153 posts • joined Friday 12th February 2010 13:13 GMT
jumping ship ASAP
I was in the process of leaving but Plusnet f****** up so badly I cancelled the cancellation. I didn't realise Plusnet were owned by BT else I would never have even started the process. Looks like I will be returning to Zen after many years, even for the premium, once I get back home for long enough to manage the process.
ID cards - good, database - bad
I have no objection to a standalone ID card that would carry a number of security features that DO NOT depend on a back-end database or the biometrics of the holder - only the card itself. In my mind the danger to liberty is in both the database holding copies of everything - because it suddenly becomes the data and the person is now just an instance of that data - and the ability of of others to legally demand presentation of such a card to receive services that otherwise the holder is entitled to. We have already given up on travel without ID so there's not much point fighting for that one.
the length of these "enquiries" astonishes me
I am continually astonished by the lengths that there, on the surface, rather simple enquiries take. 3-6 months for an initial report? Erm - how much is BT retail charging? How much does BT Wholesale (OR) charge? Subtract the two, divide into a percentage and see if it's fair. Even with a power point that will not take more than an hour as it's all pretty much public data.
forced advertising and movement tracking
I didn't see anyone mention forced advertising and Kinect integration ala http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/15/interactive-nuads-xbox-360-kinect/
That's why "always on" is going to be mandatory. DRM is already good enough against the majority of gamers.
Should be interesting to see how this goes down in the EU and other areas with some semblance of privacy protection.
burn the witch
No, it's hiding a vendetta in a crowd. Slightly different thing. And it's been going on probably as long as societies have existed and will continue to do so.
There are a whole slew of challenges here. Amazon is only the largest player in a very rapidly growing market and will not necessarily still be number one in a few years.
I guess the most important choice is content. To me Amazon is the only commercial mainstream UK supplier of eBooks I found that is relatively device agnostic - or rather they supply software which works on all the current devices I want. Even as a seemingly Andoird fanboi I will not use Google Play as that's a real lock in and egenarlly more expensive. Must be the VAT dodge not working. Similarly for the other device tied UK sellers. When I fancy something independent I browse www.smashwords.com and I've actually spent money there on a regular basis for DRM-free titles.
What does get my goat, and Amazon whine it's the publishers but I don't believe them, is the complete lack of loan and resale facilities. If this DRM shit meant anything then it would mean that your books could be transferred securely from one account to another without the old copy being accessible. It's crazy when you can buy a new hardback from an independent reseller on Amazon for less than a fraction of the price of the ebook. It also makes sure the the consumer knows their place - they are renting the book, never ever owning it.
It doesn't do wind or rain and costs HOW MUCH?
I have a cheap FOSHK (CHinese company that makes all the Maplin and other cheap, "real" weather stations) from Signatrol and it does all this and UV/Lux levels and with pywws on a Linux box connected to the indoor unit uploads it all to Weather Underground so they can do the heavy lifting of display and recording. All that for £99 (plus the Linux server that's just a box, hanging around). Oh, WH-3080 for reference - it's cheap, probably only nominally accurate, but it's consistent.
it depends on what you want
If you're educating to create a workforce, regardless of industry, then there is one way to do it. If you're educating for the sake of knowledge and learning then there's another.
If you watch almost any of the lectures given with the late, great genius Richard Feynman you will get a sense of how to do the latter. He knew that making people understand was the key - if you get your point across as a set of first principles and teach people how to apply those and you manage to get your students to "get it" then you've won. Of course this only applies to those subjects that have a genuine basis from which those first principles come, so bollocks to the soft subjects.
ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
Still haven't stopped laughing. A watchdog with no teeth barking at a lorry driving past the gate.
At least I'm more cheerful than before reading the article. The only downer is we pay for these morons to waste time making up pointless reports that will never be relevant.
UK mentality still blows goats
In HK last year their train system had Wifi (and some 2G/3G) everywhere. Most shops and restaurants had genuinely free WiFi (most places used their phone number as the password or a number of the receipt - no capture of user details). One nice system from a local telco who's name now escapes me is free WiFi for all HK residents (using ID card numbers or whatever) and for us foreigners you sent a text from your foreign numbers mobe and got an access code back that lasted a week across all the APs.
In London all they need is leaky cables and tiny access points linked with nice thin fiber and voila! But no, not in this country/city.
Could be because every time I see "eBay" in an add or on Google Shopper I simply think either "scam" or "fraud". Perhaps they have an image problem?
Note 2 - smoe have hacked it
From reading the Note 2 forums on XDA there have been a variety of hacks to make the wireless charging work - just a real shame Samsung is so totally crap with it's own accessories...
whatever happened to the BBCs Dirac?
