128 posts • joined Wednesday 23rd March 2011 12:53 GMT
Re: i wonder..
"Since modern papers aren't much better than tapes & the like why not use metal storage?"
Paper is fine. If it's acid-free archive stock, not the bleached rubbish most people feed through their printers.
Plenty of paper records have survived through history because they were made of substantial paperstock (they couldn't make it any thinner with contemporary technology), and the surviving ones are the examples here paper makers struck on a pH neutral/slightly alkaline formula, giving the paper a stable chemistry (whether they realised it or not at the time). All covered by ISO9706. One manufacturer claims a 200year guarantee (provided it's stored properly, not in the bathroom), which I think shows remarkable faith in their business prospects! We can rest easy knowing our descendants will be able to sue their descendants if our archive crumbles to dust in a mere 195 years...
That said, a ream of that stuff costs £20+, so a substantial markup on normal 80gsm office fodder. You wouldn't want to go printing the Internet on it...
"And one of the big advantages of the challenge of getting a manned mission to Mars is that it is such a big project that it probably requires global co-operation… "
Yeah, pretty sure SpaceX are doing their best to prove you can do it on a relatively meagre budget and to a timescale shorter than 2043 if you drop the politics, commit some funding and get on with it.
They may be standing on the shoulders of decades of NASA research, but SpaceX are now pretty much in a position where if they want to go to Mars they'll do it themselves, with or without international cooperation. The fact politicians still consider this sort of thing to be beyond the abilities of any single nation is laughable - they just can't be bothered (or have bought into the BAE kool aid that it requires a 30 year contract and a bazillion-pound-a-year commitment), and are looking for ways to string out any major spending commitment beyond their term of office "Oh, no, no one could manage that on their own. Need the Russians and the Chinese on board and they haven't signed up yet. It's their fault."
"There are also legions of people who, thanks to the 'free film' now experience amazing destinations not with their eyes, but through a small screen on the back of a camera. I saw many of them when I was in Italy this summer, and I wonder how many of the photos will even be looked at more than a couple of times."
Couldn't agree more. I was in the Louvre this summer and was astonished by the number of people crowding round the Mona Lisa taking photos on their iPads.
Why? What's that supposed to prove? That you were there? Maybe they were all on a scavenger hunt!
No way you're going to take a meaningful picture from behind the guard rail, through 3 inches of bullet proof glass with a phone or tablet, or even with a DSLR like I was carrying.
When people photograph paintings for insurance or reproduction purposes they have it out from behind the glass, they can shoot it from whatever distance they like - one metre or three, set their own lighting, etc, etc.
I do take a lot of photos - my girlfriend despairs sometimes - she looks around and finds I'm 100metres behind having been distracted by a subject, but I do stop and soak up the atmosphere of wherever it is I'm visiting and not live the holiday through a lens - I didn't waste my time getting a crap photo of the mona lisa (I'll buy a proper print in the gift shop if I want her on my wall), but I did get some delightful macros of some Egyptian artefacts that caught my eye, one of which is now on my living room wall. Get down on your knees, lens against the glass and take a decent photo (cut out any reflections, lots of zoom and a shallow depth of field to isolate your subject from the other artefacts in the cabinet).
Likewise in one very fine gallery in the Louvre I saw people waving handycams around in the general direction of the beautiful ceiling frescos. Really? Are you going to sit down and cut that shaky-cam footage together into a home video, and actually watch "Our Holiday to Paris" again? Crap footage that will get deleted or forgotten about in a dank corner of a sub-sub-subdirectory. Just look at it and enjoy it.
All that said, I'm the sort of person not embarrassed to lie down on the floor of a museum (or on one occasion a State Legislative Building) to get the photo I want, even I do get a few funny looks, which (I like to think) means I get slightly more imaginative pictures than a lot of people (as well as a few that - on review - I think "What the f- was I trying to achieve there?).
"Back in the day of real fim the pros had motor drives for exactly that reason, along with high capacity backs because 36 shots wasn't enough, and even landscape photographers with expensive 6x6 film would always take a few reels before coming home."
Very true, especially for sport, news or nature where you can't ask a tiger to go back and have another go, or asking a footballer if they could just loop the ball over into the goal just the same way again.
I do try and make my photos count, even though on a 16GB card I can fit lots, even shooting RAW. When I was on safari in India though it was a case of hedging my bets. Every shot taken in triplicate, bracketing my focus because when you do spot a tiger you want to get home and have a decent shot, not 3 blurry options. I'd have done the same with film, but this saves having to crack the camera open halfway through. Obviously I'm aiming for them all to be good, but in the back of a jeep with a lead-footed driver they're simply not going to be!
Once I was reasonably happy I'd got a good photo though I put the camera down and just enjoyed his majesty.
All told I had 200 shots to review from that morning, including a couple of absolute corkers of our big Bengal male and a bunch that - with the best will in the world, were pretty blurry because the driver had chosen that exact moment to move on!
Re: You know why its 6000 and not ~50.
"But at least those 6000 companies only have to check the 50 something companies they might be buying processed Ta from." phuzz
Yeah, but what if you're buying chips off someone - who buys their own Ta for their own chip foundry?
Tim's point is you're not just having to audit your raw materials suppliers, but everyone who sells you a component or finished product - because they or their suppliers might have used conflict Ta as part of their process. That ends up being a really long chain. And a company like Apple or Dell would have many of those long chains to chase up.
For instance, let's take a company like Apple.
We'll pretend for the sake of the example they only have one supplier - Foxconn.
So Apple ask Foxconn "do you buy conflict minerals"?
And they say no.
But that's not the end of it.
What about the screens that come from Samsung? So now we have to interrogate Foxxconn's suppliers - every supplier of chips, circuitry, panels, batteries. Every cable, speaker, RAM modules, etc. Only they won't buy raw minerals either, so we have to go to the processors they buy from, and from there back to the ore smelters.
They can't just go straight to the few smelters, because at this stage they probably don't know where their raw materials come from - although auditing all of them on the off-chance you MIGHT buy from them would probably be cheaper. Although unless you certify all smelters conflict-free, you're still having to say "we might have conflict material in our products, but we can't say for certain".
