1090 posts • joined 22 May 2007
Re: Lesson learnt
"If they only have to pay 10% tax here then the UK becomes a tax haven and all those companies will shuffle the profits earned in other countries to the UK."
I was thinking the same thing. I work for a UK subsidiary of a global semiconductor manufacturer. We have plenty of patents (REAL patents, which we use) so this should help us anyway. However, I can see our parent company trying to shuffle more of the profit into us to reduce the tax bill, including trying to incorporate the patents into more products somehow. All in all, my employer should benefit, which will hopefully be good for me too...
"Sometimes I feel the only way to enjoy shows is to switch all higher brain functions off completely."
That's exactly what I use TV for: to switch my brain off. If I want cerebral stimulation, I have books and other material which does the job better than TV ever could.
Re: First question
"Its as obvious as the nose on my face"
I can easily tell if I look, but if I am just channel flipping and come across something I want to watch, I wouldn't be able to tell you afterwards if it was on the HD channel.
There are some things which make it more obvious. For example, the score shown on sports broadcasts is obviously sharper on HD. I also believe that Sky deliberately degrade the quality on SD channels to make the difference stand out (subjective opinion based on flipping between Sky and Freeview, Freeview looked clearer, although this was quite a while ago). But for most films and series on TV (ones which aren't just upsampled from older recordings) I don't notice.
Re: First question
"But how many domestic situations need 4K TV?"
I agree. However, I also said the same about HD. In most situations can't tell a difference between HD & SD unless I am looking for it. My brain doesn't notice a slight increase in detail when it is engrossed in a film.
It will be content which determines the success of 4K. Once Sky start pushing it and we have it on Bluray etc. for most titles, it will start to take off. Until then, it will be a toy, just like HDTVs were when they first appeared.
"Is it not the case that the "authorities" can revoke the inviolateness of an embassy"
Yes. AFAIK they can just "close" the embassy down. They diplomatic staff still have immunity (at least for as long as it takes to get out of the country, I don't know if it's more than that), but anyone else would no longer be protected. Also, I believe the UK has a law saying that they can go in without closing the embassy.
The reason they haven't (yet) done so is all down to international relations, not just with Ecuador. Many would see it, legal or not, as an assault on embassies in general, and it could put British diplomats at risk. They would need a much better reason than arresting someone to deport him, and are more likely to try every diplomatic avenue available before doing so.
"Whatever would we do with all the pint glasses?"
Keep them. Then we could actually get the beer we pay for with a head, rather than having to sacrifice beer for the head.
I love it at beer festivals. Get half pints in a pint glass, and they give you half a pint of beer plus a head on top. A nice, large, frothy head is great to drink the beer through, and you don't mind because you are getting what you paid for. Similarly, when I drink my own homebrew, there's no "topping up". Plenty of froth, leave it to settle a bit and drink.
IMHO all beer should be served in oversized glasses with a measurement mark. Otherwise, you always get less than you pay for (either the head is taking up beer space, or the beer is flat: Either way it's not what you are paying for).
Re: Dynamic content
Sounds like the correct approach for a techie site like this. It'd be easy enough to implement site-wide, and people could choose their preferred units of measurement on demand, be they Imperial, US, Metric or (the correct system, of course) Register Standard Units.
Re: Fond of Fahrenheit
"anything below 18 requires some form of room heating"
I'd hate to see your gas (or electric, if you're using leccy heaters) bill.
Anything down to 10C can be managed without active heating or jumpers. 5-10 is jumper weather. Under 5, time to put the heating on.
Re: Bad Wind
He shouldn't have had that curry!
"According to Google a medium sized bath has a capacity of 150 litres."
I'm sad enough to do the calculations, not to do the research properly first.
Searched google for "how much water in a bath", first result was http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_much_water_does_a_bath_use
First answer was "According to the BBC Website, a bath can hold 80 litres of water."
So I used that.
I don't really care how much water there is in the bath, so long as it's warm, has lots of bubbles, covers me and it all stays in the bath!
Just ran the numbers.
