861 posts • joined Friday 5th March 2010 16:20 GMT
Back to school for you
you misunderstand what "profit" means.
To most people, profit is what you have, AFTER you have spent money on running your business - including things like R&D, and investing in infrastructure. In this meaning companies cannot whine that making less profit means less investment, because the investment is what you put in before profit.
However, on the basis, I have never heard a journalist bitchslap a pasty-faced spokesperson who dares to wibble on that without massive profits, you won't get investment, it must mean something different on planet corporate.
more about knowing *what* you watch
When I posted that comment, I was thinking more of a slightly creepy marketing dimension.
VM customers with TiVo are already in the vanguard of this. VM knows not only what you watch, and when, it also knows how you skip the ads, and how you channel surf. Put all that data together, and you have enough for some pretty smart targeted marketing.
Now, who do you think are behind the Lords ?
One thing that I don't understand
are MS going to simply stop @hotmail.xxx emails working - just like that ? Surely not ?
Anyway, have grabbed new @outlook.com accounts to match mine & Mrs Pages @hotmail.com accounts, so we're happy.
80 posts, and no one mentions ...
(OK I skimmed them)
the fact that the proposed system means that someone, somewhere, will know *exactly* what you watch. Which is of course impossible under the present system.
writing this as a screenplay ?
Re: Epic fail
If you know what his 1969 Christmas present to the entire Zeppelin road crew was, you'd know why you haven't got it
(It was a bottle - singular - of scotch).
Re: Am I the only
you're not. But do you swap buttons too ?
I went for a job interview recently, where they wanted you to sit a technical test. The PC was locked down, and the poor interviewer had to dig someone out of IT support to log in to change mouse settings.
One massive FAIL with Windows, is when you RDP into a box, it uses the boxes settiings, not the terminals - so you have to change settings on the box. Which is a real nuisance, if you are sharing a server, as I used to in a team. Every time I logged in, I had to swap buttons.
Also the Windows login screen defaults to right-handed.
Now Linux - or at least the NX protocol is much more sensible, and inherits mouse settings from the client.
passwords should be stored via a one-way hash. Forgotten passwords need to be reset.
Virgin seem to cripple their kit before letting it out the door
Start of the year they upgraded me, and send me a new modem/router (not the superhub, the one down from that).
I have set my network up to be 192.168.1.x . Their poxy router simply couldn't be configured to take that - and it couldn't be put into modem mode to allow me to use my existing router. Repeated calls to overseas just put me through the same steps again and again, with the "technician" expressing surprised when I got the error message about not being able to use that address.
In the end I had to reconfigure my network.
If you can't sit down
a put down will have to do ....
Re: If I tried to migrate them to Linux
one of the tricks which most impressed me was their realising that because the number of entries in the data structure was limited to quite a small number, they could shrink the index from 2^16 to 2^4, which left them 12 extra bits in the datastructure to cram with other data, thus reducing the memory footprint, and being able to load into the Extended Memory.
Kids today, really have no idea.
Re: If I tried to migrate them to Linux
reminds me of my first company ... logistics software, written in DOS, under a windows wrapper. We had an issue where the reporting package (Foxpro) just would not run in under 16Mb (yes, Mb !!!!!) of RAM. So we had to up the minimum spec - I had to put a check in the installation script.
Anyway, one of DOS programmers pointed out that when the DOS code needed more memory, they had to rewrite it (remember Memmaker ?). But when the windows code needed more memory, they just upped the spec. These were real old-school coders who got excited by trimming a byte of a routine in assembler ...
Re: I don't hear anyone...
The only reason I could think of is to get onto the IE9+ stream. But corporately, why do that ? The excuse of "security" with IE6 only holds water if you are using it in the wild. I would imagine a great deal of companies using it (like HMRC) will be driving in-house intranet apps, so much less risky than just surfing the web in general.
I'm sorry, but WALOB
The key test for *anything* is (1) does it work ?, and (2) is there any reason not to continue using it ?
With hardware, then (2) tends to rear it's head with age, until you get the answer "we might not be able to fix it again" - at which point a replacement is mandated.
However, software can't "wear out", so judging (2) tends to be harder.
Your comment was immature in the extreme, and marks you out as someone who has never worked in the real world (I guess it's Uni holidays now). Any change is a risk. So unless you are changing to mitigate a bigger risk, then you shouldn't be changing at all.
one company I worked for in 2007 had virtualised all their desktops into a citrix farm. Result was everyone (apart from the IT guys and developers) just had a thin-client terminal. Great for homeworking - just plug into your router, and it would connect to your desktop.
