429 posts • joined Friday 1st October 2010 12:21 GMT
Re: The French...
but I LIKE Nana Moussaka!
but only if it's compulsory that the stuff be served at all board meetings of the company making the stuff, and at all official government functions (and no-one is allowed to leave the table until they've cleared their plates).
Why should the benefits be restricted to the poor?
Do they put these loopholes in deliberately?
‘persons who, for the purpose of promoting the ... well-being of children in England are...providing information... and who require individual pupil information for the purpose
Dear Mr Gove,
Please give me the individual details of every pupil in England so that I can provide them each with information about the importance to their physical and mental well-being of a proper breakfast every morning, a breakfast such as the excellent "Happy Breakfast" of a brunch McMuffin and coke that my company offers at very reasonable prices.
how surprising - not
Given the almost daily emails I get from people with yahoo (and btinternet) a/cs that appear to have been hacked and started sending spam/malware links. and the apparent total inability of yahoo to work out how it's happening and block it (or even acknowledge that there's a massive hole in their system), I can't say I'm too surpised that someone has managed to get a bit deeper into their system.
Re: On the subject of ATMs
Absolutely agree! Perhaps they should line up several ATMs at different heights - one for normal people (6 ft plus), one for short people, and one for very short people - the same way they have different height urinals in the gents.
Re: UK car insurance is fucked
Oh very sensible, make 3rd Party Insurance optional - that's the insurance that covers the damage and injury you cause to other people. So if it's optional and boy racer ploughs into bus queue, crippling a dozen people, then when they try to claim compensation he just laughs and says 'Tough, I'm skint"
Compulsory 3rd party is essential - and the reason insurance for young people is so expensive is because a substantial proportion of them are crap drivers - and the costs to the insurers come, not from the repairs to their 10 year old Polo, but from the bus queue or BMW they've just totalled. Insurance is all about shared risk based on probability.
Pardon my cynicism but...
How does providing a large office space with lots of power points and ethernet sockets actually "create 6500 jobs"?
Surely the jobs will be created (if they are) by businesses who use the space which otherwise would not have been established due to their inability to find office space with working power points. And I'm sure it's impossible to find office space anywhere in the UK these days...
Hmmm....I smell business opportunities
Given how keen our government are to support small businesses so that we can save for our pensions etc, would someone (not me you underrstand) be able to get a bank loan and government export guarantees to buy a container-load of AK47s in the Niger Delta and ship them to Mexico? Even with the necessary bribes and employment of middlemen it looks like there could be a healthy profit there for someone.
Or perhaps the City chums of our beloved leader have already got the market sewn up...
'Cost' for an e-book
Well, off the top of my head....
Distribution costs (servers aren't free)
The Editors and proofreaders?
Marketing - those posters in bus shelters aren't free, neither are the lunches for the newspaper and TV correspondents.
Royalties for authors, illustrators etc generally aren't a one-off cost - they tend to be based on sales. I'm sure J K Rowling wouldn't have been too happy to sell the rights to her manuscript for a one-off payment of a few grand
But having said that, e-books are generally vastly over-priced.
millionfold reduction in the global herd?
If there's a millionfold reduction in the global herd, then that leaves about 1500 cattle on the planet, all of them presumably in zoos. Where will we get our milk and cheese, as the alternatives are very niche? Goat's milk and soya milk don't work in coffee, some sheep and goat cheeses are okay, but milking them takes ages. Sheep's milk icecream is nice, but is never going mass-market.
Billionfold reduction would mean extinction....
It is more accurately an indication that within that country exist a large number of vulnerable machines and perhaps inadequate law enforcement or industry regulation
"inadequate law enforcement" - in China? Yeah, riiiiight........
Bad idea and overkill
Paasswords have weaknesses, obviously, although a sensible password strategy removes most of the problems. But this is overkill, as it means that there is a total loss of anonymity - instead of using a userid and password known to me (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org and p/w n0T_reallY) I'd have to use biometrics to access every website? Every on-line activity linked back to a known, certified individual? A Home Secretary's (and Zuck's) wet dream!
For important accounts (online banking, email etc) some sort of enhanced validation is needed, but two-factor is pretty darn effective, and still doesn't require access to be linked to a specific individual.
Count me out
but what about....
those employees who don't want a smartphone/fondleslab, or only want a simple one that can't handle the corporate requirements, or who don't want to clutter up their phone with corporate applications and data etc.
If the company says you need a gadget then let the company pay for it - no need to buy, just rent on contract and then if they leave they get the phone back and give it to the next one in line.