I estimate that the flow rate was approximately 3.48 millielephants per second.
Working: 1 elephant = c. 4.598m^3
1 bath = c. 80l = 0.08m^3
1 bath in 5s = 0.016 m^3/s
Re: Penny wise, pound foolish.
"Right now China is building 25 nuclear reactors and has another 30-40 in the planning stages. For comparison, UK has a total of 18 nuclear reactors used for power generation."
Right now, China has a population of 1.3bn, is a huge country with a rapidly expanding* economy. For comparison, the UK has a population of 63 million, is a tiny island and has an economy which is in the shitter.
"If successful, it will beat the previous world record for the highest jump"
If not... well, let's hope it doesn't come to that.
Re: Said to be up to 80Mbps
"I reckon most people will get somewhere above 70"
The vast majority of "BT Infinity" customers do get very high speeds.
However, a big part of this (if I have been given the correct info) is that BT refuse to allow anyone on "Infinity" who they are not certain will get a decent speed, instead pushing you onto a different product. It is used as a way to fiddle the figures for their Infinity product.
That said, many more will get the higher end of the speed range purely because people tend to be closer to their cab than their exchange.
Re: Western Leagal Systems are Borked.
Were you talking to me there?
I did not say once that I thought these guys were not guilty.
Admittedly I went off at a tangent, but I was discussing the legal system in general. I was replying to another post which mentioned this point. You know what? In the real world discussions of one topic often lead onto other topics.
I won't lower myself to name calling, though.
Re: Western Leagal Systems are Borked.
"Personally I'd rather have a few bad guys on the street (and visible policing to help prevent crime) than innocent people in Jail/dead as you would get with those guys."
Indeed, this is supposed to be the very reason for "innocent unless proven guilty". It is better to have thousands of people get away with their crimes than for one innocent person to be punished.
At the end of the day, if we send someone to prison who was not guilty, they can never be given back what was taken from them. If we fail to convict someone who is guilty, they can be prosecuted later when more evidence comes to light.
"Something that forces me to shop in a single place is BAD"
I have a Kindle (e-reader, not tablet), which my other half bought me. I have bought books from Amazon. I have also bought books from several other stores, downloaded freebies from Amazon and elsewhere, as well as "illegally" downloading electronic copies of some books I already own as hardcopies (I'm not buying them again just to have the ebook).
Although it is not as easy to buy books elsewhere, you are certainly not locked in. Callibre makes it very easy to organise and convert books, and will even push them over the air (using the device's email address). It's no more difficult than many other ebook readers*.
I tend to be more tempted by a slightly higher price on Amazon as it is much easier to use, but if there is a large disparity, or I can't get what I want on Amazon, I can go wherever I want.
*In comparison, I have seen the interface for a friends ereader. With no wireless, it must be connected to a PC by USB and books loaded onto it using proprietry software. If I buy/download a book elsewhere, I just drop it in my Calibre library, press a button, and the next time I enable wifi on my kindle it is almost immediately there.
"the alternative is that small companies and lone inventors have no protection or ability to sell inventions they can't afford to implement. It would also halt purchase of smaller companies by larger ones."
I would beg to differ.
IMHO, a patent should only ever be granted to an individual: the inventor. That patent should be owned by the inventor for the rest of his life*, but may be licensed to companies.
While not a perfect answer, I believe this would help the patent system.
*Possibly extended beyond the life of the inventor, as long as it is inheritted by another individual.
Re: Software Patents = Retardedness in the Extreme
"Samsung tried abusing the patent system in the trial vs Apple"
Possibly true. I am not saying 2 wrongs make a right, but I have seen a lot of abuse of the patent system by Apple, too. Not abuse of patents, IMHO, but abuse of the patent system (by patenting things which should not be patented, mostly because of prior art).
"they wanted to get paid twice for the same FRAND SEP patents."
I don't know the full details, but IIRC Samsung put a clause in their license agreement saying the license couldn't be passed on. This does seem sneaky, but surely the HW mfrs should have checked this.
