Re: Microsoft and hardware
Sadly my old contour keyboard gave up the ghost and i immediately bought the new versions but have been very disappointed. They weren't expensive but quality took a real hit.
88 posts • joined 2 May 2012
Sadly my old contour keyboard gave up the ghost and i immediately bought the new versions but have been very disappointed. They weren't expensive but quality took a real hit.
Same here. For what it's worth go shoe shopping in Canada and the US as their standard last is a lot slimmer.
@commswonk But that's exactly the intent. There was little or no risk to the state funded BBC for novel content. What is a concern is if it then pays premium price for content and on screen talent that could be funded by the private sector, if anything too much of the output is risk free long run programming whereas it makes such a thing about needing a unique funding model to make novel content.
I started using them a while back based on exactly that kind of purchase (add some servos, resistors, caps and leds to your list). Demo'd a set of traffic lights and then got into robotics (asked my daughter what to make next - silly me!)
Arduino's are great for demos and robotics where no header is required but very much hobby/maker and low end bespoke for basic microelectronics. If you don't need solderless headers the various smaller boards are cheap enough to solder in and keep for permanent installations especially robots and the like where wires may pull lose. Haven't played with a 101 tend to use nanos and pro-minis now.
A very different experience but great fun to learn some new perspectives. Glue gun/super glue gel, lollipop sticks, hand riveter some motors and wheels and it's *much* cheaper than lego!
Some very fun educational material growing up around now using scratch style interfaces on top of the IDE too.
we vitrified brains at 135C for indefinite long-term storage .
Such as ?
Nice review. Although on:
By taxing we make ourselves poorer (the levying of any tax stops some economic activity from happening, however glorious the cause we're going to spend the money on).
At some point a tax in a democracy is what we , en masse, choose to spend our money on.
The sensible thing to do in that situation is move the portable aircon to fan only and blow air so that you exhaust the room air and bring in the cooler evening , night time air.
Air changes and cooling the thermal mass is key to performance depending on your building structure and insulation levels but you should be able to change the room air pretty fast to the external temperature and slowly reduce the wall temperature down (sometimes called the pseudo constant - but that would irritate too many pedants. And don't get me started on 'coolth' units!)
In buildings with decent insulated thermal mass this is used for pre-cooling too - bring the core temperature a few degrees below and use it as a heat sink in the day.
Free air cooling has become much more widely used these days (including data centres).
It is not correct that you should never use outside air in unless other air quality factors - dust , humidity etc were at play. Even then outside air is brought in, just in a carefully controlled way.
Whilst I might buy that in a near saturated market like the US cars sales could fall, globally the market is probably nowhere near saturated. As such the increase in capital efficiency allowed means the overall efficiency of cars could well increase and therefore use and demand will increase.
You'll note that we all use more ICT rather than less despite the massive increase in efficiencies over the years.
Can we have a debate between Messrs Chirgwin and Worstall?
Why is the metric for a government site how many people that use it?
Sure if it's use that channel in preference to non online systems fine but it could easily mean more problems with other systems (PAYE, health, local issues etc) and most transactional services are local.
Funny isn't it how high risk disruptive innovation seems to take high levels of disposable income? Who'd have thought. Then that other unsung hero of competition policy comes into play, incremental innovation and its ill regarded sibling cross licencing. Fair to say its not just the invisible hand of capitalism, downstream its enabled by competition policy and good intellectual property rights.
Seconded - I suspect the major eco benefit of LED will be the very long life - anyone seen an LCA?
Hopefully that will be as true when/if we get a decent 100W equivalent. CFL especially of the expenisve dimmable variety and halogen have very poor life expectancy - switch cycle limits seem the culprit.
Just bought some 60W equivalents for clusters and been very impressed - if they even come halfway close to the expected lifetime I'll be happy - very high ceilings!
Can't help but recall Frank Herbert's Bureau of Sabotage
Personally I'd say the better precedent would be the AA salute. From 1911 if an AA patrol did not salute a member it meant that there was a speedtrap ahead.