Passports don't have your address printed on them....or at least mine doesn't. The only addresses are handwritten next of kin...
Is this something that changed recently?
Re: Bad ideas never die...
Passports are for one purpose, and one purpose only (quite a reasonable one) - to allow the holder to pass through a port into a different country, where they will be well treated by the authorities (on pain of a visit by a gunboat) - they are NOT a general purpose ID document, and can be left in the bottom of a drawer unless travelling to foreign climes.
"Her Britannic Majesty's Secretary of State Requests and requires in the name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hinderance, and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary"
"Jackal" eat your heart out.
If they develop these it's only a matter of time before the 'bad' guys get hold of some (given that it's the USA they'll probably have a constitutional right to buy them on Amazon) - and that means there's not a politician in the world will be safe. Has Obama authorised this project?
"The Last One"
Anyone else remember "The Last One" (circa early 80s) - A BASIC code generator that meant you'd never need to write another line of code again? And all the various 4GLs and CASE tools that came afterwards? And here we are, still churning out the code....plus ça change...
Another dodgy practice...
I use AdblockPlus (of course) but I can't seem to turn off the block of 3 sponsored links that appears (eventually) at the top of a google results page. The real pain is that it takes several seconds for the ads to appear after the main results have rendered, so I frequently end up trying to click the top result and suddenly ending up clicking the top sponsored link as it materialises under my mouse pointer. This is bad news for the rubbish sites that advertise at the top, as they end up paying for dud clicks.
Anyone know how to hide that block of ads?
It's a test of employability all right....
The employability of the people responsible for authorising the use of this farce.
If they are full-time civil servants they should be immediately suspended pending disciplinary action, which should result in their dismissal or transfer to being a traffic warden on Rockall. If they are politicians then they should be simply sacked and their offences made very, very public.
Exactly - companies should have a right to refuse to do business with anyone they dislike: Jews, Muslims, Catholics, Irish, Asians, Africans, Eskimos, French people, Americans, gay people, old people, ginger-haired people, ugly people, people in wheelchairs, blind people, lefties, tories, republicans, democrats - in fact absolutely anyone they don't like. Errrm....or perhaps not.
We have laws to prevent the abuse of their position by businesses - okay, if an individual coffeeshop in London refused to serve a ginger-headed old african jewish lesbian in a wheelchair it's probably not a massive problem, as they can just take their custom to the one owned by the nice person next door (but the discrimination is still illegal). But what about when it's a monopoly or near-monopoly company? What if it's the local electricity supply company, bank, train company or water supply company that refuses them service to please some influential American who muttered "Who will rid me of this turbulent Assange-supporter"?
It's reasonable for small companies to be able to decline to do business with a potential customer on commercial or moral grounds - e.g. a marketing company declines to develop an advertising campaign for a tobacco shop, or because they don't trust their credit rating, or for a pub to ban a habitually drunken, violent and abusive customer but that's about it!
This is a victory for traditional justice!
A good starting point for activists
a) Don't use a smartphone
b) If you need a smartphone, keep it plain vanilla and never downlaod any extra apps
c) Google to update the whole Andoid setup so that it's possible to refuse apps permissions on a permission-by-permission basis rather than all or nothing as at present. At the moment I'm sure people get bored with the long, long list and just hit OK anyway.
One program isn't a network
I'm sure Netflix is a wonderful source of entertainment, but I think they need to go a lot further than spending $100m on a single drama series before they count as an 'internet tv network'. Out of interest, how much does the Beeb spend on commissioning original drama each year?
I'm not convinced
I can see where you're coming from, but surely the tubes are still an issue? If you are generating petabytes of data you really need to store it close to where it is being created and used. So cloud storage is fine if you're also generating your data in the cloud, but not so good if you're generating it on your premises and you need a 2 foot wide fibre channel all the way from you to the cloud to transfer the stuff.
Okay, very big organisations can afford very big tubes, but they willl have to be very very big to support petabytes. And the same argument works at all levels - for a home or small business user with bog standard ADSL and 480kb upload cloud backup really isn't much use if you need to upload a few gig a day. Ditto for businesses.
I don't think the market for large on-site storage is going to completely disappear for a while.
Waaah! Want my silver! Want it NOW!
How often/when are badge levels reviewed? Is it automatic? I was really chuffed when I got past 2000 upvotes, but nothing happened. So I thought it might be 2000 net upvotes. Which I've now passed (just) - so when do I get my frequent flyer upgrade?
