171 posts • joined 13 Feb 2010
Re: Don't understand the name
That's what I thought initially, an ubiquitous unreliable car from Fixed Or Repaired Daily, only beaten on that front by those turkeys from Morris (Ital) and Austin (Allegro). Mine was a Datsun 120Y tiny rust bucket, which had one rather amazing quality, it worked.
This is the same company that was busy using its Google camera cars to grab people's home wi-fi details, illegally, and now it claims to be acting in the interest of net users? It's not, it's a commercial company that operates for the sake of its own profit margins, which is after all its purpose, including that hyped up marketing slogan 'Don't be evil', read 'YOU don't be evil, but we can snoop away, avoid tax as much tax as possible etc."
No doubt being an American company it will oblige the NSA with a good number of back-doors, rather than risk its wrath (underhand or otherwise) in Google's primary market. Probably given up on China for good, or that 10% share is probably what they're desperately trying to cling on to so that they can maintain a toe hold there.
To the Americans getting all upset over this...
.. I have one word 'Ferranti'.
One has to be old enough to remember the early nineties to appreciate how this could be seen as ironic payback.
Fantastic article, loved it!
Iwas loaned a QL a few years after it had lost most of its value and about a year before the Atari ST as widely available, so I did at least get to enjoy using it. Superbasic really was quite nice compared to what I had on my Spectrum. But those darn Microdrives, awful from beginning to end. Could write a chapter on my Spectrum Microdrive odyssey, finally ending with the Opus Discovery One 3.5" disk drive expansion box, with £6 blank floppies which were just so much more reliable.
Default off for in App purchases?
Why are apps allowed to be downloaded with in app purchases enabled? They should also ship their devices with in app purchasing off by default. Odd that they don't, maybe they know they make more money, even after the refunds, buy not doing so.
My two pences worth, we were caught out early a year ago, £25 of purchases were made before the plug was pulled, Apple refunded it.
As for consumer rights, Google locked me out when I updated an expired card, unless I hand over a copy of my passport. I switched to Amazon app store instead. May as well troll my experience:-
My favortie brush offs.
Tell them I have Linux, these leaves them befuddled and they hang up quickly. In reality I have a few Linux Virtual Machines, but my main OS is Windows 7.
Another one I do for fun, tell them I built my PC, this also results in a quick hang up, i.e. "Yes, it's very simple, bought a case, motherboard CPU and memory, and put it all together...".
Last but not least, "YES, I am really having trouble, can you just wait a minute.", then leave phone near a TV or some source of music, repeat as long as it's fun, i.e. "with you in a jiffy, just hang on, really interested", or they hang up.
For quite some time, getting our PS3 out of HDMI mode meant just pressing 'on' for a few seconds that made its display output reset to default, quite important when you took it to a friend's and that didn't have a 1080p display.
The Xbox 360? If you forgot to change it before taking it, you had to look up the sequence required to change the display type, i.e. the d-pad actions required to access the systems menu and change the display. Don't know if they ever introduced a display fall-back, it was still needed as recently as last year :-
power the console on using the guide button on a controller and wait for a minute
press up on the dpad
press right 6 times
press down once
press A 3 times
press down 4 times
press A twice to enable display discovery
"97m-and-counting in taxpayer money will have been written-off as the software currently being used by just 2,000 benefit claimants"
That's £48,000 per claimant. Dole at about £50 a week costs £2600 per claimant a year, wouldn't it be cheaper to let them claim as they are doing currently? It's not as if they get it for nothing, job centres are quite adept at sanctioning those they think are not doing enough to get a job.
Another 140m was available...
..but it was wasted on Universal Credit instead, and that's just the write off, i.e. total waste to date.
One rule for them, another for us.
Anyone else, bar a banker maybe, loosing that sort of money would lose a lot more than their job, probably their liberty too by landing in jail. Seems like being a minister, elected democratically by the people for the people of-course, is the ultimate form of Limited Liability Company, even your job is immune from being touched, for at-least five years whilst you rake in some decent dough on a generous MP's wage until the next election. If voted out, you can then get some cushy job paying over £100k a year working a few days a week, if that, advising, more often than not, a bank, as one now has inside knowledge of government to 'help' their new employer, i.e. how get into government projects guaranteed to be cash cows, even if they are doomed to failure from the start. Nice.