After this, when Apple tried to negotiate a license (which shows that they knew they needed a license) they rejected the terms (fees). This means they do not have a license. They are selling infringing equipment. If they think the terms offered are not FRAND, they should be taking Samsung to court over it, not just ignoring it and selling infringing devices.
"Apple have never been accused of abusing any FRAND SEP patents"
As far as I know, this is because they haven't, until recently, had many.
I do think Samsung are being twunts, but no more so than Apple.
Re: @Ralph 5
"Android is designed to allow this very thing to happen."
As has been stated, yes it is. But this is not an OS error, but a scam and a user error.
Every time an app is installed, you are told what "permissions" it is requesting. The fact that users don't bother to read these is their problem, not a problem with the OS. It is like someone running Windows blindly clicking yes in answer to a dialogue box asking for Admin rights, similarly in Linux/Unix GUIs.
In a well designed OS, it is the resonibility of the user and the administrator* to make descisions relating to the security of the system. "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance". I'd rather have my freedom than the restrictions of Apple.
*In terms of mobe's, the user and admin are normally one and the same, although most users don't realise. In Apple's case, they have decided users can't be trusted, so they become the administrator.
' "He should at least learn English if he want's to try this"
I really hope that was deliberate...'
All I can say is "Ooops!"
Mahoosive FAIL on my part there...
The one point he raised that I agree with is that it is often policy for companies to hand out sample components. I have had several when I have been in the prototyping stages of projects. The difference here is that the 'Pi foundation is a not-for-profit organisation with a "No samples" policy, and rightly so. Very few of my projects have got off the ground, and a NFP can't afford to be handing out freebies.
All that said, the guy here was obviously a blagger. He should at least learn English if he want's to try this (especially claiming he is a journo, although his writing skills aren't that far off most journalists... No offense meant :-P ), and resorting to threats and accusations of racism are not the answer.
One thing which was pointed out on the Pi site, however, is that Eben's frustration was clearly showing by the end of the exchange. I don't blame him for becomming frustrated, and I would have been much worse, but his responses left something to be desired.
Personally I would have told him to **** off much sooner and ignored him, or presented him with a torrent of abuse, but that's why I'm not in a public-facing role...
Re: Apple Schmapple
I have to say, I have only ever used iTunes once. This was when my fiance had put some music from my server onto her iPhone before I had organised it, so it needed re-adding once I placed the files in the correct place. Although it took took me longer than I would expect for such a simple task, this was only because I had never used it before, and even so I had it done in 10mins.
So I must ask: how can people who "work in IT" take so long to sort this out?
I will refrain from posting the answer I expect, as I am likely to offend...
You had faith in humanity? Really!?
Re: archeologists have just dug up the first one ever wriTten....
Can't type, see icon...
Re: cheap and relatively easy
"You do not have to be rich or powerful to get a patent approved. Patent filing does take a little paperwork but mostly that consists of describing your invention in detail. It is cheap to file, less cheap if you use a lawyer's assistance but still no barier to getting a patent. Actually getting the patent takes a while because of the backlog but everyone (corps and natural persons) are in the same queues."
You are, of course, correct. Filing a patent is realtively cheap.
However, the patent means nothing unless you defend it. THAT is the expensive part. If you do not defend it, your patent is a pretty piece of paper you can hang on the wall. If you do defend it against a big multinational, you'd better have some serious cash at your disposal or you could very well go bust before you even get to court.
"the logic is that being drunk makes the crime even more irresponsible and the sentence will be even more severe"
Actually this is interesting.
Take, for instance, killing someone by driving drunk. There are 2 ways of looking at it. The first (which is the one taken by our legal system, I think) is that they didn't mean to kill them, it was an accident, but one caused by their actions. This merits a lesser sentence than murder.
OTOH: The person chose to get drunk, and what happened from there on is a consequence of that choice.
They may be totally against drink driving when sober, but once under the influence their compromised judgement told them it was OK. However, they made the choice to get drunk, hence it is a consequence of their own choice and should be punished as a concious descision.
