1860 posts • joined 15 Jun 2007
Buying and collecting
You can't have it every way. Either you pay a higher price for someone to hold stock locally, or you must be prepared to wait until it can be delivered from a central warehouse.
It is only in the very rare situation where you will find a local retailer with products in stock, that they are prepared to sell at the same price as the large chains.
I must admit that having lost our local Currys during the sharp intake of breath DRG had when the credit crunch started, and also having lost our Woolworths, I am starting to look very favourably to our local independent electrical retailer, just to try to keep them in business and local. Yes, they're more expensive, but so is petrol, and my time is also precious. They will deliver exactly when I want, and also offer far more help and advice in fitting, often for free, than I got after paying for an installation service for my last cooker from one of the Nationals.
Using app or apps as a contraction for application is as old as the hills, or at least the PC (although probably older than this, but I have no references).
I'm fairly certain it was in common use in the 1980s. It's difficult to find references, because the Internet didn't exist back then, and most things were documented on paper. Maybe someone could trawl Usenet archives to try and find the earliest reference, or go through the Personal Computer World archives to try to find the earliest example.
yes and no. At the point of consumption, it has little to no fat, so qualifies as a low fat food, and definitely will not contain cholesterol (one of the reasons to eliminate saturated fat). But is seriously bad for the everyone except for the dentist!
Actually, conventional food science says that sugar is only converted into fat if there is a surplus of energy foods in the diet. If there is not enough other energy sources, it will be used to power the body. Still, it's not likely that someone consuming peppermint patties is short of calories in the rest of what they eat!
I'm fairly sure that I've heard in a TV documentary about Hersheys that the reason why US chocolate tastes so bad (or unique, as they put it) is because in earlier days, it was shipped around the US by rail in unrefrigerated boxcars in high temperatures, so by the time it got to it's destination, it was seriously past it's best.
People in small US towns across the US, being told that Chocolate was the height of confectionery in Europe ate it anyway, and got used to the taste.
When distribution got better, people complained that it did not taste the same, and so it was re-formulated to deliberately taste the way it does.
This could be an apocryphal story, but I believed it at the time.
What I found hilarious was a declaration on the packaging of some Peppermint Patties that came from the US that stated they are a low-fat food, which is true (only a very thin layer of dark 'chocolate' on them), but as they are about 60% refined sugar, the statement really is designed to mislead the US population about it's suitability as part of their diet.
It always worries me
when a company reporting poor part-year results, offers to increase the dividend return to it's investors.
It strikes me as a callous offer to try to keep share prices up, mortgaging future profits to make the company look better now.
But then there is so much in the shareholder-value-is-paramount led business model that I disagree with.
Stop the world. I want to get off!
"around 20 years"
I don't know where that came from. The filing date on this patent is 10th December 2003, although it is a continuance of other patents, the earliest being 07/926,333, filed in August 1992 (from the link in the article to the U.S. Patent office site).
IANA(IP)L, but I would assume that it is the filing date of the actual patent, not any precursor patent applications that have been abandoned, that is important.
Mind you, if there is a precursor patent application that was abandoned, and the technique is similar, does the abandoned application not count as a clear and unambiguous case of prior art!
I know it was not shipped with the laptop, but IBM and latterly Lenovo have complete service guides for all Thinkpad models on the Internet, freely available, and easy to find.
Want to know the part number for the screw that holds the power socket into the case for your 1998 vintage T20? It's all there. And the strip-down guides are not just the easy to open doors and hatches, but removing every component that has an identified part number down to bare plastic cases, ribbon cables and screws.
That's one of the main reasons why I choose them for my workhorse laptops. The other reasons being easy availability of spare parts and general robustness.
If this is how you see it
then it will become the Amstrad Emailer of the future.
I think that Macross (especially Macross Plus) is a better example in anime, but it is quite a common theme.
I sometimes wonder where all these missiles are stored, especially in the transforming robot/planes that must have so much more gubbins under the skins, but if it were realistic, it would not be so visual.
The Mote in Gods Eye
Although it is one of my all-time favourite books, it's a bit long, especially as it is so fast moving as everyone is almost constantly in a state of disciplined panic. I'm sure it could be cut down, but would loose much of the background that is essential to the story.
I'd love to see the first contact with MacArthur tearing through the light sail and wedging the Crazy Eddie probe into the hanger filmed. It's a terrific bit of writing, and would translate to the screen really well IMHO.
I was really surprised that Oath of Fealty never made it into the lists. That would film well with a small principal cast and much that could be filmed without a huge CGI budget. It could also be marketed as a near future story to the mass market.
