39 posts • joined Thursday 3rd June 2010 12:46 GMT
IE and licence fees?
I remember a few years back the story being that IE was a free product (back when Microsoft never gave anything away) in order to avoid paying anything to NCSA, since the licence fee was negotiated on a "percentage of profit" basis. Can anyone confirm/deny this?
Bioethanol from crops?
I'm sure I read on The Register somewhere that the majority of European bioethanol fuel was made by fermenting crop waste (stalks of maize, for example) and off-cut wood, rather than from 'virgin' crops.
Must have been mistaken.
Use the rod and sliders?
Can you not split the titanium rod, and then use the two sliders as the electrical contacts?
You can type it as Tardis...
If you type LOHAN as Lohan, and REHAB as Rehab.
Rond hole sockets?
Perhaps the result of sourcing furniture from continental Europe, where we have a much more sensible - and largely compatible - socketing system. The Earthing is country-specific, but the Live and Neutral sockets are the same size and distance apart everywhere (almost).
And when did you last see a portable device that needed an Earth? Or a fuse, for that matter. British plugs/sockets are vastly over.specified for modern use.
Maybe it's for people like me
I have a MacBook Air for "larger screen" things, and content creation. I have an iPhone for when I don't want to fire up the MBA, but the screen is a bit too small for reading books, watching videos. A 7" iPad would fit nicely in between the two.
Also interesting is that this presentation is being streamed live on Apple.com - a first?
Missing the point slightly
I have had my 11" Air since December 2010, and find it to be a very capable machine. However, I don't expect it to be a desktop replacement (or even a full-featured laptop replacement). I bought it because I travel a great deal by train (1.5 hour commute each way daily, plus regular 12 hour jaunts between my places in Switzerland and France), and I needed something that I could sling into a bag, pull out and use with the minimum of delay, and on which I could comfortably research the Web, cut and paste into a word processor and presentation programme, and do some light trimming and colour balancing video and photographs. At the time I had just had an Acer Aspire One fail on me (largely due to the physical abuse it got during travel), and I had just bought an iMac, so I was interested in standardising.
My choices at the time were MacBook Pro, MacBook Air or iPad (which was about the same money to get the same amount of storage, 64Gb). The Pro was too heavy and expensive, the iPad lacked a keyboard or any decent software (and needed a stand to watch movies), but the Air fitted the bill. Aluminium body for strength, decent keyboard for touch typing, clear screen, and decent wireless communications. I bought an Ethernet adapter, but I think I have used it three times. Sure, the SDD is limited in size, but this isn't a machine for long term storage. Yes, my iTunes library is too big, but the speakers on the Air aren't up to listening for very long. Yes, I can't fit many DVDs on it, but the screen is too small to watch anything comfortably anyway (as would a 13" screen be, if my experience of other laptops is anything to go by).
So, as a travelling companion to a bigger and better desk bound machine, it's actually very good: rugged, light and powerful enough - and mine is running a much less capable processor than the new ones. I'd still buy one now, even though tablets are much better than they were, because with a tablet you still need to get a good keyboard and a stand in order to work for more than a few minutes. I might be tempted by some of the Ultrabooks, but they aren't hugely cheaper (and with the exception of Sony and Lenovo, build quality is usually very poor), and I'm finding the Windows world too bloody frustrating over simple things like driver and codec compatibility. Say what you like about Apple (and there is much to criticise), their products either fail very quickly or run forever - and more often the latter.
And before anyone accuses me of being a fanboi, let me recount a tale of two REAL Apple nuts. As I said, my Netbook had just suddenly died, and I was booked on the train to France for two days hence, planning to get some serious work done. So I nipped out during lunch to buy the Air, and on my return two of my colleagues (one male, one female) independently of each other actually made cooing noises as they stroked my new computer. Not something you'll find me doing.
This is actually pretty good
I can see this being very useful for conducting board-type meetings where one or two participants cannot be in the same room as the rest. As for the "it needs too many computers" comments, that could have been applied to most new processes at the outset. If it becomes a commercial reality, the processing power for each camera will be embedded in the unit, leaving just one needed to glue it all together.
If it stops the need to jet across the Atlantic for a board meeting, it is well worth doing IMO.
Re: Being pedantic
Actually it's Kanton, not Canton, being German speaking. If you want to be über-pedantic :)
AKA Windows Ramones....