Thing is by doing this, the IT guys felt they were pretty insulated from needing to upgrade in a hurry ... any problems - security or otherwise, they could just magic up another box.
Last I chatted with them, there was still no date for upgrading from XP. The only other desktops were available to the developers, for testing websites the public used.
Re: Levels of card fraud are at their lowest since 2000.
I was intrigued, on holiday in Spain to notice they use CHIP & PIN *and* signatures. Payments made without proof of signature will be covered by the merchant, not the bank. Hence shops are extremely motivated to check ID with cards. Of course it helps they have ID cards.
Tinfoil hat time ?
I don't think too many people with experience are surprised. We create an artificial time structure (weeks, months) and the proceed to centre our activities around them. Hence "Friday afternoon cars".
That said, it is intriguing there are so many problems with the
Olympics major sporting event underway ... I wonder if there's a capacity bottleneck somewhere ?
Re: I bought. It's nice. I prefer it to iOS, which I also have.
I have *a* BBC app - it's buggy and not supported by the BBC - it's a 3rd party jobbie. Admittedly free.
The fact the BBC haven't bothered with a WP7 speaks volumes. Is there an iPlayer for WP7 ?
Re: Who would buy ?
I don't think things will pan out that way.
Windows Phone 7 is dead to me. I don't really know if it's a good OS, or a bad OS. All I know, is that I can't get any apps for it. In fact, the El Reg app is a rare beast - one that's offered over iOS, Android and WP7(.5).
With such a dearth of apps out there - and no sign'ts of it improving, I can't see WP8 appealing to anyone. The only market segment *might* be corporates. But I can't see senior staff being impressed when they realise they'd have to carry 2 phones, to keep the apps they like from their iPhones.
A rare satisfied customer here ...
(note, I didn't say "happy")
We moved in 10 years ago, when Telewest were cable providers. Since they offered an all-in-one phone,TV and dial-up (!) package, we joined. The only criteria then was "anybody but BT". We have stayed with them, and taken advantage of various promotions to get 6 months free broadband (in 2004), a free upgrade to V+ (2008) and this year a free upgrade to TiVo and the basic 30MBs package (which needed a new modem).
In that time, we've had 1 outage on the broadband. I think they had lost the pairing of the modem with the network, as I called up, and had to quote the modem MAC address. Fixed 5 minutes later.
Speed is pretty much as advertised. Never experienced issues with traffic shaping - maybe because I just set downloads running on my 24/7 server. When they're there, they're there. My only grumble is the slightly od mix of channels on the "basic" TV package. But since we're not sports fans, and our son is way past the cartoon network stage, we're not missing much - it's be nice to have Discovery HD for example. But we manage without.
Customer service on the whole is acceptable - yes you can have some problems with the offshore guys, but if things get too bad, hang up, redial, and select the "I'm leaving you option" - you'll get a UK person, who will knock a few quid off, or give you a discount on a new service.
When I became a homeworker, 3 years ago, I got lumbered with a BT Openreach Broadband connection. The saga of getting it installed, and activated, and the billing sorted was WORSE than I feared. Since I was already expecting a series of missed appointments, incomplete work, and messed up billing, they really went some to go under a bar already set at -10.
Every so often, just for fun, I run a speed test on both connections. Here's todays results:
BT: Ping 39ms DL: 4.87Mb/s UL: 0.72 MBs
VM: Ping 20ms DL: 17.91 Mb/s UL: 1.98 MBs
and that's real. I can download a 1 hour programme in 3 minutes.
Compare and contrast with the in-laws who live a mile away, and have been with every combination of non-Virgin there is ... I stopped counting at the 5th incident they had where they lost internet connectivity in 3 months. Each time they had a round robin of calls between BT and the ISP.
I know VM are a premium service. But that premium saves a lot of hassle should things go wrong.
+1 for Webmin
OK, I'm never going to be a paid Linux sysadmin. But when I started dabbling with Linux, about 5 years ago now (slight pause for that to register) the one tool which I stumbled across which transformed my experience was Webmin.
Despite being able to remember DOS 2.0, I am unashamedly a GUI fan. My argument is a *good* GUI can help enforce some sort of understanding of what's going on underneath - a classic example being an input field that is greyed out unless a checkbox is ticked. The GUI shows you the relation between the two.