@Andrew Garrard re: Enders Game
is one of the few books that I had to read cover-to-cover in a single session. But the tactics that made Ender so different would be almost impossible to relate on the screen, it would be just too confusing for most people, especially in the zero-gravity encounters when there is no 'up'.
If I remember correctly, there was only a single child death in Battle School (and a documented history of a few more that are mentioned, but not detailed), and this was not in one of the set battles, but a bullying incident that would not be too difficult to portray. In the battle room, participants are 'frozen' by immobilization suits and guns not that different from laser-zone guns instead of killed.
All of the 'real' battle scenes except the flashbacks to the first war were deliberately stylised so that they appeared like tactical exercises to the children. That would be easypeasy to film.
A major UK bank I worked at had some very good people (since made redundant) designing and building a customer facing environment in accordance with their quite rigorous security standards. One of the steps to getting it approved for use was a PEN test that was tasked to one of the organizations who are regarded as good at such things (if you think of the first name to spring to mind you've probably guessed who they are).
Halfway through the morning, a message got back to the admins from the PEN testers that went along the lines of "Could you please open up some of the firewalls and server ports to allow us to actually see some of the systems. We're having difficulty getting anything to respond to our probes".
You can guess what the answer to that was!
"..simple home user"
I suspect that the fact that you know how to port-scan all your devices, and bother to do it proves your statement is not completely correct.
A "simple" home user will get someone in to get everything working, and not understand enough to even know what a port scan is.
I would suspect that you fall into the "talented amateur who gives a damn" category. A fairly rare person.
I agree with the AC
If the files are corrupt, it is probably something other than the media or transport layer of the network that is at fault. If you are using TCP/IP, then you should get an error free stream of packets, because the TCP layer does packet checksum and retransmission. I suppose that it is just possible that a corrupted packet actually has the same checksum as the original, as the 16 bit checksum on TCP packets is not especially robust, but I do not know how likely that is.
Anybody any idea?
Different potentials on the earth in a ring.
I don't know exactly how the rings were arranged in the building (I was a mere student, not one of the staff), and I admit that there could have been a wiring fault, but this is what we measured. It may also be that the neutrals of the different phases were not tied together correctly. The hall comprised of a number of different buildings up the street, so may have had separate single phase installations at some time in the past which may explain it not being a proper three-phase installation.
This was 30 years ago, and the building was a lot older than that. I have no idea about the current capacity of that situation, I didn't want to put a load across it to measure the current. It may have just been an earth-leakage problem in some equipment attached to one of the rings. It was close to the kitchen.
Each phase could also have a different earth, with no common connection through a conductor. The earth itself is not a conductor, so it is perfectly possible to get local variations in earth potential.
I really doubt that many houses are on more than one phase. It can cause all sorts of earthing problems, some quite dangerous.
I worked at a REC (Regional Electricity Company) for a while, and it was explained to me that in most streets you end up with the phases being alternated down a street, so you are rarely on the same phase as either of your neighbours.
A single phase is quite capable of delivering the 60-100A that will be more than most dwellings need. You can tell by finding the electricity meter in your house. If you have a single meter with a single (normally red, and quite thick) wire connected on the input side, you are on a single phase.
I have PL set up in my house, and we have it working through the all three floors of the house, through several breaker boxes which are only connected together at the main live feed into the house. Some of the parts get better speed, however. Most of mine are eBuyer special 85Mb/s Turbo mode devices, about as cheap as I could buy.
When setting up some PA kit at my University hall of residence, we had a persistent buzz we could not get rid of. We traced it down to having different phases and earths on each side of the dining hall, and we measured more than 100V AC between the earth pins of sockets on each side of the hall. This scared me quite a lot.
what the TV licensing people have to say about this.
If you use a USB dongle for freeview, you are covered by your home TV license with a laptop as long as the laptop is running on battery. As soon as you plug it in, you have to be covered by a valid license for the premises you are in.
The important thing appears to be that the receiving device is battery powered.
This thing looks like it is battery powered, so you can plug your laptop into the mains with impunity! I'm sure that there will be debate about this, but this is how I read it.
I also wonder how leakage into adjacent properties not covered by a license will be seen by the TV licensing people.
@AC re Caves of Steel
Not the radio version, the 1964 TV adaptation by Terry Nation, and starring Peter Cushing. Read the article on Wikipedia. Only a minute or so of clips remain.
Galactic Patrol would be great, and contains enough action to satisfy Hollywood's CGI lust. Imagine how you cool you could make Worsel the Valentian!
That means that I am definitely one then, because I recognise almost all of them, and have read more than half!