Then they hit someone and killed them. Once again, they may be a great driver sober, but killing that person is a consequence of their descision to drive drunk. It should be prosecuted as if they had made a conscious descision to kill that person, so should be treated as murder.
I am not saying that this is how it should work, nor that it should not be this way. It is just a very interesting thought experiment.
Re: BritGov missing the point (as usual)
Couldn't agree more!
I would actually go a stage further and issue people, at 18, with a drinking license, which must be presented every time you purchase alcohol. If you are caught drunk and disorderly, you are suspended from drinking for x weeks/months. Assault etc. while under the influence, or drink driving, get's you a longer ban. Anyone selling to or buying for someone without a license, just as with underage now, gets fined. It would also help with underage drinking.
"This 'safety measure' only 'protects' poor people. Rich alcohlics remain utterly unaffected."
That's the problem with targetting any such issue by price: If you are rich enough you bypass it.
Take an example I have been arguing for: Cars.
If you take a (standard) motorbike test, you are restricted to the power output of the bike you can ride for 2 years. Yet someone could take their test in a 1l Corsa, having only ever driven that car, then go out and legally drive a Bugatti Veyron the same day. As a more realistic example, their parents could put them on their insurance and let them drive their 3l family estate.
I believe there should be a restriction on the car a person can drive for the first couple of years or so after passing their test.
This is the most common argument I hear: "But there is already a restriction. They can't afford insurance on bigger cars." But this does not apply to the 'rich'. So why is it OK to do it if you are 'rich' and not if you are 'poor'?
If you are trying to stop something for real reasons, raising prices is not the way to do it as those who can afford it will continue to do so. It will also encourage (not cause) more crime from the less well off to get round it, and will hurt people who it was not targetted at (e.g. in this case responsible drinkers will have to pay more, even though the regs are not targetted at them).
Re: The best thing the government can do
I really don't have much to add to that. Thanks, I can go back to sleep now... :D
Re: FFS, Nikon
"But it's not bevelled at precisely"
Doesn't matter. It looks similar to an iThing: It has a large touchscreen, minimal buttons, and rounded corners. It must be a copy of the iPhone: Look! It even has a camera!
Re: Been done already
"I have a feature to do that already, it is called a wife."
Whereas I have the opposite in my fiancee: She notices there is something on which I like (e.g. House, South Park, CSI) and switches over to something I don't (e.g. Eastenders).
Re: Heisenberg Mobile
"Your phone may or may not have a signal until you look at it."
Or you may know where your phone is OR whether it has signal, but not both at the same time
Re: I need three hands here
I would say that the problem here is that I do not have the full story.
If it was these 2 blokes who were rating minors on their sexual abilities, then why were they not prosecuted for statutory rape?
If it was not them, then the fact minors were being rated is irrelevant to the case. The cops should go after the people who rated them, not the guys who set up the page. They are obviously dicks, but that in itself is not a crime.
I really do not see why they should have been prosecuted, let alone jailed, for setting up such a page. I wouldn't even say this falls under freedom of speech: They weren't prosecuted for what they, personally, "said", but for setting up somewhere for others to "speak".
Re: It will go to appeal.
"This sort of lawyering sounds hideously dull and unpleasant to me."
And so it is in most jobs. I count myself lucky that, in my employment, I get a feeling of satisfaction from what I do. But at least the lawyers in this case can go home and console themselves with the huge piles of dosh they have earned.
"if the software is sold, obtaining it without paying is quite simply theft."
Please stop with this line. It is not theft. You loose nothing by them obtaining/using (unless you count a lost sale, which is not always the case). It is a violation of copyright, but it is NOT theft.
However, I do see your point. When I produce software and choose to sell it I expect to be paid. In the end, however, I have to accept that some people will pirate it. Most of those, IMHO, would not have bought it anyway, and those who really value it buy it. They are the customers I want, and I have even found piracy has helped them find me (e.g. a friend has been using a pirated version, they've seen it and bought it)
Piracy is an evil we must put up with, because there are no good solutions to the problem. And if you find you are expriencing low sales, it may be that the sales strategy you are using is not apropriate. Maybe you should try making a free, ad-supported version. Or time limitted demos. Maybe you are charging too much, or the software is not good enough. Maybe your marketting is not up to scratch. Blaming the pirates is not the way to go: They are here to stay, so they need to be factorred in to your business plan.
