2414 posts • joined Sunday 8th October 2006 16:17 GMT
For Glod's sake
Without a bit of racial sterotyping the world gets very dull.
I say, Up with pot-smoking dutchmen with their fingers in Dykes, Hurray for French chaps on bicycles with onions on the handlebars, Welcome the Fat Bavarians in lederhosen with a sausage in one hand and a beer in the other, Well Done to repressed Englishmen in suits, Huzzah for comic-opera Italians gesticulating all over the place, and God bless all Swedes, clever enough to follow you into a revolving door and coming out first!
Russians /have/ to wear fur hats; Irishmen /need/ to carry a shelaliegh; and Norwegians /must/ eat fish 3 times a day. It's traditional. Just as the Welsh /ought/ to be in a running battle with red-haired winking dominatricies of restricted height. 
So why on earth should the Scots be exempt? It could be worse, they could be portrayed as dour, humourless, kill-joys standing at despatch boxes and looking in two directions at once.
I'll get me coat. It's got bells and hankies tied on it, and a squeezebox in the pocket.
 to be fair, /anyone/ in a running battle with that one deserves public support.
I agree, the price is just silly. I won't be paying it till I am forced.
I suspected at one point that Vista would 'cost them the farm', but they seem to have pulled something out the hat.
But given that 7 is 'vista with knobs on' demand might fall once the pent-up demand has been met.
Oh come on, it's been 35 years
We are still getting all moist between the legs over a slightly different shape mouse?
We've been using the wretched things for around 35 years - the same time difference as between the Wright brothers and the Spitfire. The damn things should be obsolete by now, like keyboards.
Where are the brain implants that let me type at 560wpm?, the data gloves or triangulation cameras that interpret my finger movements, or the flicks of my eyes?
Where is the matt black hemisphere that we can think at?
It's a joystick on wheels, (perhaps wthout the wheels) not a major technological breakthrough.
last year VW, having fitted 'start' buttons to some cars instead of an extra position on the key, started to talk about 'transferring the technology' to their other marques. My Morris Minor had a 'start' button, and that was built in 1955. Same with computer rodents. For glod's sake, lads, invent something new instead of obsesively tiddling about with what we have and then squealing like some airhead on 'America's next top muddle' about how it looks.
hhhow much g-g-granville?
1.99 for something you can't pass on to yer mates and then flog at the exchange store by the bus station?
a quick google suggests that you can subscribe, including postage, to the paper edition for $22.97 per 12 issues. So it costs /more/ on the iphone, and you got to threaten yer eyesight trying to read it?
I'd consider it for 25cents an issue, but I'm not daft enough to pay what they are asking...
What a fine bit of Hokum
"10.8 per cent to 13.7 per cent"
Astonishing bit of precision in predicting the future. Perhaps the authors would like to tell us what the stock market will be standing at, where the hurricanes will make landfall, and who is planning to assasinate president Obama?
It all sounds a bit beery to me:
"Now yer cell phones right?. I reckon..I reckon.. People are going to buy more of them. Right? Not a lot more, obviously, 'cos they've got shedloads already. But more. And shiney ones. Wiv software, and everything. Cos that's what they like. And those Finnish blokes, wot-they-called, Yes Nookey, that's them, they will sell most of them. Stands to reason, dunnit. Are you buying? I'll have one of them Groslch things with the funny top. No, make it two while yer there, I'll give you..."
Nature of the problem
I'm sure that the very existence of help desks is a symptom of the real problem. Computers.
Look, the fax machine revolutionised the world. Did you ever hear of a fax help desk? The damn thigs came, still come, with a comprehensive manual including an explanation of all the error codes.
What was the last printer that came with ascii tables, centronics interface definitions, and an explanation of escape sequences? What was the last version of MSdos that came with a manual listing all the commands, parameters and switches? and explaining the dirve letter-sub directory paradigm? When was the last time you bought a computer that included any sort of manual at all? let alone one that expained what the POST beeps meant?
And then there are operating systems. Windows users, god help them, still map network drive letters and then get confused why mailing links to the bloke on the next desk does not help. We have had fully qualified paths (and the twee "my network places") for the last 10 years at least and no-one uderstands them. Any cut-and-pasted link should be absolute, even if it doesn't look like it to the original user, and there should not be half a dozen legacy ways of doing the same thing. Instead of making the new software look like the old one, how about including some instructions for a change? No, not meaningless help pages. Printed books.