Foundation was a trilogy
for many, many years, before dear old Isaac (bog rest his overworked imagination) decided to go down the future history route, and tie all of his series together. Hardcore Asimov fans don't think of the later books as canon.
It was interesting to see how he did it while the books were being first published, but in hindsight, I think it would have been better keeping R. Daneel Olivaw out of the Foundation stories. It all feels a bit contrived now.
Still, I think that it could be good, but would end up a bit slow for the Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer generations.
I wish the BBC dramatisation of "Caves of Steel" still existed somewhere. If someone has it, they would be a real hero!
Totally agree. Mind you, I learnt more about Leprosy from the first book than from the previous 15 years of education.
@Alien Doctor 1.1 re. chemical warfare attack
I did say "clean". I would be interested (in an academic sense - I have no dirty sock fetish) in finding out what made your socks such foul things. If you wore them for days on end, or paddled through mud in them, or maybe didn't wash your feet than I can understand. If your feet get wet, then maybe the choice of sandals was wrong in the first place.
Maybe I'm lucky, but my socks come off at the end of the day only a little more smelly than they were at the beginning, and even less so if I have been wearing sandals..
Socks with sandals
I personally find that sandals with socks is far preferable to sandals and naked feet, bent toes, broken nails, cracked heels, corns and all.
As long as they are tidy and relatively clean, I can only find fashion reasons against wearing socks, whereas I can find many, many reasons for wearing them, and I am completely unrepentant in this attitude.
When it comes down to it, it really depends on how much a slave to fashion you are.
I've never grown a beard, and morris dancing has only a passing interest, but the rest applies!
Does suspend and resume work OK on the T30?
I have serious issues with 10.04, with the state of the ATI graphics card not being restored correctly after resume, leading to corrupted screen.
@Annihilator re. Cell tower positions.
Funny. 15 years ago, I remember my Nokia 2110 (1st generation GPS?) phone reporting the post code of the nearest tower in the UK. I think that the info was part of the transmitted stream from the cell tower.
Not that useful, but then phones were not that 'smart' back then, and could barely handle text messages.
The problem is that it only looks this good from a distance. It probably looks a bit like the Milky Way from inside.
That's not a reason to not go, though!
but as well, I think that HP ought to look at Palm's IP that they obtained with the buyout. There's several devices in the portfolio featuring touch screens, curved corners, rectangular grids of icons (on rectangular backgrounds), hard keys at the bottom etc.
Palm were never so keen on the shiny chrome, preferring the brushed metal look, however.
You were behind the times
I was using AltaVista almost from it's launch in 1995.
and you know the 'phone number you call is good because...?
allow you to have the benefit of SSL encryption without the need of purchasing a certificate from a CA.
You loose the benefit of a trusted third party vouching for you, but you maintain the security of the encrypted link, so it's not all a waste.
I personally would want to use a trusted partner for my Webmail, but I may myself be happy for a self-certified certificate for services I expose on the Web for my own use.
Also, the problem of using a CA on a closed Intranet can be a serious issue without either setting up a local CA, or using self-signed certificates.
In either of the last two cases, having Firefox bitch about self-signed certificates is less than helpful.
@Wider Web - PC security tools
which is, of course, only available on Windows*. Big fail.
*Disclaimer - Windows is a trademark of the Microsoft Corporation. Other operating systems are available, some at quite reasonable cost.
Because sometimes, after a really hectic day, when I have 30+ windows open (today is a quiet day, I've only 24 windows open) with different terminal sessions (currently 12 different systems on the network), browsers (this one, and a separate window with two Nagios status pages, and two multiple tabbed HMC windows onto 16 different HMCs in the environment - it's a big environment) , document readers, configuration windows, notification windows, mail clients, it's nice (especially with a "Minimise All" button) to clear the desktop without having to worry about loosing your carefully arranged windows positions.
I appreciate alt-tab, sometimes it's takes too long to work out which xterm is which.
And yes, I use multiple desktops to reduce the clutter, and yes I have automatic setup of windows when I log in.
Also, in your case, sometimes window B is completely obscured, so how do you click on it?
As a long term UNIX user and more recently (13 years seems recent to me) Linux user, and having been taken through Sun View, OpenLook, twm, vtwm, Motif, CDE, fvwm, and various releases of KDE and Gnome, as well as many different experiments with the less well known desktop managers like Afterstep and Elightenment, I'm finding The World moving further and further away from what I want to use.