Well, the BBC claimed it was patent free and open. Then, even with the advances in hardware mostly negating the performance overhead of encoding, they completely failed to use it in-house or promote it. Our tax money (yes, the TV license is a tax in all but name) not at work.
Back in the day (the late 80s AFAICR - the days are hazy now) the incentives were tax breaks for first-round VC funding and loan guarantees to banks for "risky" start-ups. It worked, mostly.
Now, it's about giving hipsters free money to chatter about marketing and "creative" shit - not technology.
Note that it's VAT that's low in Luxembourg and Corporation Tax that's low in Ireland. A clever company will use everything in it's power to lower it's tax liabilities - this way it can make it's prices lower and/or profit larger, helping it to out-compete the smaller companies that don't have the luxury of multiple national offices.
I don't agree with this un-level playing field but I do accept that it's 100% legal. All this slating of the companies rather than the tax laws stinks of diversions and conspiracy to me.
What is you wanted to loosen your ties with the EU and you didn't want to appear to be the party doing it, how would you whip up public opinion enough to seemingly force you to derogate your involvement in the free market or even more radically initiate leaving the EU in some way?
Wish I could edit my own typos. Assume that they are typos and not me being an idiot. The two are however not exclusive.
If you take a step back and look at the sequence of events over the past few years I starts to look a little like there is a big hot potato of corruption being batted between the press and the political elites. If you take the MPs expense revelations as a starting point - because you have to start somewhere even if the story is much older - then you can watch the tennis game playing. First, show up the MPs for the thieving scum, on the whole, that they are. Next some minor skirmishes and then the Milly Dowler story breaking when it very convenient for the anti-press/anti-Cameron layers. Conspiracies? Oh, most certainly. What's a challenge is to try not to look like a complete loonie when claiming is. Like me :)
Oh, IMHO any press regulation should be limited to offering a statutory (rapid and free or at least affordable) complaints process and fair right-to-reply that enshrines some kind of equitable (i.e. same place, typeface size, inches etc.) published response when things are found to be wrong (not false, just wrong). No limits on what can be published in the first place - that would be chilling.
... enough to wipe out any conceivable life that was in that galaxy. What a way to go...
a question of fairness - something an economist has no idea about
The "problem" for society is not a simple one that simple economists can either understand or solve.
It is one of "fairness". If a small company sets up in their locality they are almost immediately disadvantaged against larger companies simply by the proportion of overheads. Assuming that the proprietor is willing to eat lower margins to be able to compete then in the current system that are still disadvantaged because as soon as they are successful they are immediately taxed to death. The large, established companies simply "move" (on paper only) to a more beneficial locale and base their operation from Luxembourg or Ireland or where-ever.
The trouble is if you remove corporation tax, which seemingly solves the above problem, you have to then impose this somewhere else. So now you move the taxation to the income of the sharholders / beneficiaries which in turn just encourages those who can afford it to move their personal tax affairs to a more conducive locale - and we're straight back to square one.
Those individuals or companies that can afford - through scale - to *evade* tax will do so leaving the rest of us to pay for their lifestyle. I use the word evade intentionally as regardless of the legal or illegal methods used they are simply evading their moral duty to pay up and share the collective burden.
I don't have a solution but it's very easy to see the problem.
somewhere in the loft ...
is a copy of the boxed game for the Spectrum. A very nice package for those day AFAICR.
Re: Recruitment agents - simply ignorant greedy farmers
I did say there were some "humans" and I am sure that us animals can get quite rowdy and some don't produce as much milk as we should but the pervasive attitude still feels very much like a process that doesn't care about the product.
Recruitment agents - simply ignorant greedy farmers
Just thought I'd make the point that I have been lucky enough, although it's probably more through poor attitude toward them and stand-on-their-own skills and experience, I have never successfully got a role through an agency. While I have come across a few individuals who seemed human the overriding feeling I got was that I was one of herd they cultivated to get to market in time for a big fat profit. I'm now old enough with hopefully enough direct contacts that if and when in the future I need a new role I don't even have to consider the option.
I know this is the author's take on it, but: "These proposals turn international copyright protections for authors upside down, and permit the commercial exploitation of an unidentified work without the author's permission - if you haven't opted out." - this is the classic Catch-22 legalism. If it's unidentified how on earth can you opt-out of having it used?
It should also be noted however that not all works are automatically "copyright". There is a set of tests one of which is originality, or words to that effect. So if you take yet another picture of a famous landmark that lots of other people have done in the past then that image itself may not immediately qualify for protection even now.
