523 posts • joined Thursday 28th July 2011 21:58 GMT
I've never used a Kinect, but I thought it had voice recognition built in? Everyone seems to be getting hung up on the gesture side of things, but (assuming what I have heard is correct) surely a telly that you could tell to "switch to Sky One" or "record Coronation Street" would have some appeal?
"mobs are dangerous"
They certainly are - you run the risk of being trampled.
Who is trying to justify Piracy?
All I see from the post is a legitimate games purchaser/owner venting a little bit of stress about the inconvenience and irony of anti piracy measures that impact legitimate customers more than pirates. Similar to remarking that people who buy pirate DVDs don't have to sit through three minutes of copyright warning, unlike paying customers.
How the hell...
...do you swing a TV "Like a bat"?
This post has a black helicopter logo
Full of Black Ops troops here to rendition you and find out how you know about the stealth choppers.
Google and Facebook...
...pulling out of Europe is about as likely as these data laws making any notable difference in the next five years.
The Electoral Registers could be 100% accurate and the only thing that would change would be the Electoral Registers would be 100% accurate. (Okay, and telemarketers/junk mailers who buy copies of the public version would have a vastly improved database of people to harrass.)
The people who do vote are already on the register by definition. The people who aren't on the register don't vote, and have the right and ability to get themselves registered if they gave a damn, which it seems fair to assume that they don't.
There are countless more worthwhile projects than getting councils to spend their already tight budgets on what is essentially a tarted up Yellow Pages of people.
You do have to wonder how many mosquito nets $1M would buy. That said, the intent seems to be that the laser wall could scale up to protect hundreds of people. What if it could be mounted on the roof of a hospital to protect the whole building? Or create a partial wall directly between a town and a known mosquito hotspot?
Wii Timeline & Summary
Stupid name, worse graphics than competitor from previous generation (e.g. the original XBox.) Bought in mass because was cheap and had entertaining gimmick.
Imprecise motion control and piss-poor game interfaces dulled the shine.
Wii Fit put some sparkle back but games remained sub-par and irritating.
Now adorns lofts and cupboards across the world.
Delicate scientific measurement / communications equipment and horrific kinetic violence don't really mix. Unless there's a staggering leap in progress that allows us to cheaply make kit that could take that kind of damage. Even then it would be unpopular as it wouldn't be able to take anything living, and other countries might be nervous about its potential as a superweapon.
One tenth to one fifteenth of $12Bn is not that much?? Maybe not in the wider scheme of things, but certainly enough to pay thirty two thousand people a £25K yearly salary for all those years. I'd be willing to bet you could do that and pay those thirty two thousand folk to twiddle their thumbs and still have the same or better level of economic benefit as this metering project.
You mention roads - let's dump the 12Bn into a UK-wide road fixing fund, or a fund to offer free/subsidised insulation upgrades to homes, or modernising parts of the leaky energy transmission network - anything apart from this waste.
I'd be interested to know
What the Academics do with the data they slurped? Do they consider it fair game as the friend request was accepted? Is it destroyed, stored anonymised or just stored by them? They've already used the data (friends lists harvested from the first trawl) to do the second trawl run.
Not that I'm having a go at the Academics though, it seems obvious this is an issue that needs highlighted. More for FB and the like to (try to) step up the warnings that friend requests might be a stranger trying to con you.
No TV isn't that bad a choice
For the price of a year's TV licence the canny bargain hunter can amass a DVD collection that can provide far more entertainment than all the channels put together. And/or subscribe to Netflix etc.
EA and DICE won't give a shit about the game being good until shooter fans learn to find out how good the game is by reading reviews and maybe exercise some restraint instead of biting off the hands of the retailers on release day. Same goes for the crap Treyarch pumps out under the COD name.
More things than the emergency services need public funding - I rarely use libraries for example but am happy to contribute to their running through taxation. For all her faults in recent years, Auntie Beeb is part of British history. Unfortunately this means it's been around long enough to have some idiosyncrasies that no longer make sense (e.g. Licence fee.)