Re: You miss the point of this forum
I hope the AC above was just trolling, but...
"There are three prerequisites to owning an Android phone"
I own an Android phone. Let's see how I add up:
"1. Lack of cash"
I'm not rich, but I could afford an iPhone/iPad outright if I wanted to, or a contract to get one for "free". I have to say, though, that there are other things I consider more important. I bought a second hand Atrix, costing me about half the cost of a new iPhone at the time, or probably about the same as the previous iPhone model second hand. I also recently bought a cheapo Android tab: I wasn't going to spend the money on either an iPad or a top-end Android tab because it is just a toy (and something to test some of my development projects on).
In most ways I would say this fits me (I'm always the first to giggle when someone farts), but it has no bearing on my choice of an Android phone. In fact, I would say I am more mature in many ways than the person who goes out and blows all their spare cash on an iPhone: I know that a top-end smart phone is not the most important thing to spend my money on.
"3. Lack of social education"
I don't even understand this. "Social education" sounds like brainwashing to me, but if you mean what I think I would not say I lack it.
There is no envy from me: iPhones/iPads are good peices of kit, but I prefer Android overall. I find it more pleasant to use, and I much prefer the control I have over the device. SWMBO has an iPhone, she loves it, but then she never liked the Android UI. It all comes down to personal preference.
And making generalised personal comments about a large swathe of people you have never met speaks more for your level of maturity and "social education" than it does for anyone else's, and it doesn't help your argument.
Re: Competition isn't always good.
I don't think merging all network intrafructure into one company is the best idea. I do, however, think that all the networks should be forced into a sharing agreement, whereby if you can't get a signal from your network but you can from another, you use the other at no extra charge. The differences in coverage can be astonishing, and it would prevent needless extra spending on infrastructure. e.g. The net's could then get together (lol) and divide up all the blackspots between them to deploy to, gaining us universal coverage.
This would also be what I would do with EE and LTE@1800: Let them do it, but force them to allow other operators to use it until they have a chance to build their own.
I don't quite get it. Maybe I'm missing something, so anyone who wishes to help me to undestand would be appreciated.
First off, the court has excluded evidence (by the look of it, quite important evidence) based purely on bureaucracy. This has important consequences for the outcome of the trial. What if a man was on trial for murder and evidence turned up that proved his innocense after a "deadline" for submitting evidence? I know we are talking about two very different situations, but even evidence brought to light in the middle of a trial should be considered.
In addition, AFAIK the situation is this: The judge has excluded the documents from evidence, and the jury has been selected and instructed not to read the press. Therefore how can the release of this material have any impact on the case (unless the jury break the rules, but that's a separate matter)? I could just about see Samsung being held in contept of court and fined (although it would only be fair if they had been instructed not to release the info, or if it was a rule, written or unwritten, that they mustn't), but as it doesn't affect the case there should be no sanctions which affect the case.
Re: This is the reason why I bought my R-PI!
"this is a step backwards in my opinion."
It's not a step backwards to offer another option. I believe it would be to offer ONLY Android on the Pi, but not as well as. It's called choice.
"If someone can get "proper" linux running on my Moto Atrix instead of Android, I'd be far more interested..."
I have an Atrix, and have been looking for something similar myself. For a long time, the best you could get was running Linux in a chroot with a vncserver display (or terminal access through something like connectbot) or using the webtop (which requires external display etc).
Things have changed. I am currently using a modified version of a set of scripts provided by the "Debian Kit" app. This tries to integrate Debian (or Ubuntu) into the environment (as is successful in many cases, to a point, due to non-overlapping mount points).
