* Posts by JDX

6056 posts • joined 28 May 2010

Microsoft hits the gas in drive to recruit autistic techies

JDX
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Re: Um, this is ridiculously illegal

Yeah, it's awful that they're actively seeking out disabled people to pay them a lot of money.

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Did you know ... Stephen Fry has founded a tech startup?

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Re: Stephen Fry stayed at home to become a 'national treasure' and he still resents it

I don't see how you get that.

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Re: Who is Steven Fry?

Jeeves and Wooster is an absolutely brilliant TV show. Up there with Yes Minister in my book.

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Like your iPhone, but not enough to touch it? This patent's for you

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Re: I've heard of the obvious...

Why do you need multi-touch to buy a train ticket?

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Microsoft sinks to new depths with underwater data centre experiment

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Re: Why put it all below water?

One reason against "why not just put the data centre on the coast" is cost. The coastline is often premium residential property and not ideally suited to big ugly data centres ruining sea views.

It seems a bit of a wacky proposition, but these things are worth at least exploring.

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Zuck's bucks are now the world's 6th-largest cash pile

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Bit of a slap in the face for all those claiming "FB will never make money" and "the shares will crash and burn".

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Back to the Future's DeLorean is coming back to the future

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Uh ... No. It just needed to get up to "88". Which it could. Barely.

Well as the article points out, acceleration is a factor when you need a road long enough to GET to 88. Although in the USA, long straight roads are hardly a rarity. In the UK, it would be much more of an issue.

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Google DeepMind cyber-brain cracks tough AI challenge: Beating a top Go board-game player

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You people do realise that human chess players are 'programmed' how to play, right? They are taught the rules, they read books on chess theory, they learn openings and end-games, they take lessons, they have their games studied and are given feedback and they study past games.

This Go system sounds far more like an AI than chess-based systems, if it is learning on its own BY playing or by interacting with humans. If they programmed it how to go about learning how to get good at Go, rather than how to play Go, this IS a big step.

It's not a human-level AI, but an ant is not a human-level intelligence either. We don't have to create something of reasoning, abstract thought and language for it to be an AI.

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Microsoft releases deep learning toolkit on GitHub. Now bring on the AI research

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C# is eminently portable. Rather surprised it is in C++ - is it cross-platform C++?

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Universal Credit: The IT project that will outlive us all

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Re: The Taxpayer in me agrees with you

Public sector contracting is by all accounts a bit of a PITA, in fact I thought they had brought in a cap of £250/day (or so) for public sector contractors, or were trying to...

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Watch: SpaceX Dragon capsule breathes fire during crucial hover test

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Re: Parachutes = Good.

Note that a)I only raised the environmental angle for completeness b)the cost angle is worth considering. I'm no greenie so I brought it up for debate/completeness in an open-minded way.

I'm not sure the "you can only re-use it if you use rockets" argument is valid. You could 'chute most of the way and use rockets purely for the landing or something.

I do think that we should be seeking to use the environment (in the non-greenie sense) wherever possible. Clearly Mars is different but what's necessary on Mars might not be the best solution here.

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Re: Parachutes = Good.

Parachutes are also good in the environmental/cost senses that you're not burning fuel you don't actually need. I don't know if the amount of fuel is large enough to be worth caring about, but it does seem a good principle to only use resources when you need to. Have jets for emergencies perhaps, but use chutes if possible?

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0-100mph in just 1.2 seconds

Ouch

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Microsoft wants you, yes you, to write bits of Windows 10. For free

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Re: No use, no write for...

FOSS and tracking are fairly unrelated. MS could if they so chose release as FOSS the code used to track you.

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Stephen Hawking reckons he's cracked the black hole paradox

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Re: If the armchair know-it-alls haven't put you off yet..

There's something rather ironic about someone touting Scientific American as a source of expert knowledge... it's specifically aimed at armchair enthusiasts (which is a good thing by the way in my book)

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Re: "The escaping particle steals a tiny bit of the black hole's mass with it"

Yes the fact anti-matter has positive mass was rather my point... if two particles appear and one falls into the BH, wouldn't it's net mass increase?

