* Posts by localzuk

634 posts • joined 25 Jul 2011

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Free Windows 10 could mean DOOM for Microsoft, and the PC biz

localzuk
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Odd article

Consumers don't generally buy PCs because a new OS is out. They buy a new computer because they want or need one.

It isn't like the introduction of a new technology (eg. when iPads appeared). It isn't an additional device.

Businesses have a fixed rollout time usually, so new OS vs old OS isn't a discussion that's made for existing kit usually. They usually just replace PCs at the end of their planned lives, and prior to that the new OS is tested etc... The problem they have faced though, is compatibility - existing programs ceasing to work in the new version, so that caused them to hold back on the entire project.

If Windows 10 can run everything that Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 can, then there is less of a hurdle to overcome to encourage an upgrade.

We won't be upgrading to Windows 10 in our school until the next replacement cycle anyway, as there's simply no need to disturb our stable network!

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CIA exonerates CIA of all wrongdoing in Senate hacking probe

localzuk
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Re: Policy

Indeed. If I went around doing this sort of thing here, I'd be up in front of a disciplinary panel pretty darn quick and out the door shortly afterwards.

I technically, have access to the entire organisation's documents and work etc... But if I go accessing them, I'd be abusing my position of trust.

That's what the CIA did here - they abused a position of trust.

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Kiss your Glass goodbye: Google mothballs techno-specs (for now)

localzuk
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Somewhat odd analysis, considering Google Apps being used by millions of people worldwide, with its various different apps. Google Maps is pretty popular too...

Are Google somehow alone in their acquisitions methodology for development? Apple have bought 62 companies since 1988. Microsoft have bought 169 companies since 1987.

Sure, Google buy a lot of companies - 174 since 2001, but does the number actually matter? Just look at the products that come from them for each company - a lot of the "big" releases of the last decade were started by little companies, bought up by big corporations and then polished and marketed by them.

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localzuk
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Re: misleading title?

Indeed. The BBC is presenting it in an "its dead Jim" manner also. I don't really read it as that though.

Google's X labs are for pure out of the box thinking. Google Glass is no longer a "new" idea and is mature enough that it can happily be its own department - that doesn't seem like being axed to me. If it were being axed, surely they would've reduced staffing or moved the head to something else instead?

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Nvidia flops out TERAFLOP X1 for self-aware cars

localzuk
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Re: Self drive

Go read some NTSB reports. You'll see pretty quickly that pilots don't get the blame for everything. You seem dead set on saying that a pilot is legally responsible for all and every crash and fault that affects fly by wire planes. That is what is nonsense, and you know it.

How about this site, which lays it out quite clearly about legal liability - http://injury.findlaw.com/torts-and-personal-injuries/aviation-accidents-overview.html (that being a US site).

Or look at some crashes. China Airlines Flight 611 - crash was due to failure of maintenance (therefore, the pilot isn't responsible). American Airlines Flight 96 - faulty design (therefore, the pilot and the maintenance team aren't responsible). In neither case was the pilot legally responsible.

Those same concepts apply to *all* systems on-board a plane.

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localzuk
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Re: Self drive

You just yourself said that the 787 doesn't have a direct link between the peddles and the flight control surface. That means that when you press something, or use a pedal, or use any of the flight controls, those actions are being translated into the movements that the plane actually performs - via computer. It isn't a little bloke in there going "oh, he wants to go right, lets move the rudder" and then pumping hydraulic fuel into the system... Its a computer. It might be many different individual computers, with redundancies, but they're still computers.

If the wires that fly your plane break - meaning the systems that run those hydraulics are not working, that means YOU as a pilot are not legally responsible. There is absolutely nothing you can do. You can't go climbing on the wing to jump on the ailerons. Imagine it this way - you're flying along happily and your wings fall off. Is that the pilot's fault? No!

You can do your damned best to control the plane, of course, but if the plane crashes and it all ends up in court, the fault won't be "the pilot didn't do the impossible! He didn't fly the unflyable plane!". The blame will be placed, legally, on the engineers (ie. the company) or the manufacturer.

I did not mention "autopilot" at all.