Re: CAD has it covered
Absolutely. Though the launch PS3 we bought very early on, within weeks of release whilst abroad, before it was released in the UK, is till with us today, though if Sony think I'm going to rush out and buy a PS4, disposing of software library at the drop of a hat, or keep both, well they're wrong.
Xbox 360, the current one is the 5th (or is it 6th? lost count) one. Having said that it's Kinect sibling is now in it's second year, no issues there. Again, Xbox 1? Nah, too many unfinished Xbox 360 games too.
A year down the line, We'll see if there's any compelling game that necessitates a purchase, in the mean time, my PC with a Radeon 7870 and a 30" 2560x1600 monitor made it the choice machine to play Skyrim and the Dragon Age series on.
Boy do I have a story to tell..
I was weaned on a ZX81, and learnt Z80 assembler back in '81.... now some 30 + years on, yesterday, I was at a Russell Group university, assisting students and marking their assignments, in, wait for it, assembler (not telling which processor! might give away the 'where'), and I do get this feeling that year on year the intake is getting worse, though the grade requirement is rising. For the first time I had a batch of them who could not understand what an unconditional branch was, despite my bringing up an example in front of them.. just one anecdote of the several I have.
Re: re: repairs
Might as well add my two pence's worth. Wife's 15" HP had a display failure just outside the 1 year warranty. Ordered a £18 inverter, opened up screen bezel, bit of pain. Noticed a magnet had managed to fall out of a nearby slot (inside the bezel) and land on the inverter, put the magnet back with some glue, all fixed, the inverter I bought wasn't used. Then about half a year later, noisy CPU fan, dies. Buy this for £15, cheap, but taking it apart wasn't good, a few clip lug broken and had to remove the entire board to get to the fan. Two years on it still works, given to relatives recently.
My HP Envy 17, over 1k's worth of laptop, two years on, begins to overheat, with BIOS telling me of fan failure. So opening time again, resent that I had to get the board out, i.e. near full tear down, to clear out heat sink and fan (during a holiday!), but it was quite easy to take apart and re-assemble, no clips and lugs like the 15" one.
My Sony Xperia Z, a glue up job, that's meant to be 'water resistant'. Well despite all port covers checked as closed, some water did get in to mess up the power switch. So now I'm toying with the idea of opening it, but heat gun? I've decided to stick to using a soft button to get around the problem instead.
Re: why Israel isn't in both NATO and the European Common Market
.. oh right, the European part of Turkey is Turkey occupying someone, care to mention who? The Bulgarians? They're awfully quiet about wanting it. Long memory you have too, Istanbul only having being established some 560 years ago.
Last but not least, if Turkey shouldn't be NATO due not bordering the North Atlantic, what part of Greece is anywhere near it? Or for that matter Austria, Italy, Romania etc. are? Best of all is Cyprus, which lies further from any European country than most of Asian Turkey.
As for the main article, Turkey in the EU? Never in a million years, too racist and bigoted, with a few notable exceptions. Judging by the postings here, most don't even appear to consider them as being human, but some sort of lower sub-species, in all but name.
A small laptop is sometimes the best solution.
My daughter's iPad was sold pending an upgrade to an iPad 2, however she started university; taking notes and editing them in lectures became a priority. I thought about this and bought her a Lenovo X201 12" Laptop. It fits in her large hand bag, and she can watch the umpteen videos in odd formats she has on it straight off VLC, can run Matlab etc.
Eventually though she did get iPad mini as well, as she enjoys the convenience, but that laptop was boon.
My needs were completely different, sold my iPad (a gift) after a few months and bought a HP Envy 17 (Windows 7) instead, which I've had ever since. Admittedly it breaks my back when I carry it to work every now and again on my bike, but it has served me well. Now someone has given me an old iPad as a present again. Installed 'Badland' on it, and I really am quite enjoying it, to sell or not to sell...
My phone's an Sony Xperia Z, which I can take notes on reasonably well using Swype, though I've never written or edited a document on it, then again I've never needed to.
Anyone remember the film 'Cypher', where David Hewlett acts a human lie detectors and succeeds (though doesn't manage to stop the chap) where the other techniques had failed? Just thought I'd mention a good film related to lie detection as I leave the discussion forum...
