* Posts by cpage

19 posts • joined 26 Nov 2010

NHS England DIDN'T tell households about GP medical data grab plan

cpage

website with useful links to opt-out forms etc

care-data.info

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Open MPI hits milestone with FORTRAN-ready 1.7.4 release

cpage

Re: Just have to say

"spelling mistakes become variables..."

Not if you use implicit none, which all competent programmers do.

"whitespace matters..."

Not in anything since Fortran77, for example Fortran90, Fortran95, Fortran2003, Fortran2008.

"HPF is kinda neat...just saying....."

But Fortran2008 has co-arrays, which greatly simplifies parallel code, and makes HPF, MPI, and similar libraries obsolescent. Just saying...

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Volunteers slam plans to turn Bletchley Park into 'geeky Disneyland'

cpage

Send them an email

I have just sent them an email to protest about these changes, using their webform on

http://www.bletchleypark.org.uk/content/contact.rhtm

If lots of us do the same, maybe they will get the point.

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TomTom GO 6000 satnav chews on smarties and tablets

cpage

Agree that TomTom have lost the plot

I've used a TomTom for years and we were mostly happy with it. We've used it all over Europe and in hire cars in US and Australia. A few months ago I wanted to update its maps of Europe - but I wasn't allowed to do it, because TomTom said my hardware was "no longer supported". This is ridiculous, as it's still working well. I'm sure they thought that they would persuade me to buy a brand new device from them.

I nearly did that, but the cost is rather high and they don't appear to be any better than the old ones, perhaps in some ways worse. Besides which I resented having to pay again for all the maps I've purchased for the old one.

So Messrs TomTom have lost a sale of a map upgrade, and I will rely on a smartphone app when next the old satnav doesn't seem adequate. If all their marketing decisions are as clever as this one, I don't expect them to stay in business long.

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Can't wait for 4G? Take heart, 5G is on the way

cpage

Needs to be world-wide agreement on bands, not a little-England solution

I am astonished how little there is in the OFCOM document on international portability. We already have 4g phones that will work in the UK but not in many other countries, and similarly if you buy a 4g phone in North America it won't work here. As people travel more, this is going to be more and more irksome. Even if roaming charges around the world stay high, at least the European Commission seems to be taking some action to curb the rapacity of the mobile providers within Europe.

What OFCOM needs to do is work out what bands are likely to be available for 5g usage around the world and then see whether these same bands could be made available for the same purpose within the UK. Providing a solution that just works in a small area like the UK would be stupid.

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Three Men in a Tardis

cpage

Re: I would complain if you didn't start at zeroth.

"One of the main causes of the fall of the Roman Empire was that, lacking zero, they had no way to indicate successful termination of their C programs."

-- Robert Firth

But there is, quite separately, the question of how to number elements of an array:

"Should array indices start at 0 or 1? My ecumenical compromise of 0.5

was rejected without, I thought, proper consideration."

-- Stan Kelly-Bootle

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Home Office boffins slip out passport-scanning Android app

cpage

Re: immigration/visa check

Can anyone else get this App to work properly?

I tried it once on my passport - it's very tedious to use as you have to enter the passport number and other data from the same page to show that you have physical access to the passport. It did indeed display my (awful) passport photo, but that's all. I then tried it on my wife's passport which also has a chip. I couldn't get it to work. I then tried it on mine again, re-entering all the necessary data of course. Didn't work this time. So perhaps it's a use-once application?

These are, of course, the people who brought us the Iris scanners at major airports, which in my experience only worked about one time in ten. The new facial recognition terminals at Heathrow were all out of order last time I entered the country, so maybe their reliability is just as good.

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Remember Streetmap? It's suing Google in a UK court

cpage

Re: Streetmap is superior

I agree. For most purposes streetmap.co.uk is very much better - has real OS maps down to 1:25000 and has town maps at larger scales. All streets named, which Google maps only does sometimes, and much more reliable.

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Samsung's new Galaxy S 4: iPhone assassin or Android also-ran?

cpage

Different bands for different markets - how awful

The whole point of a mobile phone is that you should be able to take it around to different places and it should just work - I'm fed up with having a GSM phone that only works in parts of the USA and Canada, for example, because they use different bands to ours.