All I want is multiple overlapping windows, with a focus policy that I can change to what I want, and a quick way of starting any of the applications I use in a constant and consistent manner that does not conflict with selecting already opened windows. Multiple desktops are nice, and starting up a walking menu, either from a fixed point on the screen, or from a button press over the desktop is all I need. I can cope without drag-and-drop between folders and onto applications, and I can live without using the 'desktop' as a drop area to hold files (all this does is make you messy and uncaring about where on the system your files actually are).
I'm thinking of giving up completely on computers, grabbing a broom, and applying for a street sweepers job.
@Cam 2: At the risk of re-starting the Editor wars...
...there speaks a real emacs user!
ChiPod mp4 player
Mine was physically labelled as a 16GB unit and reported 16GB in the FAT, but was actually only 8GB minus a bit (presumably the firmware). But I was able to format it to the correct size, and it worked quite well until the NAND memory wore out. This was about 15 months of quite hard use.
I informed the seller, and was offered a refund, but I thought that even at 8GB, it was worth the ludicrously low price.
Who says it works
A lot of the Pulseaudio problems at 8.04 were a result of the defaults changing for PA between 7.10 and 8.04, leading to people who had upgraded from earlier versions being left with an unworkable configuration. However, I do have an outstanding problem with Pulseaudio on my T30 thinkpad that has been documented, but never fixed.
It would appear that after suspend/resume, the re-sampling rate changes by about 5%. This results in the pitch of the audio changing, raising it by just less than a semi-tone. As it is playing the sound faster, it also leads to gaps of around 1/10 sec. every 2 seconds in the audio with gstreamer based programs when there is insufficient data to play. I have not found anybody who has been able to permanently fix this, and it is marked as unlikely to be fixed in the 8.04 defect database. I have a local workaround for 8.04, but I've not done the work to do the same on 10.04 (the whole suspend/resume system has been knackered by the introduction of KMS).
It's still there in 10.04, and this, along with a problem with older ATI graphics cards not being re-configured (again by KMS) correctly after suspend/resume (new defect in 10.04 - it's to do with the way KMS and udev tread on each other's toes during a resume), which has left me running 8.04 on my main laptop.
And before anybody says I should get a more modern laptop, my T30 works just swell - why should I change!
I think we all have to agree...
Here are my cards. I've used Unity on the 10.10 netbook release, and IMHO it sucks big time. I've not tried 11.04 (yet) and admit that there is a good chance that it will work better but I don't normally run Betas, as I have enough to do in my life without having to fight bugs that other people take it upon themselves to find.
I am in "the desk top is there to control as many windows as I need" camp, and as a result, Unity is completely against the way I work.
But, and this is a big but, I am not a typical modern non-technical user. I work everyday with people who maximise whatever they are doing on their 22" 16x9 screen, work with tabbed terminal sessions in Konsole rather than multiple windows, and generally do one thing at a time. These are either OSX and iPad generation, or (bizarrely) people who have come from the green-screen single session terminal age and who have never felt comfortable in a windowed environment.
Having seen both of the above struggle to switch from one application to another, I believe that my multiple windows spread in a consistent manner across several desktops is better. But that's my opinion. I believe that I work faster than them, but again, that's my opinion.
I think that it's fair to say that Unity works well for those people who work in the way that Unity works, and it does not work for those who don't. By hey! This is a big world, and not everyone is the same.
I think it is necessary to explore new interfaces, as I am sure that I would not necessarily want Gnome or KDE as they are now on a touch-screen device. But having also been an Android user for around 6 months now, I'm not sure I would be happy with that on a tablet either, at least not on one that is more powerful than my netbook.
So I am happy that there is a new interface being tried, and even that it is the default (as long as they get the bugs out and make the alternative easy to choose). I just don't want to be forced to use it without jumping through hoops of fire if it doesn't suit me, and I would be grateful if others accepted that this is a perfectly valid viewpoint.
It's not that it's purple that bugs me...
...it's the blotches of other colours that make me want to reach for a screen degausser, until I remember that that has not been a problem for 20 years on CRT screens, and has never been a problem on flat-panel monitors.
And at least on the login screen, it is not obvious how to change it.
Yes, I've done it now, so I don't need anyone to tell me, but it should not be difficult on an OS aimed at ordinary users.
Mind you, shops delibrately confuse
In supermarkets, there is supposed to be a representative price on the tickets to allow easy comparison, like so many pence per amount of weight.
Unfortunately, my local T***o appears to deliberately compare different weights on the tickets, so one item will be priced per 250g, and another will be priced per 100g (and I have seen worse ones involving amounts like 330g, 350g).
There is only one purpose in this, and that is to defeat the measures introduced to allow product comparison.
