116 posts • joined 28 Jun 2010
Scourge of instant communications
People have come to expect instant answers to their queries and are very quick to vent their feeling or rage on social media if they don’t receive exactly what they feel they deserve.
It is [usually] sad when a company goes into Administration, the chances are the people running it didn’t want that to happen and for a smaller privately financed business it can be a devastating blow to the owners. There are also the staff who will be in a very unstable situation. Everything in their building will be locked down until the Administrators have decided who own it and what to do with it.
I don’t know what it’s like inside Samsung but it is quite possible that this is a very small portion of their operation. It may well take some time for the information to get around within the company and also for the impact on their customers and business to be understood. They will then have to allocate staff to understand and come up with a resolution. This all takes time, as does dealing with the Administrators.
If they were to tweet everything that happened within their company in real time then I expect their twitter feed would be huge and more importantly as their understanding of situations develop then their ‘news’ will also change.
How often have you seen initial news reports change as the real story develops? Often immediately spouting out statements is counter productive and I feel should be avoided.
Re: Foxit is nice enough...
+1 for Sumatra. I've been using it for a while and it seems to render everything without a hitch - except for the active documents but I'd rather they went away anyway. It is also fairly small and isn't bloated.
I can't comment on if it's secure or not though, who knows but as it just displays the static files (as far as I know) there should be less opportunity for problems.......
Unfortunately some companies send out active PDFs that require Adobe Reader. HMRC being one of them, it's a PITA having to set up the certificates and open up Adobe Reader to allow the forms to run.
Re: Now remove the Tiles
I have a serious dislike of these interfaces. When I was at school I learned to read, I could read instruction manuals, I could read labels on switches, and I could read lists of commands.
Now it seems that for each device I use I am having to learn what each over-sized and over-coloured icon means.
I’m sure this interface is great for a smaller touch screen device where you have to choose between two or three actions, but for a desktop computer where you are expected to productively work it’s just horrible and a huge step backwards.
It's a great place
Thank you for a fantastic walk-around, what an awesome place. I've wanted to visit for some time but not managed to tie up an open day. They have an annual water rocket challenge which is next Wednesday.
It's a nice part of the world too, Bushy Park backs onto it and I can confirm Teddington has a couple of lovely coffee shops.
A much quicker way without losing your flow or focus is CTRL-D then Enter. The keyboard is much easier than a mouse for many tasks.
Re: How much of a challenge is re-installing XP?
1) Windows update does not work. No clues, nothing. It just gives an obscure error message, which has limited advice on MS about how to fix. Web searches reveal that you need to install service pack 2 in order to get windows update to work.
I've had similar problems with some installs. I have a feeling it's something to do with installing a new version of MSIE too early on in the process and also not running MSIE during the install / upgrade. I now make sure each MSIE version than comes in I open it up to make sure it's initialised.
Re: The Bitmap Brothers were true pioneers
This may be because the site says "Site Updated: Thursday, 28th March 2005 01:10pm GMT". I expect it's kept alive as a snapshot of the past and no longer maintained.
Re: If the NSA, GHCHQ and their ilk are so damn clever..
How do you know they aren't doing it. You can't always get everyone when playing Whack-A-Mole and people only shout about the ones that affect them, they have no idea if they have been 'saved'.
Re: WHo exactly is claiming the royalties?
"In short you'd be surprised how many companies and programmers are still around!"
It was fairly comment back then for the developer to retain copyright, especially if they were not an employee. There are probably a lot of grey haired developers who still own their copyright and so could get involved in this.
Do sad, losing the ability to interact.
That is really sad, the knowledgeable guides are 'interactive', you can ask them questions and get answers that could never come from a standard script. This seems to be another step towards people becoming just consumers of entertainment rather than being involved – like sitting in front of the TV eating popcorn rather than doing and thinking things.
Also worth visiting
I've not got to this one yet, it's been on my list for some time.
There are quite a few fantastic little aircraft museums dotted around.
The Museum of Berkshire Aviation is well worth a visit, just SE of Reading. They have some really unusual stuff there and the staff are always up for a long geeky chat. Their website is http://home.comcast.net/~aero51/html/
There is also one between Ashford and Rye which has a lot of WW2 bomb disposal kit in addition to the planes.