And applications. Instead of finding a way (? an instruction book?) to explain using preset styles, word converts every casual bit of re-formatting into an automatic style and makes the styles thing so confusing that the proles ignore it. Oh, and the wretched vomit inducing style navigator that appears on the right hand side has such awful ergonomics that you are far more likely to make accidental changes to the styles than to find and apply one.
People need help desks because people need help. It does not have to be like this. I can get in any car, anywhere in the world, and drive it safely and legally, because the control layout is understandable, the symbology on signs consistent and well researched, and information about direction and speed limits is available when I need it in a rugged, reliable way.
Oh and then there are the employers.
Can you think of any other business process (machinists at lathes, accountants with double entry, salesmen with liability legislation) where companies assume people know what they are expected to use the tools for without training and assesment? Yet the poor bloody workforce has computers dumped on their desk filled with all sorts of software and are expected to pick their way through it. When they get stuck they call a help desk, who has no idea what the business processes are or the implications of what they are asking. (I'm a service engineer who works on capital projects, and the help desk regularly asks me to 'come into the office and give the laptop to the team for a few days'. They get told to sod off, usually.)
Computers are used to increase productivity, and yet both the choice of them and the training of staff is left to PFYs who have no interest in, or methods for, improving the productivity of the people using them. Whose very job is quantified merely in closing the call in the shrotest time, with no consideration of consequence, impact, or effectiveness. (My second ethernet port does not work with a fixed IP address.'well, use DHCP then'. I am trying to talk to a machine tool with a fixed IP. 'set that to DHCP too and connect it to the network. We'll tell you tomorrow what its IP address is' It is on a customer site, not in your office. 'Oh, sorry, there is nothing we can do then') In no other business process is the outcome merely assumed from the act of making the investment.
The day the last help desk closes down will be the day that the last bad computer has been consigned to the scrap heap. Ansd the last bad company
So we are basing our research into passwords on people daft enough to respond to phishing attacks now?
In the old days Dec had a secure service to harvest passwords without the other ID material and collect them centrally for analysis. Now that was sensible. making assummptions based on data from dickheads is .. err.. dickheaded
Dick.. Head.. Paris?
Paging Mr Mcartney...
Woolies sell records, right?
Apple Corps sued Apple computer about apple selling music, right?
So will the ex-beatle now sue woolies?
Oh, and Woolworths? What was wrong with the old red-and-gold W? Has the British debacle devalued it? our local peddler of cheap frozen foods still has the glass panels in the front with the big W on them.
A shovel with a toaster attached, for handy mid-trench snacking?
or how about a headlight for dogs, so they can see while on late-night walkies?
Let's build a sharpened tennis racket so you can make chi[ps by throwing potatoes in the air and clobbering it before it comes down?
I fancy an inflatable dance floor, for impromptu tangos
Had I ever thought that MVP status meant anything at all, I might be slightly interested. But probably not.
If apple have done a deal with the publishers, then they will have access to the digital verision of the books. Why on earth would they need physical books trucking in?
this is 2009
Why on earth do we still have keyboards, soft or hard? For glod's sake, Kirk was talking to his computer in 1967. Surely with the increases in processor power down the years we can have a voice-op machine by now?
why the black enamel would a zune want a ring tone?
Oh yes, M$ is going to release it's own phone soon, isn't it.
My Brain is torn
Half of me wants this very badly
Half says "no, you will be supporting the evil one".
Tell me what to do, registerites, before I split in half!
Paris, 'cos this is all about wanting something fashionable.
I have to congratulate you on 'chunder gat'
You won't get me lumping out cash until it works like paper books:
* I can buy content from whoever I want anywhere I want
* The content becomes my property in a tangible way
* I can give, loan, swap content with other people
* I can give it to Oxfam who can sell it half price to students
* Oh and content has to be a lot cheaper than a paperback, to reflect the supply sides lower costs.
* I can generate my own content and give it away to friends
On the way, a standard memory card slot, a standard USB connector (also used for charging), and a week-and-a-bit battery life so I can take it on holiday would be essential too.
All that said, I quite like the idea.
Not sure about the validity
You could have lumped microwave sales in with electric oven sales in the 1980s, and said sales of home cooking devices had gone up. But in fact most microwaves were bought by people who already had a cooker, so the sale of microwaves gave no clues at all to the health of the thermal cooker market.
I'm not sure it is valid to lump netbooks in with the rest of the "mobile market" and assume you are learning anything.