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localzuk
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Re: Self drive

Not all the time, no. If the on-board computer simply dies, severing all fly by wire controls, the pilot is pretty much useless. Its not like there are hydrolics from the pedals in a Dreamliner cockpit to the rudder or ailerons.

If the pilot does something wrong then they are held responsible. If the plane's systems do something wrong, it is either the fault of the manufacturer, or the ground crew who were maintaining it.

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localzuk
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Re: Self drive

Its a question that we already have answered. If you have your car repaired by, say, a mechanic and he fails to tighten the lug nuts and a wheel later flies off - the mechanic is responsible.

If a person doesn't have their car regularly maintained and it a bit falls off on the road, it is that person's responsibility.

If a car develops a fault with its ECU and locks the throttle on, causing a crash, it is the manufacturer's responsibility.

There's a pile of case law that already exists on it. An automated car isn't so much removed from the "fly by wire" type vehicles we already have.

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localzuk
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Re: Great , even more technology for its own sake

The tens of thousands of deaths on the roads of the world due to human error would seem to show that you aren't really on the right side of the, err, road here.

Automation of cars will reduce road deaths. I trust a well trained computer more than a human who might be tired, inebriated, distracted etc...

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localzuk
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Re: Sensors and transponders better than cameras?

@Marketing Hack - That's kinda the point of a learning computer - over time it will learn more and more things that it will recognise.

I don't know what that weird object on the road is until I'm either standing over top of it or have picked it up and looked at it. A computer is no different.

The human eye is notoriously easy to trick.

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Elite:Dangerous goes TITSUP

localzuk
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Re: I'm not a programmer.

Ah, so you are dictating how the game should be created too then? There's many of us who love that it is a realistic implementation of the universe. Are our views not important too, or do you get to dictate the entire game - limiting it down to what the old Elite was. In fact, why bother with a new game, everything was done in the original, let's just use that...

Its a new game. It has new things in it - one of those things is the expansive universe, another is the server based architecture to allow continual updates and changes to be made. A sequel is not just a like for like copy with new graphics. This isn't COD.

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localzuk
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Re: I'm not a programmer.

Its quite funny that some of you think its easy to have a database containing 400,000,000,000 star systems and their associated celestial bodies on a home PC. If each system contains 10Kb of data, that's potentially 372.5TB of data. Yeah, SQLite can handle that. Add in market data etc... and your game database is gonna be pretty huge!

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localzuk
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Re: Another One...

Eve and Elite are about as different as chalk and cheese. I don't think I ever saw any proper commentator say the 2 were actually in competition with each other, and indeed many people play both.

One is a flight sim, in space, with dog fighting. Full immersion style. The other is a finance management game really, with some fighting thrown in.

I love both games.

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localzuk
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Only had a single problem myself...

In the 50 hours+ I've played it so far, I've had a single issue - I got stuck in hyper-space for 5 minutes randomly. That's it. Other than that, its worked perfectly.

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Untangling .NET Core: Open source for Windows, Mac, Linux

localzuk
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Re: Dear microsoft guy...

You seem to have forgotten a key thing - Microsoft are a profit making corporation. They have to protect their assets, and that includes their IP. So, they are *never* going to just go and give it away with no wiggle room for them to operate in. It just won't happen, its not capitalistic.

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localzuk
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Re: Dear microsoft guy...

As far as I can tell, they've not removed many frameworks from use... VB6 evolved into VB.Net, and it wasn't really a framework like this. Silverlight, ok, they've kinda depreciated it but they're supporting it until 2020, and considering it is a web technology and the pace at which the web moves, I'd say that's generous!

You mention MySQL and OpenOffice, but as far as I can tell, both are current and developing projects. Sure, development of OpenOffice went through a dip, but that's the thing isn't it? Its open source, so Libre Office appeared to fill any perceived gaps. MySQL as well - problems with it? Forked and now MariaDB.

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'Turn to nuclear power to save planetary ecology from renewable BLIGHT'

localzuk
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Re: What? Have these people learned nothing?

Solar is not cost effective yet in many countries. In the UK, it is heavily subsidised (it has the highest strike price of all the renewable technologies). Introducing it en-mass in the UK would cause yet more rises to electricity bills, which would not be acceptable to many.

