1191 posts • joined 28 Jun 2010
Meanwhile on planet Earth...
As a contractor I imagine I see the inside of more offices than many other people. What I see is people working at large desktop workstations with the biggest screens they can get. I'm looking at two wide screens, the person sitting next to me has three, and at my last place of work there were people with nine screens. You'd need a van to get the stuff home.
OK, let's leave aside these power users and look at low-paid clerical workers. At the moment they usually have a box under the table, a moderate-size screen, a keyboard and mouse. It's still a lot of kit to carry back and forth on the bus.
I guess the presumption of BYOD is that all this work will be taking place on portable devices. The accounts clerk will be using spreadsheets on her smartphone, and the secretaries will be hammering out letters on fondleslabs. Does Gartner have anything to say about the 90% drop in productivity that will result?
I bet it can't walk on the ceiling, either.
Re: Re: No network = No Work
I'm wrong. Just re-read and seen that the network ports are taped up.
So it's back to sneakernet.
Re: No network = No Work
@keithpeter No Internet != no network
Here comes Godwin
One problem is that identity documents are so strongly associated with films of Anton Diffring in a long black leather overcoat shouting "Ausweis! Schnell!".
The original computer game?
Not even near. When I read that part of the ancestry of Star Trek was a game called Space Wars, it reminded me that I'd read about an earlier game with a similar name. It seems that Spacewar! is no relation to Star Trek, but it's much, much earlier.
According to a "reliable source", Spacewar! was written in 1962, on a PDP-1 (I never knew there was such a computer, though it makes sense that DEC didn't start from number 8. Were there ever PDPs 2-7?)
While I'm writing, is "numberical" a word you made up?
The big difference is this
All the identifying documents I have at the moment are things that enable me to prove who I am, that I can drive, that I have a line of credit, that I shop at Tesco, that anyone who messes with me is going to hear from Her Britannic Majesty's Secretary of State, etc. I have them because I think the loss of anonymity is worth the benefit (or in the case of Tesco, I don't because I don't).
The ID card, on the other hand, was going to be something we were all required by law to own and to carry.
Re: ah, schoolday 'pranks'
Not to mention:
- Sugar and weedkiller, but not in small tins. The class pyromaniac favoured lengths of bicycle frame with the ends beaten over.
- Potassium permanganate and glycerine, inside an empty desk. Began to burn about halfway through the lesson.
- Acetylene from calcium carbide dropped into a bottomless oil can standing in water, then ignited through the hole in the top. Amazingly, in the 1960s bike shops still stocked calcium carbide for people to use in cycle lamps.
- Iodine and ammonia. Anywhere.
It sounds like Bash Street, but this was a grammar school in what was, according to New Society, the most middle-class town in Britain.
MS has some advantages, they make a product and let people know all about it and offer help on how to use it.
Microsoft offers help on how to use Windows? How? Where? I don't actually want help myself, but I'd love to be able to redirect friends and family to some helpful Microsoft person.
Re: @deshepherd Gender sensitive framework
I suppose you can see why the effect of a 20mph limit on prostitutes might be important, too.
So agents and employers rely on keyword search. Who can blame them, given that a day spent reading CVs is probably a day we'd all prefer to miss?
I see a requirement emerging here. I'm seriously thinking of writing a CV generator. I'll paste in the keywords from the job listing, and it will construct a CV from paragraphs that emphasise my experience with these skills, drawn from a database of everything I've ever done. I already do this manually in covering letters, which I suspect nobody ever reads.
From the very beginning of my coding career I kept meaning to learn COBOL, but I always found myself falling asleep somewhere between the words "IDENTIFICATION DIVISION." and "ENVIRONMENT DIVISION.".
Dibol anyone? Powerhouse?
Interesting and useful article. Maybe it's time to reinstate some fossil skills on my CV. Then again, if I do that I might have to use them, and in most cases I was glad to leave them behind.
The worst part of programming is trying to understand old code written by a somebody for whom a good program is one that makes it to the end statement (which is usually in the same module as the start, 25,000 lines later). Any fossil job is going to involve a lot of that, and until the wolf comes scratching at my door I'd rather not.
Re: ICT is not attractive to women
Only when young girls believe that IT will be welcoming, exciting and socially enhancing will it become as attractive as other professions and encourage them to pursue a career in that direction.
It's a job, not a f***ing coffee morning! You're there to get stuff done, not swan around interacting and socialising and enhancing.
greasy overall profession
In 30 years in IT, the only people I've seen in greasy overalls have generally been the cleaners.
I work in an office that is approximately 90% male and I can go an entire day without speaking to any of them.
Maybe if you had anything intelligent to say you'd get more interaction.
So why is it acceptable to make such a claim about men?