The other development which has interested me is an X server for android. Using this, I am able to run Linux GUI apps, or even a full desktop, inside android. This is much better than using VNC, although not yet fully-featured.
Have a go yourself. I can't give you instructions (if you need them) yet, as it has taken a bit of hacking around to get it working, but all the pieces are there.
Beyond that, there is always the possibility of hacking the "webtop" about to get what you want. It may even be possible to dispense with Android entirely, although I reckon that would take a lot of work.
Re: good idea?
"this will allow them to change the law and impose a TV tax on us all."
I'm sure I'll recieve many downvotes for this, but...
IMHO the current rules on on-demand TV are a loophole which the law has not yet caught up with.
Back when watching pre-recorded material meant videos/DVDs bought/rented, there was good reason to exclude them from the TV license. Now, I believe that if you are watching catchup TV (i.e. on demand programming released according to the broadcast schedule) it is not really any different from recording that programme from broadcast and watching it later. If you were recording from broadcast, you would require a TV license, so why not when using catchup services?
I, for one, would be happy to see the law changed in this area. If you are watching catchup of broadcast, you should require a license.
This does not apply to such services as Lovefilm/Netflix, as they are the equivalent of renting DVDs.
Re: "an unnamed man in Darwin"
"Flame comes out of the bottom"
I now have spaghetti all over my keyboard and monitor... Thanks!
Re: Simple! Just ignore data you don't like
"Because the issue is about the change in temperature over time, if they are high at the start of the period because of X environmental factor, they will be high at the end of the period also."
And what if environmental factor X wasn't present at the start of the period? For example, the weather station was situated in a field, but then development has occurred and it now sits in the middle of a housing estate?
Re: I thought....
"Yes; the facts of the universe will change to whatever Apple and their lawyers tell them to change to."
The Apple Ministry of Truth in action!
Just to qualify, I am not saying Apple is in the wrong, or Samsung, or anyone, just that this comment makes it sound like 1984 has come true.
Re: UK's thirst for energy falls, yet prices rise: Now why is that?
"It's not a scam, it's basic economics."
I thought that basic economics would say that if demand falls by more than supply (as a cursory glance at the figures suggests), prices would go down.
Ah, but that forgets that we have pretty much no competition, and the big suppliers effecively* fix prices.
*They may not get around a table and decide "We will all charge £x", but they certainly follow each other (If company X puts prices up, the rest follow pretty sharpish)
Net exporter of PETROLEUM.
We import the oil, refine it, export petroleum. The article does say: "but imports more coal, crude oil, electricity and gas on balance."
Re: Universal search is lame anyway
"But unlike, I don't know, say the S3?"
OK, I didn't know that. However my point still stands: it's easier to press one button to search for anything than to have to choose what to press depending on what you are searching for
Re: Universal search is lame anyway
This may be the case. However, consider a phone with a dedicated search button (like, I don't know, and Android phone). Which is quicker: Clicking the icon for the particular search you want, which may be hidden in menus/app drawers, may be on a different homescreen etc, or just pressing the search button. A unified search allows you to press the search button, no matter what you are searching for, type a few letters and you probably have the result. It doesn't matter that you already know which DB you want to search, it's quicker* to let the device search everything than to choose what to search youself.
On the subject of this patent, I have seen (and created) such unified/federated search features many times in the past, well before the iPhone, so I really can't see why the patent should be valid (or even exist in the first place). Even google have probably been doing this on their search engine since before this patent, throwing up image/shopping/discussion results (and ads) based on a single search term. Just because it is now related specifically to a smartphone should not make it valid (IMHO)
*I will qualify that with "most of the time". Devices are mostly fast enough to that trawling several DBs for info is quicker than the user selecting which DB.
Oh, and look at that! The table I can get from Ikea looks remarkably like the ones manufactured here in the UK! It has 4 legs and a flat surface on top of them!!
Re: Gotta love those Frogs.
"I'm more of the opinion they shouldn't stop 'blow job' in autocomplete because there's nothing wrong with 'blow job'...."
I'm more of the oppinion that there is something very right about 'blow job' :D