* Posts by Neil Stansbury

241 posts • joined 11 Jun 2007

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Govt control? Hah! It's IMPOSSIBLE to have a successful command economy

Neil Stansbury

The death of the free-market

The economy - or rather the (idealised) free-market is just a collection of billions of individuals acting in their own self interest. Claiming you can plan an economy is as naive as claiming you can plan the weather, the trillions of interactions in the system are way too complex and their consequences unknowable - certainly to any reasonable degree of accuracy.

That aside, the real reason Communism and it's little brother Socialism don't work is because they assume someone, somewhere knows what's best for everybody all at the same time, and so deny that one individual might have different needs, wants and desires to another. Comrade we are all equal after all.

One of the reasons many people, misunderstand the free-market, is that they believe that there is a "rational" choice to be made by consumers, and that as human beings aren't rational (the counter homo-economicus argument), those decisions must be made on their behalf - and the "free-market" managed.

Aside from the fact Adam Smith never claimed participants were "rational" - he suggested they were "self-interested", human beings actually make "personal value judgements" - that may or may not appear "rational" to a 3rd party. By accepting that decisions in a free market are individual value judgements - not absolute rational choices, the entire counter-homo-economicus argument becomes irrelevant.

My missus owns a pink sports car. She waited longer for delivery, paid more for it, and will probably find it harder to sell and for less money. In my book that is not a "rational" choice. However, as her value judgements are different to mine, the cost/benefit of that decision is something she finds acceptable.

I very much doubt any collection of civil servants centrally managing the economy would ever have created the jet engine, the iPhone, eBay, or pink sports cars.

The sad reality is though, there is no free-market, and in the next major economic downturn, "free-market" principles will get the blame - rather than the interference by politicians and their lackies, not least for magicking swathes of money out of thin air, whilst attempting to arrogantly and benevolently conduct the needs and desires of humanity like some grand orchestra.

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Lindsay Lohan sues Grand Theft Auto V makers for 'using her image'

Neil Stansbury

Be careful El Reg...

She looks just like a rocket plane going into LEO - you guys could be next, the likeness is remarkable, and you've even flagrantly named it after her...

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Aereo has to pay TV show creators? Yes. This isn't rocket science

Neil Stansbury
FAIL

Re: Aereo is NOT re-broadcasting

This is just nonsense...

If I place an antenna on my neighbours roof, I am not re-broadcasting.

If I hire an antenna and place it on my neighbours roof I am not re-broadcasting.

If my neighbour charges me to access his roof neither he nor I are re-broadcasting.

If I connect a splitter to the antenna and connect two coax cables neither of us is re-broadcasting.

If I send the signal from the antenna over RJ45 instead of coax I am not re-broadcasting.

If I or my neighbour replace the RJ45 or coax cable with a Wifi connection I am still not re-broadcasting.

In every case all I am doing is connecting my antenna with my TV, the actual broadcast data stream is never modified, and the signal from the antenna is never "broadcast".

You cannot claim that changing the means of physical connection between my antenna and my TV constitutes re-broadcasting, this is just nonsense.

Following this line of logic means VHS cassette manufacturers should be charged with copyright infringement too, for facilitating a "re-broadcasting" service.

Aside from all that, as the stream is never modified there is no loss - financial or otherwise to the broadcasters.

6
2

JJ Abrams and Star Wars: I've got a bad feeling about this

Neil Stansbury

Re: Not just his films but his TV series as well!

Err one word:

Revolution

The post-apocalyptic world without electricity, where the woman had great hair, impeccable makeup and neatly ironed white t-shirts with some awful acting and dire story lines thrown in for free.

Cancelled after 2 series

JJ Abrams is proof you don't need talent to succeed in Hollywood

1
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Brits to vote: Which pressing scientific challenge should get £10m thrown at it?

Neil Stansbury

No imagination - no mention of energy.

Seems to me many of these things will be much easier to resolve with a relatively abundant cheap energy supply.

How about:

Create a reusable; zero emissions; self contained power plant; that can deliver 5 MW of energy continuously for 5 years without refuelling; that can be transported around the globe in two standard 20m shipping containers.