That said there's a lot to be said for modernising the licence fee instead of scrapping it by turning it into a login for iPlayer etc, along the lines suggested by other posters. What if your login entitled you to a web based vote on key issues like what sort of entertainment to fund and how much to fund it by?
Just as an aside, just had a look at the BBC website - Between 1 April 2010 and 31 March 2011, Spend on BBC TV was £2,351 Million - are you GD kidding me.
Call me cynical
Look at that, £12Bn sitting earmarked for a non-essential project that work hasn't begun on and the ministers admit there's time to kill it before the money is spent. Given how easily this dough could go on something more deserving, what's the bet that the smart meter project goes ahead, balloons to twice the price, takes half as long again as projected, and barely works?
I used to use Multimap.com, it was one of the few places on the web where I would go before checking out Google's offering. When Bing took them over their maps didn't display on (Chrome or Firefox, whichever I was using at the time) for about a month. Switched to Google maps and never looked back. Which I suppose says something about Microsoft's struggle to gain a foothold on the web, really - when you have users with the patience/attention spans trending towards zero and competitors ready to step up just a click away you cannot bodge it.
Assuming of course...
...that none of your pals in the cartel get any funny ideas about dobbing you in for immunity first; how far will everyone push their greed?
I think it's a good idea for the investigators to dish out 'bonuses', in the form of immunity as well as reduced fines. It's practical to admit that this sort of collusion only occurs because the financial rewards outweigh the risks in the eyes of the cartels. Throwing immunity incentives out there knackers the comfy high reward / low risk scenario where all the cartel members can trust each other. It works in the other direction too - companies with a history of collusion get hit with massive increases in penalties, taking them to the point where they simply cannot afford the potential cost of doing it again.
They should stick to their guns and not sell themselves - that strategy worked out wonderfully for them last time round.
Aggregate odds I think
I would guess it's something like:
Odds of coming down over a populated area e.g. 1 in 10
x Odds of hitting someone if a piece comes down in a populated area, e.g. if it comes down over a square kilometre with 5,000 inhabitants and we treat a piece entering the same square metre as a person a 'hit', then each piece has a 5,000 in 1,000,000 (1 in 200) chance of hitting.
So that's each piece got a 1/10 chance of having a 1/200 chance = 1/10 * 1/200 = 1/2000. (And with 30 pieces that's 30 1 in 2000 chances.)
Of course this example is just made up numbers, but then gain so is their estimate - if they don't know when it's going to come back to Earth (2 days+ of uncertainty) then they don't know where it's going to come down, hence the population of the theoretical impact area is uncertain at best. think of two scenarios for touchdown, one over the ocean, another over a capital city - wildly different odds of striking a person.
The important thing is that if they calculate this risk the same way every time, they can tell which impact scenarios are (relatively) more or less dangerous even if the numbers they are using turn out to be wrong.
My favourite memory of U-571 was the little footnote at the end just before the credits rolled. It read something like "The US forces success in capturing intact the Enigma codebook marked a great Allied triumph in the war" and then in smaller font something along the lines of "The British had already done this twice and the Canadians once."
Wasn't hacked/infected. The Bletchley Park boffins listened to the transmissions (a known vulnerability) and decoded the information contained within.
Might vs Do
Wash your hands after going to the toilet but handle the door on the way out - MIGHT have shit on your hands.
Go to the toilet and leave without washing your hands - DO have shit on your hands.
To take a ridiculous extreme example, you don't take the fact that another driver might crash into you and kill you as free reign for you to clart round town at 100mph ignoring all the lights.
Sent from my Porcelain Throne
If the final ruling is in 2012, then I presume the ban is iron-clad until then? Missing out on the Christmas period is gonna hurt Samsung bigtime (Obviously.) And pretty much guarantees they will go for apple all guns blazing in their countersuit.