Edited to add the link to the one near Rye - Romney Marsh Wartime Collection at Brenzett. When I was last there the guys were saying they are struggling to get volunteers as the older ones are dying off at a fair old rate. Well worth supporting them.
I can't see this being good for their community
I'd have thought they should accept that they will always have the authorities after them but by exposing and harassing these agents will surely make them much more of a target. The authorities need to keep their agents low key and I'm sure they will do all they can to help keep it that way and start using more devious methods.
It reminds me of the kidnappings of European oil workers in Central African countries. For a long time it was seen as an occupational hazard, generally they were well looked after and the rewards asked were fairly small and were paid after a few days. As I understand it, this balance continued for many years until some of the kidnappers became greedy and started asking for more money and became more violent until it grew into a problem.
Sometimes it's best to keep your heads down.
Re: I'm Shocked
@ Don Jefe - "All the surveillance has had zero impact on the frequency of an already rare event"
What makes you think that? Are you assuming that because every time the security services disrupt an upcoming event it isn't covered on the front pages of newspapers for days?
Do you really think that it is in the interests of how they operate to let the world know how they stopped something? That is a very blinkered view. Sometimes the 'bad guys' get lucky and slip through the net, nothing is infallible.
Re: Trust our security precautions, they say...
The thing to consider here is he was quite a high level sysadmin so would have had access to 'behind the scenes' systems that the traditional users would not.
He abused the trust and access he was given. In a jail I'm sure there is a locksmith who could use his knowledge to cause mayhem there should he decide to use his access to do so.
Re: Better to have no gadgets during take off
It should be a lot quicker getting off in an emergency for several reasons. Firstly there will be more exits available than just the one at one end of the plane. Secondly the passengers won't be stopping to thank the cabin crew for a pleasant flight and thirdly I hope they are not all stood up trying to get their bags out of the overhead lockers.
Re: as someone who has always liked BB
We run BES Express for our small business and I really like it. I have not upgraded to any OS10 handsets because it would entail leaving BES behind, it is just so useful. I don't understand why most small business are not using it, I think if they understood the security and integration of the email and Intranet just for starters use they would snap it up.
I'll get an OS10 device for the kids and have a play but there is no way will I can move the business over to them so I am stuck going up a dead end street and I think that is a great shame.
Am I reading a different article?
There are two main points I get from reading this article that most of the commentators see in a very different way.
Firstly the fact that they are only storing 180 million records from a system that produced 15 million per day. This tells me that they are only interested in specific targets or patterns and not recording every transaction. Obviously they need to scan each transaction to see if they are of interest, just as a virus scanner will scan every file on your computer to see if it is of interest. Items that trigger interest will then be looked at in more detail.
Secondly the GCHQ comment regarding the personal data should make you think about whether or not they are slurping everything and what they are doing with it.
Perhaps there is actually a lot less going on with the agencies to get rebellious about – but that isn't what you want to hear is it.
I very rarely have problems, I look after about 25 PCs and a few servers with updates from a local WSUS server. I've had this problem today where two or three patches keep trying to install again and I have one machine that stubbornly refuses an SQL patch, that's it I think. You must be very unlucky.
Re: Detection issues
I've had this on a few machines and when I Googled it there are a lot of others having the same problem across various configurations. I haven't seen a solution yet though for those machines it has already been pushed out to. Al least it doesn't BSOD.
This looks like great fun, reminds me so much of what I was doing 20-30 years ago in the games industry. We were not only looking at algorithms for performance but eking every last cycle out of the hardware and support chips.
Time to get my IT CV dusted off perhaps.
Re: Botanist and maths
Something wrong with the maths there. One UK unit of alcohol is a 25ml serving of 40% volume.
A 1L bottle therefore has 40 units., a standard bottle is 700ml which gives 28 units.
Lets take the 50-60 litres a year as a litre a week. That is 40 units per week, or 5.7 units per day on average. That seems just about right to take the edge off after a hard days work.
Re: "NSA's "intent" to get specific figures on the number of attacks prevent out in the next week."
