Re: Not the best ever Friday article
Maybe not, but how many include the phrase "metonymic gender assignment"?
1327 posts • joined 28 Jun 2010
Maybe not, but how many include the phrase "metonymic gender assignment"?
What's more, bumble bees have an 11-metre wingspan!
That proves everything!
I'm fairly sure that the term "trick-cyclists" was coined to refer to psychiatrists, rather than psychologists.
At the time when I studied psychology* it was trying very hard to be a serious science**. The result was an immense dose of very boring stuff about rats and herring gulls, and lots of statistics.
* I wouldn't have the nerve to call myself a psychologist.
** According to Rutherford "All science is either physics or stamp collecting", so only physicists have a right to sneer at this.
shift water from where there's lots of it (I'm thinking of you, Manchester)
It's a long time since I lived near Manchester, but in those days it got most of its water from the Lake District. It may have a reputation for rain, but that doesn't make it a source of water. Have they discovered massive aquifers beneath the city?
One person's life time's lifetime supply of long term nuclear waste if using 100% nuclear power fits in a dinner plate.
Well, that solves the disposal problem. We can just eat the nuclear waste.
In view of the import of your post, I feel entitled to point out that "dost" and "hast" are second person singular forms of their verbs, not just hilarious old fashioned versions of the third person plural.
@Nick Ryan: "5g" languages would make programmers obsolete
I thought it was 4GL that made programmers obsolete. Does this mean I've been acting obsolete for no reason over the past 20 years?
RTF is actually a very nice format - easily parsed, human readable
My recollection of hand-fixing RTF files is that they were only readable in the sense that they consisted of printable ASCII characters. Understanding the RTF was another matter entirely. Maybe I'm subhuman.
The problem, I suspect, may be that the RTF emitted by Word suffers from the same lack of structure as the HTML emitted by Word. Editing a Word-generated HTML document isn't a pleasant experience.
I'm not sure you will have to buy another TV. The net service screen on mine seems to show new applications from time to time. I assume it gets updates from somewhere.
Anything that improves on BBC iplayer will be welcome. It's probably the worst UI in the world.
I don't think any professional computer user would be satisfied with a single monitor, anyway.
And why is the keyboard on a stupid little shelf at the front? I thought that feature was confined to the tatty chipboard "workstations" found in furniture warehouses. Visit any modern office and you'll find everybody has a keyboard on their desk.
I also notice that the stupid shelf allows no space in front of the keyboard for resting your wrists. Expect lots of RSI with this thing, then.
Don't you mean "eyrie"?
I don't want to appear complacent, but a thousand worldwide isn't exactly an epidemic.
"Full English spelling"
When I got a new smartphone recently I was delighted to find that the predictive text now predicts words. You can compose an entire message without significant use of brain cells, and the result is readable., though strangely devoid of meaning.
Last time I was in America I ordered a glass of Bourbon in a bar in St Louis and actually left it undrunk because of the foul smell of chlorine from the ice in it.
A thousand engineers toiled to eventually produce one million lines of code.
1,000 lines of code per engineer, then. It doesn't seem much.
I honestly don't know anything about this kind of programming, but I assume whatever code they were using would generated an op-code per line, like assembler. I'd guess that you'd be lucky to send a line to a printer with 1,000 op-codes.
Can anyone explain?
Remember the archetypal story of the slugged mainframes?
IBM used to sell a big, powerful mainframe and a less powerful (but still very, very big) mainframe*. It emerged that the two machines were in fact the same, but the less powerful one was slugged** to make it slower.
When challenged about this, IBM pointed out that the total number of computers they could sell by using this strategy was greater than the number they would sell if everyone got the powerful computer for slightly less money, so the huge development costs could be distributed over more units. Everyone wins***.
* IBM veterans will no doubt be able to fill in the model numbers for me.
** I'm sure that's the expression that was used. Did they hit the computer with a sockful of sand?
*** But IBM wins most, naturally.
Oi el reg?
I can reply to my own post?
The technical term is self-abuse.
There are a large number of outback aboriginal communities where non-indigenous are prohibited from entering.
I don't want to upset anyone, but this sounds rather like apartheid. In the opposite direction, I suppose.
@Steve Davies 3 My homegrown organic veggies and fruit taste a lot better than what you can buy in the supermarkets.
I'm sure that's true, but it's probably not because they're organic.
Gardeners tend to select varieties for flavour, while farmers go for high yield. Also home grown produce is liable to suffer occasional stress from lack of water, which apparently enhances flavour. Farmers make sure their produce is pumped full of as much water as possible.