I think the most lasting outcome of this will be a very public example of how not to trust social networks with data that could embarrass you. If this example helps people realise this and they cut back on the FaceCrack, then Google+ might get to contribute towards taking FB down a peg just not by taking their users as they would hope. When you get past the hype and the bumf, FB is popular because it's a one stop shop to chat and share (non-sensitive) photos with mates, with a calendar for birthdays. Its only 'killer feature' is being popular, so there's a good chance your pals are on there.
For better or worse console gamers have set up their camps with Microsoft or Sony, aside from the occasional online fiasco most people seem happy where they are. Also with the recent attempts to revolutionise consoles in the form of the Wii* / Kinect / move not really doing that well, the existing customer base will likely be resistant at best to the idea of another 'revolution in gaming'. Maybe Apple could try and repeat the Wii's trick of being a console for families and older folk, but then they'd have to walk away from the high pricing they love so much to approach that demographic.
*Yes, I know the Wii's sold like buggery - a few years ago. How much do you hear about them now? all the Wii owners I know of (myself included) have them gathering dust at the back of a cupboard somewhere.
On a careful reading of the caveats in the article, it seems that Halliburton don't have the patents yet, the judge has simply ruled they cannot be rejected based on the logic given by the IPO. (the article says "This decision *should* give Halliburton four patents.")
While I disagree with the judge's ruling based on a quick scan of what was said, presumably the patent application will have to be reconsidered. I can only hope the IPO have the balls to reject it again, for an inarguable reason this time. If it had been me, it wouldn't have passed the "take an inventive step that is not obvious" stage - simulations have been around for decades. Not to say that HB's thingamajig is not worth protecting though, but that is what *copyright* is for.
You might as well have campaigned for a spam-proof letterbox while you were at it, and then we could use the time saved countrywide by not opening junk mail to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and end the budget crisis.
Exactly what is so hollow about giving customers a choice? The ISP's are no saints, but good on them for fighting against becoming the de facto internet police and resisting the automatic opt-in mentality (for once.)
"some of the trials involving around 1,000 properties were taking twice as long as anticipated due to duct blockages that needed to be cleared."
Imagine real world installations being more complex than the fictional perfect installation scenario - I am shocked and appalled. Real businesses have a damned cheek not being homogeneous if you ask me.
You seriously wouldn't buy Uncharted 3 because someone that isn't you would have to buy multiplayer access if you sold it on?
They're not tampering with features of the product sold, they are restricting access to the separate online service to their customers. People who buy second hand are not their customers (unless they buy an online pass.)
I used to be fine with second hand sales, but the aggressive way high street stores are pushing them nowadays is taking the piss. You can't compete with someone selling your own product at a lower price unless you give the brand new version something unique.
Sony obviously do have to tread carefully though, with their recent PR fiascos the last thing they need is passes not working or being 40 character alphanumerics that are an arse to type in. But if it's not too much of a hassle for *their* paying customers (well, them and the games developers) I can't see this being an issue. I buy my games new unless I kind of want it but I suspect it's going to be crap (e.g. anything by Treyarch) in which case I pick it up bargain bin some months down the line.
Nice to see
Some slightly good news in amongst the recent spending disasters; here's hoping the NHS get to put the dosh to something useful and necessary that is delivered on time and does the job for a change.
A man can dream.
Up until the press got hold of it, then the company would sacrifice him to the gods of Public Relations.
These poor businesses...
Haven't their friends in the music industry taught them how unfair it is to compete with free, how much money they will 'lose'? Or maybe they'll be a PR/lobbying campaign to criminalise/demonise paper money - "Every time you use untraceable paper cash, you are funding terrorist extremist Somali pirate people traffickers! Stay safe with our trackable, chargeable, e-cash system.
It's so simple, you just bend over the kiosk and pay."
Can you imagine this going through?