Water: Solved (Desalination/condensing anywhere)

Food: Solved (Hyproponics, urban farms/bio ships + LED grow lights)

Flight: Solved (Electric turbofans. 2x containers ~ 60,000 Kgs, 747 LHR > JFK 80,000 Kgs fuel)

3 of 5 is a good start...

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Fix capitalism with floating cities on Venus says Charles Stross

Neil Stansbury

What crisis?

There is no "crisis in capitalism", the crisis is in the perversion of the so called "free-market".

The actual crisis is in allowing politicians to fabricate vast swaths of magic money out of thin air to finance their vote buying - and their supporting the banks to be allowed to do the same.

Being a banker isn't a license to print money - mere mortals need to print money, bankers and politicians pluck it straight from their imaginary fractional reserve money trees. That is why they get richer - if you are allowed your own private money tree, after harvesting as much as you want and then lending your imagined money to other people it's pretty hard not to get richer.

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Meet the man building an AI that mimics our neocortex – and could kill off neural networks

Neil Stansbury

Pattern matching

I suspect the brain will turn out to be much simpler than everyone imagines, and that the challenge wont be in modelling the brain but in matching its parallelism.

If the brain is basically one giant pattern matching machine, and If every neuron has around 7000 synaptic connections to other neurons, just changing the order that the synapses fire on one neuron would be enough to encode vast amounts of pattern information throughout the brain.

If the hippocampus acts as the adaptable fast changing memory, then it becomes like the 5th wheel on an Enigma machine - multiplying all the potential slower learned encoding possibilities even more so.

Modelling 10 of billions of neurons with their 1000s of re-ordable synapses, might be doable. Modelling how 100's of millions of them fire simultaneously every second is a whole different ball game that clever software alone won't solve.

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Facebook's Zuckerberg buttonholes Obama, rages against NSA dragnet spying

Neil Stansbury

They are the criminals

"we imagine we're protecting you against criminals, not our own government."

More fool you - the government are the criminals.

When they're not supporting their own Kleptocracy, they're institutionalising acts of state sponsored theft in the name of "Society" or "Social Justice", as they confiscate your wealth, revoke your rights, threaten you with acts of coercive force and knock down your home to build a new runway or an HS2

Don't ever fall for the delusion that the State is here to protect your liberty.

11
5

'No, I CAN'T write code myself,' admits woman in charge of teaching our kids to code

Neil Stansbury

She's right about one thing...

@5:48 in the video

"Well you can do very little in a short space of time"

She right you know, not much gets passed these "coders" does it.

2
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JavaScript is everywhere. So are we all OK with that?

Neil Stansbury

Re: "too expressive in some ways, with features like closures..."

"Closures in JS have been used more to make the lack of OO functionality"

Closures are nothing to do with OO functionality, they're to do with capturing execution scope. If all you want to do is attach some functions to an object call() & apply() are perfectly adequate.

One of the successes of JS is the fact that so many patterns are possible. The downside of the expressiveness is that many people have little appreciation of what they're actually doing. The current obsession of seemingly declaring everything inside a closure is a case in point.

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Higgs boson chasers: Now only 1-in-300 MILLION chance we're wrong

Neil Stansbury
FAIL

Re: The chance of being killed by a shark...

Interestingly, there is a much much bigger danger...

Interpreting statements with a beautiful degree in 'n' and yet still managing to miss the ironic nature of a statement, especially when the original statement ended with the phrase:

"It ain't over 'til the fat lady s..."

The "s..." was there to imply that the fat lady's singing had indeed been cut short, because it was over.

But then perhaps that is just too subtle for someone with a maths degree...

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irony)

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Neil Stansbury
Unhappy

The chance of being killed by a shark...

...is one in 300 million, yet 12 people died from shark attacks last year. It ain't over 'til the fat lady s...

(http://sharkfacts.org)

(http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/9067719/Shark-deaths-hit-two-decade-high-worldwide-in-2011.html)

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Lords call for the end of TV transmissions

Neil Stansbury
FAIL

Re: I'll be damned...

No it's doesn't mean anything like it - it's called network PVRs - they already exist on most CDNs and the BBC and ITV already are or are considering using them.