If you are teaching physical computing and have some way of programming the microcontroller that's sort of true enough. However that then means multiple computers. As an all in one the Pi is impressive and this makes tinkering on a connected pi much easier and means you only need give access to one device.
Also more device increases complexity and connections and more time is lost handling that in a class room.
They would certainly not be OSI compliant - http://opensource.org/osd numbers 5&6.
However restricting use of open source has been done
It cannot be done purely in open source software to my knowledge but can be done in combination with other software, hardware or service contracts. It can also be perfectly reasonable to do so if deviating from the restriction would create a liability somewhere else in the supply chain or cause issue with the procured services or for example invalidate audit and sampling processes.
Ok so fining the Ministry of Justice has a nice ring to it but how does fining a tax funded organisation help exactly?
Is the relevant Select Committee going to ask pointed questions?
Still a bit 'macro'. What about bacteria and viruses?
Given the debate one feels carrion eating fungi might be included as well as the cockroaches.
Linux related technologies was the point... a modular structure for a transmitter and a mobile station not exactly Linux is it?
Yep - exactly what happened to the lower taxation for diesel fuel. Oh and then they ended that and put a 3% surcharge on diesel use for company cars.
The chilli in the cricket club on the grounds used to be quite good too. Wonder if it's still there. My abiding memory of working in the Turing building was that the entire building resonated when Concorde flew over. At a frequency just below a telephone microphones ability to pick. Led to some peculiar phone conversations. Sadly I believe the building along with Concorde is no more.
FoE once tried to get the UK to ban glass recycling. They were supporting a naive banning of lead on a simple parts per million basis from the Packaging and Packaging waste directive with no regard to its perversities.
@Mage Have a reference for that condiition or any evidence? That's a de facto lock in clause and severely non policy compliant.
All good points if the intent was an Apple like premium consumer product play. However if the intent is to take whichever elements of the Google Glass development work are compelling into new platform/services (ie advertising and data capture) it does suggest that it can be done at commodity like pricing rather than premium. In turn it proves that Glass derivations are viable as a platform play.
Yes, Many European countries are based in this system - also known as Napoleonic codes. However this is often balanced by allowing the Judiciary greater interpretative and 'common sense' powers in more junior courts. By comparison our more permissive common law allows little flexibility to do more than follow the letter of the law below the High Court.
Shall we just rechristen IoT as 'The Subnets of Things'?
I suppose attracting more students by paying more was also part of the discussion ... no?
The policy was last I looked where the IPR could 'best exploited' (dangerously not defined as either exploited for the economic good or for minimizing public expenditure and TCO) and generally that will be the producer simply as Gov has no IPR licencing practice nor tracking process to detect infringement.
However that was implemented by standard clauses that left the default as the IPR being owned by the procurer often with little or no distinction as to the types of IPR (existing, foreground, residual etc). Its still knocking around as the default in many departments.
In part this happened as Gov made some simple mistakes like procuring reports that it intended to publish whilst the provider thought it was creating a private consultation report which it would resell and when they noticed there work being sent out for free were rather miffed.
Probably worth making that comment about epub on the http://standards.data.gov.uk/proposal/viewing-government-documents entry. Probably more suited to that.
a data/document format != a software application
It is not really about open source, it's about a making a choice of standard. ODF can be implemented perfectly well in both open source and proprietary - a defining characteristic of an open standard. Indeed MS document their support for ODF, http://office.microsoft.com/en-gb/word-help/differences-between-the-opendocument-text-odt-format-and-the-word-docx-format-HA010355788.aspx .
Training and document conversion is a bit of a red herring. Whatever they standardise on they will have some transformation costs and support for any key exceptions - equally the would have to train to make the average user understand the different file types , associations and extensions if they did not choose. Document conversion is probably overstated, most documents are ephemeral or new versions of old and that can be handled relatively easily.
Rather more of an issue is the weaning off of management by spreadsheet and other uses of extended (standardised and non standardised) functionality - both to improve fidelity and interoperability but also to make mobile solutions easier.
Your approach to the rich and powerful would appear to include anyone with a pension plan
Still missing the point really. Tax codes are complex - our simple one* is a mere 5000** pages.