I'm pretty good a mental arithmetic still, but sometimes I have to think for a few seconds before deciding which item is the best value. Other people wanting best value tend to just go for the supermarket brand, believing it will always be cheaper. More often than you may think, they are wrong.
I'm not saying that it's not a poor reflection on the education system nowadays, but it is clear that shops make it deliberately difficult.
No, it's not magic
Apart from the stored heat, there is also tidal energy in the mantle, caused mostly by the gravity drag as a result of the Moon.
There are also some people who think that there are fission reactions happening at various points in the mantle and core generating heat.
Not current accounts. I doubt they are *that* stupid.
What makes you think that multiple heads per platter is new?
I saw a magnetic drum device (swap on an IBM 360-65) which had something like 8 rows of heads spaced around the drum to increase speed.
Deskstar and Ultrastar
I don't know whether this is relevant, but I have used IBM and Hitachi Ultrastar (the enterprise version which actually shares much of the mechanical components), and generally they have been quite reliable. I have 3 in an IBM RS6000 44P-170.
Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately, most people who end up using powerline ethernet have already tried WiFi, and have moved on because WiFi could not cut the mustard for reasons including thick walls, inconvenient location of the ADSL that the WiFi plugs into and congestion.
Am I ever glad about the decision
I've always said that cached thumbnails were a potential danger to anyone browsing the Internet or using a web-based mail client. I hope that this will set precedent.
I agree that the victim has been awarded a pitiful settlement, and I would be very interested in finding out in 6 months time what a CRB check shows for him. I think that if I were his lawyer, I would go for interim damages pending their clients reputation being restored. If this appears in an adverse way on his record at some time in the future, then they would be able to go for lifetime damages that should be enough to support this person for the rest of their natural life.
And it would be even better if the claim would have to be contributed to by all of the members of the prosecution rather than the tax payers.
Yes, but there are legal streaming/download services available, so it is possible to use all that capacity without breaching copyright.
While it is technically possible that you may own the copyright to some CDs, this would have to be by contract, agreement or by actually being the person who recorded the material. As CD as a media is only about 30 years old, it is a fairly safe bet that nearly all material on any CD is still in copyright.
OK, ok, I know that there are compilation CDs out there that you can buy that contain already-copyright-expired material (almost any song recorded in the 1950's or earlier will fall into this category), and I know that EMI are getting twitchy about the Beatles back catalogue, but at present this is a minority of CDs.
One thing I want to throw out there is whether a re-master of a work recorded more than 50 years ago (in the UK) resets the copyright date. In theory, it could count as new material, but as IANAL, I do not know whether that is the case.
Any thoughts, anyone?
For those who don't recognise it
Take the flute riff. Work out where the bars are (clap 4 beats to the bar, along with the rhythm) such that you get 8 bars or 32 beats for the whole riff - it's a middle 8 after all) and it is the third and fourth bars of the flute riff, which matches the first line of the kookaburra song. It is pretty much note for note, with the same rhythm as well.
It's quite clear that it is the same, but I ask you, how can 2 bars, 11 notes in total be worth 5% of the revenue of the song. Especially when the original song is, I'm sure, meant to be onomatopoeic. At least it's the writers revenue they are going after. That should limit the payout significantly.
I'm absolutely certain that this ruling will lead to Australian lawyers finding two bars of matching melody in different songs, and then using this ruling as the basis for a copyright infringement claim. I'm sure that it could be done by computer if you had access to the right MIDI files.
There is at least one song in the UK chart at the moment, which every time I hear it, I say to myself "That's a song already", but I just can't put a name to it. I must try to remember to put more effort into working it out.
I feel that this should be dismissed exactly as EMI put it, as an unconscious tribute to the original song. Otherwise we will have to have melody searches against all songs currently in copyright before a new tune is published, in the same way as we have to have patent searches now. This will stop amateur writers dead in their tracks in the same way as patent searches stops small inventors now!
Re. MS, you also forgot
FUD campaigns, illegal (or at least immoral) discounting deals to PC manufacturers if competitor products were not installed, pricing models that penalised OEMs if they offered systems without an OS or with an alternate OS installed, including open-sourced code in products without acknowledging it's origin, random buy-up and shutdown acquisitions of competitor products, committee stuffing to undermine genuine open standards, participating in what amounts to patent cartels, unnecessary license purchases/ financial loans/bailouts with strings attached to control struggling competitors and ... oh well, I could go on, but it's all a matter of history.
One wonders what would have happened if Apple had not won it's case against Digital Research and GEM, which assured that MS had a significant clear-run at a graphical user interface in the Intel PC market. In my view GEM was significantly better to the versions of MS Windows that were available in the same time-frame.
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