TV will still be scheduled - everything has a publishing date - whether you watch it straight away or not is irrelevant. It will just be distributed "on-demand" over a 4G et al wireless connection or some kind of fixed line service.

Either way, broadcast is dead - move along there's nothing to see here.

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Crazy Geckos: Nitot on Mozilla's post-Firefox mobile crusade

Neil Stansbury
Thumb Up

Re: Not forever, I think

@mending

"I think Mozilla might be best off creating a product that works on four screen sizes"

They won't need to dude - the UI will be styled with CSS and I'd guess XBL bindings with CSS Media Queries: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/demos/devderby/2011/october/

Canvas and WebGL will allow the developer to abstract away the graphics layer & XPCOM will give you all the groovy XPConnect JavaScript to C++ functionality like sockets and SQLite storage stuff (I hope).

Yum - and no need for Java!

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Britain prepares for government by iPad

Neil Stansbury
Thumb Up

Re: I'm confused.

Or just whores?

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Metallic Glass iPhone 5 to battle pottery Samsung Galaxy S3

Neil Stansbury
FAIL

But it's still *not* glass!

"Metallic Glass" is still a metal and it's still not transparent!

The "glass" part refers to the way the atoms are ordered when cooled rapidly, remain locked in the liquid atomic structure rather than forming normal crystals, hence the reason the company that makes it is called "Liquidmetal".

But it is NOT a "glossy glass-that-acts-like-metal". It is not glass and is still a metal!

Nice pic here: http://www.engadget.com/2005/03/31/scientists-develop-metallic-glass/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amorphous_metal

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O2 declares 4G trial success... with 1000 users

Neil Stansbury

Why auction?

Do Ofcom really need to auction these spectrum bands into chucks for specific operators?

It seems a very old fashioned approach. Surely with packet switching & spread spectrum technologies where they are the entire band could be used for multiple operators at the same time? It would also create a very low barrier to entry for new entrants...

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Dead gamer sat unnoticed for nine hours in net cafe

Neil Stansbury

He's not dead..

He's camping...

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Study links dimwits to conservative ideology

Neil Stansbury
FAIL

'After that it was a dictatorship - as "right" as it gets'

Unfortunately, your apparent knowledge on Stalinist Russia doesn't disguise your lack of understanding of even basic political philosophy.

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iOS 5 'crashes more apps' than Android

Neil Stansbury

Not my experience

Apps on my Android Samsung 7.7 tab fall over more often than a drunken sailor.

I can't get through a day without at least the GMail app and one of the plethora of awful Android web browsers crashing.

I can't remember the the last time an app crashed on my iPhone - on iOS 4 or 5.

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Energy minister gives grudging nuke endorsement

Neil Stansbury
FAIL

@Mike Richards

<snip>AHWR, which will use thorium as fuel, was designed and developed by the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and will mark the third stage of India's three-stage nuclear programme.<snip>

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2008-12-20/chennai/27892708_1_ahwr-heavy-water-reactor-breeder-reactor

<snip>India's Kakrapar-1 was the first reactor in the world to use thorium rather than depleted uranium to achieve power flattening across the reactor core. Both Kakrapar-1 and -2 units are loaded with 500kg of thorium fuel to improve their operation at start-up</snip>

http://www.power-technology.com/features/feature1141/

Facts? Yeah - we've heard of them...

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Don't bother with that degree, say IT pros

Neil Stansbury
FAIL

Nonsense

I've been hired by numerous degree students to write their dissertations for them, because they were too lazy and badly trained to write it themselves.

I think your example just demonstrates the point - that your recursive student developer was far more useful in the real world, the fact that he could prove his solution was more efficient should have amply illustrated that he had already learned what a recursive algorithm was.

IMO self-taught developers are ALWAYS more skilled than those with formal training or education.

There is generally much less time for pointless exercises in naval gazing in the "real world" - like insisting that something be recursive when there is no need for it.....

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Acer Iconia A100 7in Android tablet

Neil Stansbury

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7

I'm hoping when Samsung finally escapes from Apple's lawsuits, and gets around to releasing it, that their new 7.7 will nail most of these gripes, especially the thickness and screen res.