"Fucking McDonalds knows how many hamburgers they make in a day"
Surely you're not comparing that to the NSA not releasing figures.
They have to operate covertly without people knowing exactly what they do, who they are and how they operate. If their methods were all public knowledge then those they are trying to stop would know exactly how to circumvent them.
If a bomber goes on a mission and gets run over by a car, that could be put down to bad luck and they would probably carry on again using similar methods. What if that was an intelligence driven 'hit'? They have stopped an event and have their methods sill in place to continue monitoring.
Yes it is much better to stop the root cause but that isn't always possible. You need sneaky hard people do do the dirty work against sneaky dangerous people.
Clay pigeon shooting - anecdotal story
I took my son to Bisley when he was 16 to try clay pigeon shooting. I'm not a regular shooter but have shot on occasion over the years and am OK at it.
He is a very avid gamer and this was the first time he had handled a real firearm. The instructor said that gamers are often quite good at it; my son went on to have slightly more hits than I did.
Re: Jenna-Louise Coleman
I was pondering that too, she is after all "the impossible girl"
Shock horror - military equipment looks the same!! Does that mean the Red Arrows are faked using Photoshop, they look the same from that distance, and they all move as one often so the tricksters have a brush with nine planes on it and just wave that around.
I haven't pixel-peeked but the water around each of them does appear to be different, a couple of them have different superstructures and that assault isn't that large. Had there been 300 craft all with identical water spray coming off them that may have been a clue.
Re: MS is pushing us to get rid of MS-Office
Same here in our business of 20ish users. For us Office 2003 is great, it does everything we need, works with Exchange server and new licences can be found at quite reasonable prices on your favourite auction site.
We run a few copies of Libre Office alongside as that does some things better but overall MS Office is slicker for the majority of users.
Once again Turnover != Profit
Companies are taxed on their PROFIT and not their TURNOVER making statements such as "Dell's Dutch subsidiary Dell Global BV paid 0.1 per cent tax on over $2bn in revenues in 2011" and "pays tax rates of around 1.35 per cent on overseas revenues" meaningless soundbites.
Our company turns over about £5M, last year we paid around 1% of that in Corporation Tax. We also paid about £400k in VAT, £150k in Business Rates, £120k in National Insurance contributions plus all the personal tax of the employees and owners but this is not categorised as company tax. We paid 1% Corporation Tax not because we have an aggressive tax strategy but because as a company we are taxed on PROFIT. I don't understand why this kind of mis-informaiton is repeated so often by what one should expect to be intelligent people other than to whip up a frenzy with the readers.
That said, I do not think it's fair that larger companies with the facilities to create these tax efficient structures can compete head to head with companies burdened with higher local taxes. We need to fight to keep the money in our country circulating on our economy.
Slight pedant mode
The founder of Melbourne house was Alfred Milgrom not Alfred Migrom - note the L. I also don't remember him ever being called Alfred, it was always Fred.
Oh those were happy days :-))
Re: And good on the Dixon's group, a lovely gesture.
@ Lee Dowling - "I just used them as a showroom for the real item so I could measure up properly and see where the pipes came out"
Why didn't you go to the place you bought it from to measure up and see where the pipes came from? Let me guess, they don't have the expense of the staff and showrooms locally to you enabling them to sell goods cheaper. If you value the service enough of a company then have the decency to give them your trade.
If you want to pay internet prices, don't leech off other traders.
Re: @bitmap animal
I bought a bottle of Sipsmith gin yesterday.
3 shots Sipsmith, 1 shot Chase vodka, 1/2 shot Noilly Prat shaken to death with ice into a chilled Martini glass with a lemon twist. Marvellous.
Thanks for the suggestion, what a fantastic drink it makes, great flavours. Not tried it as a G&T yet, that'll be tonight probably.
Re: @bitmap animal
In hindsight, "Gordon's is great" wasn't the best way of putting it. It's not a top gin but is usually underrated as "just Gordon's" but is better than that especially given the special offers at supermarkets. Bombay Sapphire is one that I think is overrated.
I've not tried the Sipsmith gin, I've had their vodka and that was OK but will get some of their gin to try shortly.