I have one, running Suse 11.1, and I use it for very different things to my flaptop. I use it as a web tablet, and as a replacement for my dab radio. And for VOIP
Perhaps sales of netbooks should be lumped in with DAB radios? or with cordless phones?
I think these numbers really mean:
* a lot of people bought into a new product category
* in other news, laptop sales are down
Harvey's 3rd law of engineering
"good enough is good enough".
We are rapidly getting to the point where most servers have more cpu horsepower than they need, and a switch to low energy may be a really clever sales pitch and drive investment, if the loading is not enough to justify upgrading.
OK, there was no commercial for doing ASLR on the kernel because there is no evidence that anyone is cracking it. Keep the costs down guys.
What other specious reasons to criticise Apple can you come up with? 'It doesn't run norton anti-virus'? 'those one-click backup devices you can buy at airports don't work on apple'?
I hope the people who monitor freedom of the market place are taking notes
Dude, where is my talking computer?
Spock and Kirk had one in 1966. It's not as though we havn't had the idea in front of us.
What happened to neural networks. Why can't computers learn what we do? what happened to the blinkcam idea, looking at the menus?
Look how clever web sites and games have been inventing other ways to do things.
Dude, where is my anticipating, verbal cues detecting, talking computing? For glod's sake, we have squandered 20 years of hardware extrapolation on doing the same thing as the gem desktop, (and survailence) instead of doing something new.
Paris, 'cos she always welcomes something new
This is where Software patents get you. Learn & weep. And stop forcing governments to be part of your marketing department.
>Customers, meanwhile, could be "stranded without an alternative set of software"
Well, what do you think Richard Stahllman has been talking about all these years?
I bet a few people can suggest some alternatives in any case. Learn & weep
That I will never give microsoft another penny as long as I live.
Well, I'm with Virgin in the UK, and voicemail retrieval is unbilled. But I turned off voicemail anyway, 'cos while I was in india I got charged for the incoming call, could not retrieve it, and the messages had been purged by the time I got home.
It's simple. If I don';t answer the phone you can;t talk to me. You can send a text, or not bother.
What happened to the idea of sending texts from BT phones? They will read them out to you, and when they announced that they promised to have a voice-to-text sending service RSN.
We need an 'I dont give a stuff' icon, but till then Paris will do
They can't count
Have a look at the last item on http://www.mitsubishi-motors.com/special/ev/4innovations/index.html
See if you can spot 'three types of battery charging systems'. I can only make it 3 if you count home and car-park use of the low current flex as two completely separate systems.
Why stop at three, then? I can plug it in with an extension through my living room window, in my shed, at my auntie Violet's, at work, on a customer site, and (using an adaptor) by shinning up a lamp post or jacking into the light in a phone box. That's seven, and I still havn't counted this entirely fictitious plughole in a car park yet.
if they can't even /count/ why should we believe any of the other nonsense about range, speed, battery life?
Paris, 'cos she probably has trouble counting to more than two as well.
A correspondent tells me that this is one of a range of personal achievement certificates, like tea making and paying the electric bill, that are issued to people on adult eduction support programmes and are a significant confidence boost to people for whom doing such things is a major challenge.
Obviously some numbwit organising the youth event has wholly misunderstood his delegates and the purpose of the event, but I'd hate for all this daily-mail based mirth to undermine people to whom these things represent a significant achievement.
At least one customer springs to mind.
and how is this to be enforced? I can create accounts on these things with a variety of names and using disposable email systems for the validation.
The law would appear to give another rod to beat the offender with if he is discovered, but no practical way to provide the alleged protection.
"Most of Twitter is pointless babble, spam and self promotion, "
Sorry? wasn't that self-evident? Who suggested it wasn't?
It all sounds like Paris to me.
I'm still waiting for:
* Linux to appear alongside Vista on every page
* Linux based dells to be cheaper than the same spec XP
* Linux dells to have the same sort of 'value added' tools for data backup, configuration, and internet connection that they bundle with winjows ones.
My sentiments entirely. A bit of give and take, but not taking the piss.
I'm on standby this week. I could be called up any time night or day and have to leave home. so my work phone is on at night. I get an extra £180 for this. That's fine by me. Other weeks it is turned on precisely the hours that someone in the office is working.
They all know my private numbers, and will call them if someone is in trouble. But they don't.
Some years ago I had an 0870 number for the house, and gave that number to work. So I got 2p per minute every time they called me...
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