A multinational will have to comply with every such tax code, and no guarantee of consistency. Blaming companies for contrived tax affairs is a bit like blaming the cup cake for its shape.
1) Simple and consistent codes.
2) Profits should be taxed where economic activities deriving the profits are performed and where value is created. Now apply that to a software R&D lab (that's at least tax deductible anywhere in the world, often super tax deductible in the UK - not least as countries would rather be a locus for highly qualified, highly paid people who you know pay taxes) . The software is created in one place and profits and economic benefits of use elsewhere on either sale or use.
3) Ireland is not in the G20 and has a different approach to taxation - attract employment, tax employees.
Solve 1) , 2) and 3) simultaneously.
Anything that is not legally minimising taxation is by definition voluntary - and companies do a lot of voluntary and charity work and support around the world. CSR, 1%'ers whatever. Giving more money to taxation authorities is of course one of the worst ways to effectively achieve the desired objectives***. Nothing stops employees and shareholders doing the same , and again many do give to charities and more.
If you tax at a 'moral' rate then you have all sorts of non objective analysis on tax matters that will again by definition be discriminatory and imposing unpredictable judgements, further disincentivising investment.
Of course it can't be the G20 finance ministers fault, oh no must be those nasty companies that er provide most of the employment and tax revenues any way ...
*it must be , we have an Office of Tax Simplification and they say it is.
** after amending, redefining and dedupe, actually you may have to comply with up to 17,000 if you have any historical compliance.
*** according to Keynes
Or you could maximise profit and return to shareholders and they can make their own judgement on how much extra tax they pay? On top of you know their dividends and realised equity gains being taxed.
Annoying the tax authorities should not affect the behaviour and judgment of an objective civil servant should it?
Given the massive price drop on quadrocopters with cameras should be interesting times ahead.
An interesting issue here is why go to NESTA in the first place and were any 'real' VCs approached and what did they say.
Whilst NESTA has a track record of talking up its endowment and not much about its actual investments, they were ( at least then before the conversion to charity, may have changed but I still see them as too overtly following the political zeitgeist) always going to have the political and bureaucratic issues of a public sector body. The UK was absorbing about half of all the VC funds in the EC at the time iirc.
A real danger of talking up state investment is the drowning out of other approaches. The state is almost by definition a funder of last resort ( unless it is funding for its own consumption, then its a supply side intervention) if there is a business case a business should be doing it. If it is too long term, too radical or too subject to regulatory risk or that the economic dividend is too dilute then there are good reason for state involvement but this does not seem to be in that category.
Possibly worth pointing out at an early stage that the IP intervention is a *lot* tighter than any public good. Even in the weakest patent system it must at least be novel (so Newton is way out !) . More generally equations and mathematics are not patentable anywhere, only an application derived from them could be.
In the better systems* its only a novel technical effect, leaving most of the pragmatic debate on how to set the the threshold for patentability (in particular of course where technical effect is delivered via an innovation delivered in software), how to ensure a proper review and proper disclosure.
*so not the ones who were once caught defining prior art as *only* anything already patented in their own system ....
Would be interesting to know if there is a decent analysis of the various different patent systems around the world and their effect their differences have on both their domestic and overseas markets.
I'd rather some basics were attended too. Having little choice I went with a 60mb connections as I'm a long way from the exchange so adsl was getting too poor for HD streaming and BT had no fibre as I'm not luckily enough to be in one of those rural areas that get the attention (SE London - no fibre ...).
I went for 60mb as much to get the new superhub as reviews said coverage and reliability were better but it still needs regular rebooting - at least once a week - for which it has no automatic option. Nor many other features one would expect in a basic router firmware. Slow to reboot too.
Reliability and service are OK - had a few outages but comparable to DSL but I'd rather that was improved before higher speeds.
Speed is ok - I normally get over the 30mb on testing.
'Because his conclusion was based on his own expert knowledge of the law: that was all that was needed.'
This is a traditional and often lucrative mistake for the legal profession and those that use them.
Agreed - at least for me my plasma is superior to LCD and the only issue i have is i want a bigger plasma screen.