Shaken vs Stirred
There is quite a difference in how the drink finishes whether you shake or stir it. When stirred the drink is perfectly clear, when shaken it has a sparkle to it caused, I understand, by tiny fragments of ice. Some of the high end cocktail bars I've been to prefer stirring – I usually ask for it how it comes and watch them make it. There probably is a difference in taste, but I'd say they are just a little different to each other.
Quinnine is available as a poweder that can be added to try and recreate the trueVesper. Not tried this personally.
I don't recommend you use the Martini brand, Dolin or Noilly Prat are readily available and are superb, costing very little more and as you use so little cost is not that important.
My recipie is to take a large 350ml martini glass and fill it with ice and leave to stand for a minute. Put three shots of spirit** in the shaker, add ¼ – ½ shot vermouth then pour in the ice from the glass. Put the lid on and shake like buggery until the shaker is ice cold a frosted. Carefully strain into the glass. Take 1” of thin lemon peel, twist over the glass and drop it in.
Enjoy and repeat until the world is too blurry to make another one.
** Gordons is great, as it Tanquary Ten. Some people like Plymoth, it's a bolder flavour.
Re: Stacking boxes
I did that last year. It was terrifying how many tubs I needed for the variety of parts. I do have a small business so look after workstations, servers, networking, phones etc so there is a lot but thee boxes full of bits grew to about 25 tubs.
It was worth doing though, at least I can see what I've got now.
OMG, my TV and monitors must be broken too then
During the 'warm up' time of a fraction of a second the picture isn't totally there - I must send them back.
Heaven help any worried users who used to have a valve based CRT many years ago, that must have been truly horrendous for them.
Re: so, how much coffee is a "cup"?
Absolutely - what is one cup, four shots of high caffeine 'devils brew' or a xxxxbucks Latte?
A few years ago I was drinking 20-30 shots a day, made up as 4-5 shot Americanos as they are called these days. When I decided to have a break I was fine for a couple of days and started to get blasé about those saying I'd have nasty withdrawal symptoms.
About 3 days after I stopped I spent a day in bed with horrendous flu like symptoms - then I was fine.
Re: Not new at all
Yes, minicabs was the situation I first heard about it. Some calls were thought to be done from phreaked phones abroad ISTR. It also cropped up in another commercial environment a few years later but didn't have the impact it had on small companies that rely in instant calls for their business.
Not new at all
"Attacks that swamped telecoms services are a much more recent innovation, first starting around 2010"
That is absolute rubbish. I am very aware of an incident over 20 years ago where a business that relied on incoming calls was hit very hard by miscreants constantly calling their number meaning customers couldn't get through.
Because of the type of business they were in, customers very quickly moved to a new company and they didn't build back up the customer base they lost in those few days.
It's a very nasty way of hitting the competition. Should be easier to block / trace these days though.
Speed != bad driving
One of the problems with technology like this is one that has raised its head a few times over the last few years can be shown with these two scenarios.
1) Doing 80mph on an empty straight motorway in good conditions
2) Doing 30mph in a 30mph area on a winding road through a crowded village centre.
There is no way these black boxes can monitor if the driver is being safe or not. Absolute road speed is a very poor indication of this and is a very lazy and intrusive way of raising driver standards.
Film grain vs compression
Generally I don't mind film grain, it tends to be quite organic whereas I find compression artefacts harsh and intrusive.
Another often overlooked quality difference can be the graduation of colour; the film is effectively infinite but during digitisation it will need to be stepped. I'm sure there is a technical term for it but you will often see it on underwater scenes where the watery background should be smooth graduated colours but actually has just three or four blocky steps. Horrible.
Interesting BBC documentry about altitude
The BBC did a programme called To Boldly Go which looked into the body at altitude. I already knew quite a lot about what happens and he missed out some elements I'd thought important (such as why you really should have a pressure suit above 65k feet) but overall well worth watching.
Military pilots don't just hop into their 'office', they are highly trained in the technicalities of flight and the body so should be able to make a good judgement call. There is always risks in military flying but the pilot does deserve an airworthy plane at the very least.