Re: Statistics, etc..
Useless stats, of the per 100k of population you'd be surprised how many toddlers can't use electronic devices. Under 13's (the bulk of the population in poorer countries) aren't even meant to have facebook accounts, assuming that they have access to internet in the first place.
More useful would have been be what proportion of internet users (or better still facebook users) have had their data requested by a government agency.
India has an internet penetration of just 13% (152m) whereas the UK's is 87% (54m users).
Reminds me of two olde incidents... once when a friend drove over a large puddle I went, 'Splash! Ah-ahh, it'll soak everyone of us'...
... and that a there was local flasher going around singing it as he exposed himself.
Graphics card firmware...
You could stick about 128K or more of data in there.. maybe that's why they trashed the graphics card.
Yes I'm being sarcastic, just in case some Daily Fail reader thought that 128K or so is enough to stick anything worthwhile on, or that the Guardian tech staff would be clever enough to use a graphic card's firmware area in that way. Rest of it just looks like pure mindless vandalism. Oh no, hold that thought, the motherboard's BIOS could also be flash with 'stuff' though getting the data out if it's a surface mount BIOS (most are) could be one heck of a challenge.
... but this just isn't funny, guys in (jackboots?) turning up and trashing hardware, and the whole 'you've had your fun' etc. exchanges.
Looks like the 'government' is acting with impunity. This is simply wrong.
This was just a pun too far..."The watchdog, now in its (fifth) element"...
Even pricier Xbox live? No Thanks.
Pay for Skype and DVR content? No thanks, we can already get these services for free through a multitude of devices, a Sky HD box, Freeview, a Freesat HD Box and number of PC's tablets and smartphones.
As for 4k HD, well there aren't that many HD channels to start with (no I don't pay a Sky subscription so that I can watch re-runs of stuff that I already have on DVD and Blu Ray, and prefer a weekly cinema visit and the odd budget blu ray purchase), so not holding my breath on that one.
As for even pricier Xbox Live, I'm already paying about 65 quid a year for two subs for my offspring, however as they have now exhausted the Halo series, they've now switched to PS3 on-line titles that are free to play. They'll be no renewals.
Let's see where the Xbox 1 and PS4 get to in a years times, barring some stunning games, I can't see what these have to offer over the Xbox 360, Kinnect and PS3 we already have. With the recent news that MS are going to 'overclock' the Xbox 1, it does remind me that our Xbox died no less than 5 times. The first of these deaths and the subsequent lengthy repair wait meant that we bought a PS3. That was in early in 2007, that PS3 still works fine, and doesn't 'need' 'replacing' with a PS4 yet, or for quite some time. 'Replacing' as the new consoles are not backwards compatible.
Browsing is just not as safe as it used to be..
Having close relatives geographically dispersed means that I am in effect travelling from home to home, I was searched when returning to Britain, and I was revealed to be carrying some curtains, and a bin lid (it was a pricey Brabantia one). That caused some minor amusement.
Later I was asked to bring a pressure cooker back, as we had two, and one was redundant (technically both are, one is used for cooking without the top), I refused, as they're two a penny where I was being asked to take it, and I didn't fancy being asked why I was carrying it. Then I was told oh not to worry, they'll probably go through it anyway, and find it empty (apart from clothes stuffed in it), to which I made the point, look what happened in the US, problem is what one can do with it afterwards.
So recently someone wishes to take an elderly relative up to some mountain range, I point out that the air is quite thin and not good for him, and the air pressure is lower than it is in an aircraft, said relative having ruled out air travel. So I'm busy googling aircraft cabin pressures to get the figures right (yes I was right), but in the back of my mind there was a worry over which spook/program would be sitting there monitoring what I was googling...
As a chap whose parents came from a supposedly unenlightened area of the world which is supposed to be bad for women, I was quite sold on the idea of 'relative' gender equality here. Find it amazing that so many chaps were so offended by a woman on a note, don't get it one bit. Something new one learns every day.
As for my reaction, told my undergrad daughter about it with some amusement, her desire to study English literature was thwarted by bureaucratic incompetence and (exam board) bone headedness, this was ironic, as it went against the racial stereotype, i.e. girl of ethnic origin wants to do something, parents support it, equality thumping society blocks it, as opposed to girls wants to do something, parents beat girl into submission, society was waiting with open arms for her.