As Tim says, forcing every major American company to do that is utterly ludicrous - you're going to have auditors from every major US company, knocking on the door of the same 50 or so smelters, having got there via a circuitous route of thousands of different processors and intermediates.
What would make more sense is for the US Government to certify those smelters who do fall under US jurisdiction, and then offer a voluntary certification service to non-US smelters.
And then ban US companies from importing any product that does not come from a certified smelter.
There's still going to be a compliance workload but it's more a matter of collecting the issued ore-origin certificate that's been passed from smelter to processor to chip fab to assembler, as compared to every company setting up their own certification system, which is unbelievably wasteful.
That would dedupe the effort of tens of thousands of compliance officers doing the exact same thing for thousands of companies. Go to source, far easier than the bureaucratic clusterfuck Tim describes, and a lot more effective.
Or for $4Bn we could just send the peacekeepers into Congo or set up a minerals blockade from Western Africa and make sure conflict ore never makes it out. It's actually a reasonably good reason to go, compared to our recent efforts at liberating people.
Re: I love innovation
To be fair, if the beam forming works as advertised reducing signal in the direction where you're not located, then neighbourhoods may become "quieter" as access points aim their signal at their clients rather than just blasting out a big spherical signal, which could reduce leakage.
That said, I doubt it's going to get good enough to make an appreciable difference in an apartment block, so especially high-density environments will still struggle with congestion, but if of the 10-12 networks you can see, the 2 or 4 furthest away can beam-form and don't leak as far as you, then that's 20+% improvement.
As people upgrade their kit and increasingly use 5GHz though, one would hope that congestion also eases, as people migrate to a band that naturally resists leakage (admittedly sometimes resisting leaking from the hallway into the lounge, which is inconvenient), so geographically you should see less of the neighbourhood's traffic pouring in through your windows. If your wifi only propagates next door rather than halfway down the street (and if everyone else's does the same), then you've suddenly got a lot less congestion.
Re: Don't be fooled...
Welcome to SME IT. 1 IT bod to 20 staff? Sounds about right, how many schools with 40+ teachers, teaching assistants, etc have 1-2 IT support staff?
And actually 15-20 staffers not to do a comic but also to do the artwork for merchandise in the store, run that store and fulfilment, a book keeper to keep track of that lot, as well as the staff to run a convention/show (you have any idea how much work those are to put together? Some of our customers - granted different industry - are already putting stuff in place and starting work for their March 2015 tradeshow, never mind the parallel team who are into final run up for March 2014).
Re: Supermodel ?
She's been in a handful of films - including the first of the new St Trinians films, and is the global face of Rimmel London (I spied a big hoarding with her on in a Rimmel store in New Delhi no less).
I'm going to take a wild guess you're not the target market. She's well known amongst their intended users, which is kind of what matters.
Re: London Aquatics Centre...
I hadn't noticed, but in light of her new stadium, yes, yes it does... I wonder if this is all a practical joke on her part. So bets chaps, what will her next effort be - a surreptitious phallus, a stunning pair of norks, or something a little more inventive?
Re: Won't someone think of the children . . . (no, really)
I've thought this for the long time.
The real "Inconvenient Truth" is not that there might be anthropogenic global warming, but that there ARE, RIGHT NOW, real, quantifiable health issues with fossils.
Aside from the economic idiocy of signing over our energy security to Saudi oil and Russian gas, there are clear and proven health risks associated with a whole raft of avoidable modern industrial processes.
Why is California so hot on emissions? Well because their topology traps pollution over the city, same for Mexico City. New Delhi is the first place I've seen a sunset where the sun didn't actually go below the horizon - just got closer and closer to the ground until the smog blocked it out.
But that crap is still floating around you whether you're in London or Delhi. It's just at a low enough density that you're not constantly aware of it. Funnily enough, we don't use coal train on the Underground any more, because it's obviously bad. Older buses are little better, but it's outside, and we're not forced to address the poison pouring out the back.
A lot of that comes down to particulate matter (certainly when you're discussing asthma and endemic incidence of respiratory complaints, etc), but gases play their part as well.
TfL runs a fleet of 8000 buses, mostly diesel. Converting them to electric or hydrogen would have a direct and measurable impact on air quality in London, especially if the London Taxi Company joined in as well (there's 21,000 black cabs running round London, of which 5 are prototypical fuel cell models).
Yes, okay, the electric comes from fossils, but from an industrial power station boasting far better PM filtering, de-sulpherization, etc than can be squeezed into a car's exhaust system (even assuming the car is maintained properly), and when (if) the politicos pull their finger out and build some nukes, then the infrastructure will accept their power just as readily as it accepted coal-derived electric.
No doubt someone will point out there are 2.5million cars in London, and sorting 30,000 vehicles is a drop in the ocean, but of course most cars are driven to/from work and are off for >20hours of of the day/night. Bus and taxi fleets run almost 24/7, with vehicles handed from one driver to the next to maximise utilisation and ROI. Cutting their emissions has a far greater impact than those of commuter cars.
Taxis are probably better suited to Hydrogen unless they're depot based. Buses could use either - being based at depots means a sane design would allow the batteries to be unloaded off a roll-out sled in 5 minutes and replaced with a charged unit allowing turn-arounds no slower than diesel units.
Tesco understood this, recognising that Modecs, even with their limited range, were perfectly suited to in-town deliveries, where you spend half your time idling at traffic lights anyway, only cover a few miles a day (and they don't want to deliver at night because customers are asleep, so you can charge overnight).
Forget global warming, and think about local level air quality and environmental pollution.
It's funny that Al Gore completely missed the point with "An Inconvenient Truth" - most of what he advocates is absolutely necessary, but he could have justified it all with proven case studies and verifiable fact, rather than campaigning on the back of a contentious and debated phenomena.
I've used London there because TfL numbers were easy to get. Scale that out to a location that suffers major smog and pollution issues and the benefits become clear.