Re: Further anecdotal evidence
Parenting and the support and goals you give your child does play a massive part in education. Some (many??) state schools are fantastic, but quite a few are poor. That is compounded by a lot of children not caring about their education and so are disruptive which affects other kids in the class. IMHO due the demise of 11+ and streaming the brighter kids have a much greater chance of being dragged down by their surroundings.
Private schools can not make a child more intelligent, they are not magic. What they can do is give then child the best opportunity to make the most of what they have.
I'd say that parents who send the children to private schools have a passion and enthusiasm about their kids, the kids are surrounded by hard working parents with a goal. Their normality is hard work and ambition and that gives them confidence.
Re: On a brighter note
Learning how to use a spreadsheet is the current ICT course.
The CS A level is much more like the Computer Studies I did 25 years ago and I presume the GCSE is too.
Re: Double standards
The article says that the Apple company paid around £2,000,000,000 in taxes. That is in addition to what they will have paid for the various employees taxes plus the shareholders will be paying taxes their incomes and the VAT and duty they will have paid.
How much tax did you pay last year? Was it as much as that?
re: publishers who think they are OWED £40, £50, £60 a game
The publisher does not get that money, it's very naive to think they do and is just said to stir up people who can't think how retail works.
If a game in the shop sells for £50, the the government get £8.33 of that straight away in VAT.
The shop then has to take its cut for running the store, buying the stock, dealing with returns etc.
The distributor that buys the game from the manufacturer has to cover their warehousing and stock costs.
The game publisher has to cover the development costs which on modern highly graphical games are very substantial. They also have to predict how many games are going to sell in the lead time it takes to manufacture more. If it flies off the shelf they are lambasted for not producing enough, if they produce too many they have to pay for all that stock.
As with most thing you buy, there are a lot of people in the chain taking a percentage cut so a small increase in the development cost can soon have a real impact on the selling price.
25 years ago a couple of people could develop a game in a few weeks. Most of the big selling games take large teams many months to produce.
@ AC 09:00 "did you even bother to read the article? will you bother to read this? am I wasting my time on a hopeless cause? thanks."
Yes, yes and thank yo so much for your thoughts so I'm sure that must be a yes.
What I didn't see in the report is the instance of this in people who haven't been into space. As people get older their eyes change.
Did they discount other factors such as the number of launches, possible differences in atmosphere depending on where they spent their time up there.
Plus, that looks an strange effect of low gravity, the flattening of the back of the eyeball.
A very current problem with me
A couple of days ago I got a letter from O2 saying that one of our phones had reached "the higher usage limit" and previously they would have restricted our service but we can now continue to use it without any disruption.
We have 12 phones on the account, I looked at the online management service and found that one user had clocked up over £1300 data charges in three days.
They have a Blackberry with inclusive data but the charges were for data from o2mobile.co.uk and not through Blackberry. I had a rant about surely it's data and it should be inclusive but they stood their ground.
It seems the use had their Blackberry connected to the PC and on the Blackberry app it offers to connect to the internet and that's what they did. No warnings that we were about to be reamed.
I'm escalating it with the account manager but we are getting nowhere yet.
The bill for that user is around £20 a month, surely it's irresponsible of them to allow this to happen.
Teach how to think
Universities should be teaching people how to think, how to approach problems to create a solution. This can be done very well on older code and applications where the clutter of modern frameworks does not get in the way.
They don't need to teach people MS frameworks, anyone capable of doing the job can learn the environment.
Re: "what about the OTHER 699,999 documents"
"What about the need to label every fart with a confidential sticker? Secrecy should be the exception, not the norm, in a democratic society."
Because a lot of information can be gained by putting together pieces of seemingly innocuous data. If you know everything surrounding a secret then you've a much better chance of working out what is restricted.
Surely it's just a maintenances issue
Providing the owner knows that part of the maintenance of the car is to keep it charged then I don't see a problem. If you don’t' service your car and it breaks is that the manufacturers fault, if you don't do a maintenance wash on your washing machine and it starts to smell is that the manufactures fault?
If you hire a van it's in the agreement you need to check the oil every day. Most people don't and have no problems but if you don't check it and you have a problem it's YOUR responsibility.
Yes it's expensive but that doesn't mean you don't need to give it any attention. It's not a battery problem, it's a complacent owner problem.
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