For google, they can't ship anything remotely useful or capable in this space as they would not then get the nice juicy commercial deals with big media. As soon as they try to ship a media player that can play most formats from most sources then the media owners will walk away as they can't see the walled garden that makes them rich.
The hardware may be capable and there is software out there but it can't be official. This is why the non-brand media players and generic PC hardware rule the roost here. And one of the many reasons for UEFI (sp? no coffee yet) from M$.
Right, that's because - like I think Douglas Adams observed, perhaps in a Dirk Gently book - the English take a US idea like McDonalds and remove all the stuff that makes it different, like speed and price and then deliver what's left.
Mind, the US is better at hiding corruption in plain sight, hence the more polished appearance.
laws should be about fairness. ACTA isn't
Apart from the secrecy around it's drafting and being presented to notional democracies as a fait acompli the biggest issues (IMHO) with most of it's flaws are that it is/was fundamentally inequitable. Most of the provisions are there to skew the power of the large commercial interests against smaller and individual creators and IP owners. It removes protection for consumers in the guise of protecting them by letting the big media interests run things.
Re: Having been rear-ended by people texting ...
Looking forward to the day you end up broken and sprawled bleeding on the road and no one who has stopped to help you can because all their mobiles are jammed by your stupidity.
Not yet read the proposals but it does sound like a complete nightmare.
Is there the option of anyone and everyone signing up as a licensing agency and then copying and distributing all the big media content until they finally lobby for a change or repeal? Surely a legal framework like this has to be equitable or somesuch to stand up to scrutiny? Or am I just too innocent?
I'll take the good ol' USofA over the ITU anyday
While the US may not be the most genuinely democratic or open country in the world it is hand and feet above the ITU and their UN masters. If the ITU were serious above their claims of transparency and open process then they should be publishing a lot more in a transparent and open way. Instead there are spurious claims of commercial confidentiality and implications of security through obscurity and all the other excuses that most civil service organisations are proud of.
The IETF as was may have been subverted by the big players like Cisco et al. but at least most of it is aired in the open and, up to a point, anyone could join in - hence the reference to a "meritocratic democracy". Of course that became a fantasy towards the end of the last millennium but it's still far far better than what the ITU would do.
I love my Note
I had a Dell Streak before and I am not a small guy, so the size fits fine. Been to Hong Kong for work in May and the Note is as popular as the SII and almost as popular as the iPhone. Lots of petite ladies with nice leather covers on their Notes using the Stylus likes it's meant to be.
In fact, the 10" tablet version, if it ever ships for a normal price, might make a nice replacement for my ASUS TF201 which is starting to get real boring quick in the performance stakes.
I love the smell of inovation in the morning, especially when it's culled from the shoulder meat of others - given we were using (not called "WiFi") wireless networking at "Live '95" for Demon Internet's stand network. It was about 2Mb/sec mind but it wasn't microwave and wasn't point-to-point either. I recall the technology developing very quickly, so I'm not 100% sure why any of the CSIRO stuff was new. Perhaps discussing it with the ghost of Hedy Lamarr would help clear this up.
Corruption & bribery are ways of life "over there"
At my previous employers - a large US-based bank - we had mandatory Compliance Training they referred to bribes euphemistically as "facilitation payments"; it was consider acceptable that "it may be necessary, depending on the local circumstances, to offer facilitation payments to officals". But bribes were verboten,. Yeah, right.
Oh, and in Hungary - my ancestral home - try getting any form of public medical treatment without envelopes changing hands to make sure you get a clean bed, fresh food and even surgery by someone who knows how to hold a scalpel.
Re: re: invalidating warranty
In the UK/EU it should make zero difference as a manufacturers warranty is a freebie that may or may not influence your purchasing decision between brands. Your legal protection is through the original retailer and being statutory rights they cannot be withdrawn simply by the manufacturers say-so. On the other hand if you try to use your shiny TF201 as a hammer for nailing up a picture, for example, then it's your problem as you cannot reasonably expect it to function as originally sold and so the retailer has little liability. Unless of course advertising, promotional materials or the product documentation (including the packing) gave you an expectation of it being part of the legitimate functions of the device. Like "GPS" being written on the box :)
Finally, some good news
This judgement, unless Oracle do the whole appeal charade and somehow lobby (read "bribe") there way to a different judgement, can only be good news and reinforces the boundaries for IP protection.
Re: Here's what I never understood
Human nature aka human stupidity.
it's not a real fight
Don't get too surprised by the many directional nature of this to and fro in patent wars. It's all a phoney war (mind the pun...) intended to reinforce each big monolith's place in the industry. It's there to build barriers-to-entry against new and small competitors just like termination fees in telecoms networks - which 3 has been poorly fighting against for many years - and traffic based transit fees for smaller ISPs.
