At least half of the US population don't think that evolution is correct, believe that the Earth is less than ten thousand years old and insist that the entire contents of their particular version of the Bible are the literal truth despite self-contradictions and hideous doctrines. I'm surprised they even notice how fast their magic speaky strings are going. ;-) Happy New Year!
22 posts • joined 23 Jun 2010
Re: Millennium Falcon outdated???
My favourite long-standing technology is the telephone local loop - that pair of wires between your house and the local telephone exchange - such an elegant system. DC from the exchange for power to the phone, make-break of the circuit to do the call initiation, dialling and termination and baseband AC signal travelling in both directions over the same pair for the voice, using simple analogue echo cancellation to stop you deafening yourself. DTMF added later for faster dialling but still backwards compatible. Brilliant.
You can plug a rotary-dial phone from the 1930s into a modern line and it'll work fine. (Although if you get one from the wrong country, it might dial a different number from the one shown on the dial.)
All hail Strowger! (But Bell can sod off - having friends in the patent office doesn't mean you invented it first.)
(Oh, and I'm using a communications protocol that was invented circa 1974 to deliver this message!)
Re: Technological development
>Excuse me, but what advanced civilisations are you using as the basis for this statement?
Just what I was thinking. How can the author use phrases such as "seems highly unlikely" when he has a statistical sample of exactly one real technological society from which to draw his estimations of probability about a fictional one?
Kudos to the style boutiques
So they've spent NZ$26 million already. Nice little bonuses for some politician's friends no doubt.
I wonder if they've calculated the one-off cost of having to prematurely replace all the flags for every flagpole, naval vessel and government building, ditch any amount of printed material and pay another set of graphic designers and printers to tool up for the replacements along with web designers and no doubt other costs I've not thought of?
To make an informed decision the electorate should be given an estimate first. And of course gathering that information will cost too.
As others have commented, it's just a rag for idiots to wave at sports events or when the scum, sorry, cream of other nations visit. Frak!
Anyway, as a true believer and a fully paid up minister the only flag I revere is this one.
While this recipe looks nice (with a caveat that the sauce looks too thick) you can achieve a perfectly good result by boiling a Bockwurst or two and then serving with Curry Gewürz Ketchup, although in my opinion it has to be Hela brand and has to the the 'sharf' variety. Curry powder may be sprinkled on top for added zest. Fried onions & chips are optional.
We always try to have Currywurst at least once when we visit Germany. My favourite take-away was at the top end of Holstenstraße by the St Nikolai Kirche in Kiel which we'd visit every time we were in town but it shut a few years ago much to our dismay.
Another classic from around that part of the world is take-away Danish Rødpølse hotdogs with remoulade, tomato ketchup & crispy-fried onion. It has to be bought in Denmark. Don't be fooled by German vendors' attempts - they never match up. (My other half says it's because the authentic Danish sausages aren't allowed in Germany but she may just be biased.) The best we've found so far are from Klostertorvets Pølsevogn in Nykøbing, Mors in Jutland. We often have one, go shopping and then have another they're so good.
Another arms race
It's really inefficient as the content provider and client still have to pay their respective pipe supplier for the bandwidth to transfer the media that goes straight to /dev/null.
Then the provider makes the content rely on more subtle interactions between the data flows or weaves the ads into the content ("product placement" anybody?) ... so the blocker develops more sophisticated suppression that can analyse within individual streams.
And so on and so on. More and more bandwidth, more and more CPU cycles, more and more juice wasted.
What a farce.
I can go to RS or Farnell (is Radio Shack still going in the States?) and assemble the parts to build a radio transmitter to generate all sorts of frequencies and powers. Should I therefore be disbarred from buying components?
There is a control - if I start spraying EM where I shouldn't I'm subject to criminal proceedings in the same way as if I spray paint a set of traffic lights with an aerosol.
Legislation should encourage people not to indulge in anti-social acts. Trying to have it prevent people from having the capability so to do ends in bureaucratic meltdown at best or a police state at worst.
