1110 posts • joined 22 May 2007
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: 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
Re: Timing is perfect!
That's what I thought, too. In any other case, worldwide, Samsung would just be able to point to the official Apple UK page and newspapers for an admission that they didn't copy Apple.
Re: Don't sign a contract
"(did you know that texts cost so little to the operators that they can't actually calculate how little)"
I know that, originally, SMS were designed to fit in unused space in the GSM protocol (I don't remember exactly where, was years ago I read it). This would make text messages on the same network, effectively, free. Obviously this may have changed, but if you consider it is 140 bytes of data, proabably plus some headers/other protocol overhead, which means that even at a very inefficient 256 bytes and 4p/msg it's being charged at over £160/MB.
In the end, they charge what the market will allow. If enough people are prepared to pay £100 for something that costs you a penny, you will charge it and make £99.99 profit on each.
Re: Putting the CON back into CONtract
"people have signed up to a contract which has in its terms the ability for the phone company to increase prices in line with inflation... Perhaps they should have taken more care when they signed up in the first place."
Maybe they should, but most people do not read the full T&Cs when signing up to these. I know "I didn't read it" is no excuse, but this is how it is.
Also, when a customer is tied in to a contract for a long time (e.g. 2 years), the fact that the price can be increased during this term without the option to cancel is unfair (IMHO). A fixed term contract should not allow mid-term price changes, as most people would have the expectation that the prices involved form part of the contract. Any terms which alter a contract from what would reasonably be expected should be made clear to the customer, not burried in the T&Cs.
Glad I'm not on contract
I completely agree that they should be allowed to increase prices in line with inflation, but NOT in the middle of a fixed-term contract.
If I signed up for a contract with a "free"(tm) high-end handset, I would probably be tied to a 24 month contract. If I am tied to the contract, at the price designated at the outset, so should the operator. They should not be allowed to increase the price during that contract term without a reasonable get-out option for the customer.
Glad I'm not on a contract. If my operator increases the cost, I can leave immediately. I'd rather save up for the phone I want and buy it outright than be tied in (and I pay less in the long run, too).
"Expect a flurry of these papers in the next weeks and months trying to explain"
Yep. Expect large numbers of physicists to pour over the data to test whether it can be explained using other theories. In some way or another, there may be many theories which can fit the data. Some will be more plausible than others, but it is necessary to compare with as many current theories as possible, as well as to examine it from a clean slate to attempt to construct additional theories, to determine if any alternatives are likely to be correct.
Just because they have discovered a Higgs-like particle does not necessarily mean it is the Higgs Boson. It may be that there is evidence to disprove the entire SM in there, or to allow some genius to find an alternative which turns out to be correct. We don't yet know. The CERN announcement is quite dull, really. The examination of the data may yet reveal something exciting.
Re: diamond byte
Sorry, it was a (mis)quote from South Park. I assumed some people would get it. I was wrong, judging by the downvotes.
Re: diamond byte
Was it like a taco inside a taco within a Taco Bell that's inside a KFC that's within a mall that's inside your nanotube?
Re: OS's are increasingly reliant on graphics capabilities
"Consoles are, OSes aren't."
OK, I'll give you that. I'll rephrase: GUIs are increasingly reliant on graphics capabilities. I have spent too much time around windows users and slipped. Sorry.
Re: AMD still trailing
First off, OS's are increasingly reliant on graphics capabilities. Even business workers want all the pretty (and sometimes usefull) effects on their desktops. A more powerfull embeded GPU helps them run more smoothly.
Also, a GPU embedded in the CPU can be more efficient, saving on power. This is a plus for businesses and consumers. For those who need more grunt, an APU can be paired with a more capable discrete card, and the discrete card can be powered down when only light graphical work is done, saving power, keeping things cooler, and prolonging battery life in mobile environments.
Possibly the more important reason is that GPUs areincreasingly used for non-graphic purposes. Even users who don't play games or use graphically intensive apps can benefit from a more capable GPU, and this is likely to become more prevalent as time goes on. So a nice APU would be of great benefit to low end systems where the workload is capable of uitilising it, and these workloads are expanding rapidly. Even something as simple as playing a YouTube video can gain in both performance and efficiency with a more capable GPU than has been available to integrated graphics users before the advent of the APU.
Finally, there is the trend towards integration. This has happenned throughout the developement of electronics, and usually leads to cheaper, better products. Moving the components from an add-in card, to the chipset, then into the processor is a logical progression which happens all the time, and usually benefits everyone.