Re: Money, money, money
A charity still has to pay it's bills, especially if they want to continue developing, promoting and selling the Pi and getting it into schools.
To do that the bottom line still needs to be black, even if the the margin (profit) is not important.
Obviously they're not on the verge of bankruptcy or they'd be squeezing every penny, but as it is the thing is selling itself and they're evidently not having to pore over the sales figures to closely.
Re: Flaws to be expected in a new console?
Components, Line and Inspection. Also shipping times and logistics.
On this sort of scale they'll have surface shipped those consoles months ago to get them to retailers ready for launch, and obviously will have been loaded with whatever firmware version was available at the time. The "brand new" OS build will be completely obsolete now.
Given how they're going head to head with Microsoft for Christmas with launch dates pretty much on top of each other (unlike the 360/PS3 launches 12 months apart). Hardly surprising that they shipped as soon as the firmware was "good enough" (and as late as they could whilst guaranteeing delivery for Christmas), and then carried on bug-fixing whilst the hardware was in transit, which is how they've got updates ready to roll out 3 days after the NA launch.
If we make the bold assumptions that the project is totally successsful in eliminating malaria, and also that the law of unintended consequences fails to rear its ugly head, so what? The people who would have died from malaria will instead die from whatever is the next most communicatable disease in their environment.
Which is starvation.
Far more people die from lack of food than from malaria, aids or any of the in-vogue afflictions (famine is so 1984), but eradicating malaria only makes that problem worse.
Broadly speaking (and mileage will vary from country to country) there is sod all point vaccinating against Malaria unless a country has reasonable levels of nutrition and food security, or is adequately investing such that they'll have reasonable security in 5-10 years, because otherwise you're just accelerating the growth of a population which you're already struggling to feed. That doesn't mean you shouldn't but "we'll eradicate malaria in Africa" is just laughable. Not until you've eradicated famine first. It's only going to work in specific locales where the local population can keep it going on their own and westerners are just getting the ball rolling with seed funding if you will. If the Gates Foundation has to set up a permanent clinic there for the rest of time then that isn't sustainable and isn't achieving it's goals.
The development of non-subsistence farming goes hand in hand with the formation of industry and local economy. Farmer now has cash (instead of eating what he grows), so he can buy mosquito nets from a local weaver (instead of being given foreign-made ones by aid agencies), and all of a sudden you have a functional economy. Hand in hand with that goes education, the resources and ability to learn new farming techniques, construction techniques, etc.
It's a funny one because we see modern buildings or infrastructure go up and think "that's a solid growing economy that", but that doesn't mean the local population fully understand the imported technology. A classic example was provided by a natural hazards lecturer at uni - he was working in an african earthquake zone and a local community were very interested in reinforced concrete as they'd heard it stayed standing better than their brick/masonry buildings had done in the recent quake. One of the other agencies working in the area thought this was a jolly good idea and procured some funding. The locals proudly rebuilt their school and core community buildings in reinforced concrete. Panels.
On close inspection it was found they'd formed the walls and ceilings with pre-cast panels and lifted them into place. None of the walls was attached to it's neighbours, nor the ceiling beyond some dubious screwed-in cross-ties that probably wouldn't hold up a shelf of textbooks. A concrete house of cards, substantially more dangerous than the previous brick and thatch-roofed affair it replaced. In the previous jobby you might get pinned under a beam, but most people would climb out from under the collapsed roof with minor injuries. By contrast you were into strawberry jam territory for any unfortunate soul trapped inside the concrete building (i.e. all the kids if school was in session). The panels themselves were immensely strong, but not attached to any other immensely strong thing...
So food/water, and education, education, education. Because a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and all the drugs in the world won't help you if you're so malnourished your body can't fight off an infection even with antibiotics.
Re: Inevitable question
Unless the consumer was a pumped storage company, which is pretty much the only way to sensibly use wind without also having to pay to keep on-demand sources on hot standby (which we all know is unbelievably wasteful).
Re: Been to India, nearly caused a riot.
RE: Been to India, nearly caused a riot.
And I wonder how many were genuine street kids?
As my mum was cautioned when my parents moved out there - if you're feeling soft go buy some little bottles of water, and when they come tapping on your window at the traffic lights hand them out instead of money.
Without exception they get dumped on the floor as they walk away, and if you keep an eye out you can normally spot the pimps on the corners - kids go out wide-eyed, collect in the money, hand it back to the adults who send them off at the end of the day with a few rupees each and pocket the rest themselves.
Genuine street kids are a single colour - the same sandy brown head to tail with matted hair.
You get the kids in ironed shirts and clean hair and you know they're from a home - not rich by any means, but not street kids either.
Not that it matters because you don't give money to any of them. You find a small charity without much bureaucracy that puts the money directly into their projects and give that way (rather like me giving to a local hospice rather than the NSPCC, I know where my money is going, and that it isn't going into the 20m+/yr the NSPCC spends on advertising, or the half dozen staff on >£100k/yr).
Vaccines... the only thing the world needs right now huh?
"Take this malaria vaccine, [this] weird thing that I'm thinking of. Hmm, which is more important, connectivity or malaria vaccine? If you think connectivity is the key thing, that's great. I don't."
Well thats fine Bill. You go and do your vaccines and other people can deal with other problems. We don't all have to focus on one specific problem - there's enough issues in this world for people to have a bite at different apples. There is no "key thing". It's a big puzzle with lots of pieces. Vaccines are one big piece but there are lots of others...
All power to Bill's foundation, he does a lot of good. That said he does seem obsessed with vaccines, and it seems like an expensive way to go - keeping people alive from disease so they can die of starvation. Pumping modern medicine into countries that can't feed/house the existing population, and dropping the mortality rate seems a bit counterproductive. Most of the western world developed a stable system of farming before modern sanitation and medicine was discovered, meaning you could feed the resultant population boom when kids stopped dying before their first birthday.