As a large market player you quietly agree to charge your similar competitors a nice high fee which you know they will simply charge back to you roughly in balance; you come out no better or worse off but the little guy can happily go get screwed as they can't contra the charge on a like-for-like basis.
Also, if they are not seen to "defend" their patents then how are they going to claim legitimacy for their FRAND rights against new entrants and reinforce the legal framework that appears so confused and stupid to most of us. If they didn't then the IP laws would start looking useless and politicians might start questioning their utility. After pocketing lobbying fees of course.
modern day "jobs for the boys"
This is just a way of moving £10m (plus the rest - you think they will stop at £10m ?) - into the pockets of those who have demonstrated friendship and support to the regime. If they were really interested in the genuine opening up of public data then there are far better ways and some of those go ahead "for free" in spite of, not with the help if, the government.
Also add the D-Link DIR-457U
I just bought a D-Link "myPocket" here in Hong Kong for $699HK and a spare battery for $99HK - about £65 - there are a number of version but when I looked online for UK sourced versions they were all about £130+ but this maybe with a USB PSU (bloody expensive PSU in that case) while this just comes with a USB cable. Frequencies checked and this one will work when I get back to the UK.
There are plenty of the Huawei models here with the 21Mb ones about £200HK more.
I wanted something to use a local SIM while I left my UK SIM in my phone and also like Alex says above to save battery on said phone, which is usually more important.
So far, it works fine and has two modes *either* USB modem or Wifi hotspot and the memory card works in both. It also charges from USB in both modes which I believe one of the other popular ones here doesn't. I got a few hours out of the first charge and we shall see how it goes.
One downer - it gets VERY hot when left in a bag...
Criminals should be treated like criminals
This is not the same as getting caught stealing loo paper from the company and getting a warning from personnel. This is criminal behaviour and neither the DWP nor any other government department should be allowed to handle this internally. Each and every one of this 992 plus all the uncounted other similar criminal actions should be passed to the police and/or CPS for investigation and possible prosecution.
Again: This should not be the DWPs choice. The watchdog is truly toothless.
incubators for parasites
Having lived through the first 'net bubble and watching this one continue to inflate, I can say with some certainty that these incubators and the pseudo nerdgasms in the mainstream media that go with them are simply there to nurture the parasites that feed of the genuine innovators and those who put real work into technology. Along swoops either or both of some hipster luvvy or a JV managed suit with an MBA and there goes the farm. Meh.
Re: will this mean
Nope. Perhaps *you* should read up a little more on the history of domains before trying to sound so authoritative and angry. I am not going join in since I am not actually that angry, but I will let readers go and do their own research.
I just an admission that it already happens...
In many large organisations the more tech savvy people already find ways of doing lots of the stuff that BYOD makes official. It's just that now consultants can sell something that already exists in the guise of security and "Think of the children!"
IMHO Most commentards misunderstand copyright vs patents vs any other form of IP protection.
Again, IMHO and ignoring legalese, copyright is there to give protection to a creator of a work so that they can be rewarded in exchange for the effort creating it. It is a protection for the creator of a work to give them a living. What it shouldn't be is a barrier to others also creating original works and making a living from those. Just like anything else these rights can be bought and sold and that is fair. Having this protection extend WAY beyond the time that the original creators own children could in theory benefit (the original copyright being for 14 years - the length of two apprenticeships) is over the top and is just a protection for the businesses that exist to "farm" copyright.
Patents on the other hand are almost the OPPOSITE of copyright; The give the "inventor" of something unique and original the right to make money from others using the original idea. Unlike copyright is prevents other from creating their own original works that are similar but should be there to allow for clever new things to make it to market while still earning the inventor a share of his/her genius.
The consumer right to transform the content of a carrier (CD/DVD/ebook) to something you can actually watch/read the way you want should be enshrined in consumer protection and should not be something that an IP owner should be able to prevent either through the law or through technical protection. Outlaw DRM and many many problems go away.
There is NO real drought
This drought shit is all a conspiracy anyway between the private water companies - who want legislation to force metering on all households - and the makers bottled water who want to sell more product. This latter might be a joke. You decide.
I was in Bonaire a number of years ago and all their drinking water is desalinated. The result is that tap water is pure and clean and you don't have to worry about drinking it as a tourist. Extra bonus, but only if you don't mix it with the normal London water supply.
Perhaps the questions should be more focused on why a "natural monopoly" like water supply is privatised ? Electric and gas can almost be justified as they could be considered as competing with each other, but water ?