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* Posts by riparian zone

39 posts • joined 10 Feb 2010

Happy 2nd birthday, Windows 8 and Surface: Anatomy of a disaster

riparian zone
Angel

Accessibility, anyone?

Just a thought, amidst the usual Linux vs Windoze debacle I thought I would mention that I utterly dislike W8, but its the most accessible Version yet produced by MS. Flat colours, large fonts, full screen magnification with high contrast colour schemes (a dismal failure in W7 as it couldn't do full screen without Aero which didn't *do* High contrast). Yes, I've looked at Vinux as I work with the Visually Impaired, but the synth voices and magnification are pretty poor - technical support is even more so. VIPs (Visually Impaired People) tend to be older as MD is part of many people's getting older...and yes, I had to install Classic shell because VIPs need a desktop too.

Now I'm wondering if there is a retrograde step and I have to start recommending W8 to clients..the pain.

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Writing about an Australian Snowden would land Vulture South in the clink

riparian zone

Re: Well, That's AUS off the list

Echo those thoughts, it all reminds of the 'Age of stupidity' before the eco disasters begin..set in Norway if I remember rightly. The demographics of controlling deluded baby boomers and indifferent post millennials being shat on...

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Barclays Bank counter staff to become iPad-toting 'community bankers'

riparian zone

Re: Super queues

I was wondering this myself..will these 'eagles' be versed in accessibility use? will they turn on zooming and/or voice over, and then understand that when that's done it is a different beast altogether to use? then there are those with cerebal palsy having problems using the bleeding things...Its the standard mainstream 'clicky clicky pinch here' attitude. Some elders will refuse to use iPads too, refusing to have no human contact - they have this outdated notion that jobs get lost through too much computering.

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The cute things they say

riparian zone
Facepalm

he wanted his blue E back...

many moons ago when I was tech support for an ISP, starting yet another 12 hour shift on a sunny Saturday..punter calls:"I've lost my blue E on the desktop" Me: "Sorry, sir, you mean Internet explorer?"

"Yeah.want the blue E back"

"Sorry, but that is not what I can help with, your machine dials up (yes, a while ago) to the internet?"

"Yeah, but I give you good money, blah moan BLAH"

Hearing this general complaint in the offing, I forge ahead..."Ok, I will try to help, follow my instructions"

We start a search for iexplore. He manages that.

"Do you have a list of files? We are looking for iexplore.exe", I say.

"Yeah. But there's not iexplore.exe, there's an iexplore.cnt...what's a cnt?"

"I can only think of one thing, sir"

We didn't find the big blue E either, and I got a warning later...worth it.

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Korean doctors: Smartphones really ARE doing your head in

riparian zone

Re: Another Tech Injury FAD

trackballs are a great option for RSI sufferers, of which I am. Big lover of trackballs with scroller collars.

RSI has been around for years - it used to be an injury for secretaries and typists, but now most people type.

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Rise of the Machines: How computers took over the stock market

riparian zone
Go

Re: Fascinating article

You've pretty much made the case for the transition movement..this is why local currency exchanges exist. Put to one side the middle class hippyness of it, there is a good reason to enable communities to become resilient wherever they are.

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Is the next-gen console war already One?

riparian zone
Meh

Re: "watch Game of Thrones on Sky"

*ahem*, I don't think subtitles for the hard of hearing pointless, no?

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Yelling at mobes while driving just as bad as texting

riparian zone
Thumb Up

Re: If only...

Interesting this. My dream application is for people with low vision or no typing ability to send a recorded message instead. Job done. Accessibility technology rules, but only when people with 'abilities' get stupid and hurt each other. Which is most of the time.

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Gov.uk named THE BEST THING Britain has made all year

riparian zone
Unhappy

Re: For a safer, faster, better experience online you should upgrade your browser.

No reference to use of plain English either, or illustrations? you know, for people to focus on...where are the skip to navigation and skip to content links for screen readers...poor.

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Hold on! Degrees for all doesn't mean great jobs for all, say profs

riparian zone
Unhappy

Re: Statistically this is not a surprise

Asbolutely. No typo.

Expectations need to be managed to engage students in the gritty realities before, during and after their learning. A Roman philosopher (Seneca) said that expectations caused anger and sadness; if a learning institution can't engage with the environment beyond its walls, then why are people paying..?

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How the iPad ruined the lives of IT architects

riparian zone
FAIL

3rd sector and non profit consultancy...Lasa clientele.