Because that's what women do, bless them.
Re: Automatic tills?
Nothing really wrong with self-service checkouts, except that they're as yet imperfect. Half of them claim to let you use your own bags but then make you hang around for verification if the bags aren't gossamer-light. And it's annoying to have to hang around for age verification because your shopping includes wine. The worst ones are in B&Q. They're voiced by a ratty woman who nags you if you pause for more than ten seconds between items.
But in what sense is this technology "imposed on us aggressively"? These checkouts are rarely more than 25% of the checkouts. I use them because they're fast, but if the former shadow minister for innovation doesn't like them she could always queue up at a manual checkout.
Re: Woman who gives up,
If she was a successful engineer, why on earth would she want to become a politician?
Re: We lack analogue greatness
@Eadon "an Office suit or browser without menu/toolbars"
Your suit has a browser, a menu and toolbars? Is it a pinstripe or tweed suit? What sort of GUI do your casual clothes have?
The listeners are the problem
An audio system is the result of engineer's best effort to reproduce sound with minimal distortion. With the bass and treble controls centred you should hear something as close to the original as he could get it for the price.
So what do most listeners do? They turn the bass control to number 11. When that makes everything sound boomy, they turn the treble up to 11, too. The result is generally even more distortion as a result of overloading the power amplifier.
Re: NOW I feel old...
A previous post referred to "old DEC Alphas". I can remember working on Vaxes when the Alpha was a new thing. Actually, I think I can remember working on PDP/11s when the Vax was new.
The difference between weather and climate
When the weather becomes warmer or windier or less predictable, it indicates that the climate is heating up.
By contrast, when the weather gets colder or calmer or more predictable, it's a purely local phenomenon of no significance.
I though this test was on the Internet. Does Essex have its own Intranet?
@NomNomNom what would YOU say if Bill Gates walked up to the queen of England, slapped her round the face and said FUCK YOU
Don't be stupid. The problem in Korea was an accidental infringement of a local cultural convention. There are plenty of countries where greeting somebody with your hand in your pocket isn't a problem, but I don't suppose you can instance a single one where slapping somebody's face and saying "fuck you" isn't deliberately offensive.
Re: And in the Microsoft World
JBoss currantly** encourages developers to use frameworks other than Java EE, such as Spring, and non-Java languages that run on the JVM, such as Clojure and Scala.
** I assume they must have a good raisin for this.
"Google can't convert very lower Farenheit[sic] temperatures to Kelvin."
Are we to believe that boffins in the impressive-sounding Super Cryogenic Dark Matter Search measure temperatures in Fahrenheit, so you have to use Google to convert them?
What else? Dimensions in yards? Volume in bushels? Weight in grains? Time in some insanely old-fashioned units like, er, seconds?
When I saw the expression "flash-backed database", I couldn't help visualising a massive datacentre full of flash pen drives connected to USB sockets. What's more I imagined them all different, like the collection of pen drives in my desk drawer, from slick modern 5Gb units to crappy old 128Mb things. Maybe they even have a few of the novelty pen drives.
It's Friday afternoon and I need a beer.
Re: Renewable Energy
@h3 If we built astronomically large amounts of nuclear we could sell the energy really cheap
This is the second post here that makes the mistake of assuming nuclear energy is cheap because the direct unit cost is low. Nuclear power is capital-intensive. Most of the unit cost of output is a share of the cost of building and decommissioning the power station.
Re: Ah the incompetence of the police.
@Neil B: My experience has been similar except for the bit where they found your bike.
When the Police haven't recovered anything, and haven't even investigated, it's exceptionally annoying that there are funds to make sure a "victim support" drone comes round to talk over the psychological effects of having your house broken into.
Re: Re: Re "famous Neil Gaiman"
I think the purpose of a sentence like "Who the fuck is X?" is less to elicit information than to emphasise the obscurity of X. Googling X won't help achieve that.
I've been an IT professional for about 30 years, so I flatter myself that I can find my way around a web site.
The first time I used the HMRC site to file a VAT return it took about 20 minutes for me to find the correct page. Every quarter I improve a bit; although three months is enough time to forget the details, I've got it down to 10 minutes.
Not for the first time, it seems the Design Museum values appearance way above function.
Re: For a safer, faster, better experience online you should upgrade your browser.
Because in some cases the use of these sites is compulsory. Paper VAT returns, for example, are no longer accepted.
If they want to make it compulsory, it should be compatible with whatever browser my operating system supports. In some cases that might be a character-based browser such as Lynx.
Re: What about flats
... or the Ariel who can put a girdle round about the earth in forty minutes?
Re: to answer the headline question
@dave 93 Left to market forces there would be no alternatives until the fossil fuels started to run out
I think what you mean is this. Left to market forces nobody would waste money and effort on alternatives until the fossil fuels started to run out and the resulting rise in price made the alternative viable.