And in fact given that anti-matter responds to gravity the normal way, wouldn't the number of particles and anti-particles falling into the BH be equal and therefore its net energy increases?

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"The escaping particle steals a tiny bit of the black hole's mass with it"

Why? I've read Brief History (though had thought most of it was no replaced by more modern work) but not for a long time.

If a particle+antiparticle pair are created, why does one falling into the BH cause its mass to decrease?

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BBC risks wrath of android rights activists with Robot Wars reboot

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I don't _think_ the idea was anyone would be having sex with _these_ robots, though given the types of people who are involved I wouldn't like to speculate what happens behind closed (shed) doors...

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Eric Schmidt, for one, welcomes our new robot overlords

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That attitude supports the argument that we're not that intelligent after all. A civilised intelligence might have more sense than us humans.

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Discworld fans stake claim to element 117

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That would be a problem for non-metallic elements like halogens then.

However we may be going too far here.

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re:117 hasn't got the Eight connection implied in the word

However the halogens are the 17th column in the PT, and 7+1 is a far better way of referring to 8 as proper fans will know. 7b is also OK.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook was paid more than $28,000 a day in 2015

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And?

Are you trying to incite jealousy from the have-nots, or citing him as a role model?

Why the obsession with what other people have and whether they deserve it, instead of focusing on achieving something yourself?

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Longing to bin Photoshop? Rock-solid GIMP a major leap forward

JDX
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Re: @JDX - Does it still hate the user?

And that's exactly why Linux won't ever make gig strides on the desktop. You ask a perfectly nice "has the UI improved over the last few years" question and get randomly insulted for not buying into some world-view about how one is supposed to use the software.

As for "you can't make a simple interface to a powerful program", that is just crap. Older FOSS used to be very obviously made by coders who didn't know or care about UX, as a coder myself I know what it looks like when a coder designs a UI.

As for documentation, a)most FOSS documentation is crap and if you complain you get told to look at the source b)it wouldn't answer my question, only trying to use the thing would.

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JDX
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Re: My (grumpy) prediction for 2016

It's a shame, because GIMP could be a flagship 'product' for FOSS on the desktop.

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Does it still hate the user?

My only experience of Gimp was quite a few years ago, when as a non-artist I wanted to a little image-editing and 3D modelling and looked into Gimp and Blender respectively.

Back then, both of these epitomised the old-school Linux school of thought on UI i.e. it was awful. Both were already very powerful but for a Windows user like myself, the barrier to entry was just too high.

This was as I say a long time ago so I'm genuinely interested, how have things changed? If we compare it with tools like Photoshop how easy is it to get started and do a few basic things, figure out what the buttons do and the UX hangs together just by using general computer-savvyness?

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SpaceX makes rocket science look easy: Falcon 9 passes tests

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Where did it land?

I thought they were still doing the barge-landings but that looked more like terra firma?

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Brit 'naut Tim Peake tucks into space bacon sarnie

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Re: Probably Post Orbital Bevvy Neckfiller

Have they tried brewing in microgravity yet?

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Re: Beans on toast

But on the other hand, when you drop the toast it won't land beans-side down.

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Re: Surely ketchup

No. Brown sauce has only one natural habitat and that is the bin.

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"brown sauce"

Get out.

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Microsoft Lumia 950 and 950XL: Clear thoughts of Continuum with a snazzy camera

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Re: £400!

£400 is half the price of a top-end iPhone so if this is their top-spec then it's reasonable. Is the hardware spec comparable?

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So are these cameras better or worse than the 1020?

I got the Lumia 1020 primarily to get a decent camera, and have been very pleased with it (I never knew it had HDR!)

It's unclear from this review if the 950 has an even better camera, or if the 808/1020 still take the "best phone camera" prize?

It seems a shame about WP10, I quite like my phone OS.

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Microsoft whips out PowerApps – now your Pointy Haired Boss can write software, too!

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Re: Quick solutions/prototyping

RAD is not the same as Agile. Both focus on getting something visible to users ASAP but the way this is done is different.

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Re: ColdFusion Heh?

Access doesn't fit the bill, but non-developers can put pretty sophisticated stuff together in Excel... though that's more on the modelling side in my limited experience.