He should stick with telling people who have no idea or clue. He should also stay well away from making sweeping, poorly thought out statements to start a piece that WILL get ripped apart by his peers, nay...more than his peers.

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Watchdog warns UK.gov not to create 'them and us' digital divide

riparian zone
FAIL

Identity providers?

I'm more interested in the 8 identity providers...*why in all that is holy* why would the likes of Paypal get to manage the ID for Gov? what happened to the government gateway?National insurance numbers?

I was in the field for UK Online for 7 long years getting the message out that you can 'do stuff' on-line..I even managed a project whereby we tried to set it up as part of monitoring utilities, bus timetables, useful stuff. the ones that wanted to get it, got it, the others just not interested.

The mid west amerikans didn't want internet access because they didn't NEED IT, thanks..we get the same here..why would some old person that has given their best years through a proper world war or more, then be told, that they HAVE TO have access at home...there was a project in Hull promoting tele-healthcare using set top boxes and wireless keyboards...yes to that for the good it does, but then they want to force it on people? After making the UK Online project shrink, with the admin and return for centres pathetic and almost impractical?

grrr. All sounds like cost cutting, and will undoubtedly end in tears...the mixed approach is best.

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What happened to comics for kids? Hell, what happened to COMICS?

riparian zone

Re: Four words

I once bumped into Alan Moore in Charing Cross, and not wanting to be the fawning fanboi acolyte that I am, just asked if he was the man. He confirmed, and then I thanked him from a heartfelt place for writing Halo Jones...he seemed pleased.

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Microsoft's 'official' Windows 8 Survival Guide leaks

riparian zone

Re: Piss off

..tell you what - go and introduce the keyboard commands to most end users and they'll remember 3 at the most. Satire or whinging? pah.

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riparian zone
Unhappy

Re: "News"?

oh dear...it seems that satire has a place here too; how else that can the hand be bitten? Or would you prefer another whingefest of how fecking bad it all seems. Bards in days gone by used to be the newsreaders, and when they did a satire 'on' you, your credibility left the building in tears...

...there are news pieces on the rest of the site, move along, move along...and try to change the batteries in your iphone, or find a forum for lovers of <unheard linux distro>.

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Apple eyes $$$ iDevice adapter bonanza

riparian zone
Mushroom

Re: fanboi tax @dougal83 @shagbag

yeehaw! I hear the sound of nails being banged head on...

very very true. Like standards compliance, us commentards like to flitter like flies to the next smelly turd...

or so we think. 'member the fondle slab introduction when all and sundry (admittedly myself included) slapped hands to head in complete bewilderment. Now, we realise that the End User is king, and us IT folks are the unwilling pawns, evangelists and harbringers of change for the sake of change - I have yet to find a good simple email client that works well for the visually impaired, yet a client of mine with a humble (and venerable) Acorn has a stunning client which colour codes a conversation thread AND will change between voices when the screenreader is initiated.

Change is inevitable. Change is not necessarily progress, either.

BTW, I hated my Android phone when I got it when i found it wanted to sync my contacts to google...benign or aggressive, the (robber) barons call the shots and all we can do is suck it up and relate the bad news.

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The touchscreens that push back, thanks to Brit hi-fi boffinry

riparian zone
Happy

finally, fondleslabs for the visually impaired...?

It would be fantastic, especially as most people lose their sight when they get old, and the ease of use could be a real game changer...will be looking out for this a little bit. viva la haptic feedback!

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Microsoft fires Bing execs after biz probe

riparian zone
Happy

Re: 64 trillion $ question? * ........ for Maximum Range with Definite Visions

missed you manfromMars, you're a partly understood inspiration...

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iPlayer repeat fees threaten BBC earthquake

riparian zone
Happy

Re: Because of the unique way the BBC is funded.....

Now here's a revenue opportunity. Seems to me that when out of the UK, if you want to watch iplayer other than the worldwide stuff, people should be able to pay for the privilege...register up as non UK watcher, pay a licence fee to watch abroad - make sure that the system uses the download app to ensure registration details. What could go wrong?

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That steady diet of EastEnders IS turning her into a shrew

riparian zone
Childcatcher

Re: Makes a nice change

I've worked in day centres for people with learning disabilities, and they asbolutely couldn't get enough of Eastenders, especially when they could get to the iplayer/subsite, etc.

I reasoned exactly what you mentioned, and these people stuck in an institutional life, saw these horrible TV people having some vague, inferred 'life' and thought either they were better off than those poor souls they're watching or wanted to have some drama in their very very controlled lives. Sad on either counts.