No, we need nuclear in our mix. We could have 20% of our energy provided by geothermal, at most, according to the last surveys done, which is great, but we'd have to dig very deep to achieve that. However, for heating, we could very much use geothermal, only problem would be the cost and disruption of installing such a system.

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localzuk
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Cost per MWh to the end user is still cheaper than current wind, far cheaper than solar and tidal, and even cheaper than "clean coal" stations (in their various guises).

The government aren't spending anything on the nuclear plant themselves, they are just insuring the project, and guaranteeing the return for the investors via the strike price. The strike price is up to 50% lower than the strike price agreed with many wind farms.

So, even after all the issues you list about the cause of the expense, it is still not *that* expensive, long term.

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localzuk
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Re: How convenient...

The cost per MWh for Hinkley C, even with the agreed strike price of £92.5 per MWh is still below the price paid for wind power (which is between £95 and £155 per MWh). Its actually cheaper even than modern "carbon capture" coal stations.

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BT to gobble EE for £12.5bn – BTEE phone home

localzuk
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Re: Too big?

Only problem I can see is the back-haul part, but it'd basically be the same situation as OpenReach/Wholesale have with the retail side of BT now.

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What a pity: Rollout of hated UK smart meters delayed again

localzuk
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Re: Security concern?

I wasn't referring only to actual street lights, I was being more general and speaking of all the different random lights we have on our streets. Such as the little lights that highlight street signs, the millions of traffic lights that still use incandescents, the "bollards" that sit on islands etc... There are plenty of places where incandescents are still in use which could be switched out.

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localzuk
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Security concern?

So, as these devices have a remote "off" switch, what happens if, say, some reprobate comes along and figures out how to disable, say, 20 million of them in a very short period of time via a bot-net or whatever? Can the national grid cope with the excess electricity production at that level? That's suddenly a lot of electricity being produced and going nowhere...

Also, at a cost of £11bn, how far would that go reducing real demand by, say, switching street lights to LED or insulating more homes etc...?

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UK slaps 25 per cent 'Google Tax' on tech multinationals

localzuk
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Re: I'm confused...

@YANC & AC - Oh, yeah, my idea would need a lot of work to make it actually workable.

The problem we have is not just with internet companies, companies like Starbucks also do this by charging for branding etc... But they also charge for products imported from other countries/subsidiaries, so there'd need to be something to cover real costs.

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localzuk
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Re: I'm confused...

I think a simple rule of "costs paid to any company in the same legal group (ie. parent company, company owned by the same parent company, subsidiary etc...) do not count as costs for taxation purposes in the UK", or something like that would help.

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Microsoft hikes support charges by NINETY TWO PER CENT

localzuk
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Re: Arseholes as ever.

Last I checked, Microsoft don't charge to bug fix. They do charge to fix misconfiguration issues, which are down to the customer in the first place. You ought to have configured your systems properly in the first place, then you wouldn't need to use a premium support ticket. In 15 years, I've used them once, when I was still finding my feet (luckily, it was a free ticket included with our volume license too).

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localzuk
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Re: The value depends on the issue.

All complex software has a cost to run. If a problem was on a *nix system, it'd take someone who knew *nix to figure out there was a major issue too, but you'd likely also be paying them more than an MCSE qualified tech or whatever would be paid.

TCO depends on your use case. For some businesses, *nix is a lot cheaper, for others not so much.

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localzuk
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The value depends on the issue.

If someone pays for a support ticket from MS, the problem is usually a significant one, and takes a bunch of time to fix. So, for most businesses who would pay for such a ticket, $499 ain't so bad. Its cheaper than hiring an external consultant to come in and look at it!

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RIP Microsoft Clip Art – now you can fill your slides with web cat pics

localzuk
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Oh God!

Our teachers are going to go mad!

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Sony Pictures hires Mandiant, asks FBI for help after MASSIVE cyber attack

localzuk
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A good network security team at Sony then...

Surely they should've been able to detect such a large-scale intrusion?!

