510 posts • joined 30 Jun 2010
Is Monetise in Jeopardy?
Why would you use a natural-language question-answering computer for a mobile payments business?
Coming next week: KPMG audits your accounts using fuzzy logic; and Cisco designs your network by copying a live spider's web patterns.
The first rule of software development...
... is to always have a more powerful computer than your end users. You need more RAM (to hold your IDE, your debugger, and your app itself); you need more power (to compile quickly); and you need more screen real estate (to see the app you're working on and your IDE around it / on a second screen).
Using a tablet as a thin client to a remote desktop or command-line terminal is only acceptable in emergencies, such as if you're on holiday and it's the only computer you have with you.
Re: The NAO might be waiting a fair old while...
Non-IT projects manage to set deadlines, and often stick to them.
Heathrow Terminal 5 opened on time and on budget; and that was a £4.3bn project. Why on earth can government not improve its own project management?
Incoming calls matter too
One important metric they've missed is the percentage of incoming calls succeeding. My experience with O2 is that an awful lot of incoming calls don't connect. I get voicemail messages without my phone ever ringing, even when I'm sat at my desk and the phone has four bars of signal.
For anyone running a business from their mobile, missing a call from a client can be a deal-breaker. This is particularly the case for small businesses with many clients: mobile hairdressers, painters & decorators, etc.; but it's also very frustrating when you're job-hunting and expecting calls from potential offers.
It's cheap to try
Personally I'd like fewer fatties in my neighbourhood despite the cost: they take up two seats on the bus, they walk too slowly, and they offend my eyes. I'm sure you could put a figure on the pain I suffer, in QALYs, of having to see fat people.
At the same time, quite a few of McKinsey's 77 solutions are no-cost or negligible-cost. Perhaps it's worth trying the half-dozen cheapest solutions? And what can we learn from elsewhere? The Danes banned trans-fat: how is that working out for them?
Yes it's an advert, but it's pretty damn cool, and I learned a bit of science.
Re: Does your job suck?
Tips? When did you last tip a bus driver? (Or tube driver, train driver, airplane pilot, whatever form of public transport you last used to get to work.)
Recycling user names?
Maybe you're the original JSmith@yahoo.com or a J.Doe@gmail.com or your Twitter account is just @1. How long do the companies wait before recycling those names? Do their heirs get the right to sell them, like personalised number plates?
Fight fire with fire
The police need a new squadron, the Flying (Remotely) Squad. They'll have their own attack drones, maybe some trained hawks too, who can force a malevolent drone out of the sky. Just as the police get super-fast cars to chase down us ordinary folk, so too they need killer drones to defeat the menace of unauthorised civilian drone flights.
I, for one, welcome our encroaching police state.
“When I’m in the office I’ll AirPlay it over to an Apple TV connected to a monitor. What’s the difference between that and a desktop?”
The difference is productivity. On a desktop with a mouse and a full numeric keypad I can fill out a spreadsheet with data from three different sources, draw a chart, copy it into a document, format it nicely, and email it to twenty recipients. All within five minutes.
On your iPhone, multi-tasking is barely feasible - every time you jump from your spreadsheet to your presentation app you'd find the latter'a process was killed because it ran out of memory. The Bluetooth ultra-light keyboard will be slower to type on than a more solid keyboard. There's no mouse so simple tasks like Copy+Paste take forever.
For content consumption (displaying your presentation) the iPhone is fine: but creating anything more than linear text, no edits, is a tedious chore.
Re: Customer / Mark Selection Strategy
Thanks for the clarification!
Re: Customer / Mark Selection Strategy
Yep - the poor spelling and grammar help make the foreigner's sob story more believable. The spammers are just as likely to be in Russia or Vietnam.
Spam is the ultimate A/B testing, almost a genetic algorithm. You send out a million messages, half written in style A and half written in style B. See whether A or B gets the best response rate, then take the winner, tweak it into two variants, and repeat. Unsurprisingly they've all come up with similar results.
"2. Will you move the ITU toward the use of multi-platform-friendly documents rather than Microsoft Word docs?"
Which platform are you using that struggles to read a Word document? I can open them on Linux (Abiword, LibreOffice), on Mac OS (Pages, which is free in the App Store), on Android (too many apps to list), etc. It's just not an issue any more.