Re: Our local schools...
Same here but double. (Knowledge gained from my significant other who is in the trade.) Monday was bank holiday, fair enough. Tuesday was 'inset' day aka teacher training (mostly pep talks from management about how well the school's doing) - kids forced to stay at home, Wednesday teacher IT training day (the system having been 'upgraded' to some new malfunctioning fleece-the-taxpayer-ware during the holidays for no clearly defined reason) - kids to stay at home again. On Thursday only the new intake of kids were allowed in - which isn't a bad idea from the new ones' point of view but nonetheless it means that the school term officially started on the 1st but the vast majority of kids weren't allowed in till the 4th which makes the bleating about parents taking their kids out of school during term time ring a little hollow.
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.
There's nothing wrong with teaching a bit of coding - same as we should be teaching a bit of everything else to the young 'uns so they can get an idea of what they might like to do later. And it'd be good if the teachers knew something about it. (Although English teachers even in my day and even more so now, I'm reliably told, don't know diddly about English grammar either.)
But right now what the UK is lacking isn't the kids who can make a pretty picture appear on the display with some scripting language. Good luck to those who have the imagination to exploit that ability but they are a tiny minority and aren't going to make any significant impact on the UK economy.
What's missing is engineers - software, electronics and mechanical - who can design the bloody display in the first place, i.e. those that have enough breadth of knowledge of their own and the adjoining disciplines to be effective designers & implementers.
I despair of the candidates I have to interview who claim to be embedded software engineers but who, often with years of employment on their CVs in defence or mobile comms (adieu Ericsson UK R&D!), have no clue how basic TCP/IP protocols work, let alone transducers, SPI buses, phase locked loops, interrupt controllers. Hell, often they can't even do bitwise logical operations by hand.
I speak to senior (in both career & chronological terms!) electronic & mechanical engineering colleagues and they express the same frustration in their own fields.
Meh! I'll be retired and then dead soon enough.
Re: Not based on location? How weird
"How about this instead. Door number, street name, town, county :-)"
Postcodes always struck me as a way for the mail carrier to outsource the sorting work to the customers. Why should I have to write out some random string of characters if I've put the correct house, street and town suitably disambiguated using village/county/province/state and/or country if necessary?
We don't have to remember IP addresses. We get the /computers/ to do that for us - they're good at that sort of stuff.
Oops. $1.3 million, sorry.
And yes, I'd not thought of that. Must read the fine print before donating next time. :-)
While I agree that impactor warning is a good thing, the event in question is being supported by a an organization called the B612 Foundation. This so-called "non-profit" raised $1.3 dollars in 2013 to support building telescopes to search for such things - and promptly paid its chairman Ed Lu and chief operating officer Danica Remy $240,000 and $204,279 annual salaries. Hmm. Not sure those two are fully committed to the cause!
Re: ... as well as ...
some 19p and 66p coins to commemorate the 50th anniversary next year (we'll probably never win it again)
"We"? I was two at the time and I'm pretty sure I didn't contribute. (If Alf had asked me, mind ...)
Were you even alive?
Re: Water-loo Taking the P*ss
Well this year we're rubbing the German's noses in it again with new £2 coins celebrating the first world war and a 50p coin for the Battle of Britain.
Just the one German? And he's got more than one nose? (Check your punctuation.)
Actually, probably not even one. The ones I've met - Germans that is, not noses - seem pretty indifferent. We're the ones who seem to have retained the chip on the shoulder.
"Slow ring signups get cleaner, but later, code."
Erm ... no. They get earlier code, or they get code later. They don't get later (i.e. newer) code.
I'll get me coat ...
Started a computer revolution?!
(from the soundtrack) "In 1982 the Sinclair ZX Spectrum was launched, a computer which gave a generation of school children their first introduction to computer programming and started a computer revolution in the UK and beyond."