Anyway I would have preferred Agatha Christie, and why did they take Florence Nightingale off anyway?
... might even decided that rather then just using a such a device to replace defective bits with healthy bits, he could also rid all those who he considers to be followers of an 'evil' ideology of their beliefs by changing bits of their in the process.
It could be marketed as a 'Prevent' mark 2.
Re: Compression / healing
Oh, The Prestige, a warehouse full of....
Reminds me of a European short film I saw as a child, where a similar solution was used to solve the problem of a man trapped in a phone booth... gave me nightmares.
Re: Why did El Reg headline make me think Blackadder ?
They might need to clear that with BBC copyright.
Anyway, it's snot!
Shame, was hoping ARM would do well..
It would have been nice for Intel and AMD to have a new rival on the block, especially a British one. However using Windows 8 on my desktop put me right off the whole thing, tablets included. If the RT was cheap to start with, it may have had an impact, but it's too late now, the price cuts looks like a stock offload, it IS a stock offload.
The Elbow Angle..
Indeed, bending your elbow, angling it, which is what the whole article focus's on is not just illegal in modern cricket but will get you labelled a 'chucker' the worst of worst cricketing insults. It will cause a diplomatic incident with country whose bowler is alleged to have done this, referral to the authorises to examine the bowler's bowling action and then result in the chap having to have training to remedy his 'action' or medical tests to prove that he's (possibly she, but I've yet to hear of a lady 'chucker') double jointed.
Oh cricket vs baseball, the cricket ball, being made of cork wrapped in leather really really hurts if it hits you, one floored me for a good ten minutes one when it hit me in the ...
Re: Sourceforge & Classic Shell to the rescue!
Thank you for a genuinely useful post! I had messed around with Stardock stuff, but it was always cumbersome and some themes, though nice, would glitch our here and there, and my worst foible is (was?) that I do actually like Aero, even on Vista, it was so nice that I tired to get 3rd party apps on XP to mimic it, but they were a poor substitute. Then Windows 7 came and I was impressed with the speed and the improvements were excellent.
I'd over looked shells since then, so now I've installed Classic Explorer, with Windows 7 style selected. Seeing an ordered version of old Programs menu is a welcome return.
Oh Windows 8? As a developer I've found it to be a downright nuisance, so after three months of use on a secondary machine, I've disposed of it. Oh and I don't like Unity for Ubuntu either, feels like a copy of MacOS, but nowhere near as bad as Windows 8. The solution for the Linux machine was simple, I switched to Mint.
Well I broke the DRM on some music I downloaded from a free service (now defunct) so I could put them on my iPhone. Apparently that's just as bad as shoplifting a DVD, according to those ads, as copyright infringement is 'theft'. In fact they should also include a chap at a photocopier having copied 11 pages of a 100 page book, as apparently you're allowed to copy 10% of a book in this manner.
Anyway with Prism etc. on the prowl, why they don't just ask GCHQ instead, I am sure they (or the CIA if the info isn't to hand) have plenty... no need to shop your family, neighbours and friends, Middle East dictatorship style.
Windows 7 just works for me...
So They can roll out Blue, Green, etc. ad infinitum, I just don't care Maybe next year, if it offers something new and useful.
"After all, what has NASA got to hide?"
Oh dear lord no, they're going to find the Ark and awaken Sentinel Prime, we're doomed!
Then again isn't there a spotty American teenager with access to the All Spark? Oh we can breath easily again and sleep well.
A great loss to Sci Fi..
.. those Culture novels are almost (bar 2 others) the only fiction I've read over six years, or rather the only reason I read fiction after Frank Herbert's works. The Sci Fi excursions from the Culture universe, Against a Dark Background and The Algebraist were excellent too.
He will be missed.
Re: New Dr.