So what do we find here: 4g with the hardware using a different selection of bands when sold in different places. So if I buy one in the UK it probably won't be able to use 4g in other countries. What a mess.

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Mozilla shoots down Thunderbird, hatches new release model

cpage

Gmail and Thunderbird are not alternatives

You say that gmail has vastly more users, but you have no idea how many of those are actualy accessing their gmail accounts using a client like Thunderbird, as I do, so those figures have a large overlap, they are not alternatives. Personally I find webmail clients far too clunky for use (except when away from home using some one else's computer when I have no alternative).

But Thunderbird has lots of annoying bugs that really need to get fixed, e.g. it sometimes doesn't alert you to new incoming mail, or it displays mails as unread long after you have read them all. As others have said its handling of plain vs HTML text and replies is not all that good either. As far as know Thunderbird is the best of the free mail clients, but it's surprising that it still has so many features that need fixing.

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Nokia Asha 201 Qwerty phone

cpage
Unhappy

Only 2-band - how stupid.

This might have been useful, but how can they produce it supporting only 2 bands, so it won't work in many places around the world, especially north and south america. I couldn't possibly consider it.

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Ten... mono laser printers

cpage

HP - good printers, bad sales strategy

I've had an HP1000 printer for several years, which has been very reliable, and non-HP cartridges are fairly cheap. But I'm going to have to replace it soon because HP have chosen not to release drivers for Windows Vista or Win7, so when my last Win-XP computer goes, so will the printer (since the PC is used to do the rendering, it simply won't work without a specific driver).

This is obviously a ploy by HP to force me to replace a perfectly good working printer with another one bought from them. I take strong exception to this, so, despite having used lots of HP laser printers over the years with generally good experiences, the next one I buy will be from any company except HP.

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Verity's secret shame revealed

cpage

Slases in URLs

I went to a talk by Tim Berners-Lee not long back and someone asked him if he had any second thoughts about the design of HTML etc. He said that he had only one regret: if had to do it again he definitely would have had just one slash after the http: instead of a double one. I think the audience were with him on that.

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Sheila's Fails? The statistics of biological risk

cpage

nothng to stop you insuring with Sheila's wheels

They don't - I'm a male and have an insurance policy with Sheila's wheels.

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It's official: Nokia bets on Microsoft for smartphones

cpage

Such a pity

Nokia used to make such good phones, but they failed to modernise them, such a pity. Now they plan to join up with one of the dinosaurs of the computer industry - which seems a terrible mistake. I don't think I could bring myself to buy a Nokia phone knowing that it had Windows inside.

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London's tube demands faster-than-NFC ticketing

cpage

I agree

Agree that there is no technical reason for the response to be so slow. And this really matters: I find the current TfL Oyster cards are just about fast enough, but the readers at some national rail stations, like those of East Midlands Trains at Leicester, are much slower, and really make you stop and wait, until the gate opens. The gates bear a sticker saying "Don't push" presumably because so many passengers are surprised when the gates don't open as they expect. Such stupid design (but that's consistent with the general behavour of our privatised railway companies).

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Ofcom proposes UK phone numbers prefix re-org

cpage

Wow indeed

"You can rely upon Ofcom to do the right thing eventually (but only after they have explored all of the other possibilites").

Actually I think that was said about some other organisation entirely, but it seems apposite.

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Lost ancient civilisation's ruins lie beneath Gulf, says boffin

cpage
Happy

Easier way to explore

Sounds like it would be easy enough to put a dam across the mouth of the Gulf and then pump it out? Would also provide quite a lot of fertile ground, which some countries around there might like to populate.

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WTF is... up with e-book pricing?

cpage

e-books are competing with free libraries, not with physical bookstores.

A more serious problem, it seems to me, is that with an e-book you don't actually own it, you just rent it. With a physical book I can lend it to others, or sell it when I don't want it any more. If I want a book for just a period I can borrow it from a library. That suggests that e-book rental pricing ought to be *much* lower than it is at present to be attractive.

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