Mandatory XKCD reference: http://xkcd.com/1363/
Seriously, what is it with everyone and their dog thinking they can make a better phone than Samsung/Apple, despite having (usually) no prior experience, no team of engineers, and nothing but wishful thinking?
Olé olé olé
"Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) object technology is used to share data between applications so that a chart from an Excel Spreadsheet can be included within a PowerPoint presentation, for example."
We're tech readers, not Daily Mail readers. Give us some credit.
Herding cats with long tails
"The Linux kernel has just over 3,000 committers"
But of those, there are probably 50 to 100 dedicated committees, and a long tail of thousands who only contribute the odd patch. Some other metric is needed.
Re: So why Starbucks?
Ok, so what about Caffe Nero? They aren't a franchise: every store is owned & operated by the company.
So why Starbucks?
So why on earth do we have global coffee chains? Making a cup of coffee is just as local a service as a haircut; yet our high streets are dominated by national or international chains. Where's the economy of scale in coffee production?
This is no protection against a malware-infected computer though.
Banks (in the UK at least) have a better system. They issue a device which generates one-time tokens which you type into the computer. The twist is that when you make a payment to a new recipient, the last four digits of the challenge code must must match the last four digits of the recipient's bank account number. Thus your one-time-code is only valid for a specific transaction, not for any transaction; and crooks can't redirect the underlying website to send the money to their own accounts instead.
Since this doesn't protect against malware, and HTTPS already protects against man-in-the-middle attacks, what exactly is this supposed to defend against?
Same as iOS 8
iOS 8's Spotlight does the same thing, sending search queries to Bing. It also shares your geographical location (not sure if with Apple or with Bing). Both features can be disabled via the Settings, so it's not exactly secret.
Your surname is Connor, your son is into tech and killing robots, and yet you didn't name him John?
Re: I guess it's neat that they "self destruct"
It's neat that they self-destruct, until your contract gets extended and the IT guys forget to extend the self-destruct date of your VM.
6 GB free
Anecdotally, it's the requirement for 6 GB of free space that is putting most people off.
Don't tell them that they can connect their iPhone to a computer running iTunes and perform the upgrade without having to delete anything.
"What we think of today as the "flagship" Android niche may shrink to boutique-sized proportions, much like top-end hi-fi or A/V equipment became a low-volume high-margin business."
Yes, this. Mobile phone manufacturers can't differentiate on OS (it's Android or nothing, nobody except MSNokia are making WinPhones), nor can they differentiate on screens (AMOLED, 300ppi since the eye can't see the difference). There's little point adding a super-fast processor or tons of RAM since the OS and apps aren't built for it. Radio support (3G/4G/5G) depends on the network. And so on.
Today's high-end phones compete on fringe features such as speakers (HTC One), battery life (Sony), and camera quality (Nokia). Speakers haven't evolved in years: phones differ only in speaker placement. Cameras will reach a technical plateau soon. All that's left is price. Margins will shrink dramatically: in fact they already have for most manufacturers.
Re: To improve the health of the nation ....
The government already is in sole charge of alcohol sales in some places, including much of Scandinavia and Canada. It's not nearly as bad as you'd expect.
There could be some good in this, if social networks accurately reflect real-world networks*. Researchers could track the progress of e.g. winter flu by observing status updates like "feelin poorly, ugh i h8 being sick, yay day off work/school!!"
In practice the mapping between social and real-world networks is poor (how many of your colleagues are friends on your TwitFace account?), so it's worse than useless.
I find half-screen docks incredibly useful; in fact when I was forced to use Windows XP for a while (after having become accustomed to 7), the first thing I did was install a tool to enable left/right docking. I'm very much looking forward to corner docking becoming a standard feature too.
Backward compatibility to 7
To gain any traction, they urgently need to backport the Windows Runtime and App Store to run on Windows 7. If I'm developing software for companies, I can't possibly tell them "Here's your new app, by the way you need to upgrade your entire estate to Windows 8." Most of my clients have only just migrated from XP to 7; they're in no hurry to go through the same hell again.
Please specify the nature of your menace
What exactly is the danger here? A paedophile somehow gets access to a kid's location data, identifies times & places where he/she is likely to be alone, and then pounces?
Kids are most often found walking alone to or from school, around 8am and 4pm. There, no hacking needed.
