1078 posts • joined 28 Jun 2010
Bluetooth and Iceni
I think Mr Bluetooth's name was Harald not "Herald".
He lived from about 935 to 985. If the Iceni were contemporary with Harald Bluetooth, and were "all killed by the Romans", then the Romans must have made a special trip back to Britain about 500 years after they left, by which time there was no longer any such thing as the Roman Empire in the West. Why they should be so vindictive, I can't imagine.
The fact is that nobody killed all the Iceni. They might have been displaced by the Anglo-Saxons and gone to Wales, though I think the view these days is that the incoming migrants merged with the existing populations.
Mornington Crescent and Cockfosters
If it has a kickstarter, it's not an X-Wing Fighter, it's a motor bike.
Jerry Springer-style show
It's a well-known fact that the audience and participants for a Jerry Springer-style show are mostly zombies anyway.
This stuff wouldn't be worth stealing without dishonest scrap metal dealers to sell it to. Why isn't there a regulation and licensing scheme? Or, if there is one, why doesn't it work?
You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to spot scrap that's probably stolen: copper cable, sheet lead and copper off roofs, manhole covers.
Re: Sometimes it's like punkrock never happened!
people still judge someone's ability, worth and morality by whether or not they have matching jacket & trousers
In most cases people don't do anything as simple as this. What they do is judge your sense of what is appropriate to the occasion. You'd make at least as bad an impression attending a business meeting in white tie and tails as you would in jeans.
The problem is that people's sense of what is appropriate differs. So what you're really being judged on is the quality of your risk assessment, particularly when you stand to gain or lose significantly by the outcome of the meeting.
It's significant that the people who claim their personal appearance is unimportant rarely think the same about the appearance of the devices and UIs that they produce.
Re: Re: But...
Don't know about the Admiral Graf Spee, but Tirpitz and Bismarck were referred to as "pocket battleships".
Re: Tidally locked?
Try growing plants under nothing but halogen lights...
And expect a visit from the drug squad.
Immediately I read about this I went to Play Store and searched for "the register".
There were two results shown in Apps: The Register (Unofficial Feed) , which described itself as "not maintained or updated", and (tee hee) The Moron Test . If it's the latter, I think El Reg should keep its opinion of its readers to itself.
Can anyone explain how "the moron test" is a valid search hit for "the register"? I know they both contain "the", but I would have though that was a noise word.
There were a further 12239 results in Apps, but I don't expect to live long enough to check them all. I guess I'll just stick to reading El Reg on a computer as nature intended.
"Pinging in the rain" - love it.
Re: Why are we paying for this research?
@NomNomNom: "Everyone enjoys a prime hunt"
Are you sure about that? Have you asked them?
So a number is atomic and can be operated on with a condition like "salary > 50000". A string is non-atomic because it suits conditions like "third letter is ‘n’". But this just reflects two patterns of comparison and decomposition. One might equally say "third digit of salary as binary is 1", or "name < 'Jones'" (neither a very realistic example, but the point is clear).
Also, the author writes of a function that scans satellite images and looks for aircraft. It might return data like:
Delta winged – 0
Swept winged – 3
Date of Birth
Straight winged - 2
Rotating winged – 2
This looks like a pretty crap function. Why does it return a DOB when looking at aircraft images? Why are two wing types coded identically?
Re: "prosecute their possible intent"
At best, it will turn out like weather forecasting.
it would become cheaper for supermarkets to sell bananas grown in greenhouses in the UK rather than shipping them all the way from Chile
It's been fairly conclusively established that distance from place of production is a misleading way to evaluate the environmental impact of foods. The example I saw was about temperate-zone produce like tomatoes and peppers. Growing tropical produce like bananas in greenhouses in the UK would consume massive resources.
Actually, in my experience bananas come from the Caribbean and Central America. I think Chile is in too high a latitude.
Re: Anyone else thinking...
Er, what it actually follows is "minuscule".
How to win
According to the article, you lose the game if you're grumpy and unhelpful. So presumably you win if you're helpful, well-informed and charming.