And having a go at wimmin because they like it - I tend to prefer the Archers rationale (though I never listen to it) that people need to learn new agricultural stuff and story telling is a great way of doing that...I recall a Pakistani radio station using this model and putting in a story line about a farmer caught in a minefield; seemed the Taliban liked the show too...

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Windows 8: Sugar coating on Microsoft's hard-to-swallow tablet

riparian zone
Meh

missed tricks and unity copycats?

Seems to me that the whole thing echoes of the groans that many have/had with the Umbongo unity interface - I won't use it myself, but its great for many end users.

Why is there no touch screen device connected to the machine to facilitate a metro interface for media and stuff, then we have working desktops for people who make documents and other stuff..touch screens can only be good hung on a wall or small programmable hand-helds that aren't phones too...the transition from office to mainstream consumer is not quite on track here.

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Pirate Bay AND its users violate labels' copyright - judge

riparian zone
Unhappy

Re: Not news

Not forgetting the meedja industries that stuck their fingers in their ears and went 'lalalalala' as the interwebs grew. Seems that you have forgotten the fact that publishers take the lion's share of profits and are thus the injured parties - artists and creative types have always have had to fight for a living.

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IT staffers on ragged edge of burnout and cynicism

riparian zone
Megaphone

so, no one seems to disagree, only point and wave at smaples...

I did nearly 3 years in a front line support role which nearly broke my mind...I came to the conclusion (after getting it put right) that managers are generally managers through being good at their own jobs, not necessarily being a good manager (or having IT skills). The whole learning shebang, yup, I'd agree about the process of learning, but whilst adult learning is still about pedagogy (leading children) there will be an ongoing issue...and yes we are all getting older, and business is using IT to reduce people input, but people make decisions - I know why the Unabomber wanted to destroy all computers. So be nicer to your IT guys people who *believe* in gnomes in the box making it all happen, because they SHOULD get off their collective arses and join a union, get their rights collectively. You contractors have it sorted.

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New dole system is 'digital by default', like it or not

riparian zone
Facepalm

there are those that won't, those that can't and those that can't and won't

After training in the community for UK*nline for nearly 7 years, I think I've seen how the demographic lies. A lot of people are going to be screwed.

No one talks about being able to read, never mind using a freaking computer...?!

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How can family sysadmins make a safe internet playground for kids?

riparian zone
Childcatcher

Dynamics of ownership...

This is a situation I found as a community trainer all of the time - especially my generation ( who grew up in the 80's) with offspring. Computer in home, dominated by the tech savvy kids brought up on it, whilst the adults stumble around with a mouse, they were lucky to get a computer class, for the nerdy math kids like me.

I had to remind parents often that they PAID for the electronics, phone line and access, they have every right to impose sanctions and rules. Good relations with the kids was to be the starting point, and a shared/open approach to the internet with a good dose of sense and communication. It was always the the 'nagers downloading the ring tones and games which caused the problems. Kiddy catcher - because we're only kids once.

Kidzui/FF for the young ones, whilst I'm here.

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Met to push rape warnings over Wi-Fi to Xmas partygoers

riparian zone
FAIL

Not much of a life, checking internet whilst razzling it...

hard to believe that beer goggles and an ability to 'tune in' to the 'peace' keepers can mix.

Even tuned in, then how much notice would xmas munters take? Shouldn't it be about reminding bars, pubs and clubs to offer a service of the overly munted, have food around, be civilised like.

Mine's a whisky mac with a squeeze of lime. No, not that kind of squeeze.

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ICO smacks Welsh council with record £130k fine

riparian zone
FAIL

too right, no one cares.

an interesting parallel to corporate identity that these institutionalised morons seem to project is that of being able to try to save face as an organisation - beloved officers and other made up management never seem to be accountable in an organisation which is publicly accountable.

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Demon Currys iPad showered kids with HARD-CORE smut

riparian zone
Devil

Asbolutely, and then let them record our time on the toilet too...

...all that productive energy just wasted as waste! Terrible. I'm sure there's statistics on the cost to the country which relate to this sad state of affairs.

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Keep the utopians out of my fridge

riparian zone

er, smart meters?

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UK.gov threatens to 'pull plug' on smart meter rollout

riparian zone
Megaphone

card meters anyone...?