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The amazing shipping container: How it changed the world

Neil Stansbury

"The Box That Changed Britain"

As James Thomas said: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00scpzn

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Blighty gets gold-dispensing ATM

Neil Stansbury
FAIL

Huh?

Please tell me you ARE kidding?

Why would anyone want to exchange £40 worth of worthless paper that Gordon Brown et al spent the last 10 years devaluing, in exchange for a store of value that has persisted for the last 2000 years, and whose fiat value in the last 10 years alone has risen from $252 t/oz to $1500 t/oz.

No you're quite right - I've no idea either

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The freakonomics of smut: Does it actually cause rape?

Neil Stansbury

No

No.. because you don't know how many rapes an individual rapist has committed. So a small number of prolific rapists would mask in increase in rape victims.

So reported incidents per head of population is correct, it also allows for simple(r) correlation between other statistics - violent crime per head, drug use per head etc etc.

The drop in the number of incidents could have many causes anyway, from education, to acceptance of women's rights

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Apple bars WinXP users from iCloud

Neil Stansbury
Thumb Up

What?

IE9 won't ever ever run on my PC - Wooo Hooooooo!

Best news I've had all day.

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Smart Fortwo Electric Drive e-car

Neil Stansbury
Thumb Up

Yep

With 2 x 230V 13 amp sockets, it just needs one of these puppy's in the "boot" for backup:

http://www.justgenerators.co.uk/pages/HondaEU20i.htm

1
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WW2 naval dazzle-camo 'could beat Taliban RPGs'

Neil Stansbury
Thumb Up

Or go as slow as you want...

and get yourself one of these:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snx3XXcvGOQ

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/idf-armor-defense-system-foils-attack-on-tank-for-first-time-1.346526

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David Davis: Jobless should dig trenches for fat UK pipes

Neil Stansbury
Thumb Down

Or...

Or perhaps having massive national monopolies only works when they receive government subsidies because they are so useless and inefficient.

Because when BT was a nationalised company it was such a technically brilliant company that offered great customer service and was the envy of the world - yeah right.

The key words here are: "incumbent", "incompetent", "inefficient".

The answer is simple, run mechanical moles up the central reservations of our motorway network, after that onto the dual-carriageways and A-Roads, the rest we'll get with 4G.

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Judge to music industry: 'Worth trillions? Forget it'

Neil Stansbury
FAIL

Imagined Loss

Except any damages should be proportional to any REAL not imagined loss.

A bunch of 12 year old kids sharing music with other 12 year old kids results in a maximum loss of income to the tune of their weekly pocket money, whether they have download loaded 1 or 1 million tracks is irrelevant, the loss is only what they were ever capable of buying....

The music industry will at some point need to accept the reality, that when content is "free" to download, people really will download anything, not just what they otherwise might have purchased, thus the bulk of the music industry's "loss" is imagined not real.

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Apple sues Amazon over 'App Store' name

Neil Stansbury
FAIL

@Reverse Lewis Mettier

Dear RLM

Ignoring the fact that you appear to be:

a) A bit of a knob

b) Seem to have just discovered the internet

Your certainly don't appear to know much about the topic of trademarks, so lets just let the people that aren't intellectual trolls do the talking shall we:

http://www.ipo.gov.uk/types/tm/t-applying/t-before/t-requirements.htm

[snip]

We will not accept marks which:

describe your goods or services or any characteristics of them, for example, marks which show the quality, quantity, purpose, value or geographical origin of your goods or services;

have become customary in your line of trade;

are not distinctive;

[/snip]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genericized_trademark

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_generic_and_genericized_trademarks

http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/metaschool/fisher/domain/tm.htm#3

Now, do us all a favour - be a good little troll and go feed some place else.

1
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Firefox 4 gets yet another final test build release

Neil Stansbury

The most important thing to speed FF up...

Is quite simply go to "Tools > Addons > Plugins" and select each Plugin that starts with "Windows" or "Google" or "Microsoft" and click disable next to each one.

Most people will find they just have VLC (et al) and Flash left.