But unfortunately "The Minister considers this type of conduct offensive and completely unacceptable".
Re: New tools help web devs find problem spots
Oh? And once web devs have uninstalled IE, how exactly are they going to make the customers who use their sites use the full uninstaller for IE?
Developers don't target IE because they endorse it as a browser, but because they don't want to exclude people from their user base.
Re: Just don't
It's no good saying "The sooner it's rendered obsolete the better". We all know that, but if a significant number of the people you want to use your site are likely to be using old browsers, you can't go round to their houses and make them upgrade. Developers who create public web sites have to assess the cost of not being compatible with old IE versions against the cost of coding for compatibility.
I've never been in a real Apple shop, but I've visited their shop-in-shop at the Oxford Street John Lewis. I was checking out Ultrabooks, and I thought I'd find out how the weight of the lightweight Apple product compared. To my astonishment I found that I could barely lift it. It weighed at least as much as a table. Probably because it was glued to a table. Do they do this in the real Apple shops?
Re: how can the global elite carbon tax us
As far as I know, carbon isn't poisonous. Not very appetising on its own, granted, but yummy when combined with hydrogen and oxygen in the right way.
I'd completely forgotten: the earliest versions of Excel had some kind of minimal Windows bundled in so that it would run from the DOS command.
Re: Cognitive Dissonance Alert (CDA)...
People who have only known windows are poor developers in my opinion. The good engineering practices of Art Of Unix Programming is lost on them.
By way of compensation they avoid the overweening snottiness of Unix enthusiasts. It's an operating system, not a religion.
Also, "practices ... is lost"? This sort of syntax error will cause you endless grief if you propagate it to your Unix commands.
Re: Cognitive Dissonance Alert (CDA)...
but how exactly has Git been unfriendly for Windows developers?
The GIT I'm currently using on Windows is accessed via the command line in a Bash shell. There's a GIT GUI but it seems a bit crap. I don't know if that's this installation or if it's always that way.
This isn't a big deal, and it's useful to have the extra power of a decent command shell. All the source control systems I've used have sooner or later run out of GUI steam and forced you to use the command line, including even the abominable Visual SourceSafe.
Still, I can see it being an annoyance. For many developers a new source control system is just another ancillary thing to be mastered, often at a time when you're scrabbling to get up to speed with a new corpus of software while trying to remember the names of the 50 people you were introduced to on day one and the weird network paths to various essential resources. Having to do it on the command line is just a bit more work.
Never mind the programme, check out the reproduction
The main difference between BBC SD and HD is that the HD channels are hidden down the bottom of the EPG. It's not that I can't see the difference, it's just that it's not important enough to make it worth the trivial effort of seeking out the HD channels. Maybe I'd value the difference more if I had a huge TV or better eyesight or drank less.
I can't help observing that this initiative comes from the people who travel the world taking holiday snaps with the sort of monster DSLR you'd normally use for papping duchesses.
Re: Neither here, nor there...
According to an unimpeachable source* there are more words that break the rule than follow it.
* Oh all right, Stephen Fry on QI. And most of the examples he gave seemed pretty tendentious.
Re: Karma's a bitch
@Steve Knox: I just upvoted you for amusement value, but...
thou hath => thou hast. "Hath" is third person singular, as in "he hath" - you got it right with "dost thou".
Re: Not Mac
Excel offered features far beyond any other spreadsheet, like the ability to calculate across sheets
My recollection is that this was possible with Supercalc*. Supercalc ran on CP/M, and was included in the free software bundle that came with the Osborne 1 (together with WordStar, DBase II, and quite a lot else) at a cost of about £1400.
It's astonishing how many of the big players in the DOS world screwed up the transition to Windows. The leading word processor of the time was arguably WordPerfect, but their unusable, buggy Windows version gifted the market to Word.
* I could be wrong about Supercalc. Calculating across files was certainly possible at the time with a spreadsheet program I installed on a PDP/11 under RT11 - I can remember the frantic flashing of disk lights when you recalculated.
