirated version of software.
Re: Comprehension Fail, Lewis
"I agree but you don't explain why this should happen"
Sorry about that. Yes, you have explained exactly why.
Re: Comprehension Fail, Lewis
"It is quite possible that "the other 9 percent" is mostly down to the transmission and distribution charges."
But why are transmission and distribution costs rising? A major reason is renewables. It would make little sense for it to be any other reason. Distribution costs per unit of energy is higher for small, distributed renewable generation, often in remote locations, is always going to be higher. Without them, we should be seeing distribution costs falling.
I am all for renewable energy generation. The way it is being paid for, however, is not fair or sustainable. I know many people who are already on the bread line, have reduced their energy consumption to the minimum and insulated their houses. Turning on the heating has become a luxury they can't afford. Having a hot shower is a luxury. Even washing clothes is becoming more and more of a problem.
If we are going to subsidise renewables (and I think we should, along with building new nuclear and encouraging shale gas and other alternatives), it should be done through the tax system, not by whacking the cost onto energy bills.
Re: Called it
"They're complying exactly with the ridiculous demand the court imposed."
Whether you, or Apple, or anybody else thinks it is ridiculous, it is what the court have told them to do. By making it obvious how much they disagree within the court-mandated post, they are showing contempt for the courts decision.
Re: Called it
"Or maybe they'll piss the judge off enough for him to pull them up for contempt of court"
I think they are treading a very fine line. They are just about complying with the letter of the ruling, maybe.
Whether or not it is legally "contempt of court", they are showing contempt for the court.
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