This is one of the worst reviews/roundups I have seen on el reg. Very limited sample, quoting more old info than new... Not even worth reading.
Re: Too much ?
I have to say I agree with other comments here.
A tablet is not as serious a device, IMHO, as a phone or laptop. A laptop needs to be able to cope with at least semi-serious work, and a phone is going to be used all the time because you have it with you anyway. I see a tablet as a bit of a toy, mostly. It can't replace a laptop as it's not capable enough, it can't replace a smart phone as it's not portable enough. It's great for ebook, watching movies or surfing on the go.
For these tasks, an £80 tab as you can get from the likes of eBuyer/eBay etc. is more than adequate. Sure, the Nexus 7 has better CPU/GPU, and will likely be more responsive & perform better, but £80 better?
Had they included a 3G modem and an SD slot it may have been worth it at that price. Without, I'd go for a cheaper model.
BTW, this is the tab I'm thinking of by comparison: http://www.ebuyer.com/386278-sumvision-astro-7-tablet-pc-astro-7
OK, the processing and graphic capabilities are much less, but it's half the price. I've seen one in action and it performs more than adequately for the sort of use I'd expect people to put it to.
"It looked like we had become the 51st state and at the call of the Americans for a while."
52nd... The UK is 51st, and our politicians are damn proud of it!
Re: Work Blunders
"Imagine the bowel emptying horror when this chap realised what he had done."
I can't think of a better way to describe it. Well done :)
Yeah, I've committed serious errors in the past, although none on even the scale of yours Mr_Bungle. My most recent was when I was clearing up some log files, and then tried to restart syslog without checking the command line was clear. "rm /etc/init.d/syslog restart", followed by confusion over the error of "no such file: restart", followed by a panicked search for a backup.
Anyone can make a cockup when under pressure or not concentrating properly on a menial task. I hate to think of the panick the guy who did this went through. Bowel emptying indeed!
"A good enough reason to stop someone becoming a politician should be that they WANT to be one."
I agree completely. They are supposed to be there to represent us, the normal people. Yet wanting power makes them abnormal, therefore unsuitable for the role.
I know it's a gross simplification, but IMHO it fits.
Re: Consoles: Don't get it.
OK, fair enough, I take all your points. Many there I didn't know, not having been an avid gamer for a while.
I'd still take a PC over a console, but I guess if I was a heavy gamer and couldn't get the games I wanted on PC I may have a different viewpoint.
Re: £300 - It's not surprising really....
I've gotta agree. My main hobbies are motorcycling and home brewing, and I must spend well over £300 a year.
For the bike, there's about £150 insurance, £50 tax, £30 MOT and £30 service parts, so £260 before you even take into account the fuel to actually ride the thing. As for home brewing, you have to offset against what I would spend on shop-bought beer for the cost of brewing a batch, but in equipment I must buy £100 worth a year, continually improving my setup plus replacing broken/worn out parts.
So yes, I can see gamers spending that kind of dough on games.
Consoles: Don't get it.
I have only ever owned one console. That was an original xbox which I bought for £30 from a mate (took advantage of his financial situation at the time... not a great mate am I?) and immediately chipped and put XBMC on. It was a media player to me, for occasional gameplay if a friend brought a game over. I never bought a single game for it.
I don't understand why people, especially techies, would buy a console when, for the same money, you can have a similarly-performing PC, which has the advantage of being a PC and doing things a console can't. Then, as time goes by, you can upgrade them. The overall cost of keeping up with the latest games' performance requirements is much lower, the performance and visual quality is better around this time (when all the consoles are getting old and coming up for a refresh), and it will do much more.
I can just about see the reasoning with a unique device, like the Wii, or for a non-techie who can't build their own systems. But for a techie... Why?
Re: OK, but there are competition problems in retail markets too...
"why does broadband have to advertise in megabits per second, when files/downloads are megabytes/MBs"
Because that's how comms speed has "always" been rated. Look at your ethernet connection: 10Mbps, 100Mbps, 1000Mbps. Modems, similarly: 9600bps, 14400bps etc. This is because the modem/NIC transmit bits*, so that's how it is rated. Bytes are just a group of bits.
Also, to rate in "transfer speed", you would need to take into account protocol overheads. As these vary with the different protocols, this would become even more difficult.
*OK, I think GbE actually uses 8b/10b encoding, so is actually transmitting bytes, but you get my drift.
Re: Giffgaffer Goodybag insider
That sounds like a rather bad experience. If I understand you, I'd have left having such service.