Sounds like she's taking it to extremes, but I suspect she's just using the same approach that IT contractors have been using for years, pay a low salary (to avoid National Insurance) and then draw the rest of her income as a dividend from the company - but remember the divi is paid from company profits which have been taxed at the same level as basic income. I don't know whether she'll get hit from some higher rate tax on the divi as well - I suspect so. All she's doing is avoiding National Insurance (which is a sort of tax) IR35 was intended to stop that little trick.
For many genuine small companies (not contractors) it's a legit and necessary approach - I'd love to pay myself a few grand regularly every month, but the company income varies wildly during the year, and from year to year, so the 'pay enough salary to qualify for NI contributions' approach, supplemented by a divi of whatever is left over at the end of the year is a perfectly reasonable approach, and in fact is precisely the situation that the rules were devised for.
Small businesses also employ people, spend money locally, help other businesses through providing them with the goods and services to develop, and their customers pay VAT BUT the the UK registered SMEs also pay 20% of their profits in Corporation tax, and generally don't do weird double Irish sandwiches with Spanish mayo (or whatever the latest trick is) to wriggle out of it.
The system should be simple: Gross income - legitimate expenses = profit, on which the company pays tax. The problem is the Government tie themselves in knots to come up with ways to make sure their chums can use all sorts of dodgy tricks to class everything as 'legit' expenses.
A $1.04bn case was brought against Sony...
They're asking for $1.04 BEELYON compensation for being locked out of their games for a few weeks? Living in the world of games seems to have made them totally lose touch with the real world and the true value of money. Next time they go into their corner shop for a pint of milk I hope the owner charges them $18.7 million!
and is it something that will be spotted by Zonealarm firewall etc e.g. "Mysterious appplication is attempting to connect to the Internet Allow/Deny?"
Combine the two?
Satnav for use on a treadmill? At least it's unlikely to direct the user over a cliff or the wrong way down a one-way street.
Re: Biofuels do have a long history
No need for joke alert - I remember (some years ago) chatting to some Army bods who were showing us the (at the time) new Chieftain tank, who said that it had been developed to run on just about anything that could be vaporised into something combustible - diesel, petrol, ethanol whatever is available. And just for fun they took an engine they'd been using for testing and filled it with peanut butter, and it actually managed to turn over! Not recommended for regular use though. And I think they used to do about 2 gallons to the mile...
Are biofuels Europe's sh*ttiest idea ever?
Probably not - the EU has come up with an awful lot of bad and expensive ideas over the years (anyone remember the Euro?)
In this case, it's the classic problem - fundamentally sound principle, which manages to get completely turned around by the time the eurocrats, politicians and vested interests have finished with it.
*IF* biofuels are produced by processing existing agricultural waste (and a lot of interesting research is being done on how the woody leftovers can be efficiently processed), by re-processing food waste(chip fat) or by growing interesting new crops on land that cannot be effectively used for other food production then it's an excellent idea - carbon neutral and using resources which would otherwise be wasted.
Sadly some greedy sods decided that the best use of tasty and nourishing food crops is to make bio-diesel. Where do these people come from?
Another dodgy survey?
Surely it's only worth asking people who are about to get a new phone whether they're considering buying a particular model, rather than several thousand assorted Apple owners, some of whom presumably have only had their devices for a few months.
I mean, I assume most sensible people keep a phone for three, four, five years before changing, and then they look around to decide what is best for them from the phones available at the time.
Don't they? Or am I unusual?
Instead it will make available “shopping and payment records” from its e-commerce sites to help check customer solvency.
Data Protection - we've heard of it!
Re: The problem with WRITTEN Welsh is...
Bit of a red herring - written Welsh is far more standardised than the spoken dialects, and there is no serious difficulty in comprehension for speakers, wherever they come from. There are differences between the spoken dialects in various corners of our little land, but probably rather less than between heavy-duty Glaswegian, Essex-speak and rural Devonian (and home counties plum-in-the-mouth).
Anyway, as far as publishing books goes, the author writes what the author wants to write.
Re: The welsh lobby
But if the books aren't available on Kindle, how can people buy them? Same argument as Network Rail not opening disused stations 'because nobody uses them'!
There must be a market for Welsh books as Lolfa have been in business for many years, and still publish and sell many, many Welsh books a year, as do the other Welsh-language publishers.
Costs to Amazon of allowing Welsh (and other minority language) would be peanuts, so why not?