I for one would look forward to Mr. Hurt as the doctor. I envisage 3 paths. 'Alien - Kane', 12th Time Lord is the thing that bursts out, starts killing all civilisation with the Tardis, even the Dalek turn into refugees, that enter an alliance with the humans. 'V for Vendetta - Sutler', comes to Earth takes over the 3rd Reich, leads it to victory, humans then spread through the galaxy, 'purifying' it in a reign of tyranny, not unlike 'In a mirror, darkly – Enterprise’. Last but not least, '1984 Winston' captured and brainwashed by Ingsoc, isn’t sure if he’s with the Daleks or against them, ends up wiping out humanity with them, realises this to be a mistake, gets rid of Dalek’s and Cybermen too, more atonement and just making sure. Ends up sad and lonely, shoots self, expressing love for Big Brother.
After having owned two Acer flagship (£1000+) laptops, both of which had problems like broken hinges, faulty network hardware, dead screen, dead sounds etc. not worth even considering. Add to that Square Trade (who repair out of warranty laptops) report ranking them as one of the most unreliable brands. Yes I'm hacked off by their poor hardware and customer support, and I'll sound off about it.
A Windows 8 like Linux GUI...
... now that would interesting... though Ubuntu's Unity comes close to the 'flat earth, sorry, tile" (though scroll bars do appear eventually at the edges) design. If mimicry is the sincerest form of flattery, then Windows 95 did well, but Windows 8, seems unlikely there'd be a similar article about that years down the line.
But I don't wear a watch either...
.. stopped mid eighties, kept in the pocket, or on a desk, so that I could write better and keep a track of time during exams. Since then my life is surrounded by time pieces, on PC display, on the wall in nearly every room I frequent, my phone, my car etc. I am unlikely to start wearing one again unless it's very light and actually does something important that my phone can't do (unlikely).
Re: Don't buy an Xbox One
There's a worse one than that, Spiralfrog anyone? Yes it was US only, and I only ended up signing up as I was having to use a US based web proxy when in the UAE where I wanted to make Skype to 'phone' calls and these were blocked (and banned).
As the music was free (well ad supported), once they killed their servers, all I had downloaded suddenly died, apart from some of the stuff I broke the DRM on (yes very illegal, and no doubt sponsoring terrorism and just like stealing a CD from a shop etc.), so that I could put it on my iPhone .
Re: The one basic attribute ...
I don't have my age on my CV or DOB on my CV either, but a few degrees, and decades of industrial experience rather gives it away. Unless I do a major re-work, leaving a lot out, it would make make my CV borderline no longer quite true. Worst still is companies I worked for having vanished. I can confess to being a Logica employee for a good number of years, gone as of last year for example.
When there's no lef tot sell to...
Exactly the point that not many people make, one can go on (and on) about booming, bustling, storming ahead India, but the outsourcing industry is driving their growth (China's got the manufacturing, and no, you won't be able to 3D print your iPhone/Android device any-time soon), but once the western markets start to shrink because of outsourcing, and it's not just call centres, the software industry is another one that's being outsourced, they'll be fewer and fewer people to sell to..
It'll be interesting to see how this pans out.
Oh and another gripe, every time I contact a bank by e-mail, I am almost always sent a reply in Indian English, "please be informed", "revert back to us", etc. ad infinitum. It puzzles me that this has now become acceptable. It's rare for the first reply to ever answer the question, so I have to send another e-mail, the reply then suddenly turns into British English. Seems like some form of escalation to someone 'here' once the offshore reply doesn't quite manage to answer the question. HSBC, Barclays and Santander appear to do this.
Quite mixed up, Pakistanis in Chechnya aren't the issue, I doubt one has ever been sighted there, the converse is the problem, Chechens having joined Afghan outfits, that plants bombs in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Iran wanting to destabilise Pakistan thing, another weird one, they just completed their gas pipeline to Pakistan last month hoping that the Pakistanis will buy that in preference to staying friends with the US for some 'aid'. It's also a common allegation that Pakistan has assisted the Iranian nuclear program.
US based hack possibility? Accepted, but they don't need to hack, forget data and passport records, which are something they are known to give the US full access, the Pakistani government will even happily hand over it's own citizens without due process, and better still US citizens can run over people, shoot them dead etc. their release will easily be arranged too. Let's not even start on drone attacks....
Re: Closed the door
Even worse, hackers worldwide are handed something developed by a combination of intelligence agency who claim to be the best, debatable, but undoubtedly have a great many resources to hand. Imagine (and this sort of thing may well have happened but not reported) a 'crew' ransoming a power plant.