Thinking outside the box (pun intended)
maybe there's an argument we need a hybrid public/private TV model.
Public (BBC) can take risks and trial stuff that is new, experimental, niche
*if* it's successful, then private (Sky/ITV) can take it over to develop it into a series/franchise.
Re: The Wire
was a monumental piece of TV. It's really a 50+ hour film.
Surprised no one has mentioned "The Shield"
I apologise for butting in
as I've only been following LOHAN sproadically (and that pic of the two old geezers really isn't selling it to me) but is there no scope for an ignitionless system ? ISTR the return motors on the Lunar Lander were designed to avoid the need for anything that could go wrong.
Anyway - inspiring stuff. I speak as someone who turned down a job with the ESA in 1988 - one of my regrets.
Re: Shame on you too.
reading your comment triggered a vague curiosity ....
would it be possible, therefore, for a MAN to be raped by a woman, if he asked if she was using the pill, she told him she was, and it turned out she wasn't ????
Sauce for goose etc ....
I think people are missing the point
which has nothing to do with piracy, and everything to do with a judicial system starting to assert it's control over the internet.
Once the principle is accepted by the sheeple (bearing in mind how much of the internet we have lost in the name of child pornography, and terrorism) it's a simple administrative task to get whatever the government of the day doesn't like banned.
Hasn't Google already had to nobble autocomplete in China ?
Re: Why is failure to grow a failure?
Why is holding steady at a billion users seen as a failure?
Because for FB to deliver to those people who bought shares in it, it actually has to make more money than it spends over a sustained period of time. Up till now, all of FBs profits have been derived from the fact that there were X+y users now compared to a point in the past. And it's the "+y" that generated the income. By drawing in companies who spent money advertising.
FBs business model is effectively a ponzi scheme. Very slick. Very popular. Highly visible. But very vulnerable to stagnation.
I still think at some point, we are going to see a FB "premium" account. Doubtless slickly marketed. Probably starting out around $10/£10 per month. Maybe with a discount, if you get more "friends" to sign up. Alternatively, you will start seeing paid-for content creeping in. Maybe premium groups you need to pay (or subscribe) to join.
Of course the one thing that many people *would* pay for is to lose the ads. But that wouldn't go down too well with the big companies paying (or in GMs case, not paying) to peddle their wares on FB.
The move by FB to insist on real identities should have been a wake-up call.
My main concern about FB as a non-FBer, is it's probably already possible to trawl FB, with it's users and friends, and pinpoint people who aren't on FB - and then profile them, based on the people they know who *do* use FB. I know my email address has been hoovered into FB when people I know have signed up. So FB knows I exist, who my friends are, and what they like. Imagine what this data is worth to a clever marketing company ?
Re: As a matter of interest...
Maybe ask Barclays to sponsor you ?
Re: silly questions...
Not so silly - it's what we need to teach kids to do more of.
With what seems like man+dog launching stratospheric balloons (James May ????) I've vaguely wondered about this too. ISTR talk that you need to watchout for pylons
Regarding the descent, the only thing I can think of is that statistically, it's so unlikely a falling weather balloon will hit someone, it's regarded as acceptable. However, that said, a few years ago, we (Dad & I) found a weather balloon plus payload tangled up in a tree at his garage yard, in Hounslow - and I would not want that hitting me on the head. ISTR it had a little inventory tag asking nicely to call the Met Office, who came and collected it. It did have a rather Heath Robinson appearance, and was spray painted silver.
By the way - I also love the banner ....
Anyone else notice ?
I just love this stuff ....
On a slightly different tack
Could such a failure to supply so many people indicate that there are fewer unemployed than we thought ? Or alternatively, shed some light on the employability of people without jobs ?
Re: every time
To be fair, successive Home Secretaries have been quite scathing that the Home Office is not fit for purpose. This is not a new phenomenon.
Why do I feel so unclean, appearing to defend Teresa May ?
To be fair to the police
they can only act on what they are given. And it wouldn't really be a great advert, or morale booster, if they had to assume that every arrest *could* be wrong. Which means they were acting in "good faith".
If there's one thing we should have learned by now, it's that "good faith" excuses anything, and negates the need for recompense. Ask people whose doors have been kicked in wrongly by the police who then (lawfully) refuse to pay for repairs.
if you think that having your fingerprints and DNA taken is the worst part about being arrested, then you really need a course in reality.