I recently visited India and it was a bit odd seeing shanty towns wth sky dishes hanging off the sides of tin shacks! As little love as I have for Zuckerberg, and as cynical as I am of his motives, something my mum mentioned stuck with me (Dad works over there for a UK company. Having become a lady wot lunches with an Agri degree she has taken an interest in such matters to fill her time) - current estimates suggest India could triple it's food output just by improvements in farming practices - not biotech, chemicals or buying Monsanto seeds, just purely improving transport to cut the 25% of food that gets wasted, and improving farming habits to improve yields and crops/yr. That requires education, which requires some sort of communication to those out in the sticks.
There's also things as simple as disseminating accurate weather forecasts - "Monsoon season is bulding a fortnight earlier than usual, get your harvest in sharpish".
If Gates wants his vaccines to work, he needs someone to feed those kids for him once he's done propping up the pharmaceuticals industry. Facebook won't do that but commnications infrastructure is absolutely part of the picture, so whilst I take Zuck with a pinch of salt, I think Gates' outright dismissal of him is a bit narrow minded. Vaccines won't solve the world's problems on their own.
"I just can't see these guys making a maglev, vaccum-sealed tunnel while also cutting 75% of the cost of a conventional tunnel."
You really ought to read up on what hyperloop is - not what you think it is.
They're not proposing a maglev, vacuum-sealed tunnel.
They're proposing a partial-vacuum, which is important because levitation is by means of air bearings, not hundreds of miles of magnets. Acceleration/Deceleration is by means of linear motors but that's it.
So you're making life easier for yourself by doing away with the expense and complexity of trying to maintain a perfect vacuum, and actually using that fact to your advantage.
Costings are still hysterically optimistic though. As others have said, you might well be able to build out 95% of the tube near budget adapting existing pipeline technologies, but it's the last few miles getting into the cities to terminate at existing mass-transit hubs (i.e. somewhere useful) that will be expensive and controversial, even if you are only buying small plots to place pylons and overhead rights.
Terminating at an out-of-town location with a shuttle train or bus in (akin to an airport) negates most of the gains you've made with a short travel time.
"Even with a modern smartphone in areas of network coverage there's often topographic circumstances where the typical cheapy phone GPS receiver doesn't work with any accuracy for point locations, even though the software makes a good fist of your location as you drive, so rushing out a handset based measure could be a half baked fix that then becomes a barrier to a better, if slightly pricier network solution.
Wouldn't you rather have the best affordable solution, rather than the quickest knee jerk solution?"
There's often topographic circumstances why triangulation is less accurate than GPS.
Why not both? Why limit it to phone OR network?
Some phones don't have GPS, whilst some calls may have GPS available but come from the edge of coverage where they only have the most tenuous of signals from a single mast, rendering triangulation not especially helpful.
It doesn't seem too difficult for the call centre software to parse the call/text for embedded GPS coordinates - and on failing to find them, falls back to requesting triangulation data. Reduces the burden on networks, provides coverage in both areas where triangulation wouldn't work as well as areas where GPS is compromised.
Also, your assumption that phone GPS chips provide a poor point fix is a bit sweeping - some phones may have decent chips, and indeed over the next 5/10/15 years superior affordable chips may become available for handset manufacturers. In which case they might make your pricier network solution look rushed and inaccurate!
Re: Sensible approach or is it?
"And this isn't about tracking, this is all about the location the call was made from. Not all mobile phones have GPS built in, or they might not have the power to activate GPS."
And you're missing the entire point of the debate - which is that if a mechanism to accurately identify the location of phones exists, it can be subverted to constantly monitor the location of a phone - i.e. tracking.
Triangulation can already be done, but as mentioned by other posters is a bastard to do legally (for very good reasons).
From a privacy point of view it is preferable for the handset to send it's location when the call is make, rather than the network being able to spy on it.
The other consideration is that if I'm in a valley - say I've taken a tumble whilst hillwalking, or I'm in Highfield (deep in the middle of Southampton, with utterly shocking cell signal) I might only have line of sight to one or two cell masts, which severely opens the error bars on my triangulated position. I might on the other hand have a decent GPS fix to within 10metres.
A system whereby 999/112 calls/texts are appended with GPS coordinates, and which then falls back to triangulation if that data is not provided offers a far superior and more accurate service, with a fail mechanism for phones without GPS or that can't see the sky. Triangulation will get you within what, 50m at best (in an area with high tower density, less in rural areas or a long way from masts). GPS will practically walk you onto it, even in rural areas.
It's the same reason 4G phones support previous protocols - in case they don't have a 4G signal available.
The idea of building a system solely around triangulation seems rather short sighted when you could be gathering much better location data direct from the device and not bothering the networks with triangulating calls for you.
Re: Sensible approach or is it?
"As was said this already happens with home emergency calls, so why not make it mandatory on mobiles?"
Because no one can tell if you're in, nor track your movements just because they know the address of your landline.
I'd have thought a privacy-friendly solution for smart phones would be to require all manufacturers or network operators (for skinned versions of Android and the like) to include a "999 app" on the phone. Push the big red button and it dials for you whilst also transmitting the location from the GPS chip.
Either that or a daemon in the phone software that transmits the coordinates in the background when either 999 or 112 are dialled.
That way there is no need for the network to track (or have the ability to track) a phone 24/7 on the off-chance it [i]might[/i] make an emergency call - the phone provides location data as and when it makes that call.
As they are increasingly supporting SOS-by-text, GPS coordinates would be relatively trivial to include in an SMS message. An app could format it, or a daemon could invisibly append any message sent to 999/112 with [GPS=51.503201, -0.127012] or something that the control room software can easily parse.
I'll grant that doesn't solve the problem for dumb phones but could be one way forward.
Intellectual property distribution is
an serious civil infringement that is costing earning the UK economy legal industry hundreds of millions of pounds each year.
As a cub/scout in the 90s I remember a prayer at the end of each meeting (based in the village hall). Only other religious connotations was the Remembrance Day and St Georges Day Parades which both led to the church for a service.