Hogwash. The computer revolution was well under way already - think TRS-80, Apple ][, Acorn Atom, etc. not to mention all the earlier hobbyist kit from which they were derived. It would have continued whether or not the Spectrum was launched what with the BBC Micro, Commodore VIC/64, Amstrad CPC & PCW (ah! CP/M) and all the other many and varied options until the PC swept them away.
The Spectrum's only selling point was that it was inexpensive - 48 KB model for £175 at launch. But the price tag came only by seriously compromising functionality - no usable I/O except a rather dodgy edge connector directly onto the memory & I/O buses that positively promoted unreliability when you started trying to use peripheral modules, no hardware polyphony, no thought-through provision for different types of local or or networked mass storage, no proper layered OS/language/application separation, a slow BASIC interpreter that didn't support named procedures with parameters or local variable, a weird way of entering keywords to minimise key presses on that awful keyboard, no chance of touch-typing, no support for other programming languages and not even a built-in assembler.
(Anyone remember the Beeb manuals? It shipped with a nice think ring-bound "BBC Microcomputer System User Guide" with a complete BASIC and OS API reference as well as excellent tutorials including for the built-in assembler and you could get the awesome "BBC Advanced User Guide" with circuit diagrams and even more detail about the firmware. Sinclair Spectrum manual? Pah!)
Re: Free market?
"(*)That [V90] required BT to install modems in telephone exchanges so that one of the D/A conversions could be skipped."
Utter tripe. V90 only requires that the analogue local loop at the subscriber end is converted to and from 8kHz 8-bit digital at the local exchange as it always is with digital exchanges. If the other end, e.g. at an ISP, is digital it can then control the DAC/ADC in the subscriber's exchange directly allowing it to provide anything up to just under 64kbps using a bit of fancy digital signal processing. BT didn't have to do anything to help other than putting the digital exchanges in and supporting ISDN. (The reason why V.90's top rate is only 56kbps is because in some digital systems in other countries, the telco nicks one out of eight bytes to handle signalling instead of doing it out of band.)
"Your winnings, sir."
"In Casablanca I am master of my fate!" comes to mind too.
Re: Einstein's answer:
Unlike the other fundamental forces (electromagnetism, weak & strong or electro-weak & strong if you prefer) gravity has the peculiar property that it is, so far as we know, only ever an attractive force not a repulsive one. If mass and energy are equivalent (E=mc^2 and all that) then antimatter has positive mass and therefore will be subject to positive gravity. Any other result would tear a big hole in the standard model, at least as far as my admittedly out of date understanding goes.
Re: RCJ misses the point, again.
"The "C" is redundant."
And yet after twenty-nine years I'm still using it to write code for everything from PIC micros to multi-core servers. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)
Seriously, I just get depressed when I hear the political/business high-ups banging on about school education's purpose being to equip children for work. School is supposed to equip children for LIFE, not just work. As has been mentioned by others, school should be providing basic life skills, exposure to the various options for adult employment & most importantly the ability to reason & learn for oneself. I am especially sick of the likes of the CBI who just want the taxpayer to fund the staff training they used to pay for out of company funds so as to make even more profits. (Along with "Don't tax our profits. Oh, but subsidise our loses, of course.")
* ageing leftie exits stage left, rant, rant, mutter, mutter *
Ah yes. All too recognizable.
I've got some ways of handling the problem.
1. My fiancée bought me a T-shirt that has the simple message "NO, I WILL NOT FIX YOUR COMPUTER FOR YOU' printed in large type on the front & back. I make sure I wear it to all events where I'm likely to meet friends of friends or other strangers who might assume I've nothing better to do with my free time.
2. As ribosome hinted, answer "Certainly, but my accountant insists I tell you that my rate is £100 per hour plus expenses."
3. Memorise the phone number for PC World or some similar outfit and say "Sure, call this number to arrange a time."
We shouldn't be constructing DB queries by concatenating parameter strings onto constant strings containing SQL statements. The SQL query should be preprepared with parameter placeholders and then have the variables containing the data from the user bound to it. This not only does away with the risk of the sanitization not being thorough enough but is also generally quicker.