But they weren't in Welsh (at least on the Kindle)
Seems Amazon are refusing to allow Welsh publishers to sell Welsh books on the Kindle (although they allow Basque and Catalan) - they've got up a petition about it (www.deisebelyfrau.org) which is getting quite a lot of twitbook attention (and is now up to over 2000 signatures in a couple of days)
I remember streetmap...
They provided free maps for websites.
Google provide better ones.
I believe there used to be a number of British companies that were market leaders in cart wheels and coach lamps.
But, but, but...all payment involves the payee in costs
At least as far as business transactions are involved:
If you pay by credit card, they pay a credit card fee.
If you pay by cheque they (almost certainly) pay a cheque processing fee - and have to fill out payin slips etc. which takes time.
If you pay by cash, they have to sort the cash, take it down to the bank, stand in line and (quite possibly) have to pay a fee for depositing it
If you pay by debit card, they pay a small fee.
If you barter for a dozen eggs they have to cook the eggs.
They can't charge extra for cash payments, so why can they charge extra for debit card payments? Simple answer, if someone starts getting stroppy and demanding extra fees then pay in £1 coins!
Granted that the norks are crazy as a bag of frogs, I'm still not sure about the bit about 'the Nork Army could do a lot of damage' - it's probably true that they could if they were given free rein, but realistically if they do start getting seriously aggressive and violent what would the Merkins do? Just sit back, or perhaps drop a few little bombs to try and calm them down, or do they decide they can't take any risks with a barking mad nutter with nuclear bombs and missiles? If the latter then the sensible thing is to plaster every possible military or politically important site in N Korea with everything they have short of nuclear - cutting off the head of the army may well rather limit their ability to act further. Proportionate response is rather inappropriate if the loony you are responding to has nukes.
RIP Nork if they do kick off.
Re: Wayback machine
Yep, an existing private service that can be switched off tomorrow at the whim of the owner. That's not what I call secure long-term archiving and preservation. It's important for people in 200 years to have access to the the day-to-day publications of the 21st century - will Wayback machine still be online in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, 50 years?
Re: What about our copyrights?
Copyright isn't an issue, that's the whole point of copyright deposit - publishers of books are required to give a copy to each of the six copyright deposit libraries (if they want one) - it doesn't affect the authors' copyright. Ditto with online material - the copyright is unchanged, but they are now allowed to make a copy for archival purposes whether you want them to or not. If you want to keep it secret don't publish it on the web for everyone to see and download.
This greatly simplifies things - the National Library of wales started to archive a number of 'important' Welsh websites several years ago, but had to contact the site owners of each one and get their permission in advance, and, if I remember rightly, the copies are not accessible outside the Library network - it's an archive for long term preservation, not a mirror site.
Won't somebody think of the history?
Can I put in a plea for keeping at least some of the 'no longer needed' data?
Historians learn a lot from the odd bits of paper that happen (by luck/coincidence) to have been preserved beyond their useful life. I did my MA thesis on an archive of company documents from the 1850s that just happened to have survived - it included all the invoices and receipts (even cheque stubs), daily work sheets and payments, letters, every detail of the life of a small, failed Welsh mining company - each one individually pretty trivial and unnecessary, but together the amount of information that could be extracted from them was incredible - comparison of wage rates (men/women/children), security of employment, even the weather and how goods were transported from A to B (before the railways - it involved coach, canal, horse-and cart and a lot of faffing!)
And I'm very worried that historians of the 23rd century won't have access to similar source material for any dates after about 1990 - everything is electronic which, even if preserved, will probably be unreadable, but which (most likely) will have been erased for data protection or other reasons. Just because there is no legal requirement to keep financial records for more than 10 years doesn't mean you must destroy them. Please, print them all out on acid-free paper, lock them in an airtight, nitrogen filled steel box and present them to your local county record office!
(That was an appeal from the Society of European Historians, first broadcast on Radio 4 in April 2237)
Why oh why oh why oh why....
a) would I ever want everyone I know to know what I'm watching/listening to/reading
b) would I give a flying fec what the people I know are watching/listening to/reading?
If I want to discuss the plot details of my latest favourite Mills and Boon or the wonderful tonal qualities of Meatloaf's vocalizations with my friends then I'll actually TALK to them!
Bring back the Dark Ages....
What is particularly galling...
is that the whole chaotic, money-printing circus of setting up thousands of new (and rather pointless) gTLDs is delaying the introduction of a few new and genuinely reasonable geographical TLDs (e.g. cymru/wales/scot/catalonia/vlaanderen) - which could have been live months ago.
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