There isn't going to be one day when the last oil trickles out of the last well and "the market" says "Oops! We should have developed an alternative". The reserves of fossil fuels are actually quite large, but the cost of extraction of much of it means that it's not currently worth it. As more and more expensive-to-extract fossil fuels come into use, so it becomes more worthwhile to develop alternatives.
Punic? This war is MASSIVE
Punic has nothing to do with size, it's derived from Poeni, the Latin name for the Carthaginians. They were called Poeni because it was thought that they originated from Phoenicia.
Yes, I know it's a pun, and I can see the joke (though not actually laugh at it). But opportunities to display knowledge of this sort are few and far between.
From time to time, people complain that global warming doesn't seem to be making the weather in Britain any better, and that it recently seems to have been getting worse. The more flippant have been heard to say that we could do with some warmer weather. The rebuttal to this is always along the lines of "Don't be stupid: global warming doesn't mean the weather where you are gets warmer".
But when people produce anecdotes about localised phenomena that seem to indicate the climate is getting warmer - palm trees in Pensacola etc - it's accepted as yet more proof that AGW is real.
Not disagreeing. I just think it's curious.
because AMOS uses “the Android runtime, framework and tools” but is not technically compatible with Android, Alibaba shouldn’t be allowed to partner with Open Handset Alliance members
Nice to see how enthusiastically Google supports the open-source philosophy.
Re: @JetSetJim Alternative
@Chris 3: "It's a fairly well tested theory that if people become aware of their power consumption they tend to reduce it."
Fairly well tested and disproved, AFAIK.
Same old same-old
The only difference between spying on your neighbours with a drone and doing it by attaching a camera to a long stick or climbing a tree or using a telephoto lens or a hole in the party wall is that it's marginally more convenient. The laws that apply to the current peeping Tom technologies will still apply. The same applies to the nuisance and safety risk that you can cause with a drone.
Believing that readily-available drones change things is a classic example of technology fixation.
Re: To be fair...
Indeed, but this last happened as recently as the 1830s, and I don't think sea levels were 40ft higher then.
Re: 51% to 49% is hardly a sweeping victory
@AC: "It's actually almost the most divisive you can possibly be"
Yes, she splits the Guardian readership right down the middle. But they hardly represent the median of the political spectrum, do they?
Re: Seen elsewhere
All this week I've been wondering how many of the vocal anti-Thatcherites who've popped up are actually old enough to know what pre-Thatcher Britain was like. It was crappy, and getting crappier every year. But don't let that mute your right-on rhetoric - maybe crappy is what you like.
Re: What about Iran's internet firewall?
Does this apply to fluffy Persian cats?
After many years sitting at a keyboard typing code, my handwriting has deteriorated to the point of illegibility. Most of the vowels are implied, and many of the consonants identical. It's just as well I'm not a lecturer.
What's more, my hand starts to ache after about half a page. I hate those interviews where you have to complete a handwritten test against the clock.
.blog is a generic namespace based on a fairly recent neology, and I don't suppose the .cloud domain will be mainly used by meteorologists. Five years ago neither was a generic term, and in ten years time both usages may be quaint.
The point I'm trying to make is that it's impossible to pin language down. Tomorrow's generic terms are either perfectly normal words or meaningless letter sequences today.
Re: This morning's idle thoughts
C'est à dire singes capitulards fromageophages, n'est ce pas?
Reading between the lines
The volunteer ... quickly agreed to their demands even though he did not write the original entry.
Whereupon the guys at the Direction Centrale du Renseignement Intérieur agreed to remove the electrodes.
Re: Entropy is winning...
I used to think Cisco Systems was an imaginative company name referencing The Cisco Kid*, but then a friend told me he'd been there, and it was just the place where the company was based. Disappointing, but I should have realised that you get called "The X Kid" because X is the place you come from.
*For our younger readers, The Cisco Kid was a TV cowboy in the 1950s. Described in the opening credits as "O Henry's Robin Hood of the old west", he was in fact amazingly camp. He wore a skin-tight black (on b/w TV) outfit with sparkly arabesques all over the front. Every week he would jump off a rock on to a bandit as he rode past on his horse. Every episode ended with the Kid and his stereotype Mexican sidekick laughing like drains at nothing in particular: "Oh Cisco!", "Oh Pancho!", "Ha ha ha ha...".
Require and request
"the Health and Social Care Information Centre has the power ... ‘to require and request provision of information’"
I have the power to require and request £10M, but I don't seem to be getting it. Check out Henry IV part 1:
Glendower I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
Hotspur Why, so can I, or so can any man; But will they come when you do call for them?
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