There have been many cases where people, wrongly accused of a particularly heinous crime (I really hope you don't need some examples) have had there lives ruined. Been forced to move house. Had marriages fail. Denied access to their children. Been unable to find a job. Resulting in more than one suicide.
How do you think your life would fare, if cops took your door down at 5am, dragged you in your underwear into a van, shouting at the top of their voices that you were being arrested on suspicion of sexual offences against a child ?
Re: Hate to say this
If you consider these an acceptable number of errors, then you are part of the problem.
*I* don't. Especially in light of the eye-watering sums these systems are costing us.
Luckily neither of the two misidentified people was being trailled by the murderous incompetent goons of the anti-terrorit squad.
not the *only* thing IMHO
the other biggie is pushing forwards the Anglo-Irish peace process, and cementing the Good Friday Agreement. Whilst it's debatable whether the Tories would have got there, Labour (in the form of Tony Blair) seized on the change of adminstration impetus, and nailed the best peace I think we could have hoped for.
It makes his subsequent career as war criminal all the more poignant - who remembers him for peace in Ireland ?
Re: Blast from the past
I vaguely recall it *was* working out for them. Clearly there were enough people who valued the content to pay for it. The interesting thing is whether they can continue in a viable way - if they can, then (as El Reg highlighted at the time) other content providers may change their business model.
I predicted here before, and I stand by it: If Facebook ludicrous market valuation is to remain anywhere near what it is, it will have to find a way to directly monetarise it's users. "Facebook Premium" springs to mind. However, for most users "premium" would mean opting out of being bombarded with ads and spam. Which is exactly what Facebook advertisers *don't* want.
sometimes, people dont realise ...
Pickles also warned that, under the proposed law, protesters outside Parliament might, for example, be more easily rounded up and identified by police who could access the comms data sent between individuals in that area.
I rather think this is the whole point - not some unintended side effect.
Re: Home workers..?
I wouldn't. But then we use Citrix with an RSA key.
Straw poll ?
How many readers here can honestly say their IT departments would have caught this.
I know ours would (no default access on any machine to the USB port. Plus software to only allow company encrypted sticks to be used where needed).
3) don't use Royal Mail, or companies that do.
The bottom line
there's an obvious dichotomy inherent in the governments plans.
If they can intercept and read everything then clearly e-commerce will die. If banks can't rely on the technology used to be secure, then they can't offload the liability onto the customer. The second that happens it's end of game.
If they have to leave some parts secure, in order to assuage the worries of the banks, then there is always the option to use *that* channel for your secret surfing.
The *real* purpose of this law though, like the extreme porn law, or various swathes of anti "terror" legislation, is to give the state a tool they can use to deal with people they don't like. Since Magna Carta, inventing reasons to lock people up (and in most cases execute them) has been frowned upon. So successive governments have carefully (what, you though they were incompetent when they were drafting those laws ? A parliament full of lawyers ?) drafted laws that can catch most people out, if they step out of line.
Re: Interesting ...
I live in a bungalow, as my wife uses a wheelchair. So we have a very heat-inefficient house - all flat and no heat rising from downstairs to upstairs. But thank you for telling me my house is too big.
Regarding condensation - well you could simply have a once-a-week programme. Or just a tiny bleed of heat for 1hr a day.
Once you can control every rad individually, you could probably save some serious dosh.
I vaguely recall that being debunked somewhere - it was pointed out that in zero G, a pencil would give off graphite dust, which would be the LAST thing you want floating around a capsule.
Still it makes a good story.
On the other hand, there was a story about a (US ?) scientist who travelled with the Russians, and noticed they used a mirror on a stick to help dock. When the scientist pointed out that NASA would probably have put a remote control camera to do the job, the pilot just said they had considered that and discounted it as too much to go wrong .....
however, IMHO a better way to save money is not by time divisions, but space divisions (which of course, are much harder to implement). That is you only heat the parts of the house that need it. Although I have noticed you can now get individual radiator 'stats that can be programmed by time, *and* remote controlled.
Catching up with Barclaycard ?
my Barclaycard is NFC enabled. And to encourage me to spend more through it (I use it for expenses) they kindly sent me a mini stick-on NFC card for my phone.
Which I stuck on the *inside*, where it can't be seen.
you are 100% spot on. But you need to understand that we Brits thrive on innuendo. Your weekend project will be to watch a series of "Carry on ..." films, or failing that, a few issues of "Finbar Saunders" from Viz.
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