Handbags at dawn
The pockets featured in that video wouldn't fit an iPhone 5 either. Most women carry their phones in their handbags anyway.
Not all data is equal
Knowing somebody's income is much more valuable if that income is high than if it's low. Marketers pay more for a database of 100 high earners than 10,000 breadline earners.
Re: testing procedure.
Except none of those options work on a remote desktop. Rebooting a Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012 machine remotely is an exercise in frustration.
The Shell Shocked bug needs to get itself a trendy logo like Heartbleed. Otherwise the media just aren't interested.
No ladder required
I'm sure he just used one of those horrifying selfie-sticks that are sold in all tat shops these days.
Sign me up!
So how does this work? Can I just move my company in and get free rent and free high-speed internet? Where do I apply?
I remember Windows 95
It's hard to believe today, but back in 1995 there were iPhone-esque queues outside computer shops on the night of the launch of Windows 95. That was the last time consumers were excited about Microsoft products (not counting the XBox).
It's time to give serious consideration to installing city-wide pipes for goods delivery. Just as we have water pipes leading to every house, we could have an Amazon pipe - no more than two feet wide - delivering small packages. Robot vehicles would scuttle through the pipes carrying goods. Once arrived at their destination, they could drop their payload (or wait for the recipient), then drive back to base automatically. No danger of bird strikes, air traffic, or poor weather. The pipes would be fairly cheap to build since they're just dumb pipes: no fancy engineering needed. All the smarts are in the robots, which can be upgraded as technology advances. Since they are ground-based, they would be much more energy-efficient than flying drones.
I have no idea what this would cost, but it certainly seems worth exploring.
For Christmas I would ...
... rather have a drone than an eyeWatch. I suspect the same applies for many Reg readers.
Re: But will it make a difference?
Thank you for addressing my concerns directly. I accept that her actions will indeed make a difference. Though for what it's worth, I suspect the nasty men will just ignore her precisely because she's a woman; the same message coming from a man might have a greater impact on its intended audience.
But will it make a difference?
It was a great speech, full of well-intentioned ideals, but what practical difference will it make? For example she asks men to sign a pledge that they'll be nice to girls. But let's face it, the kind of men who aren't going to be nice to girls simply aren't going to sign it.
It's analogous to the problem of reducing CO₂ emissions: one person acting alone will make virtually no difference to the global impact; and those who are emitting the most are the least likely to change their behaviour.
That's a shame, they made nice kit. Orlowski wrote a positive review of this one a couple of years ago: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/12/11/review_samsung_series9_np900x4c/
Can we get Tim Worstall's rebuttal to this? I imagine he'd have a rather different take on the matter!
Re: Is this SAP's autonomy ?
It looks like SAP want Concur's clients. Get them hooked on basic expense software, then up-sell the rest of the suite. That's the only way this deal makes sense.
Your assumption was mostly correct. ASUSTOR is a subsidiary of ASUS, i.e. a separate company, not just a product line under ASUS. Whether that actually makes a difference on the ground is hard to know.
Thecus and Asustor also make popular NAS devices; the latter has only been around for three years yet already has a very impressive suite of products.
Re: OS vs apps: Paint
The first iPhone didn't even have 3G, only wifi. So having a data plan was irrelevant.
Once operators saw the uptake and the potential, they were falling over themselves to launch iPhone-specific plans. Also, Apple charged operators a few bob for use of the trademark "iPhone" in their plan names. For a while you could get the exact same plan at a cheaper price by choosing the variant without the fruity trademark in the name.
If the NSA are splicing the cables, just encrypt all traffic between nodes.
At any rate, it's much, much easier to attack sites on dry land than to splice an underwater cable, then run a parallel cable back to the mainland and into your secret data centre.
Re: Roaming charges are what they really mean...
Yes, nowhere else in the world has this problem, it's completely unique to the England-Scotland border.
Christ, try living somewhere like Basel, on the French/German/Swiss border. If their mobile networks can cope, I'm sure the Scots can too.
Re: Banks are digital these days, right?
Yes I could get a separate bank card, but by the same logic I could just use a local SIM when I go on my travels. That wasn't enough to convince Neelie.
Banks are digital these days, right?
What Neelie did for phone calls, is there any chance this pair could do for banks? I'm constantly peeved at paying a 2.75% foreign exchange fee just for the courtesy of using my bank card in a different country.
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