I liked him in Blackadder, but he seems to have got less amusing lately.
useful tweeks such as when you press F2 to change a file name the extension isn't selected
I actually find that feature mildly annoying.
It's an extension of the "hide extensions for known file types" philosophy, and the infuriating way everything's now a "Library" instead of an actual disk directory. Acceptable on a consumer PC, perhaps, but why propagate this nannying to servers? Why, when I'm logged in as a server admin and I start Explorer, do I see a load of crap about Games and Music Libraries?
"Poisonous means it's bad for your health if ingested, venomous means its bad for you if introduced to the bloodstream."
Since we're in hair-splitting mode, allow me to disagree.
"Poisonous" is what a substance is. The stuff on the tip of a blowpipe dart is poisonous, but possibly harmless if ingested.
"Venomous" is the characteristic of a creature that can deliver a poisonous substance by stinging, biting or other active means.
Plants, for example, may be poisonous but not venomous. There are, I believe, frogs that have a poisonous coating all over their skin. Whether these count as venomous, I'm not sure.
the British Pedantic Society ... soon to be renamed British Society of Pedants
Expect fierce opposition from the Society of British Pedants.
I just finished reading another Reg article about a "glass brain" application.
Now I read of a woman with an acrylic skull. Presumably if they left a window in her scalp she could do the glass brain thing without recourse to MRI.
What's the significance of the bizarre exchange of cow-related messages? Is this an Internet meme I've missed out on?
Do txters have an unusual dread of cows?
And why does the message "But why should I hide?" apparently precede the warning about the cow? Is it because of predictive text?
Is there some replicable research to show that window buttons are easier to use at the top-left than at the top-right? That users rarely click the minimize button?
Is there anything more than developer whim or the craving to be different to back up the disruptive changes to the UI that every new release of every OS introduces?
I've had to install about five different distros* in the past few weeks. I'm not exactly new to computer use, but in some cases (Unity, for example), I've been utterly paralysed. Even KDE comes up with some kind of container on the desktop containing a legend along the lines of "This frame is empty". Yes, I can see that, but what's if for, and how am I supposed to rectify its emptiness?
Imagine if the UI for machines was subject to such arbitrary changes. Some cars with steering than goes left when you turn right, some with tillers, some without a brake pedal?
*This isn't an anti-Linux diatribe. Mint, for example, seems perfectly usable. No wonder it's so popular.
Shame Windows doesn't have command-line editing to allow you to fix typos.
What version of Windows are you using? Even DOS had command-line editing.
I used to love VS. VS2012 encouraged me to look elsewhere.
I'm mostly a Java developer, but I've been using VS 2010 for the past six months. I can't believe it. It has fewer features than Eclipse and IntelliJ had 10 years ago. It seems you have to buy some kind of add-on to do anything but the most rudimentary refactoring.
What do all these year suffixes signify? The only IDE I can imagine that's more primitive than VS 2010 is the Visual Studio 6 I used in the last century.
Only tangentially relevant, but it's Friday:
One of the most annoying things in the world is the pictures used to illustrate the personal finance pages in newspapers. The things they're writing about have no visual attributes (what does a photograph of an ISA look like?), but they have a quota of pictures to fill, so they fill the spaces with irrelevant pictures connected to the text by tendentious captions.
I can't get an EE signal inside my house*. I'd change network, but all the networks' maps suggest that I'd need to go outside, or even go to the next village**, to get a signal. This is all very well if I'm making calls - I can just use the land line - but one of the reasons I have a mobile phone is so that I can receive calls from people who might offer me work.
*Middle of nowhere? No. 8 miles from the Cambridge Science Park.
**I suppose that's what they mean by a mobile phone. You have to go somewhere else to use it.
The base offering costs $35.00 per month
Even if it worked properly, and it sounds like it doesn't, I can't count the number of ways in which I could achieve similar results for less money.
I've not actually had to change a CCFL or LED due to failure as yet
While I agree in general with the points you make, I have to say you've been extremely lucky with your CCFLs. I've had them fail in a matter of months. I've even contemplated contacting the manufacturers about the optimistic guarantees printed on their packaging, but I'm too lazy.
Is it run by mad cows?
Feet and fathoms are much better than metres for nautical (and aviation) purposes.
I think if you're aviating in fathoms you have a problem.