On that not, I do find it unfortunate that atheists have a lack of options when it comes to attending an organised Act of Remembrance, as they're invariably centred around the local church. I just tend to go to a service and hope the hymn selection is one that represents memorial and thanksgiving to the fallen, and focus on the act of giving thanks rather than the bible bashing about how we must love one another because of God's love. No, we must love one another because napalming each other is brutal and nasty.
Re: Nice to see them catch up with the girls
"The scouts are allowing all religious beliefs, the Guides have come down on the side of one religion that cannot tolerate any other belief but their own (Atheism)."
The Guides are not atheist, they're secular. There is not-so-subtle difference and it's kind of important you understand it if you want to contribute sensibly to such discussions!
The Brownie/Guide promise reads thusly:
I promise that I will do my best;
To be true to myself and develop my beliefs,
To serve the Queen and my community,
To help other people and
To keep the (Brownie) Guide Law.
Not including overtly religious statements in a promise does not imply Atheism. If I run a community youth scheme that does not involve the local church that doesn't make it an atheist scheme, it just doesn't happen to involve religion - not everything has to!
The Guides aren't swearing off religion and making declarations of atheism, they just decided not to swear a promise to God (and then have to provide alternatives to whatever God is called in your particular book). That doesn't make it atheistic. Secular, but not atheist.
That said, well done the Scouts. Now people like me don't have to lie during their leader interview.
Re: What a bunch of charmers they are to be sure.
"Is there going to be a global Big Brother database somewhere that records who owns every single 4K device?"
Presumably with the pervasion of "smart" hardware they're expecting everything to be plugged into the internet and registered to activate the app store for iPlayer/LoveFilm/NetFlix/etc (simply make it compulsory to register your warranty to unlock the smart functionality, which then ties your identity to that serial number). It's not an entirely unreasonable supposition either - I'm hardly likely to spill for a smart TV and then go to the effort of plugging a laptop in to watch iPlayer when the TV has it built in. Pretty easy to get a device-purchaser list together.
Of course what happens on the second hand market is another matter!
Re: It's in da nose, stoopid!
"With my cheapy modern compact or my phone though, it's blurr-o-vision. I think it's my nose-tripod (nose-pod?) which is providing camera-shake compensation."
Pressing it against your nose might be reducing movement slightly, but also the simple act of bringing the camera back to your face means you tuck your elbows in against your torso which both braces the camera against your body as well as transferring some of the weight to bone structure rather than muscle action. With a digital screen you're moving the camera and your hands away which mean your elbows are in free space and able to move.
Imagine holding a bag of sugar under your chin. Both parts of your arm are near vertical. You could probably hold that position for a while because the weight is being mostly borne by your bone structure. Now hold it with your arms outstretched in front of you. Was that 5 or 10 seconds? The weight is 100% on muscle, and muscles tend to twitch, and eventually fatigue.
Read the "Standing" section of "Ways of the Rifle" for more information on standing really really still!
Basically, muscles twitch, bones don't. If you're using muscles then they're going to tire. Bones don't tire as such, so make the most of their mechanical strength to bear the weight, and brace your arms against your body - it's one less direction they can move in.
Re: Good old feminist outrage. .
No, it was the father of a 9yo girl. So he's not even offended, he's assuming that IF he were female he would be offended, and is expressing his hypothetical righteous indignation on behalf of women. The fact that he was offended apparently means his opinion is worth more than the opinions of those who had a chuckle and passed it off as the silly thing it is, rather than trying to whore some media attention.
" Jordan signed up for the hackathon to encourage his nine year old daughter, Alexandra to pursue her interest in technology. Currently taking online coding classes, she was present for both presentations.
"I felt uncomfortable and I thought if I were a woman, I would have felt tremendously like this is not a group of people that are letting me in," Jordan told CNNMoney.
Had both presentations been met with silence, Jordan said the impact would have been less severe.
"But when they're getting cheers," he said. "It's like the whole room's not with me on this." "
That was probably because the whole room wasn't with him on that...
Whilst it's moderately unfortunate that there were kids present, the fault really lies in the oversight of the organisers to adequately check what was going to be presented.
The proper reaction from the (adult) females present is to go away and hack a cock-mash app that lets them compare men or something. Lets them poke fun at men, gives everyone a chuckle and gets the point over without resorting to rather childish mud-flinging in the media
"Muuuuuuuuuum, man made an offensive joke"
Re: Truth or consequences
In fairness, the school typically provides a reference as part of your UCAS application. If the headmaster wishes to retract or amend that reference based on new information relating to that individual's character then he's well within his rights. Particularly if it's the case that 'Since we provided that glowing reference the applicant has done something that caused us to exclude him".
He's probably more concerned that if they've given this guy a good reference and then he gets himself kicked out of Glasgow (rare, but people do get booted from uni for reasons other than failing academically, although it takes more than a few sweary blog posts), then Admissions at Glasgow might cast a more critical eye over supposedly good applicants from his school if they don't feel they can trust the word of the tutors there.
By contrast, going to the Police is well out of line. If it's libel then the civil courts are open to him, otherwise he should just pipe down. Sounds like a bit of a bell end who likes throwing his weight around "I am Head, hear me roar!"
Re: CGI has never IMO come close to the models
Or the creature effects team from the Harry Potter films. Sadly the creature effects only gets a small corner of the studio tour at Leavesden compared to the sets (although the sets are a marvel in themselves for the attention to detail and love that was lavished on them over the decade of shooting). The craftsmanship on display is utterly breathtaking, as is the castle model that they used for composite shots of the outside. The place is well worth a visit even if you're not that into Potter just to look at sets, props and displays from the art department (they've got something like 20k+ visualisations and concept art pieces tucked away somewhere. They had a lot on display but I'd love to go trawling through their archive).
"BTW, it may be true that nobody was radiation poisoned from the Fukushima accident, but the prolonged evacuation of hundreds of square kilometers comes at a staggering human cost."
As opposed to the staggering human cost of making way for the exploitation of hundreds of square kilometres of tar sands, or setting fire to the subterranea of Pennsylvania. Or the human cost of war that seems to go hand in hand with fossil fuel extraction in parts of Africa and the Middle East....