Restart and watch the speed increase

The automatic plugin-scanning was one of the core bugs that Mozilla 2 didn't address ;-)

about:plugins might just scare you.....

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NASA aims for space tests of Mars-in-a-month plasma drive

Neil Stansbury
Thumb Up

Electromagnetic Shielding?

The extra exciting part, is the very large magnetic fields generated by the engines' super conducting magnets.

I wonder if these could be used to provide an artificial magnetosphere for shielding the crew on long duration manned voyages.

The engines also generate a magnetic torque that perhaps could be used to rotate the crew capsule creating a centripetal force to create artificil garvity.

Solutions to two long-duration flight travel problems as a result of a by-product!

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Eurofighter Typhoon: It's EVEN WORSE than we thought

Neil Stansbury
FAIL

Aw...bless...queue the violins

For the age old bullshit Civil Service excuses:

...

1) It's some-one else's fault (AKA "it's not my responsibility")

2) We don't get paid enough to be motivated (AKA "I can't be bothered")

3) We don't have the training to do the job (AKA "I'm not qualified")

Let's face facts - being a civil servant is a lot like being on the dole - except that they don't need to scratch on every week.

The British Civil Service truly are the cancer of this nation.

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Cornish pasties awarded protected status

Neil Stansbury
Coat

As every Devonian knows....

Pasties "crimped on one side, never on top" aren't in fact ever Cornish pasties but actually Devonian Oggies....

0
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Unprecedented domain seizure shutters 84,000 sites

Neil Stansbury
Thumb Down

"Our government has gone rogue on us"

No they haven't, they have done what they have always done.

Western "Democratic" governments are more than happy to advocate democracy and freedom of speech - just as long as they agree with it and it suits them. When it doesn't, the "law" gets changed or the people involved classified as terrorists or kiddy fiddlers.

Bait and switch, divide and conquer - it works every time.

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Boffins demand: Cull bogus A-Levels, hire brainier teachers

Neil Stansbury

Change the entry requirements

A-Level in "Physical Sciences"

Physics

Chemistry

Maths

Or

A-Level in "Biological Sciences"

Biology

Chemistry

Maths

0
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MPs' IT support costs £1.122m

Neil Stansbury

Probably because...

They know the difference between "right" and "write".

1
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W3C tackles HTML5 confusion with, um, more confusion

Neil Stansbury
FAIL

XML is Dead

One spec to rule them all, One spec to bind them.

It appears that nothing nothing less than world domination are the goals of the HTML 5 Working Group.

Not enforcing XML wellformedness on HTML 5 is a shocking omission, and it can only be because they are trying to be all things to all people.

HTML4's coding style is lazy, defunct, and is the web 10 years ago. Arguing that authors can choose HTML5 with a well-formed XML syntax is a moot point - you shouldn't get the goodies if you aren't prepared to make the effort.

Strict well-formed HTML5 would still be fully backwards compatible with previous versions of HTML, and invalid XHTML5 easily falls back to HTML4 as HTML5 does already.

They have already co-opted the SVG namespace into HTML5 and now it seems XBL is next.

Having separate standards is a good thing, and correct XML namespace support allows the inclusion of any other XML standard the authors choose.

Each spec lives or dies by it's own utility and support. We don't need to wait 10 years for one big bloated brain fart to be released.

Browsers should claim to be "Web 2.1" or "Web 3.0" compliant, the W3C specifies the various specs that must be implemented to make that claim.

The arrival of non-strict HTML 5 is a bad day for the web - and especially the semantic one at that.

2
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US Navy achieves '100 mile' hypersonic railgun test shot

Neil Stansbury

Not a launch vehicle

This can't be used as satellite launch vehicle, this is still a gun - the G forces exerted on the projectile over such a short barrel distance are enormous, and would easily crunch delicate satellite bits.

Now... constrain the projectile in a donut shaped barrel, taking multiple cycles to bring it up to launch speed before ejecting it, then you might have something useful for flinging stuff other than HE shells....

1
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Youth jailed for not handing over encryption password

Neil Stansbury
Thumb Down

Freedom of Speech?

I still don't see how this doesn't fall completely under freedom of speech.