From what I hear the contract market is pretty buoyant at the moment. I suppose Barclays see this as a good time to slim down their contract staff by cutting the rate. A proportion of contractors leave. Trouble is, those are the ones you need to stay. OK, sack the remainder and hire the good ones back again. What could possibly go wrong?
Upvoted for the terrific Scala/Go site you linked to.
The experts here who know how slow Java is are missing a huge opportunity. I bet all the financial institutions that run high-frequency trading applications written in Java would love to hear how they can boost performance by rewriting in a faster language.
And for those arguing about the syntactical merits of this language or another - that's not really the issue. An intelligent developer can get up to speed with any modern language. The great advantage Java has is its massive body of open-source libraries, and the vast ecosystem of Java programming knowledge that is available.
@Conrad Longmore: citation required.
I'm not aware of much use of Java for locally-hosted desktop applications, but I don't have the advantage of your omniscience.
I can assure you, however, that it's extensively used via applets and Web Start applications. I used to think that applets were just a way of embedding gadgets in web pages, and that they were obsolete when better HTML and client script came along. Since then I've worked on several market-leading trading platforms that are written in Java and delivered over the Web.
@Destroy All Monsters: In the real world, Mr Monsters, adoption of a new version of a development platform is constrained by the necessity to regression-test what is often a large body of code, and to maintain compatibility with existing libraries and infrastructure. Developer ignorance is rarely a factor. If it was left to developers, most coding would be done on the bleeding edge.
What is it with Microsoft and search? They have a long history of failure to make it work as expected.
They always seem to have imagined that the primary role of a search engine is to find reasons for not showing things. Early versions of Windows file search were limited to "known file types" by default. Even today, I can enter "foo.bar" in the Windows 7 Explorer search box and get no results, when "dir /s foo.bar" returns a result.
All Microsoft search facilities should have a checkbox labelled "Don't try to be clever, just show me the effing files".
Secrets such as "How to spend millions of dollars developing an operating system nobody wants or likes"?
Not only "coca" and "cocoa", but also "cacao". The vowels seem to drift around at random.
"Cacao" is the stuff sold by the rather annoying toff from the TV series Willy's Wonky Chocolate Factory, better known as "How I struggled desperately to build my small business despite several million pounds-worth of free TV publicity". The chocolate's not bad, actually.
Up in Yorkshire we burn our faggots.
And in Eastern England they use faggots to build roads and banks. With any luck there are quite a lot of faggots in the vicinity of Scunthorpe.
@Destroy All Monsters: actually, the conventional spelling is "Genghis Khan".
It's presumably a transcription to the Latin alphabet of a Chinese transcription of a pair of Mongol words, so you could probably spell it any way you like. The "gh" construct suggests that the transcription was done in a language like Italian, where "gh" and "ch" are required for a hard consonant before "e" or "i".
@gloucester Are you using the Humpty-Dumpty Words Means Whatever I Want Dictionary? This is what I find in reputable sources. And, no, I haven't omitted a second definition from further down the page.
OED 1. Very loyal and committed in attitude and 2. (Of a wall) of strong or firm construction.
Cambridge always loyal in supporting a person, organization, or set of beliefs or opinions.
Collins 1. loyal, firm, and dependable, 2. solid or substantial in construction, 3. (rare) (of a ship, etc) watertight; seaworthy
Merriam-Webster 1a : watertight, sound, 1b strongly built: substantial, 2 steadfast in loyalty or principle.
I'm afraid my knowledge of Old French isn't as good as yours, but some dictionaries appear to concur in your view that "staunch" derives from a 13C verb meaning "to stanch". If people are going to post to El Reg in archaic foreign languages, it would help to add some indication of which language they are using.
staunch a deep puncture wound
staunch /stɔːn(t)ʃ/ adjective Very loyal and committed in attitude.
The word you are thinking of is "stanch".
whats to say he wouldn't loose it on a hand of poker
I doubt that it's possible, but he might lose it.
I don't think the yoof will be able to understand anything that contains an apostrophe.
@horsham_sparky - You are mistaken. £500 per day is mid-to-low for IT contractors in London banks.
I've never been on the wrong end of one of these rate cuts, but it's been in the air, and I've naturally considered my response. Even with a 10% reduction in effort I'll still be more productive than the permies, and I can spend the 10% of time I've freed up to look for another contract at leisure.
And Watford Electronics. And Henry's.
Henry's had an actual shop in Edgware Road. In the late 1970s I worked in Westbourne Grove, near the shop of Zaerex Valves, another regular advertiser in Practical Wireless. One night the shop burned down - probably the sensible course for a valve supplier in the solid-state age.