Re: "TV series starring Adam West-starring series"
I regret to inform you that there is an unmatched closing </pedant> tag in your post.
Re: The moral here
If he's running an e-commerce site or something, then you're probably right, he should use a commercial service with a SLA.
But in this case it sounds more like somebody using dial-up networking from home. This sort of working has the potential to deliver substantial economic and social benefits (social disadvantages, too). I don't know what the current standpoint is, but in the past the government has been very gung-ho about teleworking. In this context, a home broadband connection is more than just a source of entertainment.
Re: And the fun bit
I and many people I know spend a large part of our lives searching under cushions for TV remote controls and wandering around the house looking for cordless phones. Fumbling around in the pitch dark looking for the light switch will add to this fun.
Re: Books aren't the Window to the World anymore
"When I was a teen, we had three TV channels and no internet."
<insert obligatory reference to Yorkshiremen sketch here/>
Re: Rooms with no lights
I find most things look worse in a room with no light at all. Or do I mean better? It's hard to tell because I can't see a damn thing.
Re: Incorrect apple bash
Would that be the Hobbesian choice per chance?
No. but it might be Hobson's choice. "Hobbesian" sounds very philosophical, but the allusion is to a Cambridge stable owner called Hobson who would only allow customers to hire the horse that was next in line.
Or am I missing a joke of exquisite subtlety?
Re: Excess oxygen
This is apparently nothing new. Once upon a time there was no fungal decay, so dead trees just lay around locking up carbon, and eventually turning into coal. The result was a much higher proportion of oxygen in the atmosphere, which allowed things like six-foot dragonflies to exist. This sounds very nice, but I suspect the four-foot cockroach and the two-foot ant would be a concern.
Rules, morals and taxes
Four tax regimes:
1. A scarey bloke comes round to your house and helps himself to anything he likes the look of. The main problem with this fiscal regime is that it destroys the economy (e.g. Zimbabwe).
2. Everyone is told that they have a moral obligation to pay taxes. The difficulty here is that my moral code and yours probably won't generate equivalent tax revenues. People will object to paying taxes that fund things they disapprove of. But the main problem is likely to be that many people who accept a moral obligation to pay tax will probably assess their obligation at rather less than the government needs.
3. The government creates a set of rules and formulae. People immediately start to game the rules to reduce the tax they pay, whereupon the government modifies the rules to reduce the amount of gaming. It's an imperfect system but it results in more tax take and fewer disputes than the other two. In theory everybody knows where they stand and can plan their lives accordingly.
4. Where we seem to be heading at the moment, namely a hybrid of 2 and 3. The rules are explicit, but it's immoral to exploit them to your advantage. This immediately sinks into the quicksand that made 2 unworkable. The only consensus about the moral course of action is that it would be highly moral, if a bit stupid, to interpret the rules to maximize the tax you pay. Even this leads to uncertainty: A is better at maths than B, so he manages to find a corner case that increases the tax he pays by 10% - is A more moral than B?
Number 3 may not be perfect, but it's clearly better than the others.
Good luck with that...
Amazon, Starbucks, et al are companies that actually sell stuff that can be seen, felt and counted. In the latter case they even do it through retail outlets on the High Street. And governments still can't make them pay tax.
So I don't hold out much hope for a big tax haul from companies that don't shift tangible product and store their stuff anywhere in the world that suits them.
Re: A or B?
"Shome mishtake shurely" was usually attributed to "W. Deedes, Ed". Bill Deedes may or may not have liked liquid lunches - the fact that he was the recipient of the "Dear Bill" letters allegedly sent by Dennis Thatcher suggests that he did. But I think he actually shpoke that way when shtone-cold shober.
Re: BT holding back rural services
Well I'll go to foot of our stairs! There are bumpkins in what you call "the North", as well. I see them every day when I'm out in me clogs and flat cap walking t'whippet. Umpteen of them, wandering across t'Fens of Cambridgeshire, eating chip butties and black pudding.
Re: All very well but
"Assuming the sheep was in inter-stella space..."