You and I make up a language and have a chat.

The language is known only to ourselves.

The Police demand to know what you and I were talking about.

We tell them to f* off and mind their own business.

I would suggest that using coercion to force us to reveal our conversation is an infringement our freedom of speech.

I don't see I am any more obliged to reveal to the Police the meaning of a verbal conversation they don't understand than I am obliged to reveal a written conversation they don't understand. The medium is irrelevant, as is the reason they don't understand it.

2
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Project Canvas becomes YouView

Neil Stansbury

Wrong name

They should have called it simply - iTV

ITV already own the domain name - itv.com

It takes iPlayer forward to its logical (branding) conclusion

It keeps the word "TV" in the name

and dominates the "i-named-businesses" that Apple begat.

The name also easily passes the "Mum test"!

0
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England beat Germany - what are the odds?

Neil Stansbury
Thumb Down

Almost 50 years of hurt

England are just shit. Period.

And we really need to start accepting it.

When we set more realistic expectations for our nationational side, the disappointment and continual pain will at least be in context that we are crap.

50 years trying to repeat '66 should tell us something. Are we really this fucking thick skinned & stupid? We are out AGAIN in a humiliating defeat, until something changes other than the manager, this will continue to happen again and again.

Players paid £100k a week cant even take a ball on the chest, control it and pass it on to a team mate. Stop hiring overpaid morons for starters.

3
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BBC upgrades iPlayer to allow 'social propositions'

Neil Stansbury
Thumb Up

Go Beeb

Yep quite agree.

The non-exclusivity doesn't seem any different to allowing BBC channels on Virgin or Sky and, I've often wanted the ability to share or "be shared with" my iPlayer content.

0
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Mozilla muses over open apps store but needs sharper focus

Neil Stansbury
Thumb Down

Shoulders of giants

Blake Ross could probably do with reminding, that whilst he may have been intrinsic in the creation of Phoenix (as it was then), it was only possible because he was able to stand on the shoulders of giants.

Specifically, shoulders of those who had created the core codebase (XUL, XPCOM, XPConnect) that under pins much of where Mozilla today - a code base he had absolutely nothing to do with designing, creating or writing.

Phoenix - Firebird - Firefox wasn't innovative, it was a recompilation. XUL was - it took Microsoft almost 5 years to understand it and release XAML, and with the hoo haa over Flash - it seems most people still don't

0
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Apple said to order 24 million iPhone 4Gs

Neil Stansbury
FAIL

Ask any A+ engineer?

As in the CompTIA A+ Certification?

As in the 15 hour course spread over 5 weeks?

What should I ask them?

Whether they can count to 20 without taking their socks off?

Gosh yes - I must remember to seek out an A+ engineer next time - thanks for the tip.

0
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HTML5 unfit for web TV, says Hulu

Neil Stansbury
FAIL

Huh???

Are you a complete cheese head?

Take both your fingers out of your nose and stop and think for more than one breath.

Have you ever bothered to actually use iPlayer?

It can stream full HD upto 1280x720 encoded with H.264.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/2009/04/bbc_iplayer_goes_hd_adds_highe.html

If you bothered to engage brain before mouth, you'd also know there is an entire gamut of format definitions available via iPlayer:

flashhd1, flashhd2, flashhigh, flashlow1, flashlow2, flashnormal, flashvhigh2, iphone, n95_wifi

--modes switch for get_iplayer users.

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US Navy's plane-hurling mass driver in tech hiccup

Neil Stansbury
Thumb Down

How??

[...]How can it travel the wrong way? Doesn't it start from one end of a track and just go forwards?[...]

Err no... for the simple reason that the Navy might find it quite handy to be able to bring the launch shuttle back to the starting point so you can launch another aircraft immediately afterwards.

1
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The Cameregg plan: Who got what?

Neil Stansbury
Thumb Up

Blimey

I'm feeling a bit light headed. Perhaps I'm dreaming?

There seem to be an awful lot of perfectly reasonable, pretty well balanced, common sense policies there. To use those words in conjunction with Government and Politics.... well.... I think I might need to sit down for a bit.

Lets hope they can actually implement them.

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