Re: its common sense really
"But it needs a hight difference and a ready supply of water. The combination is not that common in many parts of germany"
Presumably not too bad in Bavaria, land of snow, mountains and picturesque valleys...
However, in general agreement that pumped storage is a niche application best suited to planned, short term spikes such as half time at the World Cup and ad breaks in Corrie. Not for the general purpose ironing out of the bumps when the sun stops shining or the wind drops a bit.
"Shame it's going imho."
Really? I'm glad to see the back of it. We do a niche app for an industry's trade shows. 9/10 customers wanted a QR reader built in. 1/10 wanted an MS Tag reader. We haven't done that yet, and now we can legitimately tell them to just conform and use QR which is as close as you can get to a standard.
Have to say I've never really had a problem reading QR codes (QR Code Scanner PRO for Blackberry), and nor did the people scanning our polo shirts at the last such event.
Face it, Tag is just a PITA. Every different tag system requires the user to have the right app on their phone to scan that particular. QR is the de facto standard, some phones come with a QR scanner pre-loaded. An MS Tag scanner? Not so much...
If you think you might want to change where the QR code directs to (MS Tag's one selling point) then point it at a dedicated HTML page and do a redirect to whatever PDF, vCard, email address or web address you actually want it to go to this week.
The only issue I've had is when I was handed a flyer for a competition at a neighbouring sports club. Entry forms could be downloaded via the QR code on the flyer.
Nice idea, but there were three problems with this:
1. No URL was provided for those without a smartphone.
2. The left hand control square of the tag had been cut off by the printer, so it didn't scan.
3. It would have made more sense to just print the entry form on the back of the flyer, then I don't have to download/print anything.
That's not the fault of QR though, but that of the muppet who did the flyer.
And as for NFC. Really? No. Give it a few years but something camera based is far preferable for the vast majority right now.
Re: Top speed?
Define "low level". A BRS can deploy in as little as 260ft. Unless you go belly up during landing or takeoff (the most dangerous stage of any flight, whether you're flying fixed wing, rotary or "other"), then this should be relatively safe given most of your flight would surely be at 1000ft, but most likely making partial use of it's 8000ft ceiling.
Flying into buildings or pylons is a hazard in any light aircraft, helicopter, ultralight or other aircraft that isn't following a monitored and defined route from ATC up to 30,000ft.
And yeah. 45 litres for 30km is an expensive way to travel.
I had thought it might have a niche application for those first responders who tool around single-crewed assisting ambulance crews and dealing with bits and pieces that perhaps don't need a full ambulance + crew. However, as the maximum payload (with full fuel) is 100kg including pilot and gear, you're going to need a skinny pilot and (s)he'll barely have enough spare capacity to carry a triangular bandage with them. They're going to need to work on the range/payload profile a bit.
That said, it's an early product. Just as the Model T was. They will sell a few, because there are enough people out there with £130k to drop on a toy (which is pretty much what early motor cars were, barely a match for a horse and carriage beyond novelty value), and various militaries will have a few just to play with, even if they don't end up actually using them for anything.
Ultimately one would hope they'll develop from there into something moderately useful.
One has to congratulate them on bringing a vaguely saleable product to market in a mere decade compared to Paul Moller who has essentially nothing to show for 50 years of work beyond some pretty models and a collection of prototypes that can only fly with the assistance of a crane. Start small, get something to market and develop your product range once you've actually generated an income stream and have a working product to show prospective buyers and investors...
Re: There's guns and guns.
Really? The first time I shot a pistol I was handed a 9mm (Beretta, not a Glock as it happens) and barely hit a thing.
I was given a .22lr, got a handle on that, then worked my way up through a .38 revolver and eventually back up to the 9mm semi. Took a lot more than 5 minutes.
Probably also worth mentioning that whilst some of these guns exceed the capability of 18th century artillery, they don't exceed the capability of the 21st century artillery the US Army possesses.
If you take the rather paranoid 2nd Amendment view that you own guns to protect you from the government*, then in fact the relative capability of military vs. militia's weaponry is now much more in favour of the government than it was when the Amendment was penned, when (broadly speaking) in a fight of government vs. civilians both side were armed with muskets, with the difference decided by weight of numbers rather than the ludicrous technological advantage that would exist in such a scrap today.
*And not to hunt, control varmints, or for self defence either from Mexican smugglers or simply from burglars on account of you being a rancher an hour's drive from the nearest Police Station - not a scenario we have to live with in the relatively compact UK which colours our opinion of the US gun laws, despite some American's living in very different circumstances and with very real dangers. As an island we haven't been invaded in a long time, so we don't really think of it as a real possibility. It's no surprise that places like Finland who have regularly been invaded over the past century hold their guns dear to their hearts, as do ranchers caught in the cross-fire between Mexican drug traffickers and the DEA.
Re: Whatever. Show me the fucking "terrorists" already.
Source Mr Jones?
No, serious question.
The CDC figures show that 50-60% of firearm-related deaths in the US are suicides. So tagging them as gun deaths is a bit disingenuous because as the UK knows, people are more than capable of jumping off bridges or tying a noose without needing access to firearms.
About 10% are unintentional shootings which leaves ~30-40% as homicides. However, they rarely split out how many are from legally held firearms and how many are from unlicensed, illegal firearms.
So I'd be fascinated if you have a source for homicides using legal vs. illegal firearms which you've used as the basis for your statement there, because I've never managed to find one.
If you're wondering why legal vs. illegal is significant then it's because legislation can help reduce deaths from legally held firearms - mental health checks and suchlike prior to purchase.
However, legislation can't rein in illegal guns (they're already illegal. Making them more illegal is pointless, good for nothing but political grandstanding. You've already passed a law, and it's being ignored). Case in point, after the 1997 UK ban on handguns, firearm crime continued on it's upward trend, more than doubling by 2004. The ban had no impact whatsoever on criminal gangs and fraternities who held their guns illegally anyway, even when it was possible to get such things legally with the right license.