Sir Malcolm Rifkind's scientific pedigree is not world renowned, and he doesn't appear to have given any sources or evidence other than, "I say so, so it must be".
Putting all aside and just counting the human cost...
Gaza War 2009, wiki (US based, using anything else would be biased, and Arabs can't count are too stupid to collect statics etc.)..
Israelis killed: 13 (4 by themselves)
Palestinians killed: 1,417
As a proportion of population, 1m Palestinians, 300m Americans, that's the equivalent of a 9/11 event that kills 450,000. A similar scaling was used by Fox news in it's 'Victims of terror' show that focused exclusively on Israeli victims and made a parallel that Israel is hit by the equivalent of a 9/11 event every so often, using the proportion of population killed as a measure.
One can add the previous four years of Palestinian home made rocket attacks, which killed less than 10 people, and add an indeterminate number of Palestinians, killed in targeted killings etc. which form a constant backdrop, and Israelis needing to avenge having these rockets fired at them.
Then argue about the number of children killed, the Palestinians lying about how many of the dead were armed, how many civilians, etc. ad nauseam. But, anyway anyone looks at it, that was 1417 human beings, very similar to most of us, two parents, maybe a sibling, maybe a partner, maybe some children too.
The only way to justify this is to reclassify them as sub-human, inhuman, violent, illiterate, etc. So we end up with a group of people who think that it's fine to murder that many people, because they are so evil (a certain R, Dawkins repeatedly declares their belief to be evil) , that they deserve to die in that sort of quantity, and so do their children. Clearly Professor Hawkins hasn't quite seen it this way.
But four years on, no one cares much, and most probably don't even remember, given a few more year, people will care even less, and fewer still will even remember. But those who suffered loss, will they forget so easily?
.. and if you're a minotriy...
I saw part of a news report where some French Policemen were going through a Paris Metro, they were asking people to show their ID cards, everyone they chose just happened to African or Asian. I don't think I'd like that, but others may like or even want it, especially people who see me as an inherent, and 'visible' threat. In fact I find it quite scary. The racial profile of those being stopped and searched most often by the Police here not withstanding.
UK employment law requires employers to check a persons immigration/work status, and almost by default I am asked to provide my passport, and many are surprised when a produce a P60 and my birth certificate instead, one even had to check if that was allowed.
Anyway in this day and age, Amazon, google, Microsoft, eBay and Apple all know where I live, what I buy, how often I buy it, even try to guess what I want to buy next etc. facebook is an exception, as I've never spent a penny there, I put a remote double landlocked country in as my place of birth and residence, as a joke obviously. My bank evens knows where I eat and where I buy my food, with the supermarket even knowing exactly what I bought to eat in the first place. My mobile phone provides instant tracking of where I am, so what's left? We still need ID cards?
... to claw back some of the market share it’s been hemorraghing...
.. they could try making laptops that at least survive the warranty period. I've had two of their £1k flagships, one had a dead network port, which they fixed, after it was returned twice, the second time they packaged it badly and damaged it physically (cracked edge of laptop). Out of warranty its screen hinges broke, which their spare parts department then spent a year trying, and failing to replace.
Next the Aspire 8920G, sound died within a year, and they didn't honour their worthless international travellers warranty. Within the following year, it's screen died too.
Love the 'free app a day', while it lasts...
Well I rarely say something is great, but I quite like Amazon's app store, works fine on my Sony Xperia T (as it does on the Motorola Atrix and Xperia S in the household). Some of the free apps can be naff, but the exquisite World of Goo was given free for example. The app store linked seamlessly to my current but old (1999!) Amazon account.
One gripe, no idea how it runs on a Kindle Fire etc. but it is painfully slow. It appears to 'multitask', but you can't be sure if it just buffered taps or is just very very slow. Happens on all out phones. Obviously one has to turn on the option to allow from installation from unknown sources, as you obviously can't get it on Play store (you can't buy a Lexus from a Mercedes garage either), but considering the mass of mall-ware already present on Play store, you have to have your wits about when buying anyway.
Last but not least, it's the only 'big' alternative to Google's Play store, and yes they locked me out, so I can only get paid for apps on Amazon, though purchases have been rare, as there will be at-least one good free paid for app a week. Obviously I can still get free apps on Play.
Google lock out? Long, boring story:-
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