Note to the TV industry - I want a *screen* from you as other people do everything else better for far less money. Leave the 'smart' to them. Leave out the spurious electronics and i'd have a few more screens by now.
Seems a harsh word to apply to this project?
A ceramic spoon rest? I think i have a whole set. I call them plates and saucers ....
The ability to share web sites is a boon to me alone. If it means I can actually find things on netlix by avoiding the PS3 version even better.
At this price I'll get one - which I find interesting as nothing else discussed in this arena has been of much interest since I bought a PS3 (simply as a Blu Ray player at the time) and a PVR many years ago which between them mean I've had to connect a PC to my dumb plasma screen exactly once in a decade or so.
I suspect Google have been rather smart and are using to boost their ecosystem by aggressively driving a market to commodity prices.
I suspect by the time its integrated into other devices (will watch for a release as a reference design) and simply purchased the aim is to make it a difficult platform not to supoport. Amazon/lovefilm pay attention!
After years of excellent service although not competitively priced and with somewhat dodgy routers, sadly the Sky take over was winning in the race for FTTC for me so its cable for me too. Although in fairness its as much BT failure to update my street cabinet and i've given up waiting - its due in the next year - just like the last two years.
Sky apparently have a wonderful offer for those moving over - but that meant talking to another human being over an already entirely unnecessary phone call to cancel and apparently email is beyond them. A need for more than 5 Mbps plus some outages this month nailed it. They did kindly say they didn't need the bebox returned - but have now sent me an email saying they do. Guess somethings they email, somethings they don't.
Still cancelling the BT line was even more fun as the texted a telephone number to my landline to confirm 'cancellation charges' . When I rang it turned out that i needed to talk to someone else instead as they couldn't do billing issues. Still not sure why i needed to talk to anyone.
Note - by the time I've canceled i've er... canceled. If you'd like to make me an offer stay do it preferably before then by you know, being competitive, and in writing and not only on the phone in office hours.
my face as the origin, presumably your mum is higher up the scale then.
'a clear sign is an increase in the formality of the way your work is assigned, in emails or even bits of paper, rather than simply being asked.'
Whilst true enough the comparison with the civil service made me laugh. Getting something with 'pl dl' (please deal) was a backhanded compliment in that it meant you were 'sound' enough not to require a 'steer' on how to handle the task.
Out of interest what do you see as the advantage of Pi over say Arduinos when a school already has computing facilities?
Is it just easier access to physical computing via the likes of Pi Face or the multi media capabilities?
Just wondering as was setting up some simple demos for a class (am doing really simple things with primary school lower years without anything programmable so just putting demos together to show the next stage up as it were) and I can almost get to give away toys with arduinos if i bulk buy arduino minis and Pi seems like overkill to all but the most advanced project although i have not made any comparison of eg Pi Face vs scratch for arduino.
PS not knocking anything here - more advance connected projects and near disposable multi media Pi wins hands down but if not needed basic microcontrollers come in about a fifth to a tenth of the cost.
Generally I agree but Phil Lord's point is also accurate. Ideally you'd like value identification/creation to ramp up without being bogged down in the negotiations that his scenarios would create if a cut were required. Much of the public interest benefit is non - financial as Phil Lord also notes
The current licensing is naive in a number of other ways too.
It has no 'off' switch - if any use of the data is considered against the public interest - eg combining with other public data sets or FOI requests to break privacy it cannot be withdrawn. For relatively static or stable data (postcodes!) that's an issue with political backlash.
It doesn't encourage feedback - there's no benefit in providing data correction nor service improvement information back into the public sector - often there is not even a feed back route.
The other side of the equation is that public sector is not incentivised to properly document the data providence, accuracy and collection methods that define its meaning nor improve the data quality and quantity (eg sampling rates, accuracy more data fields, frequency of release).
I'd suggest a revocable free licence (possibly underpinned by regulation in case of abuse to take it from civil to criminal) whilst allowing the creation of a more privileged/engaged user group that returns some value - payment in cash or in kind, couldhave guaranteed access (so 'approved') and sharing the costs of data improvement.