I have to say this seems rather opposite from my own experience. I haven't seen any GG forum posts deleted for complaining, and there are quite a lot. The only time I've seen posts deleted is when they have been offensive (e.g. bad language etc). I've also never had any problems with data connectivity except in low signal areas (like at my desk at work, which is annoying but hardly GGs fault).
Hope you find a network & package better suited to your needs.
"perhaps indicative of the operator's general business practices, which include bribing existing customers to recommend it to friends and family."
I guess you are not a fan of giffgaff.
Many companies offer recommendation bonuses. They are not bribes. Initially, with GG, the whole "payback" (rewards for recruiting new members or helping out those with problems) were a way to reduce support and advertising costs by having the customers do it for them. With recommendations/recruitment this is fairly common practice, and to call them bribes is inflamatory at best.
What is an ISP?
I don't have time to read the doct in full, but what counts as an ISP in this regard?
For instance would a company, running it's own email services, be required to keep these records and/or pass the info to the govt? What about someone running their own mail server as an individual?
Although there are obviously privacy concerns in this, I am personally worried that it will end up forcing people, like me, who run their own internet services to keep such records, which would obviously be quite a large task to such individuals.
Deffinitely trolling, but it's quite ironic seeing as Bill Gates was best at recycling other people's best ideas too, and Microsoft continues this tradition today (as I learned from a recent presentation by a MS rep in which most "new features" had been around for years on other systems, except Metro...)
Re: Lovelock a scientist?
"To combine Lovelock and Hawking on the same phrase is an offence to science."
I completely agree, and am ashamed to see such an affilliation in the Reg, without even a hint of sarcasm or a mention of the frivolous use of the earth's resources. This almost looks like copy-and-paste from a press release! Shame on both the "author" and the editorial staff (if such even exist anymore, which I have my doubts over considerring the number of mistakes I have seen over the last few months)!
"Eurgh! The boxes are ugly, you can't use them!"
"Fine, we won't. Enjoy your slow broadband."
It is pure NIMBYism. Just like the people who shout for more wind farms until you put them in an area they like. Let 'em do without (or pay significantly more)!
Re: Skepticism does not mean doubt
In many ways I have to agree that this seems the most plausible explanation: Those of a scientific mindset understand things and express themselves in different ways to those without.
For example, to take your deity example, a non-scientific person may say they think there is absolutely no chance of a deity existing. A person with a science background would think about it and say that they think there is a negligible chance of a deity existing.
To a lay-person these would sound the same, but the "scientist" is leaving the door open to the chance, even though they don't think the chance is large enough to make any difference.
Re: The BBC as ever has got wrong
Rather than just downvoting me for this, could someone please explain what I have got wrong?
Re: The BBC as ever has got wrong
Unless I have missed something, Google HAS been found guilty of copright infringement by the jury over the APIs.
The caveat, of course, is that;
a) the jury could not decide whether they amount to fair use, and
b) the judge still needs to decide whether the copyright is valid (i.e. whether you can copright APIs).
So, technically, the BBC is correct. The descision could be overruled by the judge, though. Even if APIs are found to be copyrightable, Google will go for a mistrial (or something, IANAL) because they need an answer to whether the infringement was fair use.
Well done SpaceX!
There's still a long way to go, but they have made remarkable progress. Kudos!
"Such a launch abort capability is regarded as essential for manned flight, given the nature of launch rocket stacks (essentially huge lightweight towers packed with volatile explosive fuels, which will be set on fire and subjected to enormous stresses, heat and vibration)."
It often amuses me that, although we have come so far in terms of technology, we are launching things & people into space using basically the same technology as Chinese 10th-century fireworks: A lightweight tube filled with fuel and set alight. I know it's a lot more complex than that, but we send our astronauts into space using a huge firework.
Microsoft: Please U-turn!
I was at a recent tech expo and a bloke from MS previewed a load of their up-comming technologies. For a start, I was very surprised that they worked, and worked well, even though they were all in preview state.
Beyond that, I thought they were great ideas, even though they had all been done before (in other OS's etc), with one exception: Metro. It is great on a "slate" or anything with a touch interface. Using it with a mouse feels clunky and awkward, a bit like using Windows without a mouse attached. I could see the benefit of a single interface accross all their consumer platforms (phone, "slate" and PC), but this is not the way to do it.
I for one will be giving Win8 a miss till touch screen monitors for PCs come down to a reasonable price (and I've tried it out to make sure it's not too awkward).
"The incidents are no laughing matter"
I have to disagree, I nearly wet myself reading this article.
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