Xerox would own the entire computing industry - everyone with a modern GUI would be indebted to them. Might not be a bad thing actually, you don't hear about them suing at the drop of a patent (and they'd have no-one not owned by them they could sue anyway.) With everyone on the same team, progress towards a technology fueled Utopia comes along in leaps and bounds while the lawyers go back to ambulance chasing.
a man can dream...
*Part* of their security failed - that's not to say it sucked. There is a difference between failing to prevent unauthorised access to data, which Sony admitted happened here, and not bothering to protect data from being stolen, which you seem to think is the case; if you have proof that the hack occurred because Sony's security was substandard as opposed to just beaten, we'd all like to hear it.
The attackers got a list of names and addresses, credit card details were not leaked. Fair enough they could have encrypted the name and address list as well, but some people cry and wail like the list was posted as a downloadable file on their website.
I, much like many others, got two free games and access to Playstation Plus premium content by way of apology when the network came back up. I'm not happy this happened, but no-one has lost any money and Sony apologised with free stuff. Put it in perspective.
And sometimes those defence mechanisms are knackered
And they must be managed by manual intervention so that misfortunates with allergies and addictions and the like can lead a normal life.
"“Medications targeting Toll-like Receptor 4 may prove beneficial in treating alcohol dependence and acute overdoses,” says Dr Hutchinson."
Although if this was developed further it might have commercial application as a sober-up pill - presuming it's possible to 'sober up' by taking the inhibitor AFTER alcohol. I wouldn't complain if I could have a night on the town and take a tablet that gives me back the mental focus and energy to walk home safely and chug enough water to keep my kidneys semi-happy until morning before rolling into bed. There is always the possibility of it being misused if it was wildly available, but there's no sense in blaming the tools for what is done with them.
I still don't get how Google haven't already demanded to know which patents Microsoft alleges Android to infringe. Android is their product, albeit one they give out for free, so surely Microsoft going after their customers warrants some raised eyebrows from competition/antitrust quangos unless MS can back up their claim that they are due money? Call it harassment of their customers or campaigning to devalue their product, Google has to have some ammo they could have used to demand a dialogue with Redmond by now.
Can't win either way
I typed "image search" into Google the other day and was surprised to see some random other site I'd never heard of come up as top result - maybe they've tinkered with the famous algorithms in light of the antitrust thing. Ironically I still clicked through to Google image search anyway because I know it does what I wanted.
Couldn't agree more
It murders your suspension of disbelief - when something flies off screen in a 2D movie you can easily ignore it. when the same thing happens in a 3D showing, the object seems to wink out of existence, and you're puzzled for an instant just long enough to throw you off.
I remember watching Avatar in 3D when some burning ashes were drifting down the screen - it looked like a flake of ash was about to fall into my lap just as it ceased to exist. Which reminded me I was sitting in a dingy cinema watching what had been a fairly good film up until then.
Speaking as a Scot, meh. Other than squatters and people building fan pages, who cares about top level domains nowadays? I had to look up at the address bar to remember if it was theregister.co.uk or .com - In the unlikely event that I lose my bookmarks my browser is kind enough to predict where I'm going by the time I've typed "thereg". I can't see this being useful for anyone other than scammers who are selling stuff and want to give the impression their product is genuinely from Scotland/London/NYC/KFC/whatever.
Actually the more I think about it the less meh and the more annoyed I am - this is another example of people spending disproportionate time and effort (campaigning for two years?) demanding pointless crap that achieves next to nothing.
Even if it did form part of a contract, any clause in a contract / EULA term that tries to restrict your legal rights is automatically null and void. The lawyers sneak them in anyway, presumably as a way of upping the barriers to taking their company to court or dragging out any court action. Unenforceable clauses are so common that most contracts have clauses that state in the event any part of this contract is deemed unenforceable/inapplicable etc, then only that clause 'dies' and the rest of the contract remains in place.
I've heard about dongles that plug into iphones/android phones that allow you to swipe credit cards and authorise payments over their phone/data link. Don't have any experience with them but they might be worth a look?
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