In the UK's case, firearm crime didn't tail off till about 2003/05 when Operation Trafalgar/Trident started hitting home and disrupting some of the criminal groups who were smuggling and trading these firearms illicitly. The only way to address illegal firearms is with enforcement. More laws don't generally help.
As a result, you can't adequately address firearm homicides without knowing whether you're dealing with primarily legal or illegal firearms, and whether the bulk of your effort should be focused on legislation or enforcement.
I suspect these numbers are deliberately not collected because if in fact (as in the UK), less than 1% of homicides are committed with legal firearms, then you don't want that fact getting in the way of your popular (cheap) new anti-gun law, which promises to clamp down on gun crime. You don't want any annoying journalists pointing out that actually you should be pouring money into the Police to get the black market guns off the streets - which isn't cheap, and doesn't get next-day headlines, because such projects take time to adequately infiltrate the criminal fraternities and disassemble them, which isn't conducive to on-demand political good news.
Re: 10k over the standard car ?
Average UK Diesel cost is £1.40/litre of £6.356/Imp Gallon.
Regional variations apply.
£10k would buy you 1573 gallons, which at 50miles/gallon would take you 78665 miles.
So you need to save 1573 gallons (or do 78665miles on electric-only) to break even on Diesel.
Only electricity costs money so depending on tariffs it'll be a bit further to break even as you're still not getting those miles free. I can see duty cycles where you would get break even (or if the company gives you a car allowance but you're paying for your own fuel), but not for most people.
I have to say my commute is about 15miles, but I occasionally have need of long North-South motorway drives, ruling out an all-electric unit. I reckon I could get my daily drive for the cost of electric, and would only need to put diesel in when I did a long run, which would be a big ongoing saving. Assuming the batteries are happy with that sort of repeated deep drain cycle, which if they're designed for hybrids they're probably not (more aimed at constant charge pulses from braking and short drains for pulling away from the lights).
If they did a cheaper version with less performance/all-electric endurance that gave a quicker pay-back time but offered some solid savings for those people doing regular 10-15 mile journeys in urban areas then I reckon uptake would be much improved.
Electric is fantastic for the city - lots of torque off the line at the lights and not burning electric or fuel whilst parked in traffic (good for the wallet), with plenty of braking cycles to recharge, and an engine for the odd trip to the country. And low emissions, which is never a bad thing in congested areas.
I don't see the point in hybrids for big cars trying to eek a few extra MPG on motorway trips - that's already the most efficient drive anyway, so you're into diminishing returns.
It seems at the moment we have the options of all-electric, or big engine augmented by electric.
I'd have thought for most people in towns and cities doing lots of urban driving you want to turn that on it's head - a base electric unit (10-15miles) augmented by a small generator for extended range.
Also, props to Volvo for making it look like a car you would actually want to own and be seen it.
Re: 7.4m passengers
You've possibly missed a step...
7,400,000 / 365 = 20,274 passengers/day
20,274 / 24 = 844 passengers/hour
844 / 60 = 14 passengers/minute
Two 24-capacity pods per minute, in EACH DIRECTION gives a total departure capacity of 96 pax/minute.
Of course passenger demand at 1am or Christmas Day won't be the same as 7am on a work day. But then their theoretical throughput is 6.9 times what has been suggested as target uptake. So they can get their 7.4m with just 17% uptime.
96 passengers per minute gives a theoretical maximum of 96 x 60 x 24 x 365 = 50,457,600 passengers/yr.
They'll never hit 50m with one tube in each direction as they'll need downtime for maintenance, and they simply won't be running at max capacity during off-peak hours (although overnight freight could boost revenue), but 7.4m looks an eminently achievable figure with room to grow if the system were built and achieved the target of one departure every 30 seconds.
Our vicar received a fax a few years ago headed SECRET asking for clarification on certain classified technical specifications regarding "his" tender for an MOD procurement project. The chap that turned up from the MoD was extremely apologetic.
One of our customers still asks what our fax number is (ours went in the bin long ago). They also require us to post their invoice to them rather than emailing a PDF as they require "a hard copy".
Quite how a printed copy of that PDF that has been handled by Royal Mail is any different to a printed copy from their office I don't know. I always used to email our contact in the accounts department "Hi, I've posted your invoice for the next quarter. I've attached a copy for your convenience."
That said, that's NOTHING compared to dealing with Japanese multinationals. For a country that supposedly at the leading edge of tech this particular one wanted our entire web product offering rewritten to support IE5. No, not 6. 5. We declined their business.
Re: What more could a guy want?
Wants to be careful or he might end up like this guy...
Re: I agree
"I can understand no hosting of file servers etc, or of business related web services (unless you are paying for a business license of some sorts) but a simple home website (why you're hosting at home I don't understand) or a game server to play with friends should be allowed."
Depends. I guess what they're vaguely concerned about (beyond someone setting up a small commercial hosting service on the end of that juicy 1GB line) is someone setting up their own photo-blog at home hanging off their own NAS or something god awful, that blog getting front paged on reddit and rather than merely killing a server (in a datacentre which is configured to deal with sort of thing without nuking access to all their other customers), flooding the street cabinet and killing outbound access for lots of subscribers.
Sounds like a poorly worded fair use policy. Shouldn't be too hard to monitor either. Normal usage patterns see lots of streaming between 5-10pm, or possibly 8am-5pm for home office workers.
Someone consistently running 500MB in and out 24 hours a day is fairly obviously a freetard running a big torrent server and pushing the limits of domestic fair use in the same way that someone running a Minecraft or CS server isn't.
Re: Oh really?
If you'd gone with Highway Agency Traffic Wombles and their vehicles marked up in a scheme uncannily similar to that of the Police - who enjoy closing multiple motorway lanes for no good reason other than they've run out of doughnuts and want to make a thousand people miserable - you might have been onto something.
Or you could have picked on Local Authority "Parking Enforcement officers" who's remit is more concerned with raising money than preventing congestion, in their uniforms that need only to have the green ribbons swapped for blue to become PCSO lookalikes.
Pretty sure no one thinks the AA have special legal powers or are part of the Police.
Re: There haven't been state pension funds for decades
Quite. Pensions worked on the principle you worked for 45 years and died within 10 years of retiring.