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Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix

localzuk
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Re: Makes sense

@Uffish - no. When you go to the cinema, you are paying to watch a single showing of a film. You aren't buying a copy of the movie.

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localzuk
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The key is fair compensation

The key in the EU ruling is about fair compensation. The UK has simply determined that zero compensation is fair, and I agree with them. The music industry is doing nothing to earn any compensation, so why should they be compensated?

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localzuk
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Re: Makes sense

So, taxation on devices that have the potential to be used for copying is not charging twice? I've not ripped a CD in over 6 years. I have, however, burnt dozens of CDs of data, my own videos and photos etc... I've used mobile devices to play legally paid for music via Spotify, and to play for legally purchased downloaded music.

How would my paying tax on those items *not* be my paying twice? That's the scheme other countries have used, and it amounts to an unfair tax in my mind.

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Gov.UK annual IT spend edges down... to £4.3 BEEELLION

localzuk
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Breakdown of costs

It'd be great to see a breakdown of costs for this spending. Is it mostly going on external contractors? Staffing? Bespoke software? Maintaining legacy systems?

Its a heck of a lot of money going on IT, yet we see a constant stream of articles about their mess ups.

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BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?

localzuk
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Re: Waaay too close to home.

Ah yes, Ricoh drivers. Want to print in colour from Publisher (which is a nightmare on its own)? All those settings you carefully chose, pah, ignored. Here's your single black and white A4 print.

At one point we had to print to PDF and then print that to get it to print anything in colour!

Its a bit more reliable with the PS drivers, but even now it still randomly ignores things.

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Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins

localzuk
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Re: ALL YOUR XP BELONG US?

@LDS - that doesn't seem right... Why would a patch for Windows client OS's be issued then?

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UK urged to stop bigging up startups, feed 'growing' firms

localzuk
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Re: More to the point...

1. Not really. We're part of the EU in the UK. The EU is a larger market, being 500 million people (plus the population of Switzerland and Norway etc...)

2. Again, business locations in the EU are all over the place. OK, the UK alone doesn't add up but hey, we're part of the EU.

3. The interstate is falling apart (to the extent that a recent report put it at $3.6tn to actually repair it all. Not to mention, the rail system in the USA is shockingly bad.

4. What? Not sure what your point is...

Also, American beer is pretty much awful, unless you hunt down micro-breweries!

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localzuk
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Re: More to the point...

I dunno, I'd be more interested in how many scale up compared to how many get bought up by the existing giant corps like Microsoft, Google, Apple and HP.

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FCC: Gonna need y'all to cough up $1.5bn to put broadband in schools

localzuk
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Re: Only the #@#$%!! FCC

Might have been this line, where you accuse teachers of being lazy... "Perhaps so everybody in the class can watch Youtube tutorials and the teachers can relax and go home early?"

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localzuk
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Re: Only the #@#$%!! FCC

I dunno, why not find out, rather than being indignant and basically attacking teachers for making use of the internet as a teaching tool?

Internet access was recognised as an invaluable tool for education over a decade ago in the UK. Most schools have at least 100MB connectivity over here (obviously, if they're a school with 20 kids like some around here, that will not be the case, or if they're a school with 1500 kids). We saturate our line here.

There are so many resources available for schools now, its ridiculous to start going around blithely arm waving and shouting "why?" without actually looking into it.

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localzuk
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Re: It's a crisis?

You do realise that multimedia educational sites exist now? We can have 90 kids all using a site, rich in video content and interactive activities, each chomping away at the 100MB fibre we have here. It gets to the stage were 100MB isn't enough, and we only have 550 kids in the school!

The advent of "cloud" services has allowed schools to have much more access to complicated services, without the need to implement more server infrastructure in house for each application too.

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Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table

localzuk
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Re: This is bad

Don't worry, Amazon has an alternative...

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BOFH: An UNHOLY MATCH forged amid the sweet smell of bullsh*t

localzuk
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A lot of organisations ignore their own staff's expertise for whatever reasons (many simply think they're just trying to get budget increases I guess), so getting an external "consultant" to say exactly what you've said previously is a good way of hammering home your message, even if it does end up costing you a chunk of cash.

Sadly.