I haven't heard any comment from any teachers
So I'll add one. When I taught (and examined) A-Level and GCSE ICT between 1998 and 2004, the focus was on "problem solving using fourth generation languages and commercially available software" - in other words, what most people would encounter. It wasn't about just using MS Office (since that was what we had), it was about customising it to do tasks more efficiently, hide the interface and make custom forms, manipulating data etc. The skills I was teaching were those of software engineering (Albeit in a rather cut down form): define a problem, analyse the data flow required, utilise available tools to solve the problems, test, debug, rinse and repeat. Agreed, we weren't using Java, or Pascal, or BASIC, or C++ - but we were scripting, and customising, and introducing children (most of whom at the time did not own a computer, and certainly did not have one with a built-in programming language) to the fundamentals of programming theory. However, those who DID want to follow the path of programming could, through the little-known Computer Science GCSE and A-Level, which is much closer to what I took as a Computer Studies O-Level back in '86, a time when we all we had was access to machines which more or less communicated solely through the BASIC interpreter. Maybe the 'Pi will recapture some of that, and create a new class of Python literate children. But even in the heyday of the BBC Micro, the Speccy and the C-64, the vast majority of children knew enough to turn it on, type "LOAD PACMAN.COM" (or "*chain elite.exe"), press play on the tape deck, and then play the game. Very few of my friends outside the Comp Studies O-Level class had the remotest interest in programming.
Now, I freely admit I'm a bit out of touch with the British education system (I left to teach in International schools in 2004), but I suspect that the people clamouring for "moar [sic] programming" actually don't know what is involved in an ICT exam, and what is available as an alternative.
How did it win? Simple economics
Although there were other OSes around (notable OS/2 - a "better DOS than DOS, a better Windows than Windows") which were arguably technically superior, Microsoft "won" by the simple expedient of licensing a copy of Windows 3.1 with every Intel processor sold (to "combat piracy" - sound familiar?). So manufacturers and home builders got a copy for "free", and to put anything else on the computer increased the cost further (there weren't many credible alternatives to the Intel 386 at the time). Only Escom Office dared to break the monopoly, putting OS/2 on its machines rather than Windows.
Maybe I'm missing something, but even if the original results WERE true, how does that even imply time travel? The neutrinos still arrived after they left, they simply got there a little faster than photons would. Cause and effect have not been reversed in the time line.
Why does London need one?
Surely the BBC already operates a local London service - it's called BBC1.....
I'll be interested in knowing the effect on your electricity bill, and how it compares to your fuel bill for a regular car. Also, when will the free charging at the Leaf dealers come to an end?
Shofar, so good?
I'll get me coat.
I've read enough Eagle comics to know where this is going...
The Tower King
Interesting that you dismissed this - for me, it was the only thing that piqued my interest. Camera? I'll use my dSLR, thanks. Battery life? I have a charger. Faster processor? I don't play games.
But being able to talk to my computer with more fluidity than I used to do in 1994 with OS/2, and to be able to ask my "electronic secretary" for some information - that I like. Also, since the main thrust of the demo involves sending messages and emails, and doing search, why wouldn't I expect it to work mostly only when there is a signal?
I would have just looked for a second-hand 4, but now I'm seriously considering a 4s.
So you can confirm visually that the rocket has indeed fired and is burning evenly.
Don't forget to blame Digital recording
Even Audacity has the ability to compress and make louder the most banal of inputs, and since everything is done on computer these days it's just too easy to do. With analogue, the engineer was forced to keep the sounds within the dynamic range of the tape, so they did.
It's available now...
14:43 CET I clicked "buy" on the app store on my iMac, five minutes later I clicked Install on my Air. One purchase, two computers (interesting to see if Microsoft do the same with Windows 8). Now we wait and see how long it takes to download and install :)
Another solution - charge on a train.
Why not run Euro Shuttle-type trains on these long distance runs, modified so that the car can be charged from the same supply that the train is using during the journey? The higher available voltage should reduce the charge time, and the range is ample for getting around the destination for meetings etc., eliminating the need for hiring cars or using taxis. Then drive back on the train and plug in for the return journey. Such a plan would also speed up the electrification of the remaining diesel-only lines, such as the Great Western.
Three it is. I shall go out and listen to three hours of Kylie Minogue in reparation.
They still spelled it wrong in the article... :)
*Ahem* the Leicestershire village/Castle/racetrack is called
Donington (note only two 'n's), and the festival hasn't been called that for years...
Fun? It's work
Make it fun? Sorry, but at some point, the little bleeders have to buckle down and WORK at it. Ask any games programmer - sure, the environment is good, the end product is fun, but the actual making of the thing is hard work, tedious and frustrating.
The problem with the "make it fun" argument is that most people don't find problem solving "fun". They'd rather have the solution on a plate (or read a cheat guide) in order to get the end result.
Maybe the Steampunks have the right idea?
Victorian levels of inventiveness, with a 21st century flavour.
This all reminds me of a BNFL (remember them?) video I showed to a Physics class once, in which the future was either bright and rosy (and nuclear powered), or populated by dirty-haired hippies living in teepees and playing recorders for fun.
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