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Rooting and modding a Windows Phone is now child's play

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Re: Non Root

Did you by the phone at a subsidised price?

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JDX
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Re: One other potential use

Really? The Lumia models have had very good reviews in terms of cost and featureset.

Of course, Android is slow and bloated so might not run as well ;) But seriously, the top-end Lumia cameras on Android could be a draw.

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Suck it, Elon – Jeff Bezos' New Shepard space rocket blasts off, lands in one piece

JDX
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Re: Its the wrong way to get off this planet

You just tie a really long rope to the moon and climb up. None of this escape velocity nonsense.

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Wasn't it one of the early SpaceX tests that was far more fake looking a year or two back - it literally came down absolutely vertically. This one definitely had something of a wobble, you could see it correcting.

However I was very impressed just how fast it landed, no gentle descent, just drop it and pull on the hand-brake at the last moment!

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California cops pull over Google car for driving too SLOWLY

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Re: Do they have people programming the car that don't know the highway code

Maybe you forget the speed limit is the MAXIMUM speed not the TARGET speed.

How slow is too slow is up for interpretation barring any set rules.

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IT contractors raise alarm over HMRC mulling 'one-month' nudge onto payrolls

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Re: I Don't Understand The Logic ....

>>I pay the government a lot more tax ( NI, Tax, Corporation Tax and VAT) as a contractor than I would as a permanent employee on a lower salary.

The proposal isn't that you'd become " a permanent employee on a lower salary." Just that a lot more of what you earn would be taken as tax, and that it would all be very much more complicated.

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Microsoft Windows Mobile 10: Uphill battle with 'work in progress'

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Re: Such a shame

I agree the WP7 underlying UI was pretty ground-breaking in modern phones - by now iOS and Android have surely copied the best bits though just as WP stole the best bits of those systems?

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Re: Just give up already, Microsoft

Yes they do. WP8.1 is pretty nice, thanks and so are many of the WP-8 generation Lumia phones. The free maps and free GPS are wonderful and lots of us don't really use apps that much.

Sadly WP10 seems to be screwing things up and I'm wondering if my support for WP will come to an end, and I should give up and get an iPhone.

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Here are the graphics processors cloud giants will use to crunch your voices, videos and data

JDX
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Re: The petabytes of nonsense humanity churns out every day

What do you think the point of this software IS?

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Cryptowall 4.0: Update makes world's worst ransomware worse still

JDX
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Re: They have been useful to me in one brilliant way. Convince people to get the fcuk off Windows.

And how is that useful to you, other than feeding your malnourished ego that people are paying attention to you for a change?

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Windows 10: Major update on the Threshold as build 10586 hits Insiders

JDX
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Re: could be backported to 7 without too much dram?

Well sure. They could put man-decades of work in and pay all those salaries, then give it to you for free. But that's not really a sustainable business model.

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TalkTalk offers customer £30.20 'final settlement' after crims nick £3,500

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Re: I'd read the contract terms carefully

The legal debate about whether they broke the contract, or whether they were breached due to criminal activity, will surely take ages to be resolved before you can legally claim your contract is breached - no?

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Re: 6 or 12 months

>>I wonder how many customers they will have left in 6 or 12 months time?

Most of them. It's long enough most will have forgotten, or will believe it's just "another security breach" like you hear about in the news "these things happen" etc.

TT customers tend not to be IT professionals (though I know some who are)

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Biggest problem with virtual reality: It can be a little too real for people

JDX
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Re: Ever tried a rollercoaster?

Those virtual roller-coasters have been around for years (possibly decades) - the ones where the chairs judder and so on?

The thing there is how real it feels... maybe simply the slight movement of the chair is enough to trick the ear, because I'm not aware they normally induce sickness in the same way VR does?

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Fancy flying to Mars? NASA's hiring

JDX
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Re:wait until the space programme calls for 48year old, slightly podgy

There's already a mission which wants that. But it's a round trip (you never land) and they want you to be married. And you have to bring your spouse with you.

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Red Hat Enterprise Linux lands on Microsoft Azure cloud – no, we're not pulling your leg

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Re: Boring and lame

How useful is WPF on a web-server? Isn't it desktop/client-only?

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