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UK PM Cameron says Internet must not 'be an ungoverned space'

localzuk
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Re: Government regulation usually ends up with overreach

Any and all "censorship" related law. Laws to control child pornography online ended up being extended to include copyright infringement, which then get extended to include extreme material etc...

Unless you mean it should be "always"...

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localzuk
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Government regulation usually ends up with overreach

Whilst blocking extremist material (whatever that is) might make for good headlines for people who don't think things through, in reality such a policy has been shown repeatedly to lead to massive overreach by governments. Who decides what is "extremist"? Will the definition only include people who want to bomb somewhere? Or will it be a fuzzy definition that can be used as a blunt tool to control any dissent?

How would such a system be implemented also? Transparently, or entirely in secret? I figure it should be transparent - that way people don't think you're hiding things away.

And then, behind all that, why is the focus on end results, rather than prevention? Surely we should be putting our effort into preventing radicalisation and the like?

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The last PC replacement cycle is about to start turning

localzuk
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Re: Fascinatingly myopic

Thing is, with a thin client, you're still effectively running a PC - you've just moved the processing power to a cabinet in a room elsewhere. The productivity and working practices for end users are still the same.

Many banks already do operate VDI infrastructure, or data-centre based workstations for users. I still consider them as PCs though. The work paradigm is still the same. The only difference is geographic location of the processor.

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localzuk
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Re: Businesses don't work like that

@Charles 9 - You are still effectively running a PC, you've just moved it to a server instead.

My question is this - why? The cost of introducing a VDI solution which has enough grunt to handle the work of a proper desktop (eg. if you need a graphics card to do stuff) is pretty high.

It'd take a proper cost benefit analysis to decide if such a setup would actually gain you anything.

It certainly wouldn't here. A VDI solution powerful enough to do the job of our PCs would cost us roughly 2 times the price of simply continuing to use full fat clients.

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localzuk
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Fascinatingly myopic

Articles like this seem to like presenting a tunnel vision view of the world. The author's little niche works well with a phone and a pile of video clips (I hate presentations that are all videos btw, you get very little actual content out of them), so why shouldn't everyone else's?

I hate to break it to you, but your local bank won't be doing all its work on tablets any time soon. They might augment certain roles with them, but the bulk will still be a traditional PC or similar. The local call center? That'll continue to use something PC-like for a while yet. All those businesses *creating* stuff, will continue to use some form of PC to do that design and engineering work.

There's actually only a very small group of people who could make the move to *just* a phone and tablet. These people being mostly consumers of info, and people who give presentations for a living. As much as I'd love to be able to do my job using a 5" screen, I suspect that my employer would have to hire 3 more people to do the job as well, whilst I'm busy jabbing away at the screen and getting annoyed with auto-correct. Even this post would've taken 5 times as long to enter on a phone or tablet.

Once again, the death of the PC is predicted and once again I think the author is living in cloud cookoo land.

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Reg mobile man: National roaming plan? Oh UK.gov, you've GOT to be joking

localzuk
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History disagrees

If what you say is true, surely there shouldn't be any not-spots, as the telcos would be busy rolling out more coverage to compete in these "borderline" areas? But they haven't. In this area of 20,000 people, there are are large areas of the town which don't have coverage from a number of providers. Leave the town, even by a half mile, and you struggle to get any signal at all. The telcos certainly aren't all competing to roll out masts down here...

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Million Mask March: Anonymous' London Guy Fawkes protest a damp squib

localzuk
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Re: Great journalism...

Or do I actually know a number of the people who were there (who, amazingly, all have at least 1 job, some more, have families and who are worries about what the government is doing to the country), and therefore have actual evidence, not just an impression based on prejudices and hyperbole.

So, yeah, make assumptions. Really helps.

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localzuk
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Great journalism...

Let's blindly call them a left-wing rent-a-mob, without any actual evidence. Let's not interview any of them. Yeah, just reaffirm your own beliefs, not bother with actual reporting.

What did you expect? Riots and burning buildings? If there had been, you'd no doubt be attacking them for it as well, so they can't actually change your view.

Basically, your article should have been on the Daily Mail site. I'd expect more from this site to be honest.

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