It seems that everyone has forgotten that 'poor people' have their own method of monitoring their gas and 'leccy usage through those beloved card based readers - why would they want another machine to bring it home further that they pay over the odds? Indeed you do when you have one. Even now when the costs have risen, per monthly bills have not exceeded what I was paying on those devil's armpits. Not quite the same is it I know, that the machines are *only* dumb enough to mug you in your home, but again, why?

We should also look at the Ewgeco which is Scottish, made in the UK.

http://www.ewgeco.com/

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MySociety marshals griping commuters to fix UK transport

riparian zone
Thumb Up

utopian ideals, sh*tty transport, bad politiks

...leave us with FB end users who would have been AOL/Compuserve's salvation and don't try too hard to do anything worthwhile. The web's connectivity has just brought more trite shite to fill heads with inanity as TV was becoming a stale and cold medium in a speeding up world.

Yup, I love MySociety's non partisan attitude as they know that the will to be transparent, efficient and serving appropriate need to a connected society is not there beyond tokenism. Sick of moaning about buses with moody drivers - I'll be getting their fracking driver numbers and see what happens. Don't knock it just yet peeps, I know that councils HATE fixmystreet because it makes them work and (heaven forfend) be accountable to the people that pay their wages.

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Councils look for 'good enough' IT solutions

riparian zone
Unhappy

People make problems, IT only highlights them - reflection is soo 18th century.

Before I was made redundant by a London borough council, monies were already being taken away. The council website was built on a old and clunky MS CMS, the intranet was basically a cludge of web pages made in Word. The guy in charge of all of this was so up his own arse you could hear the echo of his intestines when he talked - he was convinced of his technical know how, and so sure of his position. People with an agenda that isn't public service: the big problem, not the lack of IT and money. Another reason why any council 'officers' earning 50k+ should be taken outside and kicked up the arse back to their home(which is likely to be in another borough) by every passer by. After getting the push, of course.

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riparian zone
Big Brother

scratching the same backs..

that big gov use, maybe...the 'trusted vendors' that charge huuuge amounts, exceed deadlines, then fail with a capital F...think Fujistsu, IBM.

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Samsung E60 e-book reader

riparian zone
Thumb Up

200 quid and the rest...

for the books?

novels and easy reading like magz should be micro managed, google know this with their small ads. Reference books should be cheaper than their hardback equivalents, with educational licenses for short form books - getting updates is a paid for service, y'know?

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riparian zone
Troll

oh dear..£

too much for too little.

gonks as I need one on me desk.

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Easy-peasy science GCSEs binned

riparian zone
Grenade

hmm, Pelesh you talk (write) well for a young'un..

But you will notice the old'uns have mentioned a number of teachers that deal with GCSE level science, and a number of old 'uns mentioning differential equations and calculus. the truth of the matter may seem subjective for a comparative analysis, but in 1982 the school took away our log books and gave us calculators. Now using logs is 'old hat' but can perform maths with large numbers easily, without having to use any tools other that old favourite combo, the brain and book.

Think about how many bored checkout people you see now, and when I was your age, I saw checkout people working out the total before the till had done its job quite often.

Science? don't talk to me about science.

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Tories declare students a burden on us all

riparian zone
WTF?

Why bother? grrr.

As a man who never went to uni, I understand that education is important (for opportunities in getting laid mainly;-) but also in an economic sense. I recall a story told to me about Finalnd struggling financially when Russia imploded, but they put their money where their mouth is and have a strong science driven education apparently. Oh yes, Nokia is not just a company, its a place.

It is galling I'm sure for young'uns to put in those years and to come out with a stupid amount of money owing before they've even started earning, more so when their less ambitious 'peers' can do a year or so in a bleedin' college after and start making some decent money quite early on....witness plumbers, sparkies, other tradesmen in demand.

They took away any financial assistance for the poor kids, and now blame them. bastards.

p.s. I come from a place where the unemployment has never improved since the 80's.

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Apple adds 'make the web go away' button to Safari 5

riparian zone

@Giles Jones

yup, the idea is ok for screen readers as you say, but the tool for the job is webbie, which incorporates viewing a page with and without links, and a shortcut straight to google search...can't get much better than that..http://webbie.org.uk/

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Ladies face 'glass cliff' after breaking 'glass ceiling'

riparian zone
IT Angle

ahem, management?

In my experience, women managers (of which there are many) are not necessarily worth working with, for many many reasons. It may be different in politics, but the old boy network would just be changed into an old girl network if the rules changed... I tend to prefer the fact that when it comes to gender wars, we never make peace over the strengths each gender is endowed with.

where's the IT angle?

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