So that's a pint of lager, then a sheep, followed by another pint of lager? Sounds like a glamorous night out.
I won't ask what you do with the sheep.
Re: @Zmodem - recording TV programs
My experience was just the opposite. I chose my Samsung TV because it was supposed to be able to record to USB. The TV's embedded handbook appeared to confirm this, although I couldn't be certain because it's in Korenglish .
After trying a variety of USB devices, both solid state and spinning rust, I contacted the Samsung helpline to find out what I was doing wrong. "Your TV does not have that feature" came the answer.
Re: Cracking is inherently parrellel and IPV4 death throes
Surely "...split the dictionary range..." will only crack passwords that are also dictionary words.
It's a few years since I designed a password validation subsystem (long enough ago that MD5 was still acceptable). The administrator could select a variety of options: minimum length, mixed case, alphanumeric, comparison with common passwords and comparison with dictionary words. The last option, of course, was so irksome to users that it never got used.
Re: Innocent until proving guilty?
Or indeed dig them up, then try them, convict them, etc etc. (Google Pope Formosus.)
Every week or so, someone like this guy pops up to tell us that we have crap broadband and that it's crippling our economic prospects. What they don't explain is how.
I can see how internet connectivity itself is an economic stimulus. I can also see that availability of broadband enhances this effect by increasing uptake and enabling new patterns of usage. But how does and increase from say 2Mb/s to 2Gb/s increase your economic activity? It looks to me as though the marginal return will be tiny in proportion to the cost.
The article talks of "games consoles, smart TVs and other devices". I don't know about "other devices", but I don't see the first two as major engines of economic growth.
An earlier poster mentioned "4/5 devices can all stream HD movies at once". The average UK household size is 2.4 people (http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171766_259965.pdf), so each person will have to watch two movies at once. Even if they do, it's unlikely that they'll pay for them all separately, and even if they do that, we aren't going to fund an economic miracle out of online movie rentals.
Of course I'd like superfast, or maybe even just fast, broadband, but that's because it would be nice to have. I could do some things that I can't do now, and many things a bit quicker. But it won't change my contribution to GDP much.
A language-agnostic browser VM sounds like an excellent idea. The variety of languages targeting JVM, which was probably never supposed to be language-agnostic, suggests this would be very productive approach.
One would also hope that such a VM could take care of the security issues that are always lurking in the shadows when programs run in the browser.
"David Bowie must be green with envy"
I think that's just make-up, isn't it?
Re: Not the Met Office's fault.
@Giles Jones: The weather in the whole world is getting more unpredictable and crazy.
Could you let us see your workings? I'm not disagreeing, just hoping to learn how the people who know do it.
Degrees and experience
This is nothing unique to IT, and nothing new, either. Half a century ago my father, who was chief engineer of a semiconductor company, told me that the PhD graduates he employed were initially quite incapable.
The problem with IT jobs is that they combine an academic element and a craft element. There are plenty of other careers where this is the case. Medicine is an obvious one. We all have some idea of what it takes to turn a graduate into a useful doctor. I'm sure there are parallels in disciplines like engineering and architecture.
Long experience is one way to build up craft skills, but the examples above show that the process can be formalised and accelerated.
Re: The cup that cheers, but does not inebriate
Actually, "the cups that cheer, but do not inebriate". Although attributed to William Cowper, this description was originated by Bishop George Berkeley, he of the silent tree falling in the forest. He was talking about tar water, to which he attributed medicinal properties.**
Tar water is available from the vending machines in all the offices where I've worked, but they usually call it coffee.
** Curiously, this information comes from Bertrand Russell's History of Western Philosophy
Re: Sweet Poison
Sucralose (aka Splenda) is actually made from sugar. As one of the partners in its development was Tate and Lyle, it's probably cane sugar. I don't know if that makes it better-tasting, or better for you.
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- Interview Global Warming IS REAL, argues sceptic mathematician - it just isn't THERMAGEDDON
- Apple to grieving sons: NO, you cannot have access to your dead mum's iPad