Now people want to pay in for 35 and retire for 35.
As someone near the start of their career I fully expect to work past 80 (unless I have a genius idea that earns me megabucks somewhere along the line).
On the flip side I expect to live well past 100 - and in good health. Look at medicine 50 years ago and look at where it will be in another 60. Body rebuilds, a much more complete understanding of the brain, the defeat of parkinson's, alzheimer's, etc. Assuming I don't die in a car accident or some other untimely manner, I'll get my 20+ years of retirement. I'll just have to pay for it - not like the (very large) number of baby boomer's who's generous final salary pensions my (much smaller) generation are paying for.
Basic demographics, we've got a relatively small cohort in the 20-40 bracket who will have to cough up to keep a much larger cohort in the 50-70 bracket in drugs and old people's homes into their 90s because they all want to retire at 60-65 like their parents, despite having a much longer life expectancy. Basic maths says that ain't sustainable.
Re: Pay more taxes?
Not sure why the downvotes. As other commentators have mentioned, businesses don't pay tax - their shareholders, employees and customers pay taxes. Corporation Tax is often just a convenient place to pick up the tab.
- Keep money in the company coffers? Pay more corporation tax, but shareholder dividends and staff bonuses take a tumble (along with direct tax revenues from those personal incomes as well as VAT on the stuff those people buy).
- Get rid of all your profit by paying shareholder dividends and staff bonuses? The shareholders and employees get taxed, both on the income and the stuff they buy with it.
- Offshore your profits? All well and good but there isn't that much space or industry on Bermuda - if you want to repatriate them back to somewhere you actually do business, you'll get stung bringing it back in. It's just a short term measure working on the principle that sooner or later a government will come to power that drops corporation tax a bit or holds an amnesty.
Make no mistake, the government gets it's share somewhere along the line.
Re: @David W. (was: Now ask me why ...)
In Canada there's a very good reason - getting the vehicle pre-heated in winter without leaving the keys in the ignition being one. Remote start from your phone whilst leaving the doors locked and transmission locked off is in principle an extremely useful idea. Of course systems exist that allow you to start the car and remove the key, which immobilises the transmission (such as the Police use so they can leave the engines running to drive the lights/radios/on board computers without any risk of some oik jumping in and going for a joyride), but that involves actually going outside, coming back in, changing your footwear so you don't track snow back inside, etc.
Of course if the system then refuses to put it in gear even after you've got in and inserted the key then you're stumped, but no more so than if your car gets nicked off the drive because you've left it idling to warm up, or if your engine block freezes - lets have no rose-tinted views of what getting cars going in the old days were like!
Syncing with iTunes in the house is a decidedly less practical/time-saving use however, and you'd want all the entertainment to be completely separated from actual driving sub-systems. It's not good if the entertainment system becomes a vulnerable gateway into more critical systems...
Re: Emergency services?
Oh I don't know. A farmer friend busted his leg and had his leg immobilised in plaster for several months. And got Deep Vein Thrombosis. When a chunk of clot from his DVT came off at 1am and got stuck in his heart the ambulance made it there in 7.5 minutes. That's deepest rural Staffordshire, so if you're up in the Scootish Highlands, mileage may vary, but response times ain't bad even in the sticks.
On the comms front, a US colleague is moving from Chicago to the sticks in Washington State. Consistent 4G coverage along the whole move and better broadband than we can get in Stoke on Trent... Come on BT, stop messing around with Jake Humprey (dashing though he is) and get the fecking fibre installed so we can actually sensibly watch BT Sport...
I think possibly the point is that whilst the default on/off debate is one thing, what is notable is that mobile providers are not filtering porn but "objectionable content" - including music festivals, Olympic sports, etc, etc presumably based on a stunningly crude and broad-ranging set of keywords with pretty much no transparency or procedures in place for getting your site un-filtered if it gets swept in erroneously. There is no reason to suspect that a landline filtering system would not creep out to cover all sorts of things that the government decided were "undesirable".
Both Orange Safeguard and Vodafone's Content Control block sites which "could be deemed offensive".
In this case I found I was unable to access the site for the International Shooting Sports Federation (which is mandated by the IOC no less to regulate the Olympic shooting events) because it "has to do with nasty nasty guns" and "could promote firearms crime", which anyone even faintly familiar with the Olympic Shooting events will know is an utter crock.
They also ban shooting's national governing body (NSRA) and my club's site. Which is annoying.
I can see a case for blocking hunting sites for under-18s on the premise there might be images of dead animals (although I wouldn't agree with it - groups like the RSPCA make a living by putting footage of animal abuse on pre-watershed TV) but for target shooting? No, not a hope. They have no business censoring it.
Interestingly the International Fencing Federation is not banned, even though the same line of reasoning surely suggests that swordplay would promote knife violence! And knives are much more readily available than firearms to our yoof!
So I think the inevitable concern is mission creep - mobile providers are already blocking perfectly legal stuff "with the potential to offend", including Olympic sports and stuff that really isn't offensive by any sort of objective measure. I don't see that porn blocks will stick to porn - mission creep is the raison d'etre of bodies like the IWF. Whilst CEOP's job is spelt out in it's name, I can see the Internet Watch Foundation spreading it's wings to Watch rather more areas of the Internet than it's founders intended.
Plus, the whole strong-arm the search companies and block at ISP level ignores the more pressing issue of identifying where that abuse exists in the UK, rescuing the kids and dealing with it (and data-sharing with foreign bodies where it's outside the UK).
As it is, this sums up the current position:
"Hurrah, we've made it hard(er) to find child porn on the internet!"
"Yes, but what have you done to actually stop the kids being pimped out in the first place?"
"Oh. Well, err, that's complicated. You actually have to find them first. Difficult. Expensive. Takes time. Strong arming the search companies is cheap, easy, and makes good headlines."
Re: none of the mistakes
"were "malicious or deliberate".
How can you 'accidently' request someones texts, voicemails or emails?"
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.
So that's all right then... Oh. Wait...
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